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Tuesday, July 5, 2016


...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
19.MICROGREENS; how to grow nature's own superfood (Firefly, 2010, 2016, 120 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-714-1, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Fionna Hill, a gardener-floral designer who also writes books and magazine articles. It's a revised edition of a 2010 book. Hill's definition is that they are larger than sprouts but smaller than baby salad greens. They are useful to grow in a limited amount of space such as an apartment balcony or a window sill. Most varieties are ready in a week, and they contain a large amount of nutritional material. Hill gives us data on 30 (up from 20 in the older edition) popular varieties (arugula, beet, kale, peas, broccoli, basil, et al), as well as 16 (up from 12) recipes. Flavours range from mild to hot, nutty or spicy, but microgreens are also interchangeable to some extent. A recipe may call for only as handful of microgreens: what they are will be up to what you grow. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, and  there is a table of equivalents. There's a glossary and resources listing. As she says, "Flavours change as the plant grows. As the leaves open, they begin to manufacture energy from light. That gives them a change in flavour. The most intense flavour comes when
that first leaf opens." No price change since the first edition. Quality/Price Rating: 87.
20.THE COMPLETE ROOT CELLAR BOOK; building plans, uses, and 100 recipes (Robert Rose, 2010, 264 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0243-3, $27.95 Canadian, paper covers) is by Steve Maxwell, a home improvement author with his own root cellar, and Jennifer MacKenzie, a professional home economist, author and editor. Together they present 30 easy-to-follow illustrated
plans for all kinds of storage, plus 100 recipes to use the "roots". The book was originally published in 2010, and this is a reissue. The variety of storage includes cold rooms, storage containers, basement cellars, stand-alone cellars, outdoor structures, cellars for condos and townhouses, and cellars for a warmer climate. They have a huge list of fruits and veggies, and for each there are notes on optimal storage conditions for both outdoor and indoor storage, storage life in a cellar, plus what to do when the food starts to deteriorate. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. The book concludes with a resources list and a bibliography. Did you know that beets that have gone soft during storage are still good to eat after they are boiled? Try sauerkraut, vegetable pot pie, sage butter parsnip soufflé, or roasted onion and potato soup. Even a rumtopf. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
21.RAW FOOD DETOX (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-728-7, $19.95 US hard covers) is by Anya Ladra, founder of Raw Fairies, a raw food delivery company in the UK. As the publisher notes, "revitalize and rejuvenate with these delicious low-calorie recipes to help you lose weight and improve your energy levels." The current book is a revision of her earlier book from 2012. It's got 70 recipes.  She uses plant-based organic ingredients and methods such as soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating. A raw food detox is supposed to promote clear glowing skin and give you better energy. It is also touted as painless. She begins with a five-day cleansing detox. Then there are chapters devoted to juices and smoothies, salads and dressings, mains, snacks, sweets and desserts. Carrot and lemon juice with omega-3 oils is a good start to the day, followed by a sprouted buckwheat salad or tomato quiche with almond pastry. For snacks, we could all enjoy spicy almonds or Italian flaxseed crackers. For the meat eaters, there's a mushroom pate and a range of desserts. The diet is easy; the dishes may take a little insight to prepare. Recipes have their ingredients listed mainly in avoirdupois with some metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. There's a list of suppliers in the UK and the US. Quality/price
rating: 87.
22.A HANDFUL OF HERBS (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2001, 2016, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-719-5, $19.95 US hard covers) is by Barbara Segall,Louise Pickford, and Rose Hammick. It was originally published in 2001. It's a listing-directory to 75 common herbs, as well as profiles of the 20 "superherbs" (basil, bay, chives, coriander, fennel, through to thyme). There is decorating advice for home-growing. Only 30 recipes, but they are versatile. Most of the book is about the herbs and how to grow; there is a directory of suppliers, including Canada. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
23.PASTA & NOODLES (Juniper Publishing, 2016; distr. Simon & Schuster, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-988002-11-8, $19.95 CDN soft covers) is from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. They've gone through all their pasta preps and re-did and tested (according to the subtitle)  "101 long and short pastas, noodles, gnocchi, ravioli, baked pastas, sauces, and more!"
The CL Test Kitchen has about 18 other "tested" books in its portfolio, so the arrangement and techniques are pretty well standard by now, and this book should be snapped up by the fans. There are some gluten-free options here, as well as noodles: egg, rice, udon, soba, Asian wheat, and even sweet potato vermicelli. There are also a variety of meatballs, sauces and pestos. The book is neatly Mediterranean and Asiatic. Something for the whole family. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric weights and avoirdupois volume measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
24.MOCKTAILS, CORDIALS, INFUSIONS, SYRUPS AND MORE (Dog 'n' Bone, 2016; distr. T. Allen, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-909313-91-0, $19.95 US hard covers) is a publisher's books with recipes credited to a variety of people who write for Dog 'n' Bone and Ryland Peters & Small: Beshlie Grimes, Ben Reed, and Louise Pickford contributed most of the 80 preps here. These are alcohol-free drinks that have flavours: if you need alcohol, just add some white wine or vodka. Preps include elderflower cordial, strawberry syrup, mint syrup, lavenger lemonade, and so forth. Perfect for the teetotaller, designated driver or detoxer. Very nice illustrations too. Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
25.COOKING WITH CHEESE (Ryland Peters & Small, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-718-9, $21.95 US hard covers) is also a publisher's book with recipes credited to a variety of cookbook writers; the lion's share was done by Laura Washburn, Maxine Clark, and Hannah Miles. The 80+ preps deal mostly with the classics (cheddar straws, French onion soup) and some newer innovations (Manchego & piquillo Spanish tortilla, lavender honey cheesecake). I particularly enjoyed the pear, celery, and blue cheese soup with "salt and sweet" walnuts. Lots going on there... Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
26.THE TOTAL GRILLING MANUAL (Weldon Owens, 2016; distr. Simon & Schuster, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-68188-047-1, $29 US flexibound) has been edited by Lisa Atwood (other sources say "compiled by") – but we do not know from the book where the original texts came from. Nevertheless, this is a handy guide to tools, techniques, and recipes: 264 essentials for cooking with fire. It is arranged by food, from beef through pork, lamb, poultry, seafood, sides and drinks, along with an index that refers to tip number (there are no page numbers). Lots of photos and technique drawings for the basics (pros and cons of cooking over gas or charcoal, indirect and direct-heat cooking, choosing fuel, choosing woods, the right brine ingredients details of meat cuts, flavour combos, and different levels of skills for the recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
27.COOK HEALTHY & QUICK (DK, 2016, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-4484-4, $30 US hardbound) is a publisher's title with 300 easy-to-follow recipes at a bargain price. Each has nutritional data (calorie, fat, sugar, etc.). There are options for gluten-free dishes, protein family brunches, low-sugar treats, low-calorie dinners, and lots of greens for lunches. These are step-by-step instructions for 30 minutes or less, with colour codes to show key nutritional benefits. Variations are, of course, included where possible. Typical dishes include cranberry-orange-chocolate quinoa bars, chilled pea and avocado soup shots, kiwi and pear juice, and baked tomatoes stuffed with couscous and black olives with feta. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88. 

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