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Cook like the Pros with these 2 Cookbooks

Bobby Flay’s Sundays with Sophie: Flay Family Recipes for Any Day of the Week

There’s something special about Sunday dinner—and it’s exactly this chill vibe that chef and culinary powerhouse Bobby Flay captures in his latest cookbook, Sundays with Sophie. “Whether it’s breakfast, brunch or dinner, I have a pretty relaxed attitude, because Sunday is usually a day of rest, at least on some level. I probably don’t have any appointments or business calls scheduled. The only thing on my calendar is a date with my stove to cook some comforting dishes that will wind up at the center of my table,” he writes in the cookbook’s introduction. This is his 17th, and the first in which he teams up with his daughter Sophie, a reporter in LA and co-host of the Food Network’s The Flay List, who acts as “sous chef” here. The book features a variety of Flay’s recipes—from new takes on breakfast and brunch favorites, like cacio e pepe eggs and tequila-cured salmon to separate chapters dedicated to meat, seafood and chicken. You’ll find tips throughout, plus a whole section focusing on the fundamentals (like a chicken stock recipe or advice on making paella), which makes it a great gift for a college student, as Flay himself notes, or other kitchen newbie. The approachable dishes don’t feel stuffy or overdone, which makes them ideal for get-togethers, especially this time of year. As Flay writes, “Sophie’s name graces the cover of this book because she is the person who is most important to me. But it is also a placeholder for all the people who are most important to you. And in this case, ‘Sunday’ represents any day that calls for a table filled with delicious, easy-to-create dishes. It could be a holiday or party, the end of a tough week, or maybe it actually is Sunday dinner.” Cheers to that! 

Ina Garten’s Go-to Dinners

Looking to add some easy-to-make dishes to your evening meal planing? “The pandemic has had a huge impact on what I think of as dinner—and what I look for in a ‘go-to’ recipe,” writes Ina Garten in the introduction to her latest cookbook, Go-To Dinners. Parties used to mean multi-course meals, she explains, but now her take is simpler, with a focus on simple dishes and those, like her “easy eggs in Pur – gatory,” that might not have previously passed muster as dinner. This more laidback approach takes center stage in the pages of the Emmy- and James Beard Award-winner’s new book, which debuted at the end of October and includes recipes that range from breakfast for dinner to lighter evening fare, as well as drinks and desserts. And while many of the recipes, like her one-pot oven risotto and creamy eggs with lobster and crab, are great any time, what’s makes this cookbook particularly helpful at the holidays is the variety of simple-to-pulloff and make-ahead meals, like overnight mac & cheese. That also includes an array of boards—a dessert board, a ploughman’s lunch—and innovative ways to use leftovers, something we know tends to be plentiful this time of year, especially when entertaining. And as Garten notes in the book, “Above all else…a go-to recipe should be simple to follow and work every time. It must be easy to prepare and still delicious enough to get everyone to your table so you, too, can create a happy community of family and friends around yourself.”

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