Katie's Top Ten of 2019: Food, Memory, and Mess Making

Food and memory have always gone hand in hand throughout my life. Childhoods spent watching my mom cook an elaborate meal all day. Visiting grandparents in South Texas and watching them make homemade tortillas and refried beans for all the people and family popping in and out all day. I remember sitting at their table, barely seeing above the colorful plastic table cloth and watching them work together to feed and nourish me and everyone who entered their home. I even have food memories of my other grandmother who never cooked. Instead, I remember waking up in her quiet teal blue house to find overripe bananas and a few stale pink and white Marinela cookies— which I definitely ate on her floral velvet couch waiting for her to wake up and drive me to a taco stand two blocks away that in another life was a car wash. She always ordered a carton of chocolate milk to go with my potato egg and cheese tacos. YUM! 

I have an innumerable amount of food memories, and I love making new food memories as often as possible. I think everyone should make memories in and outside of the kitchen. I’ve noticed more and more people getting into the kitchen lately and really experimenting, and I think a lot of it has to do with the internet…the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel being my #1 favorite! You get to see people actually cook in real time. Nothing is pre-measured or chopped into perfect cubes before being dumped into a pot, but rather cut right in front of you with imperfect knife skills and maybe half an onion is dropped on the ground— you know, being human. When I see people cooking and being real it makes me want to get into the kitchen even if it’s 11pm. I feel energized and like I can do it too! I think cooking is for everyone, and you don’t have to be perfect or have any fancy gadgets to make a great meal and create memories for yourself and the people you share a meal with. That’s what I found to be so important to me this year. Not just saying I love to cook, but actually cooking, making a mess with flour, having a pile of dishes in the sink, and making something I’m occasionally proud of. I hope my favorite cookbooks inspire you to get into the kitchen this holiday season and beyond. Go and create some wonderful memories around the table with the people you love!


Yes, this is a magazine, but I see CHICKPEA magazine as a cookbook that arrives in my mailbox four times a year! Cara Livermore does it all. Literally. She creates the entire magazine start to finish — from writing articles, testing recipes, and taking photos all the way to graphic design and editing. What I love most about CHICKPEA is all the beautiful images, recipes, and design, all ad free. This is a vegan magazine, but it focuses on so much more than just being vegan. Each edition is themed around one word such as Explore, Simple, and Mindfulness. Yes, you will find recipes, but you will also find DIY projects and various contributors from all around the world writing articles about traveling, cooking, and being creative. This magazine is perfect for the food magazine lover in your life.



The best apron has pockets, in my opinion, and this apron offers two pockets for storing tasting spoons, a dish towel, and whatever else you need handy while cooking away.  A delightful collection of illustrated classic cookbooks make this my new favorite apron. 



Staff Pick Badge
Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables By Abra Berens, Lucy Engelman (Illustrator), EE Berger (By (photographer)) Cover Image
By Abra Berens, Lucy Engelman (Illustrator), EE Berger (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9781452169323
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Chronicle Books - April 23rd, 2019

A cookbook that honors and celebrates various vegetables and all the possibilities they present. Part one of the book focuses on building a solid pantry in order to cook anything at almost anytime with limited food in the fridge. Part two focuses on vegetables and how to cook them. Each section looks at one vegetable with a handful of variations including grilling, pan roasting, quick steamed, and more. So many possibilities! Hate broccoli because you’ve only ever had it steamed? Try oven roasted with a chili oil and some gooey melted cheese. I love this cookbook when I need ideas for side dishes, want to focus on seasonal cooking, or just want something easy for dinner. Perfect for veggie lovers and those that just haven’t been enjoying veggies the “right” way.

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Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over By Alison Roman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451497017
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 22nd, 2019

The second cookbook from New York Times and Bon Appétit columnist Alison Roman. I never have people over besides my parents for dinner, but Alison Roman makes me want to have friends over more often. She takes the fuss and stress out of having people over. We’re not having a “dinner party” or “entertaining”, but rather spending time with friends or family and enjoying a delicious meal. It’s really Nothing Fancy…and maybe someone else will do the dishes. This would make a perfect gift for the host at your next party! 

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Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers: A Cookbook By Nicole Rucker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735218017
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Avery - July 2nd, 2019

I’m just beginning to experiment with baking, and while I love a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, I don’t necessarily want to bake that. I love baking with fruit! I love how seasonal and simple fruit dessert dishes can be. DAPPLED is a favorite and offers a huge variety of fruits used in classic desserts and some imaginative modern takes on old favorites. This cookbook is perfect for the apprehensive baker and farmers’ market regular in your life. 

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Breakfast: The Cookbook By Emily Elyse Miller, Reem Kassis (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Emily Elyse Miller, Reem Kassis (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9780714878041
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Phaidon Press - May 29th, 2019

Breakfast is by far the greatest meal of the day. Want a giant fluffy omelette oozing with cheese? Make it! Want a slice of cake for breakfast? Treat yo’ self! I grew up eating breakfast at all hours of the day, often times for dinner. This is the ultimate cookbook on breakfast, but not just the traditional American Breakfast. No, this book takes you on a tour of the entire world, Mexican Chilaquiles, Carrot Cake from Singapore, and a Middle Eastern Omelet from Egypt. Each recipe is accessible and offers cultural context and culinary insight. This is the perfect cookbook for the brunch lover and the person in your life who never skips the most important meal of the day.

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I Can Cook Vegan: A Plant-Based Cookbook By Isa Chandra Moskowitz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419732416
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Abrams Books - October 29th, 2019

Vegan food and cooking is not just for Vegans. Anyone can enjoy a delicious Vegan meal, and, yes, still have delicious cheese. I CAN COOK VEGAN thinks about the home cook with easy to follow directions. Each chapter acts as a building block to slowly build your confidence with Vegan cooking. This book is perfect for both the Vegancurious and the serious Vegan in your life. 

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Tex-Mex Cookbook: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border By Ford Fry, Jessica Dupuy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525573869
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - April 23rd, 2019

Tex-Mex food and flavors go way beyond your typical nachos and queso— it's complex and full of history. True to its name, Tex-Mex is influenced by Spanish Mexican cuisine colliding with Texas ranchers’ cooking, the ultimate collaboration of flavors both traditional and new. Fry has created an incredibly exciting cookbook with vibrant dishes and images that jump off the page. Each recipe is easy to follow and each ingredient is celebrated. This is the perfect book for that one friend who loves a bowl of queso and a margarita.

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Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook By Enrique Olvera, Peter Meehan (Contributions by), Daniela Soto-Innes (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Enrique Olvera, Peter Meehan (Contributions by), Daniela Soto-Innes (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9780714878058
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Phaidon Press - March 27th, 2019

Traditional Mexican cooking from an exceptional and exciting chef revolutionizing Mexican cooking, in TU CASA MI CASA, Olvera wants the home cook to experience all that Mexican cuisine has to offer. Through easy to follow step by step photo directions, anyone can master the basics of Mexican cooking like tamales and tortillas. I love this book for anyone and everyone!

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The Great British Baking Show: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes By The Baking Show Team, Paul Hollywood (Foreword by), Prue Leith (Foreword by) Cover Image
By The Baking Show Team, Paul Hollywood (Foreword by), Prue Leith (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780593138397
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 29th, 2019

I love cake and I absolutely love The Great British Baking Show, so this cookbook is a dream come true, and one I’m definitely adding to my collection. This book is full of amazing “Showstopper” cakes and new recipes from past contestants. The photographs of these cakes are enough to make you run to the kitchen put on your apron, turn on the oven, and BAKE!

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