Between the Stacks

Here you will find the good, the great and the fantastic of the library world. You will also find out how the library's materials and services connect to the larger community and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Wilkes County.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hungry for recommendations?

Love to cook? Want to learn more about the history of cookery or view historical cookbooks online? The Michigan State University Library and the MSU Museum have partnered to create an online collection of some of the most influential and important American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The goal of this project is to make these materials available to a wider audience. Digital images of the pages of each cookbook are available as well as full-text transcriptions and the ability to search within the books, across the collection, in order to find specific information.

Visit the site here: History of Cookery

Ready to get started cooking? For online recipes, try these sites:

All Recipes, the world's largest independent food site, is an online cooking community where home cooks from around the world come to share, rate and download recipes and meal ideas. With more than 15 million annual visitors and a membership base of more than a million strong, is considered the world's largest test kitchen, offering a nightly glimpse into the kitchens and habits of home cooks everywhere.

The site is an indispensable resource for home cooks who are looking for trusted recipes, everyday and holiday meal ideas, practical cooking tips and food advice. The site features more than 30,000 of America's best-loved recipes. In our 8 year history we have never paid to advertise, instead the site's success is based solely on the positive word-of-mouth of our fans.

Epicurious, a CondeNet site, incorporates more than 20,000 recipes from the premier brands in food journalism, Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Self magazines, as well as original material and tips focused on cooking, entertaining, and cocktails.

Kraft foods

Kraft Foods offers recipes, tips, and ideas as well as Comida Kraft in Spanish. On their site you can:

Share your favorite recipes with our community
Keep track of your favorite recipes in one place
Rate recipes and share your opinions with other cooks like you
Receive recipes and ideas just to your liking in e-mail
Maintain balance with personalized meal plans and fitness plans
Find out how to receive the free Food & Family magazine

Love down home cooking? Try Taste of Home.

Taste of Home provides home cooks with a friendly exchange of their best recipes. Taste of Home magazine is published six times per year and is filled with 68 full-color pages. On the mouth-watering menu for each issue are delicious foods for everyday meals and special occasions, all prepared with ingredients that are readily available. Our readers like the great recipes that don't call for a lot of exotic ingredients, the fact that each one is a family favorite of another home cook much like themselves and the easy-to-follow recipe directions and mouth-watering color food photos!

Pressed for time? Try Simple and Delicious.

Eating Light? Try Light and Tasty.

Prefer to actually browse through an actual book? Try out these cookbooks available at your library:

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. This comprehensive cookbook delivers more than 1,200 foolproof recipes for classic American family fare. Beautiful step-by-step photos illuminate every technique. In addition, the recipes will keep you busy for years to come since we've included hundreds of easy weeknight dishes (like Skillet Lasagna and One-Pot Chicken and Rice), company and holiday-worthy dinners (like Beef Burgundy, Roast Leg of Lamb, and Flourless Chocolate Cake), dozens of menus, shopping tips, equipment ratings and more.
A cooking tutorial between two covers, The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook is the one and only basic cookbook you will ever need, covering every course, from appetizers to desserts, plus chapters on breakfast, sandwiches, sauces and condiments, and beverages. Bound to get America back into the kitchen again, this is a family cookbook for generations to come.

Fix-It and Enjoy-It Cookbook: All Purpose Welcome-Home Recipes by Phyllis Pellman Good. This irresistible collection of more than 675 recipes brings you delicious food that is easy to prepare. Recipes use ingredients already in most cooks' cupboards. The skills required are simple and basic. And the recipes yield nutritional food family and friends of all ages will heartily enjoy! Each recipe includes the amount of preparation and cooking time needed. Each also includes clear, step-by-step procedures for making the dish. Fix-It and Enjoy-It Cookbook delivers recipes that are easy and pleasing for the cook and all who gather around the table. This is good everyday food! Persons who have loved the Fix-It and Forget-It slow cooker series will also love the all-purpose Fix-It and Enjoy-It Cookbook!

Giada's Family Dinners by Giada de Laurentiis. Giada De Laurentiis is back with a new batch of simple, delicious recipes geared toward family meals-Italian style. These unpretentious and delicious meals include soups like Escarole and Bean, hearty sandwiches such as the classic Italian Muffuletta, one-pot dinners like Giada's Chicken Vesuvio and Veal Stew with Cipollini, holiday favorites including Easter Pie, Turkey and Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta, and Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce. Suggested menus help you put together a family-style meal for any occasion, from informal to festive. The heart of Italian cooking is the home, and Giada's Family Dinners--full of fantastic recipes that require a minimum of fuss to prepare--invites you to treat everyone like a member of the family. Nothing is more important than family. Bring yours to the table with Giada's unpretentious, authentic, down-home Italian cooking!

Mama Dip's Kitchen by Mildred Council. For nearly twenty-five years, Mildred Council--better known by her nickname, Mama Dip--has nourished thousands of hungry folks in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her restaurant, Mama Dip's Kitchen, is a much-loved community institution that has gained loyal fans and customers from all walks of life. The book features more than 250 recipes for such favorites as old-fashioned chicken pie, country-style pork chops, sweet potatoes, fresh corn casserole, poundcake, and banana pudding. Chapters cover breads and breakfast dishes; poultry, fish, and seafood; beef, pork, and lamb; vegetables and salads; and desserts, beverages, and party dishes. The book opens with a charming introductory essay, a savory reflection on a life in cooking that also reveals the story behind Council's nickname. It is both a graceful reminiscence of a country childhood and the inspiring story of a woman determined to make her own way in the larger world.

Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats: A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners by Rachael Ray. Even your favorite dinner can lose its appeal when it's in constant rotation, so mix it up! With her largest collection of recipes yet, Rachael Ray guarantees you'll be able to put something fresh and exciting on your dinner table every night for a full year...without a single repeat! Rachael offers dozens of recipes that, once mastered, can become entirely new dishes with just a few ingredient swaps. Learn how to make a Southwestern Pasta Bake and you'll be able to make a Smoky Chipotle Chili Con Queso Mac the next time. Try your hand at Spring Chicken with Leeks and Peas and you're all set to turn out a rib-sticking Rice and Chicken Soup that looks and tastes like an entirely different dish.
She covers the flavor spectrum from Asian to Italian and dozens of delicious stops in between. Best of all, these flavor-packed dishes will satisfy your every craving and renew your taste for cooking. With so many delicious entrees to choose from you'll never have an excuse for being in a cooking rut again.

Also, try some fiction in which food plays a prominent role in the story:

Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks. Thirty-one-year-old Wynter Morrison is lost when her husband leaves her for another woman. Desperate for a change, she moves to Seattle, where she spends aimless hours at a local bakery sipping coffee and inhaling the sweet aromas of freshly-made bread. These visits bring back memoapprenticede time she aprenticed at a French boulangerie, when her passion for bread-making nearly led her to leave college and become a baker. Once again, the desire to bake bred consumes her thoughts. When offered a position at the bake shop, Wyn quickly accepts, hoping that the baking will help her move on. But soon Wyn discovers that the making of bread, the kneading of the dough, possesses an unexpected and wondrous healing power one that will ultimately renew her heart and her soul. Also, try the sequel, The Breadmaker's Apprentice.

Crawfish Dreams by Nancy Rawles. The uplifting story of a woman who cooks up a plan to bring her family back together and discovers that love, sharing, and a dash of daring are the secret ingredients that can turn dreams into reality. Camille Broussard can remember a time when she had more pep in her stride and her single-story house was one of the nicest homes in the cozy, well-kept neighborhood of Watts. Her kitchen overflowed with the fragrant aromas of Creole cooking, and the taste of her divine crawfish, rich gumbos, and delicious pralines had family and friends begging for seconds and thirds. The devastation of the Watts riots and the ravages of Reaganomics, however, changed everything. Her neighbors have fled, the church pews are nearly empty on Sunday Mass, and her own children have turned their backs on Watts and on the pride and values Camille instilled in them. But Camille is not ready to give up on the family who has nourished her as she has nourished them. So she decides to combine her love of family and her love of cooking into one great enterprise. She opens Camille's Creole Kitchen and recruits her family to help her get the restaurant on its feet. As the business gradually grows, Camille not only restores her family's spirit and sense of purpose, she also recovers her own lost dreams.

Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber. Thirty-nine-year-old Sirine, never married, lives with a devoted Iraqi-immigrant uncle and an adoring dog named King Babar. She works as a chef in a Lebanese restaurant, her passions aroused only by the preparation of food until an unbearably handsome Arabic literature professor starts dropping by for a little home cooking. Falling in love brings Sirene's whole heart to a boil stirring up memories of her parents and questions about her identity as an Arab American. Praised by critics from The New Yorker to USA Today for her first novel, Arabian Jazz ("an oracular tale that unfurls like gossamer"), Diana Abu-Jaber weaves with spellbinding magic a multidimensional love story set in the Arab-American community of Los Angeles. Written in a lush, lyrical style reminiscent of The God of Small Things, infused with the flavors and scents of Middle Eastern food, and spiced with history and fable, Crescent is a sensuous love story and a gripping tale of risk and commitment.

Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh they might finally find a home. From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts float through the streets- an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Cafe, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern. The mysterious, spicy fragrances work their magic on the townsfolk, and soon, business is booming. Marjan is thrilled with the demand for her red lentil soup, abgusht stew, and rosewater baklava- and with the transformation in her sisters. Young Layla finds first love, and even tense, haunted Bahar seems to be less nervous. The sisters find a merry band of supporters against the close-minded opposition of less welcoming villagers stuck in their ways. Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumphs of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living.

World of Pies by Karen Stolz. Karen Stolz has created a cozy, poignant and exquisitely written episodic tale of family, food, and love. Set in a small town in Texas in the 1960's, where "there wasn't a lot to pick from, summer-wise: counter-girl at Jerry's Dairy King, shampoo girl at Barb's Tint n' Clip; the maid job at the Bluebonnet Motel," a young girl named Roxanne comes of age. Whether it's a pie-baking contest that becomes a lesson in racial politics and courage; a crush on the new mailman (who is a woman); or dealing with the death of her beloved father and her mother's remarriage, Roxanne never fails to touch our hearts. And if that weren't enough, the recipes following each chapter--which range from Christina's Lemon Meringue Pie to Doreen's Frozen Fruit Salad--evoke a cozy sweet sensation that makes it seem as though there could be no better place to live than in Annette, Texas.

And for those of you who love a good mystery, try these series that feature caterers and other foodies as sleuths:

Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Bear series
Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series
G.A. Mckevett's Savannah Reid series
Katherine Hall Page's Faith Fairchild series
Nancy Pickard's Eugenia Potter series
Phyllis Richman's Chas Wheatley series
Lou Jane Temple's Heaven Lee series

***All descriptions were taken from actual website descriptions and publisher's blurbs.


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