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Welcome to WFAEats — a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

Something Tasteful: New Books About Cooking


With the holiday season in full swing, frantic gift-givers may be running short of ideas. Here are some new cookbooks sure to delight any appetite.

Armchair travelers will swoon over the exotic Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid. It’s thick with intriguing recipes and gorgeous photos.

The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook by Thomas Keller, Sebastien Rouel, et al.; is a big, beautiful “coffee-table” book of pastry delights with luscious photos by Deborah Jones.

Our favorite book to ease the stress for anxious hosts is Seriously Simple Parties: Recipes, Menus & Advice for Effortless Entertaining by Diane Rosssen Worthington, photos by Yvonne Duivenvoorden.

Next year we’ll start earlier so we’ll have plenty of time to explore, make - and taste - the libations in Cordials from Your Kitchen: Easy, Elegant Liqueurs You Can Make & Give by Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling.

For a fun group activity, Gina Hyams brings us a new addition to her series of super-cute kits: Christmas Cookie Contest in A Box: Everything You Need to Host a Christmas Cookie Contest. (The others are chili and pie-themed.) Kids of all ages can make cupcake-style goodies with Bake It In a Cup: Simple Meals and Sweets Kids Can Bake in Silicone Cups by Julia Myall with photos by Greg Lowe. Brightly colored cups are included.

Historical cookbooks offer a wealth of insights into our shared cultural heritage. The Jewish Cookery Book, originally written by Esther Levy with a new introduction by esteemed culinarian Joan Nathan, reproduces the work originally issued in 1871 to help immigrants learn their way around American kitchens. It’s part of the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection.

Recipes to Remember: My Epicurean Journey to Preserve My Mother’s Italian Cooking from Memory Loss by Barbara Magro

Barbara Magro explores the power of family legacy in her deeply personal work, Recipes to Remember: My Epicurean Journey to Preserve My Mother’s Italian Cooking from Memory Loss.

Both novice and experienced cooks who make New Year’s Resolutions to expand their kitchen skills will enjoy diving into Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook; with photos by Alex Farnum.

Preserving Wild Foods: A Modern Forager’s Recipes for Curing, Canning, Smoking and Pickling, by Matthew Weingarten and Raquel Pelzel, is smartly organized by locales where the foods are found: coastlines, pastures, forests and fields.

Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free One-Dish Dinners by Robin Robertson

Those planning to adopt a healthier lifestyle in the new year will enjoy Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free  One-Dish Dinners by Robin Robertson; and Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body by Stephanie Tourles.

Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook with over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year, by Del Sroufe et al., expands on the principles from the thought-provoking  2011 film.

These are just a few of our favorites this season. What’s your favorite cookbook? Something new, or tried and true? Post a comment here and tell us - one lucky reader will win a free copy of a book from our list.

Happy holidays!

Amy Rogers is the author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas and Red Pepper Fudge and Blue Ribbon Biscuits. Her writing has also been featured in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing, the Oxford American, and the Charlotte Observer. She is founding publisher of the award-winning Novello Festival Press. She received a Creative Artist Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council, and was the first person to receive the award for non-fiction writing. Her reporting has also won multiple awards from the N.C. Working Press Association. She has been Writer in Residence at the Wildacres Center, and a program presenter at dozens of events, festivals, arts centers, schools, and other venues. Amy Rogers considers herself “Southern by choice,” and is a food and culture commentator for NPR station WFAE.