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 These are some of my favorite cookbooks as well as books currently published. For strictly  Baking books, see Baking Category in Books). 

Oh She Glows Every Day
Angela Liddon
Avery Books 2016

If you adored The Oh She Glows first cookbook you’ll adore this bolder flavored, equally inspiring second book from Angela Liddon. The photography is outstanding and the plethora of Breakfast, Snacks, bowl food recipes, salads, sides, soups, substantial mains, as well as cookies and desserts is exceptional. I love the homemade staples section wherein not only do you have a variety of plant-based food notions, there’s a helpful grain-cooking chart. The Oh Em Vee Veggie Burger is a stand-out as is the Lentil-Mushroom Bolognese. Put this one on your list as a must!

The Viennese Kitchen
Monica Meehan and Maria von Baich
Interlink Publishing Grup

You often have to look far and wide to find a great European cookbook with contemporary touches that are a draw for a North American reader, unfamiliar with this cuisine. The Viennese Kitchen cookbook manages the mandate and more. Here is a lovingly collection of family recipes from appetizers to dessert. All recipes are simply laid out and the photography is a beautiful collage of recipe shots and the culture of Vienna. All the classics are there: Lightening Cake, Linzertorte, Sachertorte and Hazelnut Cream Cake – all hallmarks of Viennese baking but extras like Plum Jam and the savories are also included. The latter are elegant, subtle renditions of typical Austrian dinnertime classics. The recipes are based on the authentic Austrian recipe collection of the part legend, part real family heirloom recipes of Tante Hertha, an Austrian baroness who kept a splendid notebook of all her recipes. Expect all the warmth, authenticity and personal notes that come with such a legacy.

CJA's beautiful new cookbook


Over 100 amazing recipes that are easy and elegant and all proceeds go for a good cause. Check out for where to purchase.


Cuisine Nicoise
Sun-Kissed Cooking from the French Riviera
Hillary Davis
Gibbs Smith 2013

 Books on French cuisine run a wide gamut and have broad appeal, given the French reputation for fine food and the regional variance that offers something for every taste. Too often however, the recipes are interesting but not do-able or somehow not amenable to an American kitchen. By contrast, Hillary Davis' Cuisine Nicoise is a collection of wonderfully accessilbe recipes that are rife with the sunny flavors of the French Riviera. The author spent many years in this region, living, learning and cooking the food that is all about the traditions of a great food country and this cookbook, as a happy result, captures all this and more. Davis fuses these authentic recipes with simple methods, simple but superb ingredients and a nod to contemporary tastes (and techniques) that translate beautifully to the North American kitchen. Recipes are approachable and offer a clarity that invites you to savor each recipe, page by page. This is no poor man's trip to the Riviera - this is a cooking experience to be savored unto itself.

To order:

The Soup Sisters Cookbook
Edited by Sharon Hapton
Appetite for Books, a Random House Imprint

A glorious harvest of great soups from the creme de la creme of Canada's professional cooking community. A slew of chefs, restaurant owners, and cookbook authors all contributed to this wonderful volume on amazing soups - in service to raising funds and awareness of women and children in need. 12 Chapters of Soup Sisters, a non profit organization across Canada that doles out fresh soup and comfort by the ladle. for more information, to order the book, donate or or

Food Lovers Guide to Montreal
Patricia Harris and David Lyon
2011 Globe Pequot Press

I live in Montreal and was still surprised at the many food nooks and crannies Harrid and Lyon helped me discover. This is a gem of a book, current and upbeat - that divides this fabulous food city into districts and then offers you a banquet of cafes, bakeries, chocolateries, patisseries, and more to stroll through. It is tempting and exceptionally well organized that even this Montreal resident tucks it in hand when going on an urban adventure.  Complete with some authentic recipes contributed by the establishments chatted up in the book.



 The Vegetarian Slow Cooker, Over 200 Delicious Recipes, by Judith Finlayson, Robert Rose, 2010 is a harvest's worth of amazingly easy, healthy recipes that come just in time for the slow cooker (we used to call them crock pots) revival. Nothing suits lifestyle better than 'delicious and healthy' and when you artfully put it together with the nifty slow cookers (non-stick, programmable, affordable and many come with a detachable serving dish that you cook in and then serve in), you have an instant classic cookbook. It is great food, done healthy and ready when you are. Findlayson has it all figured out for you - just in time for dinner (or lunch, brunch, or breakfast or hot soup time).



The Complete Tassajara Cookbook, Recipes Techniques and Reflections from the famed Zen Kitchen, Edward Espe Brown, Shambhala, 2009
This beautiful cookbook (inside and out) is a masterful collection of Brown's best recipes from the famed Tassajara retreat in California. This is a comprehensive but accessible, readable book. The menu suggestions are helpful but overall, this book is a feast for the senses and palate. The food is tasteful and tasty and just reading it is a retreat. 

The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson  and Colin Erricsson, Robert Rose, 2010, will have you dusting off your energy saving pot or running out to buy one. With over 200 recipes, seven along for vegetarian favorites like chili, Finlayson’s cook book tours the globe including South Asia with curries and dahl, Turkey and France for pit-stops for delicious soups and we wind up in Italy for pasta sauces a la slow cooker/vegetarian style. Some amazing breads and desserts round out the offerings. With simple ingredients, clear directions, and tasty photos, each page also includes tips and variations for cooking instructions. Review by Trudy Kerman

Comfort Food, Southern Living, Oxmoor House 2009
With an endorsement by Pat Conroy, this is the best of the best of southern food - great biscuits, fried chicken, big fat casseroles, and luxuriously decadent but easy desserts. No one does comfort food as well as Southerners as this is a appealingly updated version of our favorites.

The Flavor Bible, Karen Page and Andrew Dorenberg, The Essential guide to culinary Creativity Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs,Little, Brown and Company, 2008

You know the usual pairings: cinnamon and apples, basil and Italian, rosemary and lamb, garlic and olive oil, lemon and parsley: yada, yada, yada – tell me something new. This is exactly what award winning authors Page and Dorenberg to – articulating distilling the creativity, expertise and wisdom of America’s tops chefs, and their words in vital capture, into a book that is already a classic for any kitchen. It so greatly expands the borders of what any home cook does –with innovative ways through adventuresome territory - that of flavor.

Top Secret Recipe, Todd Wilbur
These are the most fun cookbooks - even if you don't cook a single recipe. Why? Because there is so much information and fun facts about the food that fascinates us: restaurant, fast food, cafes and chains - it's all in here. And yes, the recipes work and in most cases, aside from being cheaper to do chez vous - they are also (in the case of the Lite Top Secret Recipe books in particular), healthier. Visit the site for a free recipe a week and to see what's new and where Wilbur is appearing. But buy one or all of the series of books that will give you hours of time in the kitchen, with good food as well as entertainment.

 Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Simon Hopkinson, Hyperion 2007
This beautifully designed and appointed little book is almost as if Escoffier collided with James Beard for beloved and respected U.K. cookery writer and chef Simon Hopkinson has rounded up the essentials of fine French cuisine in words and recipes in a literary and culinary tour de force. No wonder the book has earned kudos from cookbook collectors and chef colleagues – it has just the right recipe in every major category that anyone would want and so caringly presented  - with intelligence, depth, and a riveting, bottom line, food sense. The descriptions and vignettes are tempting and tasty without filling you up too much – and leaving just piqued enough to switch gears to the recipe component of each chapter. This is an instant classic – it offers a contemporary feel in a book that would be at home 100 years ago and 100 years hence. Wholly charming in all respects and French cuisine for those that know it and those who want the basics – lightly shared.

Quinoa, The Everyday Super Food 365
Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, Whitecap Books 2010
This book is a treasure that is flying off the shelves and on wonder why -it's the right book at the right time. Gorgeous, easy, elegant recipes with Quinoa in a book that you will want to eat (it's that inviting). 

Norene Gilletz  
Norene's Healthy Kitchen: Eat Your Way to Good Health
This family friendly healthy book with over 600 totally amazing, creative, and tasty recipes is for everyone in the family – whether they are just eating better and watching their intake or have some diabetic, GI and Weight Loss issues. Who better than the fast and fresh flavor queen, Norene Gilletz (Second Helpings, Pleasures of Your Food Processor) could create a usable ‘bible’ of easy recipes, no nonsense, easy to understand nutritional stuff, all delivered in an upbeat way, and full nutritional counts. Helpful recipes like Salt Free Seasoning and Tofu Mayonnaise will grace your table and be kinder to your budget (why buy these things when you can make them?). A tour de force in healthy and appetizing.


Global History Cookbooks, University of Chicago Press 2009
Including: Spices, Hotdogs, Hamburgers, Pancakes and Pizza
(authors Andrew F. Smith, Bruce Kraig, Ken Albala, Carol Helstosky, Fred Czarra)
This charming series of little books on specialty subjects were all written by food historians. They are indeed, global histories of everyday favorite foods and offer a culinary evolution, an edible tale as it were, of things we take for granted (but love). Learn about pizza from centuries past to how Pizza Hut is doin’ it. Recipes, photos and interesting facts galore. Great food writers’ resource books.

Slow Cooker: The best cookbook ever, 400 Recipes, Diane Phillips, Chronicle Books 2009
This is about the only slow cooker cookbook you’ll need as it covers basics, updated classics, and international, exotic fare in one fell swoop. The photos are outstanding and the recipes, as Phillips herself suggests are minimal effort, maximal flavor – due to the slow cooker but more so, the recipes themselves. 

 Inside America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, Editors, American’s Test Kitchen 2003. A companion volume to the popular Cooking in America’s Test Kitchen PBS series. If you missed anything on the show, or simply prefer a print collection of stellar recipes, great tips, equipment and tool comparisons, and chatty text as well as more Cook’s style line art, this is a super addition to your library.

Jewish Holiday Coking, Jayne Cohen
Wiley Books 2008
This takes the Jewish holiday table to a whole new level of sophistication - traditions are kept but celebrated in this book which takes the best of Jewish food, then and now, European and Sephardic, kosher but all-palate pleasing.
A must for your Jewish cookbook bookshelf  -Cohen is a naturally elegant recipe creator and the book is refreshing and inspiring - taking Jewish cuisine to new heights.

Matzoh Ball Gumbo Marcie Cohen Ferris
Chapel Hill 2007

An amazing history and culinary tales about kosher gone South -recipes and narrative richesse - and all kosher!

The Palm Restaurant Cookbook,
Brigit Legere Binns, Running Press 2003
I like restaurant cookbooks from famed landmarks. This one has all the favs and then some. It distills down complicated and sophisticated into tasteful do-at-home showstoppers. There is nothing too unusual, save the great taste and simplicity of the offerings – from super salads, to zesty steak and pasta dishes and some classic restaurant desserts (tiramisu, crème brulee). Recipes are very well written and clear, at a glance – ‘I can make this’ appeal.

The White Barn Inn Cookbook, Celebrated American In, Cartwright and Sully, Running Press 2004 Gorgeous coffee table book with beautiful photos, solid text of history of inn, and recipes which are light, sophisticated and decidedly upscale. A good idea book but for the competent cook and collector.

A Year at Ballymaloe Cookery School, Darina Allen, Kyle Cathie Limited 2006
A gorgeous, extensively photographed, cooking-by-seasons, by the IACP Cooking School Teacher of the  Year, Darina Allen. Like her other books, things are kept light and fresh, and are about simple flavors combined in exciting ways. The bottom line is taste, taste, taste with sophisticated simplicity.

The Martha’s Vineyard Table, Jessica B. Harris, Chronicle Books
What is the next best thing to being in Marth’s Vineyard? A cookbook that brings the salt spray and scent of the island with it. This is a gorgeous book for the eyes –as well as the cook’s palate. It is a tour of the Vineyard and all the classic tastes of the region from lobster grits, codfish balls, ‘Ferry Food’,  to watermelon pickle, fudge ‘wars’ and the most amazing cornbread ever. This book should win an award for photography alone. It is more visual treat than recipe packed but that said, it is a keeper.

Sierra Mar Cookbook, Craig Von Forester, Gibbes Smith 2006
Post Ranch Inn was founded generations ago and today; it still reigns as the #1 Californian Hotel and Restaurant in the Zagat Guide. The cookbook is breathtaking in itself – each photo is frameable and the recipes, all at once simple but elegant, unique, innately tasteful and Californian but in a fresh an upscale way. Still, each recipe is totally approachable and do-able for the home cook. This is a collector’s cookbook that is a coveted addition for either a new chef or as inspiration for an experienced one. Especially helpful are the visual plating guides.

Mindless Eating Brian Wansink, Bantam 2006
This is not a cookbook but a nifty treatise on how we mindlessly eat and mysteriously gain extra pounds.  This is a great, well-written, insightful book that is a companion for anyone dieting or wanting to maintain diet loss. It explains things you know but in terms you retain and/or presents concepts with clarity, illuminating basic logic when it comes to all weight gain. It effectively presents science (studies), habits; human behavior in a reader-friendly book. Actually just put this book out on your kitchen counter, with the bright blue and white cover saying Mindless Eating, or Why We Eat More Than We Think and watch the pounds come off. It stops you from snacking more than a locked fridge door would do.

Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for A Crowd, Gramercy 2006
A deluxe recipe collection for vegetarian cuisine with recipes that are for 24 or more (although you could divide recipes to serve 12). Ideal for family gathering cooking, opening a small vegetarian café, catering and teaching. Same great tastes as all Moosewood books with less whimsy, more of a formula, versus recipe approach.

David Burke’s New American Classics, Knopf 2006
Hospitable, talented restaurant chef Burke takes off-the-menu specialties du chef and offers them in a by meal collection of fabulous, easy, flavorful dishes from breakfast, through lunch, dinner and special desserts. Black Out Cake, Molten Chocolate Cake and UFO’s are some of the treats. Cheesecake Doughnuts with Fruit Sorbee is a bit ambitious but interesting. Farm House Chicken is pure and simple and one of your files.

Stonewall Kitchen Harvest, Stott, King, and Gunst
Potter 2006
If you like fresh, bold, New England tastes with the reputation of Stonewall Kitchen (check their website – everything to do or sell looks delicious) then Harvest is a great choice. Although the food is New England rustic, the photos and recipes bring a new élan to the fare. This is basically good food, done right , with a lovely seasonal, ‘root’ feel to it.

Sunday Suppers At Lucques, Suzanne Goin, Knopf 2005
Winner James Beard Foundation Award
With seasonal recipes from market to table, this book is sophisticated and yet totally accessible – a fusion of contemporary French cuisine with American, accent on Californian cuisine for a sensational collection of fare. Endorsed by Alice Waters, this book would please any gourmet home cook for its taste, eclectic range, and balance of flavors, tastes, textures with seasonal offerings.

Feasts, Nigella Lawson, Chatto and Windus or Hyperion Books, 2004
The long awaited book by the gorgeous cooking diva herself -a wholly exciting collection of food for feasts and quite family times. Recipes are easy but exciting and Lawson's hands-on, 'can-do' approach inspires any reader, and cooks of all levels. Things are homey yet sophisticated and the sense of celebration and warmth through food is palatable. A user's cookbook and a collector's must.

Cooking the Costco Way – the new cookbook from Costco. Oddly, this book is fantastic. Great recipes, great photos, interesting balance of things from around the world and everything is simple and tasteful. Great ideas.

A Real American Breakfast Jamison and Jamison – another winner. Photos make you drool – full of ideas for breakfast, light lunch, brunch and superb baking. This book is not recent but is excellent and needs far more exposure.

Nieman Marcus Cookbook Garvin and Harrison – beautiful book, gorgeous photos, easy recipes, interesting recipe headnotes, recipes are all approachable, have a story and are things you would want to do at home but a bit fancier

The Century in Food, Beverly Bundy (Collectors Press) a must for anyone – interested in cooking or just reading about where we’ve been since we first discovered fire all the way to Tang and Pillsbury and food trends. Great photos.

American Western Cooking From Roaring Fork, Robert McGrath (Lone Star Books) – heavenly rustic food with a ton of gusto on each page

American Classics, Cook’s Illustrated, Editors, 2002
Do you need a recipe for definitive Mac and Cheese, or want to know the best way to make devilled eggs, scramble an egg or grill a lobster? This book is for you. It is, as all of Cook’s books are, thorough, interesting, and simply reminds you of the basics and classics you make a ton of times but might want to simply make that much better. The recipes are as always, clear, but with supportive text (from tips to history, science and tools) handily nearby. Like being in the Cook’s Test Kitchen but on your schedule.

America’s Test Kitchen, Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Another wonderful companion volume from Cook’s TV show, packed with 100 recipes, full colour photos and ‘opinionated tastes tests’ Cook’s is renown for. This is a functional, funky and fun cookbook that is user friendly for recipes as it is a solid resource guide. The right recipe – just when you want it – with a focus on techniques in regards to contemporary, trendy recipes with many classics and tradition things thrown in. Great gift book and a ‘basic’ cookbook to have as part of your collection.

The Best New Recipe, Cook’s Ilustrated Over 1000 recipes from the best buffalo wings to chicken Caesar salad, this is great reading, appetite provoking, recipe paradise. You might not agree with each approach but it makes you re-explore almost anything you ever considered making at least once, with a real sense of gusto, science, and adventure.

The Breath of a Wok, Unlocking the Secrets of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore, Grace Young and Alan Richardson. Coffee table gorgeous book, but hands-on great recipes. It is a celebration in wok history and cuisine –the photography alone is prize-winning. If you haven’t woked in awhile, this will bring you back to it with a fervor. A gorgeous, great book – simply but incredibly appetizing recipes.

CookOff Recipe Fever in America, Amy Sutherland, 2004, Penguin, the ins, the outs, the competition, the fun, the humour and the facts about the most well known cookoffs. History and anecdotes – the story behind the winning recipes.

Cover and Bake, Editors of Cook’s Illustrated 2004, the best of hearty, homey, oven casseroles. From classic to contemporary with great tips on ingredients, methods, and flavor boosters. Try their Mac and Cheese, testd some 35 times till they derived ‘the best’.

Fork It Over, Alan Richman, 2004 more great food writing and culinary observations from one of the best  - Richman covers celebrity chefs, pushy waitser snd the ills of banquette seating. Entertaining

Taste of Montreal, Barry Lazar, Vehicle Press 2004, Montreal’s wittiest forager, chef, gourmand, writer and film maker Barry Lazar takes on Montreal, bite by delicious bite. Montreal is the quintessential food town and Lazar writes on each sumptuous chapter. Charming anecodotes together with restaurants, snackeries, best bagels spots, shops for spices and more, plus recipes (!) make this a treasure. Buy one for you, one for a friend, and then for every American relative/tourist or ex-pat you know. Although the food in Taste of Montreal is about his home turf, you will find scads of great info on almost every gourmet basic from mushrooms to halvah, Montreal steak spice, lemon grass and mozzarella and more. In other words, you don’t have to be a Montrealer to enjoy this book. It is just one of the best in the writing-about-food genre.

Cooking Free Carole Fenster, Avery 2005
200 Flavorful Recipes For People With Food Allergies and Sensitivities is just what the doctor, nutritionist and chef ordered! Finally, flavorful, easy, and appropriate recipes and ideas for a broad spectrum of eaters.

Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban, Gibbs Smith, Publisher 2004, Lindgren, Musibay and Castillo, These three hombres love Cuban culture and food so much they started and continue to maintain the tremendously popular website Millions of people have already discovered their recipes. With this cookbook,  you can cook the most sensational world of Cuban cuisine – not matter how far north you live. Recipes are simple but flavorful.

Inside America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, Editors, American’s Test Kitchen 2003. A companion volume to the popular Cooking in America’s Test Kitchen PBS series. If you missed anything on the show, or simply prefer a print collection of stellar recipes, great tips, equipment and tool comparisons, and chatty text as well as more Cook’s style line art, this is a super addition to your library.

The Home Cook Book, Whitecap Books 2002. First published in 1877 (no dry yeast, baking powder was new and no cell phones!), this book is real

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