The Best New Fall Cookbooks

As if the drop in temperatures didn't make us eager enough to close the grill, pack up the picnic basket, and get back in the kitchen, a new rash of fall cookbooks has us even more excited to tie our apron strings and turn on the oven.

The Smitten Kitchen CookbookThe Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Finally! Years in the making, the cookbook from one of our favorite food bloggers is here. Illustrated with the beautiful photographs we know and love (there's that familiar speckled counter) and Deb's easy-breezy writing, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is like having a friend sitting on your kitchen counter while you cook. Breakfast (whole-wheat raspberry ricotta scones) and sweets (salted brown butter crispy treats) especially shine--no surprise given Deb's baking prowess.

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust We already trust Ina Garten implicitly. Her elegant upgrades to simple recipes somehow coax even more flavor out of common (but quality) ingredients. So duh, we can't wait to get our hands on her newest book that promises more grown-up classics "with the volume turned up," like easy tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons and slow-roasted filet of beef with basil parmesan mayonnaise. These are the recipes that will make your dinner parties legendary and your weeknights suddenly special.

This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life

This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life We don't usually go for overly-hyped restaurants with hours-long waits, but sometimes these restaurants know what's up. Max and Eli Sussman, who cook at Roberta's--the restaurant that brought Alice Waters and Martha Stewart to Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood--and Mile End deli, respectively, know what we want to eat. Their cookbook is filled with recipes for lazy brunches of fried chicken and waffles and buttermilk biscuits with chorizo gravy, cozy dishes like pulled pork and rigatoni with meat ragu for a night in, and dinner party-worthy fare like meaty pork chops and a pear tart. If this is a cookbook for real life, it's also a cookbook that inspires more joyfully delicious living.

Simply Sensational CookiesSimply Sensational Cookies Truth: we never met a cookie we didn't like. Nancy Baggett's new book has every kind of cookie you could want to whip up, including the classic combos you know and love (peanut butter and chocolate) to inventive creations (mocha mole shortbreads). There's an entire chapter devoted to extra-easy cookies like brown sugar drops and honey-oatmeal cookies, but if you feel like getting fancy you'll find recipes for alfajores and gooey caramel-nut bars.

The New Way to Cook Light
The New Way to Cook Light Clear the counters to make room for this one. Twenty-five years of Cooking Light's test kitchen know-how has been poured into a complete compendium of healthy cooking that's modern and fresh. The old hum-drum questions of how to eat more veggies and whole grains and less meat get can't-wait-to-cook-this answers with vibrant photos and flavor-filled recipes featuring complete nutritional information. We've got our eyes on the fall vegetable curry and dijon chicken stew with potatoes and kale.

One Pot of the DayOne Pot of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year We're huge fans of one-pot meals that instantly streamline dinner, but this cookbook has anticipated something we didn't even know we wanted: it's organized by days of the year. So, turn to October 3 or April 29 and bam!--there's your dish, perfectly tuned to the natural rhythms of the year and making the most of in-season produce. Brilliant! Roasted pumpkin with red onions and grape tomatoes is already on our menu plan for the week, and we're cooking up a slow-simmered mushroom and beef stroganoff this weekend.