I ordered two new cookbooks with a gift card from Christmas, then promptly forgot I ordered them. It was a nice surprise when they showed up the other day.
If you didn’t already know, I’m vegan, and have been for four and a half years. No meat, no eggs, no dairy. I can honestly say I don’t miss any of the food I used to eat. What I do miss is the ease of walking into any restaurant and knowing there is something there that I can eat. While there is usually a salad and french fries, it isn’t always uh, good, and I can only take so much fried food before I feel like a blob.
Anyway, we cook a lot at home, and are always looking for new recipes. And I’m always looking for fun food experiments.
First, “Artisan Vegan Cheese” by Miyoko Schinner. I bought this one because the idea of making my own vegan cheese is appealing. I love Daiya, but it is expensive. Plus, it isn’t very challenging to pick up a pack at the store. I’d rather learn how to culture, age and mold my own fake cheese. This little cookbook has a ton of stuff in it. Basic cheese, aged cheese, quick cheese, soft cheese, hard cheese … I don’t know where to start. It also has recipes to put the cheese in, including a bunch of different cheesecakes I can’t wait to try. I’ve had success with vegan cheesecake in the past, so these should be fun.
Most excited about: Brie and Soft Gruyère.
The second cookbook I ordered I actually spotted at Anthropologie last month, then found online 20-ish dollars cheaper. It’s “Pure Vegan” by Joseph Shuldiner. Truthfully, I bought it because it’s so darn pretty. When it arrived, however, I realized there are a lot of recipes that look really good.
The book is divided up, not by type of food, but by time of day: Morning, afternoon, evening, late night, very late night. Different, yes, but I’m not sure it’ll matter for me. I tend to flip through entire books when looking for a new recipe anyway. I think I actually squealed out loud when I saw there is a recipe for Dukkah. If you’ve never had it, it’s a nutty mixture for dipping bread (first dipped in olive oil). I had it at a tiny coffee shop in Seattle a few years ago, and it was absolutely delicious—probably one of my favorite breakfasts ever. Yes, nuts, olive oil and bread. Anyway, that one will be on the menu very soon.
Most excited about: Dukkah and Nutty Mushroom Risotto.
How do you pick out new cookbooks? Do you try them out via the library first, or just buy them and hope for the best?