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Sunday, January 15, 2017


...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"...
22.BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK. 12th Edition (Betty Crocker, 2016, 688 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-64892-0, $29.99 USD loose leaf binder) is an updated old classic and standby, last seen here as the 11th edition in 2011. Over 75 million copies have been sold. This is a five-ring loose-leaf binder with regular magazine stock paper. There are 1500 or so easy to follow recipes, plus more than 500 variations illustrated with 1000 photos. There are new chapters on casseroles and one-dish dinners, beverages, whole grains and vegetarian cooking. Other new features incorporate international flavours, make-ahead ideas and essential kitchen techniques. Prep and cooking times are clearly indicated; it has been updated to reflect today's lifestyles. The covers have a few emergency substitutions listed, as wells as yields and equivalents. The pages are easy to rip apart: they'll need reinforcing at some point. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
23.POWER VEGETABLES! (Clarkson Potter, 2016, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-5534479-8 $35 USD hardbound) is by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach. These are vegetarian recipes with highly charged flavours, such as the root veggie tagine with red chermoula and couscous. The emphasis here is the "meatiness" of the meat-less dishes – as the subtitle states, "turbocharged recipes for vegetables with guts". What ever it takes...It is arranged by course, from apps to salads to soups to mains, and ending with bread and cake (zucchini bread, parsnip cake, potato rosemary cake). There is butternut squash with piquillo crema, memelitas, spanakorizo, malfatti, falafel (of course), eggplant marinara. Lots of choices for "guys". Not so much a vegetarian book as a "meatless" book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
24.FIRESIDE FEASTS & SNOW DAY TREATS; indulgent comfort food for winter eating and entertaining. Rev. ed. (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2012, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-777-5, $24.95 USD hard covers) is a project from the publisher. More than 150 recipes and ideas for eating during the colder months have been assembled from a dozen or so cookbook authors who regular write books for Ryland. The largest collection of recipes comes from Laura Washburn with 41. It is all arranged by snacks, comfort homey food, feasts, some indulgences, and cheery drinks for a cold night. It's a good book to take to your ski chalet. Typical preps include chicken liver parfait, cheese and basil soufflés, spicy pork satay, salt cod, meat balls, Vietnamese beef pho, seafood and yellow split pea curry. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85
25.LUNCH ON THE GO (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-771-3, $19.95 USD hardbound) is by the publisher's team, with recipe credits going to 16 writers who do books for RPS. There are 75 preps here, the largest number coming from Amanda Grant, Laura Washburn, and Louise Pickford. The intent is to create a lunch box, for both adults and children. This can both save a lot of money on purchased lunches and give us more nutrition and fewer preservatives. It is win-win, which adults recognize, but it might be hard to convince the offspring. This could have been developed a bit more in the text. It is arranged by form of lunch: sandwiches, wraps, salad jars, bowls, bentos, soups, savouries, snacks, and sweets. Something for everyone – sweet potato, spinach and goat cheese quesadilla; couscous salad; Mexican bento box; chicken and red pepper stew; Indian tiffin box. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois with some metric measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
26.WEEKEND COOKING (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014, 2016, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-0967-8, $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Tina Nordstrom, once at the Culinary Olympics but now a solid food columnist and cookbook author. It was originally published in 2014 in Swedish; this is the 2016 translation. As she says, these are "old and new recipes for your Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays". Indeed, the book is divided into three chapters of about 25 preps each, and titled after those days. Friday's recipes are fast and simple, Saturday's are more challenging with entertaining ideas (appetizers, wine pairing, decadent desserts), while Sunday appears to be a sleep=in followed by brunch. Large print and sharp photography. Saturday has a large number of small plates, so it may be an all day thing (edamame fired in sumac and chili oil, beet tartlets, warm tomatoes and grapes with parmesan breadsticks, deep fried avocados, etc.). Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
27.MORE THAN MEATBALLS (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014, 2016, 187 pages, ISBN 978-1-51071147-1 $16.99 USD paperbound) is by Michele Anna Jordan, who has written two dozen books. It's a reprint of 2014 edition with new recipes. You could also call them "round morsels of bite-sized savoury food". Here are about 70 recipes, from arancini to zucchini fritters. The range is from "classic" Italian polpetti, French boule de viande, Spanish/Mexican albindigas, Moroccan merguez, and Sicilian arancini. There's a meat section and a meatless section, plus a pairing section with sandwiches and salads. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. And it has the world's smallest typeface for the index. Quality/price rating: 85.
28.OCEAN GREENS (The Experiment, 2015, 2016, 180 pages, ISBN 978=1=61519-352-3, $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Lisette Kreischer and Marcel Schuttelaar. It was originally published in the Netherlands in 2015; this is the English translation. And it is a great idea for a book: the world of edible seaweed and sea vegetables. These are superfoods with Omega-3s, iron, calcium, essential vitamins and nutrients. There are 50 vegan recipes here, including creamy spirulina sauce, piccalilli, warm dulse and fava bean salad, "fishless soup" (a natural) and pumpkin salad with sea spaghetti. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Just don't eat seaweed found loose on a beach. Quality/price rating: 88.
29.THE COMPLETE GLUTEN-FREE BAKER (Ryland Peters & Small, 2011, 2013, 2016,192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-762-1, $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Hannah Miles, a MasterChefUK finalist and prolific cookbook author for RPS. The recipes had been previously published in two separate volumes, "The Gluten-free Baker and "The Savoury Gluten-free Baker". So that explains the use of the word "complete" in the title, in that it collates these two books. The range is cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, tarts, party bites, breads and doughs. In general, gluten-free baking is different from wheat-barley-rye in that there is no gluten (obviously) – but gluten is not really required for non-breads and buns. The "chew factor" is what determines a good gluten-free bread. However, if doesn't work, you can always use it for breadcrumbs in cooking. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.


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