Something you may not know is that in June 2008 Gourmet Magazine began a cookbook club. They choose one cookbook each month, review it and share a few recipes from the book. My interest was piqued when I first read about this because the editor's said that they were basically tired of wading though the hundreds nay thousands of cookbooks that are published every year and buying ones that turn out to be mediocre or worse. (That is my paraphrase from memories of reading it 6 months ago, I don't want to get anyone in trouble)

I share their sentiments, and more so, I find it really hard to go into a bookstore and blindly pick out a cookbook. I rely on cookbooks and other food publications (including my fellow bloggers) for ideas and inspirations, so when I buy something I prefer it to have a low "this might stink" factor.

I love that Gourmet's editors will continue to wade through the mediocrity for me and then let me know what may be worthwhile to try. They comb through hundreds of newly released cookbooks each month, pick out the ones with the most potential, and then heavily test the recipes from each book.

They publish their pick each month in the magazine as well as on their website, which can be found here. Their January 2009 pick is A16: Food + Wine by Nate Appleman, Shelley Lindgren, Kate Leahy.
Image from Amazon

Any reader can see their monthly pick and read the review. There is more content about the book including a few recipes, as well as content from prior months picks, which you can view if you complete a free registration.

I definitely don't buy every book but I think this is a great resource and worth a few minutes each month to read.

See their monthly club picks for 2008 after the jump:

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Behold, one of my greatest comfort foods. Who doesn't love a hunk of red meat braised for hours in a mixture of tomato products and onions? Well, I guess there are a lot of people who don't, but if you don't eat meat this is probably not the blog for you.

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An interesting study's findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease this month, establishing a congruence between moderate coffee intake in middle aged subjects and a decline in the onset of Alzheimer's/dementia.

Find Yahoo's summary here.

An ongoing feature here at is our "Getting to know your meat" series. This series will entail both an "all you need to know" post, and a post of us applying that to a finished meal. Since this is our first post of this series, we thought we would make things simple and start at the front of a cattle- hence, the brisket.

For general information about what to look for and where to purchase your meat please see The Meat Rules.

Most of us have encountered brisket in one form of another - usually at the deli counter (as corned beef) or from the pit of our favorite BBQ joint (my personal favorite application of brisket, but we'll get to that another time.) Brisket is largely neglected by the home cook for a number of reasons, and this is a shame. Cooked properly, a brisket is a tender, flavorful cut of meat that will yield enough food to feed even the hungriest families, and still have leftovers for lunch the next day.

To see an example of how we usually prepare our brisket, please see Sara's post My Grandma's Brisket.

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This is a really easy and satisfying pasta dish that was definitely a hit in our house. It is basically a melding of two recipes that I found in At Home with Magnolia: Classic American Recipes from the Owner of Magnolia Bakery by Allysa Torey.

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In a recent post (link above), Greg from mentioned that he wanted to write a letter to the Mayor about some unsavory carrot glazing practices. I have taken the liberty of completing his request:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
ATTN: Scheduling Office
200 North Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

RE: Proposed Legislation

Dear Mr. Mayor,

It has come to my attention that many residents are blatantly and repeatedly attempting to so call "candy" otherwise innocent and unsuspecting carrots in a pan with butter and sugar or, (aghast) a simple syrup. This practice is reprehensible and should be banned forthwith. I propose a hearty spanking for any found treating their side dishes with such disregard. I must insist that you take swift action to remedy the situation at once.


PS. I would also like to request that you add the following statement to the official records of the City: "Size Matters. About 1 and 1/2 inches is ideal. You know I am talking about..."

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