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Monday, January 13, 2014


...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-
19. THE SLOW COOK BOOK (DK Books, 2011, 2013, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-
55363-219-1, $19.95 CAN soft covers) is by Heather Whinney, a UK food
write4 and cookbook author. It was originally released in 2011, and
this is the paperback reissue. She covers braising, stewing, poaching,
steaming and baking with pot roasts, casseroles, paellas, risottos,
hearty soups, curries, gumbos, tagines, chilies and desserts. 200
recipes in all. The great value of the book is each prep includes two
methods: one for crock-pot, the other for stovetop/oven. Good DK
photos, as per usual. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 87.

20. THE COMPLETE CHOCOLATE BOOK (Transcontinental Books, 2013; distr.
Random House Canada, 351 page, ISBN 978-0-9877474-6-4, $34.95 CAN hard
covers) is from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen which treats chocolate
as a versatile food product that can be dressed up or dressed down. And
because of this, it can be a fragile food in the cooking/baking
process. So this is a "best-of" collection of previous chocolate
recipes from their archives, plus helpful photos and tips. It is family
oriented, so do not expect pyrotechnics. The eight chapters are
arranged by texture, a great idea: gooey (chocolate cheesecake with
pecan sauce), creamy (puddings, mousses, fondues), crunchy (cookies and
tarts), chewy (brownies and breads), melty (truffles, bars), crumbly
(shortbreads), chilly (frozen treats), and cakey. Beverages fall into
the cracks of creamy and/or chilly. Preparations have their ingredients
listed in avoirdupois measurements with some weights in metric, but
there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.

21. 200 BEST PANINI RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2008, 2013, 256 pages, ISBN
978-0-7788-0201-3 [sic], $27.95 CAN paper covers) is by Tiffany
Collins, who once served as culinary spokesperson for the Texas Beef
Council. 35 panini here are made from beef; this represents one-sixth
of the book. The book comes with some new photos, but essentially it is
the same as the 2008 version. Panini, for the uninitiated cook, are
pressed and grilled sandwiches. You can take almost any sandwich and
make it into a panini: just keep the ooze factor to a minimum. This
book has several hundred recipes, if you count all the variations, and
it is a good book for beginners. The arrangement is by format or
content, such as breakfast and brunch panini, vegetarian, seafood
(smoked salmon, red onion, cream cheese and caper panini), poultry,
meat (beef, caramelized onions and blue cheese panini), deli, leftover,
panini for kids, and desserts (chocolate, hazelnut and strawberry
panini). She has riffs such as classic Reuben panini, Montecristo
panini, Philly chicken panini, chicken Caesar, lobster fontina, even
pizza panini. Some of the preps are glamorous such as the sardine and
balsamic tomato panini. Others are upscale. The type of bread is up to
you, she says, but ciabatta and focaccia are best according to the
author. The book shows the standard
Robert Rose approach: larger typeface and additional leading,
avoirdupois and metric measurements, colour plates with page
references, cooks notes, and index. There is even a chapter on
condiments. Quality/price rating: 83.

22, 200 EASY HOMEMADE CHEESE RECIPES. 2d ed. (Robert Rose, 2009, 2013,
408 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0465-9, $27.95 CAN paper covers) is by Debra
Amrein-Boyes, head cheese maker and owner of The Farm House Natural
Cheeses in BC. It was originally published in 2009 at 385 pages.
There's a primer on basic cheese-making techniques, plus equipment and
tools, and sanitation. Chapters include fresh cheeses, filata stretched
cheeses, mold-ripening, blue-veined, washed-rind, washed-curd, semi-
soft, semi-firm, and hard cheeses. Other chapters deal with ethnic and
regional cheeses, yogurt and kefir, butter, buttermilk and crème
fraiche. There is also a trouble-shooting section and a glossary. New
changes indicated include an all-new 32-page troubleshooting section,
new step-step-photos, and new inclusion of prep times with each recipe.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 88.
23. FINE COOKING SOUPS & STEWS; no-fail recipes for every season
(Taunton Press, 2013, 235 pages, ISBN 978-1-62113-795-5, $17.95 US
paper covers) is by the editors of Fine Cooking magazine, published by
Taunton Press in Connecticut. Fine Cooking (at has
many recipes available, so it is spinning them off by theme. Others
have included pies, chocolate, fresh cooking, and comfort food. This
book concentrates on the warm and nourishing bowls that stave off
winter chills: classics, modern interpretations, vegetarian options,
and ethnic specialties. It is also possible to turn a soup into a stew
and vice versa. The arrangements are by type: pureed soups, bisques and
chowders, hearty soups, and stews and chilis (only 60 pages). There are
over 65 named contributors, including Kamman, Tanis, Willan, Wright,
McLagen, Pellegrino, and Ash. Look for Mediterranean kale and white
bean soup with sausage, buttercup squash and leek soup, chicken noodle
soups with lemongrass, chicken coconut soup, Thai hot and sour shrimp
soup, and matzo ball soup. Preparations have their ingredients listed
in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.

24. THE RUNNER'S WORLD COOKBOOK; 150 ultimate recipes for fueling up
and slimming down – while enjoying every bite (Rodale, 2013, 278 pages,
ISBN 978-1-62336-123-5, $26.99 US hard covers) has been edited by
Joanna Sayago Golub, nutrition editor at Runner's World magazine.
Runner's World magazine is a leading disseminator on running
information, and nutrition, of course, plays a large part in any
runner's health. So the basic drive here is the burning of calories and
stamina for performance. Most of the 150 preps here come from the
magazine, with contributions from Mark Bittman, Patricia Wells and Pam
Anderson – 33 in all. There are two indexes: one is the general, the
other is a series of sub-divisions of special lists such as prerun,
recovery, gluten-free and vegetarian among others. There is a runner's
pantry to keep on hand. The preps are tabbed as to a number of suitable
categories, but all of them deal with high energy and stamina
performance, such as salmon cakes with salsa, tagliatelle with peas and
chile, or BBQ beef sloppy joes. Preparations have their ingredients
listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.

25. VEGAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES; over 125 recipes so tasty you won't
miss the meat (Grand Central Life & Style, 2012, 230 pages, ISBN 978-1-
60941-241-8, $18 US soft covers) is by Roberto Martin, who now cooks
exclusively vegan meals for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The
preps in this book come from his repertoire. He graduated from the CIA
and then became a personal chef to celebrities, focusing on healthy
food. The book is a reprint of the 2012 hardback, which became a New
York Times bestseller; it makes many vegan recipes accessible because
it is endorsed by DeGeneres. There's a small drawback: in the index,
there's an entry for honey-mustard vinaigrette, but when you turn to
the prep (which is labeled "honey-mustard vinaigrette"), he uses agave
nectar. The use of the word "honey" might turn off a true vegan, but no
honey is actually used. Just sayin'. The contents are arranged by
course, from breakfast through lunch initially, followed by apps to
desserts. It is also "substantial" food, with lots of tofu and meat
substitutions, to give dishes that heavier consistency that one expects
from meat. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Try
buckwheat pancakes, avocado reuben, soft pita with hummus and almond
pesto, chopped Asian salad, or chile rellenos. Quality/price rating:

26. THE CLUELESS BAKER; learning to bake from scratch (Firefly Books,
2013, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-245-7, $16.95 CAN soft covers) is by
Evelyn Raab, who wrote the popular Clueless in the Kitchen book for
Firefly in 2011. The current book is a revised and updated edition of
the 2001 title. There are more than 100 tried, tested, and true baking
recipes, as well as the basics of how to bake and what to bake with,
plus the pantry. It now includes more gluten-free recipes, as well as
suggestions on how to convert conventional recipes using wheat
alternatives, more preps using whole grains, bold faced ingredient
lists in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, new recipes
including a trendy coffee mug cake. Quality/price rating: 88.

27. SERIOUSLY BITTER SWEET; the ultimate dessert maker's guide to
chocolate (Artisan, 2003, 2013; distr. T. Allen, 336 pages, ISBN 978-1-
57965-511-2, $25.95 US soft covers) is by Alice Medrich, acclaimed
author of seven other cookbooks, most dealing with chocolate in some
format. This current book was published originally in 2003, and here it
has been updated and revised as a paperback for a more "bitter"
audience. Tastes change; most chocolate used in cooking is labeled by
cacao percentage. She guides us through the percentages and the classic
styles of dealing with chocolate. Preps include ice cream and brownies,
chocolate tortes, truffles, mousses, soufflés, cakes and fillings,
glazes, pies, and cookies. There is also valuable data on "chocolate by
the numbers", web sites of artisans and suppliers, and other sources
for recipes. There are also variations throughout. Try chocolate
meringues with berries and cream, bittersweet semifreddo with rose
cream and sesame crunch, or "Carmen meringay". Preparations have their
ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table
of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 89. 

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