VEGETABLES UNLEASHED A Cookbook by amazing Spanish-American chef and renowned humanitarian José Andrés and award-winning writer Matt Goulding is a masterwork in all things vegetarian.  Jam-packed with all kinds of tips of how to cook veggies, this book is an approachable guidebook to everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know about vegetables and more.  The book is seasonally organized with beautiful photographs to inspire.  Favorites include classic gazpacho with many variations; cauliflower with béchamel; beet “poke” bowl; smashed cucumber salad; and drunken apples.  This book is a must for any cook!

20 RECIPES KIDS SHOULD KNOW is a fun cookbook for kids written by 12-year old Esme Washburn with photographs from her 17-year-old sister, Calista Washburn.  Kids seem to love cooking either by watching on You Tube or watching Master Chef Junior on television.   The author features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthful, adaptable, and easy to whip up.  I love the idea of kids writing about food in a way that kids understand.  Recipes include: pancakes two ways; mouth-watering marinated steak; quintessential grilled cheese sandwich; tasty black bean soup; amazing mashed potatoes; and chewy chocolate chip cookies.

THE ULTIMATE BURGER Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes from the cooks at America’s Test Kitchen is the perfect book for summer entertaining.  This volume dives deep into the world of burgers with 138 recipes and tips on how to grind your own meat; shopping dos and don’ts of buying ground meat; how to make homemade buns; the science behind the perfect patty; and foolproof recipe for making the famous sides and condiments like slaws, homemade ketchup and relish; and even candied  bacon.  Recipes include meat burgers but also include bison burgers; turkey burgers; salmon burgers; and many plant-based burgers including grilled portobello burgers with goat cheese and arugula.

A TASTE OF HISTORY COOKBOOK: The Flavors, Places, and People that Shaped American Cuisine by chef and cooking show host, Walter Staib is an absorbing look into eighteenth and nineteenth century culinary history.  The show is an accompaniment to the television series Taste of History, and not only enlightens but educates on the ways of early cookery.  The book features color photographs of over 150 recipes that have been updated for modern kitchens.  One of the wonderful things I learned was how hush puppies got their name.  I learned that the story goes that they got their name when cooks would fry fish, crab – or whatever the catch of the day was – outside in the fresh air.  Stray dogs would gather around the cooks and bark and howl to get their fill, so it became a custom to fry the batter by itself and toss it to the dogs saying “hush puppy.”

CRU OYSTER BAR NANTUCKET COOKBOOK: Savoring Four Seasons of the Good Life by Eri Zircher, Jane Stoddard, Carlos Hidalgo, with Martha W. Murphy is the perfect summer cookbook which captures the laid-back lifestyle of the wonderful island of Nantucket.  Erin Zircher is executive chef of Cru Oyster Bay and has come up with some amazing and inspiring fish and seafood recipes that are perfect for summer entertaining.  Highlights include the lobster rolls with tarragon and celery leaves; black bass crudo with green tomato and lemon verbena salsa; harissa grilled tuna with leeks vinaigrette; Nantucket bay scallops with fresh pasta and champagne butter; and strawberry shortcakes.

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