Three Cookbooks I Want on My Shelf

Before I commit to buying a cookbook, I evaluate its worthiness to take up space on my limited shelves by checking it out of the library and trying a few of the recipes.  Of course, when three cookbooks arrived at the same time, they were in competition.  Who would win the coveted shelf space?  All three were winners.  Somehow I will find space for Ina Garten’s Cooking for Jeffrey, Maria Rodale’s Scratch, and Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and get them for presents (are you listening, daughters?)

9780307464897_p0_v3_s192x300  Cooking for Jeffrey

Ina Garten’s newest in her collection – Cooking for Jeffrey – has all the mouth-watering full page pictures enticing the reader to try the recipe.  Jeffrey is a lucky guy; those dishes would taste so much better if Ina would cook for me.  With a four layer chocolate cake on the cover, this book had me before I opened it.

9781623366438_p0_v2_s118x184  Scratch

Full of simple homemade dishes many will remember from childhood days of mother’s cooking, Maria Rodale’s Scratch could become the go-to book when memory lapses.  Tips for making the perfect poached egg or homemade chicken stock may seems simple, but Rodale’s extra twist is worth noting.  A few of the recipes may be heavy on the butter and cream – savory spiced pumpkin soup – but a little butter now and then never hurt, as my favorite chef Julia Child always said.  Rodale prefaces the book noting it is not a diet book – more comfort food, when you need it.

9781583335277_p0_v4_s118x184   The Oh She Glows Cookbook 

When I checked this out of the library, the librarian told me she had bought the book herself after trying some of the recipes – a good recommendation.  Many of us are always looking to eat better, healthier, and with less meat; this vegan cookbook offers easy possibilities. As I flipped through the preface, I was encouraged to find many of the foods I have in stock yet tend to ignore -those healthy alternatives to chips and store-bought cookies.  Liddon not only has the recipes you would expect from a healthy eating cookbook, like green smoothies and veggie burgers, she also includes power snacks and desserts like almond brownies and pudding parfait. A handy reference book for getting back on the track of healthy eating, The Oh She Glows Cookbook includes one of my favorite quotes from Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

A timely thought for today, when the news of the world seems overwhelming. Good food may help.

Related Reviews:

 

 

True Food by Andrew Weil

The advocate of the healthy life should live it by example, and Dr. Andrew Weil does.  Using his  background of botany and medicine, Weil has established himself as a leader in “well being” through his books and columns.  Complementing his latest venture, a restaurant in collaboration with chef Sam Fox, Weil has produced a cookbook – True Food.

Cookbooks can be adult picture books, full of enticing pictures of delicious dishes that drip off the pages, with recipes that you may or may never actually try.  Weil’s True Food offers ideas for those trying to eat healthier, without sacrificing taste.  Although the book leans toward vegan offerings, Fox’s influence is obvious with a few recipes for meat; the last chapter also includes drink mixes, some with vodka and whiskey – and a pomegranate martini.

I marked a few appealing recipes: the kale pesto, bison chili, pistachio dream; others to skip –  Korean broth, glazed burdock root.  The sea buckthorn fruit drinks might be worth tasting – if you can find sea buckthorn – the latest berry with promises of immortality – like acai, before being immersed in sugary drinks and smoothies.

Weil’s comfort not only comes through food; his introductions to chapters include quiet and forgiving thoughts on the merits of fresh natural ingredients that can just as easily be whipped into a delicious meal as those with less quality.  His comments on added ingredients used to mask staleness or inferiority, reminded me of a commercial I watched recently, proudly proclaiming that the restaurant added pancake batter to their scrambled eggs.

His food pyramid has chocolate at the top – no better recommendation for me to keep this book.

Related Reviews: