2.THE HOME BREWER'S GUIDE TO VINTAGE BEER (Quarry Books, 2014, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-59253-882-9, $24.99 US spiral bound) is by Ronald Pattinson, a brewing historian now based in Amsterdam. He has collaborated on new batches of old beers with a variety of beer bloggers and craft brewers. This current work contains rediscovered recipes for classic brews dating from 1800 to 1965. This historical collection, also with modernized preps, allows you recreate the originals or adapt them to suit your own palate. It is mainly British in orientation, with chapters devoted to porter, stout, IPA, Scottish ales, pale ales/bitters, stock ale, and then moving on to light and European beers – all in 12 chapters. There are profiles for each beer, plus of course the recipes. There's an 1880 Whitbread FA, a 1910 Fuller's AK, an 1804 Barclay Perkins TT porter, an 1853 Younger XP, and a 1868 Tetley East India Pale Ale – 100 in all. The first 35 pages deal with brewing techniques and ingredients; there are also historical photos and label reproductions strewn about. At the end there is a glossary, a weights and measures conversion chart, and an index.
Audience and level of use: beer makers, libraries.
Some interesting or unusual facts: "Where rice was used extensively in the late nineteenth century might come as a surprise: Germany. The Reinheitsgebot was applied to the whole of Germany only in 1906".
The downside to this book: while the spiral binding is a plus for laying flat, it also leads to vandalism in libraries and bookstores. It may be safer to order it online.
The upside to this book: each chapter is preceded by a generous history of the style of beer.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
3.THE ALL-NEW VEGETARIAN PASSPORT; 350 healthy recipes inspired by global cuisines Whitecap, 2013, 432 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-179-9, $34.95 CDN paper covers) is by Linda Woolven, who specializes in natural health writing (she's written or co-authored more than six books, appeared in broadcasting, and has written newsletters and articles). Here she promotes the vegetarian diet which is higher in fibre, nutrients and anti-oxidants, and lower in bad fats – than meat-based diets. There is a lot of general health material as well as signpost logos which are attached to each prep: logos indicating that the dish is good for fighting cancer, or candida, celiac disease, diabetes, gout, heart disease, memory loss, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and/or rheumatoid arthritis. There is also a sign for indicating that the dish is vegan. The arrangement of the recipes is by region: North Africa and the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe, India, Asia, Latin America, North America – with a separate chapter for desserts and beverages. There's a glossary and some pantry advice. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no overall table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: vegetarians, those needing more natural health.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Greek feta, kefalotiri, and kale bake; pasta with chard and feta; grilled Asian vegetables; Mexican black bean soup; kidney bean and salsa salad; red potato, onion and celeriac salad.
The downside to this book: this book could get heavy use, and the binding may become less secure with time.
The upside to this book: the glossary and the signposts.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
4.WEEKNIGHT GLUTEN FREE; simple, healthy meals for every night of the week (Weldon Owen, 2013; distr. Simon & Schuster, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-61628-687-3, $24.95 US paper covers) is by Kristine Kidd, once food editor of Bon Appetit – for over two decades. It includes over 100 preps plus advice for the gluten-free lifestyle. She emphasizes cooking with the seasons, although the book is arranged by main ingredient (almost meatless, seafood, poultry, meat) followed by desserts. If you have gluten-intolerance you'll need to read packaging and labels carefully. Otherwise, you avoid wheat, barley, and rye (so this includes barley beer as well). The hardest part is bread-avoidance and cooking with flours. There is not much you can do about replacing the "chew" in breads, and the inventory for flours can be onerous in space. But this is still a nifty quick and easy cookbook for the weeknight. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no overall table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: gluten-free eaters.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: lamb burgers with mint Greek salad topping; grilled skirt steak with Thai cucumber and peanut salad; quick herb-roasted pork and sweet potatoes; chopped salad with chicken, citrus, and avocado.
The downside to this book: not enough breaded substitutes.
The upside to this book: goods photography on the plating.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
5.PALEO ON A BUDGET; saving money, eating healthy (Front Table Books, 2013, 198 pages, ISBN 978-1-4621-1327-9, $19.99 US paper covers) is by Elizabeth McGaw, blogger at www.paleoonabudget.com from whence is derived this print book. It is, of course, dedicated to the paleo diet for the budget-conscious. The stress is on meat, eggs, nuts, vegetables and fruits in balance. Overall, the selection of food is based on being wallet-friendly, and also being healthy. But it is still a diet book, meant for everyday meals. The arrangement is by course – breakfast, soups/salads, snacks/sides, fish, chicken, meat, and "splurges". Paleo 101 and basic preps cover the first third of the book. She does her own photography, which is quite good. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: paleo dieters and other looking for healthy budget food.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: coconut pumpkin cookies; panzanella salad; baked scallops; zucchini boats; almond butter truffles; broken-down burrito.
The downside to this book: I think it needs more recipes.
The upside to this book: nice looking index, with a large typeface and leading.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
6.STUFFED; the ultimate comfort food cookbook (Page Street, 2014, 206 pages, ISBN 978-1-62414-011-2, $19.99 US paper covers) is by Dan Whalen, creator-blogger for www.thefoodinmybeard.com. As he explains, this book takes your fave comfort foods to the next level with extreme stuffed recipes. There are some log rolling endorsements, such as one from "Eater Boston". The idea is to combine popular foods, stuffing one with the other. So for mac and cheese, there are lobster stuffed fried mac and cheese balls, mac and cheese chile rellenos, mac and cheese raviolis, and mac and cheese stuffed burger (I don't suppose you would want to stuff macaroni? Too labour intensive). I find a little goes a long way, but the ideas are sound and useful. Arrangement is by main ingredient, so you have stuffed breads (sandwiches?), stuffed pasta/rice, stuffed meats, stuffed veggies/fruits, and stuffed sweets. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Good typeface size and leading in the index, and the pages lie flat.
Audience and level of use: home cooks, probably male.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: lasagna timpano; avocado eclairs; bacon avocado chicken salad stuffed tomatoes; jalapeno popper dog; turducken (of course); cheeseburger ravioli burger. Sfogliatelle and Epic Timpano too (although each could use a photo).
The downside to this book: a little goes a long way, but then comfort food is limiting.
The upside to this book: I love the way the book lies flat due to the page work from premium binding (stays open, hands free)
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
7. THE ARTISAN FOOD ENTREPRENEUR; profiles in passion and success (WWW Press - Quarry Books, 2014, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-59253-894-2, $26.99 US paper covers) is by Jo Packham, President of Chapelle which publishes magazines such as Where Women Create and Where Women Cook. Here she presents success stories of 20 top professional small business women in the US artisanal food business. These are bios with pix of food entrepreneurs; typical businesses include The Santa Fe School of Cooking, Slide Ridge Honey, Queen City Cookies, and Dry Soda. These are stories of successful restaurant owners, caterers, farmers, bakers, and beekeepers among other occupations. Some of them are Beard winners, other are Child winners, some have a "top food blog", another has authored multiple cookbooks.
Audience and level of use: business schools, hospitality schools looking for role models.
The downside to this book:
The upside to this book:
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
8. STRAIGHT FROM THE EARTH; irresistible vegan recipes for everyone (Chronicle Books, 2014, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-1269-5, $27.50 US soft covers) is by the mother-daughter team of Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman. Myra is the co-founder of Earthbound Farm. Here they advocate a plant-based diet, and since everything from their California business is organic, all the veggies should also be organic. There is some memoir-ish material about their lifestyle and vegans, followed by cooking tips and an arrangement of courses or ingredients. First up is breakfast, followed by salads, soups, apps, entrees, sides and desserts. At the end, there are the appendices: 11 theme menus and metric conversion charts, plus a chart on greenhouse gas emissions for common foods (the highest id=s for lamb, the lowest is for lentils and tomatoes). The 90 or so preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly avoirdupois measurements with some metric by weight, but there are tables of equivalents. Each recipes comes with nutritional data, and there are also some cooking charts.
Audience and level of use: great for vegetarians and vegans.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Thai fresh spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce; pasta with creamy mushroom sauce; grilled fig sandwiches roasted pistachio pesto and balsamic caramelized onions; cabbage and carrot crunch salad.
The downside to this book: nothing really.
The upside to this book: straightforward, easy-to-read, uncomplicated.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.