I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I had a lovely Christmas filled with family and friends and, of course, cookies. Now I’m sitting here eating rum balls for breakfast and cooing over my stash of new goodies like a dragon with her hoard of jewels.
I must have been a very good girl this year because Santa brought me pretty much everything my little cook’s heart desired. I now have four fabulous new cookbooks to play with, two of which I’ve never even cooked from yet (the other two I borrowed from the library and realized I would use enough to merit owning them).
I am thrilled to finally get my hands on a copy of Ricki Heller’s book Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love Without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy, or Refined Sugar. I adore Ricki’s blog (and I adore Ricki!) and so I already know her recipes are smart, well-tested, and delicious. It was such a pleasure yesterday to flip through the book and ogle all the tasty treats. I was showing it to my mom (the generous gifter of Sweet Freedom) and noticing that when I first looked at the pictures my mind automatically skipped over the photos of pancakes, cheesecake brownies, apple cake, and so on, because I’m so used to looking at either gluten-free or vegan dessert books, so I know that I simply won’t be able to make many of the recipes. But I can make so many of the recipes in Sweet Freedom! (There are many recipes with spelt and barley flour and I’m not sure yet what quantity of those I can tolerate.) I’m particularly excited to try the Amazing Bean Brownies (the recipe that brought me to Ricki’s blog intially, years ago), Decadent Chocolate Pate, Berries and Cream Tart, and Chocolate Caramels.
More vegan, gluten-free inspiration came in the form of Elizabeth Andoh’s new book, Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions. I am absolutely in love with her previous book, the gorgeous tome Washoku, which I’ve written about several times. At one point I had a fantasy about cooking my way through it, start to finish, as a kind of course on Japanese home cooking. But so many of the recipes contain fish, meat, or chicken. So when I heard she had written a new book entirely focused on vegan and vegetarian cuisine I was over the moon! Kansha is every bit as beautiful as Washoku, with huge, perfectly composed photography, incredible attention to design and layout, and lovingly detailed recipes for dishes from simple to elaborate. I can’t wait to get started with the first recipe, a 2-page treatise entitled Cooked White Rice.
My other two new cookbooks are Vegan Express by Nava Atlas, a cookbook I’ve come to rely on for its healthy, delicious, fast recipes, and Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan, a Latin cookbook that inspires a similar fantasy of cooking my way through it and mastering the art of fine vegan Latin cuisine. These books, along with my new electric kettle and digital food scale, make me feel like 2011 is going to be a very, very good year for food.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my dears! I look forward too cooking with all of you for another year of delicious amazing community supported agriculture, vegan, and gluten-free delights!