Sometimes you come across a book that's so charming you can't resist cooking from it. Such was the case with Swedish Cakes and Cookies. Who doesn't like a gingham cover? And Swedish cookies? And Swedish cookies made with rye flour? I was smitten. This adorable little book has so many sticky note tabs in its pages it looks like fringe.
It turns out that those rye cookies -- Elsa's Rye Cookies, though we never learn who Elsa is, but you know she wears a good apron and has a vintage rolling pin -- are like tea biscuits. Add a little more salt, and you have something you could serve with cheese. A little more sugar and your kids will want them all. But we liked them just the way they are, gently spiced, proud of their rye blood, and stubbornly uncommitted to dessert.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.