Thursday, November 30, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas: Trio Of New Cookbooks

Looking for a gift for the foodie in your life? Try these tasty cookbook selections.

Taste Of Home 365 Days of Cookies

Yes, the title grabbed my attention. 365 Days of Cookies sounds like heaven to me – although my waistline and wife may not agree.

This cookbook is published by Trusted Media Brands, although cooks will be more familiar with the Taste of Home magazine, which has a circulation of 2.5 million. The book features gorgeous full color photos and a lay-flat spiral-bound format.

There are cookies for all occasions, including Waffle Day (March 25), Rootbeer Float Day (August 6) and, of course, Groundhog Day (February 2). The book is divided into seasons with an ample selection for each. The “most wonderful time of the year” gets special treatment with its own section. Also appreciated are a sprinkling of specially marked “short and sweet” recipes for when from-scratch baking doesn’t fit your schedule.

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Some of the selections include: Watermelon Slice Cookies, Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Vanilla Glazed Apple Cookies and Cranberry Swirl Biscotti. The classics to holiday masterpieces are all covered. The 448-page hardcover book retails for $24.99 and might be the sweetest gift of the season.

A Taste Of Latin America by Patricia Cartin

Patricia Cartin’s new book, A Taste of Latin America: Culinary Traditions and Classic Recipes from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico & Venezuela (176 pages, Imagine Publishing) covers a land steeped in history and tradition. Organized by country, each section includes historical background and influence for each nation’s cuisine as well as a look at local customs and ingredients.

There are attractive full-page photos and the range of recipes will appeal to novices as well as seasoned chefs. We like that each dish includes a bold listing of the preparation time and difficulty level. Each dish also has the phonetic pronunciation so you’ll not only cook like a local, but you’ll be able to properly say the dish’s name.

There are tempting options for main dishes, vegetables, sides and desserts. Some selections are Charquican, (a Chilean beef stew), Bolinho de Chuva (cinnamon doughnut holes from Brazil) and Papas a la Huancaina (Peruvian potatoes with spicy sauce).

Cartin is a native Costa Rican and has cooked for the president of Costa Rica at university receptions and she shares her knowledge in this easy to read and use hardcover book. Suggested retail price is $18.95.

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault

Pantry and Palate combines narrative by Thibault and stunning photography by Noah Fecks to explore the culinary traditions of Acadia. Acadians were among the earliest Europeans settlers in Canada. They arrived in the 17th century and settled in what is now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Most were expelled from their lands by the English in the 18th century, with the majority fleeing to Louisiana where their cuisine evolved into what we now call Cajun. Thibault takes us through a personal journey of discovery. Sparked by old family recipes in aged notebooks he explores the Acadian foodways, an expression of history, culture and identity.

“Memories of taste are the most powerful,” says Thibault, “and they are linked to our memories of love.” He lovingly explores what he terms the humble, homey, occasionally homely, and very comforting cuisine of Acadia.

Recipes include Fricot aux Poutines Rapees (Chiken Fricot with potato dumplings), Clam Pie and Fring Frangs (potato pancakes). You’ll also find Thibault’s amusing tale of cooking a pig’s head and why he thinks you should cook one too. This fascinating book retails for $34.95, published by Nimbus Publishing Limited in the trade paperback version.

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