cooking

Cool Bacon Recipes

By Kuskowski, Alex
4
Rated by Terri B.
Mar 5, 2018

Do not let the unattractive cover of Cool Bacon Recipes fool you into not checking this book out for your child. Because if you like bacon, check out these easy recipes. This book did not have very many recipes, but what it did have looked appetizing. The explanation of utensils and terms is perfect for 3rd - 6th graders with the guidance of an adult. And the step by step pictures are always a plus!

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

By Samin Nosrat
4
Rated by Christin D.
Jul 21, 2017

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking is probably as close as you will ever get to a kitchen apprenticeship with a professional chef in book form. The first part is a guide to the how and why of good cooking. You get clear explanations of what makes a pie crust or a cut of meat tender or tough, how and when to salt and season various ingredients; all the keys to making great meals. The second half is a collection of recipes that let you practice what you've learned.  


The author, Samin Nosrat, shares her hard won expertise here with clear instructions, clever

Jan 12, 2017

I was searching for a simple cookbook. How to Cook Everything is just that; very basic and a great resource for new cooks. For those who don’t know how to boil an egg, instructions are included. How to scramble eggs, make pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches—it’s all here. Slightly advanced recipes, such as meatloaf, minestrone, and cinnamon rolls are also included. The book covers the difference between sautéing and stir-frying, simmering and boiling. Need help stocking the pantry and determining what kitchen equipment to purchase? The Basics is your go-to guide. A generous number of

Oct 1, 2016

The title of Love, Loss and What We Ate is what sparked my interest: what could be more relatable? I knew nothing about Padma Lakshmi and didn’t even recognize her name. But it doesn’t matter; anyone can find aspects of her story engaging. She writes with honesty and simplicity about the events of her life. Although she has been a model, actress, foodie, and was even married to the likes of Salman Rushdie, we can relate to her tales of cooking, childhood, career moves, relationships, and motherhood. She writes with a curious blend of candor and self-consciousness, which is both endearing and a

Jun 8, 2016

The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams must be read together. The two books were originally meant to be one book, but Susan Branch’s life is so packed with living and inspiration that one book quickly became two very powerful volumes overflowing with growth, play, wisdom and a hefty dose of girl power. Though the books are heavy they are equally adorable, easy to tuck into and get lost for hours in. Susan Branch quickly becomes a sister within just a few pages and makes the reader feel like they are as much a part of her life as she is. 


The Fairytale Girl is a more than

The Love and Lemons Cookbook

By Jeanine Donofrio
5
Rated by Sarah A.
Apr 28, 2016

Just in time for farmers market season Jeanine Donofrio has launched the new cookbook The Love and Lemons Cookbook: an Apple to Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking, which includes beautiful photography by her husband Jack Mathews. Rather than being divided into category chapters, such as Appetizers, Salads, or Desserts, the book is arranged by fresh ingredients, such as Asparagus or Mushrooms, encouraging readers to use what they have in their fridge or pantry at the time. The recipes are all vegetarian, with many being vegan or gluten free. The pair hails from Austin, TX and it seems

Apr 16, 2016

How can you not pick this book up? Look at all that melty, cheesy goodness on the cover.


Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollak own and operate three locations of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco. For those of us unable to make the trip to California, they have kindly shared recipes for some of their sandwiches, as well as soups, sides, and spreads. In addition to the recipes, the author provides tips on bread types, cheeses, equipment, and methods of cooking.


Grilled cheese for breakfast? Why not? If you feel like a little heat, you can go with the Huevos Rollando. Or for a

Mar 16, 2016

You don’t have to be vegan to love the smoothies in this book. I’m not a vegan myself, but I turned to 365 Vegan Smoothies because it looked like it would offer a range of healthy recipes to help you consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. I was not disappointed! With 365 recipes, you will find something to meet your nutritional needs and individual tastes.


There are many smoothie books on offer, but several things set this one apart, enough so that I decided to purchase it! I have never really been a smoothie person because the ones I had bought in stores were too pricey, too big, and

Football Tailgating Recipes

By Katrina Jorgensen
3
Rated by Terri B.
Feb 3, 2016

With the Super Bowl upon us, Football Tailgating Recipes by Katrina Jorgensen could be the perfect book to get your kids involved with the preparation of your menu. I especially like the tools needed page, which is very helpful. Most of the recipes are easy to follow and include prep time, cook time, and how many servings it will produce. There are also delicious pictures to go along with each recipe, so appetizing that I wish I could just pluck the food off of the page. Each recipe has included a "Coach's Tip" or a "Call An Audible," clever terms for variations or additional ideas to use for

Jan 20, 2016

A veggie-lover’s dream! This cookbook takes us through the alphabet one vegetable at a time, with classics like potatoes to more unusual veggies like daikon. He even sneaks in a few fruits, like the tomato. V is for Vegetables is not expressly vegetarian, although some of the recipes certainly are.


Chef Michael Anthony brings his experiences abroad into many of his recipes, resulting in a rich blend of classic American dishes with more exotic fusions. He provides pleasant introductions to each vegetable, with entertaining narration, clear cooking explanations, and helpful tips and

Oktoberfest Cookbook

By Julia Skowronek
4
Rated by Terri B.
Jan 18, 2016

To me Oktoberfest means great traditional German food and lots of beer. My family celebrates every year, so when I saw this cookbook, Oktoberfest Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the World's Greatest Beer Festival, I had to take a look. I was not disappointed!


Each region probably has their own favorites, but author Julia Skowronek has "gathered together the tastiest, most popular, and most traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest recipes." At the beginning she includes the history of how Bavarian Oktoberfest originated. For five days they celebrated the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, later King

Sep 5, 2014

If you enjoy cooking from scratch with simple wholesome ingredients, then this is the right cookbook for you!  I love how the layout of the book takes you through the ingredients necessary for a “perfect pantry” and then straight into a chapter on Everyday Basics, including my two favorites, Perillo's All-Purpose Baking Mix and her Whole Grain Baking Mix.  With these two recipes alone you have a third of the work for so many other delicious homemade foods already complete.  My family loved the Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes(using the All-Purpose Baking Mix) and they were simple enough to make that

Apr 11, 2013

Did you ever wonder what the difference is between baking soda and baking powder, why there are so many different kinds of flour, and what is Dutch cocoa?  If so, you are just the type of advanced cook for whom this book is intended.  It is full of the culinary science involved in various cooking methods and ingredients, which the author explains plainly and understandably to anyone without any heavy science background.  What Einstein Told His Cook debunks the mysteries of water filters, the process of coffee decaffeination, and BTUs as the measurement of stove energy output, as well as

Mar 28, 2013

With interwoven recipes and memories, Molly Wizenberg divulges her story, a memoir that blossoms from a blog she created in the aftermath of her father’s death. 

While the stories are splotchy little essays that capture only fragments of Wizenberg’s life, they are immensely powerful.  After reading the chapter “La Boule Miche,” I immediately scurried to the kitchen and scrounged up a piece of salted dark chocolate and a leftover hunk of a baguette.  I suspect that I am not the only reader who has done this. 

I found myself reading entire paragraphs of this book out loud just to hear the

Tasting Club by Dina Cheney

0
Rated by Magda B.
Mar 7, 2013

There is more to food tasting then just wine and cheese tasting parties. And this book tells us all about it.  It provides tips how to entertain a group of friends while indulging in the best the food world has to offer. Among the unusual culinary but tempting delicacies the Tasting Club suggests are honey, tea, chocolate, olive oil and cured meats. I enjoyed the most learning about the intriguing world of expensive and rare balsamic vinegars of Italy.  Each food item chapter starts with describing the history of that item, as some of them are foods enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. (T

Jan 22, 2013

As the title suggests, this book is about food, cooking and restaurants. Gopnik, an investigative journalist by trade, tells us everything one wants to know about the history of cooking and restaurants, including the new eating trends such as the molecular cuisine of Barcelona. Gopnik examines our choices of food.  In an apolitical way he gives an inside view into the meat vs. vegetarian debate.   My favorite quotation: “Cooking is the faith that raw ingredients can be conjured into a nightly miracle”.  The Table Comes First is a great book for all practitioners or theorists of the art of

Nov 25, 2012

I jumped on the don’t-eat-anything-you-can’t-pronounce bandwagon about five years ago. While I’ve lost no weight and have yet to be inspired to lead a “healthy lifestyle,” my HDLs have gone way up, my LDLs way down, and my husband has experienced the longest period of remission of his Crohn’s disease in ten years. In any case, when I saw this title, I knew that even if I didn’t take to cooking with lard long-term, the comfort-food recipes would be worth a try—but more on that later.

Surprisingly, lard is actually better for you than plain ‘ol butter. Less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat

Jun 26, 2012

This memoir provides a window into the most prestigious culinary institute in the world, the Paris Cordon Bleu.  It was written while the author herself was one of the students there. The book contains witty observations from the world of haute cuisine and covers basic recipes and cooking instruction, together with a few tricks and shortcuts she learned there. 

Faced with a crossroad in her life, the author impulsively decided to move to Paris and pursue the dream she once confided to Julia Child: to study at the Cordon Bleu. Kathleen describes in detail her new friends and competitive

May 26, 2012

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School chronicles a project inspired by a supermarket encounter, which turned into an epiphany: Cooking has become a spectator sport of Cooking Channel watching.

At the grocery store Flinn struck up a conversation with a woman loading up a basket full of processed food.  Flinn spent time cruising the aisles of the store with the woman and convinced her to put the packaged food back on the shelf and to try cooking with real food. The shopper later became a part of a group of nine women and a year-long project; teaching them cooking skills and how to make informed

Oct 5, 2011

Hearing the wonders of Quinoa (do not try to pronounce this at home – its keen-wah) as a plant-based food that is also high in protein, I decided to give it a try. Quinoa 365 was to be my ticket to a new way of eating.

But not so. It reminds me of that episode of Friends where Monica gets hired to write recipes for a vile chocolate substitute and she writes them to include only miniscule amounts of the stuff. I understand that Quinoa packs a powerful punch, but the small quantity means the recipes require actual cooking skill and ingredients I don’t already have in my kitchen. I don’t even

May 27, 2011

            The Culinary Institute of America brings us a gorgeously photographed new Italian cookbook.  Italian Cooking at Home by Gianni Scappin, Alberto Vanoli, and Steven Kolpan is filled with mouth-watering photographs accompanied by equally appetizing authentic Italian recipes.  The recipes all have detailed instructions, fairly common - or at least easy to locate while shopping - ingredient lists, and a suggested wine pairing. 

            Italian Cooking at Home opens with a tour of Italy, covering each region’s various wines, cheeses, and specialties.  The rest of the book is divided

Apr 28, 2011

Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Baking is my new baking Bible.  If you need to bake anything, it will be in this one massive textbook.  Learn how to make chocolate truffles, blown sugar decorations, Amish pretzels, brioches, éclairs, or petits fours all with easy-to-follow directions, diagrams, and pictures.  The well laid out chapters cover everything from utensils, measurements, specialty ingredients, basic baking principles to advanced pastries and dessert presentations.  There are general hints on why a cake, cookie, or pie might fail, and how to correct the problem.  If you’re cooking for a

Apr 6, 2011

Culinary Biographies is a biographical encyclopedia of gastronomy of about one hundred people, who had a major influence on the history of food. They are chefs and cookbook writers , nutritionists and doctors, farmers and restaurateurs. Many of the people listed in this book are known to us for their much greater achievements in other fields. Thus, Pythagoras' mathematical theories overshadow his vegetarian philosophy.  The book lists resources dating back to the 6th century and ending with contemporaries. It lists pioneer food scientists and food anthropologists of the Americas, Europe and

Mar 1, 2011

Despite its awkward title, pie makers or anyone with nostalgia for southern food should love Southern Pies.  It is essentially a collection of recipes culled from both old family cookbooks to current southern chefs.  Each pie has its own story, and the recipes are sorted into categories such as seasons, chocolate, heirloom, and regional.  The pies range from traditional sounding (Coconut Cream Pie, Double Apple Pie) to the more adventurous (Scuppernong Meringue pie, Mountain Home Soup Bean Pie).  The recipes themselves are easy to follow, and the author includes multiple pie crust recipes to

Feb 22, 2011

Being a public librarian with access to an unending supply of books, it takes something really special to make me want to part with $27.00 just so I can call it my own. Ruhlman has found the secret in Ratio and my copy should be in my mailbox by tomorrow. It's a weird format for a cookbook in that Ruhlman buries his recipes in parts or chapters that explain the basic ratios for, for instance, doughs and batters. By explaining the how and why of the most basic dough, Ruhlman opens up doors for experimentation and adventure, over the execution of a perfect recipe. After reading part one, I made

Jan 18, 2011

When preparing for the holidays next year, consider checking out Nigella Lawson's Nigella Christmas to help you out.  This book is packed with everything one needs to entertain a crowd or feed your family.  Chapters cover catering parties, hot and cold drinks, baking, brunches, and a step-by-step Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.  If you're unfamiliar with Nigella's cooking style, she's a more adventurous Paula Deen without the stuffiness of Martha Stewart.  Her food tastes great and the presentation looks refined, but she isn't afraid to admit she likes bacon wrapped sausages!

As for

Nov 4, 2010

Full Moon Feast by Jessica PrenticeFull Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice (I discovered after I wrote this entry that it is not in the JCL catalog, but is readily available Interlibrary Loan.)

Author Jessica Prentice is a professional chef and food activist, co-founder of Locavores and a founding worker-owner of Three Stoner Hearth: A Community Supported Kitchen in West Berkeley. Her website www.chelseagreen.com

Full Moon Feast takes us through 13 moons – Hunger Moon, Sap Moon, Egg Moon, Milk Moon, Moon of Making Fat, Mead Moon, Wort Moon, Corn Moon, Moon When Salmon Return to Earth, Blood Moon, Snow Moon, Moon of Long Nights

Oct 15, 2010

Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip CookiesIn Dede Wilson’s A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies, you’ll find 70+ recipes for all sorts of chocolate cookies.  From the plain and simple, to crazy or sophisticated, if it’s remotely related to a chocolate chip cookie, it’s probably in here.  Like a nature field guide, each cookie has a type indicated, a description, field notes, and a life span noted for storage.  Each recipe also has symbols indicating ease of shipping, dough freeze-ability, baking speediness, and how kid-friendly the recipe is.  The recipes are easy to understand and rarely will you have to hunt down an

Sep 19, 2010

Martha Stewart’s CupcakesI’m sure no one is surprised that I am finally reviewing a Martha Stewart cookbook.  Her latest series of cookbooks include pictures for every single dessert, which is something I wish all cookbooks would have.  In Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, we are given 175 recipes for all types of cupcakes for any mood or occasion.  The easy to follow recipes are grouped into categories like “Swirled and Sprinkled”, “Filled and Layered”, or “Piped and Topped”, plus special sections for holidays, celebrations, or dietary needs.  While most of the recipes require very little specialized skills beyond baking

Aug 25, 2010

Vegan BrunchDespite what my other reviews have covered, I do have friends or occasions where special diets are needed.  Vegan Brunch was just what I needed when vegan & vegetarian friends stopped over for a weekend.  It’s arranged by type of food, divided up in chapters such as The Savory, The Sweet, and The Toppings.  There are many tips on buying and preparing vegan ingredients, setting a table for brunch, and tips for certain recipes.  The recipes are not overly complicated nor are they extraordinarily time consuming.

The first meal we had was a Caramelized Vidalia Onion Quiche, Red Flannel Hash, and