Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Sunday Salon...Cookbooks to make your Mouth Water! And a Cookbook on Kindle for Free!

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake...

When the weather turns a little colder there's nothing I enjoy more than cooking... Maybe you could call it comfort food cooking, maybe it's just the wonderful smells that stay locked in the house when all the windows are locked down to keep the snow out, but when winter comes to Connecticut food takes on a different meaning...

The cookbook shelves are bursting with great new recipes too! There have been quite a few cookbooks that have caught my eye, so today let's do lunch... and dinner... and brunch..

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooke Recipes for Entertaining by Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufman... I love my crockpot! What's better than throwing ingredients in a pot and coming home to a wonderful meal?! Beth & Julie have written a couple of other slow cooker cookbooks, this newest one emphasizing dinners for groups, which would be especially nice if you are cooking dinner for your book club! I've always thought crock pot cooking was about cooking a great meal and having leftovers for another meal, so even if you're not cooking for the book club, or you don't have a big family, this book has wonderful recipes that you'll be glad you have something for another night! And because it's "recipes for entertaining", there are also fun recipes such as Hot Crab Supreme dip, Buttermilk Fondue which is made with various cheeses and garlic, or Mulled Cider made with cardamom and saffron. The book has a selection of soups, such as Onion Soup with Champagne, Port and Camembert, sauces, vegetable recipes, bean & chilli recipes, and poultry, beef & pork recipes. I'll be reviewing some of these recipes later as well as talking about using your Kindle as a cookbook! Yes, this cookbook is on Kindle and as of this post Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining is a FREE download! Is using your Kindle the same as using an actual cookbook? We'll chat about
that later... Here's the link for your Kindle Ready version!

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., & Zoe Francois... Who doesn't like fresh bread?! I have
a bread machine, but this cookbook puts bread making back in the oven! The secret to healthy bread in 'five minutes a day' is using a simple, and I mean simple, 6 ingredient recipe. There is NO kneading! You measureyour ingredients, mix them with water, and let the dough you just made rise for 2 hours (Leaving it alone for longer than the 2 hours won't 'hurt' the dough). After rising you put the dough in the refrigerator and that's about it. You pull off a 1 lb. ball from the dough you made to bake a loaf of bread. The book is a wealth of great information about the science of bread making, but you'll also find full descriptions of ingredients that you can add, tips & techniques, troubleshooting, a great section on equipment, and of course recipes using the basic "master recipe", such as whole grain garlic knots, and other recipes for flatbreads & pizza, breads with hidden fruits & vegetables, such as sweet potato and spelt bread, gluten-free breads & pastries, and enriched breads & pastries. Watch for my review of this book as I make my first "oven" fresh loaf!

Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking, Yiddish Recipes Revisited... Growing up I enjoyed my father cooking fried Matzo, loved eating fresh Challah, and having a Knish here and there. When my father passed away, I missed his Jewish cooking (and the stories that went with it!). The Joy of Cooking was my first cookbook and I never found any inspiring Jewish cookbooks. When I saw Arthur Schwartz's newest book, Jewish Home Cooking, I had to pick it up. Not only is it a beautiful book with wonderful full color photos, it brought back some fond memories as well! And it is loaded with wonderful recipes! Pot-Roasted Brisket, Kasha Varnishkes, Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs, and even that fried Matzo recipe! Between the recipes we read tidbits on Jewish cooking and some Jewish traditions. There are recipes for appetizers, soups, side dishes, main courses, Passover recipes, breads and desserts.

The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones... Judith Jones is an editor who took an unknown cook by the name of Julia Child and made her into a household name. (She also is responsible fo
r editing Anne Franks diary). She is an editor, but also a fine cook in her own right. When her husband died she wasn't sure she was going to ever "enjoy preparing a meal and eating by herself." But she did! This is her wonderful cookbook proving that if you are alone you still can eat wonderful meals! These are recipes designed for one, some of which will have leftovers that Judith has another wonderful variation for. It's a beautiful little book, with full color photographs, clear & concise directions, and added tidbits of information here and there. I'm not single, but these recipes should be easily tweaked for a couple! And that was my thought when I bought it!

What's your favorite cookbook?! Do you change your cooking with the seasons? Soup & crock pots for winter? Cookbooks give us the ability to eat in Brasil one day and Sicily in the next! Where is your next destination? Just as there are many wonderful choices to escape to in fiction, there are many choices in what to cook for dinner! Hope you enjoyed some of my new cookbook choices! And if you have a Kindle, don't forget to download that Slow Cooker cookbook!

Have a delicious week! Suzanne

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