As many of you know, I’m into cookbooks. Some people collect stamps or coins, shoes, stuffed animals, even cars – me, I hoard cookbooks. Since adding more volumes to the collection not only eats up space, but also a chunk out of the paycheck, I try to frequent the library, to get my fix, as much as possible. Still, I’m constantly on the prowl for a really great book – one that just begs to be added to my expansive library.
Since I started writing about food and cooking, I’ve allowed myself more freedom with acquisitions – the investment is ostensibly no longer merely for casual reading purposes. But even so, I’m fairly picky about what I add to the group since I’ve outgrown not only the four bookshelves in my kitchen, but three more deep ones around the corner. I guess I should mention that doesn’t include the overflow stacks loaded with less recently used material (including piles of old cooking magazines) that reside in my workroom/office down the hall. We all have our vices – this one, I assure myself, is less horrible than most.
The reason I mention my little habit is that from time to time, I come across a cookbook that’s so wonderful, I just have to have it. Here are two I’ve fallen for lately:
•Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking, by Heidi Swanson
•Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, by Heidi Swanson
Why I love these books: First, I have to be perfectly honest and confess that both of these are vegetarian cookbooks, but wait, before you make any assumptions, let me add that these are not books that bash meat, nor are they filled with bland, overly nutritious and unappealing food. In fact these are books about bold, gorgeous, flavorful food that just happens to be super healthy and full of fruits, grains and vegetables.
If you’re a food blog follower you may have heard of Heidi Swanson already, as author of the hugely popular on-line cooking journal, 101 Cookbooks. Swanson is not only a great cook and fantastic food writer, but also a professional photographer and graphic designer. Her cookbooks are so beautiful to behold you may not get beyond flipping through the extravagant photography. Do try out the recipes though, they’re sure winners – delectable, yet everyday food you can create quickly and simply with a properly stocked pantry. Be prepared, you’ll get an education on whole grains and natural sweeteners, but believe me, this woman will have you craving quinoa and maple syrup. This is food you’ll delight in cooking, eating and serving.