I pick up cookbooks for many reasons. Some I keep as references, some I use the recipes. Sometimes I get them just to give away. These recent acquisitions illustrate my different categories.
It Ain't Sauce, It's Gravy: Macaroni, Homestyle Cheesesteaks, the Best Meatballs in the World, and How Food Saved My Life by Steve Martorano. One of the cookbooks I got for the stories. I loved the author's stories about growing up in South Philly with a ::cough:: colorful group of relatives and friends. They look like wonderful Italian food recipes. I'm looking forward to trying them.
The Covenant Kitchen: Food and Wine for the New Jewish Table by Jeff Morgan. This is an excellent cookbook for any cook. I'm not Jewish, but I liked it. The first 40-some pages are a brisk discussion of the requirements of kosher cooking and a kosher kitchen, a listing of the various types of wine and how to pair them with food, and some history. I found that part interesting. Then on to the recipes. They are all quite doable. Many of them would fit well if you follow a Mediterranean diet. I loved the details of wine pairings for each dish.
Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends by Bryan Voltaggio. I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy of this book. This cookbook falls into my subcategory of food porn. There are gorgeous photos accompanying each recipe that will make your mouth water. It is more for the advanced home chef, rather than a novice. Fortunately, I live close enough to Frederick that I can eat his food at his restaurant. This will be a cookbook I will leaf through for inspiration.
Quick Check Guide to Organic Foods: Discover the Benefits of Going Organic for Your Health, the Community, and the Environment by Barbara Wexler. The first 50 pages cover the basics: why choose organic, what organic means, resources, and separating out the hype. The real value of this book lies in its detailed comparisons of foods readily available in most supermarkets. It has calorie counts and extensive nutrition information. If you focus on organic eating, this is a reference book you will want to have.