Cooking

11/14/2017 - 1:56am
The Cornbread Gospels: Over 200 Recipes by Crescent Dragonwagon

People can be mighty particular about their cornbread. They have strong feelings about which kind of meal to use (yellow or white), what to cook it in, what to use for leavening, and what to add in for extra flavor—or not. From such regional and personal beliefs comes Crescent Dragonwagon’s The Cornbread Gospels, with delicious takes on this homespun favorite.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the joys of cornbread, whether it’s a semi-soufflé of spoonbread for the Thanksgiving meal or something plainer to go with your New Year’s Day black-eyed peas, The Cornbread Gospels has your dish. Drawn from the recipe files of excellent cooks from across America and around the world, you’ll get a taste for different cultures as well as their preferred methods and flavors, with the talented wordsmith Crescent Dragonwagon as your guide.

11/08/2017 - 8:46am
Cover to The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it seems like a good time to revisit the dessert possibilities. Of course, there would be mutiny if pumpkin pie weren’t involved, but have you considered the addition of Butter Rum Cream Pie or Bourbon Pear Crumble Pie? Or, how about taking traditions to the next level with Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie?

Two sisters from the Midwest gathered in Brooklyn and opened a first-rate pie shop. It seemed like the logical thing to do. Although they all had degrees in finance and the arts, a bust economy had them marshalling their resources as they found that sticking to a family tradition—they were at least the third generation to make a living from the kitchen—reaped delicious and tangible rewards.

11/08/2017 - 1:51am
Christmas with Southern Living 2017

This year, the celebration and cheer begin with Southern Living's Christmas 2017 guide. With page after page of decorating ideas, 100 all-new, kitchen-tested recipes for family feasts and utilizing leftovers (or, "Bestovers," as they prefer to call them), Southern Living has made its mark once again within the holiday season.

11/01/2017 - 1:54am
Cover to The Moosewood Restaurant Table

"Our intent is to show by example that you can really make delicious vegetarian food and that it needn't be considered a burden to take that up."--David Hirsch, Moosewood Co-Owner/Collective Member

It was a groovy time.

In 1973, a small restaurant opened in Ithaca, NY, that would hugely influence American dining, being named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century by Bon Appétit magazine. Locally, our own Sammy T’s restaurant features several dishes in the Moosewood tradition.

10/19/2017 - 3:52pm
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
Lucia Sartori is the beautiful twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village. The postwar boom is ripe with opportunities for talented girls with ambition, and Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and-coming designer at chic B. Altman's department store on Fifth Avenue. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, the steadfast Dante DeMartino, Lucia is torn when she meets a handsome stranger who promises a life of uptown luxury that career girls like her only read about in the society pages. Forced to choose between duty to her family and her own dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a sizzling scandal in which secrets are revealed, her beloved career is jeopardized, and the Sartoris' honor is tested. (catalog summary)

Liked Lucia, Lucia? Here's a list of books that are about Italian-Americans and/or hopefully capture the feel of Adriana Trigiani’s books.  
10/04/2017 - 1:28am
Cover to Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking

Some people hike through the Appalachian Trail as quickly as they can, trying to set speed records. Some people spend hours in the car each autumn, looking at the bursts of colorful leaves on mountainsides, before heading back to their homes on flatter ground. They get something out of their journeys, sure, but they are missing a whole way of life.

Living in the Appalachians can be hardscrabble. Many of the people there are poor in material things. Why don’t more of them leave for better jobs? Some do. But many prefer to stay, and the answer lies in the strength of their families and communities. For hundreds of years, descendants of mainly Scots-Irish, English, and German immigrants, as well as members of the Cherokee Nation, lived in a culture that is self-reliant, and, yes, hospitable—assuming their visitors remain well-mannered.

Foodways are a big part of that culture. In his James Beard Award-winning Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine, Joseph E. Dabney delves into those delicious delights, while including enough personal notes that you’ll feel you’ve spent some time chatting on screened porches.

06/13/2017 - 2:02pm
Cover to Spice Dreams

Whether you consider it a melting pot or salad bowl, America’s culinary culture is rich with spices, both savory and sweet. Caraway seeds add piquancy to Jewish rye breads. Paprika, hot or mild, gives Hungarian stews and meats warmth and subtlety. Vanilla, theoretically the blandest of flavors, is intrinsic to many beloved forms of chocolate, cookies, cakes and even tea and coffee.  

Indian spice blends, named curries when made up for Europeans, vary from district to district, from mellow to fiery. In Ethiopia, a berbere spice combination may take a dozen different ingredients—typically including chiles, allspice, cardamom, and fenugreek—to create unforgettable flavor.

If you are interested in exploring new types of cuisine or want to learn more about these ingredients’ place in world history, books about spice can brighten your summer.

05/09/2017 - 11:32am
Cooking with Coconut: 125 Recipes for Healthy Eating

Cooking with Coconut: 125 Recipes for Healthy Eating offers a plethora of methods to use the delicious coconut fruit in an wide assortment of recipes.

The coconut is considered to be one of the most versatile plants in existence. The fruit, fiber, and tree sap can be processed and used in multiple ways. Coconut "meat" can be eaten green, ripe, or dried. Coconut water (the liquid found inside the fruit) and milk (coconut water mixed with coconut "meat" to make it thicker) can be healthy for cholesterol levels. Using coconut products in your everyday meals may not only be a healthier choice, but it may help you feel better about what you're eating.

04/25/2017 - 1:45pm
The Moon Juice Cookbook: Cook Cosmically for Body, Beauty, and Consciousness

Moon Juice was created by Amanda Chantal Bacon, a world-renowned chef and overall health nut. In 2011, Amanda Chantal Bacon, a fine-dining chef and overall health nut, opened Moon Juice, a Los Angeles-based shop for healthy foods and beverages.

03/14/2017 - 1:50am
Cover to One-Dish Wonders

So, you want to make a substantial, memorable meal, but you don’t want to use every pot in the house or have to time multiple dishes to arrive at the table in good shape? Maybe what you need is a One-Dish Wonder. The very experienced editors at Southern Living (Oxmoor House) have gathered recipes that don’t require a lot of fuss, will work well at covered-dish suppers, and will satisfy a gathering of friends and/or family. Recipes range from breakfast to dinner to sides to desserts. Some are strictly from scratch, while others take advantage of time-saving, pre-packaged ingredients.

Savory pies really shine here, including Loaded Chicken-Bacon Pot Pie, Cheese-Crusted Pizza Pot Pies, and Vegetable Pot Pie with Parmesan-Black Pepper Biscuits.  And, of course, there are many dishes in traditional casserole form. Casseroles are great for the aforementioned covered-dish suppers, and they can also provide welcome sustenance for families and friends going through difficult times. Some that caught my eye: Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole, Four-Cheese Macaroni, and Easy Lasagna.

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