As we eagerly await the end of frigid temperatures, hunkering down in a kitchen warmed by a hot oven remains a favorite pastime for many.
That's why this month's cookbook choices include plenty of ideas for making the most of your oven, especially baking homemade bread and dozens of irresistible cookies. To spice things up a bit (and conserve energy!) we've also included some guidelines for "clean living", and a kick of heat that has absolutely nothing to do with an oven!
Read on for our picks from recently published cookbooks, each accompanied by recipes to try.Even if you live in San Francisco it is often difficult to get bread from Tartine Bakery, since it sells out within hours every day. The good news is that Chad Robertson shares his secrets in Tartine Bread, although it should come as no surprise that such wonderful loaves require considerably more effort than the popular "5-minute" bread recipes you may have seen. Perhaps that's why the biggest hit for me in Tartine Bread is the second half of the book, which is devoted to recipes that simply use finished bread as an ingredient. Packed with salads, sandwiches, savory dishes and desserts, Chad shows he not only makes great bread, but knows how to showcase its flavors and textures. He's got some amazing recipes here that will have you baking extra loaves for the sole purpose of using the leftovers! - picked by Foodie Pam
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson
Recipes to try: 5 viewable recipes from "Tartine Bread".
Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, & Beyond from New York's Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant by DeDe Lahman & Neil KleinbergFans of this famed eatery can now recreate their favorite brunches and baked goods at home. With recipes like Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins, Neil's Pancakes (arguably the best in New York), Crab Cakes Benedict, Baked Truffled Grits, and an entire chapter devoted to their signature Buttermilk Fried Chicken, everyone can take a bite from The Big Apple. - picked by Peggy Fallon
Recipes to try: 3 viewable recipes from "Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook".
The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy ClemensSome like it hot. Sriracha sauce is the king of hot, and Randy Clemens set out to prove it has a surprisingly large range of uses. Starting with making your own (which Randy readily admits isn't necessary, since store-bought is "already amazing") and continuing on with 50 Sriracha-centric recipes, this little book definitely packs a lot of heat…in the best possible way. - picked by Foodie Pam
Recipes to try: 2 viewable recipes from "The Sriracha Cookbook".
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-in-Your Mouth Cookies by Alice MedrichSome people bake cookies only during the holidays—and I say, what a pity! Cookies are little morsels of goodness that taste terrific, are fun to make, and even "funner" to share with family and friends. No one can deny Alice Medrich knows her cookies. As the title suggests, cookies come in many guises: Chewy, Gooey, Crispy and/or Crunchy. Medrich shares a mouth-watering assortment of each, along with timeless hints and tips to make your cookie baking a foolproof experience. - picked by Foodie Pam
Recipes to try: 3 viewable recipes from "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies".
Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from the MacrOn Café by Cecile CannoneThese sweet, ethereal bites—so pretty in pastels—remain a challenge for many home bakers. Part of their mystique lies in the many little tricks that affect a successful outcome. Who better to guide you step-by-step than a veteran French pastry chef? A wealth of mix-and-match recipes for flavored meringue shells and fillings supply the necessary know-how. - picked by Peggy Fallon
Recipes to try: 2 viewable recipes from "Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from the Macaron Cafe".
Clean Start: Inspiring you to Eat Clean and Live Well by Terry WaltersWhether you have embraced the local, seasonal rage or you simply want to reduce the processing your food undergoes, Terry Walters' concept of "Clean Food" fits the bill. In Clean Start, a follow-up to her book Clean Food, Walters shares recipes that use natural ingredients with minimal processing. Along the way she continues to enlighten us that clean food is also delicious, with dishes like Polenta Pizzas, Spicy Black Bean Dip, and Sweet Root Casserole with Dried Fruit. The book is divided according to seasons to promote not only clean eating, but also optimum flavor. - picked by Foodie Pam
Recipes to try: 4 viewable recipes from "Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes".
The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour by Kim O'DonnelI find one of the most common fears for those striving for a less-meat lifestyle is a fear that "I'll be hungry all time!" —assuming that a primarily plant-based diet can't possibly satisfy your hunger. Enter food writer and trained Chef Kim O'Donnel, who assembled this collection vegetarian recipes sure to please even the most confirmed carnivore. This book is ideal for those transitioning to a plant-based diet, though longtime vegetarians will surely find new inspiration, as well. - picked by Heather Jones
Recipes to try: 2 viewable recipes from "The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook".
Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.