Flipping through Julie Richardson’s new cookbook, Vintage Cakes, brings me back to my grandmother’s flour-dusted, sweet-smelling kitchen. Grandma made a cake from scratch for every birthday, and their moist layers and buttercream never disappointed — even when I turned seven and all I wanted was the Little Mermaid cake I spotted at the grocery store.
Like Grandma’s, Julie’s cakes steer clear of fancy pastry chef tricks in favor of classic American combinations. A bakery owner and collector of vintage cookbooks and recipe cards, she folds in interesting tidbits of history. Who knew that the Stack Cake, pictured above, was once a traditional wedding cake for settlers in southern Appalachia? Julie notes that wedding guests would each bring a layer for the bride’s family to assemble. Though timeless, the recipes in Vintage Cakes are all updated for today’s home baker, so go ahead and break out that stand mixer.
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Try these easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles and many more cute sweets from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook by Lindsay Landis.
There’s good news for all those kitchen rebels who have ever stolen fingerfuls of cookie dough from their grandmother’s mixing bowl, or devoured store-bought cookie dough straight from the fridge or freezer (you know who you are). Food blogger Lindsay Landis has taken off with the concept behind cookie dough ice cream and turned every baker’s guilty pleasure, cookie dough eating, into this summer’s cutest new cookbook. The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook uses Lindsay’s homemade, egg-free raw cookie dough to doll up classic recipes for cakes, candies and more sweet treats.
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Use summer's best blueberries to make Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter from the cookbook Food in Jars.
With summer in full swing and farmers’ markets overflowing with ripe produce, this is the time of year when people in the know go canning-crazy. And with this must-have summer cookbook, Food in Jars, by canning-blogger and FN Dish contributor Marisa McClellan, you could be one of those people this year. Marisa likens preserving to investing in the stock market, where you buy low and sell high: You buy in-season fruits and veggies when they’re at their peak and relatively cheap and then reap the rewards year round with jars of can’t-be-beat preserves. All it takes to get started is Marisa’s precise, easy-to-follow instructions and no-fail recipes.
In Food in Jars Marisa includes all the basics, like jams, fruit butters, jellies and marmalades, and also savory preserves like pickles, salsas and relishes. Also not to be missed is the chapter on preserving tomatoes — who doesn’t long for the taste of summer tomatoes all winter long? And then there are recipes for whole fruits, like peaches, apricots and plums. Plus, with Marisa’s friendly voice, stories and helpful tips, you’ll feel like you’re canning along with a friend.
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Adults-only Cantaloupe and Campari Pops from People's Pops taste just like summer. Photograph by Jennifer May.
In 2008 three friends living in Brooklyn –Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell and Joel Horowitz — had the idea of selling grown-up ice pops at a one-day event. Their artisanal frozen treats made with local, farm-fresh ingredients were such a hit that they decided to take it to the next level. They became regulars at the Brooklyn Flea and have since opened shops in the East Village, the High Line, Park Slope and Chelsea Market (luckily for me, also the location of the Cooking Channel and Food Network offices). And now, for the rest of the country, the founders of People’s Pops are sharing their best pop recipes in a cute new cookbook, People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop.
The pop recipes are sorted by season (with summer divided into three sections) so you can match up your farmers’ market finds with the perfect People’s Pop. Spring brings rhubarb and strawberry; early summer you get cherry and blueberry; midsummer means apricots, peaches and nectarines; late summer is all about melons; and autumn is full of pears, apples, pumpkins and cranberries. All are mixed with herb and spice combos that make the fresh fruit and veggie flavors sing.
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Carolina-Style Pulled Pork from Brother Jimmy's BBQ makes a great summer cookout party food.
Sure, barbecue is about technique and meat, rubs and sauces, but the restaurant Brother Jimmy’s BBQ goes one step further to capture the Southern soul of barbecue: They embrace the party! Along with recipes for standout ribs, brisket and mac-and-cheese, their cookbook, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ: More Than 100 Recipes for Pork, Beef, Chicken & the Essential Southern Sides, includes tons of crowd-pleasing appetizers and specialty cocktails along with music playlists and drinking games. It’s everything you’ll need to get your own party rolling, Brother Jimmy’s-style.
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Mix up a big bowl of Classic Potato Salad from Martha's American Food for the 4th of July. This all-American picnic salad is an iconic summer staple.
There’s no better way to celebrate America then to explore the amazing culinary diversity we enjoy across the nation. We’ve delved into regional traditions in-depth here at Cooking Channel, crowd-sourcing favorite dishes and developing them into our feature Across the Country in 50 State Dishes. Martha Stewart’s new cookbook, Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast, runs with this same idea, uncovering treasured local specialties and delivering classic recipes for iconic dishes. Along the way, through food, she uncovers interesting nuggets of American history, stories of immigration and beloved regional flavors.
Martha’s American Food begins with recipes for all-American favorites like blueberry pancakes, hamburgers, meatloaf and peanut butter cookies – you can never have too many recipes for these standbys, and Martha’s versions look fantastic. And then she divides the country into five regions: Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and West, with recipes, stories and fabulous photography capturing the uniqueness of each – it’s a culinary road trip!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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