I wasn't able to include it on my list of Best Cookbooks of 2009, due to my theme being "cookbooks that expand the repertoire" while this one is for twentysomethings just embarking on cooking from home, stocking the pantry, mixing cocktails for friends. But I really like Life After Ramen, self-published by local authors Randy MacDonald and Ann Thatcher and sold locally places like Carpe Librum. The biggest appeal to me is the simple recipes that don't shoot too low: a special tomato soup that has sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil when you're in a hurry, for example, not hot dogs--or flank steak, roasted chicken, you get the idea. I've also tried the Thai peanut noodles and a couple of the appetizers like a shrimp dip, very nice.
But my favorite recipe from the book, which I plan to use at least once this holiday, is basically: cut squares of any color bell pepper, pack on some feta cheese, and run it under the broiler until it's browned. It's an appetizer, and we loved it over Thanksgiving. I'd totally recommend the book as a gift for any newbie kitchen proprietors, or for (sorry to be sexist) guys of any age who don't cook much but would like to be able to whip up a date meal for two or just switch off from, well, ramen and frozen pizzas when it's time to cook dinner.
did get a chance to interview the two authors a little earlier this year; here's what they had to say about producing and now marketing your own cookbook.