Book reviews by Kristina Sepetys

Grilled Cheese Kitchen
by Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollak
(Chronicle Books, 2016)

Wife-and-husband duo Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollak own the popular American Grilled Cheese Kitchen based in San Francisco, where melted cheese between slices of toasted bread—the ultimate comfort food—reigns supreme. Their new cookbook features 39 grilled cheese recipes created by Gibson, winner of seven grilled cheese championships. Her classic Mousetrap is dripping with three kinds of cheese, while the Piglet wows with its thinly sliced ham and sharp cheddar. Grilled cheese makes a great breakfast—just add an egg! You’ll find 40 additional recipes for great accompaniments and side dishes—including hearty soups, many varieties of mac & cheese, spicy pickles, and tangy spreads—plus tips on choosing the best bread and cheese and techniques for grilling each sandwich at just the right temperature.

Purely Pumpkin
by Allison Day
(Skyhorse Publishing, 2016)

In her new cookbook, Purely Pumpkin, Allison Day, popular blogger and creator of the award-winning YummyBeet.com, serves up pumpkin in many different ways. Day treats readers to handsome photography and savory and sweet recipes for all meals of the day, and even includes a whole chapter on pumpkin dessert. Find recipes for homemade pumpkin spice latte variations, Pumpkin Pie Green Protein Smoothie, Poppy Seed Pumpkin and Mango Salad Rolls, and Fudgy Pumpkin Toffee Brownies. Utilizing pumpkin flesh, pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice, pumpkin seed oil, and heirloom pumpkins, Purely Pumpkin offers something for every craving, festivity, time constraint, and cooking level.

Sweet Potato Love
by Jackie Garvin
(Skyhorse Publishing, 2016)

Sweet potatoes have always been part of our country’s history. While they quickly became a beloved part of the diet of United States Southerners, they weren’t always appreciated by folks in other parts. In addition to their versatility and taste, sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrition and have been named one of the ten most important vegetables globally. Sweet Potato Love: 60 Recipes for Every Season contains both sweet and savory recipes with emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Along with several variations of sweet potato pie, you’ll find creative recipes for tasty dishes such as Sweet Potato Cornbread, Pulled Pork Tacos with Sweet Potato Slaw, and Sweet Potato Apple Butter.

ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge
by Bronte Aurell
(Ryland Peters & Small, 2016)

Following up on the success of The ScandiKitchen, Aurell offers a new book featuring over 60 recipes for Scandinavian cakes and treats, from cream confections to homely and comforting fruit cakes and traditional breads, sweet buns, and pastries. Fika is a Swedish word meaning to meet up for a cup of coffee or tea over something delicious. It also describes the treats themselves. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a word that originated in Norway but is now mainly used in Denmark. It refers to feelings of coziness you feel when you’re with loved ones. You’ll find recipes for Nordic Orange and Ginger Biscuits, Norwegian Apple Cake, Saffron Bundt Cake with Pear, and Chocolate Cake with Liquorice Ganache. The book includes beautiful seasonal and local photographs, as well as features on special winter celebrations, baking traditions, and how to bring both fika and hygge into your life.