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Favorite Cookbooks Picked By The Oldways Staff (+ Giveaway!)

December 15, 2010

Because we know a thing or two about cookbooks!

Can you believe next week is Christmas? For the foodie in your life, there isn’t a better gift to receive than a shiny new cookbook to start off the New Year. However, if standing in the cooking section of your local bookstore makes you want to say “Bah humbug!” then look no further. I asked my fellow Oldways staff members to pick their favorite cookbook for the holidays and came back with a fool-proof list that would put a smile on any Grinch’s face.

And because we’re feeling the spirit of the holidays, we’re doing a giveaway! Comment on this post and tell us what YOUR favorite cookbook is and we’ll pick one winner at the end of the day (using to win a signed copy of No Whine with Dinner by Meal Makeover Moms Liz Weiss and Janice Bissex. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! – Alison

  1. The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy Harmon Jenkins –  This book is a wonderful “how-to” for putting health, pleasure and delicious foods on the table.  As Marion Nestle wrote in the forward, the recipes in this book are wonderful — a pleasure to read, to follow and to eat. (Sara)
  2. No Whine With Dinner by Liz Weiss, MS, RD & Janice Bissex, MS, RD – From ABC Chicken Alphabet Soup to Polka Dot Squash Quinoa, The Meal Makeover Moms dish up healthy, kid-tested fare that the whole family will enjoy.  Don’t miss the “50 Moms’ Secrets for getting Picky Eaters to Try New Foods” section at the back. (Kyle)
  3. American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of our Woods, Waters, and Fields by Rowan Jacobsen –  Terroir is the French word for the “taste of place” — the idea that each geography and climate brings out the best in certain foods.  In this lyrical and lively book, award-winning author Jacobsen celebrates a dozen special foods native to the Americas, from maple syrup and avocados to chocolate, coffee, and Yukon River salmon (Oldways’ friends at Kwik’pak Fisheries!). A wonderful book celebrating the pleasures of the table, with a great mix of history, geography, and culinary flair. (Cindy)
  4. The Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs – The Spirit of the Harvest makes an excellent gift book, and is regarded by many as a classic.  It is beautifully photographed and illustrated, and describes the history and traditional foods of American Indians from five major regions, and makes for fascinating reading.  The recipes are delicious, healthful and easy to follow, embodying the “old ways” that reflect a respect for the earth and its bounty. (Birthe)
  5. The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone – A best-selling author shows how to make a number of Mediterranean favorites, including  “stir-crazy” polenta and risotto, as well as other grain dishes, pasta sauces, frittatas, meat loaves, fish, and so much more by relying on the even heat of a slow cooker, and using it as an important tool for coaxing out flavor, as well as saving time. (Kara)
  6. Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis – Offering ideas for “small, medium, and large cooking,” this Chez Panisse chef offers refreshingly new ideas for creating simple, beautiful, smart, and healthy food.  His warm and generous tone gives the impression of having a good friend at your side in the kitchen, and his thoughts  and ideas will truly change the way you think about and prepare food.  For starters, smoke some chicken legs in a Dutch oven! (Georgia)
  7. In The Green Kitchen: Techniques To Learn By Heart by Alice Waters – Alice Waters has spent decades promoting the sustainable, local cooking movement. For this book, Waters collected essential recipes and techniques from friends and fellow cooks and assembled them into a friendly and easy-to-read guide filled with gorgeous photos. Even the most timid of chefs will feel comfortable with everything from finding the best ingredients to filleting a fish after reading this. (Chrisanne)
  8. Spice by Ana Sortun – If you love spices, big flavor and Mediterranean cuisine, Spice is a perfect addition to your kitchen library.  Ana Sortun’s food at Oleana is some of my favorite, and this book gives you the chance to (try to) replicate her amazing and unique dishes right in the comfort of your own home. (Casey)

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of No Whine With Dinner!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Cox permalink
    December 15, 2010 6:11 pm

    i love cooking and this looks great!!

  2. Rina Meushaw permalink
    December 15, 2010 6:25 pm

    My favorite cookbook is Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design.

    I actually made something from the No Whine with Dinner cookbook — the recipe was on the Manic Mommies website. ( I made the crock pot recipe for Slow Cooked BBQ Beef, which had prunes in it. Very tasty! Hope I win the cookbook 🙂

  3. Kai permalink
    December 15, 2010 7:35 pm

    The books sound wonderful! 🙂

  4. moonsword permalink
    December 15, 2010 8:03 pm

    my favorite is Kelly Peloza of Vegan Cookie Connoisseur…rich awe-inspiring craving-satiating treats!

  5. nik permalink
    December 15, 2010 8:07 pm

    My favorite is The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone

  6. Tim permalink
    December 15, 2010 8:19 pm

    These cookbooks do sound good, and I’m going to look for some of them at our local library. I’m still looking for the perfect cookbook; my favorite so far is more about baking than cooking (if you want to distinguish between the two). King Arthur Flour has a whole grains cookbook ( which I’ve used extensively for breads, cakes, brownies, and pies.

  7. Harold Roberts permalink
    December 15, 2010 8:22 pm

    I like Jamie Oliver’s books. One of them doesn’t stick out as they are all good cookbooks to have around and he has some great recipes in them.

  8. Mike permalink
    December 15, 2010 9:46 pm

    Rachael Ray’s Look and Cook

  9. Maria Song permalink
    December 15, 2010 10:00 pm

    I don’t have a favorite cookbook. But I hope to find one very soon.

  10. December 17, 2010 3:47 pm

    I certainly have a few cookbooks on my Christmas wish list…and now I want to add some more. What a great collection you have here. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a weekend of loving and laughter!

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