It occurred to me that I've neglected to catch you up on some of the swell cookbooks I edited last year. (Yes, I'm aware that it would have been a better idea to do this before the holidays, but you can buy someone a cookbook any time of year, right?) Today I'll share three of the more recent ones:
First is The Flying Brownie by Shirley Fan. The Flying Brownie?! Yes, and the subtitle is "100 Terrific Homemade Food Gifts for Friends and Loved Ones Far Away." So whether it's a care package for your favorite college student during finals week or a box of homemade goodies for a loved one on a military base in Afghanistan, this book tells you how to do it. The recipes are all meant to keep well during shipping, so they won't melt, fall apart, spoil, or leak. There are instructions for how to pack up each item and how long it will last. Most of them are baked treats, but there are also some snacks. (Oh, and if some of the recipes turn out so good that you end up eating them yourself, you'll just have to make another batch to send out the next day!)
This next one was fun to work on because it's all about a kitchen appliance I don't own—yet, that is. It's The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook by Kathy Strahs, and I have to tell you that I was a little skeptical at first—I mean, a sandwich is a sandwich, right? Wrong! There are some amazing recipes in here, and I learned quickly that the panini press can do a lot more than just grilled cheese. (Mmm, grilled cheese.) Take a look at Strahs's blog, PaniniHappy for a preview of what's in this book.
A Passion for Bread is a gorgeous book. Lionel Vatinet is a master baker, trained in France and committed to sharing his, well, passion for bread with the world. I was thrilled to finally get my copy of the book so I could look at the lovely photos! (Some of the sections were really tricky to edit without the photos in front of me, because they describe kneading techniques that I couldn't quite envision. It's always better when the photos are available at the editing stage—they don't say "a picture is worth a thousand words" for nothing, you know!—but it's just not always possible.) Here's a nice article about Vatinet, who now owns a bakery in North Carolina.