These are the books currently stacked up in my living room waiting for me to give them some more attention. Looks like I’m in for a lot of time in the kitchen! I’m putting two at the top here because they have events coming up soon (like, today soon):
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen. This book is as beautiful as you are thinking it might be. Deb is here in Seattle right now! She’s at the Book Larder tonight, the main event is sold out but signing is open to the public later in the evening. Tomorrow, the 8th, she’s at the University Bookstore at 10 a.m.
Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk This book is by Lara Ferroni, Cook and Eat, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when she lived here in Seattle (we miss you!). She has recipes for all our familiar favorites and each recipe includes instructions for gluten-free and vegan versions as well. Lara will be at the Book Larder here in Seattle on Nov. 13th.
Ok, now from the top down:
Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats with a Surprise Inside by Megan Seling, Bake It in a Cake. You gotta make the pumpkin pie cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I mean, come on. Megan Seling also happens to be a music and food editor at Seattle’s weekly paper The Stranger.
Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer by William Bostwick and Jessi Rymill. They go through all the information you need to brew whatever type of beer you’d like using your stovetop, and the graphical layout of the book makes everything very easy to take in.
The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook. Canning, pickling, making cheese, preserving meats (and yes, bacon), homemade snacks and brewing beer all with the how and why information that will allow you to make variations. I love this book.
Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet with Ada Calhoun. The history of what we wear and why we wear it, with tips on how to look your absolute best. The tone is conversational and filled with anecdotes. I wish this had been around when I was starting to study costume design in college.
Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan. From jams and pickles to syrups, granolas and nut butters. Even chocolate cakes, vanilla extract and information on freezing in jars. The book includes stories from her childhood and the tone is very friendly.
Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques; 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects: Dresses, Tunics, Scarves, Skirts, Accessories, Pillows, Curtains, and More by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut. The projects in this book are lovely and not too intimidating. They include basic garment shapes and dozens of ways to adapt them as well as decorative and functional items for your house and yourself.
Cook’s Illustrated The Science of Good Cooking. Detailed information on the practical science behind food and cooking, including lots of recipes. This book is dense, packed with solutions to common cooking troubles and will become my go-to for when I have a question about why a recipe has me doing something that I need to understand.