Saturday, May 16, 2009

New arrivals (and giveaway winner!)

I mentioned in my post last weekend that one of the things my mom taught me was to love reading and books.  She also taught me about the wonder of the library.  It's great for figuring out if I want to buy a particular book, especially cookbooks.  Plus, there are lots of books that I want to read but don't feel like I really have to own them.  The ones that I buy are the ones that I know I will want to read over and over again.  But even though I don't buy tons of books, I still have a pretty large number of them (and I'm not even counting Jamie's).  Every time I've moved, I always underestimate the number of boxes it's going to take to pack up all of them...

I'm still reading and buying regular books, but the fastest growing section of my personal library has to be the cookbook section.  I like to cook and bake from them, but I also like to just read them.  I always have something to read with me--I think the people at work are amused by the fact that I often read cookbooks while eating my lunch.  =)  I tend not to buy cookbooks that are just collections of recipes.  I want more--stories about the recipes and how they came about.  Or information about techniques or ingredients.  The books above are a couple of the ones that I've purchased for myself recently.

Ratio by Michael Ruhlman is a book about a neat idea.  It talks about the relationship between ingredients in a lot of classic preparations, and how you don't really need a recipe if you understand those ratios.  You can read more about it here.  One thing that I most definitely agree with--if you don't own a scale, buy one! =)

The other book I picked up recently was sort of an impulse buy.  I've seen a lot of reviews lately of Gale Gand's Brunch!  I stopped by Borders to look at it.  I decided it wasn't one that I wanted to buy, but while I was there, I happened to find another breakfast and brunch book that looked interesting.  It's Breakfasts & Brunches, put out by the Culinary Institute of America.  I had a coupon that I was dying to use, so it came home with me.  I already have Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America, which I really need to bake from more often...  (Check out Sandy from At the Baker's Bench, who is baking her way through it.)  Breakfast is a very popular meal around here, so I think this one will definitely come in handy.

Then came Mother's Day last weekend, and my wonderful husband got me not one, but two new cookbooks!  The first is portable, so it's the one that I've been taking it to work to read during lunch. =)  It's Baking Artisan Bread, by Ciril Hinz:

And the second is one that I've seen on a lot of blogs.  Plus I've talked lots about how much I love Sur la Table.  It is however, probably too heavy to lug to work with me on a daily basis.  I'm the proud owner of a copy of The Art and Soul of Baking:

Hopefully I'll have a chance to try some new recipes soon and share the results here.

Okay, it's taken me way too long to get to this, but now let's find out who was the winner of my giveaway!  My lovely helper Brianna wrote all the names on pieces of paper for me: 

There were ten people who left comments (before the deadline) about their favorite cookbooks:

Once they were written out, we folded them up and put them in a hat:

Gillian mixed them up:

And then picked one out:

And the winner is:

Congratulations to Cathy of The Tortefeasor!  She said that the next cookbook on her list is How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.  

Thanks again to everyone who participated and left me comments about the cookbooks they have and want.  Now I can add to my wishlist! =)  


  1. Congrats to you for the new books - can't wait to see what you make from them.

    And congrats to Cathy!

  2. Congratulations Cathy!

    A great collection of new books, Di. I have the Sur la Table one, it is great, and I have my eye on the Ratio one, let me know how it is.

  3. Congratulations! I know how it must feel to get a bunch of wonderful new cookbooks, and be itching to try something from them!

  4. I love to read cookbook reviews from real people! And I can't wait to see what you make from all these great new books.

    And Cathy, we expect to see lots of great vegetarian food!

  5. How cool that Cathy won! That's a great book too.

    Your new books sound wonderful.

    I've never been disappointed with any of the recipes I've made from The ARt and Soul of Baking.

  6. I LOVE this post, Di, and not just because I won. :-) I think you have two of the cutest random integer generators (random name pickers?) I've ever seen!! Please give Brianna and Gillian a high five from me. Thanks so much for hosting this fun giveaway - I can hardly wait to sit down with HTCEV (although some of the books that you've profiled look mighty fine, too!) I look forward to "paying it forward" and hosting a similar giveaway on my blog soon. Thanks again, Di!

  7. I am soooo sorry I missed this event. Those books sound wonderful. And I'm with Nancy. Can't wait to see what is cooked from them - and yours too.