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Here's why I love cookbooks and think they are worth buying and giving, even as our little black box devices can call up recipes lickety split.  When I buy a cookbook I spend a few weeks cooking only from it.  I read the front parts and the back parts and I don't flip straight to recipes.  Why? Because the reason a publishing house spent tons of hours and dollars in printing and editing and testing this beauty is because this person is good at what they do. Better than me for sure, can't say about you.  Either way, if you read a cookbook and shop its recipes and cook them for a few weeks, you will grasp more deeply how to cook.  Because this chef has developed a noteworthy system of cooking that people find delicious.  There's never one single way to learn to cook, but me - I buy cookbooks and then cook from them.  I've done my best to collect ones you'll love - let me know if I'm missing any, will ya?  read@prairiepathbooks.com

Cookbooks

Garlic: More Than 65 Deliciously Different Ways to Enjoy Cooking with Garlic

Garlic: More Than 65 Deliciously Different Ways to Enjoy Cooking with Garlic

$21.95
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A celebration of garlic from festivals to folklore plus a stunning collection of more than 65 delicious recipes from around the world.

A celebration of garlic from festivals to folklore plus a stunning collection of more than 65 delicious recipes from around the world.

Although garlic is neither an herb or a spice it has been used to enhance food as far back as when the pyramids at Giza were built. This unassuming bulb packs a powerful punch and is an essential element to recipes from around the world. Chefs and home cooks use it to enhance and intensify other ingredients or even as the signature element of a dish. Its taste varies in depth and aroma depending on the way it is cooked and the variety used. The garlic bulbs found on sale are actually dried in the sun, though we tend to consider them fresh. Smoked garlic is dried garlic that has been smoked to give it a golden hue and mellow smoky flavor. Wild garlic, or 'ramps', is a seasonal and foraged variety that, unlike common cultivated garlic, it is the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs.

Jenny Linford's inspired recipes include delicious ideas for dips, snacks, meat, poultry, and fish plus pastas and breads. Master much-loved classics such as Aioli, Ajo Blanco (almond gazpacho), Spaghetti al Vongole, Garlic and Anchovy Roast Lamb, and Boeuf Bourguignon, then try some new recipes such as Garlic and Pistachio Muffins, Korean Beef Bulgogi, Stir-fried Miso Pork with Wild Garlic, and a Taiwanese Braised Pork Bao (steamed buns). In addition to the recipes, essay features give an insight into various aspect of garlic, from Health and Traditional Medicine to Folklore and from Growing Garlic at Home to Garlic festivals.

Heather Christo's Generous Table: Easy & Elegant Recipes Through the Seasons

Heather Christo's Generous Table: Easy & Elegant Recipes Through the Seasons

$29.95
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Heather Christo, the younger generation's entertaining doyenne, relates to the challenges facing her busy readers, women who may juggle marriage, family, careers and budgets, but who still wish to host beautiful, unique get-togethers for the people closest to them. Heather has spent a year chronicling the special occasions that season her family's life--wedding showers, baby showers, holiday celebrations, family birthdays and many wonderful meals shared with people they love--everyday celebrations that many families observe, and which many readers would like to be better prepared for. This is where her experience as a working mom of young children and her expertise as a chef and entertaining expert come together. Generous Table is more than just a cookbook. It is easy to find vast collections of great recipes. But how do you turn them into great meals, great experiences? Especially parties, of any size, where there is always added pressure to be organized, for things to look beautiful, and, of course, for the food to be completely delicious! Generous Table is a kind of "how-to kit" for people who want to be able to throw any type of party in their own home. Containing lists, instructions, menu options, and tons of photographs, it eliminates stress and confusion and removes the intimidation factor of presenting beautiful meals. Heather has taken all of the guesswork out of entertaining by offering ideas for table settings, flowers, and a menu complete with tried-and-loved recipes. Generous Table is split up into four sections corresponding to the seasons. Each section features five sample menus for a variety of fêtes from the most casual to the most elaborate, including Early Spring Dinner, Game Night, Southern Housewarming, and Snow Day Lunch, along with special events like showers, anniversaries, and birthdays. Every recipe, from Cheddar and Chive Scones with Red-onion Jam to BBQ Grilled Wild King Salmon with Apricot-mustard Glaze and Grilled Stone Fruit to Rustic Pear and Cranberry Crostata emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients. The book also includes Stylish Sidebars that tastefully correspond with each menu. In total, the book includes 105 recipes and about 20 sidebars with useful information such as "How to Set Up a Tasting Bar," "Glittery Decorations for a Spooky Halloween Supper," "How to Prepare a Brunch Ahead of Time." Heather is most concerned with making food that is not only beautiful to look at but tastes amazing, food that you find yourself thinking about days later that come from recipes that will last a lifetime.
Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook

Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook

$35.00
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A recipe collection and how-to guide for preparing base ingredients that can be used to make simple, weeknight meals, while also teaching skills like building and cooking over a fire, and preserving meat and produce, written by a sustainable food expert and founder of Belcampo Meat Co.

Anya Fernald's approach to cooking is anything but timid: rich sauces, meaty ragus, perfectly charred vegetables. And her execution is unfussy, with the singular goal of making delicious, exuberantly flavored, unpretentious food with the best ingredients. Inspired by the humble traditions of cucina povera, the frugal cooking of Italian peasants, Anya brings a forgotten pragmatism to home cooking, making use of seasonal bounty by canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, salt curing fish, simmering flavorful broths with leftover bones, and transforming tough cuts of meat into supple stews and sauces with long cooking. These building blocks become the basis for a kitchen repertoire that is inspired, thrifty, environmentally sound, and most importantly, bursting with flavor. Recipes like Red Pepper and Walnut Crema, Green Tomato and Caper Salad, Chickpea Torte, Cracked Crab with Lemon-Chile Vinaigrette, Veal Meatballs, Anise-Seed Breakfast Cookies, and Ligurian Sangria will add dimension and excitement to both weeknight meals and parties.

We all want to be better, more intuitive, more relaxed cooks--not just for the occasional dinner party, but every day. Punctuated by essays on the author's approach to entertaining, cooking with cast-iron, and a primer on buying and cooking steak, Home Cooked is an antidote to the chef and restaurant books that leave you no roadmap for tonight's dinner. With Home Cooked, Anya gives you the confidence, and the recipes, to love cooking again.

-- Saveur, Best of 2016

Home Cooking

Home Cooking

$15.95
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Weaving together memories, recipes, and wild tales of years spent in the kitchen, Home Cooking is Laurie Colwin's cookbook manifesto on the joys of sharing food and entertaining.

"As much memoir as cookbook and as much about eating as cooking." --The New York Times Book Review

From the humble hotplate of her one-room apartment to the crowded kitchens of bustling parties, Colwin regales us with tales of meals gone both magnificently well and disastrously wrong. Hilarious, personal, and full of Colwin's hard-won expertise, Home Cooking will speak to the heart of any amateur cook, professional chef, or food lover.


Colwin's culinary reminiscences are as graceful and engaging as her fiction (Family Happiness, 1982; Another Marvelous Thing, 1986; etc.).

 

Her little three-to-five-page pieces, each one culminating in a usable, appealing, no-frills recipe, tell of feeding friends or savoring solitary eggplant dinners in her first apartment, a Greenwich Village find "a little larger than the Columbia Encyclopedia"; of feeding Irish colcannon to homeless "ladies" at a drop-in Center; and of feeding offense-free dishes to the fussy, the variously restricted, and the allergic—as "you don't want to be the death of your guests, though sometimes is seems that they will be the death of you." Colwin rhapsodizes over English double cream, too thick to pour, and shudders to recall a genius host's repulsive but mercifully stingy casserole. She boasts of the Boston Brown Bread that "I have now made so many times I could make it under general anesthesia," and confesses to a disastrous, capriciously stuffed snapper that "finally emerged from the oven looking like Hieronymus Bosch's vision of hell." Early on, in dismissing the need for an extensive batterie de cuisine, Colwin confides that "I myself once cooked spaghetti in a champagne bucket"—a confidence that well sums up both the genteel legacy and the redeeming no-nonsense composure that inform her approach to the kitchen arts. - Sandy

Home Made Winter

Home Made Winter

$35.00
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"Because I'm often headstrong, I've sometimes interpreted classic recipes completely in my own way, and I hope you won't mind. Because I'm often impatient, I've sometimes drawn the recipes because it's faster, and because at times, probably unnecessarily, I worry that you don't think in the same realm as I do, I've also added memories and photos so you get a sense of what I mean. Just like a formally decorated table, or a beautifully arranged plate, I believe that a cookbook should exude a certain spirit that I think you should be in when you get in the mood to get going in the kitchen."
--from the Introduction

HOME MADE blew readers away with its stunning package, delicious recipes, beautiful photos, step-by-step instruction, and Yvette van Boven's own hand-drawn artwork throughout the book. Van Boven's passion for great food and good humor could be felt on every page in the book. Now, in the follow-up HOME MADE WINTER, van Boven's heartfelt work is presented again, this time with recipes intended for the winter season. Inspired by her childhood in Ireland and her frequent sojourns in France, she has created a collection of recipes that will warm your heart. Chapters include Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch; Pies and Sweet Things for Tea Time; Beverages; To Start; and Dessert. She focuses on simple recipes for classic dishes such as apple cider, BBQ pulled pork, ricotta cheesecake, and more. Step-by-step, she explains how to make butter, beef sausage, and baileys. She also features her favorite winter holiday recipes. This book is sure to become the next must-have for home cooks.

Praise for Home Made Winter:

"One of the most fun and useful of its ilk to hit the market in recent memory." --Buffalo Spree magazine

"Even the most challenged cook will appreciate the coffee table value of the gorgeous photography of the moors, streams and gently rolling hills of the Emerald Isle." --Shelf Awareness

"Van Boven delivers a cozy, intimate collection of recipes and illustrations." --Buffalo News

Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure

Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure

$24.99
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This book is a map for how, day in and day out, food shapes my life for the better, in the kitchen and beyond it.
--from the Introduction

Start where you are. Feed yourself. Do your best, and then let go. Be helpful. Slow down. Don't be afraid of food.

Alana Chernila has these phrases taped to her fridge, and they are guiding principles helping her to stay present in her kitchen. They also provide the framework for her second book. In The Homemade Kitchen she exalts the beautiful imperfections of food made at home and extends the lessons of cooking through both the quotidian and extraordinary moments of the day. Alana sees cooking as an opportunity to live consciously, not just as a means to an end.

Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe's worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you'll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, "late summer in a bowl"; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake.

In this follow-up to Alana's wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want.

Homemade Pantry

Homemade Pantry

$24.99
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"This is my kitchen. Come on in, but be prepared--it might not be quite what you expect. There is flour on the counter, oats that overflowed onto the floor, chocolate-encrusted spoons in the sink. There is Joey, the husband, exhausted by the thirty-five preschoolers who were hanging on him all day, and he is stuffing granola into his mouth to ease his five o'clock starvation. There are two little girls trying to show me cartwheels in that miniscule space between the refrigerator and the counter where I really need to be."

In her debut cookbook, Alana Chernila inspires you to step inside your kitchen, take a look around, and change the way you relate to food. The Homemade Pantry was born of a tight budget, Alana's love for sharing recipes with her farmers' market customers, and a desire to enjoy a happy cooking and eating life with her young family. On a mission to kick their packaged-food habit, she learned that with a little determination, anything she could buy at the store could be made in her kitchen, and her homemade versions were more satisfying, easier to make than she expected, and tastier.

Here are her very approachable recipes for 101 everyday staples, organized by supermarket aisle--from crackers to cheese, pesto to sauerkraut, and mayonnaise to toaster pastries. The Homemade Pantry is a celebration of food made by hand--warm mozzarella that is stretched, thick lasagna noodles rolled from flour and egg, fresh tomato sauce that bubbles on the stove. Whether you are trying a recipe for butter, potato chips, spice mixes, or ketchup, you will discover the magic and thrill that comes with the homemade pantry.

Alana captures the humor and messiness of everyday family life, too. A true friend to the home cook, she shares her "tense moments" to help you get through your own. With stories offering patient, humble advice, tips for storing the homemade foods, and rich four-color photography throughout, The Homemade Pantry will quickly become the go-to source for how to make delicious staples in your home kitchen.

How to Cook Everything--Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition: Simple Recipes for Great Food

How to Cook Everything--Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition: Simple Recipes for Great Food

$37.00
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The ultimate kitchen companion, completely updated and better than ever, now for the first time featuring color photos

For twenty years, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything has been the definitive guide to simple home cooking. This new edition has been completely revised for today's cooks while retaining Bittman's trademark minimalist style--easy-to-follow recipes and variations, and tons of ideas and inspiration.

Inside, you'll find hundreds of brand-new features, recipes, and variations, like Slow-Simmered Beef Chili, My New Favorite Fried Chicken, and Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce; plus old favorites from the previous editions, in many cases reimagined with new methods or flavors. Recipes and features are designed to give you unparalleled freedom and flexibility: for example, infinitely variable basic techniques (Grilling Vegetables, Roasting Seafood); innovative uses for homemade condiments; easy-to-make one-pot pastas; and visual guides to improvising soups, stir-fries, and more. Bittman has also updated all the information on ingredients, including whole grains and produce, alternative baking staples, and sustainable seafood. And, new for this edition, recipes are showcased throughout with color photos.

By increasing the focus on usability, modernizing the recipes to become new favorites, and adding gorgeous photography, Mark Bittman has updated this classic cookbook to be more indispensable than ever.

How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places

How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places

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Named one of the best cookbooks of the year by The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Rachel Ray Every Day, NPR and The Boston Globe.

When Diana Henry was sixteen she started a menu notebook (an exercise book carefully covered in wrapping paper). Planning a menu is still her favorite part of cooking.

Menus can create very different moods; they can take you places, from an afternoon at the seaside in Brittany to a sultry evening eating mezze in Istanbul. They also have to work as a meal that flows and as a group of dishes that the cook can manage without becoming totally stressed. The 24 menus and 100 recipes in this book reflect places Diana loves, and dishes that are real favorites.

The menus are introduced with personal essays in Diana's now well-known voice- about places or journeys or particular times and explain the choice of dishes. Each menu is a story in itself, but the recipes can also stand alone.

The title of the book refers to how Italians end a meal in the summer, when it's too hot to cook. The host or hostess just puts a bowl of peaches on the table and offers glasses of chilled moscato (or even Marsala). Guests then slice their peach into the glass, before eating the slices and drinking the wine.

That says something very important about eating - simplicity and generosity and sometimes not cooking are what it's about.

In Pursuit of Flavor

In Pursuit of Flavor

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The classic cookbook from "the first lady of Southern cooking" (NPR), featuring a new foreword by Mashama Bailey, star of Netflix documentary series Chef's Table.

Decades before cornbread, shrimp and grits, and peach cobbler were mainstays on menus everywhere, Edna Lewis was pioneering the celebration of seasonal food as a distinctly American cuisine.

In this James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame-inducted cookbook, Miss Lewis (as she was almost universally known) shares the recipes of her childhood, spent in a Virginia farming community founded by her grandfather and his friends after emancipation, as well as those that made her one of the most revered American chefs of all time. Interspersed throughout are personal anecdotes, cooking insights, notes on important Southern ingredients, and personally developed techniques for maximizing flavor.

Across six charmingly illustrated chapters--From the Gardens and Orchards; From the Farmyard; From the Lakes, Steams, and Oceans; For the Cupboard; From the Bread Oven and Griddle; and The Taste of Old-fashioned Desserts--encompassing almost 200 recipes, Miss Lewis captures the spirit of the South. From Whipped Cornmeal with Okra; Pan-Braised Spareribs; and Benne Seed Biscuits to Thirteen-Bean Soup; Pumpkin with Sautéed Onions and Herbs; a Salad of Whole Tomatoes Garnished with Green Beans and Scallions; and Raspberry Pie Garnished with Whipped Cream, In Pursuit of Flavor is a modern classic and a timeless compendium of Southern cooking at its very best.

Jacques Pépin Poulets & Légumes: My Favorite Chicken & Vegetable Recipes

Jacques Pépin Poulets & Légumes: My Favorite Chicken & Vegetable Recipes

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From the world-renowned chef and celebrated artist, a must-have collection of everyday and elegant chicken and vegetable recipes

The legendary cooking teacher whom GQ calls "the most impactful living chef in America" shares his favorite chicken and vegetable recipes from a half-century career spanning two continents. Some, like Poulet à la Crème and Baker's Wife Potatoes, recall the country French dishes of his childhood, while Chicken with Cognac Sauce and Velvet Spinach come from his days in fine French restaurants. Most, though, are born in his contemporary Connecticut kitchen. All have that trademark Pépin touch: made with just a few steps but sublime enough for company, from Roast Split Chicken with Mustard Crust to Caramelized Tomatoes Provençal. Charmingly illustrated with Pépin's paintings, this little compendium is perfect for revitalizing every cook's repertoire.

Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking: A Cookbook

Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking: A Cookbook

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"A celebration of African American cuisine right now, in all of its abundance and variety."--Tejal Rao, The New York Times

JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNER - IACP AWARD WINNER - IACP BOOK OF THE YEAR - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - The New Yorker - NPR - Chicago Tribune - The Atlantic - BuzzFeed - Food52

Throughout her career, Toni Tipton-Martin has shed new light on the history, breadth, and depth of African American cuisine. She's introduced us to black cooks, some long forgotten, who established much of what's considered to be our national cuisine. After all, if Thomas Jefferson introduced French haute cuisine to this country, who do you think actually cooked it?

In Jubilee, Tipton-Martin brings these masters into our kitchens. Through recipes and stories, we cook along with these pioneering figures, from enslaved chefs
 to middle- and upper-class writers and entrepreneurs. With more than 100 recipes, from classics such as Sweet Potato Biscuits, Seafood Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Pecan Pie with Bourbon to lesser-known but even more decadent dishes like Bourbon & Apple Hot Toddies, Spoon Bread, and Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne, Jubilee presents techniques, ingredients, and dishes that show the roots of African American cooking--deeply beautiful, culturally diverse, fit for celebration.

Praise for Jubilee

"There are precious few feelings as nice as one that comes from falling in love with a cookbook. . . . New techniques, new flavors, new narratives--everything so thrilling you want to make the recipes over and over again . . . this has been my experience with Toni Tipton-Martin's Jubilee."--Sam Sifton, The New York Times

"Despite their deep roots, the recipes--even the oldest ones--feel fresh and modern, a testament to the essentiality of African-American gastronomy to all of American cuisine."--The New Yorker

"Jubilee is part-essential history lesson, part-brilliantly researched culinary artifact, and wholly functional, not to mention deeply delicious."--Kitchn

"Tipton-Martin has given us the gift of a clear view of the generosity of the black hands that have flavored and shaped American cuisine for over two centuries."--Taste