Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 128

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday. — John Wayne

Advised. Ask Polly: ‘I want kids; but my boyfriend isn’t ready.’

Risen. This high-waisted ponte skirt from Nordstrom Rack is an essential.

Warmed. Icebreaker questions that don’t suck.

Cultured. These Madewell pearl earrings and Majorica pearl bracelet are unfussy.

Toned. A six-step ab circuit workout that doesn’t involve crunches.

Simplified. I probably wear this $25> Amazon boatneck dress too much.

Connected. Does your LinkedIn profile needs a punch up?  Some tips on translating your resume to LinkedIn.  Check out this tutorial for making your profile standout.

Lifted. These Cole Haan wedges in navy or leopard would be nice with flare jeans.

Attended. Is it time for the whole ‘bridesmaid thing’ to die?

Partied. I wish I had somewhere to wear this Reiss dress; it’s phenomenal.

Progressed. How to motivate yourself when you don’t have a deadline.

Topped. This shawl-collar blazer from Bloomingdale’s looks more expensive than its price.

Climbed. For low-income college students, the challenges don’t end with admission.

Shadowed. My Mom brought this Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette to my wedding, and I loved it so much I wore it instead of the one I’d bought. It’s perfectly pretty, but neutral.

Sobered. How to keep it professional when the wine starts flowing.

Do you still buy cookbooks?  My Mom has hundreds filling a pie cabinet in our kitchen.  Southern cookbooks, 1970s cookbooks with their dimly lit, yellow-tinted photography, cookbooks from famous chefs, and books of recipes compiled from friends, relatives and strangers over decades.  But myself, I only own a few.

In the age of Pinterest (and Kindle), I have felt little pull toward owning shelves filled with books.  But sometimes, you just need to own the book itself.

Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites Cookbook is one of those times.  A friend gifted us Sababa, a cookbook of Israeli cuisine, after I raved about the Salted Lemon Spread she served on pita as an appetizer.  And you can’t go wrong with Chrissy Teigen’s first cookbook or her second one.

So do you buy cookbooks, use cookbooks, or just let the Internet do its thing?

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LEAVE A COMMENT

    25 comments

  1. Annie says:

    I love cookbooks – forces me out of my rut and into food and flavor profiles that I wouldn’t even know to google. Those currently in the rotation include Plenty, Plenty More, and Simple by Ottolenghi, Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by Salma Hage, the Garden Chef, and Deborah Madison’s veggie soups book.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  2. Jess says:

    Dinner by Melissa Clark. Everything out of it I’ve cooked so far has been awesome.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  3. Cait says:

    I LOVE cookbooks, but I have some that belong in the kitchen and some that belong on the coffee table. Right now my favorites for the kitchen are Deborah Madison’s “Vegetable Literacy” and Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”
    My coffee table has Alton Brown’s “Everyday Cook” and a book of baked goods from around the world (can’t remember the title right now).
    The kitchen cookbooks are reference guides. The coffee table cookbooks are eye candy and inspiration. I like having both!

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  4. meghan says:

    The NYTcooking app has been a game-changer for me in the kitchen. Ever since I started using it I find myself turning to blogs/the internet less and less. I find that even cooking bloggers who have been at it for a long time don’t write recipes as well as the writers on NYT. Also, you get the benefits of a comment section that is not full of people simply saying “omg this looks so good!”; there are real suggestions for how to modify the recipe and reviews of how the recipe turned out as written. I do own lots of cookbooks, including by writers on @nytcooking (e.g. Melissa Clark, Mark Bittman, Alison Roman). I am less enamoured with cookbooks by bloggers or people who are not actually trained in cooking; it shows in the recipe writing. I am apparently a curmudgeon…

    September 17, 2019/Reply
    • Katie says:

      Can you download and access app without subscription? (I’m OK with paying for the app but don’t plan to subscribe to newspaper.)

      September 17, 2019/Reply
      • Erin says:

        Yes, I believe access to the app is $5 per month and I love the app. It’s especially good for searching when you have one ingredient you need to use and building a meal around that.

        September 17, 2019/Reply
    • E says:

      I agree with this 100%, especially about the helpfulness of the comments. They also do a great job featuring recipes that are seasonally appropriate, and it’s easy to search for recipes by ingredient, skill level, prep time, etc.

      Katie, it does require a subscription, but NYT offers a subscription for the app/cooking section, and it’s reasonable–$5.99/mo, maybe?

      September 17, 2019/Reply
      • MEghan says:

        100% on the seasonal recipes point. Following Sam Sifton’s weekly emails and combing through the app has made me a much more seasonal cook. I start to crave things with the seasons now… like the classic plum torte which I will be baking this weekend because it is time!

        September 18, 2019/Reply
  5. Martha says:

    Yes, thank you for sharing the low-income article. I was a disabled POC student; my mother had $15,000 per year and even less once the child support ended. It was a lot to balance the homework, working a job on the road, and the extra hours to make school documents accessible to complete the assignments. Sometimes, roommates were surprised that a can of soup lasted for two meals, or they wondered why I only shopped at Walmart because it was the only place in town that accepted food stamps.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  6. eac says:

    I love cookbooks I can sit and read them like they’re novels. I’ve built up a large sized library. I was going to say how many I have, but…..I better not.
    You can’t go wrong with any of the Mark Bitman titles. I just picked a copy of his How to Cook Anything Fast at a tag sale for $2.50 and I’ve flagged a lot of recipes that I will trying I’m also loving Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street. Sunset Magazine’s The Sunset Cookbook is a go to for me.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  7. A says:

    I love the Smitten Kitchen cookbooks and turn to them repeatedly. That and an old Southern Living cookbook are my kitchen workhorses. Plus the copy of my great grandmother’s farm wife cookbook my mother had made for me which I use regularly for cookies and quick breads. The rest of my cookbooks, even the ones I was really excited about reading, just collect dust on my shelf.

    Because I like cooking with cookbooks, I keep a binder in the kitchen with page protectors of all of my favorites (divided into cookbook like categories) where I can stash the internet recipes we turn to again and again. They then have the look and feel of a cookbook without me constantly having to swipe my food covered fingers to wake up my phone.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  8. DC says:

    I have many cookbooks (some specialty, like the Jeni’s ice cream book, and some reference/workhorses, like How to Cook Everything and the Joy of Cooking), plus an ATK online subscription (and NYT cooking through my subscription to the paper). I frequently pull out the cookbooks for inspiration, party planning, or just to thumb through. For about a year now, several friends and I have been doing a monthly Cookbook Club, and I have loved doing that– we choose a different cookbook, theme, or blog every month and everyone cooks a dish for a dinner party.

    Some current favorites:
    Dining In by Alison Roman is a great book– recipes are simple enough (and with few enough ingredients) for weeknights, but interesting and special enough to make for dinner parties.

    The original America’s Test Kitchen book has never failed me yet. Everything I’ve made from it has been good, at the very least, but because of the focus on the “best” way to do cook something, the recipes can be a bit complicated.

    I also have Alton Brown’s Everyday Cook and have really loved some of the things in it, especially the mushroom stroganoff.

    On the dessert side, I grew up with and still use Cocolat, a now-discontinued (but you can sometimes find a copy at a used bookstore or online) book with everything from simple mousses to the fanciest cakes. As a chocolate-lover, I’m obsessed (it’s also written in such a way that the food always comes out looking both attractive and delicious, which I appreciate).

    I also love Tartine (not Tartine Bread, though I’m sure that’s great too). I made the pecan maple pie with kumquats and bourbon for Thanksgiving last year and it was phenomenal. It also has my go-to pie and tart crusts.

    Vegetables Unleashed is the next one I’m eyeing– my sister told me it’s filled with stories as well as recipes and she loved it.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  9. NAtalIe says:

    The Polly article is EVERYTHING. A good reminder to all of us to stand up for ourselves and the things we really want!

    September 17, 2019/Reply
    • Jill says:

      Agree. It made me sad, though, for the poster to say she wouldn’t raise a biological child as an older single mother for ethical reasons but would pursue an adopted child in that case. Adopted children don’t deserve less consideration than biological children.

      September 17, 2019/Reply
      • Belle says:

        Did she perhaps mean she would adopt an older child, not a baby, thus the age would be less of concern?

        September 17, 2019/Reply
        • Jill says:

          Oh, excellent point. Maybe exactly that.

          September 18, 2019/Reply
  10. SC says:

    I am definitely not the cook in our house, but my boyfriend loves anything Kenji Lopez-Alt. A lot of recipes from The Food Lab are dinner staples, although the book itself is a textbook-size behemoth. He also likes Peter Reinarts’ bread books.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  11. Lindsey says:

    I love Salt Fat Acid Heat. The Netflix show was fine but the book itself is a fun read and my ability to cook improved dramatically after I read it. It explains why you do things like salt meat or use room temperature butter, in a way that lets you apply that knowledge to other dishes. It was a game changer for me. I keep it on the kitchen counter with the salad dressing section tabbed.

    The other one I keep handy is Tartine Bread, aka the bread bible.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  12. Erin says:

    I still love cookbooks and I pull them all out Sunday nights when I’m meal planning. My favorites are both editions of Run Fast Eat Slow and Dining In by Allison Roman. I also love the NYT app and am constantly bookmarking recipes I see online though too.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
  13. Mo says:

    I’d also add the library as a cookbook resource. Both in print and e-book versions are great to preview a cookbook before I buy to see if its for me.

    September 17, 2019/Reply
    • Rebecca says:

      Another library fan here, for just the reason you mention! I’ve lost count of the number of cookbooks I’ve decided *not* to buy, because I had a chance to review them at the library first.

      September 19, 2019/Reply
  14. Kate says:

    A dear friend of mine who is a chef used to work for America’s Test Kitchen and began gifting me Cooks Illustrated issues and cookbooks as they came out. They basically taught me to cook. They are written in a way that is so clear so that ANYONE can follow the directions (and understand they Why behind the directions) and end up with the desired result every time. Their Cooking School cookbook is my favorite, along with their Cooks Country magazine (more comfort food-based). My friend hasn’t worked there in years and I buy and subscribe to everything myself now. I also love their 6 Ingredients or Less cookbook.

    The NYT Cooking site is another must, for the many reasons championed already by others. Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express is another great one for quick and tasty dishes, and the NYT’s archives have articles he did for each season with 100 quick recipes, like this one:http://pigtown-pigout.blogspot.com/2009/11/mark-bittmans-101-for-fall.html

    September 17, 2019/Reply
    • Allison says:

      I own so many cookbooks, and the majority are from ATK and Cook’s Illustrated (I record and watch all the shows). I pay for the yearly ATK membership and it’s some of the best money I spend all year. While I love the website, there’s something about saying, “I want to cook something this week”and flipping through a cookbook to get inspiration before going to the store. I liken it to going to Blockbuster vs. Netflix/Prime/Hulu. If you just wanted to watch a movie, but you didn’t have something in mind, I find it rather difficult to “browse” the movie apps, where as you could walk around the store and think, “hmm, I remember so and so mentioning that new movie, so there’s that, or I could try this old classic.” I find the same with a cookbook – it’s so much easier to discover options when you’re undecided. However, if I know I have a pork tenderloin that I need to cook, searching on a website is much easier.

      September 17, 2019/Reply
  15. Jenn says:

    I swear by Chrissy Teigan’s cookbooks. They are SO accessible and the food is outstanding. I’ve impressed my partner so many times by cooking her recipes. I can’t recommend Cravings 1 and 2 enough!!!!

    September 19, 2019/Reply
  16. caitlin says:

    I have ALWAYS been Team No Bridesmaids. I may have even commented with this on here before, but it has always felt a little too “Myspace Top 8” for me to fathom. I also know people who have done joint bachelor/bachelorette parties, which sounds fun!

    September 19, 2019/Reply