The best of this, the worst of that _ it feels like most of what you read this time of year are these superlative sorts of arguments that take place in polar realms. Nothing like a good list, I suppose. Maybe that's why I was really excited to see an especially listy gift come into play at our annual office giftswap. We have this really fun tradition of stealing eachother's bounty -- there are a lot of rules that you don't need to know to understand that I swooped in and stole a cookbook today from a sweet man who works in the back office. He looked fairly shocked that I robbed him. Don't worry, he got another gift.
And I got the new Food & Wine cookbook, which takes the BEST recipes from the 25 BEST cookbooks of the year and compiles them all into a very attractive cookbook. That's a double-best, for those keeping score. No more than a few Food Network cookbooks made the list (Emeril, Bobby Flay and the Neelys), and they are on equal footing with recipes from Thomas Keller, Lidia Bastianich and Gerald Hirigoyen (whose tapas book has made me swoon at the store a number of times, though I have yet to buy it).
Some recipes that have already caught my eye:
7 1/2 Hour Lamb Malbec with Rosemary and Lemon
Thomas Keller's buttermilk fried chicken (honest to goodness, the picture made me a little weak-kneed)
Quinoa Paella with Chicken & Chorizo
Cafe Au Lait Creme Brulee
Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns