Since life is upended with the Coronavirus, I think cookbooks for your favorite Moms are a great idea.

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN: 100 TECHNIQUES: Master a Lifetime of Cooking Skills, from Basic to Bucket Listfrom the amazing folks at America’s Test Kitchen, comes a super-tested basic book that will teach you amazing techniques to make you and uber chef!  Part I addresses the essentials every home cook should know.  Part II deals with techniques you didn’t know you couldn’t live without.  And Part III covers the bucket list.  The book taught me that the best method isn’t necessarily the most obvious choice.  The key to tender rice every time is to baking.  Who knew that the lumpiest batter makes the fluffiest pancakes?  The book is a wealth of knowledge and offers some amazing recipes too including: roast chicken and warm bread salad; roasted asparagus with foolproof mustard-dill Hollandaise sauce; Cuban-style oven-roasted pork shoulder; oven-fried onion rings; and skillet peach cobbler.

EVERYTHING CHOCOLATE: A Decadent Collection of Morning Pastries, Nostalgic Sweets, and Showstopping Desserts from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen is the perfect Mother’s Day gift.  Who doesn’t love chocolate? The experts at America’s Test Kitchen have assembled a definitive guidebook to any possible chocolate confection imaginable.  The book will teach you to become a home chocolatier.   Favorites include: chocolate bread pudding; ultimate turtle brownies; chocolate malted cake; chocolate pecan pie; and chocolate-peanut butter crème brûlée.

ONE POT FEEDS ALL: 100 New One-Dish Recipes from Roasts to Desserts by Ireland’s best-known food writer Darina Allen is a lovely compendium of no-fuss, simple-to-prepare dishes for family and friends.  The author advises that while you don’t need much in the way of new cooking equipment for this book it is worth investing in a sturdy casserole, roasting pan, baking dishes, and a slow cooker.  Standout recipes include: chorizo, goat cheese and tomato frittata; coconut curry chicken and rice; tagine of lamb with preserved lemon; Andalusian shellfish stew; and one-pot pasta with shrimp, monkfish, mussels, and dill.

The Pastry School: Sweet and Savoury Pies, Tarts and Treats to Bake at Home by award-winning pastry chef Julie Jones is a comprehensive volume that guides one through 10 different types of pastry making.  The author uses step-by-step instructions and photographs to illustrate her methods and techniques.  Chapters include fruit; cream & cheese; nuts; vegetables; meat & fish; and crunch & crumb.  Favorite recipes include: goat’s cheese and fennel jam galette; salted caramel banana tarte tatins; onion and egg tartlets; and apricot and vanilla Danish with fennel seed caramel.

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN: EASY EVERYDAY KETO: Healthy Kitchen-Perfected Recipes created by the experts at America’s test Kitchen with Alicia A. Romano, MS, RD, CNSC, offers up some imaginative and interesting ways to keep to a keto diet but still enjoy meals.  The book skips the gimmicky ideas and uses more nourishing and healthy fats and low-carb veggies to make some outstanding recipes.  This is the perfect way to slim down before the summer.  Try Thai coconut soup with shrimp and bok choy; chicken baked in foil with fennel and radishes; nut-crusted pork chops; grilled Southwestern salmon burgers; zucchini noodle salad with peanut-ginger dressing; and vanilla bean panna cotta with strawberries.

TAKE ONE CAN: 80 Delicious Meals from the Pantry by Lola Milne is quite timely in this pandemic.  Those of us who stocked up, in the time of Covid-19, are ready to have some clever recipes to ride out our quarantine.  Chapters are organized by beans and pulses; tomatoes and vegetables; fish; and fruit and sweet cans.  Every recipe has a canned ingredient at its core, plus other ingredients you will likely have on hand.


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