The holidays are a great time to take a look at new cookbooks; they can introduce you to new recipes that can help liven up the season, and they make for an easy and thoughtful gift. Three cookbooks with local ties have hit bookstore shelves in the past 18 months, and each can provide some guidance in the kitchen as you plan your Christmas dinner.
Each book’s origin is a local food or lifestyle blog, and they serve as a continuation of their respective online works. One of the most satisfying elements of these cookbooks is how familiar the writing styles will feel to habitual blog readers. The recipes and stories are as good, if not better, than the original blogs’ content and style.
Six Sisters' STUFF (from the creators of the website of the same name) is the perfect cookbook for young parents, full of simple recipes and low-cost tips for family fun. There is a reliance on pre-made foods for many of the recipes, but that element can be a great comfort for someone new to the kitchen, and is certainly convenient for preparing a family meal on a busy weeknight. The "Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars" recipe may just transport you back to a simpler time; it's the closest you'll taste since your elementary school cafeteria.
In the same vein is Savoring the Seasons With Our Best Bites, by Sara Wells and Kate Jones of the blog "Our Best Bites." Intended to guide home cooks through the four seasons, and better suited to cooks with some experience in the kitchen, it is full of relatively simple, delicious seasonal recipes. The seasonal format makes it slightly more difficult to just turn to a section and find a particular type of dish quickly, but seeing the beautiful imagery that matches the season you're cooking for can be inspiring. The "Mini Puffed Oven Pancake" would make an excellent Christmas Day breakfast.
The Family Flavor: 125 Recipes for the Simple and Delicious, by Whitney Ingram of the blog "Rookie Cookie," is beautifully photographed and the recipes are simple, yet refined. A great cookbook for those looking to broaden their culinary horizons without having to visit specialty food stores. The "Curry and Yogurt Roast Chicken" is delicious, easy to prepare, and perfect for cold winter nights.
Whether you are a new cook looking for a dessert to bring to the neighborhood potluck, or someone with decades of experience in the kitchen planning an elaborate holiday party, these books are a perfect match for the season.
Errin Pedersen is the Adult Services Manager at Salt Lake City Public Library.
To find these and similar books within our catalog, or for more info on The City Library's programs and services, visit slcpl.org