101 Cookbooks

When you own over 100 cookbooks, it is time to stop buying, and start cooking. This site chronicles a cookbook collection, one recipe at a time.

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Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake

I baked a 100% rye flour version of Benjamina Ebuehi’s Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake yesterday, and it’s everything you want in a cake. It is from her book The New Way to Cake, the chocolate notes are deep, the crumb perfectly moist, and the salted tahini icing? Something I didn’t know I needed in my life until now. The tahini rounds out the sweetness...

Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup

There are two things we have in spades right now – ripe tomatoes and sourdough bread. Inevitably, this time of year the variations on tomato soups and sauces coming out of the kitchen are many. The other night, I made this. Walking into the kitchen, I imagined building on the idea behind pappa al pomodoro, the tomato-centric, bread-thickened Tuscan...

Rustic Tomato Tart

Free-form tarts are the savior of the unfussy cook. Unlike tarts baked in a pan, there’s no need to worry about trimming dough, rolling out perfect circles, or using pie weights. They’re the sort of thing I love to pull from my oven year round, but especially in conjunction with peak tomato season. A beautiful tomato tart layered with jammy, caramelized...

Frosty Lime Sherbet

Temperatures spiked to over 90°F this week in Los Angeles and the Santa Ana winds are here. Winds like these – hot, dry, strong, unpredictable – are unusual in June. They bring morning nose bleeds and turn palm fronds into ribbons that can cut. They’re both beautiful and disturbing. To keep doors and windows from slamming (and to keep the air circulating),...

Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes a single beautiful loaf of walnut studded zucchini bread. And a sizable one at that. For years I would load my zucchini bread batter with all manner of zest, spice, and whatnot. But that’s not how I roll anymore. Over the years I began to prefer this pared-down and more minimalist version. Moist, just sweet enough and loaded with toasted...

A Favorite Rice Noodle Stir Fry to Make with Whatever Green Veg you Have

If you messaged me this week after I posted a badly lit photo of an exceptionally tasty stir fry on Instagram, this is 100% for you!  It’s the kind of stir fry I pull together often, a catch-all of things needing to be used up. You’ve got silky rice noodles, bright and crunchy broccoli, toasted cashews, quick-marinated crumbled tofu, and pan-seared...

Chocolate Dipped Biscotti

Sesame studded and heavily scented with crushed fennel seeds and chamomile, these chocolate dipped biscotti punctuated my espressos all week. They were the petite treats I looked forward to. If you’ve never baked biscotti before, they’re a lot of fun, and quite adaptable. The main thing? You double bake them. First with the biscotti dough shaped into...

Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake

Buckle up everyone! I’m going to counter all the recent bean recipes with a birthday cake. It was Wayne’s birthday this week and I felt like a special cake was in order. I wanted to make something that looked classic from the outside, with a surprise when you slice into it. I also wanted to combine all the flavors he loves – chocolate, olive oil, almond,...

Homemade Refried Beans

If you’ve only had refried beans from a can, this should be the next recipe you cook. Homemade refried beans are a game-changer. They’re simple to make and having them on hand makes it simple to throw together meals for days. Think tacos, tostadas, chilaquiles, and next-level bean dips. There are a lot of opinions about how to make refried beans. I’ll...

How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy, and Nearly Perfect

This is a recipe I included in Near & Far in 2015 inspired by a trip to Italy a few years prior to that. It’s arguably the best way I know to cook beans, a version of the much-loved Tuscan bean recipe – fagioli al fiasco. And it’s the method I always return to. Traditionally, beans were baked overnight in a Chianti bottle placed near the embers...

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