Cozy up to some new cookbooks

A wooden cutting board holds chopped green herbs, a stainless steel knife, and a small metal bowl with grated cheese. Nested colanders sit next to the board.

by Holly L

With temperatures falling outside, there is no better time to get cozy inside with some comfort food cooking. If you’re looking for inspiration, consider one of these new or new-to-our-collection cookbooks to liven up your repertoire.

In Tasty Total Comfort: Cozy Recipes with a Modern Touch, the minds behind the food site present a whimsical collection of comfort food from around the world. With 75 easy-to-follow recipes, this vibrantly photographed cookbook has you covered from breakfast to midnight snacks and all the little (or not so little) meals in between. The tone is approachable and playful (tater tot casserole on the cover) and, in addition to providing the reader with such tempting recipes as Korean Hot Dogs, Fried Chicken Adobo, and Spumoni Sundae Brownies, it gives reassurance that cooking, like eating, should be fun.

With Natural Flava, brothers Craig and Shaun McAnuff showcase the vibrant vegan Ital cuisine of Jamaica’s Rastafarians. According to the publisher’s website, “Ital means clean, natural, and unprocessed as much as possible. Rastafari is an expression of unity with all things, and the Ital diet reflects that through a sense of peace and togetherness with the natural world.”
Although Caribbean cuisine may be famous for meat-centric dishes such as jerk chicken, the region is abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables such as plantains, yams, jackfruit, and guava that lend themselves to many tasty plant-based recipes. From coconut pancakes with warm blueberries to potato and chickpea curry with roti, the McAnuff brothers share a bounty of quick and delicious recipes that highlight the rich culture of their Jamaican heritage.

For me, nothing says comfort food like dumplings. And I think Top Chef alum Lee Anne Wong, author of the cheekily-titled Dumplings All Day Wong, might agree. Like a proper dumpling, this 2014 cookbook is stuffed with tasty goodness, featuring recipes for such tempting bites as Kimchi Mandu and Miso Short Rib Dumplings. Wong begins the book by covering the basics, in this case, dumpling wrappers, and provides suggestions for both store-bought and homemade. From there, she describes various dumpling folds and offers several recipes for each dumpling type as determined by fold/shape. Now that you’ve read the word “dumpling” eight times, don’t you want to try to make and eat your own? With Chef Lee Anne at your side, you can’t go wrong, (but you might go Wong)!

In the follow-up to his acclaimed 2020 celebration of Mexican-American cooking, Chicano Eats, Edwin Castillo shows us his sweeter side. In Chicano Bakes, southern California-based Castillo shares recipes that featured in his childhood in Orange County: pan dulce, tres leches cake, and panque de nuez (sweet pecan loaf), as well as creative twists on Mexican classics such as red velvet chocoflan. Through the 80 recipes and vivid color photos featured in this book, Castillo opens a window onto the delicious, vibrant world of his life, family, and Mexican-American culture.

Whatever region of the world or section of the Dewey Decimal system your appetite takes you to, come browse our cookbook collection for a read that’s sure to bring you warm, delicious comfort.

Holly is an Instructor and Research Specialist at the Miller Branch. She enjoys knitting, preferably with a strong cup of tea and Downton Abbey in the queue.

Cover image by Roy Stephen from Pixabay.

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