By Kristina Sepetys
These new cookbooks are full of comforting, seasonal treats. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between, you’ll find sweet, savory, and creative ideas to inspire your meal-making!
If you don’t already know her, it’s time to meet Tanya Holland, chef and co-owner (with her waffle-wrangler husband Phil Surkis) of Oakland’s beloved Brown Sugar Kitchen. Holland describes the Mandela Parkway spot as “a soul-food restaurant on an isolated corner in West Oakland.” But geographic isolation is offset by the enthusiastic crowds of regulars who gather there for good company and Louisiana-style comfort foods like chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, barbeque shrimp and grits, Andouille gougères, pulled pork sandwiches, and oyster po’boys. With her cookbook, you can try 86 of Holland’s signature dishes at home and read about the regulars who frequent the Kitchen.
Anyone who has a waffle iron squirreled away in a kitchen cupboard (most of us?) will be intrigued by this book that offers dozens of recipes to make use of the appliance. Shumski is the author behind the website willitwaffle.com. Besides a host of breakfast dishes, find recipes for lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts like Crisscrossed Crab Cakes, Fawaffle (Waffled Falafel) and Hummus, Sweet-and-Sour Waffled Wontons, and Red Velvet Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Almonds are one of California’s most prolific and profitable crops and are expected to have a particularly abundant harvest this year. A new cookbook from cheekykitchen.com blogger Brooke McLay includes more than 150 recipes for every meal of the day (and snacks and beverages too). Many of the dishes are paleo, vegan, gluten-free, or otherwise suited to specialized diets. Try the Almond Flour Streusel Topping on fruit dishes, Banana Almond Bread, Almond Butter Hot Chocolate, Almond Flour Polenta, or Almond Butter Snickerdoodles.
The author, a well-known pastry artist and television personality, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She found relief when she eliminated dairy, sugar, and gluten from her diet. She also discovered a specialized pastry niche: gluten-free baking. Ruehle shares more than 60 classic cake recipes modified for a gluten-free diet (with optional modifications for vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, and nut-free diets). Handsome photography shows off the delicious creations.