‘Tis the season to get back into the kitchen. As days retreat and dark arrives early, there’s still a plethora of fruits and veg from harvest time – and it’s no longer too hot to turn on the oven. Also, fall has traditionally the time of year when the most new cookbook titles are released into the world, offering pages of inspiration to learn something new and warm up our homes with something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven.
Here are a half dozen of the latest for your cookbook shelf.
Let’s Eat: Recipes for Kids Who Cook, DL Acken, Touchwood, $40
Award-winning photographer DL Acken’s Let’s Eat is a choose-your-own-adventure style manual that aims to arm young cooks with the skills they need to follow recipes on their own, with little to no parental supervision. With a toolbox of basics (how to boil an egg; how to mash potatoes) and photos of Acken’s own kids cooking (and eating), it’s sure to inspire your littles to make dinner for the family.
Farmhouse Vegetables: A Vegetable-Forward Cookbook, by Michael Smith, Penguin, $40
Chef Michael Smith’s menu at the Inn at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island is largely driven by the harvest of his surrounding edible farm, so it’s fitting that his latest book is a collection of recipes and culinary guidance around vegetable cookery. Farmhouse Vegetables isn’t exclusively vegetarian, but it does bring vegetables to the forefront, leaving meat and other proteins to be the supporting cast.
In Mary’s Kitchen: Stress-Free Recipes for Every Home Cook, by Mary Berg, Appetite, $35
All of Mary Berg’s cookbooks have the chops (literally) to become ones you pull off the shelf for weekend brunches and celebratory get-togethers, or to provide just enough of a spark – from Berg herself, as well as the recipes – to push you in a new direction on a regular weeknight. Berg brings you to her happy place (the kitchen) with 100 recipes you’ll feel like you can totally do, too.
BReD: Sourdough Loaves, Small Breads, and Other Plant-Based Baking, by Ed Tatton with Natasha Tatton, Penguin, $50
A simple (yet complex) combination of flour, water and salt, sourdough is naturally vegan, but richer loaves and baked goods can be tricky to tweak to make plant-based. Here, Ed Tatton, artisan bread-maker and co-owner of vegan café bakery BReD in Whistler, B.C., has compiled a collection of recipes for boules, baguettes, panettone, sticky buns, English muffins, brioche and babka, crepes and galettes, all made with plant-based ingredients.
Best of Bridge Done in One, Emily Richards and Sylvia Kong, Robert Rose, $34.95
Professional home economists Emily Richards and Sylvia Kong have added to a collection of cookbooks that generations of home cooks (50 years worth!) have come to rely on. Done in One is a modern compilation of meals made in a single pot, pan or skillet, bringing old classics into a new world (hamburger soup in the instant pot) and utilizing sheet pans for easy dinners that have the same streamlined appeal of the casseroles Best of Bridge was originally known for – minus the tins of soup. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Plantcakes: Fancy + Everyday Vegan Cakes for Everyone, by Lyndsay Sung, Appetite, $35
There’s no reason an amazing cake needs to contain eggs and dairy, but because so many recipes default to those same building blocks, it can be tough to navigate substitutions. Lyndsay Sung, the self-taught baker, writer and photographer behind the Coco Cake Land website, covers all your cake needs whether you’re vegan or plant-curious, with recipes for snacking cakes, elaborate layer cakes with Swiss meringue buttercream, loaf cakes and coffee cakes.