Are you tired of talking about food after the Thanksgiving holiday or was it just the start up to cooking all the things for the rest of the year? I actually didn’t have to cook for the holiday (thanks mom!) and got to enjoy a few days of not thinking about meal planning, which has actually been one of the hardest things about the pandemic for me. When we were all in lockdown I felt like I spent most of my waking hours taking stock of what was in the pantry, planning grocery pick ups or deliveries, and planning 3 meals a day.
I got a little burnt out but after the weather changed I got motivated to cook all the cozy things and checked out a bunch of cookbooks from the library (the librarian actually made fun of me when I came to pick them up!) I love checking out cookbooks, sometimes I fall in love and order the book and sometimes I just get inspired from how beautiful it is and return it after writing down a recipe or two.
I thought I would share my favorite recent cookbooks in case you are needing some inspiration for the upcoming season or needing gift ideas for those in your life that love to cook. I’m using all Amazon affiliate links (if you purchase through them I get a small commission) but I would ask that if you have a local bookstore to ask them first!
Not a cookbook, but I have been getting every penny’s worth out of my New York Times subscription and the New York Times Cooking app. This is the first place I look for weeknight meals, although there are plenty of more complicated dishes on there.
Milk Street’s Tuesday Nights and Fast and Slow both had great, quick meals that my family all loved. I really like how there are a wide range of international flavors in these books and lots of vegetarian options.
I understand that I am late to the game with Yotam Ottolenghi and now have a lot of his books on hold, but I loved Jerusalem:A Cookbook that he wrote with Sami Tamimi. Besides having delicious recipes, the photos and stories that accompany the food are fantastic. I loved reading the history behind dishes like kibbeh, something my family makes often.
For a little adventurous cooking I checked out Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and more by Hsiao-Ching Chou This book is so great! A lot of simple recipes for traditional Chinese food and a section at the back for classic American Chinese food. I made the pan fried dumplings from this (dough and all!) and they turned out amazing.
Finally, I have Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides: A Cookbook by Lee Brian Schrager. I bought a deep fryer this summer (this one! I love it, so easy to use and clean!) and have been enjoying learning about fried chicken from this book. There is not a good restaurant near us to get the occasional fix that every good Southern girl needs, so I’m happy to have a resource to make my own.
Those are the stand out books for me over the past few months. They are the ones I flip through to get me back in the kitchen trying something new and make cooking fun and not so much of a chore!