My Other Favorite Cookbooks from 2014

January 24, 2015

Favorite 2014 Cookbooks | Food in Jars

Last month, I wrote about all the terrific canning, preserving, fermenting, and food books that had come out in the last year. In that post, I mentioned that I also had plans to write another post dedicated to all the other 2014 cookbooks that I had known and loved. Today is that day and here is that list.

Please know that this is an imperfect collection, gathered from the piles of books around my desk. Some I bought, some were sent to me by publishers. I am absolutely certain that were a number of excellent books that came out in 2014 that I somehow missed. But these were books I particularly enjoyed and think you might too.

Favorite 2014 Cookbooks Part 1 | Food in Jars

On the very top of the stack is Fully Belly. Written by my dear friend Tara Matazara Desmond (while she was pregnant with her twins), this book takes all the nutritional advice often given to pregnant women and translates it into usable, delicious recipes. Next time you hear that a friend is expecting, buy a copy of this book for them. (Amazon | Powell’s)

For those in search of healthy, flavorful food, look no further than Molly Watson’s Greens + Grains. You’ll find soups, salads, a few breads (green whole wheat flatbread!), and main dishes appropriate for every season. The recipes are wholesome, hearty, and were written by someone who has no time for nonsense and just loves food (Molly’s a friend, too). (Amazon | Powell’s)

A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus by Renee Erickson (and Jess Thomson) has gotten a lot of love lately and it is all well-deserved. It’s a beautiful book, full of stories, beautiful pictures, and the most stunning recipes. There are even a few perfect preserves, including a Pickled Fresh Plum Jam that I will be making when summer comes. (Amazon | Powell’s)

One-Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero is a kick. It shows you how to make 16 different kinds of cheese (with plenty of step-by-step pictures), all in no more than an hour. She also includes recipes that include your fresh cheeses. No book has demystified home dairy more. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Vegetarian for a New Generation is the third book in Liana Krissoff’s “New Generation” series (previous installments dealt with canning and whole grains). For those (like me!) who adore Liana’s writing and clever flavor combinations, this book will not disappoint. (Amazon | Powell’s)

I met Kimberley Hasselbrink in early 2012 at a book party in New York. In the course of our conversation, she told me about the book she wanted to write. It went from glimmer to reality and Vibrant Food even better than the vision she described. The food is clean but not precious, and the photos make me want to live in her world. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Favorite 2014 Cookbooks Part 2 | Food in Jars

The only cookbook I sat down and read cover to cover in a single sitting last year was The B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery Cookbook. Written by grocery store founder Alexe van Beuren, it is a gorgeous book and a compelling story. Oh, and the recipes are pretty darn good, too. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Part cookbook and part travelogue, In Her Kitchen features grandmothers from around the world, in their kitchens, making their signature dishes. Written and photographed by Gabriele Galimberti, it’s a lovely way to get see food and home kitchens from every corner of the globe. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Flourless by Nicole Spiridakis is focused on gorgeous baked goods and desserts that all just happen to be gluten-free. What makes it particularly special is that she has managed to make every recipe feel like a treat instead of a sacrifice.  (Amazon | Powell’s)

I love everything that Jennifer McLagan writes, and Bitter is no exception. It celebrates foods like coffee, dandelion greens, orange zest, and even burnt toast to appealing effect. (Amazon | Powell’s)

I like a big, beautiful cookbook as much as the next girl, but when it comes daily cooking, there is no better handbook than Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: The Playbook. It bills itself as a guide to the family meal, but it’s got plenty to offer for even the smallest household. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Much like the original Flavor Bible, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page is an incredible resource for home cooks. Every conceivable veg friendly food has an entry that offers a tremendous amount of detail. You’ll get its season, basic flavor profile, best techniques for prepping/cooking, relatives, and suggested flavors that would pair well. If you subscribe to a CSA or farm share and occasionally find yourself with new and unknown edibles, this book is invaluable. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Favorite 2014 Cookbooks Part 3 | Food in Jars

Nigel Slater is a master at writing about food and cooking in a way that is both inspirational and entirely approachable. His new book Eat offers up hundreds of simple recipes and ideas for quick, solid meals, with all his trademark appeal. Plus, the book just feels good in the hands. (Amazon | Powell’s)

As someone who has long played around with oat, teff, and millet flour, I’ve been totally delighted by the recent cluster of books dedicated with making the most from flours made from grains other than wheat. Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours is a new entry in this category and it’s just wonderful.  (Amazon | Powell’s)

Okay, so Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman didn’t actually come out in 2014. It was among the group of books that came out in the very last days of 2013 and I included it in this stack because I don’t think it got enough love last year. This is a glorious baking book for fall and winter, which is actually the time of year when you want to be running your oven. (Amazon | Powell’s)

If you live in the New York region, you’ve probably heard of Red Jacket Orchards. Owner Brian Nicholson teamed up with author Sarah Huck and created this gorgeous, seasonal cookbook called Fruitful. I like it because it includes some interesting preserves, but you’ll also find fruit-focused savory dishes, sides, and desserts. (Amazon | Powell’s)

We eat a lot of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and cauliflower in my household, and I am always on the lookout for novel ways to prepare all this cruciferous veg. Enter Laura B. Russell’s Brassicas. It’s got gorgeous, moody photography and more than 75 recipes for making the most of stalks, florets, leaves, and stems. (Amazon | Powell’s)

I dedicated a blog post to Megan Gordon’s Whole Grain Mornings last February, so I will be brief. It’s a beautiful, approachable book that will have you downright excited to get up in the morning an make a meal. I’ve continued to use it and love pulling it off the shelf with each change of season. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Last book on the stack is Ashley English’s Handmade Gatherings. This is a book-length love note to the art of entertaining casually and inclusively. If you’re looking to up your dinner party and potluck game, you will so enjoy it. (Amazon | Powell’s)

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6 thoughts on "My Other Favorite Cookbooks from 2014"

  • OMG THERE IS A VEG FLAVOR BIBLE? The Flavor Bible is my most used, favorite cook book. I’ll have to check out the new one!

  • Speaking of cookbooks, I was in Houston this weekend. At one of the Bass Pro Shops, they have a very small offering of cookbooks and yours was among them!

  • Thanks for the heads up on One-Hour Cheese! I love pairing cheese and jam, so it sounds like a good addition to the cookbook wall.

  • I have to take a minute and gush about the new cookbook I bought this weekend, Food in Jars!! I also saw it at our local Bass Pro and quickly snapped it up. My husband is equally excited about all the rhubarb recipes! I learned to can from my aunt a few years back and we’ve been hooked since! My hubby is the water bath canner and I’m the pressure canner, but after looking over all the recipes in your {adorable} book, I’m going to have to commandeer ‘his’ canner. Looking forward to making a few recipes over the coming weeks!!