From Book to Table: Cookbook Musings from Edward (September 2021 Edition)

While September means “back to school” to a lot of students around the country, for many retailers, the ninth month of the year means holiday season is just around the corner. In some stores, the holidays have arrived! While that may sound like an outrage, September is when some of fall’s biggest books are published. Each week, our stores welcome major bestsellers, one right after the other through the end of the year. As a bookseller, September is truly an exciting time, a harbinger of the great titles to come. As the temperature begins to cool, check out these cookbooks that are sizzling hot!


Joshua Weissman: An Unapologetic Cookbook (B&N Exclusive Edition)
Joshua Weissman

Who the heck is Joshua Weissman, you ask? I’m glad you did! He’s certainly not a household name … yet. Joshua Weissman: An Unapologetic Cookbook published by the good folks at DK, features the young chef who is known for his cooking videos on YouTube. If you’ve never seen him before, be amazed. He clearly appeals to a younger crowd with editing, effects and sound that are atypical of a cooking show. And that’s a good thing! He’s so entertaining to watchI found myself laughing a lotBut, back to the book … flipping through the special Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition, which includes content on how cooking changed his life plus a bonus recipe, I’m immediately struck by two things: Weissman’s really funny, and he’s earnest. Inside you’ll find lots of familiar recipes to master and time-saving tips to get you to the finish lineFind out how to make the perfect steak, the yummiest chicken sandwich or his mom’s pot roast. I love his chewy peanut butter cookies that are actually chewy. He’s a talent you need to keep an eye on. Watch for it on September 14th 


Naturally, Delicious Dinners
Danny Seo

My intention wasn’t to spring two cooks on you with whom you may not be familiar, but I love discovering talented people like Joshua and DannyDanny Seo has been hard at work on sustainability issues through his magazine, Naturally, Danny Seo, on YouTube and on other media. He is all-in when it comes to improving our planet through design, decorating, travel and more. But he really excels at cooking. As a lifelong vegetarian, he knows how to whip up great vegetable dishes. In Naturally, Delicious Dinners published by Gibbs Smith, Danny showcases his talents by creating vegetable and grain-forward recipes which can easily be turned into amazing dinners. In Danny’s world, dinner doesn’t have to be three courses or a main and two sides. It can be his Vegan “Cheese” Straws or his Chickpea Skillet Bread or his version of the Dutch Baby Pancake. I couldn’t resist and made the Grilled Romaine Salad with Maple-Dijon Dressing and Shaved Summer Corn. It’s still summer, after all and well, I was getting hungry. Ready for you on September 14th. 


Maman: The Cookbook: All-Day Recipes to Warm Your Heart
Elisa Marshall, Benjamin Sormonte, Lauren Salkeld

If you recognize the word “maman,” it’s French for “mom.” It’s also the name of a bakery and café from Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte. And now, it’s the name of their beautiful cookbook, Maman: The Cookbook from Clarkson Potter/Publishers. This is wonderfully produced. Sometimes you get a book that feels good in your hands. Maman: The Cookbook has a fabric texture on an unjacketed caseIt looks and feels elegant, but not overly so. The endpapers — the interior lining of the front and back cover — are illustrated with blue and white dishes, a pattern and color scheme that appears throughout. Maman is the kind of French café to transport you to the Parisian scene of your dreams. Where to begin in the book? With breakfast, of course! French toast and parfaits are working hard to start your morning. The Cherry-Rosemary Crumble is a winner … all day long! Savories take the form of tarts, sandwiches, quiches and salads. All of the French-inspired desserts are swoon-worthy. For me, it’s always oui” to cheesecake, and the Mandarin Orange Chocolate Cheesecake does not disappoint. Say “Bonjour!” when the book arrives at your local store on September 14th 


Burnt Toast and Other Disasters: A Book of Heroic Hacks, Fabulous Fixes and Secret Sauces
Cal Peternell

Wait, what? Why is this book here? Let me tell you, Burnt Toast and Other Disasters by Cal Peternell from William Morrow is an amazing cookbook. I know the title gives you pause. That’s understandable and by design. It certainly stopped me in my tracks! Let me assure you, Cal Peternell knows what he’s doing. This guy worked at Chez Panisse under Alice Waters. That’s basically the mountaintop in the restaurant world. So, why is he doing this?? As we all know, mistakes happen in the kitchen. Our author understands this and is here to rectify a few of ours. Rather than throwing away burnstuff (and then, crying) and overcooked stuff (and then, crying), we can repurpose these sad foodstuffs to give them a glorious new life. What’s better than that? There are also other hacks utilizing mushy things, old veggies and leftovers. I love the chapter on “Hacking Packages” where Peternell takes items canned, boxed or enveloped, and turns them into dishes to be proud of. Don’t be afraid to grab it on September 21st. 


Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family (Signed Book)
Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks (Foreword by)

By now, you know country music star Trisha Yearwood can cook. She has had a show on the Food Network for nearly a decade. Her Southern cooking won her accolades and her folksy style in front of the camera is easy to like. Along with her show, Yearwood has written a couple of bestselling cookbooks. It is with great excitement to see a new book from her: Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I really think she has a winner here! Before I get into the food part, let me just say, I love when famous people have their famous families in their books. In this case, her husband, country music superstar, Garth Brooks, is seen multiple times enjoying her food and company. I also love the way the book is photographed — there seems to be a yellow glow to everything. It feels warm and inviting. As this book centers around comfort food, all the recipes are a big hug. I really can’t tell you which recipe was my favorite. They’re all great, but I was impressed by how delicious and easy her Crispy Rice Corn Fritters were to make — a modest dish with impressive results! In your city or town on September 28th 


Betty Crocker Best 100: Favorite Recipes from America’s Most Trusted Cook
Betty Crocker Editors

It’s an honor to talk about Betty Crocker, who is 100 years old this year! Yes, your Momma, Poppa or Nana probably has a beat-up copy on a shelf somewhere. But the fact it’s on said shelf speaks volumes about Betty Crocker and what the brand means to them. What does Betty Crocker mean to us today when recipes can be pulled from the internet with ease? Is this kind of cooking old-fashioned? Do people still care about meatloaf, turkey pot pie or pineapple upside-down cake? I know I do. If you feel a pang of nostalgia while flipping through a Betty Crocker cookbook, then Betty Crocker Best 100 is for you! I don’t need to tell you that with every cookbook published by Betty Crocker, you get tried-and-true recipes which have been tested and cooked in America’s kitchens for a century. I’m sure you know the recipes are easy-to-follow and feature food you recognize. I love them all. Betty Crocker is American as apple pie (which is also in the book). Wish her a happy birthday when it’s out on September 28th!


Wait until you see the treats in store for October! Thanks for reading! Edward/


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