Comfort Food Essentials

 Kristina’s Bookshelf


This time of year, with lots of labor-intensive holiday meal preparation, I’m always happy to find collections of easy, satisfying meals that come together quickly and taste good even if I’m short an ingredient or don’t get the measurements quite right.


Sheet Pan Chicken: 50 Simple and Satisfying Ways to Cook Dinner
By Cathy Erway
(Ten Speed Press, 2020)

Here are 50 different recipes for cooking a hearty, balanced meal on a single sheet pan. Cooking vegetables and other ingredients spread out with chicken means they reap the everything-tastes-better benefits of mixing with flavorful, hot chicken fat. Besides the sheet pan mains, you’ll find more than a dozen dishes and sauces, like Quinoa Pilaf (with chickpeas and preserved lemon) and Green Bean “elotes” (sauteed and drizzled with cotija, lime, and mayonnaise). It’s a go-to stash of reliable, flavorful dishes.




Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
By Ina Garten
(Clarkson Potter, 2020)

It’s hard to imagine what new dishes Ina Garten could come up with in her twelfth cookbook, and indeed, the Barefoot Contessa went for dressing up comforting old favorites instead. Among the 85 recipes is a grilled cheese sandwich made with extra-sharp cheddar cheese and mango chutney. Pair it with a creamy tomato bisque (a hint of saffron makes this soup special). These are recipes for every meal and any occasion.




Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.