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Monday, 6 August 2012

Cookbooks: A Yummy Story

My advice for the tail end of the summer: cook some food, eat some food, read about food. Nothing too complicated.

Dinner: A Love Story comes from the blog of the same name run by home cook extraordinaire Jenny Rosenstratch. Her concept for her book and blog is about making dinner (and cooking in general) something possible and inviting (as opposed to something dreadful). Starting with recipes for two, going into recipes for little ones, and ending with 'family dinner', this book goes through the traditional stages of home and relationships offering dishes to fit the journey.  There are stories to go along with many of the dishes, making the book feel more personal all the while encouraging readers to create their own warm cooking memories.

As the introduction of Asian Tofu states, "whether fresh and tender or aged and fermented, tofu denotes basic sustenance, culinary craftsmanship, time-honored traditions, [and] good health." Tofu gets a bad rap, but it's really quite a flexible ingredient producing a variety of flavours and textures. Asian Tofu is great in demonstrating the malleable nature of tofu, illustrating recipes for soups, skewers, french fries, pudding, tofu buns, and even desserts. On top of all the recipes, author Andrea Nguyen offers a basic and informative tutorial on how to make ones own terrific tofu.

Following-up to Susie Middleton's Fast, Fresh & Green, a cookbook of vegetable side-dishes, comes Middleton's tasty looking The Fresh & Green Table. In this book, vegetables are front and center - they become the essential key to a hearty, flavourful, and cozy meal. There is recipe for a Spicy Noodle Hot Pot with Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger, Lime & Peanuts which is working in rumbling my belly to the extremes. For vegetarians and omnivores alike.

BONUS!
This is no cookbook, but it's ideal for those who love food, stories about food, and about how to be a great cook. Written by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson, Yes, Chef chronicles the origins of Samuelsson's love for food at the age of four with his adopted family in Sweden. Samuelsson moves through  his grueling jobs on cruise ships, in restaurants in Switzerland and France, right up until his current position as a top-tier chef in New York City having just opened a restaurant, Red Rooster, in Harlem.

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