June 16, 2006

Cookbook Awards (Adam's Non-Meme) Part I

The AG (who I've been reading a lot of lately) did his own cookbook awards today and asked that others join suit. I'm obsessed with lists and avoiding doing some more mass chicken carnage (Did I tell you I'm catering a party tomorrow? I'm catering a party tomorrow for 60. Yay! They're eating a lot of chicken.) so here it goes:

Best Desert Island Cookbooks:

1. The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl

I have to agree with Adam here. The Gourmet Book is fabulous. Almost everything looks delicious and all of the recipes that I've tried out of it turned out well and were tasty. Especially the world's most fantastic peanut butter cookies. You can thank me later.

2. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

I have a love-hate relationship with Madison. I love her early books but her later books have a lot of repeats from the previous ones. Not enough to keep me from buying them, but just enough to irritate me. Sigh. This is her vegetarian masterpiece. Without it, I'd probably be malnourished and very hungry. Good thing I have a copy.

3. A Year In a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop

Here's the thing. I love the book; it's been missing since we moved 4 months ago. I've been avoiding buying a new one because I keep on thinking that I'll find it somewhere. Books just don't just get up and walk away, do they? I've made about a quarter of the recipes in it, which is a lot. I love how the book is divided up according to season and almost everything can be made in under an hour. When you get your own copy, please make the Green Emerald Soba Salad (I add a tiny bits if tofu), the Hoisin-Glazed Tofu, and the Israeli Salad. I really need to get a new copy.

4. Best American Recipes 1999

Super cheesy title, when my sister gave this to me, I was kind of turned off by it. That's because I'm a snob. Don't let your snobbery keep you away from this great book. It has a ton of recipes that I've actually made (Strawberries in Champagne Jelly, Jamaican Rice and Peas, Roasted Sweet Root Veg with Cumin....) and all but a few I'd want to make again. Pick it up, even though it has a doofy title, especially if you can find it in the bargain bin.

5. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

This is my favorite text book ever. I got it for horrible class I took three years ago. Ugh, a serious disappointment. However, getting this book out of it made it worth it. The megaderra (lentils with carmalized onions and rice) is a staple in our house, and everything else I dabbled in has been great. The folk stories are cute and I like reading about Rodin's childhood in Egypt and the long culinary history of the area. The cover is gorgeous too.

This is getting a bit lengthy and I have some more chickens to massacre. More to come tomorrow.

P.S. If anyone is interested, pass the non-meme on! If not, I'm interested in what people think of my choices. What are yours?


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