Cookbook Reviews 12.17.2014

IMG_0369IMG_0310 I am back in the Library scouring the shelves for supplemental reading material to peruse in order to find quick and easy, but most importantly tasty recipes that may be incorporated into holiday menus this season. The seasonal display of cookbooks arranged from around the world caught my attention with various recipes on traditional holiday cuisine. So with iPad in hand I began transcribing notes to use during the Christmas season.
The first book that caught my eye was All about Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art by Molly Stevens. Flipping through this book was quite nostalgic and reminiscent of my early days of learning to cook. Chapters on “what is roasting”, “the science behind roasting” and my favorite the chart on “conversion tables” as, Stevens indicates when a recipe calls for 1 pound of peaches, and the market sells them in ½ kilo {500 gram} sacks, there’s no need to fuss around trying to weight out 453 grams of peaches…this is no fuss at its finest!!!
The recipe for the One-Hour Rosemary Rib Roast was a page I could not ignore. Using a high-meat method of cooking works perfectly for this meat, you have the opportunity of sliding sprigs of rosemary between the bottom of the roast and the bones, which gives the roast a dramatic appearance and adds depth to the flavor.

IMG_0372The second book was Elizabeth David’s Christmas, edited by Jill Norman, which is a marvelous summary of English holiday recipes such as plum puddings, mincemeat with suet }and my absolute favorite the variety of chutneys and pickles. David writes extensive notes, which are incorporated at the end of most recipes so; the cook is guided on how to prepare a dish correctly or most importantly in the traditional sense.
She writes a note on her Pork and Veal Loaf being a useful dish to serve at Christmas, when extra guests may turn up, and or for picnics or buffet suppers. Serve it either as a first course with toast or French bread or as a main course with a salad and perhaps jacket potatoes. Love this type of cooking!!!

Read stylishly,

Cookbook Reviews


I had an opportunity to scour the shelves of the cooking section (641.54) in the library yesterday, searching for holiday recipe ideas through the stacked shelves of cookbooks. Every year I write copious notes to myself in search of light confectionary treats that can be incorporated into my repertoire with the hope that family and friends will enjoy a wonderfully concocted dessert during the festive party season!

I focused on three of the books that seemed to capture the essence of what I was researching in the way of ease of preparation; a dessert that would be pleasing to the family and the items were miniature or small enough to prep several desserts with considerable ease.

First on the list is the Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller, which was a wonderful collection of French and American baked goods that most of us enjoyed as children such as marcarons, tartes aux fruits, and believe it or not Oreos and Hostess Ho-Hos. I think the French version of a Hostess Ho-Ho is an elegant cream puff, and cannot wait to try this elegant recipe on page 40-41 for the Chocolate Shortbread without the filling. I love the simplicity of baking shortbreads, and to pack them into cookie tins for guest who may drop in or for family who are would a teat with after dinner coffee or tea.

Second on the list is Dolci: Italys Sweets by Francine Segan. Ms. Segan takes the reader on a virtual tour of Italy through 125 recipes for cookies, cakes, frozen confections, and more. She has instructions for Tiramisu that does not include raw egg, from the recipe ‘Updated Tiramisu” on page 132, which I am anxious to try soon!!!


And, last on the list is the title Petite Sweets: Bite-Size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth by Beatrice Ojakangas. Beatrice is a James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame author and I have enjoyed watching her many times on Julia Child’s show on PBS. From this book she makes a velvety chocolate mousse in small glasses, ginger carrot cakelets and a two-bite whoopee pies, which are perfect examples of miniature desserts.

Cook Stylishly!!!!