I took yesterday off from blogging to celebrate the fourth of July. It’s one of my favorite holidays because there are fireworks and swimming pools and themed outfits. I honestly can’t think of anything more fun than this summer time celebration. I think one of the best parts about celebrating Independence Day is the food. Beyond burgers and hot dogs you can have ribs, grilled chicken, fresh guacomole, and lots and lots of pies. As you can see, I love my summer cook out food. Well, actually I love all kinds of food. Which is why, the day after eating a ton of cookout food, I am bringing you my new series and kicking it off by featuring cookbooks. “I Love and I Want These” is going to be a place to show you a few of my favorite things and a few things I’d like to get. Pretty simple and pretty fun, right? Here goes!
The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day
I picked this cookbook up at the beginning of the summer, during our trip to Savannah. The cookbook cover made me pick it up in a shop in Savannah’s downtown and when I saw that it was an actual bakery located RIGHT THERE, we had to go! I talked about my trip to the Back in the Day bakery in a post about all the delicious things we ate during the trip. I’m so glad I picked up the cookbook because, even though I haven’t made time to use it, I’ve marked all the recipes I want to make…and the whole book is marked! I really want to try to make the pie bars with fresh fruit which is what I had at the bakery. There are a few savory recipes in the back which sound like real fancy lunch treats. I can’t wait to bake, bake, and bake some more!
The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook by Paula Deen
Okay, so it looks like my cookbook obsession has a theme but I have honestly found some of the best cookbooks on my trips to Savannah. Of course when you visit this great city, you can’t miss Paula Deen’s very own Lady and Sons restaurant. At the height of the summer, making a reservation is a completely ridiculous ritual of waiting in the hot Georgia sun several hours before dinner time in order to get dinner. But the food is so good that you (almost) don’t mind. I bought the cookbook at the tiny shop attached to the restaurant because they come signed by the Lady herself. I knew it was going to be a good cookbook but I didn’t know how good. I have used this book more times than I can remember and always make at least one peach cobbler before the summer is through. It’s got more than just Southern recipes, it’s got great recipes that you’ll always use. Say what you will about Paula Deen and her bad diet habits, she knows how to write a quality cookbook.
Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis
Though I may not always like her, I can’t deny that Giada knows how to cook and to put together a great cookbook. I have several of her cookbooks and it was hard for me to just choose one. I picked Everyday Italian because it’s got some of the simplest and best Italian recipes I’ve found. I have made many of the different sauces in the book from all’arribiata to carbonara and they have all turned out excellently. Nothing is more filling or more comforting than a classic Italian dish (at least I like to think) and Giada makes it easy to cook them up in your own kitchen.
The Chew: Food. Life. Fun. by The Chew cast (Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon, Daphne Oz, Carla Hall, and Mario Batali)
If you ever find yourself around on weekday afternoon at 1pm, then I highly recommend catching an episode of the Chew. It’s kind of like the View only with lots of cooking and Mario Batali. The cast works great together, though Clinton Kelly is completely random being the only person not famous for cooking, and I have saved tons of their recipes to my desktop. Their cookbook isn’t out yet but you can pre-order it and I’m hoping they include plenty of Michael Symon’s five dollar, five minute meals.
Peace, Love and Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunicliffe
This cookbook has been on every gift wishlist I’ve written for people in the past year and I have yet to receive it. Why haven’t I just bought it for myself yet? I don’t know. Being a huge bbq fan, this book sounds right up my alley as it’s a behind-the-scenes account of some of the best bbq in the U.S. While it’s more of a personal bbq journey with pitmaster Mike Mills, it includes 100 recipes that will spice up your ordinary backyard bbq feast. I’m especially excited to try my hand at making a sweet potato pie.
The Truck Food Cookbook by John T. Edge
I only discovered this cookbook recently and was reeled in by the bright red cover. Even though the cover attracted me, the concept of book filled with some of the best food truck recipes hooked me. “Meals on wheels” is the latest food craze in America and I think it’s fascinating to see what someone can whip up in those tiny spaces. My kitchen is much bigger so I don’t think I’ll have any trouble making some of these creations.