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Best Books to Give & Get: Winter 2018

I love to give books to my friends and family... and also MYSELF! These are some of my favorite cookbooks, craft books, and books that inspire me!

Disclosure: Bear in mind that the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these books because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. xoxo!

Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables

Joshua McFadden, chef and owner of renowned trattoria Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon, is a vegetable whisperer. After years racking up culinary cred at New York City restaurants like Lupa, Momofuku, and Blue Hill, he managed the trailblazing Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, where he developed an appreciation for every part of the plant and learned to coax the best from vegetables at each stage of their lives.

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Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables

Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way

For the French, the fleeting interlude between a long workday and the evening meal to come is not meant to be hectic or crazed. Instead, that time is a much needed chance to pause, take a breath, and reset with light drinks and snacks. Whether it's a quick affair before dashing out the door to your favorite Parisian bistro or a lead-up to a more lavish party, Apéritif is about kicking off the night, rousing the appetite, and doing so with the carefree spirit of connection and conviviality. Apéritif celebrates that easygoing lifestyle with simple yet stylish recipes for both classic and modern French apéritif-style cocktails, along with French-inspired bites and hors d'oeuvres.
Keeping true to the apéritif tradition, you'll find cocktail recipes that use lighter, low-alcohol spirits, fortified wines, and bitter liqueurs. The impressive drinks have influences from both Old World and New, but are always low fuss and served barely embellished--an easy feat to pull off for the relaxed host at home.
Apéritif also offers recipes for equally breezy bites, such as Radishes with Poppy Butter, Gougères, Ratatouille Dip, and Buckwheat-Sel Gris Crackers. For evenings that are all about ease and approachability without sacrificing style or flavor, Apéritif makes drinking and entertaining at home as effortless, fun, and effervescent as the offerings themselves.

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Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way

Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers

In Now & Again you'll find more than 125 delicious and doable recipes and 20 creative menu ideas help cooks of any skill level to gather friends and family around the table to share a meal (or many!) together. In this new cookbook by the author of Small Victories, fans and newcomers alike will delight in Julia Turshen's funny and encouraging voice as Now & Again is brimming with good stuff, including:

• Can't-get-enough-of-it recipes, including the popular Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese.
• Inspiring menus for social gatherings, holidays and more.
• Helpful timelines for flawlessly throwing a party.
• Oh-so-helpful "It's Me Again" recipes, which show how to use leftovers in new and delicious ways.
• Tips on how to be smartly thrifty with food choices.

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Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers

Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit

At Sister Pie, Lisa Ludwinski and her band of sister bakers are helping make Detroit sweeter one slice at a time from a little corner pie shop in a former beauty salon on the city’s east side. The granddaughter of two Detroit natives, Ludwinski spends her days singing, dancing, and serving up a brand of pie love that has charmed critics and drawn the curious from far and wide. No one leaves without a slice—those who don’t have money in their pockets can simply cash in a prepaid slice from the “pie it forward” clothesline strung across the window. With 75 of her most-loved recipes for sweet and savory pies—such as Toasted Marshmallow-Butterscotch Pie and Sour Cherry-Bourbon Pie—and other bakeshop favorites, the Sister Pie cookbook pays homage to Motor City ingenuity and all-American spirit. Illustrated throughout with 75 drool-worthy photos and Ludwinski’s charming line illustrations, and infused with her plucky, punny style, bakers and bakery lovers won’t be able to resist this book.

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Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit

All About Cake

It’s a universe of ooey-gooey banana-chocolate-peanut butter cakes you make in a crockpot, of layer cakes that taste like Key lime pie, and the most baller birthday cake ever.

From her home kitchen to the creations of her beloved Milk Bar, All About Cake covers everything: two-minute microwave mug cakes, buttery Bundts and pounds, her famous cake truffles and, of course, her signature naked layer cakes filled with pops of flavors and textures.

But more than just a collection of Christina’s greatest-hits recipes (c’mon, like that’s not enough?) this book will be your guide for how to dream up and make cakes of any flavor you can think of, whether you’re a kitchen rookie or a full-fledged baking hardbody.

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All About Cake

Cravings: Hungry for More

Cravings: Hungry for More takes us further into Chrissy’s kitchen . . . and life. It’s a life of pancakes that remind you of blueberry pie, eating onion dip with your glam squad, banana bread that breaks the internet, and a little something called Pad Thai Carbonara. After two years of parenthood, falling in love with different flavors, and relearning the healing power of comfort food, this book is like Chrissy’s new edible diary: recipes for quick-as-a-snap meals; recipes for lighter, brighter, healthier-ish living; and recipes that, well, are gonna put you to bed, holding your belly. And it will have you hungry for more.

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Cravings: Hungry for More

Nightcap: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening

A nightcap is the perfect way to end the night, and author Kara Newman knows just how to make them. This gifty, foil-accented book contains more than 40 cocktail recipes—some to keep the night going, some that will help ease you to sleep, some that can double as dessert, and some that can soothe the stomach after a hearty meal. There are classics like the sweet and creamy Brandy Alexander, new takes on old favorites like the Black Manhattan, which swaps an aperitif for the classic vermouth, and simple new ideas like the Open & Shut, which combines equal parts amaro and cognac for a slow sipper. Whatever kind of night it's been, Nightcap is the perfect way to top it off.

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Nightcap: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening

Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim: An intimate collection of behind-the-scenes photos featuring the legendary art collector

Born into a wealthy New York family in 1898, Marguerite 'Peggy' Guggenheim was one of the greatest art collectors of the 20th century. Using her inheritance to open her first art gallery, Peggy's love of art lead her to eventually settle in Venice, where she relaunched her life after becoming the star of the 1948 Venice Art Biennale. For her, a life without the inspiration of her artist and writer friends would have been unthinkable. In Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim, renowned photographer Stefan Moses reveals his collection of photographs of Peggy, taken between 1969 and 1974, many of which have never been seen before. Striking, eccentric and dramatic, Moses photographed Peggy in her favorite places around Venice, as well as in her private palazzo at Canal Grande. See Peggy as she glides on her gondola with her Lhasa apso dogs, wearing her iconic butterfly glasses made by Edward Melcarth -- the quickness and talent of Moses captures the character of this true eccentric. An inspiration for art-, photography- and fashion-lovers alike, Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim is a behind-the-scenes look at of one of the world's most eccentric and inspirational women.

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Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim: An intimate collection of behind-the-scenes photos featuring the legendary art collector

Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking

The Toronto Ink Company was founded in 2014 by designer and artist Jason Logan as a citizen science experiment to make eco-friendly, urban ink from street-harvested pigments. In Make Ink, Logan delves into the history of inkmaking and the science of distilling pigment from the natural world. Readers will learn how to forage for materials such as soot, rust, cigarette butts, peach pits, and black walnut, then how to mix, test, and transform these ingredients into rich, vibrant inks that are sensitive to both place and environment. Organized by color, and featuring lovely minimalist photography throughout, Make Ink combines science, art, and craft to instill the basics of ink making and demonstrate the beauty and necessity of engaging with one of mankind’s oldest tools of communication.

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Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking

Matty Matheson: A Cookbook

Matty Matheson is known as much for his amazing food as his love for life, positive mental attitude, and epic Instagram account. This debut cookbook is about Matty’s memories of the foods that have defined who he is. With a drive to share his zest for life, he creates dishes within these pages that reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Canada, as well as the restaurant fare for which he has become so well-known. Interpretations of classics like Seafood Chowder, Scumbo: Dad’s Gumbo, and Rappie Pie appear alongside restaurant recipes like Bavette, Pigtail Tacos, and his infamous P&L Burger. This is a very personal cookbook, full of essays and headnotes that share Matty’s life—from growing up in Fort Erie, exploring the wonders of Prince Edward Island, struggling and learning as a young chef in Toronto, and, eventually, his rise to popularity as one of the world’s most recognizable food personalities. His no-nonsense approach to food makes these recipes practical enough for all, while his creativity will entice seasoned cooks. This book is like cooking alongside Matty, sharing stories that are equal parts heartwarming and inappropriate while helping you cook dishes that are full of love. Matty Matheson: A Cookbook is a new collection of recipes from one of today’s most beloved chefs.

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Matty Matheson: A Cookbook

Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours

Tiffani Thiessen is beloved for her roles in Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, but for the past few years she's been known as the host of the Cooking Channel series Dinner at Tiffani's. Each episode showcased her classic-with-a-twist recipes and knack for hosting a good time. For three seasons, Tiffani's fans were able to fall in love with her all over again. Now, in Pull Up a Chair, readers can bring home Tiffani's delicious food and warm hospitality. The 125 recipes in this debut cookbook are the kind that bring people together. Whether it's Stuffed French Toast or her husband, Brady's Favorite Short Rib Enchiladas for family-friendly meals, Curried Deviled Eggs or Boozy Date Milkshakes for special-occasion treats, or Mom's Cream Cheese Pie--because you can't forget dessert! With recipes and tips for pleasing the pickiest of eaters, feeding a crowd or pulling off a party in your PJs, plus gorgeous photography, Pull Up a Chair will be the book that fans and avid home cooks alike will want to include in their collection.

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Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours

Becoming

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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Becoming

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More

Mending Matters explores sewing on two levels: First, it includes more than 20 hands-on projects that showcase current trends in visible mending that are edgy, modern, and bold—but draw on traditional stitching. It does all this through just four very simple mending techniques: exterior patches, interior patches, slow stitches, darning, and weaving. In addition, the book addresses the way mending leads to a more mindful relationship to fashion and to overall well-being. In essays that accompany each how-to chapter, Katrina Rodabaugh explores mending as a metaphor for appreciating our own naturally flawed selves, and she examines the ways in which mending teaches us new skills, self-reliance, and confidence, all gained from making things with our own hands.

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Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More

Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed

Inspired by the popular MUNCHIES and Viceland television series, Bong Appétit is the Joy of Cooking for a new generation interested in making serious, sophisticated food--with weed. Bong Appétit breaks down the science of infusing (oils, butters, milks, alcohol, and more) with cannabis, and offers recipes ranging from weed butter-basted chicken to weed chimichurri to weed brownie sundaes. Along the way, the book hits on marijuana politics, dosage, and pairing strains and flavors, and has tips from MUNCHIES vast network of friends and experts, including "Bong Appétit" stars Ry Prichard and Vanessa Lavorato.

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Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed

Unsolicited Advice 2019: Weekly Planner

Unsolicited Advice is a pocket-size dated agenda that gives you space to plan your life with encouragement, tiny handwritten advice, and jokes (that literally nobody asked for).

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Unsolicited Advice 2019: Weekly Planner

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks

As America's most trusted and beloved cookbook author, Ina Garten--the Barefoot Contessa--has taught millions of people how to cook. A home cook at heart, Ina knows that cooking and entertaining can be difficult, so to make her recipes simple and streamlined, she tests and retests each recipe until it's as straightforward and delicious as possible. Although Ina is completely self-taught and doesn't consider herself to be a "professional" cook, she has spent decades working with chefs and learning the techniques that take their cooking to the next level. In Cook Like a Pro, Ina shares some of her most irresistible recipes and very best "pro tips," from the secret to making her custardy, slow-cooked Truffled Scrambled Eggs to the key to the crispiest and juiciest Fried Chicken Sandwiches. Ina will even show you how to make an easy yet showstopping pattern for her Chocolate Chevron Cake--your friends won't believe you decorated it yourself!

For Ina, cooking like a pro also means hosting like a pro, and along with know-how like how to tell when a filet of beef is perfectly cooked, you'll find dozens of other great ideas to boost your cooking and entertaining skills such as how to set up an elegant home bar and how to make an impressive Raspberry Baked Alaska that can be completely prepared ahead of time so all you need to do is finish it for your guests before serving. Beginner and advanced cooks alike will love Ina's delectable recipes, and if you have questions along the way, don't worry--Ina's practical cooking advice talks you through every detail, as though she were right there by your side.

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Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks

Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You

Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos!

Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food

Season by Nik Sharma features delicious and intriguing recipes plus 270 of the most beautiful photographs ever seen in a cookbook. The bold flavors of Indian cooking combine with familiar ingredients and recipes of the American South and California in fresh ways.

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Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food

Minding the Store: A Big Story about a Small Business

In this charming graphic memoir, the founder of an iconic housewares shop recounts the ups and downs—and ups again—of starting a family business, starting a family, and staying true to one’s path while trying to make it in the Big City.

Whether it’s a set of vintage plates from a 1920s steamship, a mug with a New Yorker cartoon on it, a tin of sprinkles designed by Amy Sedaris, or a juice glass from a Jazz Age hotel, Fishs Eddy products are distinctly recognizable. A New York institution, Fishs Eddy also remains a family business whose owners endured the same challenges as many family businesses—and lived to write about it in this tale filled with humorous characterizations of opinionated relatives, nosy neighbors, quirky employees, and above all the eccentric foibles of the founders themselves. Readers come to know author Julie Gaines and her husband, with whom she founded the store, and because this is a family business, the illustrations are all in the family, too: their son Ben Lenovitz’s drawings bring Fishs Eddy to life with a witty style a la Roz Chast and Ben Katchor.

Over the years the store has collaborated with artists and celebrities such as Charley Harper and Todd Oldham, Alan Cumming, and many others to produce original designs that are now found in thousands of stores throughout the country, and Fishs Eddy has garnered a huge amount of media coverage. A great gift for anyone who has ever dreamed of opening a little business—or anyone with any kind of dream—Minding the Store offers wisdom, inspiration, and an exceedingly entertaining story.

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Minding the Store: A Big Story about a Small Business

The Cookie Book: Decadent Bites for Every Occasion

Rebecca Firth, food writer, photographer and creator of the sweet-focused blog DisplacedHousewife, is your go-to cookie source and new best friend. With prose that reads more like a chat between friends and recipes that mix comfort with innovation, her first book is guaranteed to delight. More than 75 brand-new recipes include easy-to-follow instructions, helpful tips and beautiful photography for each whimsical creation.

The Cookie Book includes a wide-range of cookies to fit every type of craving. You'll satisfy a simple mid-week chocolate chip cookie craving by perusing the Hella Chocolate Chip Cookie Chapter (think Big Ass Olive Oil Cookies and Everything Chocolate Chip Cookies). When you're looking to dive a little deeper into butter and sugar you can dabble in Dazzling Drop Cookies (Oatmeal, Blueberry + Puffed Quinoa Breakfast Cookies and Banana Bread Chocolate Chunk Cookies) or jump into the Jazz Hands Chapter and dazzle with Cold Brew Cookies With White Chocolate + Espresso Beans and Burnt Sugar Bark Ginger Cookies.

Rebecca has gained a large and loyal following for her sumptuous treats. "Writer, photographer and queen of cookies, Rebecca Firth teases my sweet tooth and I am not mad about it. Love following her and her tempting creations and can't wait to see what she comes up with next." Tiffani Thiessen, actress and author of Pull Up a Chair. The Cookie Book is a beautifully crafted book that will satisfy both long time DisplacedHousewife readers as well as enchant those discovering her for the first time.

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The Cookie Book: Decadent Bites for Every Occasion

Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer

The air fryer is the newest must-have kitchen appliance, and it's easy to see why: favorite fried foods come out perfectly crispy and crunchy, using little to no oil, and have a fraction of the calories that their traditionally fried counterparts have. The high-powered convection heating translates to faster cook times, and with so little oil, you'll have easy clean-up too. Air Fry Every Day shows you how to use your air fryer to create healthier fresh takes on comfort food classics, crowd-pleasing snacks, and kid-friendly dishes, such as buffalo wings, coconut shrimp, shoestring fries, stuffed blooming onions with lemon aioli, and spiced sweet potato wedges with garlic yogurt dip. You'll also find deliciously unexpected ways to put your air fryer to use in recipes such as golden bread crumb-crusted cider-brined pork chops, crispy air-fried rice, and beautifully bronzed whole heads of cauliflower. An air fryer is also incredibly versatile: with its powerful convection heating, it can bake, roast, and steam at superfast speeds, so in addition to craveworthy "fried" foods, you'll find recipes for roasted meats, breads, pizzas, and even desserts and sweet baked goods--you may never turn your oven on again. With recipes that are creative, fast, and foolproof, and essential tips and techniques to maximize your air fryer's capabilities, Air Fry Every Day is the best reason why you should add this tool to your arsenal of kitchen gadgets.

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Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer

Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food

The average American household throws away more than $1,500 worth of food every year. Featuring 100 recipes from chefs such as Rick Bayless, Elizabeth Falkner, Bryant Terry, and Katie Button, Waste Not shows readers how to turn ingredients that often end up in the trash into delicious dishes and exciting takes on tried-and-true recipes.

There are no better ambassadors to inspire people to reduce food waste than chefs. Nobody knows more about how to fully utilize every leaf, root, bone, stem, and rind, or has ideas for how to stretch dollars into delicious, satisfying dishes. Here, chefs from around the country share not only recipes for asparagus bottom aioli, squash-seed tahini, and fruit-skin-crusted mahi, but also their suggestions for how to get maximum mileage—and inspiration—from the food you buy. Curated by the James Beard Foundation, America’s leading organization for culinary innovation, Waste Not will change what—and how—you eat.

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Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food

Guys Knit: The Instruction Manual

Guys Knit provides a beginners’ guide to anyone who thinks they’d like to give knitting a go. Aimed specifically at the male market, it challenges the perceptions of who knitters are -- and breaks apart those dusty stereotypes to show, once and for all, that knitting is in no way a gendered pastime, but is instead, a universal hobby for anyone interested in working with their hands, and creating warm and practical things to wear, share or even sell.

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Guys Knit: The Instruction Manual

Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook

To the hundreds of thousands who follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Dorie Greenspan’s food is powerfully cookable—her recipes instant classics. In Everyday Dorie, she invites readers into her kitchen to savor the dishes that she makes all the time, from Miso-Glazed Salmon to Lemon Goop.

What makes a “Dorie recipe”?

Each one has a small surprise that makes it special. Mustard and walnuts in the cheese puffs. Cherry tomatoes stuffed into red bell peppers and oven-charred. Cannellini beans in cod en papillote. The dishes are practical, made with common ingredients from the supermarket, farmers’ market, or pantry, like Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs, which is both weeknight simple and fine enough for company, and Eton Mess, a beautifully casual dessert of crumbled meringue, fruit, and whipped cream. They are easygoing, providing swaps and substitutions. They invite mixing and matching. Many can be served as dinner, or as a side dish, or as an appetizer, or hot, cold, or room temperature. And every single one is like a best friend in the kitchen, full of Dorie’s infectious love of cooking and her trademark hand-holding directions.

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Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook

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