Fall 2014 Cookbook Preview

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(Reviewed left to right, top to bottom) 

It’s no secret I am a cookbook/baking book hoarder. I have been known to scout Amazon for daaaayyyyss for new cookbook releases to add to my wishlist. It’s an addiction. I devour new, inspiring recipes like it’s (not?) going out of style. But my apartment space and bookshelves are barely holding their weight in books as it is. It’s like having a closet too full of clothes…you keep stuffing them in and one day the clothes hanging rack just snaps in two because you “broke the camels back” (real life: this actually just happened to me last week so the analogy isn’t too far off). I think about 30% of my motivation to move into a home is to devote an entire very long and tall wall to just my books. The Ikea shelf (see similar) that J and I go half-sies on still isn’t accommodating enough, sadly. I have a small vintage shelf in my bedroom, books stacked upon one another in many, many stacks, and little book pile collections scattered throughout the living and bedrooms that drive my sweetie nuts. But at least the cats enjoy knocking them over.

That being said: dream walls. Seriously.

Anywho, back to the books. I love Fall for many reasons, but I especially get all wound up about the seasonal releases (and I don’t even need to drink a PSL). Fall has been around for about a week now, and I feel so energized, so much like myself again, so much more motivated and inspired. The pumpkin spice goodies that are everywhere help (hello pumpkin m&m’s!), but I appreciate the cooler 60-70 degree damp but slightly sunny days and cloudy weather so much more than the summer we just had. It’s such a relief to actually be able to wear a pair of jeans and a sweater again (although I think I’m jumping the gun because every time I’ve worn one this week I got overheated in less than 10 seconds…what can I say, I’m an overzealous sweater-wearer). I can actually run again without feeling like a complete and total sloth (which helps, as I am running a half marathon this upcoming Sunday… and I wonder why all of a sudden my body finally feels capable going past the 10 mile threshold). Tomorrow is the first day of October, my favorite month of the whole year, so I am definitely going to dedicate some time set aside to testing out some of the recipes in the books above. Here are some ones I currently have, or am anticipating to buy:

1// Wintersweet: Ok, so technically this has been out for over a year or so, but I just received a review copy in the mail today! I was so excited when they asked me if I wanted a copy, because I’d been drooling over it forever. And I am totally in love with it. It is a gorgeous, dense and solid baking book, full of all of my favorite Fall and Winter baking ingredients. The category layout is also unique but much appreciated: apples, pears, nuts & chocolate, persimmons/pomegranates/cranberries, citrus, roots/tubers/gourds, cheese, dried fruits/dairy/fresh eggs. I’m especially excited to make the Apple Cider Doughnuts, Pear Cardamom Crostada, Salted Dark Chocolate Tart with Pistachios, and the Chai-Spiced Squash Pie!

2// Plenty More: Oh, Ottolenghi. This much anticipated 4th cookbook release from Yotam comes out in just two weeks and I know everyone can’t wait. I only own Jerusalem but intend to get Ottolengi and the original Plenty someday. I have a feeling many of these vegetable dishes will make it to our tables in the upcoming holidays.

3// Huckleberry: I’ll be honest, at first I thought this book was going to be about a bunch of huckleberry recipes, especially based on the cover photo, but I wasn’t bummed to find out that Matt Armendariz photographed all of the recipes for this Santa Monica neighborhood bakery book. There are a ton of great basic baking how-to’s and tons of ideas for a lavish brunch spread. This has definitely been a popular release.

4// Ovenly: Another bakery-based cookbook- Ovenly, just released today, has also been highly anticipated. Instead of the West Coast, we head East here, to Brooklyn. I don’t own it (yet) but based on thumbing through the Index images in the sample pages, I can’t imagine being disappointed.

5// Pastry: I was just contacted today to review a copy of this book, so until I get it in my hands, I won’t have much to say other than what avid baker can turn down having some staple pastry dough recipes to have on hand at all times? One of my bucket list baking items is to make homemade croissant, and this dude has a recipe. This will be my study guide. I will be a very studious baking student this Fall.

6// The Baking Bible: Rose Levy Beranbaum is a baking badass. I first heard her name in my cake decorating class in college. Does The Cake Bible ring any bells? If you love to bake and decorate cakes, it’s a must-own. I can only imagine the works of Baking Bible will meet the same standards. Plus, it’s 576 pages (!!!). No-brainer. That lady works hard.

7// Top With Cinnamon: What more can I say about Izy other than what an amazingly motivated, talented and inspirational young woman. I fell in love with her blog the moment I saw these Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars. I was taken aback by her extraordinary use of natural lighting, composition, and ingenuity. Anywho, it wasn’t until this last weekend that I realized her book was coming out today. I swear it was just yesterday she was talking about writing her own cookbook. That happened lightning fast. I just got it in the mail today, but I can tell I am going to love the heck out of this one- Malted Pumpkin Gingerbread, Squash Feta & Sage Focaccia, Boozy Mocha Coconut Layer Cake… OH EM GEE. Izy, you’re the best.

8// Baked Occasions: Some of the first baking books I ever purchased were by this fine, talented and classy young men by the names of Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I own every single one of their books, and my jaw drops every time I turn the page, even looking at them 5, 6 years later… they are insane. The photography, the intricate yet “if you dedicate an entire day to make this log cake look as good as it does in this photo, you can make it” recipes are what keep me coming back for more. I really cannot wait for this one.

9// Brown Sugar Kitchen: Even though I grew up in central California, only about a 1.5 hour drive from the Bay Area, I never made it to Oakland very often. It got a bad rap back in the day that always stuck with me, even into my teens and 20s. However, I’ve heard the food and beer scene is pretty righteous. Take Brown Sugar Kitchenfor example- Soul Food made accessible to everyone. I’ve never been, but have only heard wonderful things, so when I saw this book pop up a few weeks ago, I knew I had heard the name before. This one is definitely on my wishlist, because who doesn’t need a recipe for classic Gumbo and Mac ‘n Cheese?

So there ya have it! Are there any new cookbook releases that you have been loving that I should know about? Please let me know! Happy Fall baking!

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