Top Shelf in November: A Feast of Cookbooks!

November Top Shelf

It’s that time of year when our attention turns to holiday feasts and cozy nights cooking up special dishes to gather around. As the temperature dips, the leaves crisp, and the sweaters come out of the closet, hovering over a stove top and preheating the oven become welcome, heartening rituals. In this spirit, this month we’re highlighting five new cookbooks to inspire, ease and invigorate your epicurean adventures. Bon appetit! (Or, as we’re more apt to say around here, dig in, y’all.)

A Visual Guide to Drink: An Infographic Exploration of Beer, Wine, & Spirits
by Ben Gibson, Patrick Mulligan (On shelves November 17; available to pre-order now.)

Pull this book off your shelf to create thoughtful cocktails and keep your guests entertained while you shake and stir.  Designer Ben Gibson and editor Patrick Mulligan founded the design studio Pop Lab with the single goal of rendering all human experience in chart form. Here, they use maps, graphs, and charts to represent the history, geography, and culture of beer, wine and spirits. Discover the variety of vessels used to contain beer; mix up the famous cocktails of film and literature; run circles around the martini wheel. Cheers!

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
by J. Kenji López-Alt

Good cooking can seem like magic. Red slabs of meat turn into succulent, tender main dishes with the application of pressure and heat. Tough vegetables soften at the touch of a little steam. Of course, what seems like magic is something more reliable: science. J. Kenji López-Alt, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, delves into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Hundreds of accessible recipes illustrate his findings, so that you, too, can make a perfect hollandaise sauce, roast a moist turkey, create the creamiest potato casserole in history, and far more.

Crossroads: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine
by Tal Ronnen, Scot Jones, Serafina Magnussen

Chances are, there will be at least one person at your dinner table this season asking for more vegetables, hold the cream and bacon. Plant-based cooking has gone from obscure to essential. Forget tofu and bean sprouts; instead, think warm bowls of tomato-sauced pappardelle, plates of spicy carrot salad, and crunchy flatbreads piled high with roasted vegetables. With accessible, unfussy recipes, Tal Ronnen, vegan chef at Crossroads restaurant in Los Angeles, takes plant-based eating firmly out of the realm of hippie health food and into a cuisine of familiar flavors and textures that fits perfectly on your modern menu.

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel
by Heidi Swanson

Heidi Swanson, maven of whole, natural and vegetarian ingredients, turns to her personal journals and international travels to bring us ideas and inspiration for invigorating, unexpected dishes. A paprika-spiked tomato soup in Amsterdam; the pattern of an ancient Italian olive grove on the way to the Bari airport; the precise way an elderly Vietnamese woman carefully sliced broccoli stems in the back of a grocery in New Zealand; let such international stories and the wide variety of recipes they birthed (Sake-Glazed Mushrooms, Mustard Seed Oil Fried Eggs, Ginger Orange Blossom Water) expand your table’s horizons.

Home Baked: More Than 150 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Goodies
by Yvette van Boven, Oof Verschuren

No feast is complete without the final course – dessert! In a friendly, familiar voice, food stylist and cook Yvette van Boven guides us through recipes for her favorite baked goods—warm bread from the oven, sweet banana bread, a gooey cinnamon and caramel pull-apart loaf, rich chocolate cake, shortbread cookies, and more. The book’s phenomenal photography is its own inspiration to bring these decadent, delicious recipes to life. Enjoy the sweet life!

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