Michelle Lopez is the über creative baking force behind the food blog Hummingbird High (inspired by the high altitude baking she did after moving to Colorado) and debut author of Weeknight Baking: Recipes To Fit Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, $35). A self-proclaimed food science fan, world traveler, and photographer, Lopez worked a tech job for many years before realizing that baking was her true calling. She has channeled her well-practiced pastry skills into a joyful recipe book that will have people whipping up apple pie on a Wednesday night! Her straightforward instructions clearly outline active prep, baking, and decorating times as well as suggesting alternatives for ingredients you may not have on hand. Beautifully curated photographs of classic yellow cake with creamy chocolate frosting and chunky black-and-white shortbread inspired by Oreo cookies will have your Great British Baking Show fantasies feeling within reach.
Britain's celebrated food writer, Diana Henry, is a woman of many passions but she is especially keen about writing and food. In her new cookbook, A Change of Appetite: Where Delicious Meets Healthy (Mitchell Beazley, $34.99), she is celebrating, rather than dwelling on, her body's changing needs and in doing so has created fresh and robust meals sure to satisfy all foodies looking for inspiration rather than sacrifice. Beautiful photographs capture sumptuous berries, breads, fruits, and veggies for all seasons. Among the pages you will find what Henry calls "accidentally healthy" recipes inspired by her love of Middle Eastern and Scandinavian cuisine. This is food that is full of flavor but not refined carbs like the ubiquitous albatross of the processed food world—sugar—the only ingredient that Henry actively keeps to a minimum in her recipes. She also includes short essays and a thoroughly researched bibliography rich with resources for more wholesome and nourishing fare.
Forty years into an award-winning career in the food industry as an instructor, writer, and recipe developer, Molly Stevens has written her most intimate cookbook yet, All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice (W.W. Norton, $40). For the everyday home cook this collection of recipes is less about learning how to conjure up showstoppers for a fancy dinner party and more about feeding yourself or your family tried and truly satisfying meals at the end of a hectic day. Molly's writing is inviting, at times humorous—she playfully refers to a Seinfeld episode in one of her recipes—and always approachable. From fast and loose recipe guidelines for big salads to warming soups and stews, you will find yourself eager to improvise on fairly basic meal ideas and make them your own.