Mad Genius Tips by Justin Chapple

Another new cookbook to check out is Mad Genius Tips by the editors of Food & Wine.  This past summer my son found several recipes by Food & Wine that he tried and enjoyed.  So it was an obvious choice to purchase the Mad Genius Tips cookbook for a Christmas gift for him. For the most part a two page spread includes a recipe and step by step instructions  to make it, with photos.  The DIY Noodle cup includes ramen noodles, shredded cooked chicken, mushrooms, spinach and a 1 – pint mason jar. A quick and easy lunch meal.  The best part is that it can be made the night before for lunch the next day.

The Table of Contents is arranged by the tool that is used:  aluminum foil, box grater, bundt pan, microwave, mason jar,fork+spoon, plastic baggie and sticks and skewers.  The index is arrange by food type.

Loved the pictures and simple recipes.  Making crispy tortilla bowls and poached are techniques I am going to try.  The only con of this cookbook is that there is no nutritional information.

Vegetable Cookbooks

Adding more vegetables are on everyone’s mind these days.  Two new vegetable cookbooks came out last year.  First up is Martha Stewart’s Vegetables:  inspired recipes and tips for choosing, cooking and enjoying the freshest seasonal flavors.  Stewart divides her book by type of  vegetable:  greens, fruits, stalks & stems, bulbs, tubers etc.  She includes how to prep, store and buy each of these.  She gives suggestions of what entrees go best with the vegetable.   Plenty of recipes are included with easy to follow instructions and photos.

The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini is the A to Z guide to vegetables.  Mangini includes how to select, prep, slice, dice and cook vegetables.  A visual guide shows how to cut different types of vegetables into different shapes. Ten pages are devoted to Artichokes.  Included are good partnerships to artichokes, how to prep, and a selection of recipes to try with a section of favorite cooking methods.  Other vegetables receive the same treatment.

While you can count on Martha Stewart to create a quality cookbook, I have to say that my choice is  The Vegetable Butcher.  The basic information about a vegetable is contained in a two page spread and she includes how to prep the vegetable.  The photos are well done and the recipes are easy to follow.

100 Days of Read Food by Lisa Leake

Another 2016 cookbook that caught my eye was Lisa Leake’s 100 Days of Real Food. Lisa Leake is the author of the blog “100 days of Real Food”.  Her second cookbook, pictured here, is about cutting highly processed food out of your diet. The first 50 pages of the books are filled with tips to navigate the grocery shelves, make ahead suggestions, meal planning, storage guidelines,  avoiding highly processed foods and homegrown vs. shop bought.  She debunks many of the grocery illusions and misconceptions.  For instance, baby carrots have a little chlorine but no more than you would find in tap water.  A white coating sometimes appears, indicating dehydration which a little water bath will cure.  The rest of the book is divided into recipe categories:  Breakfast, Snacks and Appetizers, Homemade Staples are just a few of the topics.  I am looking forward to trying the Roasted Summer Veggie Salad and Cauliflower Nuggets.  At the very end of the cookbook is a recipe chart by dietary need.  Photos of the recipes appear next to the recipe page.  The cookbook is well organized and packed with a lot of healthy eating.

American Cake by Anne Byrn

Several new cookbooks have come into the library in the last few months.  One that caught my eye was American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of Our Best-Loved Cakes  by Ann Byrn.       The author follows the development of cake beginning with 1770 until the present. It is filled with history tidbits about cake in America.  For instance, the first American cake was made with corn meal and wasn’t sweet.  It was cooked on a griddle. The book is complete with recipes throughout the ages including cakes created by Julia Child and Betty Crocker, the Robert Redford cake, Red Velvet cake and one I’m looking forward to try, New York Cheesecake.