3 cookbooks to read this Spring

cookbooks for spring

Guys! the tulips are starting to poke through the ground. do you know what that means? it's spring! to embrace the season let's chat about three cookbooks I think you should have on your shelf + ready to go.

first up is the san luis obispo farmer's market cookbook by kendra aronson. I actually got this one from supporting her kickstarter campaign which funded this book. I was drawn in by kendra's passion to where she lives (san luis obispo, duh) + by the fact that she was going to feature both recipes + the stories from chefs + farmers that participate in the farmer's market. if I made a cookbook, it would likely look something like this one tbh.

some recipe highlights: garlicky blackened brussels sprouts with meyer lemon aioli, turkish spiced lamb with salty jajik, pistachio crust honeyed goat cheese cheesecake + beekeeper burrata

the next cookbook is from a bakery I was obsessed with while i was in london, the violet bakery. ok, not obsessed with...but whenever i went to broadway market i was there. they had (and still have) the most adorable cupcakes, but everything the violet bakery sold seemed so pure + delicate. i was excited to see that Claire ptak created this cookbook, even more happy to see just how many recipes were inside.

some recipe highlights: chocolate croissant bread pudding, apricot and almond-cornmeal muffins, honey and rose water madeleines + roasted black figs.

this isn't necessarily a pure cookbook, since there are other crafts + lifestyle suggestions in this one. the year of cozy is seasonally driven, featuring recipes for all four seasons. everything behind this book is driven by the desire for comfort + exploration. it's an interesting book of contrasts, but it's almost like a lifestyle blog in book form.

recipe highlights: golden milk tea, crab grapefruit granita salad, homemade graham crackers + fancy-ass pb&js

Want a look inside each of these cookbooks? check out my latest youtube video below.

A cookbook review for The Sprouted Kitchen

the sprouted kitchen // print em shop

Most people head right back home after work. Most days that's me, but sometimes I like to walk to the local bookstore to see what's new on the shelves. Often my first move is to go straight to the cooking section.

A few weeks ago I headed in, just to browse. I left with Sara Forte's The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon. The Sprouted Kitchen is not the blog it is without the beautiful photography of her husband, Hugh Forte. Luckily the book features his photography much like their first book. I have been a fan of their blog for years, so to finally get my hands on something more of theirs was a no brainer. 

Sara focuses on whole cooking, but this book highlights dishes that can be enjoyed in a bowl with a spoon. The book covers everything from morning bowls to sweet bowls, but my favorite section covered big bowls. It's really a study in flavor combinations, like ahi tuna with green onion, avocado and soy + caribbean jerk-seasoned white fish with a salsa of mango, avocado and papaya. The ingredient lists run long at times, but that's how Sara builds flavor.

I look most forward to exploring Sara's dressings and sauces section. Sauces are tough to master, but the best way to master them is to try recipes out to see what works. I'm a master at the pesto (spoiler alert!), but I look forward to testing out her peanut sauce as well as her tahini citrus miso dressing.

Together Sara + Hugh share a lifestyle, one filled with grain salads, bright flavors + whole food savored whether served family style or in a single bowl.

A cookbook review for Top with Cinnamon

top with cinnamon cookbook review // print (em) shop

Today I am very happy to share my thoughts on Top with Cinnamon by Izy Hossack, aptly subtitled "Stylish sweet and savoury recipes". 

Hossack knows how to set a mood, seriously. When a photograph almost looks too poised there is something there that reminds you of Hossack's humor + playfulness. A bite taken from a cookie, an empty muffin wrapper + a salad with spoonfuls taken from it already. There are always forks nearby as if Hossack couldn't wait to dig in after snapping.

The care for typography stuck out to me as well. The body text is incredibly simple with some flair dedicated to the title of each dish.

Hossack has a thing for breakfast, which is a great thing for this breakfast lover. From smoothies to buns, rolls to pancakes--there is something devilishly indulgent for everyone.

Her savory dishes are seemingly complex, but actually quite simple.

Highlights include chicken tacos with peach BBQ sauce, crustless plum + almond tart as well as a browned butter crumble blue-barb pie. Yes, a pie with both blueberries and rhubarb. 

You want to dive in each of these dishes, but more importantly, you want to pick up a whisk + try each recipe yourself. 

If there is one thing I strive to do by sharing recipes, it's to encourage other people to make something, anything. Hossack has the knack for both showing how it can be done + inspiring her readers to give it a go. 

If you'd like to learn more about Hossack's cookbook, check it out right over here.

Related posts

Sunday Suppers (a cookbook review!)

Sunday suppers // print (em) shop

I have no idea when I first picked up this cookbook, but let me tell you that this book taught me how to cook.

OK, there might be a few other factors, but truly I have not made more recipes from one book than this one. 

Sunday suppers 2 // print (em) shop

If you want to get involved with the food world in any way, as a designer or otherwise, knowing + learning from Suzanne Goin should be a priority. It's not that her food is so unique or mind blowing, but that it is truly timeless.  

Sunday suppers 4 // print (em) shop

Goin has an incredible cooking pedigree (Chez Panisse, anyone?) but her food is actually very accessible as well. She brought the casual, family dinner to the restaurant dining room + this cookbook is a reflection of that spirit.  

The cookbook is organized in sections for every season. But Goin goes above + beyond just using seasonal ingredients. She also educates + dedicates pages to explaining what ingredients are seasonal, why + what to look for in each season. From there she uses those ingredients in carefully put together dinner menus from appetizer to dessert.

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For those that are less comfortable in the kitchen her recipes are riskier than other cookbooks, but that's the allure to me. My cooking style is simple, but I turn to cookbooks like these to learn about new flavor combinations or how to make a new sauce. I found that her recipes are incredibly adaptable. Make each once, but then you'll never make it the same way again.  

Unless you want to, that is. 

Sunday suppers 5 // print (em) shop

Recipe highlights include parmesan pudding and veal scaloppine with fresh corn polenta and salsa verde-brown butter. There is even a recipe for churros y chocolate, people! 

Sunday suppers 6 // print (em) shop

While I could gush about this book on + on, pick up your own copy + let me know what you think.

Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking (a review)

Cookbook review // Print (Em) Shop

I have never been a huge fan of vegetarian cookbooks.

There I admit it. 

I'm a voracious meat eater so the while vegetarian angle often seems limiting to the way I like to eat. Compensating with soy-based products didn't seem to be worth it either. 

From start to finish Mary McCartney's cookbook is vegetarian, but you don't really focus on it when you start looking closely at the recipes. Perhaps the title should be an indication that the book is less about vegetarianism + more about food, lots of good food.



Vegetarian home cooking review // Print (Em) Shop

Mary not only provides the recipes, but also the pictures alongside. They are mouthwatering + vivid, so different from any other vegetarian cookbook I have read.

The book from start to finish looks like an ideal day of eating, starting with breakfast + brunch, + ending with desserts + baking. Along the way there are vibrant soups, salads with combinations you'll be itching to test + basics that will indeed become go-to recipes.

Vegetarian home cooking review // Print (Em) Shop

In the introduction Mary proclaims, "I like uncomplicated cooking" + so it seems throughout the cookbook. Nothing is time-consuming, everything looks relaxed + accessible.

The book is not the most innovative book out there, but delightful in its simple stories.

A picture of peaches will be followed with those peaches beautifully caramelized with butter + maple syrup. Images of potatoes in the dirt are then used in a roasted rosemary new potato recipe on the next page. 

Vegetarian home cooking review // Print (Em) Shop
Vegetarian home cooking review // Print (Em) Shop

Often cookbooks try too hard for my style. Food is not naturally served with a perfectly scooped portion with lemon slices scattered about. The images are not forced, just shot. It almost looks like Mary could not wait to eat her creations after shooting.

Vegetarian home cooking review // Print (Em) Shop

Highlights include a lentil + feta salad, maple syrup baked peaches + apricots plus a hummus, avocado + chili jam sandwich. 

The one questionable recipe to me is a vegetarian shepherd's pie with more ingredient than I have fingers + toes. It diverts away from the simplicity of the rest of the book, but no doubt it's probably delicious.

Vegetarian home cooking review // Print (Em) Shop

If there is any reason to hesitate checking out this book, maybe a picture of a young Mary McCartney on a horse with her famous father riding bareback is enough to sneak a peak? I think yes. 

Digging deeper with Mood Magazine

Mood Magazine // Print (Em) Shop

It’s a weird feeling when you lay our eyes (and then your hands) on something, and you immediately think, “This one’s for me”

So was the case when I spotted Mood Magazine at the Strand Bookstore. I spent the evening with a friend drinking mojitos + stuffing ourselves full of Mexican dishes. 

Full, but unable to kill the night, I dragged her along to my favorite spot, the Strand.

Mood Magazine // Print (Em) Shop

The Strand is a figure, at least in my mind it is. I fell in love with the store when I took a digital photography course at nearby Pratt. I would have class in the morning + then fast walk my way back to Union Square where the Strand is nearby. 

I love to take people to this bookstore, because you learn so much about their tastes, likes + dislikes from how they tackle the store. Some rush to their gift section, others linger at the new releases. Few make it into the depths of the space. 

Mood Magazine // Print (Em) Shop

I immediately plant myself in their cooking section + that is where I happened upon Mood.

Upon realizing that the magazine is $16, I had a momentary hesitation before going in. There were no ads touting younger looking skin or promoting expensive handbag purchases. There was just content, beautiful content. Any ads that do appear are expertly designed, just like the pages of the magazine itself.

I bought it.

Mood Magazine // Print (Em) Shop

Mood is a quarterly magazine about food, but also dedicated to music. The magazine draws from contributors from around the world. It all comes together in a cohesive issue that is then sold online + around the world.

This issue (no. 7) went in many directions, but it was definitely focused on a search for authenticity, whether in the music or food culture of a place. 

It helps me develop new recipes when I read them in publications like this one. I read voraciously, methodically + with so much pleasure.

Mood Magazine // Print (Em) Shop

It was one of those discoveries that makes you both appreciate 1,000 copy circulations, but also recognize their limitations.

Often content is fleeting, but Mood digs deeper. More content should strive to dig deeper.

To learn more + purchase