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  1. Hi, I saw a cookbook called Gross-Out Cakes. It has Kitty Litter cake and others. Unfortunately Amazon doesnt show the Index. Is this cookbook junk or worth it?
  2. Welcome to the Cookbooks & Reference Forum Index. This index has been created to assist you in finding common questions and topics. As you use this tool, please feel free to report any problems or suggestions to make it more efficient and usable. Likewise, if you feel a topic should be added, simply PM any of the forum hosts and we will review the topic for inclusion. Enjoy! Best, Worst & Annuals Reviews of Cookbooks by eGullet Members Essential Cookbooks Cookbooks Organized by Style / Genre / Course Ethnic & International Cookbooks About Cookbooks (Authoring, Publishing, etc) Collecting Cookbooks Food Related Non-Cookbooks
  3. I run a food blog called Wrightfood - http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog The Wrightfood cookbook has been in the works for quite a while now. I first came up with the idea over a year ago, and have been working on it ever since. The book is far from being done - only about 50% has been written and photographed in fact, but I wanted to get peoples opinions on the food, the photographs, the pacing of the recipes and so forth. Friends have said they love it, but then they would, they are friends. I need as many people as possible to take a look, and to let me know what they think - honestly. So, here it is. The Wrightfood cookbook. The aim of the book is not to have thousands of recipes (this, as you see it here, is about 50% of what it will contain), but rather just a handful of really well documents quality recipes. Every stage in each recipe is documented with photographs, and decent descriptions. The idea is that a new cook and pick this up, and with little practice produce the food in here. No stone is left unturned, nothing is left to guesswork. The food is simple, clean, tasty and fresh. http://www.mattikaarts.com/wrightfood/press/wrightfood.pdf - here it is. You will need Adobe reader to view it. Hope you enjoy it, and let me know what you think. The cookbook website is: http://www.mattikaarts.com/wrightfood - you can find out more about me and the book there.
  4. I'd like to cut back on dairy... but one of my big problems is cutting butter and milk/cream out of my diet, ESPECIALLY baked goods. Does anyone have suggestions for baking books that have reasonably tasty recipes using moderately easy to find and not overly expensive ingredients? I don't want to have to go out and buy a whole whack of fancy ingredients over and above what I stock in my regular pantry for baking. I've looked on amazon and there do seem to be a few good ones.... Also, does anyone have a coconut macaroon recipe that doesn't involve egg whites?
  5. I am trying to track down a somewhat old cookbook. it was put out by the sunmaid fruit company. its titled something along the lines of "sunmaid little raisin cookbook" but i'm not sure. What i am sure of is it has the best carrot cake recipe in it. I am in trouble for misplacing it in the move. My girlfriend loves that cake and book but more so the cake. She says its the only good carrot cake. So my fellow egulleters if anybody knows the book I am talking about or has it or even just the recipe for the carrot cake i would appreciate it if someone could help.
  6. The invasive Species Cookbook: Conservation through Gastronomy is available at www.bradfordstreetpress.com The idea of the book is to increase interest in the issue of invasive species and to reduce them in number by eating them in as many interesting ways as possible.
  7. Let's be clear, now. I'm not talking about MFK Fisher or the Thornes. Books with recipes tossed into them now and then don't count. I'm talking about books whose raison d'etre is helping you cook food. Of those books clearly designed to be cookbooks, are there any that you like to curl up with and read? Why read them? What makes a cookbook a page-turner that you just have to finish? Right now, my bedside reading is Colman Andrews's Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret. I bought it to prepare for a trip to Barcelona and have been immersed it in whenever I get a chance. His commitment to the cuisine itself, to the persnickety, strange details, and to that which cannot quite translate for American consumption makes for very compelling reading to me. There's also something wonderful about his assertion that this "brown food" (his description!) is one of the triumphs of world cuisine. The last time I felt this way about a cookbook was when I got my hands on Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating. A radically different book than Andrews's, with prose that Hemingway would have found sparse, but one that displays a sensibility about and sensitivity toward the eating of killed animals that is evocative. I read it in one night, and then read it again the next day. Those are two of my cover-to-cover favorites. Yours?
  8. Over in this topic, we've been discussing books that can support a member's interest in developing technique and method. There are lots of books out there that fit the bill -- the CIA's Professional Chef, Julia Child's The Way to Cook, Anne Willan's Varenne Practique, and Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques, among others. But those books really are about western techniques, even French. That prompts the question: what are some books that focus on Asian techniques? The two that pop to my mind are Barbara Tropp's Modern Art of Chinese Cooking and Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, both of which include great sections on technical stuff. Do folks have other non-western go-to cookbooks for technique and method? I'm not wondering about recipes here; there are lots of great books out there for that. I'm talking about equivalents to Willan and Pepin for Asian techniques.
  9. Don't know if anyone out there can help me with this. About 10 years ago I was in a used book store here in scenic central Oklahoma and there were several copies of a cookbook which, as I recall, basically glorified in a rather tongue-in-cheek way the food of the 1950s. I think the cover was done in shades of pink and black. I'm trying to locate this book and can't seem to get at a title or author. This is not aided by the fact that my memory may be faulty on the look of the cover. Does anyone have a clue what this cookbook might be? Any help would be much appreciated... Thanks, Rinsewind
  10. I find most cookbooks rather hapazard in this regard, where they don't really explain why they're using specific ingredients. For a recipe with 20 ingredients, I'd like to understand the process of why they needed all 20 ingredients, and how they came up with those specific 20 ingredients. I'd like to know what would happen if I didn't use one of those ingredients, or if I substituted another ingredient. Sometimes, there might be a small blurb with the recipe that mentions that they used a specific ingredient, but then its just so completely random. I guess I'm looking for more of a theory book about this topic, and don't necessairly care about recipes. It would be great if the book started out by laying down its ideas, and then used the recipes to illustrate those concepts. So far, I've found several books that sound like they might help me in this regard: Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page The Elements of Taste by Gary Kunz Secret Ingredients: The Magical Process of Combining Flavors by Michael Roberts Kitchen Conversations by Joyce Goldstein Has anybody read these books? I'd like to get some opinions about them before I order them. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Just wondering if anyone has this book? I have his Girardet book published in 2002, which I really like. Is it a lot different? Translation good? Worth having?
  12. so there i am, in a semi-trance, pushing the cart through costco, when, in the corner of the walk-in produce fridge, something catches my eye. walking a little closer, i actually let out a tiny shriek, causing several other shoppers to look over in alarm..... large styrofoam trays of perfect, glowing golden chanterelles.. they are in amazing shape, even though they are wrapped in plastic, and look like they were hydroponically cultivated. a mushroom class i took a few years back taught me that they cannot be commercially grown, but have to be foraged...these must have come from a glorious, magical costco chanterelle forest. visions of costco elves (they look a bit like keebler elves) with mushroom knives dance through the forest of my imagination... the cold of the walk-in, and the beauty of the mushrooms jolt me back to reality, so i grab a hefty tray and check the price...again, i am in fantasy land, as it appears that the costco price for a full pound of these beauties is...$8.99. now i know that there are parts of the world where chanterelles grow on trees...okay, well, under them, and milk and honey flow through the streets, but i live in parched southern california, where, if you are lucky enough to lay your hands on any chanterelles at all, they are shriveled and mealy and you are happy to get them, and happy to pay up to $40 a lb. for the pleasure. i figure they are mismarked, and that i will get the real price at check out, but they are so gorgeous that I MUST HAVE THEM, regardless of the cost, so i proceed to checkout, where they ring up at $8.99. i love costco. so, i have a pound of perfect chanterelles, and i plan to have another pound and another pound and another, until the sad and tragic day, very soon, i fear, when the walk-in holds the magic mushrooms no more. what will i do with all these beautiful mushrooms? your best suggestions greatly appreciated! please help me bering this bounty to its full potential.
  13. I realized this past year that I have a habit that I can't explain. I love to buy new cookbooks and yet I rarely consult cookbooks unless looking for a very specific recipe. A little background. My sweet wife and I have been married for 28 years and love to cook and entertain. She has a knack for hors d'oeuvres and desserts while I am more the entree and side dishes guy. For every-day meals we split up who fixes the evening meal (the only one we're together to eat during the week) based upon who gets home first that day. An example of my everyday cooking is a meal from last week. I seasoned 4 chicken breasts and initially sauted them to about 75% doneless. I then added chicken broth and white wine and brought it to the simmer. When the breasts were done I removed them from the pan and reduced the broth/wine mixture then added in some sour cream. I served the breasts with pasta and steamed vegetables, napping the breasts and covering the pasta with the sauce. So here's the question. I will spend gift cards that I could use anywhere in a book store buying more cookbooks - adding to a collection that may only be consulted 2 or 3 times a year. Am I alone or are their other cookbook addicts out there that share this trait? I'm not troubled by this - just curious. Porthos Potwatcher The Unrelenting Carnivore
  14. All of us on this site love cookbooks, and this particular forum is of course about that topic. At the risk of being controversal I want to pose a question -what is a reasonable price for a high end cookbook? Why are books by top European chefs so much more expensive than those by US based chefs? Implicit in this question is how many copies will people buy. To kick off the question here are some opening comments. I live in the US, and have some observations about the US market for cookbooks. Basically there are no "high end" cookbooks by US authors - where by high end I mean lavishly illustrated, no compromise books. What passes for the "high end" of the US market is primarily books like Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook (TFLC) - has a list price of $50. It is a convienent example, but surely not the only one. Now TFLC is a very nice cookbook, but if I compare it to European cookbooks by people who Keller might consider a peer, it does not come close in price or other factors (see below). The Ducasse Grand Livre de Cusine has a list price of $195. Ferran Adria's latest El Bulli 2003/2004 book has a list price of $350. Both Ducasse and Adria books are distributed in the US (and available on Amazon). Their street price may vary a bit, but list price is a good proxy for this discussion. In addition to these US distributed books, there are a whole host of other European cookbooks that are not distributed via conventional book stores (or Amazon) in the US and have to be bought either via a specialty store in the US (J.B. Prince, Kitchen Arts & Letters, CHIPS) or directly from Europe (I use de re Coquinaria in Spain.) These books tend to start at $100+ and many are $200+. Many are fairly slim volumes that are not as large and encyclopedic as Ducasse or Adria books. If you compare TFLC or other high end US cookbooks to these European books several things become clear. The US books are basically written for home use. They will often have lavish photos, so they can double as a coffee table book, but the text often has clear compromises in favor of home use. In some cases the books appear to be "dumbed down" - the real way the chef works is not written up and instead "simplified for home use". Meanwhile the European books (particularly Ducasse and Adria, but also others) seem to be mostly written for professionals. Passoniate amateurs can and do buy them and use them - but the books are done without compromise. That is true for the content (they don't pull punches or dumb down for the home). It is also true of the cost of just about everything. They also tend to be lavishly illustrated, and printed on high quality paper stock. In the publishing world this is an example of a well known distinction between "trade" books - sold primarily to individuals at home, and "professional" books. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that in the US all cookbooks - even those at the high end of the range are viewed as (and treated as) trade books. Culinary textbooks are an interesting case in point. They have lots of illustrations which are expensive (more on that below). They US versions tend to be about $80 to $100. That is typical of most college level textbooks. However, often there is a textbook version and then a parallel trade version that has much lower quality paper that is in the more traditional $50 range. The high price of these European books begs an interesting question - are they overpriced? I've seen postings on eGullet from people who think so. Of course it's everybodys right to have an opinion. However I wonder how much of this is due to being accustomed to (by comparison) cheap US cookbooks. A key issue what volume the book will sell. The cost of putting a high quality book together is considerable. Full color illustrations, charts and diagrams are expensive - usually about $1500 a page for really nice ones (less for simple diagrams or black and white sketches). Food photography is also expensive. So, a typical college textbook in say biology or another science has a budget of about $1 million for illustrations and writing. That is a higher level of quality than most cookbooks. However, I will make a stupid wild ass guess that a book like Ducasse Grand Livre, or the El Bulli books would easily cost $400K to $500K (and that may be low). Note that this does NOT count paying the chef/author - this is the out of pocket cost of producing the book and illustrations, and translators if needed. Of course each copy of the book also costs something to print - especially with lots of photos and high quality paper. The bookstore gets a profit, as does the publisher. Based on various estimates I think that most of these expensive cookbooks need to sell 8,000 to 10,000 copies to break even. That may be a bit high or low depending on the book - a thin book for $200 probably needs less than that. I have no idea what the sales volume is (in the US or worldwide) for books like this, but since people keep making them they can't all lose money, so the sales volume must be there to support it. Then again, Konneman, a German publisher that made the Culinaria series of expensively produced cookbooks did go bankrupt. Another way to look at this is that $200 or $300 is actually CHEAP for a cookbook. If you compare the book to the cost of dinner at Ducasse, or El Bulli, the book is the same price as dinner for ONE person (without wine.) Yet each of these books gives me a lot more lasting impact than one meal does. Indeed the cost of TFLC at $50 seems ridiculously low compared to the cost of dinner at TFL or Per Se. The new menu at Per Se is $250 per person, without wine. So it is odd that the book that contains Keller's culinary wisdom and recipes is only 20% the cost of a meal for one - i.e. about the cost of the tip! That just seems out of whack to me. It might be smart for Keller because he makes more money that way (see below), but from a fundamental value perspective, I think his wisdom is worth more than the tip on one meal for one person. Note that I am not arguing that Keller should charge more for the sake of it! His restaurants stand out as being temples of culinary perfection. I bet that he could make a cookbook that would also be an exercise in perfection - but that would require a lot more recipes, more pages, more illustrations, better paper...in short it would become a book with the production values that you find with Ducasse, Adria or other European books. That would not be possible at a $50 price point. I'm afraid that the US cookbook publishing system just won't create such a book. So we may never see the Grand Livre de Thomas Keller Note that I am just using Keller and TFLC as an example. The same could be said of books by Daniel Boloud, Eric Ripert, Jean George, Patrick Connell and many other top chefs working in the US. I think that the price point of TFLC is driven mainly by the perception that a US cookbook MUST be a trade book. Pricing it cheaper (by dumbing it down and controlling production costs) will result in much higher sales volume. The volume will more than increase as the price drops, so thus more profit is to be had from a $50 book than a $100 or $200 book. That is clearly the theory behind US based cookbooks. I am sure that for truly mass market cookbooks by Emeril or Rachael Ray, this is correct. Is it true for every chef and every book? If so, then why do the Europeans make very expensive (and very high quality) books? If they're wrong, then why do they keep doing it? If they are right then US publishers (and authors) may have overlooked a viable market niche of lower volume, and higher quality cookbooks that aim more toward professionals (and very serious amateurs). Anyway, that poses the question. I am very curious to see what eGulleters think about this, especially if somebody has more detailed facts and figures than I have presented here.
  15. So i recently received a first edition of The Epecurian Cookbook; A Complete Treatise of Analytical And Practical Studies On The Culinary Art. by Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico's from my parents. The condition is emaculate, with a copyright date of 1920. I'm curious as to how i should care for it, Right now it's standing upright in one of my bookshelfs. I own quite a few cookbooks, but this is the first which has any historical importance. P.s. It is not for sale. I just want to keep it as is.
  16. It's $100.00 with an 8" knife included...although I can't see what brand knife it is. Just wondering if anyone has taken this class and what you thought of it. Feedback? Classes offered
  17. Can anybody recommend a good serious food/cookery book on Greece? Ideally I'm looking for something equivalent to what Marcella Hazan does for Italy - lots of photos are not really a priority, rather someone who writes authoritatively and clearly about ingredients, recipes and the general philosophy of Greek food. Any suggestions welcome.
  18. I don't know if someone has posted this link before but I found it today and I thought I'd share. Since I'm unable to operate the link button here's the address: http://www.foodtimeline.org/ There's a lot of old cookbooks that you can view in pdf. If it's already been posted I'll delete this post. Jim
  19. Financial Times of London When you buy a cookbook written by a famous chef, do you automatically assume that all of the recipes are original?Is this an important factor in your purchase? Does it matter that ghost writers may have "enhanced" or even altered the original recipes? or the writing for that matter?
  20. When I compare my German cookbooks with my American ones one thing which I don't like with most of the American cookbook is that they are lacking pictures of the dishes. I am not talking about "food porn" (where the pictures only cover lousy recipes) but I think a good cookbook only becomes an excellent cookbook if the visual part is also in place. And you will find hardly any excellent German cookbook without stunning pictures. There are of course exceptions (e.g. The Cook's Book etc.) but what kind of cookbooks do you have with great recipes and great pictures ?
  21. I've just heard that Martin Picard is putting out a book for the 5th anniversary of Au Pied de Cochon. BD, CD-Rom, Recipes... Interview with Martin Picard on Radio-Canada http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/chri... Has anybody seen it yet?
  22. The "Julie/Julia" project has given me the idea that I could learn a lot by working through an important cookbook with classic dishes. But which cookbook to choose? I thought something appropriate might be "The Cook's Book" by Jill Norman. It has the basics like stocks and soups, as well as varied cuisines. However, some of the recipes are famous chef's signature dishes, and I don't feel I can attempt those yet. Plus it feels more encyclopedic, rather than having chapters that build on previous lessons. Julia Child's books have the distinct advantage of lengthy texts where she explains everything in detail, including suggested fixes if a dish goes wrong. But do I spend a full year making French dishes I may never repeat? Or, is this a wonderful education that would be helpful in all future cooking, no matter what the cuisine? I thought of going down the path of Mexican food, which my husband and I both love, by using Rick Bayless' "Mexican Kitchen". That would be fun, but would not help me learn the European classics. Another book I own is Cook's Illustrated "New Best Recipe" with 1,000 exhaustively tested recipes, including things like "Easy Pork Chops". Will I learn the most from this book? And then there's the Culinary Institute's "Professional Chef" tome, which I don't enjoy because I have to convert everything down from 10 portion recipes. I know the obvious answer is that one can learn from any of these books, the trick is to get in the kitchen and start cooking. But, considering my over-the-hill age, I want to learn the most in the least amount of time, that will help me in all future cooking, no matter what the style or ingredients. Any advice?
  23. A common request is to suggest a Indian cookbook. This compilation of links has most of the discussion which has happened on this topic. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=41944 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=38550 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=40426 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=40158 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=35639 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=29928 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=34831 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=13852 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=28196 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=23402 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=9910 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=11649
  24. It might seem ironic that with my current signature evangalizing the Meat book i would want to solicit the feedback on any interesting vegetarian ones. But it fact, the Meat book was one of the reasons for me to seriously reconsider my diet, in terms of meat sources and other related issues. Now, i still want to make delicious and interesting dishes, so here is my current list of books that live up to the idea: A Passion for Vegetables by Paul Gayler, a gem. Cafe Paradiso Seasons, delight to read: have yet to cook from it but recipes sound so good. The Gate Vegetarian Cookbook: Where Asia Meets the Mediterranean: i expected more from it considering a very favorable review in UK Telegraph, but i need more time to make sure. Vegetables by Guy Martin: breathtaking photography by Isabelle Rozenbaum, she worked on several book with Martin - i wish they were published in english, and in french they're damn expensive. Of course, Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is always used as a source for ideas. Honorary mention - Schneider's Vegetables Amaranth to Zucchini.
  25. A buddy of mine is in Vienna, and has fallen in love with the cuisine. He asked me if I knew of any good Austrian cookbooks. I've no clue, but I'm sure peeps here do. (And he can read German.)
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