Friday, 17 October 2014

Cookbooks I'm Currently Craving

I've had a lot of discussions about cookbooks, the processes behind making them, and why people buy them recently, so I thought today that I'd share with you some of the cookbooks on my current wish list (it is of the Amazon variety, guilty as charged), as well as the reasons why I choose to buy the books that I covet. I've already got hundreds of cookbooks; it has got to be something special to make me want even more! 
Cookbook Wish List October 2014

I only recently started reading Stephanie's imaginative and beautifully photographed blog I Am A Food Blog, and usually I would not covet a blogger book without having read their site for quite some time. However, after seeing some of her wonderful looking recipes, for making complex sounding and looking dishes really easy to make at home reproduced on some of my favourite blogs, I decided the book was new fresh, and just my sort of cooking. How could I not want it added to my collection? 

After my recent trip to La Rioja I was surprised to arrive home to discover that among the copies of the classic Italian Silver Spoon and French Larousse Gastronomique reference books, between my Mother and I we do not own a single book on good, core, regional Spanish cooking. I feel that this needs to be rectified, so of course I'm turning to Claudia Roden for this. I gave my Mother her Food Of Italy for her birthday this year and it is a wonderful book, and I don't know what I'd do without Claudia Roden's The Book Of Jewish Food, so I know that I'll simply love this volume. 

My wish to own a copy of A Change Of Appetite is testament to the power of the internet, and of beautiful photography. I'd read about how this book of naturally light and healthy (my sort of eating) recipes from the Telegraph cookery writer had some brilliant ideas in and was beautifully written, and I think it was in part the constant barrage of me seeing it raved about online that made me pick it up in the book shop to have a look at in the first place. The stunning visuals and type setting did the rest. 

I'm pretty sure that How Sweet It Is was one of the very first food blogs I ever read, and I'm sure that it was the first food blog I ever cooked a recipe from. Jessica's first cookbook was long overdue in my opinion, and I can't wait to get stuck into her fun, imaginative and vibrant recipes. And her food photography makes me happy. 

It may surprise you to know as I don't actually feature any of it here on the blog, that I cook an awful lot of Asian food at home. The truth is that while I find it easy to make, I find it a nightmare to photograph! Most of my undertakings are Chinese or Thai, but recently attending Uyen Luu's supper club I discovered how much I loved the flavours of Vietnamese food, and how adaptable they are to everyday (not necessarily Oriental) cooking. 

So my inclusion of Homemade Decadence in this list is cheating a little, because I will be ordering it the moment Amazon tells me I can have it sooner than a month from when I order it, because I've been excited for this book ever since I knew that it has happening. I always buy my friends books to support them, but I'd want Joy's anyway as her first book is one of my most loved volumes for American baking. Sometimes just buying all of the new books from your favourite foodies is just a no brainer. 

I've never actually seen a physical copy of this book, but when I read about it in Waitrose Kitchen I thought that a book that explored the world through its local cuisine would be a great learning experience and would open me up to some world foods I may not have necessarily thought of. I'd love to hear your feedback if any of you have a copy! 

In my mind, David Lebovitz's blog is the best written site in my newsfeed, and I wholeheartedly enjoyed his narrative book The Sweet Life In Paris. While I have not cooked any of them yet, I was intrigued about lots of the traditional French recipes he had dotted throughout, as well as some 'new classics'. So, when I heard that he was writing a book that was not just about sweets (I'm more of a cook than a baker) I automatically added it to my wish list. I think it will also be nice to have my own book on French cooking, as most of the books I use belong to my Mother! 

I'd love to hear which cookbooks you are all lusting after at the moment, (this post was actually inspired by posts I read on Thoroughly English, Amy Liz and Joy The Baker) as well as any feedback on any of the books I've listed if you own them! 


  1. I've really started getting into cooking the last few years, probably due to the fact I moved out and had to look after myself! But this meant I found a new appreciation for all the cookbooks my parents have collected over time and now I'm starting my own little collection. I can see cookbooks appearing as gifts this Christmas and that's no bad thing- I love getting a new one and settling down to flick through the photos before marking anything that's caught my eye.
    Jennifer x

  2. I got Joy's new book last night, and totally in love! I love her style and humour. Really want to go for brunch with her!

    FoodNerd x

  3. Amazing choices, all of these books look utterly beautiful and delicious. I've had my eye on Homemade Decadence for a while, too! Just waiting for payday next Friday to treat myself - I also keep popping into Waterstone's on my lunch break to fawn over Ruby Tandoh's new book, Crumb. I loved her on the Bake Off and her style of baking really appeals to me - quite rustic and no fuss!

    If you were to do more book posts I would love to know your very favourites out of the 100 you own from tried and tested recipes! Mine are Jerusalem (more challenging) and Nigellissima (quick and easy!)

    Wonderful post as usual!
    Rosie x

  4. Oooh lots of picks I haven't managed to quite come across as of yet, so thanks for introducing me to some new books. I've been eyeing up A Change of Appetite too, light and healthy cooking is right up my street. Top With Cinnamon and, actually, classic books from Nigella and Jamie Oliver such as How To Eat are on my wish list. Having borrowed my Mum's for years, it's time I purchase some of the classics. Any recommendations?

    She's So Lucy

  5. Grab Top With Cinnamon. Such an amazing book, and I do plan on reviewing it soon; I just keep on eating the food from it and forgetting to photograph it. I've made so much from it.

    I've got How To Eat and it is a good book, but my personal Nigella favourite is Feast. Such a great read with a brilliant range of recipes. Also, I would not be able to do Christmas without it. What Jamie books are you after? We have Jamie's Italy, Happy Days with the Naked Chef and Jamie at Home on our shelf, but honestly I don't really use them. A had a flip through his new Comfort Food the other night though, and it does look stunning with some good recipes.

    As for 'classics' recommendations Leith's How To Cook is a good core book I've had for a while, and while I'm not usually a baker, Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book is one of the volumes I would save from a burning building, and I often give as a gift to friends who want to learn how to bake.

  6. So, I thought screw it, I hope it comes earlier and I'll just order Homemade Decadence last night from Amazon and hopefully it will arrive earlier than 2-4 weeks on my iPad, but I was in bed and remembered I don't have my new payment card details on my Amazon account yet! Maybe it can be my reward this evening if I get everything I need to get done today finished!

    I had Crumb on my wish list when I heard about it as I love the recipes on her blog and in The Guardian, but when I picked it up to look at the other week and flipped through I did not really find it that inspiring. It was beautiful, yes, but I honestly could not see what set it aside from any other baking book I own. So it you get it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    I do have more of my cookbook review posts planned, and yes, I do actually have a post of my all time favourite cookbooks planned and while I am working ahead here, I hope to have it up before Christmas so people can get some gift ideas from it/ people can have some idea of what they can spend their book tokens Amazon gift vouchers on after the holidays!

  7. Oh, so jealous. I really, really want a copy already!

  8. Great post!I must admit I hardly own any cookbooks - I'm definitely one for making my own creations - but some of these looks incredible so I might have to invest!

    Drea x

  9. Those posts you have planned sound fab - I'm sure I'll be writing some of your favourite cookbooks on my own Christmas list! I know what you mean about Crumb - the recipes do seem to be on the basic side and not necessarily pushing us to our limits as bakers, but I do agree with how beautiful it is so I'll definitely let you know what it's like!

    Also such a coincidence - I just found out I've won a giveaway for Seriously Delish, but it's coming from the US and I live in Jersey so I'm praying it makes its way safely across the Atlantic/Channel, but most of things I've ever ordered from the US get completely lost in the post. Keeping my fingers crossed as I love her blog to pieces!

    Rosie x

  10. Oh, I can't wait to hear about Seriously Delish - congrats! And yeah, may be a problem, but at least you get to live in Jersey with all that amazing seafood! I love it there; my parents got engaged at Gorey Harbour so they took me a few years ago!

  11. Ooh that Food of Spain certainly looks interesting...

  12. Amazing cookbooks!!

    I've got a list of cookbooks I'm going to purchase when I move back to the UK, as it's too much of a hassle of buy it here in Sydney then have to send it back to London!

    {Teffy's Perks} X

  13. I have Claudia Roden's 'The Food of Spain'. It is a brilliant book which is much more than just a collection of Spanish regional recipes. Over the summer we had a world-themed street party. Our house picked Spain and I wanted to cook an authentic Spanish paella over hot coals. It sounds rather extravagant but I bought the book purely for this purpose. The recipe was an absolute success, with our neighbours saying that my paella was easily the best they've ever eaten. I would highly recommend it.

  14. Oh, that looks simply amazing, well done you and the book. Thats it. I'm ordering it now!!

  15. Thanks! Amazon currently has it for £17 so why not?!