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Cookbook review: e_SSLqCherry Bombe: The Cookbook’ is like a friend who always has a good recipe up her sleeve

By Ileana Morales Valentine, Times Correspondent

Cherry Bombe is a biannual indie magazine, weekly radio show/podcast and annual conference that celebrates women and food. And this monthís release is a cookbook, a compilation of tried-and-true recipes from women who are famous both in the food world and other industries. Think model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, author and former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl, and Milk Barís Christina Tosi, all familiar female faces that have graced the cover of the magazine.

The Cherry Bombe team has collected favorite recipes and stories from 100 influential and creative women; it reminds me of those shared journals I passed around with friends in school to collect and record our favorite anythings. Chefs, writers, food stylists, bakers, bloggers, farmers and others contributed to the collection. The authors describe the recipes as being "the equivalent of a sweater borrowed from a girlfriend, a dog-eared book your sister lent you, or the weird knickknack that belonged to your grandmother."

With a bold cover in a shade of bubblegum pink and pages that continue the hue in a millennial pink stand mixer, a grocery list on a notepad and beet-flavored ricotta dumplings in a shocking matte fuschia, the book is trendy while maintaining its fun appeal. Itís striking and looks great on a coffee table or shelf, but itís a cookbook to bring into the kitchen, too. The recipes are varied and mostly approachable, many of them great for cozy nights.

A sampling of the recipes: Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes, Three-Cheese Cauliflower Gratin, Rosť Sangria, Candied Grapefruit Pops, Filipino Vinegar Chicken, Caesar Brussels Salad, Lemony Lentil Stew With Ginger and Turmeric, Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies With Toasted Walnuts, Ramp Fried Rice, Best Friend Cheesecake.

There are great meals to make for myself and my family, as well as recipes for smaller bites when Iím having people over: extra cheesy gougŤres to serve with Champagne, grilled oysters, roti pizza (inspired by one contributorís immigrant mother who resourcefully satisfied her kidsí desire for an American pizza night by combining it with more familiar Indian ingredients). There are also more adventurous recipes I want to try, like making my own fortune cookies and flavoring them with matcha or black sesame, a version of the takeout staple Iíd actually want to eat.

A pipťrade, or French bell pepper stew, is an easy recipe that feels like a cousin of shakshuka, which Iíve made many times for brunch at home. This recipe is simpler in its ingredients and cooks much longer, rendering a dish no less flavorful than the more spiced shakshuka. Itís no wonder this recipe contributor asked her godmother for thirds.

The chapter organization may be a bit surprising in this book; with no breakfast or brunch section, this stew ends up in the "Sides" chapter despite being a satisfying meal with the suggested serving of poached eggs and toast. Two chapters at the end of the cookbook cover desserts, separating cookies, cakes and pies from the rest. I suspect everyone is cool with two dessert chapters.

Whether or not youíre already a fan of Cherry Bombe magazine, this is a sweet cookbook to have around and turn to ó like a friend who always has a good recipe up her sleeve.

Contact Ileana Morales Valentine at [email protected]