Friday, December 28, 2012

Foodie Gifts 2012

Foodie Gifts 2012
"Santa" always brings me foodie things for the holidays, and this year was no exception. I thought I'd go down the list.

1. Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
"Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life...."
Yeah, despite not staying in the restaurant world, I'm a sucker for a good chef narrative.  Past favorites include Heat by Bill Buford, and the classic Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.  I've been wanting to read this one for a while.

2. What's a Cook to Do? by James Peterson

Basic reference book for frequent kitchen problems.  It seems to have a lot in it addressing infrequently used ingredients and techniques, so I'm going to try using it instead of the internet for a while.  I did look up persimmons in it already!

3. Short and Simple Family Recipes by Amy Roloff

While most people will recognize her from TLC's Little People, Big World, the Roloffs went to school with my sister, so my Mom gave Amy's cookbook to all three of us.  It seems to have lots of family recipes.  I'm hoping for something that seems Oregon related since the Roloffs live close to where I grew up.  There are a lot of pictures of the family in it as well.

4. Bean By Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon

I know this cookbook author best from her vegetarian cookbooks like Passionate Vegetarian.  This cookbook isn't entirely vegetarian, but when she includes a recipe that isn't, she always has a vegetarian option.  She also clearly marks each recipe and variation if it is vegan or gluten-free.  There are lots of good sounding things in here!  I already have a bunch marked to try.

5. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

I've followed Deb's blog for years, and made many of her recipes.  They are always well-tested, delicious, and I couldn't wait to get her cookbook.  This was a gift from my sister.  I haven't cracked it yet because I'm delaying gratification.  The cover is gorgeous, and her photography always has been, so this just can't be bad.  

6. The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Reinhart/Wallace

Not technically a holiday gift, but Nathaniel brought this home from some discount store around the holidays.  I was skeptical as I have read some really terrible sugar-free and gluten-free cookbooks.  Some aren't diabetic-friendly and simply substitute honey, maple syrup, or agave for sugar; some gluten-free cookbooks create their own flour substitute and just use that for everything, rather than varying flavor and texture with flour.  This is co-written by one of the bakers I trust the most - Peter Reinhardt, author of the Bread Baker's Apprentice and American Pie, among others.  To see the results of his superb baking ability applied to sugar-free and gluten-free baking made me tear up (not joking) because I have a feeling that this will revolutionize my own attempts that I've been making for the last year.  THANK YOU, Peter.  

7. Cookbook bone (not pictured) - I had to Google this one to figure out what it is.  Now you can. Ha!
8. Apron, black-white-green, says "Queen of Everything." (not pictured) 

What did Santa bring for you foodie-wise this year?

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