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Sunday, December 17, 2017

HOLIDAY STOCKING STUFFERS -- books division (small, modestly priced, fit in a stocking!)

Stocking stuffers should be at the very top of everybody's gift list: something
affordable from under $10 up to $25, and that can also double as a host gift,
being something small and lightweight. Most of the books here are
paperbacks. And of course, they can all stuff an adult stocking.
Typical for food are:
--EATING (Vintage Classics Minis, 2017, 132 pages, $5.99 CAD
paperbound) is by Nigella Lawson. It is a collection of extracts from her
1998 title "How to Eat" and her 2010 title "Kitchen".  There are a handful of
recipes plus advice on how to handle food in season, such as grouse or
white truffles. As if...There is also text on cooking in advance, cooking for
one or two, and weekend lunches and dinners. Solid read, if you don't
already have her books.
--THE CHICKPEA COOKBOOK (Ebury Press, 2017, 112 pages, $21.99
CAD hardbound) is by Heather Thomas. There have been a rash of
chickpea books the past year including one on just chickpea flour. And there
are more to come next year. Meanwhile, this handy "gifter" is meant for
omnivores and explores 50 preps using this superfood legume, ranging
from salads to GF foods to stews, and desserts too.
--CUTE CHRISTMAS COOKIES (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017,  64 pages,
$20 CAD hardbound) is by Hannah Miles, a MasterChef UK finalist. It's a
collection of 25 magical recipes to bake and enjoy for the festive season.
Caution: decoration is involved!
--THE SWEET POTATO COOKBOOK (Ebury Press, 2017, 112 pages,
$21.99 CAD hardbound) is by Heather Thomas who specializes in the
smaller cookbook, such as her previous Avocado and Chickpea (see
above). Over 50 preps are here, covering all courses as does the one
below by Heck. Included are spiralized sweet potato pasta, savoury sweet
potato and parmesan muffins, and sweet potato enchiladas.
--A MAN, A PAN, A PLAN (Rodale Books, 2017, 168 pages, $18.50 CAD
softbound) is by Paul Kita, a Beard winner and founder of Guy Gourmet. It is
a good work for men, reflective of the satisfaction of cooking for yourself
and for others. Here are 100 straightforward recipes involving common
foods and techniques and equipment – all healthy, and using just one pan.
--SWEET POTATOES (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 144 pages, $22.99 CAD
hardbound) is by Mary-Frances Heck, food writer and developer (formerly of
Bon Appetit). It even comes with five log rollers. Her emphasis is on
roasted, loaded, fried, and made into pie versions. The full range of
courses, from apps through desserts is presented. Side dishes is one of the
best chapters here, with risotto, grilled, tamales, and palak aloo.
--SMALL BITES (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 128 pages, $20.99 CAD hardbound)
is by Eliza Cross, who also wrote "101 Things to do with Bacon". Here she's
got a collection of sliders, skewers, and other party eats that will take two or
more bites. The basics, from scratch, include baby sesame slider rolls,
pastry cups, golden crostini, and choux puffs. Then it is on to finger foods,
e.g., pinwheels, mini-pizzas, cucumber rounds,  corn cakes, mini-BLT,
drumettes. Just about everything is savoury, but there are some salty-sweets
such as prosciutto, pear, fig and brie toasts.
--BERRIES (The Countryman Press, 2017, 232 pages, $24.95 CAD
hardbound) is by Roger Yepsen, who also wrote "Apples". It's a revised and 
updated version of his 2006 edition. He also did the 50 watercolours of
various berries and their leaves. His 13 chapters cover blackberries to
strawberries, almost alphabetically, with material on mulberries, rose hips,
and juniper berries – each with data on locating, identifying, growing your
own, and preserving. He's got almost 100 classic berry recipes plus a
sources list.
--OPEN FACED (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 127 pages, $27.99 CAD hardbound)
is by Karen Kaplan, with log rolling from both Curtis Stone and Guy Fieri.
These are some single-slice sandwiches from around the world, divided by
country: tartines (France), bruschette and crostini (Italy), montaditos and
tomato toasts (Spain), smorrebrod (Scandinavia), butterbrote and
butterbrodi (Germany and Russia), rarebit, hummus, molletes, various egg
(96 p.), PERFECT PIZZA AT HOME (96 p.), PERFECT PASTA (96 p.) all
hardbound and line-priced at an affordable $17.95 CAD. Each covers a
specific aspect, drawn from Artisan's backlist of expert-written cookbooks.
The pizza book goes from the essential dough to the latest style of toppings;
the veggies are seasonal. Most preps come from Frannie's Restaurant in
NYC.  About two dozen preps in each, and there are actually Metric
Conversion Charts included! HOLIDAY COCKTAILS (112p., 47 easy
seasonal recipes), HOLIDAY COOKIES (112p., 30 preps for holiday
classics of linzer cookies, ginger cookies, shortbread) and PARTY FOOD
(112p., includes 10 cheat sheets for hors d'oeuvre, 5 cheat sheets for entree
salads, and 30 other recipes) are also hardbound but at $19.95 CAD.
--FALAFEL FOREVER (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 64 pages, $23.95
CAD hardbound) is by cooking teacher/chef Dunja Gulin. It's a collection of
25 preps for different and versatile versions: fried, baked, raw, and vegan.
There is also a concluding chapter on dips, sauces  and salsas. Fried in a
pita pocket is traditional, of course, but there are so many more intriguing
preps. Do try the charred falafel burgers or the falafel coconut curry.  They
are both addictive and healthy!
--QUESO! (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 136 pages, $20 CAD hardbound) is by
Lisa Fain. These are regional recipes for chile-cheese dip ("chile con
queso"). There are more than 55 queso-centric preps here, including
historical but modernized recipes, Tex-Mex classics, Border classics, global
variations (e.g. Indian queso, Greek queso, queso burgers, plus six
--DIG, SHUCK, SHAKE; fish and seafood recipes from the Pacific
Northwest (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 128 pages, $26.99 CAD hardbound) is by
John Nelson, chef at an Oregon country club. These are stories from
childhood (his mother had a chowder shack) with harvesting and cooking
techniques for the West Coast recipes: salmon, tuna, crab, shrimp, rockfish,
sole, mussels, clams, sea urchins, oysters, bay clams, trout, smelt, sturgeon,
crawdads, calmari and assorted sides and condiments. A nifty tool for your
West Coast friends.
--EAT THIS, MY FRIEND (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 130 pages, $25 CAD
hardbound) is by Jade O'Donahoo, owner of the tiny Switch Board Cafe. It's
a collection of 60 vegetarian recipes originally meant for her loyal customers
and friends, along with her own hand-drawn illustrations. So here we get a
collection of fuss-free and versatile everyday vegetarian preps, ideal as a
small gift during the Holiday season.
--THE WORLD'S BEST SUPERFOODS (Lonely Planet, 2017, 208 pages,
$20.95 CAD paperbound) is edited by Jeanette Wall with a slew of
contributing writers. These are health-boosting recipes from around the
world, lovingly photographed, and arranged by food category (seeds,
legumes, fruits, etc.). The 66 recipes are indexed both by ingredient and by
country. Each prep is headed by some notes on origins and some tasting
notes (e.g. Injera = bitter and rubbery at first, etc.) .
--SIMPLY SOUP (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 128 pages, $20.99 CAD hardbound)
is by multiple cookbook author Madge Baird. There's just under 100 recipes
covering a range of veggie- based soups, creamy and cheesy soups,
potato-based soups, meat-poultry-fish soups, and of course a primer on
broths and dip sauces. A nice book of easy classics for beginners.
--SALAD IN A JAR (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 160 pages, $19.99 CAD
softcovers) is by Anna Helm Baxter; it was originally published in France in
2015. Her collection of 68 recipes are nifty for layering as green and
gourmet salads to "take and shake" on the go. Only wide mouthed brims
need apply for this great enhanced salad package to take to work.
--EASY ONE-POT (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017, 240 pages, $24.95 CAD
softcovers)  has been reissued from 2009. It has over 100 preps for
international dishes, using a Dutch oven or large cast iron pot, etc. It covers
soups, salads, omelettes, tortillas, frittatas, noodles, stir-fries, risottos,
paellas, curries, tagines, bakes, gratins, casseroles and stews, plus an
array of one-pot desserts.
--THE WORLD'S BEST SPICY FOOD (Lonely Planet, 2017, 224 pages,
$20.95 CAD paperbound) is edited by Lucy Doncaster and Christina
Webb, with a slew of contributing writers. There are 100 preps from around
the world, all of them spicy, most of them hot, but with notes on how to slide
the heat scale. The range is from Szechuan hotpots to Malaysian lakkas,
curries, and Mexican salsas. Arrangement is alphabetical by domestic
name of the dish, and each prep comes from origin  notes and tasting
--LITTLE BOOK OF JEWISH APPETIZERS (Chronicle Books, 2017, 136
pages, $26.95 CAD hardbound) is by Jewish cookbook Leah Koenig, who
presents a variety of single bites and small plates (Persian zucchini and
herb frittata, mushroom piroshki, za'atar garlic pita chips. spinach  bulemas,
fried artichoke hearts). It's the first in a series of thematic Jewish
--CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING (Ebury Press, 2016, 128 pages, $21.99 CAD
hardbound) has text by Denise Smart. There are 60 recipes for french-fries,
including: chip pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, leek and chip soup,
chip monsieur, chip moussaka, tuna chip melt, various wedges, sauces,
dips and seasonings. Life after poutine (also included here). Most of all of
these preps call for "baked" chips, so that cuts down on fat and calories.
--THE POKE COOKBOOK (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 96 pages, $22.99 CAD
hardcovers) is by Martha Cheng. Poke is a Hawaiian snack of raw fish
seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. It seems to be a new craze in
North America (and why not? It is dead simple to make and enjoy). Here are
45 recipes for traditional, contemporary, and bowls of food: crunchy, salty,
fresh and flavourful.
--PANCAKES & WAFFLES (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2014, 2017, 64
pages, $23.95 CAD hardcovers) comes from Hannah Miles. A few years
back she wrote Pancakes, Crepes, Waffles & French Toast. This work
collates the pancakes and waffles section with some other preps from the
RPS stable.  Savoury and fruity waffles and pancakes are also covered
(potato waffles with BBQ beans is delicious). 28 ways in all, very well
--SUPER SMOOTHIES (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 160 pages, $19.99 CAD
softcovers) is by Fern Green; it was originally published in France in 2016.
She's got a collection of 61 recipes and 12 detox plans to help aid
digestion, clear skin, bolster metabolism, and enhance well-being. Another
--THE DUMPLING GALAXY COOK BOOK (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 128
pages, $25.99 CAD hardcovers) is by Helen You, chef-owner of Dumpling
Galaxy in Flushing, NYC. Chinese dumplings are but one large aspect of
dim sum, and her arrangement here is by type: classic, green, global,
dessert, and sauces. About 50 preps are presented, as well as a large
techniques chapter. Most recipes are for 24 portions.
--101 THINGS TO DO WITH CHILE PEPPERS (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 128
pages, $15 CAD spiralbound) is loaded with tips and advice on how to
handle the peppers. Arranged by course, the peppers include the Hatch, the
Ancho, the Cayenne, Chipotle, Habanero, Mulato, Jalapeno and eight
others. Want some excitement in your life? Try a chile pepper dessert such
as peanut butter bombs or Aztec chocolate cream pie.
--ALPHABET COOKING from Quadrille Books in the UK is an exciting new
line priced series covering the A to Z of cuisines from around the world in
about 50 recipes each – so far they have  C IS FOR CARIBBEAN
(Quadrille Books, 2017, 144 pages, $27 CAD hardbound) with jerk ribs,
fried okra, saltfish fritters, creole pelau, curry goat, and more;  K IS FOR
KOREAN (Quadrille Books, 2017, 144 pages, $27 CAD hardbound)  with
kimchi, bibimbap, Korean fried chicken (KFC), street food crepes, BBQ
ribs, and more;  M IS FOR MEXICAN (Quadrille Books, 2017, 144 pages,
$27 CAD hardbound) with ceviche, pulled pork tacos, chilli barbacoa,
churros, grilled corn, cochinta pibil; S IS FOR SRI LANKAN (Quadrille
Books, 2017, 144 pages, $27 CAD hardbound) concentrating on string
hoppers, radish sambol, samosas, mango lassi, dhal fritter;
--101 BAR BITES (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017, 144 pages, $29.95 CAD
hardcovers) contains a variety of nibbles, snacks and small plates to
complement drinks. But only beer is mentioned, and then as a flavouring
and rising agent. So you are on your own as to what food goes with what. It
is arranged by course: cocktail canapes, beer food, meaty munchies,
mezze, finger food, fish, and five sweets. Worth looking at.
--HIGH-PROTEIN PANCAKES (The Countryman Press, 2017, 127 pages,
$19.95 CAD softcovers) is by Pamela Braun, who makes her pancakes
with protein-rich materials such as oatmeal, eggs, nuts, protein powders/
The advantages of consumption are a sharper mind, weight loss, stronger
bones, and a satisfied appetite.  She's got 50 of them, plus variations. Very
useful for once a week (e.g., brunch) but daily?
--TRADITIONAL PUB GRUB (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017, 240 pages,
$24.95 CAD softcovers) was originally published as Traditional British
Cooking in 2007. Under its new name, it has downscaled a little to the
British pub style that is so popular. It's got the full range of soups, apps,
snacks, fish, poultry, meats, sides, breads and desserts. About 120 recipes,
which includes fish pie, Irish carbonnade, steak and kidney pudding, roast
venison/rabbit/beef/pork, chestnut stuffing, bread sauce, Yorkshire pudding,
--MY ZERO-WASTE KITCHEN (DK Books, 2017, 72 pages, $11.99 CAD
hardcovers) is by Kate Turner and Ruth O'Rourke-Jones. It's a great book
for Christmas time as it emphasizes how to deal with food waste. "Easy
ways to eat waste free", the publisher says, with material on how to re-grow
veggies, bake a fruit peel cake, freeze avocados, layer leftover lunches into
a salad jar, use last night's pasta into today's salad. Excellent tips on
storage and freezing.
--MATZO (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 112 pages, $19.99 CAD hardcovers) is
by Michele Streit Heilbrun, of the Streit matzo family, and NYC chef David 
Kirschner.  They have material on the seder and the role of matzo. And there
are 35 recipes for the faves: classic chicken soup with matzo balls,
chocolate caramel matzo crunch, smoked whitefish and matzo ball croutons.
The stuffer is meant for Passover, but of course it can be used all year long.
--THE AVOCADO COOKBOOK (Ebury Press, 2016, 112 pages, $21.99
CAD hardcovers) is by Heather Thomas. She's captured 50 preps inspired
by the fruit: arranged by courses of breakfasts, brunches, snacks, starters,
mains, and desserts. It's global in scope, ranging from Mexico to Japan to
Italy. Shrimp-noodle-avocado salad is a real winner.
--DELICIOUS DIPS (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017, 64 pages, $23.95 CAD
hardcovers) comes from the RPS stable 0f food writers, specifically 13
names writers such as Hannah Miles and Ross Dobson. Fifty preps cover
all manner of foods – meats, fish, legumes, veggies, herbs, olives, nuts and
seeds, as well as yogurt and cheese (warm olive and artichoke, Romesco,
marinated feta, muhammara, roasted red pepper raita). As you can see, the
flavours are international and upfront. A good quick collection.
--MELTS (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 160 pages, $27.99 CAD hardbound)
is by Fern Green. She's got over 50 toasted and grilled sandwich recipes,
along with suggestions for types of bread, meltability of cheese types,
different butters and some sides. The classic, of course, is tuna melt, but
there is also a shrimp-bacon-garlic melt or ricotta and pumpkin melt. For
dessert, try the peanut butter and banana melt. Another fun book with pix of
a lot of melty-messy looking sandwiches!
--THE DATE NIGHT COOKBOOK (Storey Publishing, 2017, 130 pages,
$22.99 USD hardbound) is by Rebecca Warbis. These are romantic
recipes and easy ideas to inspire from dawn to dusk – and beyond! The
range is from first dates through anniversaries. Ideas? Try her Indoor Tent
Night or Dining in Paris or Dusk Beach Date. There are 9 suggested
themes with three courses each. Great fun for all...
--BEST SIMPLE SUPPERS FOR TWO (The Countryman Press, 2017, 128
pages, $19.95 CAD paperbound) is by food stylist Laura Arnold, author of
"Best Sweets & Treats for Two". Here she has 50 dinners for two or so
people: basic steaks, skillet chicken, slow cooker pulled pork, glazed
salmon, and veggie bread pudding. Prep times and cook times are
indicated, but like all books of this type, you'll need a pantry or mise-en-
place or at least first have the ingredients to hand.
Other little books, for beverages:
--HOT DRINKS (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017, 64 pages, $18 CAD
hardbound) is a collection of some 25 preps, mostly from Louise Pickford,
but with help from four other food writers. The slim book is divided into hot
chocolates, milky drinks, coffee drinks, and toddies and mulls. So both
alcoholic and non-al drinks are included. Perfect for that winter night.
--THE BLOODY MARY (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 168 pages, $24.99 CAD
hardbound) is by Brian Bartels, writer-bartender-beverage consultant in
NYC. The Bloody Mary is (besides Champagne) possibly the only drink
that's consumed anytime of day or night, beginning the AM as a hangover
treatment. This is a cultural history of the drink that originated in the 1920s,
possibly in France, while Prohibition had taken over the USA. You can read
his half-dozen theories of name origins and when/where it was invented. In
fact, you can make up a bunch of Bloody Marys (there are 50 preps here) to
compare and contrast while debating/considering with others, and then try
one or more of the hangover cures. Lots of spicy mixtures here.
--PROSECCO COCKTAILS (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 64 pages,
$17.95 CAD hardbound)  is timely with the boom in prosecco sales around
the world. Here are 40 tantalizing recipes put together by Laura Gladwin.
There are brunch cocktails, aperitifs, summer coolers,  and party drinks.
2017, $27.95 CAD) includes a wealth of data. There's a deck of 30 recipe
cards for both classic and modern cocktails, each one featuring a full-colour
photograph of the finished drink. There is also a 64-page paperback book
offering expert advice on all aspects of setting up a home bar, from
choosing equipment and glassware to making drinks. And there is also a
metal bar jigger to measure your spirits. One for the millennial newbie
wanting to create the perfect drink for the first time.
--HUGH JOHNSON'S POCKET WINE BOOK 2018 (Mitchell Beazley, 2017,
336 pages, $18.99 CAD hardbound)  is a guide to wines from all around
the world, not just to the "best" wines. Johnson claims more than 6000 wines
and growers are listed. News, vintage charts and data, glossaries, best
value wines, and what to drink now are here. His book is arranged by
region, with notes on the 2016 vintage and a few details about the potential
of 2017, along with a closer look at the 2015. He's got notes on what wines
are ready to drink in 2018.   Johnson is  also moving into food pairing: there
is a 13 page section on food and wine matching. He also has a listing of his
personal 200 fave wines.
2017, $19.99 CAN) has a combined Saturday and Sunday page. Most of
the beers appear as imports in Canada, but otherwise there are few
Canadian brews included. Lights, wheat, lagers, ales, porters, stouts,
seasonal beers, and lambrics – they're all here, 165 or so craft beers.
Check out Brew Dog's The End of History at 55% ABV. Other material in
this PAD includes beer festivals, beer facts, food and beer pairing, tasting
notes, label lore, trivia, and vocabulary. There are also "must-try" US beer
recommendations. If you buy any of the PAD calendars, then you can go
online to the website and pick up other, free stuff, at


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