CookbooksFood Writing

10 Food Books to Look for in August

By on August 6, 2013 9:30am EST

Each month, we’re going to take a moment to tell you about ten of the great food-related reads that are hitting the shelves,  from cookbooks to kitchen confessions to foodie fiction. There will be a little something for everyone. Go on, have a taste. 

August 6 

Eating My Feelings Mark Rosenberg CoverEating My Feelings by Mark Rosenberg (Three Rivers Press)

Mark Rosenberg has had more ups and downs with his weight than Oprah-but unlike Oprah, no one gives a sh*t. Coming of age very outrageously as an overweight, soon-to-be gay kid, he learns to relate to others by way of his beloved Melrose Place and Clueless-which serves him well when exiled to fat camp and faced with an opportunity to bribe an adulterous counselor or poison his stepmother by birthday cake-and thinks nothing of dressing as Homey the Clown (in blackface) for Halloween. This sets him up for adulthood in the image-obsessed world of gay men in New York City, where he hires personal trainers he wants to sleep with, applies an X-rated twist to Julie & Julia in an attempt to reach blogger stardom, and has an imaginary relationship with the man on the P90X workout infomercials that becomes a little bit too real. Hilarious, heartwarming (as if), and especially scandalous, Eating My Feelings leaves no stone unturned and no piece of red velvet cake uneaten.

Truly Healthy Family Cookbook Tina Ruggiero CoverThe Truly Healthy Family Cookbook by Tina Ruggiero 

When did eating become so complicated? There are so many fad diets out there, all with different vendettas against so many different types of food, that it’s become hard to keep track. What you really need are simple recipes that incorporate all types of foods to keep you and your family nourished, happy and healthy. These 100+ recipes were crafted with your family in mind, so they are nutrient-packed with the best vitamins and minerals for a healthy and fit mind along with the right fuel to energize your body—simply great tasting food for everyone.

Recipes include Tina’s All-Star Kale and Potato Frittata, the delicious Sea Veggie Salad, the family-favorite Simply Savory Stuffed Pork, and a hearty snack of Presto Pesto Bean Dip or homemade Mix It Up Muesli for breakfast. No food exclusions or trendy culinary gimmicks; just the best that modern nutrition has to offer made delicious to keep your family fit, trim and in the best health possible.

August 13 

The Wild Chef Jonathan Owen CoverThe Wild Chef by Jonathan Miles (Weldon Owen)

A wild game cookbook for every hunter—from the aspiring chef to the seasoned shot who does his own butchering—this collection of at-home and in-the-field recipes and kitchen tricks is everything that a modern wild game cookbook should be. Organized seasonally, The Wild Chef brings the reader over 130 recipes, tips, techniques, and tools of the trade from the magazine’s writers and editors, including new content from “Wild Chef” columnist and award-winning writer Jonathan Miles, the ever-popular Field & Stream “Wild Chef” blog, and recipes from first-rate chefs and top-tier restaurants across the world. This cookbook delivers a contemporary take on traditional wild-game fare, updating game and fish cookery to reflect the monumental changes in American dining and cooking that have occurred over the past few decades.

Book of Schmaltz Michael Ruhlman CoverThe Book of Schmaltz by Michael Ruhlman (Little, Brown and Company)

For culinary expert Michael Ruhlman, the ultimate goal in cooking is flavor, and for certain dishes nothing introduces it half as well as schmaltz. A staple ingredient in traditional Jewish cuisine, schmaltz (or rendered chicken fat), is at risk of disappearing from use due to modern dietary trends and misperceptions about this versatile and flavor-packed ingredient.

THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ acts as a primer on schmaltz, taking a fresh look at traditional dishes like kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and also venturing into contemporary recipes that take advantage of the versatility of this marvelous fat. Potatoes cooked with schmaltz take on a crispness and satisfying flavor that vegetable oil can’t produce. Meats and starches have a depth and complexity that set them apart from the same dishes prepared with olive oil or butter. What’s more, schmaltz provides a unique link to the past that ought to be preserved. “Schmaltz is like a thread that runs through a great tapestry,” says Ruhlman’s neighbor Lois, whose cooking inspired his own journey into the world of schmaltz. “It’s a secret handshake among Jews who love to cook and eat.”

August 20 

Mac + Cheese Cookbook Arevalo Wade CoverThe Mac + Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade (Ten Speed Press)

Macaroni and cheese is one of America’s favorite comfort foods, equally beloved by kids and adults. It relies on simple, affordable ingredients, yet the options for customization and improvisation have revitalized its popularity in restaurants-even upscale ones-and with home cooks. Now, Oakland’s Homeroom restaurant, a perennially popular eatery with a menu devoted to mac-and-cheese, shares its secrets to the best-ever mac recipes, alongside recipes for easy sides like Brussels sprouts with bacon and old-school desserts like frozen peanut butter pie. The 50 recipes range from Vegan Mac to Triple Cream Mac, with plenty of permutations in between-like macs with stinky cheeses, veggie-lover macs, classic homestyle recipes like Tuna Mac, and international varieties like Sriracha Mac and Mexican Mac. With a primer on béchamel sauce, noodles, toppings, and beer/wine pairings plus an emphasis on quality ingredients and simple techniques, this affordable, colorful cookbook shows cheese-loving readers how to take the comfort-food staple to inventive new heights.

Keepers Brennan CampionKeepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion (Rodale Books)

Whether they’re parents, married without kids, or single, most people want to do better at mealtime—they want to put good, nutritious food on the table, they’re looking for a more diverse repertoire of dishes to prepare, and they’d like to enjoy the process more. The problem is they don’t believe they have the time or ability to do it night after night. But it can be done, and Keepers will show them how.

Drawing from two decades of trial-and-error in their own kitchens, as well as working alongside savvy chefs and talented home cooks, Campion and Brennan offer 120 appealing, satisfying recipes ideal for weeknight meals. There’s an array of master recipes for classic dishes with options for substitutions, updated old favorites, one-pot meals, “international” dishes, super-fast ones (shrimp with orange chipotle sauce), and others that reheat well or can be cooked in individual portions. Along with timeless recipes, Keepers is filled with invaluable tips on meal planning and preparation, all presented in an entertaining, encouraging, and empathetic style.

August 27 

Grand Forks Marilyn Hagerty CoverGrand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews by Marilyn Hagerty, The Grand Forks Herald (Anthony Bourdain/Ecco)

Writing for her local North Dakota newspaper, the Grand Forks Herald since 1957, Marilyn Hagerty went from obscurity to overnight sensation in 2012 when her earnest, admiring review of a local Olive Garden went viral. Among the denizens of the food world-obsessive gastronomes who celebrate Alice Waters and Michael Pollan, revere all things artisanal, and have made kale salad a staple on upscale urban menus-Hagerty’s review ignited a fiery debate over the state of American culture. Anthony Bourdain defended Hagerty as an authentic voice of the larger American culture-one that is not dictated by the biases of the food snobbery that define the coasts.

In this refreshing, unpretentious collection that includes more than 200 reviews culled from a voluminous archive spanning over fifty years, Hagerty reveals how most Americans experience the pleasure of eating out. Bourdain hails Grand Forks as, “a history of American dining-in the vast spaces between the jaded palates and professional snarkologists of the privileged coasts-as told by one hard working small city journalist. . . . We watch American dining change over time, in baby steps. Traditional regional Scandinavian giving way to big chains, first iterations of sushi, early efforts at hipster chic. Part Fargo, part Lake Woebegone. It’s the antidote to snark. This book kills cynics dead.”

My Berlin Kitchen Luisa Weiss CoverMy Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss (Penguin Books)

Chocolate and Zucchini.  101 Cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project. In the early days of food blogs, these were the pioneers whose warmth and recipes turned their creators’ kitchens into beloved web destinations. Luisa Weiss was working in New York when she decided to cook her way through her massive recipe collection. The Wednesday Chef, the cooking blog she launched to document her adventures, charmed readers around the world. But Luisa never stopped longing to return to her childhood home in Berlin. A food memoir with recipes,My Berlin Kitchen deliciously chronicles how she finally took the plunge and went across the ocean in search of happiness—only to find love waiting where she least expected it.

Cider Hard and Sweet Ben Watson CoverCider, Hard and Sweet by Ben Watson (Countryman Press) 

Cider is the new thing in today’s drinking world, even though it’s been around for centuries. In spite of its long and colorful history, cider has remained relatively underappreciated by the American public. The purchase in 2012 of a Vermont-based cidermaker for over $300 million signaled that this is all likely to change very soon. Richly informative and entertaining, Cider, Hard and Sweet is your go-to source for everything related to apples, cider, and ciderm aking. It includes great information on apple varieties, cidermaking basics, barrel fermentation, and recipes for cooking with cider—with instructions for making boiled cider and cider jelly, and recipes for dishes with cider braises and marinades. It also teaches readers how to recognize a good cider and takes you from buying store-bought to making the genuine article at home.

Drink More Whiskey Daniel Yaffe CoverDrink More Whiskey by Daniel Yaffe (Chronicle Books)

This smart guide to whiskey introduces a new generation of would-be connoisseurs to the hottest new-again spirit. And with upstart distillers reviving varieties like white dog (moonshine to prohibition-era folks), now is the best time to start learning about it. Drink More Whiskey is the reference for those want to discover the provenance, styles, differences in quality, and ideal uses of whiskey in a fresh, fun-to-read format. In addition, more than 20 recipes are sprinkled throughout, from classics like the Old Fashioned to thoroughly modern tipples like the Manchester (made from single malt Scotch whisky and fresh herbs), so readers can take their learning from book to glass.

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Cassandra Neace

Cassandra Neace is a freelance writer living in Houston, Texas, and a contributing editor for Book Riot. She can often be found with a book in one hand and a craft cocktail in the other. Follow her on Twitter: @CassandraNeace

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  • Danguole Lekaviciute

    My Goodreads list is looking hella good right now, thanks!

    • CassandraNeace

      Oh, you are so very welcome! You’ll have to report back on the ones that you read. Dying to know if I made good picks :)

  • Dana Staves

    I’m bookmarking this page and adding these to my list of books to read – can’t wait! Thanks for the great sneak peak!

  • Marge Hennessy

    How did you know I was in the market for some new food books?! Thanks for this!!