There is nothing I like to read better than cookbooks, and the PWPL has received a variety of new additions to the collection. The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook by Erin Coopey is a handy compendium of how to make fresh, tastier and healthier staples like salad dressings, stocks, sauces, butters and condiments. The instructions are easy to follow and most cooks will have the ingredients on hand. If you want to try your hand at making your own ketchup, mustards, mayonnaise, pumpkin puree, pickles and salad dressings, this is the book for you.
Local chefs Deborah Pearce and Chris Kibit have written the "go to" cookbook for whitefish lovers. Wild Caught and Close to Home, Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish is a project done in cooperation with the Michigan Sea Grant. Chefs and cooks from across the Great Lakes share their favorite whitefish recipes and techniques.
Beata Zatorska learned to make pierogi and other Polish favorites in her grandmother's farmhouse kitchen in the remote village in the foothills of the Karkonoszec mountains where she spent her childhood. When she returned years later, her grandmother was gone, but the handwritten recipes for preparing traditional Polish dishes and preserving fruits and vegetables were still there. Rose Petal Jam-Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland is a beautiful tour of Poland arranged by season, event and region. Gorgeous photographs feature the landscape and the food that Zatorska remembers from her childhood.
Clinton Kelly has developed a following from his TV shows The Chew and What Not to Wear. He gives more etiquette, fashion, entertaining and decorating advice in his latest book Freakin Fabulous on a Budget. Kelly offers practical advice along with his sense of style and humor. The book is illustrated with lots of easy to follow how to photos and pictures of delicious dishes. This is a fun book to read even if you don't use any of the ideas or recipes.
A variety of health experts endorse eating raw, but knowing where to start can be confusing. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw comes to the rescue with over 150 delicious recipes. The book contains creative advice on how to get calcium and protein on a raw diet, how to purchase food and to stock your pantry and dehydrating and sprouting techniques. Even if you aren't looking to go raw all of the time, this guide will help add more healthy and delicious raw foods to your diet.
Food & Wine magazine has published the Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook featuring 100 recipes from the winners of the magazine's Best New Chef Award from 1988 to 2012. Chefs from all over the U.S. are featured with their specialty dishes. This cookbook is a wonderful way to see how today's chefs are using ingredients and techniques to push the envelope on food.
As spring arrives, people start to think of the fresh fruits and vegetables that will soon arrive in gardens and markets. If you would like to extend the use of this fresh produce, the River Cottage Preserves Handbook is a good place to start. Pam Corbin's book was first published in Great Britain. This edition has been Americanized in tone and measurements. It contains many delightful recipes for jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, relishes, cordials, fruit liquers, vinegars, canned fruits, sauces, ketchups and oil based preserves. Never again will the reader be at a loss about what to do with excess garden bounty.
The FastDiet has become one of the new diet fads. Dieters eat their regular meals five days a week, and limit their intake to 500 or 600 calories per day for two days of the week. The FastDiet Cookbook offers a variety of tasty but calorie light meals. People who are not interested in the FastDiet will enjoy these calorie conscious recipes for breakfasts, suppers, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, soups, salads and snacks.
Southern style food has taken the country by storm, and Southern Living does this type of food the best. Off the Eaten Path, Second Helpings by Morgan Murphy features restaurants from the South's less-traveled trails. Each recipe is accompanied by a short description of the restaurant where the dish is served and color photos. Even if you aren't familiar with Southern style cooking, this is a fun and colorful cookbook to peruse.
If spring has you looking for new tastes and recipes, the Peter White Public Library has a variety of cookbooks to tickle your taste buds.
By Pam Christensen, director
Peter White Public Library