After a few new additions that came in the form of Christmas gifts, my cookbook collection is officially bordering on the verge of being out of control. The three newest members of my kitchen are a pretty diverse bunch, each offering a chance to escape into a different culinary world depending on my mood.
First up is Jamie's Great Britain, which is filled with traditional British foods for every type of meal. Of course, the recipes appeal to the Anglophile in me (I say that a lot on this blog, don't I?). This is the first Jamie Oliver book that I've ever owned and I was pleasantly surprised by how appealing many of the recipes sound. Although there's one chapter devoted to wild game of the venison and rabbit varieties that I'll completely ignore, that will just leave me with more time to focus on the sweets in the chapter on afternoon tea. I've already tried making an Earl Grey tea loaf and a banana and walnut loaf with chocolate butter, pictured above. The chocolate butter is proving to be a perfect treat. It's sweet and decadent, but with a consistency that's still enough like real butter to keep me from eating it by the spoonful (as opposed to, say, a jar of Nutella).
Next is From a Polish Country House Kitchen, co-written by a Polish and an American author, that gives fresh, updated versions of the food of my ancestral homeland. It's supposedly Polish food updated for the modern palette, and at the very least that's true in terms of the look and feel of the book itself. It's filled with beautiful photos, gives some interesting background information on Polish cuisine, and has a focus on using local, seasonal ingredients. Of the three new books, the recipes in this one will be the most challenging to master. So far I've made one batch of stuffed cabbage that I wasn't entirely happy with, but I'm going to press on. I think some of the really complicated recipes, like homemade pierogis, will be a good project for some snowy Saturday.
And finally, I got The Vintage Tea Party Book, which is a collection of vintage-inspired recipes centered around various type of tea parties. It has decorating, craft, and fashion ideas, too, which makes it a fun book to look through. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but have my eye on some brie and walnut savory scones for some Downton Abbey watching festivities in the near future.
Have you discovered any good cookbooks lately?