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It’s not often that the Globe runs a vegan cookbook review (although we regularly run vegetarian and vegetable-centric reviews).  I think the last time was 5 years ago. The book I reviewed at that time was underwhelming, and I got slammed by assorted irate vegans who felt the author poorly represented their cause.  An unfortunate experience all around.

But when Isa Does It crossed my desk, I had a good feeling.  It seemed approachable, well-thought-out, and potentially tasty.  So I made the case to my editor that we should review it.  She agreed,  and I haven’t regretted it…so far.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Isa Does It’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Ah, chocolate! When I look at the dirty piles of grey March snow still heaped everywhere in New England,   I feel even more than usual like reaching for some chocolate.  Any chocolate.  Chocolate is sunshine! Chocolate is life! Chocolate is hope!  

This book is not for the casual dabbler in chocolate.  Every recipe is marked with the cacao percentage you’ll need – 55%, 62%, 75%, 83% – and most of them are pretty high-test.  

Someday spring will finally get here.  But in the meantime I’m 83% sure I have a substitute.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Seriously Bitter Sweet’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Quick! how many ways to cook something slowly can you think of?  

I bet you said “Slow cooker,” followed by maybe “stewing” or “braising”. But how about “slow steaming”?  How about “sous vide“? Andy Schloss can think of at least 8 (9 if you include slow-cooking desserts as its own thing), and he’s got a chapter for each of them.  

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Cooking Slow’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Joe Yonan, if you don’t know him, is a fixture on the food journalism scene.  Once a Globe food beat cop like myself, Joe made his way to the Washington Post, where he now heads up the food section.

He’s specialized in cooking for singles: first with a popular column, whose recipes served as a springboard for his singles cookbook,  Serve Yourself.  The current volume is the vegetarian followup.

It’s long been my view, though, that anyone with Joe’s effervescent personality can’t last on the singles scene for long.  I hold out hope that volume 3 will be Serves 4, with Minivan, and I won’t have to keep scaling up his recipes..!

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Eat Your Vegetables’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Of all the excellent 2013 cookbooks I had the good fortune to test last year, it’s Keepers (published by Rodale – not even one of the major cookbook players) that had the most to offer the everyday, hassled-to-the-max home cook.

You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the outside.  The cover, though tasty-looking, and the title as well might be  marketing misfires.  Memoir, I thought – or maybe pastry.  What I didn’t expect (until I read the subtitle anyway) was a parade of family-friendly hits, none taking more than 45 minutes.  One of them, the skillet lasagna, even made it into my Best Recipes of 2013 list.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Keepers’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

In 1999, I was a culinary student at what was then called “Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School,” and so was Amy Thielen. I’d already spent ten years on one career (as a book editor) and was casting around for another. Amy was still a recent college graduate, but all her jobs had been in food and she knew that’s where she wanted to be. She already had the efficient moves of a kitchen worker, and she had an intense curiosity about the big picture. In our class of 15, it was clear that Amy had hustle.

We lost touch over the years, so when Amy’s book arrived on my porch with all the other review copies, I felt I could set aside the fact we’d known each other in the dotcom days and do a fair job on it. But even so I was surprised at what a strong first outing The New Midwestern Table turned out to be.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘The New Midwestern Table’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Happy New Year! everybody.

In the holiday hubbub (long road trip to see family, hosting Christmas dinner, multiple New Years’ parties –  the usual stuff) I forgot to check and see which of my reviews had published.

This one came out in the run-up to the holiday, although you may be able to tell from the recipes that I tested it way back in September.  As far as seasonal vegetable books go, it’s a charming mixed bag.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘The French Market Cookbook’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere!

What, you say you’re already too much of a cookbook addict?  Ah, but you see, Cookbook Finder will help you get control of your problem.  Now you’ll only buy the good ones.

Available for  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Most of the time I have a pretty good sense of when a book will work out.  When Balaboosta came out this fall, I had a magnificent hunch.  “Isn’t this beautiful!” I cooed.  “Aren’t these stories great! and some of my favorite ingredients!”

Then came the testing.   After a week, my confidence in my ability to pre-judge a cookbook was seriously rattled – temporarily, but still.  Ah, well. Nobody’s perfect.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Balaboosta’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app , you’ll find more analysis of this book, write-ups of 250+  of the latest cookbooks, and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app anywhere –  just 99¢ this week only!

Know someone who loves cookbooks?  CookShelf makes the perfect virtual stocking stuffer! Just gift it to your favorite cook from your  iPhone/iPad or Android device and start inviting yourself over for supper.

Couple of stories this week!

First up, a review of a new “easy Thai” book by Katie Chin, a TV cook better known for her efforts in Chinese cuisine.  Canny move, since despite the popularity of Thai food and the popularity of Thai ingredients, Thai cookbooks that are both accessible and authentic seem to be few.  This one falls in the accessible category (David Thompson’s are the authentic ones, but many of us find them just a step beyond what’s feasible on a weeknight).

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Everyday Thai Cooking’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

I tested this one over the summer, but there’s another new Thai book just out, Pok Pok. It’s got a good pedigree and looks promising, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try and seeing where on the accessible/authentic spectrum it falls.  I’ll put it on CookShelf once I have.

My second story today is about a near-neighbor, Dédé Wilson, who lives and works in the town next over from mine, Shutesbury.  She’s a veteran baking-book author and has a new website aiming to be an information hub for authors.  The website is still in beta, but you can check it out here and read her story in the Globe.

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On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app , you’ll find more data points and analysis of the latest cookbooks and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app in the country!  Love cookbooks?  Then CookShelf’s a MUST for you.  Available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android devices and updated most weeks.

Debra Ponzek’s new book aims for a particular readership – the weeknight family cook who’s busy, but not too busy.  Because these recipes, while reliably tasty and simple to execute, are not reliably quick. (I have another book review coming up in the next few weeks where the authors hit the quick-easy-tasty trifecta on the money every time.)

Still, Ponzek has a terrific sense of how to combine flavors, and that combined with her sense of how to easily construct a meal around one or two recipes makes the book a good value for the part-time at-home parent who cooks.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app , you’ll find more data points and analysis of the latest cookbooks and regular cookbook news.  It’s the only up-to-the-minute cookbook app in the country!  Love cookbooks?  Then CookShelf’s a MUST for you.  Available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android devices and updated most weeks.

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