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Rachel’s Reads – November 2022

The people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez

As the holidays approach and families gather once more, I am reminded again and again that to cook is to nourish, not just the body, but also the spirit. The sharing of food gives pleasure and renewal. Each time we gather and share food that we have prepared, we are making an act of love visible. Whether gathering with friends or family, here are a few of my favorite recently released cookbooks to hopefully be shared with welcome and joy. 

Cook As You Are by Ruby Tandoh
This cookbook by British Food Writer Ruby is filled with British witticisms and fully loaded with inspiration and chapters that have their own reading list (so you know I was all in). There is a wealth of recipes from around the globe, and all of the recipes seemed easy to follow. 

Justice of the Pies by Maya-Camille Broussard
I can’t get enough of the beautiful pies pictured throughout this book. From sweet to savory, from whimsical to glamorous, and even a cocktail-inspired pie, this book will have you screaming for pie. 

Rambutan: Recipes from Sri Lanka by Cynthia Shanmugalingam
The writing in this cookbook is absolutely exceptional. It feels like you are talking to an old friend and in between some delicious recipes there are beautiful stories about her family. Everything about this cookbook just stands out. 

I Dream of Dinner (so You Don’t Have To) by Ali Slagle
These easy, simple, and well-balanced dishes are easy to make, and the recipes get straight to the point. They are easy to turn to after the drawn-out productions of some of the larger meals coming up. 

Bread Head: Baking for the Road Less Traveled by Greg Wade with Rachel Holtzman
Greg is the head baker at Chicago’s Publican Quality Bread and as he says, “the bread I’m going to teach you to make is a little rough around the edges, a little louder than is polite, and stupid good.” Although not always easygoing, the recipes are accessible and informative. 

Mabu Mabu by Nornie Bero
Nornie is from the Komet tribe of the Indigenous Meriam people and presents and preserves the flavors of a Native Australia within this book. The recipes are incredibly flavorful, and the cookbook is colorful. 

Mi Cocina by Rick Martínez
Throughout this cookbook, Rick shares a journey through 156 cities in Mexico while recreating recipes and telling his personal stories. The recipes highlight the diversity in Mexican cuisine, and his wond

erful essays throughout lend both personal and cultural context to the rich pattern he weaves through sense and taste. 

Smitten Kitchen Keepers by Deb PerelmanHarking back to the cooking blog days, Deb’s new cookbook feels like reengaging with an old friend. She uses her experience to create “keepers” or recipes that should be added to a “forever file.” She moves from breakfast to dessert with her trademark wit and warmth and makes her cookbook a fun read. 

Happy Reading (and Cooking)!


Rachel became the publisher of The Independent in March of 2017 and then married her husband Jake in May. Their goldendoodle Einstein joined the family last year. Rachel is an avid reader and loves to share book recommendations. (Don’t miss her column, Rachel’s Reads in the Magazine!) She can always be found with a book nearby, especially while traveling (another of her favorite things).


Bailey Pianalto Photography


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