Today, I’m offering a different kind of weekend links post. Instead of directing you the articles that have caught my attention this week, I’m sending you to check out the books that have had me completely captivated the past few weeks. So pour yourself a cup of tea/coffee and be prepared to take some notes, because I’m certain you’ll want to add a few of these titles to your own cookbook collection.
I can’t remember the last time I was so enthusiastic about a book release season. This spring I’ve immersed myself in the latest cookbooks to land on my desk, and instead of binge-watching TV shows, I’ve been curled up on the sofa poring over the pages, reading the headnotes, introductions and acknowledgments (weirdly, one of my favourite parts of a book), and I’ve run out of sticky notes after bookmarking the many recipes I hope to make.
Speaking of books, this Saturday (May 2nd - tomorrow!) I’ll be visiting Eat Your Words, a cookbook bookstore here in Toronto, in support of Canadian Authors for Indies day. Over 600 Canadian authors will be visiting independent bookstores across the country and I’m thrilled to be participating. I’ll be there from 11AM – 12:30PM, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, come visit! We’ll be talking about food, spring entertaining and books, and I’m coming armed with some special treats from Gatherings, which also happens to make an excellent Mother’s Day gift, and I’ll happily sign copies for you and/or your mother, or anyone else that you think might like the book.
Now, back to the books that have been inspiring me this season. This collection of new titles is so motivating I’ve yet to find a permanent place for any of them on my new cookbook bookshelf because I’m using and reading them so frequently there’s no point in putting them away.
- Seven Spoons – The much-anticipated first cookbook from the author of the popular food blog Seven Spoons is finally here, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’ve long been an admirer of Tara’s, for both her writerly stories and creative, crowd-pleasing recipes, and her book delivers both in spades. I’ve bookmarked too many recipes to count, and expect to become a better cook after working my way through the pages of this beautiful new Canadian classic.
- Real Sweet – This came across my desk late last month, and I’ve been smitten with this naturally sweet baking book since I first flipped through the pages. Written in Shauna’s charmingly funny and self-deprecating style, this ‘more ‘hip’ than ‘hippie’’ collection of recipes is guaranteed to turn out a ton of sweet treats I’ll feel good about feeding to my kids. Shauna has developed more than 80 crave-worthy baked goods all made from natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugar, muscovado, and more. She also cleverly coaches readers on how to use these sugars in their baking, and provides tricks for converting our own favourite white-sugar recipes into something a little less refined. Doesn’t this sound like something you need in your kitchen?
- The Picnic Book – This adorable book is easily the cutest one in my collection, and I’m completely smitten with this guide to planning the perfect outdoor get-together. Packed full of no-fail recipes, helpful checklists, and expert advice, not to mention a list of 99 uses for your mason jars and rules for scoring backyard lawn games, this whimsically illustrated guide will guarantee your next outdoor party is full of fun.
- Summer Cocktails – Cocktail season is upon us and I’m filling my fridge with cordials and cold-brew teas in eager preparation. Regardless of whether your plans include lounging by a pool, cooking over the grill or throwing a big backyard bash, you need to have a great drink in hand. This book features more than 100 recipes for punches, frosty drinks, classic cocktails, and party snacks, and I know I will reference it repeatedly over the coming months.
- Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love – The first baking book by Cheryl and Griffin Day totally won me over, and their sophomore follow-up has done the same. In this collection of decadent yet do-able recipes they’ve included more desserts, but have also added breakfast pastries, breads, pizzas, and condiments to their repertoire.
- Three Many Cooks – I adore food memoirs and this one by the bloggers of the same name is no exception. Written by a mother and her two daughters, their family stories form the narrative that threads together a collection of some of their favourite recipes.
- Food52 Genius Recipes – This book claims to change the way we cook, and while that still remains to be seen, I do think every home kitchen can benefit from this collection of some of the best recipes every published in books or on the internet. The writing is clever and the headnotes are filled with inspiring tips and tricks for making your meals better than ever.
- The Sweetapolita Bakebook – Last, but certainly not least, is this colourful and creative collection of sweet treats by Canadian blogger Rosie Alyea. The playful ideas in her debut book are as charming as can be, and guaranteed to inspire bakers of all levels. I’m looking forward to making her Jumbo Frosted Animal Crackers, and giving the recipe for homemade sprinkles a try.
Phew! If you’re still reading I’m sending you a virtual high-five for hanging in there. Next week I’m giving away two of the above mentioned books, so be sure to come back and check out those giveaways. In the meantime, tell me, what are you reading this spring? Do you have any new favourite cookbooks you’re cooking from?