Still pretending you are sticking to your New Year's resolutions? Fine, just please don't tell us you gave up Nutella. To tide you over, we bring you the AA, or in polite company if you will, the "Get Up" Early Show, edition of our Top Ten 2010 Cookbooks And Drink Pairings series. Besides, you've got to find something to do with all that Amazon and Barnes and Noble gift card money from the holidays, like buy the mini MoonPies to go with our first pick.
10. The Great MoonPie Handbook and RC Cola
9. Culinary Tea + JANM's Generation Teas
Think of Culinary Tea as cookbook entertainment for those long, drawn-out conversations with some family member -- over a cup of JANM's bitter generation tea, of course -- about why you really do need to spend more time appreciating your cultural heritage.
8. The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011 + Your Beverage of Choice
When Chris Kimball speaks, you listen. Or so he hopes. The 2011 edition of America's Test Kitchen "Best Of" series (with 2010 recipes) is as good as it should be by a publishing behemoth with more than 100 test kitchen staffers. That French apple tart recipe from the book (photo above) is great with a cup of anything, really, so we leave it up to you.
7. The Big Green Egg book + Iced Tea, Sweetened Or Not
Someone you know has got to be one of the 1 million (really?) Americans who do crazy things like buy ridiculously expensive "Japanese-style" grills filled with ceramic tiles ($700 + accessories), and then declare them the best value ever. Must be all that iced tea. After giving a family member's egg a whirl, we think buying a $30 ceramic pizza stone to toss in your old Weber and the
50 $31 book is sounding like an even better deal.
6. The Italian Slow Cooker Cookbook + San Pellegrino Sparkling Water
You're going to need something to fill those long, sober hours. Like Italian sparkling water and this excellent slow cooker cookbook, a book you actually will want to cook from. Promise.
5. The Sunset Cookbook + Root Beer Float
Sunset's massive cookbook filled with recipes from the magazine 100+ years (most are from the 1950s through today) is the perfect excuse to pretend that we really do still live in a state where people own things like canvas-covered full length patio lounge chairs.
4. Oaxaca Al Gusto + Mexican Hot Chocolate (Or Coffee)
Because this cookbook simply goes with a classic beverage, chocolate or coffee. Your choice.
3. Secrets of the Sommeliers + Dry Sodas
Reading about wine via this intriguing insider's diary, with scribbled notes from sommeliers themselves, doesn't count as drinking alcohol, does it? Dry Soda, a pregnant mom's less sweet, food-friendly invention (think lavender, rhubarb, blood orange) to get her through those wine-free nine+ months.
2. Good Meat + Dugh (No, Not Dung)
A big and yes, inevitably meaty book on a topic that pairs well with so many things, depending on what you're cooking up on any given night. We suggest dugh, a spicy Persian yogurt drink lightened with seltzer. And check back later for the book review. You'll want an armchair seat with this sustainable cookbook that covers not just the cuts and cooking methods for various meats, but why you really should raise your own backyard lambs for your dinner table. And yes, give them cute names.
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1. The Essential New York Times Cookbook + Ginger Lemonade
To go with our favorite cookbook of 2010 with recipes dating back to the 1850s, we for some reason were craving a drink from the 1990s, that androgynous decade that never seems to get its moment in the sun. Nothing that a glass of c. 1994 ginger lemonade (p.26) from The City Bakery can't resolve.