Cooking with the Brazos Staff

Article by staff

Let’s face it: many of you reading this right now will have to do a LOT of cooking in the next couple months. Yes, the holidays can be wonderful, with all the family gatherings, but the kitchen usually sits menacingly at the center of these pleasantries. What to do? We’ll help you through it!

Come browse our new cooking display, which features books like LITTLE FLOWER BAKING, HOME COOKED, and the always popular Ina Garten’s COOKING FOR JEFFREY. Brazos is here to help you freshen up your recipes and maybe find some new favorites!

(Or, you know, if you’re just that person who doesn’t cook at all, and wants to awkwardly hang around near the kitchen feeling like you should help, these books will make you sound like you know what you’re talking about!)

Check out some staff favorites below!

Chickpeas: Sweet and Savory Recipes from Hummus to Dessert Cover Image
ISBN: 9781623540746
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Imagine - February 2nd, 2016

I love chickpeas in all forms! Hot, cold, whole, ground into dips, concentrated into tahini. This cute slim cookbook has everything from hummus to Mediterranean tangine. However, the recipes are simple (no treatises here), use fresh ingredients, and don't require a separate closet for your spices. My favorite recipe is the phyllo triangles with chickpeas, feta, and parsley. Using phyllo dough sheets, they are quick, easy to make in bulk, and freeze well! I recommend CHICKPEAS for enthusiasts, home cooks, and beginners alike.
—Annalia (Bookseller and Shipping Clerk)

The Tacos of Texas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477310434
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: University of Texas Press - September 20th, 2016

Who doesn’t love tacos? A tortilla. A filling or two. A little spice…or not. Roll it up. Enjoy. One of the world’s best portable meals. I’ve eaten tacos all over Texas--from the basic breakfast tacos at food trucks to the fancier ones at Mexican restaurants (including tacos al pastor at the Navigation Ninfas, and the fabulous puffy tacos of San Antonio) to the crazy creative ones from Torchy’s, which I fell in taco love with when it was still just an Austin thing, started as a food truck on South 1st Street. And whatever non-taco tater tot and sunnyside up egg thing that one of my Brazos colleagues just ordered from Velvet Taco and arrived from those Uber Eats elves… And dozens of tacos in between, especially culinary fusion ones that fit so well here in Houston. A long way from the grease bombs that we would get at Jack in Box at 2 am when I was a student at Northwestern--three for a dollar and this weird textural mix of sort of crunchy, sort of soggy, sort of beef, but obviously sort of not. (I loved those things. Don’t judge.)

So of course I was immediately drawn to THE TACOS OF TEXAS in our cookbook section. Written by Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece, it’s both history and recipes and lots and lots of pictures of yummy, yummy tacos in all their incarnations. I love this book. I even love the chapter on page 288 where Carmen Tafolla, the State Poet Laureate of Texas waxes poetic about bean and cheese tacos and handmade corn tortillas.

Me? I’ll be trying out the recipe for shrimp po-boy tacos on page 286.
—Joy (Children’s Specialist)

Appetites: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062409959
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Ecco - October 25th, 2016

Just on the coolness factor alone, I have to go with Anthony Bourdain’s most recent cookbook, APPETITES: A COOKBOOK. Not only is the book packed with great recipes like eggs Benedict and chicken salad, but it’s also filled with anecdotes from Bourdain’s life, not as a celebrity chef or world traveler, but as a father. From sandwiches and salads to hamburgers and pasta, this is a very accessible book and filled with humorous and world-weary wisdom.
—Mark (Store Manager)

Anna Mae's Mac n Cheese Cover Image
ISBN: 9780224101219
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Random House UK - November 1st, 2016

It may sound a little silly—a cookbook solely for mac n cheese? Sure, it’s a timeless dish beloved by busy moms, picky kids, and shiftless bachelors like myself. But it’s also gaining momentum as a hip re-imagined street food, as the popularity of Anna Mae’s “Legendary London Food Truck” can attest.

MAC N CHEESE would make a great gift or conversation book alone, since it’s full of great photos and hipster-punny humor—some of my favorite recipe names are Cheesus Loves You, F*ck Yoga, Macgic Mushroom, Lil’ Kimchi, and the Glastonbrie. It’s a practical recipe book, too—it begins with a recipe for their easily-made and easily-customized Starter Sauce—and shrugs off giving any heavy-handed directives: “Use elbow macaroni or don’t; spend a bomb on fancy fromage or just use the supermarket stuff… it’s up to you.” The individual recipes themselves are a delight, simply written and easy to follow, full of inspiration and, well, cheese. What’s not to love?
—Lydia (Event Coordinator)

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, with More than 500 Recipes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607745259
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 7th, 2014

The invention of the craft cocktail matters not as to who the inventor was, right? What matters is who perfected it and the experience. This NYC bar is spreading the history of the cocktail, explaining the chemistry and adding customer stories about their regulars. Want a page on glassware with diagrams? Want to know what “needs a bump” means when you say it to a bartender? This book’s information and recipes will make a true connoisseur out of any reader, as well as make them appreciate the bartenders out there perfecting their craft.
—Molly (Bookseller)

Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond Cover Image
By Sabrina Ghayour, Liz Haarala Hamilton (Illustrator), Max Haarala Hamilton (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781566569958
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Interlink Books - November 14th, 2014

To say that I have marked this cookbook to make it look like a rainbow from the beginning to the end would be an understatement. Ghayour makes making Persian food not only a great experience but she has transformed this recipes easy for even the novice cook to understand.

My go-to recipe out of this wonderful cookbook as well as the most requested meal is the Saffron & Lemon Chicken recipe. It is amazing how just a few ingredients can make sure a delicious meal. Hint: marinating the chicken overnight makes a world of difference.
—Ülrika (Gift Buyer)

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