Have an affair
Gearing up for holiday cooking? I asked Shelly Keller, food editor for Solano Magazine, to name her go-to cookbooks:“When I was 13, I asked for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my birthday. So began my love affair with cookbooks. Cookbooks make me feel a fellow food lover is holding my hand, showing me the way to great-tasting food.
“My copy of The New Basics [by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins] suffers stains, burns, dog-ears and a broken spine. I go to it for new dishes and fruit and cheese pairings.
“For special dinners, or all-day Sunday cooking, I go to Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot Contessa Parties!, because that lady knows how to cook—and she’s not afraid of butter. I am known for making her coconut cupcakes for birthdays.
“More recent go-to cookbooks include Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking and Biba’s Italy [by Biba Caggiano]. I love cookbooks that rely on the seasons—not too many ingredients, all of them local, simply prepared.”