Lemon Pie Bars make great take-along treats for all summer get-togethers. Photograph by Squire Fox
My reputation as a baker was on the line a few weeks ago at our office cupcake bake-off. As I was searching and scrambling for a recipe, the cute-as-a-button The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Best Little Bakery in the South caught my eye. A few days later I baked pretty pink Strawberry Cupcakes from the cookbook for the competition – they didn’t win, but they were fantastic (if I do say so myself). In fact, all the recipes in The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook are fresh, homey takes on classics, and I can’t wait to bake more beautiful sweets from this cookbook.
Cheryl and Griffith Day, pictured on the cover, founded the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah in 2002. They’re both self-taught bakers, with Cheryl baking the sweets and Griffith taking on breads and the bakery’s savory fare. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook includes all their customers’ favorites, including breakfast treats, quick breads, pies, puddings and cookies, all made with fresh, local ingredients and a good bit of Southern charm.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
Barbecue like a pro with this recipe for Barbecue Championship Ribs from Slow Fire.
If you’ve ever aspired to cook championship ribs, homemade pastrami or other smoke-kissed, slow-cooked meats, this is the cookbook to get you started. In Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Barbecue, cook-off champion, food writer and cookbook author Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe shares simple no-fail recipes tailored for beginners.
Ray covers all the basics, starting with tools and techniques for great barbecuing; devoting a whole chapter to spice rubs and sauces; and then delving into recipes for ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken and more. Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or just looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift, Slow Fire is a great new cookbook for all barbecue lovers.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Slow Fire
Celebrate Sunday mornings with this make-ahead French Toast Casserole from Savory Sweet Life.
The charming, friendly writing and vivid photography of the popular blog Savory Sweet Life translates beautifully to print in Alice Currah’s new cookbook, Savory Sweet Life: 100 Simply Delicious Recipes for Every Family Occasion. Alice, a blogger, wife and mother of three, shares easy, fuss-free meals and treats meant for enjoying with friends and family.
I adore how recipes in this cookbook are organized by everyday occasions, like Father’s Day, a Tween Birthday Bash, Snow Day, Family Game Night and, my favorite, Sunday Mornings. The recipes in each section are meant to serve as inspirations rather than complete menus, but you’ll be tempted to make them all. These are the dishes that family food traditions are made of – simple and delicious recipes that will make any day special.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Savory Sweet Life
Use fresh summer peaches to make this Peach Crumb Coffee Cake from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook.
A simple cast-iron skillet is one of my favorite kitchen tools, mainly because it can be used with very high heat and retains that heat so amazingly. It’s ideal for searing steaks (one of Alton’s favorite uses) and baking cornbread.
I’m always on the lookout for new ways to put this pan to work, and The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook doesn’t disappoint. It includes recipes for, yes, cornbread, but also soups and stews, main dishes, side dishes and desserts, with a whole chapter devoted to outdoor cooking. Whether you’re cooking over a campfire or having a backyard barbecue, nothing sets the “rustic cookout” mood better than a summery side dish or dessert served in cast iron.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook
Celebrate Memorial Day with great hot dogs, like this classic Chicago Dogs from Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes.
For busy cooks, Food Network Magazine’s second cookbook, Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes: Super Fun Food for Every Day, is packed with quick and easy recipes and ideas. For weeknight dinners plus any occasion, from Sunday brunch to Memorial Day cookouts, you’re sure to find the perfect dishes. And you’ll never run out of ideas for how to top nachos, toss salads, mix dips, build better burgers and more.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes
The Classic Rainbow Mold from Hello, Jello! is a tasty work of art. Photograph by Angie Cao.
Make this the summer you re-discover Jell-O (What could be more fun?) with the help of blogger and Jell-O Mold Mistress Victoria Belanger and her new cookbook, Hello, Jell-O!:50+ Inventive Recipes for Gelatin Treats and Jiggly Sweets. With creative flavor combinations, the addition of cream or fresh fruit, layered effects and sometimes a little alcohol, Victoria has successfully reinvented the nostalgic Jell-O of your childhood into dinner party/get-together fare that’s sure to impress.
Victoria begins Hello, Jell-O! with some essential tips and techniques, and then divides the book into styles of Jell-O molds, from “Creamy and Dreamy” and “Boozy Molds” to “Seasonal Holiday Molds.” There’s a Jell-O recipe for every occasion, and your next grill out or summer bash is the perfect place to start.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Hello, Jell-O!
Make Mom's Banana Cake from Sweet Home for your Mom this Sunday.
In Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Desserts and Ideas, food writer Rebecca Miller Ffrench shares how baking sweet treats can be nurturing, loving and caring, recalling and creating lasting memories. Her family has a long dessert-loving tradition, from her grandparents’ remembered nighttime sweets routine to her mother who always had an after-dinner treat waiting. And she carries the tradition on, making dessert for her own children regularly. Sweet Home is a collection of Rebecca’s family recipes, along with ideas and inspiration for preserving your own family’s recipes and starting your own traditions. It’s a beautiful and sentimental cookbook everyone (especially Mom!) is sure to enjoy.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Sweet Home
We rounded up cinco of our favorite Mexican food cookbooks for the ultimate giveaway.
Where there’s Mexican food, there’s a fiesta. Ole! With tons of fiery flavor and crowd-friendly dishes (tacos, enchiladas, guacamole), not to mention margaritas, Mexican food is always fun, whether it’s Tuesday taco night or an all-out Cinco de Mayo bash (this Saturday!). To help you celebrate, we rounded up a collection of our favorite Mexican-cooking cookbooks. Start browsing now, and try out a few sample recipes today.
Mexican Made Easy, by Marcela Valladolid
This is the companion cookbook for Marcela’s Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy. She makes Mexican food using fresh ingredients and simple recipes – great for any night of the week.
Coconut Flan from MarcelaValladolid's Mexican Made Easy
Burgers al Pastor
Continue Reading The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Cookbook Giveaway
Make classic Boscaiola Pie with Jim Lahey's no-knead crust, topped with sausage, mushrooms and red onions.
Besides doughnuts, pizza is my all-time favorite food. When I got Jim Lahey’s cookbook My Pizza, my husband and I were inspired to make homemade pizza the next night – and again the week after – because this is simply the best pizza you can make at home.
As pizza connoisseurs know, the secret to great pizza is amazing crust – flavorful with good chew, crisp in some places, charred in others. It’s no surprise that Jim, famous for his simple no-knead bread method (detailed in his first book, My Bread) and founder of New York City’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza restaurant Co., knows how to make fabulous crust. The no-knead method takes minimal effort and allows flavor to develop slowly as the dough rests. It’s pure genius. And once you’ve mastered the crust, Jim’s creative, fresh toppings are just icing on the cake (or pie, in this case).
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: My Pizza
With The Homemade Pantry cookbook you can skip buying packaged snack cakes at the grocery store and instead bake up these homemade beauties.
Reading Alana Chernila’s description of lasagna night at her house in The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making was enough to make me add rennet (for cheese making) to my shopping list. She describes pulling her own warm mozzarella, as fresh tomato sauce bubbles on the stovetop and homemade lasagna noodles hang waiting, all while wrangling her two young daughters. When she contrasts her dinner to the idea of a convenient tin of frozen pasta, there’s no doubt which one I’d rather cozy up to.
Alana began making pantry staples at home because of a tight budget, but soon found how rewarding it could be — the food is better for you, it tastes better, it usually costs less, it eliminates packaging and it makes you think about food in a different, more connected way. With her new cookbook Alana is sharing her enthusiasm for cooking and her tried-and-true recipes. So you’ll be able to stop buying and start making one thing this week, another the next and before you know it, you’ll be having your own messy food adventures.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: The Homemade Pantry