MENUS THAT MADE HISTORY: Over 2000 Years of Menus from Ancient Egyptian Food for the Afterlife to Elvis Presley’s Wedding Breakfast by Vincent Franklin and Alex Johnson is a fascinating collection of the world’s most iconic menus which relates fascinating historical stories through the medium of food.  The book relates menus such as the Titanic’s last menus; the first ladies’ luncheon at Delmonico’s in New York in 1868; Robert Dudley’s feast for Elizabeth I in 1560; and the first Thanksgiving dinner in 1621.

BOWLS: Vibrant Recipes with Endless Possibilities from the experts at America’s Test Kitchen is an exploration of building a meal in a bowl showing versatility, ease, and healthy choices.  There are 75 intriguing bowl choices that streamline prep work and encourage improvisations.  Favorites include: Moroccan Chicken Salad Bowl; Bulgur, pork, and pesto bowl; polenta bowl with broccoli rabe and fried eggs; shrimp pad Thai bowl; and ramen zoodle bowl.  This is the perfect way to create Winter meals that are healthful, fun, stress-free, and totally delicious.

PASTA GRANNIES: The Secrets of Italy’s Best Home Cooks by Vicky Bennison is inspired by the popular YouTube channel Pasta Grannies is a fantastic collection of recipes from Italian Nonnas, aka grandmothers.  The book features over 80 easy-to-follow recipes from all over Italy.  The best part of the book is the stories of these ordinary women and their culinary heritage and style.  You will be transported to Venice with Rosa’s Tagliatelle with sweet wine; Giuseppa’s fingernail pasta with tomato sauce will impart the flavors of Sardinia; the region of Tuscany is explored in Marcia’s Strapponi with porcini mushrooms; and Lucia from Presicce in Puglia will show you how to make Lucia’s sagne with breadcrumb dumplings.

COOKIING FOR GOOD TIMES: Super Delicious, Super Simple by Chicago chef Paul Kahan was aptly named of the best cookbooks of 2019 by The New York Times.  The book shares Kahan’s best secrets for low-stress cooking for friends and family, using his program of twelve basic actions to mix and match (such as “Roast Some Roots, “Make Some Grains,” “Braise a Pork Shoulder,” and “Make a Simple Dessert”).  Each chapter imparts six to eight customizations for each core recipes for ways to make dishes seem new and exciting.  Favorites include: charred radicchio with arugula, cherries, and Parmigiano; pistachio pesto, Italian sausage, and feta pizza; whole-roasted fish with braised kale stew with potatoes and sausage; roasted chicken with roasted grapes and Vetri’s fennel; brined and braised pork shoulder with white beans, chorizo, and cider; and steak with charred tomatoes and brunt eggplant.

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