THE COMPLETE SUMMER COOKBOOK: Beat the Heat with 500 Recipes That Make the Most of Summer’s Bounty by the expert cooks at America’s Test Kitchen is the perfect summer cookbook to give us more innovative ideas for warm-weather cooking.  Lots of the abundance of recipes available in this mind-blowing cookbook keep you out of hot kitchens with lots of cold meals; make-ahead meals; salads; and recipes on the grill.  The book emphasizes the bounty you can find at your local Farmers’ markets as well.  Standouts include Vietnamese summer rolls; chicken salad with whole-grain mustard vinaigrette; South Carolina shrimp burgers; grilled chicken kebabs with garlic and herb marinade; and nectarine and raspberry slab galette.

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN MY FIRST COOKBOOK: Fun Recipes to Cook Together… with as much Mixing, Rolling, Scrunching, and Squishing as Possible is a charming and delightful way to painlessly indoctrinate your five to eight-year-old children into cooking.  Every recipe in the book has maximum kid participation with lots of fun photographs for the kids to goggle at before cooking.  This book is a great way for parents to interact in some constructive cooking with their young kids.  Kids will clamor to make sheet pan French toast; Parmesan chicken tenders; oven-grilled cheese; cake pan pizzas; rice noodle bowls with peanut sauce; and ice cream cake.

BEYOND THE NORTH WIND: RUSSIA IN RECIPES AND LORE by food authority Darra Goldstein explores the heart of Russian food that applauds the use of whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and explosive flavors.  I particularly like the evocative storytelling that brings to life a vivid portrait of the Russian people and their exciting cuisine.  The book has over 100 recipes that are organic and sophisticated.  Recommended dishes include: homemade sour cream and cultured butter; brined apples; kvass; coulibiac; dumplings with mushroom and buckwheat; borscht; cucumbers in sour cream; herring in mustard dill sauce; and beef stew with horseradish.

THE LADIES’ VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY COOKBOOK: Eating and Entertaining in East Hampton put together by noted food writer Florence Fabricant chronicles The Ladies’ Village Society of East Hampton, a 125-year-old nonprofit established for the preservation of historical landmarks, parks, greens, and trees in East Hampton and the surrounding area.  The book offers over 100 recipes utilizing the local fish and produce from the Hamptons.  Recipes from celebrities in the Hamptons including; Ina Garten, Alex Guarnaschelli, Eli Zabar, and Martha Stewart are included and organized into twenty menus.  Favorite recipes include: Tuscan white bean soup with kale; lobster rolls with yuzu-lemon aioli; oven-fried garlic chicken; zucchini, feta, and olive slaw; sea scallops over corn relish; and Southern plum cobbler.

DINNER IN FRENCH: My Recipes by Way of France, written by respected New York Times food writer Melissa Clark is a contemporary look into traditional French recipes.  With her experiences of living in France, the author brings a vibrancy and innovation to recipes that are easy-to-follow and destined for success.  This is a wonderfully exciting book to add to my collection.  Standout recipes include: French baked eggs with smoked salmon and tarragon cream; spinach and grape salad with Roquefort dressing; gazpacho by way of Provence; roasted tarragon shrimp and onions; wine-braised chicken with orange and olives; and peach cobbler tatin.

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