Posts Tagged ‘favorite cookbooks’

Best Cookbooks for Beginners




In honor of tonight’s Opening Ceremony, I’d love your help declaring gold medalists in the cookbooks for amateurs category.  Here’s what I want to know- what book was most helpful when you were just getting started?

For me, it was the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, which had me hunting down quark (an oddly-named member of the farmer’s cheese family) and stirring curry-laden yogurt into sweet potatoes for an unexpectedly spicy and sweet one-dish dinner.  Sounds healthy and hippy-ish, right? It was yummy too and it got the job done.  Every recipe was a success (or a near-success.  Okra stew?  Not so much.) which gave me the confidence to start experimenting.

For easy entertaining, any Ina book will leave its competitors in the dust.  Don’t you agree?

What book first made you feel like a kitchen superstar?

xx Sarah


The Little Kitchen on the Canal


For my birthday last winter Sarah and Angus gave me the gift of Italian cooking in the form of a subscription to Canal House Cooking for the year. I have received the first issue and it is beautiful. Now I will gift all of you this video, a peek into the dreamy world of the little kitchen on the canal.



Two more perfectly photographed soft cover books will show up on my doorstep this year, bursting with thoughtful recipes for the home cook on every glossy page. Lucky gal indeed.




A & O Weekly Menu: 5.2.2011


Happy Monday Friends! Sarah and I both traveled this weekend so getting back into the swing of things will be tough. To design this week’s menu we relied on recipe inspiration from our favorite cookbook authors like Ina Garten, David Tanis and new fav Gwyenth Paltrow. What cookbooks inspire you to get into the kitchen?




Menu May 2-6, 2011

Lunch-Roast turkey chopped La Scala salad
Dinner-Baked chicken meatballs in tomato sauce with green salad

Lunch-Pan-seared crabcake salad with radishes and snowpeas
Dinner-Pan-roasted chicken breasts with Dijon sauce, steamed green beans and crunchy salad

Lunch- Whole Wheat pesto pasta salad with grilled chicken and cherry tomatoes
Dinner- Steamed White Fish with sweet-spicy ginger sauce over brown rice and steamed broccoli

Lunch- Grilled Shrimp and marinated white bean salad
Dinner- Pork Scallopini with lemon-caper sauce and zucchini pancakes

Lunch- Lobster Tacos with cilantro cabbage salad
Dinner- Crispy Baked fish with green bean salad and grilled artichoke halves




The Weekend Dish


What are you up to this weekend friends?

BBQ dinner

It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer so we plan to enjoy it! I’m going to a Malibu beach bbq tonight and can’t decide what to bring as a side dish? Heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese and basil like the picture above? Or maybe a savory watermelon salad with feta and mint?

Fortunately I know what I’m going to wear tonight so that helps clear my mind of what to cook.

J. Crew metallic beach cardigan

My Grandma bought me this AMAZING sparkly silver metallic beach cardigan yesterday at J. Crew! My Gram embodies classic style done with a “tasteful” twist, so I talked her into this fab vintage bateau neck striped shirt to add to her collection.

J. Crew batuea top

She said she’s going to wear it with her skinny jeans and pearls this weekend. Sounds like a great outfit. I enjoyed read Garance Dore’s closet staples a few months ago, what are yours?

Suzanne Goin

Los Angeles has a chef who embodies classic style too, Suzanne Goin! Sarah and I adore her restaurants Lucques, Tavern, AOC and her husband’s restaurant The Hungry Cat. Local food bloggers are talking about where they would choose to eat their last meal in LA, mine would for sure be at Lucques.


Her cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques would certainly be in my top 50 fav cookbooks of all time along with some of these new ones. Happy Weekend!