Bring Science (and a Few Laughs) Into Your Kitchen This Month

November  3, 2017

If you've yet to join our Cookbook Club, you've found us at the right time: There's a lot of exciting things ahead. This month we're tackling J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab. You will be privy to multiple science lessons within his mighty tome, yes, but you might be surprised to learn that you'll be laughing while you learn. As Emily Stephenson explains in her review of his book:

Similarly surprising is that this cookbook is really funny. I can’t tell you the last time (if ever) I laughed out loud while reading a cookbook, but I did—many times—while reading this one. Through groan-worthy dad jokes (Kenji helpfully reminds us that the proper technique for egg poaching is “nude,” but that that refers to the egg, not the cook), Kenji becomes a person you not only want to spend a lot of time with, but also someone you trust—his book the one you crack when you have a question about poaching eggs or seasoning cast iron or which cut of beef to buy.

If you haven't picked up The Food Lab yet, we've got you covered: Read on for a few recipes from J. Kenji López-Alt. Plus, we're also revealing what books are coming up next, and if you're new to the Club, we've got all the details on how to participate, too.

Recipes from J. Kenji López-Alt

Lopez's tips and techniques can improve everything from an everyday dish like cheeseburgers to a holiday-worthy main like a crown roast of pork.

Note: Lopez’s grilled shrimp recipe can’t be found in The Food Lab, our book of the month, but since we're sharing it here, it can be considered fair game for sharing in the Facebook group.

what's ahead

Those of you who are familiar with our Cookbook Club know that the books we cook through are self-selected by the group. And in an effort to plan ahead—especially for library reserving and book purchasing and shipping purposes—we generally hold votes for 3 months worth of books at a time. But this time, we wanted to do something special for the Club's 1st birthday (see below), so we selected other top vote-getters from our last round of voting to round out the other months. Without further ado, here's what's ahead for the Cookbook Club:

2018 Bonus Book: Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

What is a bonus book? While we focus on one book a month, this is an extra book that members can cook through the whole year long, too. The group will have more time to cook through McFadden’s book, and members will always have this book as an option to cook from if they don’t have access to the book of the month.

how to participate

If you're new to the Cookbook Club, here's a quick primer on how to join in the fun:

1) Get the Book(s)

Buy a book or two—they're available in our shop or from your favorite local bookstore. Or, if you’re not ready to commit quite yet, check them out from your local library or borrow a copy from a friend.

2) Read & Cook

Rather self-explanatory, as this is one of the most important parts of participating in a cookbook club, right? If you’re not sure where to begin, take a page out of our former Cookbook Editor Ali Slagle's playbook. When she reviews a cookbook, she reads through the entire introduction as well as 15 headnotes and recipes, and then cooks at least three recipes.

3) Share Your Opinions

We chat in our Facebook group all month long! Join the Cookbook Club here and post pictures of what you bake from the books and share reviews, too. Fill everyone in on what you thought of the dish (remember to share the recipe name and even the page number, if possible). You can share photos on Instagram as well. Just remember to tag them with #f52cookbookclub.


Sue November 4, 2017
Very excited for February! I have purchased some of the books and have yet to cook from them as we have been so busy this last year in our new house. Looking forward to it!
Sue November 4, 2017
Very excited for February! I have purchased some of the books and have yet to cook from them as we have been so busy this last year in our new house. Looking forward to it!
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. November 5, 2017
Me too, I think February will be a blast!
Katie L. November 3, 2017
So, so thrilled about all of the cookbook club news! I adore Julia and SK, I'm really glad we're having a "birthday" month to cook from all the cookbooks AND I'm glad we're going to have a bonus book! I love that about the baking club and was hoping something similar would happen on the cookbook side. <br />Also: How has it already almost been a YEAR?!?
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. November 4, 2017
Hooray! Thrilled you're thrilled, I'm excited for what's ahead too!
Amy S. November 3, 2017
Brilliant, Lindsay-Jean! Can't beat Julia (January) and Smitten Kitchen (March)! You are so great about incorporating member suggestions: love Throwback February for *all* the club's previous selections and Six Seasons as the Bonus Book to allow us to cook veggies in their seasonal prime! Thank you so much for creating and nurturing this community! (Enough exclamation points? You deserve every one!) ♡
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. November 4, 2017
Many thanks for the kind words Amy, you made my day!
T-Bone6 November 3, 2017
My goal for 2018 is to actually get three recipes made!!! I have really enjoyed this and it helps seeing what others have thought. I have learned some skills that were missing. Thanks for starting this cookbook club!
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. November 4, 2017
So excited to hear that and thank you for being a part of it!