Posted on March 29, 2022 at 6:00 am
Cookbooks are a labor of love for those who write them. When I recreate, share, and consume the finished recipes, it feels like I’m honoring and extending that love.
Who knows, you may find the food of your dreams in your wanderings through the pages of a cookbook. I love that I can learn about a cuisine that’s unfamiliar and explore some new recipes. Both the journey and the destination play a role in my relationships with the culinary.
Here are some new cookbooks that you might want to start a culinary journey with.
Tables & Spreads, by Shelly Weterhausen Worcel with Wyatt Worcel
This guide shows you how to make a beautiful table for a gathering (or yourself).
There is a lovely timeline you can use to make sure the process of planning and orchestrating a “spread” goes as smoothly as possible. The section on prepping, serving, and styling food is extremely helpful. It breaks down different cheeses and cuts, meat cuts, fruit and veggie cuts, and flavor profiles as well as storing before and after your gathering.
Beautiful Boards, by Maegan Brown
OMG. This. Book. Is. Gorgeous.
If you’re getting tired of your old cheese and bread board this book will get you hyped. These boards are works of art and the best part is, easy to replicate! Here’s just a few of the boards you’ll find inside: Chips and Dips Board, Fruit and Dips Board, Birthday Dessert Board, Pancake Board, Mimosa Board, and Build-Your-Own Taco Board. Count me in!
Vegan Boards, by Kate Kasbee
This vegan cookbook has some awesome boards for snacks, mains, and desserts.
The Loaded Sweet Potato Fries Board has an assortment of different cuts of fries and lots of dips to choose from. The Family Movie Night Board consists of popcorn, apples, grapes, hummus, crackers, crispy spiced chickpeas, and chocolate hazelnut spread. For dessert, how about the Hot Chocolate Dessert Board? This is great if you have friends and family that are vegan and you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to bringing food for gatherings.
Shake, Strain, Done: Craft Cocktails at Home, by J. M. Hirsch
This book has over 200 cocktail recipes and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
The illustrations for each drink are gorgeous, and the “Cocktail Cartography” section is so helpful! There are 11 characteristics of drinks in this guide—refreshing, creamy, fruity, sweet, sour, herbal, bitter, spicy, smoky, warm, and strong. Each recipe uses these characteristics to describe the drinks and makes the process a bit more fun and informative.
Gazoz, by Benny Briga & Adeena Sussman
Here’s a non-alcoholic drink book for when you want to be fancy but aren’t interested in the alcohol.
You start with sparkling soda and then add in different fruit, flowers, herbs, spices, and syrups. These drinks may take a bit more time to make but the results are well worth the effort.
Moon, Magic, Mixology, by Julia Halina Hadas
Feeling a little witchy? The drinks in this book celebrate the moon in whatever phase and/or zodiac sign it is in. Drinks are divided up into seasons, and each recipe has energies around the drink and the times that the drink is the most powerful.
But you don’t need to subscribe to any astrological beliefs to enjoy these! I tried the Lunar Alchemy cocktail. It was a gorgeous blue that turned purple when the lemon juice was added. It was, dare I say, magical and delicious!
The Unofficial Disney Parks Drink Recipe Book, by Ashley Craft
If you love all things Disney, then you need to check out this drink book.
Try the Frozen Sunshine (orange soda, orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, orange slice candies) or the Blue Milk (rice milk, canned coconut milk, pineapple juice, passion fruit juice, lime juice, watermelon syrup, blue gel food coloring). There are also maps in the back that show where these famous drinks are found at the parks!
The Korean Vegan Cookbook, by Joanne Lee Molinaro
You can be vegan and enjoy some great Korean food with this book!
Try the Sweet Hotteok (Fried Stuffed Pancakes), Kimchi Bokkeum Bap (Fried Rice), Mandoo (Dumplings) or Seaweed Sesame Bagels. There are lots of dishes in this collection to entice anyone who is interested in trying something new.
The Joy of Pizza, by Dan Richer with Katie Parla
There are loads of info graphs, pictures, tips and tricks, and everything is laid out for you in an easy-to-follow manner. My personal favorite parts of this book are the evaluation rubrics to evaluate every part of pizza making. There’s even a section in the back with QR codes that link to videos and PDFs.
Here’s a quote exemplifying the philosophy of this cookbook/guidebook: “The pizza left a deeply emotional and long-lasting positive impression.”
If your pizza isn’t doing that for you, then it’s time to up your game and check out this book.
That Sounds So Good, by Carla Lalli Music
I love how this cookbook is organized.
There are the recipes for Monday–Thursday when you don’t have a lot of time for cooking. Then there are recipes for lazy weekends and for gatherings and occasions. It includes substitutions you can use in the “Spin it” section of each recipe. I love that!
I recommend the Fried Mushrooms with Zesty Chile Salt and Gia’s Sunday Ragu and then finishing with some Mocha Hazelnut Biscotti.
The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World, by Reem Kassis
This book is full of so many delicious recipes from all over the Middle East. It is organized by flavors that are central to Middle Eastern cooking rather than by meal type.
Does the Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Preserved Lemon sound like your thing? Maybe the Fruit Salad with Orange Blossom Water and Pistachios is more your style. Finish with some Chocolate-Covered Tahini Truffles or Pistachio Cake with Orange Blossom Ganache, and you’ve got yourself a party!
Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health, by Gregory Gourdet with JJ Goode
This book is full of mouth-watering dishes that are free from gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, and grains. I know what you might be thinking. What the heck is even in there then?!
Delicious vegetable and meat centered dishes that are chock full of flavor, that’s what!
Watermelon-berry salad with chili dressing and lots of herbs! Coconut pancakes with blueberry-maple syrup and basil! Butternut squash soup with cashew cream and smoky peppers! Crispy-skin salmon with plantains and African pepper sauce! Are you hungry yet?
Mooncakes & Milk Bread, by Kristina Cho
You can learn how to make loads of sweet breads with this cookbook.
There is the classic Milk Bread. Or you could try the Almighty Pineapple Bun (Bo Lo Bao). In need of something a little sweeter? How about the Matcha and Jasmine Swiss Roll or Mango Mousse Cake? Enjoy your treats with some Hong-Kong Milk Tea (Li Cha) or Sparkling Lime Matcha for an indulgent snack!
Middle Eastern Sweets, by Salma Hage
There are so many delicious treats in this cookbook that it’s hard to choose what to make first!
Should you try the Salted Tahini and Chocolate Cookies first? Maybe the Pistachio and Apricot Baklava? What about the Pistachio and Orange Blossom Madeleines? Can’t forget some Lebanese Drop Donuts! On second thought, make them all!
The Cake Book, by Rebecca Firth
Cake is one of my favorite desserts and this cookbook is filled with so many variations!
Here’s a list of delicious options: Better Than Boxed Yellow Cake with Whipped Malted Chocolate Ganache, Lemon-Olive Oil Chiffon Cake, Mega Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache, Banana Rum Cake, Tropical Pineapple Cakes, and Spiced Brown Sugar Cakes. With this many recipes and flavors, you can celebrate any and everything with cake!
Chocolate, by Taste of Home
Here are over 100 recipes where chocolate is the star.
The Three-Layer Chocolate Ganache Cake on the cover is enough to make any chocolate lover swoon. The Cakes & Pies chapter is my personal favorite, but there are other delectable chapters: Fudge, Truffles & More, Frosty Specialties, and Decadent Desserts. If chocolate is your dessert of choice, then this is the dessert book for you.
Here’s to happy mixing, baking, cooking, drinking, and eating!
Savannah Stewart is the Communication Associate with Spokane County Library District. She enjoys spending her time reading, hiking, traveling, and eating delicious food, including the homemade pizza her partner makes. To relax, she meditates, practices yoga, and snuggles with her kitty Zelda.