Mothers Day Cookbooks 2013

By on April 23, 2013

Mother’s Day Cookbooks 2013

Find the perfect cookbook to give to your mother this Mother’s Day

When I think of mothers,  I think of nurturers,  caregivers, leaders, breadwinners, bread bakers, the keepers of the culture.  All the multitasking mothers I know have to eat, every day, and many of them also cook.  Every day. These cookbooks are for them.  Click on each one and you can order it right this minute.

Dipping into the stack of cookbooks that hit my desk this April,  I found a number of noteworthy books.  They range from haute cuisine – thanks to Food & Wine’s Best of the Best which offers up their notion of the best recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of 2012, and on until you reach a collection of New York City food truck recipes gathered in a book that does what cookbooks must do these days.  This book, New York A la Cart tells the stories from the Big Apple’s best food trucks.

In between are a couple of real winners, Homemade with Love which tells what Food Network’s host of Ten Dollar Dinners, Jennifer Perillo likes to cook at home.  The book is, “more than a cookbook.  It’s a love song; an ode to amily and life on life’s terms…”

Homemade with Love

Homemade with Love

Debra Ponzek’s The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook is aimed at busy families. Deb has teamed up with expert, Mary Goodbody, to provide some answers for moms who are more and more simply overwhelmed by the demands to get that ever important meal on the table.

But my favorite, in this whole batch is Eat Drink Delta, by expert Susan Puckett who takes us on a long journey back through her home territory located in the soul of the south, the Mississippi delta.  Lavish with pictures, this book reminds me of an old fashioned travel album where the photos were pasted in with library paste, and the recipes added next.  I love this book and want to cook everything in it.

Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South, Susan Puckett. U. Georgia Press. $24.95.

Here you’ll find recipes for specialties like Betty Bullard’s Sweet Milk Biscuits which practically float off the plate thanks to a dollop of baking powder on top of the self-rising flour which has its own jolt of leavening. You’ll also read stories of assimilation, like that of Hoover Lee who came to the Delta in 1934 from China.  Inventing and bottling a sauce he calls “Hoover Sauce” which is only sold in his store and a few more neighboring ones,  his secret sauce enlivens barbecues up and down the Delta.  How can you get a bottle?  Well get your rent car ready and prepare to drive the Delta.

The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook: Delicious, Inspiring Meals for Busy Families, Debra Ponzek, Running Press. $22.00

Dinnertime Survival

Dinnertime Survival

I find this cookbook as comfortable as my favorite pair of bedroom slippers.  The recipes are approachable.  They’re sophisticated without being difficult.  One of my faves is not even cooked.  Spicy cucumber, avocado and mango soup is just whizzed up in the food processor or wand blender, with a splash of Greek yogurt, cilantro, juice and zest of lime, some mint and a touch of jalapeno.  Says summer to me, and I’m gonna serve it at my first summer party.  Thanks, Deb.  You’re my kind of cook.

Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from Jennie’s Kitchen, Jennifer Perillo, Running Press.  $27.50

Jennie, who is a well known New York city cook who cut her teeth at Gramercy Tavern and Essex House, knows what it means to be a working mom.  Living with her two daughters in Brooklyn, she is now consulting food edior at Working Mother Magazine.

Even the photography is warm in this Italian influenced book. Clearly,  Jennie speaks to the vegetarians in the crowd, with nods to vegans, gluten-free, and time-starved cooks.  But the flavors never suffer.  Her recipe fro Oregano and Orange Zest Olive Oil is not only delicious, but also food-safe because she suggests you heat the olive oil to boiling before adding orange zest and oregano.  This kills pesky food pathogens and also lifts the flavor.  Like Jennie says,  dip bread into this, drizzle it on tomatoes or mozzarlla, or toss with pasta for an impromptu dinner.  You go girl.  This is GOOD.

New York A  la Cart: Recipes & Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks, Alexandra Penfold & Siobhan Wallace, Running Press. $18.00cookbook new york a la cart

Now this travel through New York City streets in search of food truck food and recipes is just plain fun. Representing a time honored way that immigrants have fed their families AND made a living by cooking, these trucks meander through city streets bringing the best of their own immigrant cuisines with them.  Sometimes, the notion of fusion is taken to hilarious heights.

Consider The Salty Pimp Sundae which begins with a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone that’s starts by lining the sugar cone with dulce de leche and sea salt, then filling it with ice cream, then dipping it into more chocolate shell and dulce de leche.  Is that over the top or what?  It comes from The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck owned and operated by an under-employeed bassoonist, Doug Quint who is way too funny to keep pushing his breath into a bassoon and his partner in life and business, Bryan Petroff who knew if they were to compete with all the other soft-serve ice cream trucks, they’d have to think outside the cone.

And so they have. They’ve won lots of prizes and have gotten well-deserved attention from the likes of Jeffrey Steingarten of Vogue.  These guys may actually move off the truck and into a brick and mortar store.  Their basic business plan, “The most fun is that it makees it fun for other people”, will likely carry them where ever they wish to go.

Food & Wine Best of the Best: The Best Recipes from the 25 Best Cookbooks of the year,Dana Cowin, Food & Wine Books, $32.95

Last, but by no means least comes a compilation of cookbooks as received and retested by the good folks at Food & Wine.  Here’s where you’ll find ideas for your next blow-it-out dinner party.  They have recipes from Pepin, Batali, Bobby Fla and other cooking luminaries.

One of Batali’s contributions is Summer Beans with a Spicy Lime Spritz which reveals the book’s strengths – cooking beans you bought from a farmer’s market in season, then flavoring them with red onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and limes.  Now how easy is that?

Well,  take a seat.  Some of the recipes came from restaurant procedure where the sous chef does the sauce, while the main chef does the main and they mingle the two to reach dining nirvana.  The recipes are so well-tested  you can replicate anything here, provided you allow yourself plenty of time, and you enlist your diners to help clean up the kitchen.

One of my all time favorites here is Marinated Pepper Salad with Pecorino from Plenty, the vegetarian cookbook from London chef and Guardian food columnist, Yotam Ottolenghi.  This one inclusion proves the reach and dept of the F&W collection.   Highly recommended.

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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”