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I think it says something good about mainstream food culture that a cookbook jacket can now not only not display something baked and golden-brown on the cover but actually instead feature a blue-black close-up of octopus tentacles.

My daughter was very concerned about the octopus, but – though I love me a cephalopod – we didn’t test any this time.  From Maria Elia’s last book, I knew to expect big flavors and new ideas, and Smashing Plates – mostly – did not disappoint.

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

On  Cookbook Finder, my cookbook-rating app, you’ll find 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.

The Yogurt Cookbook is one of those great-sounding ideas you can’t believe hasn’t been done before.  In fact, it has – this book is a re-issue (newly photographed and designed).  It’s a far-ranging book, trotting across Central Asia and Europe, and there are a lot of good ideas.  Is it a keeper?  Read on to find out.

Also, my 12-year-old son has a very in-character cameo appearance in this week’s story.  

Click here to read today’s review of The Yogurt Cookbook in the Boston Globe.  (Hit the paywall?  Use this PDF link.)

On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app this week, I’ve got a story on husband-and-wife cookbooks, as well as many more data points and analysis of The Yogurt Cookbook and all the latest cookbooks.  Treat yourself to a copy of the app that’s a zine for cookbook fanatics!  It’s available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android device and updated  every Wednesday .

FullOfFlavourCover USFull of Flavor brings up a classic cooking paradox:  Many of us like the idea of improvising more in the kitchen – of changing things up, swapping things out, being creative.  And Maria Elia wants to help, with a book that urges you to “Create…like a chef”! But there’s the rub.  If you really want to go all buckaroo in the kitchen, are you going to turn to a cookbook to tell you how?  If you really want your independence, are you going to ask someone to prescribe variations on a roast chicken for you?  Hmm. Conundrums aside, it’s a solid cookbook, and it does live up to its title.

Click here to read today’s review of Full of Flavor in the Boston Globe.  (Hit the paywall?  Use this PDF link.)

For many more data points and analysis and recipe links of Full of Flavor - and well over 200 other cookbooks – help yourself to a copy of  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app.  It’s available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android device. And it’s updated just about every Wednesday with more news about the latest, greatest cookbooks –  essential reading for every cookbook lover.

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