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Saturday, January 9, 2010


...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. Here are some recent "re-editions"...

AGE GETS BETTER WITH WINE; new science for a healthier, better and
longer life. 2d ed. (Wine Appreciation Guild, 2009, 212 pages, ISBN
9788-1-934259-24-5, $19.95 US paper covers) is by Richard A. Baxter,
M.D., formerly on medical faculties. It was originally published in
2007, and rather than merely reprint it, the author has updated it
throughout. It is also 50 pages larger than the original edition. As he
says, since 2007, "The wine-health connection has gone mainstream, with
almost daily press releases about the newest study on wine, Alzheimer,
cancer, and other benefits." New are phenolics, anti-aging,
resveratrol, increased bone density, heart disease, feel-good
endorphins, and sports drinks. The basic assumption is simply that wine
is good for you. But how much? And which wine? The Greeks had a word
for it: moderation, and nothing in excess. Overall, you need only drink
one glass of heavy red wine with a meal every day. Baxter references
some 2500 scientific studies in a readable, enjoyable style. Try with
two glasses of red wine, and call him in the morning. Quality/Price
rating: 89.

SAVING DINNER; the menus, recipes, and shopping lists to bring your
family back to the table (Ballantine Books, 2009, 323 pages, ISBN 978-
0-345-51629-9, $16 US paper covers) is by Leanne Ely; it was originally
published in 2003. Here it has been revised and extended. Ely is a
nutritionist, a web-columnist, a syndicated columnist ("Dinner Diva"),
and a radio host. She has authored other books in "saving dinner". She
specializes in stress-reduction in the kitchen shopping and prep areas
by creating "freezer dinner kits", a method of assembling and freezing
meals. She promises to have you quickly prepare a month's worth of
weeknight dinners. She has many tips on meal planning and menus. There
are six weeks of menus with recipes, side dish suggestions, itemized
grocery lists organized by product, and kitchen shortcuts. The book
promises 225 dinners, organized by season. Each prep has nutritional
data, and each prep is supposed to bring the family together, thus
saving dinner. There's turkey piccata, baked macaroni and three cheese,
garlic lime salmon, black bean soup, chicken pasta with artichokes,
mashed potato pie, skillet chili chicken. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements; there is no metric
table of equivalents. But a good price.
Quality/Price rating: 87.
THE PROVENCAL COOKBOOK; shop, cook and eat like a local. Rev. ed. (DK
Books, 2009, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-5791-8, $19.95US paper covers)
is by Gui Gedda, a Var-born retired chef and consultant, and Marie-
Pierre Moine, a French food and wine writer and editor. It was
originally issued as COOKING SCHOOL PROVENCE in 2007, with a daily
lesson for one week. Without the cooking school aspect, it has shorn
some 50 pages of content, but still covers the French Riviera, which is
an extension of Provencal cooking. He has 100 recipes with step-by-step
demos, location pictures, details on local merchants and local
ingredients, and so forth. Much of this can be replicated at home if
you have access to farmers' markets. But it is difficult to get a fresh
fish market, boulangerie, and fromagerie in one location outside of
France. Maybe Sonoma...There is a glossary of French terms, but none of
the local patois. He uses metric only for weights – conversion tables
are needed. The print is large, and the recipes are uncluttered. There
is not much on wines. Salade nicoise; pan bagna; ratatouille; pistou;
tians; tapenade; fourgasse; pissaladiere; but NO tourte de blettes!
French and English names of recipes are indexed. Quality/Price Rating:
HE SAID BEER, SHE SAID WINE (Dorling Kindersley, 2009, 256 pages,
ISBN 978-0-7566-5449-8, $16.95US soft covers) is by Sam (Beer)
Calagione and Marnie (Wine) Old. He's the brewer and founder/owner of
Dogfish Head, plus author of several beer books. She's Director of Wine
Studies at New York's French Culinary Institute, and is an award-
winning sommelier. Both are hip and cool. This is a reissue of the 2008
book, but in paper covers. It's on food pairing suggestions. There are
recipes for a wine vs. beer dinner party, with both beer and wine
recommendations. The first 70 pages are all about basics, and then the
food pairing begins. The chapters are arranged by food type. There is a
section on cheese (type of cheeses played against type of beers and
wines), followed by vegetables, sandwiches, pizza and pasta, spicy
food, shellfish, fish, poultry, meat, and fruit desserts (sweet wines
vs. fruit/brown ales). There are some 20 recipes for in-home pairing of
food and beer and wine. But not all beers mentioned are available in
all markets, unlike the wines mentioned. Many labels are reproduced,
although there are generic recommendations. It does smack of product
placements, especially with websites mentioned. Since both authors are
experienced in the business of matching alcohol to food, then I would
have appreciated more cross-promotion. Sam could do wine stuff and
Marnie could do beer. But they don't -- just a bit too coy for me, with
redundant pix of the winsome couple eating up lots of space.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
IS THIS BOTTLE CORKED? The secret life of wine (Harmony Books,
2009, 196 pages, $19.99US hard covers) is by Kathleen Burk and
Michael Bywater, both UK wine writers (although Burk was born and
raised in California wine country) and both academics. It was
originally published in 2008 in the UK by Faber and Faber, and here it
is reissued to the North American audience. It is an engaging little
book comprising some 88 or so Q and A about wine. As the PR bumpf says,
"This book is guaranteed to provide readers with a 'Yes, but did you
know…' answer." Did you ever wonder what Falstaff was drinking when he
quaffed sack? Why does Bridget Jones drink Chardonnay?
What did Jane Austen drink? Why do we drink to forget? What is wine
speak and wine guru? There is a bibliography of sources and a really
good, extensive index – a rarity amongst such eclectic books. One
answer a day to accompany your glass of wine…Quality/Price rating: 84.

PRESCRIPTION ALTERNATIVES; hundreds of safe, natural, prescription-free
remedies to restore & maintain your health. 4th ed. (McGraw-Hill, 2009,
440 pages, ISBN 978-0-07-160031-6, $21.95 US paper covers) is by
natural health and nutrition expert Earl Mindell, Ph.D. with over 30
books to his credit, and Virginia Hopkins, who has written or
coauthored more than 50 books on alternative health and nutrition.
Drugs have side effects, some worse than others; drugs can deplete the
body of vitamins and minerals. Here the authors describe all possible
side effects for drugs, arranged by topic and pulled together by the
convenient index. Many drugs interact with common everyday food (think
grapefruit), and such food should be avoided if one remains on the drug
therapy. Then they discuss the possible alternatives, which includes
food therapy and diets and nutrition. This fourth edition includes new
drugs; it also emphasizes heart disease, diabetes, asthma, ADD, and
obesity-related ailments. There's an extensive recommended reading list
and set of references for follow-up information. Quality/Price rating:
ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 498 pages, ISBN 978-0-
471-78173-8, $39.95US hard covers) is by Rose Levy Beranbaum, a
multiple IACP and Beard Award winner. She has authored nine cookbooks,
usually with the word "Bible" in it, such as "The Bread Bible" in 2003.
Indeed, "The Cake Bible" was published in 1988, and the current book
(with its ascendant title) reflects a reworking that allows for new
ingredients, new equipment, new techniques and thoughts. For example,
in the former book she had no oil in her cakes. Here she does, a whole
range from banana refrigerator oil cake to classic carrot, chiffonlets,
chocolate ice cream cake, pumpkin, and more. Also, cake pan sizes have
changed. All her ingredients are both scaled (avoirdupois and metric)
and in volume (only avoirdupois). She covers butter cakes, oil cakes,
sponge cakes, cheesecakes, flourless cakes, baby cakes, and wedding
cakes. There are even a few angel food cakes in the sponge section. 100
preps in all, with full notes on timings, quantities, cooks notes,
special equipment, and techniques. At the end there are chapters on
special effects, ingredient and equipment sources (all US), and lists
of recipes using only egg white and only egg yolks, as well a listing
of 32 quick and easy recipes. No sugar substitutes such as stevia are
listed. Try heavenly coconut seduction cake, fruitcake wreath, double
chocolate valentine, tomboy, orange-glow chiffon layer cake. But
photocopy the recipes first, to avoid kitchen smears plus the fact that
the book is very heavy at 4 pounds. Quality/Price rating: 89.
HOW IT ALL VEGAN! Irresistible recipes for an animal-free diet. 10th
Anniversary Edition (Arsenal Press, 2009, 232 pages, ISBN 978-1-55152-
253-1, $24.95 CAD, soft covers) is by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.
The live in Kelowna and Victoria, BC respectively. Since it was first
published in 1999 it has been reprinted many times. It has won awards.
Now, it has been updated with five new recipes, advice to reflect the
new vegan reality, and a colour photo section. Nutrition material has
been updated. In the years since, the authors came up with
and four other vegan cookbooks (The Garden of Vegan, Le Dolce Vegan,
and others). There's a good chapter on "milks" (beans, grains and nuts)
and how to make your own. Eggs are also a no-no, so you might want to
try Faux Eggs Benny for something different. The index is extensive.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements,
but there is no metric table of equivalents. They have a lot of fruit
recipes, breakfasts, breads, sauces, soups, dressings and dips, and
tofu. Quality/Price rating: 86.

(McGraw-Hill, 2010, 204 pages, ISBN 978-0-07-162747-4, $16.95 US paper
covers) is by Connie Sarros, who has written a lot of books dedicated
to sufferers of celiac disease. This means avoiding gluten for life. In
the new edition (the first was in 2003), she has added casein-free
(dairy-free) options as well. Research has shown that gluten-free and
dairy-free alternatives may help conditions like autism significantly;
she lists 32 such conditions, as ALS, ADD, bulimia, fibromyalgia,
dementia, dermatitis, epilepsy, psoriasis, thyroid problems. There's
also a list of 50 foods which contain gluten, and should be avoided.
There are lots of tips on how to do without, including milk substitutes
such as rice milk, almond milk and soy milk. Recipes cover all courses
and are relatively easy to prepare. They are also kid-friendly. As
well, there is nutritional information for each prep. While the
typeface is nice and large, the small point size of the index makes it
hard to read. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no metric table of equivalents.
Quality/Price rating: 85.

THE NEW BEST OF BETTER BAKING.COM (Whitecap Books, 2009, 324 pages,
ISBN 978-1-77050-002-0, $26.95US paper covers) is by Marcy Goldman, a
Montreal pastry chef and baker. She has written baking articles for the
major food magazines and general newspapers of North America. She was
one of the first to be out there with a blog at (in
1997), dedicated, of course, to better baking. In 2002 she authored the
first edition of this book with recipes from her site. She's expanded
the reissue of the book by adding 35 more recipes. It's a good basic
baking book, covering all the angles of yeast breads, rolls, pizzas,
flatbreads, cookies, biscotti, muffins, scones, and pastries. Most of
her sources and resources are, unfortunately for us, American: it is
still difficult to import materials. But at least all of their websites
are informative. The typeface used for the recipes is engaging. Butter
in the preps has both volume and weight listed, but in general, the
ingredients have not been scaled. Preparations have their ingredients
listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are metric tables of
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.

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