My Favorite Summer Cookbooks

Sweet and Vicious
The Lemonade Cookbook Bread Cake Doughnut Pudding Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
A Change of Appetite The Bar Book Ceviche
Plenty More The Grilling Book The Nourished Kitchen
A Mouthful of Stars Let's Do Brunch Sweet and Vicious

I collect two things, nail polish and cookbooks.  Ironically, I don’t always have my nails done and I certainly don’t cook every recipe from this massive collection.  I have more cookbooks that any reasonable home cook should have.  They’re wonderful inspiration.  I love experiencing food through different perspectives. These are the most lovely of the summer books that I’ve collected so far.  Judging by this list, I have a lot of recipes to get in the kitchen and bake!  I’m starting with doughnuts and french toast.  Yes!

•  I love the California stylings of The Lemonade Cookbook.  It’s perfect for summertime.  Filled with lovely salads like this Watermelon and Snap Pea number, and a mega amount of lemonade inspiration.  Well, wouldn’t you expect that from The Lemonade Cookbook?  I made this Blueberry Mint Lemonade and swooned for days.

 I like to think that I have a fool-proof and super-supreme doughnut dough base, but I’d really love to experiment with different doughnut recipes.  I mean… someone’s got to try all of the doughnuts, might as well be me.  Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding is a gorgeous book and the doughnut recipe is on deck in my kitchen.

•  The new cookbook from Jeni’s is absolutely beautiful!  She has a way of combining wonderfully unusual ingredients into decadent and comforting desserts.  I’ve got my eye on the Extra-Strength Root Beer Ice Cream.  Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts!

•  I love the way Diana Henry writes about food.  Elegant and inviting.  This piece make me want to sit down at a table and share a plate of radishes.  Radishes!  A Change of Appetite is her latest and most vegetable-centered book.  It’s thoughtful and rooted in the seasons.  Blackberry and Apple Rye Galette?  Done.

•  The Bar Book is all about technique!  A good cocktail comes from good technique.  This book is all about juicing, measuring, shaking, stirring, and garnishing with some awesome classic cocktail recipes.

•  I’ll be honest, I bought the Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen cookbook because I loved the font and lived on a diet of banana y leche smoothies and ceviche while in Costa Rica this year.  This is a lovely book with lots of texture and place.

•  Do you have the Plenty cookbook?  Beyond.  I’m looking forward to Plenty, More out this Fall!  Yotam Ottolenghi is a beast when it comes to perfect cookbooks.

•  I’m learning how to grill.  Coals, starters, temperatures, smoke, and char!  I’m learning.  There is so much nuance.  The Grilling Book is my grill bible this summer.  So far I’ve grilled a ton of chicken, I’m working on my steak, and hoping to nail a pizza sometime soon.  Along with grilling here in New Orleans I have lots of white wine and mosquito repellant.  It’s perfect.

•  The Nourished Kitchen is such a mindful way to approach food and cooking.  It’s inspiring for any season.  There’s a tutorial on how to make raw milk yogurt, real buttermilk, and a recipe for Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes that look just dreamy!

•  This book of food and travel feeds my wanderlust like no other.  A Mouthful of Stars.  I now want to go to Seoul with Kim Sunee and eat everything ever.

•  Let’s Do Brunch!  No seriously, let’s!  This book is loaded with all sorts of breakfast-y / lunch-y inspirations.  It’s a sweet and simple book with a recipe for Almond-Crusted French Toast that I suddenly can’t live without.

 I think I need to ask Libbie Summers to be my best friend.  The cover for her book Sweet and Vicious is a sign.  Any woman with a frosting-laden knife and cute dress is a soul sister.  The book is beautifully photographed and full of deliciously irreverent recipes.  Coconut Fluff Cake please and thank you.

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31 thoughts on “My Favorite Summer Cookbooks

  1. I found I really wasn’t using my beloved cookbooks anymore because I had come to rely on the search capabilities of the internet. has brought my cookbooks back into my kitchen. This site has indexed most of the popular cookbooks out there. You create a list of the cookbooks you own (all of mine were in the database) and then you can search your personal collection for a specific recipe, ingredient, etc. It won’t give you the recipe but will list which cookbooks and page numbers have what you’re looking for. It searches your favorite food blogs and magazines with links to the online recipe as well. Now that I have this resource, I’ve started buying cookbooks again.

  2. I told a girlfriend after cleaning out my book cases, If I buy one more cookbook cut off my arms. I won’t tell her if you won’t. I think I have room for a few more. Paulette

  3. I’m on a self-imposed new cookery book ban for the year. It’s been difficult when so many great books have been published this year but I’ve rediscovered some old favourites and also discovered some fantastic food blogs, like yours, that have more than plugged the gap!

  4. such a great selection. i ended up ordering lemonade and i’ve already made the chinese chicken and the sugar snap pea/ sesame vinaigrette salad. so good. i now want to be back in their joint at the end of abbot kinney so badly.

    and yes to the new ottolenghi book.

    and i am curious about the ceviche book. i have not eaten there, but i’ve been to it’s sister restaurant andina ( and it was beyond awesome.

    good to know about the doughnut book. i’m obsessed with picking up justin gellatly’s epic custard and honeycomb doughnuts from bread ahead at borough market when i’m there working on my columns for them in london, but i have not quite added the book to my wishlist yet as i’ve never made a doughnut at home in my life.

  5. oh joy – I really don’t need anymore cookbooks – but then again, there’s always room for one more, right? I love cookbooks so much; although i get most of my recipes from the internet, i still find them very inspiring!

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