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California Cooking

Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner

Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner Lowest new price: $9.75
Lowest used price: $2.00
List price: $35.00
Author: Giada De Laurentiis
Brand: De Laurentiis, Giada

Giada De Laurentiis is one of America’s most-loved culinary stars, adored for her Food Network hit shows and her New York Times bestselling cookbooks alike, both of which feature her fresh, flavorful Italian recipes. For the first time, Giada tackles weeknight cooking, sharing her favorite tips and go-to dishes—all in her vibrant signature style—to get a delicious meal on the table in a flash.
After a full day, Giada, like most parents, wants nothing more than to sit down for a home-cooked dinner with her husband, Todd, and their daughter, Jade. Weeknights with Giada rises to the challenge, delivering soups, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, and meat and fish dishes that come together quickly as stand-alone main courses—most in half an hour or less: Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup, a hearty soul-warming one-pot dish, cooks in under twenty minutes; Lemony White Bean, Tuna, and Arugula Salad is a great meal that’s quickly assembled from pantry and fridge essentials; Spicy Linguini with Clams and Mussels is a fifteen-minute-or-less spectacular pasta; and you can’t beat Grilled Sirloin Steaks with Pepper and Caper Salsa, which are also ready in just fifteen minutes. From inventive breakfast-for-dinner dishes and meatless Monday vegetarian recipes—both weekly traditions in Giada’s house—to picnic sandwiches and hearty salad recipes for reinventing leftovers, Weeknights with Giada reveals every secret in her repertoire. Even the desserts are quick to mix and bake, should a craving—or a last-minute school bake sale—strike.
Here is Giada at her most inventive—and at her most laid-back. Flavor, freshness, and fun take center stage while cooking times, pots dirtied, and stress are kept to a minimum. With gorgeous color photographs and intimate home snapshots of Giada and her family, Weeknights with Giada is a welcome handbook of fantastic recipes and surefire Monday-to-Friday strategies for every home cook.

Featured Recipe: Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagna

Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagna

No-boil noodles and a food processor are what make this lasagna a weeknight-dinner friend. Both help to put a super-creamy, provolone-cheesy, comforting, and downright amazing pasta dish on the table for the family. One tip to minimize clean-up and avoid hand-grating the cheese: use the shredding attachment of the food processor to grate the provolone first. Then, without having to wash the bowl, you can switch to the blade to make the sweet corn and basil filling. Smiles all around!

Serves 4-6

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 3 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 6 no-boil lasagna sheets (about half a 9-ounce box)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. In a food processor, blend the corn, cream, and garlic until chunky. Add the mascarpone cheese, 1 cup of the romano cheese, the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until just combined. Spread one-third of the corn mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with one-third of the provolone cheese. Place two lasagna sheets on top. Repeat twice with the remaining corn mixture, provolone cheese, and lasagna sheets. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup romano cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.


  • Used Book in Good Condition

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Start the Fire: How I Began A Food Revolution In America

Start the Fire: How I Began A Food Revolution In America Lowest new price: $8.15
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Author: Jeremiah Tower
Brand: Ecco Press


Newly revised and reissued to coincide with The Last Magnificent, a documentary feature produced by Anthony Bourdain, the indelible and entertaining memoir from Jeremiah Tower which chronicles life at the front lines of redefining modern American cuisine.

Widely recognized as the godfather of modern American cooking, Jeremiah Tower is one of the most influential cooks of the last forty years. In 2004, he rocked the culinary world with a tell-all story of his lifelong love affair with food, and the restaurants and people along the way.

In this newly revised edition of his memoir, retitled Start the Fire, Tower shares with wit and honesty his insights into cooking, chefs, celebrities, and what really goes on in the kitchen. Above all, Tower rhapsodizes about food—the meals choreographed like great ballets, the menus scored like concertos. No other book reveals more about the seeds sown in the seventies, the excesses of the eighties, and the self-congratulations of the nineties.

With a new introduction by the author, Start the Fire is an essential account of the most important years in the history of American cooking, from one of its singular personalities.


  • Ecco Press

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Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

Chez Panisse Café Cookbook Lowest new price: $10.15
Lowest used price: $2.02
List price: $37.50
Author: Alice L. Waters
Brand: imusti

We hung the walls with old French movie posters advertising the films of Marcel Pagnol, films that had already provided us with both a name and an ideal: to create a community of friends, lovers, and relatives that span generations and is in tune with the seasons, the land, and human appetites.

So writes Alice Waters of the opening of Berkeley's Chez Panisse Café on April Fool's Day, 1980. Located above the more formal Chez Panisse Restaurant, the Café is a bustling neighborhood bistro where guests needn't reserve far in advance and can choose from the ever-changing à la carte menu. It's the place where Alice Waters's inventive chefs cook in a more impromptu and earthy vein, drawing on the healthful, low-tech traditions of the cuisines of such Mediterranean regions as Catalonia, Campania, and Provence, while improvising and experimenting with the best products of Chez Panisse's own regional network of small farms and producers.

In the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook, the follow-up to the award-winning Chez Panisse Vegetables, Alice Waters and her team of talented cooks offer more than 140 of the café's best-recipes--some that have been on the menu since the day café opened and others freshly reinvented with the honesty and ingenuity that have made Chez Panisse so famous. In addition to irresistible recipes, the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook is filled with chapter-opening essays on the relationships Alice has cultivated with the farmers, foragers and purveyors--most of them within an hour's drive of Berkeley--who make it possible for Chez Panisse to boast that nearly all food is locally grown, certifiably organic, and sustainably grown and harvested.

Alice encourages her chefs and cookbook readers alike to decide what to cook only after visiting the farmer's market or produce stand. Then we can all fully appreciate the advantages of eating according to season--fresh spring lamb in late March, ripe tomato salads in late summer, Comice pear crisps in autumn.

This book begins with a chapter of inspired vegetable recipes, from a vivid salad of avocados and beets to elegant Morel Mushroom Toasts to straightforward side dishes of Spicy Broccoli Raab and Garlicky Kale. The Chapter on eggs and cheese includes two of the café's most famous dishes, a garden lettuce salad with baked goat cheese and the Crostata di Perrella, the café's version of a calzone. Later chapters focus on fish and shellfish, beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, each offering its share of delightful dishes. You'll find recipes for curing your own pancetta, for simple grills and succulent braises, and for the definitive simple roast chicken--as well as sumptuous truffed chicken breasts. Finally the pastry cooks of Chez Panisse serve forth a chapter of uncomplicated sweets, including Apricot Bread Pudding, Chocolate Almond Cookies, and Wood Oven-baked Figs with Raspberries.

Gorgeously designed and illustrated throughout with colored block prints by David Lance Goines, who has eaten at the café since the day it opened, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook is destined to become an indispensable classic. Fans of Alice Waters's restaurant and café will be thrilled to discover the recipes that keep them coming back for more. Loyal readers of her earlier cookbooks will delight in this latest collection of time-tested, deceptively simple recipes. And anyone who loves pure, vibrant, delicious fare made from the finest ingredients will be honored to add these new recipes to his or her repertoire.

In the 1970s, Alice Waters helped launch the revolution in American cuisine. She inspired a generation of food lovers with her passion for freshness and the best ingredients. Her influence helped infuse menus all over the U.S. with dishes rooted in Mediterranean cooking, often with a sunny, California twist. Dishes at the casual café, located upstairs in the same enchanting house as Chez Panisse, her more formal restaurant in Berkeley, California, include Wood Oven Baked Porcini Mushrooms, Tuna Confit, and Meyer Lemon Éclairs. Waters suggests making the mushrooms in your fireplace if you can, although recipe directions are for a conventional oven. Typical of the ingredient-driven cooking Waters encourages, the stunning tang of the éclairs requires Meyer lemons: a cross between a lemon and an orange, which are now exported beyond their native California. But the fresh tuna steak gently simmered in olive oil with garlic, fresh thyme, and fennel seeds and served with barely cooked green beans and aïoli, a pungent garlic mayonnaise, is sublime even made in an apartment kitchen. Her point is that you should use her recipes as guides, letting them inspire you to make the most of locally produced, seasonal foods in your area.

Alice Waters is an enchanting raconteur and an activist as well as a chef. In The Chez Panisse CaféCookbook, she weaves her beliefs about food as pleasure, sustenance, art, and politics in with over 200 recipes. Bringing you into the community she has been instrumental in creating to preserve the earth's resources as well as to provide great ingredients, Waters tells about the producers who share her passions. They respect the environment, using only sustainable production methods while delivering the freshest possible product, be it free-range poultry and eggs, acorn-fed pigs, impeccable oysters, or organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Jewel-colored Art Nouveau-style illustrations by David Goines give this book the same distinctive look as earlier Chez Panisse cookbooks, including those devoted solely to pasta, vegetables and desserts. --Dana Jacobi


  • HarperCollins Publishers

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A Burger to Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals

A Burger to Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals Lowest new price: $29.99
List price: $29.99
Author: Chris Kronner

A deep-dive into the art and philosophy of making the perfect hamburger--with recipes for game-changing burgers and all the accoutrements--from the cult favorite Oakland restaurant KronnerBurger.

Chris Kronner has dedicated his creative energy, professional skills, and a lifetime of burger memories to understanding America's favorite sandwich, earning rave reviews and legions of fans for his achingly delicious, perfect-in-their-simplicity hamburgers. In his debut cookbook, On Burgers, this trusted chef reveals the secrets behind his art and obsession, and teaches you how to create all of the elements of a perfect burger at home. Including tips for sourcing and grinding high-quality meat, a meditation on what makes a good bun, creative ideas for toppings (spoiler alert: there are more bad ideas out there than good, and restraint is the name of the game), and more than 40 non-burger recipes--from perfect onion rings to seasonal salads to Fish Fillet-inspired Crab Burgers--this book is not only a burger bible but a lens into the mind of one of the best rising star chefs.

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Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food (Sunset)

Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food (Sunset) Lowest new price: $23.98
Lowest used price: $7.62
List price: $35.00
Author: Joanne Weir
Brand: Joanne Weir

From the beloved host and producer of PBS series Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence and Joanne Weir Gets Fresh.

"Joanne's infectious enthusiasm...draws readers effortlessly into a new and beautiful relationship to food." - Alice Waters

Chef, cooking instructor, and PBS television host Joanne Weir has inspired legions of home cooks with her signature California-Mediterranean cuisine and warm, engaging style. In Kitchen Gypsy, the James Beard Award-winning author offers a taste of the people, places, and flavors that have inspired her throughout the years.

With refreshing honesty and humor, Joanne shares the spark that led to her love of cooking, how she learned to taste and develop a palate, the meal that would forever change her life, her years working with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse during the beginning of the farm-to-table movement, and her continued travels teaching cooking classes the world over.

Throughout, she offers the cherished dishes and lessons that have shaped her culinary journey, from the 140-year-old Lighting Cake recipe handed down from her great-grandmother to the luxurious Beef Roulade with Mushrooms and Garlic perfected during her Master Chef training in France, and the approachable, globally-inspired dishes, like Fried Pork Belly Tacos and Autumn Salad with Figs and Pomegranate, that have made her a favorite of home cooks.

Lushly illustrated with full-color photographs, Kitchen Gypsy is both an inspirational cooking resource and an armchair read, offering recipes made to be shared and savored against the colorful backdrop of Weir's evocative writing.


  • Kitchen Gypsy Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food Sunset

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Silver Oak Cookbook: Life in a Cabernet Kitchen - Seasonal Recipes from California's Celebrated Winery

Silver Oak Cookbook: Life in a Cabernet Kitchen - Seasonal Recipes from California's Celebrated Winery Lowest new price: $32.20
Lowest used price: $19.69
List price: $55.00
Author: Dominic Orsini
Brand: Dominic Orsini

Recipes that capture the casual elegance of California wine country. Silver Oak takes the reader on a culinary journey through the seasons at one of the world’s most revered vintners. Family owned for over forty years by the Duncan family, Silver Oak Cellars has built its reputation around its famously food-friendly cabernet sauvignons. The flagship Oakville winery has long been one of the most popular destinations for wine country visitors, along with its other tasting room in Alexander Valley. The Duncans also founded and operate Twomey Winery located in Napa Valley and Russian River Valley. Chef Dominic Orsini shares over one hundred of the winery’s favorite recipes, each paired with a different varietal, from Grilled Radicchio and Mascarpone Bruschetta to Beef Short Ribs with Meyer Lemon Gremolata to Roasted Lamb with Fennel Slaw and Tomato Confit. Filled with stunning photographs of the magical surrounding landscape, this gorgeous large-format cookbook is sure to make the perfect gift for any food and wine lover.


  • Silver Oak Cookbook Life in a Cabernet Kitchen Seasonal Recipes from California s Celebrated Winery

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The L.A. Cookbook: Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bakeries, and Bars in Los Angeles

The L.A. Cookbook: Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bakeries, and Bars in Los Angeles Lowest new price: $40.00
List price: $40.00
Author: Alison Clare Steingold

From Boyle Heights to Malibu, Los Angeles is the most exciting food city in the United States. These 100 recipes from L.A.’s best chefs transport the California Dream to your table.

Blessed by the abundance of sun, sea, and fertile agricultural land; vibrant Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and European communities; and talent in up-and-coming mavericks, celebrity chefs, and bold restaurateurs redefining hospitality, Los Angeles is having an unprecedented food moment.

Alison Clare Steingold has collected and curated 100 recipes from the most talked-about kitchens in town, many shared for the very first time. From local favorites to celebrity hot spots, Los Angeles dining culture combines respect for ingredients, relaxed yet confident technique, and a flair for showmanship that can only come from next door to Hollywood. From cocktails and pantry staples through homemade pizza dough and desserts, The L.A. Cookbook presents the drinks and dishes Angelenos love most, brilliantly adapted for the home.

Contributors include Alma, Baroo, Bestia, the Beverly Hills Hotel Fountain Coffee Shop, Bottega Louie, Chengdu Taste, Everson Royce Bar, Farmshop, Felix, Guelaguetza, Joan’s on Third, Jon & Vinny’s, Little Flower Bakery, The Little Door, LocoL, Love & Salt, Matsuhisa, Meals by Genet, n/naka, Otium, Paloma’s Paletas, Park’s BBQ, Revolutionario, Rucker’s Pies, Spago Beverly Hills, The Tasting Kitchen, Valerie Confections, and many more.

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L.A. Mexicano

L.A. Mexicano Lowest new price: $19.35
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List price: $29.95
Author: Bill Esparza
Brand: Ingramcontent

The celebration of Mexican cooking that food lovers have been waiting for.

Richly photographed and authentically local, L.A. Mexicano showcases L.A.’s famously rich and complex Mexican-food culture, including recipes, profiles of chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, and vendors, and neighborhood guides. Part cookbook, part food journalism, and part love song to Los Angeles, it's the definitive resource for home cooks nationwide, hungry Angelenos, and food-loving visitors. Features a foreword by Taco USA's Gustavo Arellano and more than 100 photos by Staci Valentine.

Bill Esparza is recent winner of a James Beard award for his coverage of the L.A. taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine. Considered one of the country's leading experts on Mexican food, the L.A. native curates the annual Tacolandia festival in Los Angeles; writes about Mexican food for Los Angeles Magazine and others; appears regularly on CNN, KCRW's radio show Good Food; and appears on such television shows as I'll Have What Phil's Having, Bizarre Foods, and Top Chef. A noted saxophone player, Esparza has traveled and eaten extensively throughout Mexico, Latin America, and, of course, Southern California.


  • L A Mexicano

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The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook: Indian Spice, Oakland Soul

The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook: Indian Spice, Oakland Soul Lowest new price: $20.92
Lowest used price: $19.47
List price: $30.00
Author: Preeti Mistry

"What Preeti Mistry does on the page is as delicious and exciting as what she does in her restaurant." - Anthony Bourdain

Vibrant and unexpected, The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook is a bold take on Indian food from Oakland-based James Beard Award nominee Preeti Mistry.

Influenced by her background as a second-generation Indian -- born in London, raised across the US, now based in the Bay Area -- Preeti's irreverent style informs her personality and her food. This collection of street food, comfort classics, and restaurant favorites blends cuisines from across India with American influences to create irresistible combinations.

Organized by feeling rather than course or season, with chapters like Masala Mashups, Farm Fresh, and Authentic? Hell Yeah, The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook weaves Preeti's culinary journey together with more than 100 bold, flavor-forward recipes to excite and inspire home cooks. Illustrated throughout with full-color photography and playful line art, this book captures the eclectic energy and wide-ranging influences of one of the West Coast's most up-and-coming chefs.

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The Complete Thomas Keller: The French Laundry Cookbook & Bouchon (The Thomas Keller Library)

The Complete Thomas Keller: The French Laundry Cookbook & Bouchon (The Thomas Keller Library) Lowest new price: $59.52
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List price: $100.00
Author: Thomas Keller
Brand: Thomas Keller

From two acclaimed, award-winning restaurants came two of the most acclaimed, award-winning cookbooks ever published—now packaged together in a luxurious slipcased boxed set, the ideal gift for any food lover.

First there was French Laundry in Napa Valley, setting a new standard for American fine dining. Then there was The French Laundry Cookbook, setting a new standard for American cookbooks. In 1998, Chef Keller opened Bouchon, “so that I’d have a place to eat after cooking all night at the French Laundry,” and that restaurant, too, gave birth to a groundbreaking cookbook. Now, fifteen years after Thomas Keller first set foot in what would become a landmark restaurant, these two extraordinary books are offered in a striking new slipcased edition. With this year’s opening of the Bouchon Bakery in New York City, and last year’s momentous Michelin guide that awarded Keller’s Per Se the top honors, Keller is increasingly in the limelight—and his inventive, delicious food is increasingly in the consciousness of a national audience. The Complete Keller is the perfect gift for anyone who loves fine food.


  • The Complete Thomas Keller The French Laundry Cookbook Bouchon The Thomas Keller Library

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