on my nightstand | Spring Picks

spring books 2013

Spring is here, and once again, healthy cooking (or at least healthi-er cooking) and flowers are on my mind! Here are a couple of new books I’ve been reading lately as a part of my bedtime reading — and I’m not sure why, but food always seems to look better to me before bed.

01 | Superfood Kitchen | julie morris

Many healthy cookbooks claim to be low-fat or vegan, but then contain recipes loaded with sugar or processed ingredients. Recipes in Superfood Kitchen really stick to using superfoods in their entirety, relying on healthy ingredients through and through. This is one of the first books I actually purchased in a long time (I usually just check out books from my local library — I heart my library) — now to find the time to go and cook!

02 | The Flower Recipe | alethea harampolis and jill rizzo

This book is written by the two lovely ladies who run Studio Choo, a floral studio in San Francisco. Their flower arrangements have a very organic and natural way to them — not the least bit stuffy or pretentious. Their new book is a guide to arranging flowers using “recipes,” and I especially love how each type of flower (ingredient) can be used to produce a totally different look depending on how its put together with other flowers and the vessel used. It’s a beautiful book with a lot of useful tips for anyone who adores flowers.

03 | What Katie Ate | katie quinn davies

There is something about chefs and photographers from Australia and England that I just love — something very rustic and messy, yet beautiful and delectable about the way much of their food and photos are styled. Katie Quinn Davies, the author, just won a well-deserved James Beard Book Award for best photography. The styling in this book reminds me of one of my favorite books, Seasons, by Australian Donna Hay (which, by the way, I cannot believe costs less than $20 on Amazon now!). There is a trend lately which I would almost describe as “lifestyle cooking photography” — beautifully styled shots of people enjoying their food in the field or picking fruit from the orchard. Yes, slightly unreal, but such a wonderful dreaminess about it all.

04 | My Beef with Meat | rip esselstyn

I previously read Rip Esselstyn’s other book, Engine 2 Diet, and really loved how motivating and practically written it was. This book is written in a similar vein, with the first half teaching why a plant-strong diet is so good for you, and the second half filled with 140 new recipes. The Little Chef and I have already made the Damn-Good Cookies (even though I told him they were just called “Cookies”), and the whole family agreed they were delicious (I tend to head straight for the desserts whenever I read a new cookbook). I also appreciated how the author touched on paleo diets and soy, both topics considered a bit controversial in the health world. After reading this book and recently starting painful workouts at the Dailey Method (plus swimsuit season coming – bleh), I’m feeling extra motivated to get healthy and fit again. Although I fell off the vegan bandwagon, I was having thoughts about starting a vegan lifestyle again with the occasional pork product. My vegan friends tell me it doesn’t really work that way, but at least I’m headed in the right direction.

05 | My Ideal Bookshelf | thessaly la force & jane mount

I hate to admit it, but I’m sometimes a nosy person. I’m fascinated by interviews and what makes people tick. I feel like the mundane things about people — their choices, their likes and dislikes — are really intriguing. These choices, particularly what they like to watch or read or listen to, is why I find this book so interesting. Kind of like peeking into someone’s fridge. In the artfully illustrated My Ideal Bookshelf, a collection of well-known public figures share the books they love and can’t live without — books that inspire them and are cherished. Although I tended to gravitate toward artists, chefs and people in the film industry, it was a great read and very eye opening.

06 | Edible Selby | todd selby

This is such a fun book, especially if you are a bit of a foodie. Todd Selby, a photographer, writes about and photographs different restaurants/chefs all around the world. I appreciated the diversity of the food lovers he interviewed and the dynamism of the kitchens he photographed. Not really a cookbook, but a very provocative and entertaining culinary exploration for all those who love food.

I’m always looking for new books to read! Anyone have any suggestions? Please do share!


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