Favorites of 2006 - cookbooks and music
January 4th, 2007

Just like you can be certain you’ll get to see Dinner for one on New Years Eve, well, on German TV anyway, it’d surprise me if you hadn’t stumbled over one of the many Top-Whatever-Lists of 2006. They’re everywhere, some funny, a few useful, most very superfluous or even fake/pointless: The other day I zapped over a TV show presenting a compilation of the most annoying people of last year – well, if they are so annoying, why would you want to see them in the spotlight AGAIN?

Food or music related lists I can not so easily pass by. A possible lucky find, something I may have overlooked the entire year, outweighs my usually skeptical tenor. So I double check those, to see if they reflect my own taste, get furious if they missed to include my favorites and am a happy girl if I can spot a new gem.

Anyway, to add to the twothousandsixlist wackiness, below you find some favorite cookbooks and tunes of mine – some of them may not have been published last year, but it was 2006 when I discovered and started cherishing them, all for their very own reasons. And quite positively, I’ll manage to miss the one or other…

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Favorite cookbooks international:

A Tale of 12 Kitchens – Jake Tilson
It’s all been said about this one. Great concept, captivating stories, extraordinary eye-catching design.

Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating – Micheal Richard
An extensive collection of unconventional techniques and creative recipes – it’s amazing what Richard can do with simple potatoes. Immediately makes you want to rush into your kitchen and try yourself. Gorgeous photography.

I like you. Hospitality under the influence – Amy Sedaris
I’ve tried (a little anyway) to resist buying this cook, to no avail. The opening of the book, including the three different prefaces already made me laugh out loud, just like the whole book, which is packed with plenty of humor, wit (the kind of “Oh my God, did she really WRITE THAT?!!!“) and of course recipes. Unmistakable style, a true classic!

Apples for jam – Tessa Kiros
With her third book she continues with yet another gorgeous tale of food, family and travel. Beautifully accompanied with nostalgic shots and casual yet charming food presentations, her books may make your head spin when trying to pick the one you like best.

Breakfast, Lunch and Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery – Rose Carrarini
This book would belong to the category “magic spells”. Not expecting much, but when I laid my hands on it, I felt any immediate connection and was hooked. ‘Love its simple style – less is oftentimes more. The recipes are structured in line with the restaurant’s daily schedule and focus more on ingredients than methods, sophisticated photos of the bakery and its customers make you feel like being there.

Also worth checking out: At Home with Magnolia – Allysa Torey , Tana Ramsay’s Family Kitchen – Tana Ramsey, Spanish Kitchen – Jane Lawson, Cook with Jamie – Jamie Oliver

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Favorite cookbooks Germany:

Cookbooks from the publishing house Thorbecke
A nice surprise on the sometimes a little dreary cookbook market here in Germany are the new books from Thorbecke’s culinary line. Edelsüß und Rosenscharf by Rita Kopp, Bratapfel und Ingwerduft and Eine Hand voll Beeren, can’t go wrong with any of them, they’re all keepers. These books distinguish themselves with a broad spectrum of knowledge about traditional cultivation, use and efficacy of exotic ingredients as well as historical facts, all accompanied by lavish photography and fine nostalgic illustrations.

Sweet Gold – Bernd Siefert
Who is Pierre Hermé? That would have been my initial thought, when I opened the book for the first time. Bernd Siefert, patissier and world champion in his profession, presents a collection of dessert creations, every single one an extraordinary piece of art. Detailed, step-by-step photography demonstrates his workflow and provides useful insights, even though many recipes require special equipment such as a Pacojet. But after all this book is written for Pros!

Mürb & Knusprig. Konfekt und Appetithäppchen – Franz Ziegler
Another masterpiece from the publishing house Matthaes, demonstrating how to create the most wonderful looking tiny treats, may they be sweet or savory. Mouthwatering photography included.

Kulinarische Intelligenz – Jürgen Dollase
FAZ critic Jürgen Dollase presents his thoughts on what he calls culinary intelligence, a great read about how everybody could and should broaden his or her food and eating horizon and ways to apply it to your everyday life.

Götterspeisen – Marion Michels, Dave Brüllmann
Yet another book about desserts. Huge in size and full-format photography, just like an outstanding picture-book. The book’s aim is to re-interpret old dessert recipes and give them a new twist, structured according to the four seasons.

Also worth checking out: Fingerfood. Die Krönung der kulinarischen Kunst – Heiko Antoniewicz, Tapas – Das Kochbuch – Juan Amador, Wie koch ich…? – Sebastian Dickhaut, Kochen fast ohne Rezept – Hans Gerlach, Alice im Wunderland – Christine Ferber, Philippe Model, Bernhard Winkelmann

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Looking for further inspiration? Other cookbook lists/awards of 2006:

New York Times

The James Beard Foundation

IACP

Epicurious

Ruhlmann

Amazon.com Top 10 Editors’ Picks

Amazon.com Top 10 Customers’ Favorites

Amazon.de Bestseller 2006

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Favorite music:

St. Elsewhere – Gnarls Barkley
Love it or hate it, there’s no in-between! Funky grooves, an irresistible blend of different styles, pop, soul and hip-hop, smooth vocals with spiky lyrics. “Crazy” was just the beginning – inventive, defiant, wonderful.

Oyebo Soul – Arsenal
It’s a real shame, that this innovative Belgian duo is still rather unknown. An enjoyable mix of bright eclectic sounds that will put a smile on your face, their mix of different languages and styles ranges from electronic beats to Brazilian and African tunes. Highly addictive!

Rabbit Coat Fur – Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
There’s no way around the powerful and seductive vocals of Jenny Lewis. You voluntarily get sucked in by this exceptionally charming debut, a moody trip through the lands of pop over folk, gospel harmonies to country influences. Bittersweet storytelling through mostly autobiographical lyrics.

Timeless – Sergio Mendes
Sergio Mendes could easily achieve what so many can’t, bridge the generation gap, make parents and kids alike enjoy the same music – but probably not this one. 15 of his timeless classics have undergone a major makeover featuring famous hip-hop artists, urban samba tunes blending surprisingly well with progressive rap and hip-hop. Joyful sounds – for open-minded listeners only.

Lunatico – Gotan Project
The long-awaited follow-up album to their debut can easily hold up to all the high expectations. A little less electronic than La Revancha del Tango, these captivating mellow tango sounds go perfectly with a glass of red wine or an extensive dinner and will spice it up, too!

Worth mentioning: I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass – Yo La Tengo, Half the perfect world – Madeleine Peyroux, Nektar Openminded, Veneer – José González, Splendid Isolation – Yonderboi, Cantoma – Cantoma, Männersachen – Roger Cicero, Kush, Tag und Nacht – Schiller, Versions – Thievery Corporations, Meds – Placebo, Rosa – Rosa Passos, Infinito Particular/Universo ao Meu Redor by Marisa Monte

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More music lists of 2006:

NPR

VH1.com

Times online

Metacritic

Amazon.com Top 100 Editors’ Picks

Amazon.com Top 100 Customers’ Favorites

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So what do you think, what were your favorites in 2006?

Comments
Maria

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Sue

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lee

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Marion

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ad.

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Ida

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Elisa

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Silvia

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Anne Munns

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James

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Deborah

Mar 14th,
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