By Daniel Young (Wiley, $17.95)
Daniel Young, a food writer and critic whose work has appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times to Gourmet magazine, is convinced that nothing unites and divides us quite like coffee, the world’s second favorite beverage after water. He points out that the aroma of coffee in the morning is as universal a signal of daybreak as the rooster’s crow, but a far better reason to get out of bed.
In his new book, Young takes readers on a globe-trotting adventure through cafes and coffee houses, from Seattle to Florence to Budapest and everywhere in between. In a breezy narrative, he serves up a review of coffee basics covering the essentials of bean selection, storage, roasting, grindings and brewing.
Beautiful full-color photography, intriguing profiles of international coffee cultures and 50 easy-to-follow recipes make this collection a must, especially for those of us who consider coffee a gift from the gods.
‘Ready, Steady, Spaghetti: Cooking for Kids and with Kids’
By Lucy Broadhurst (Andrews McMeel, $19.99)
In this kid-friendly collection, Lucy Broadhurst, a food stylist from Australia, provides great tips on getting the youngsters in the family to do more in the kitchen than watch and lick an occasional spoon. In addition to information about nutrition, hygiene and safety, there are delicious “hands-on” recipes divided into six main chapters: Little Food; Dinnertime; Eat Your Greens; Sticky Treats: Cookies, Cakes and Sweets; and Let’s Party.
Some of the better recipes include a tasty Chicken Noodle Omelet, an easy-to-prepare Sausage Pie, and a mouth-watering Pear and Raspberry Crumble.
Whether looking for new recipes or getting the kids more involved in meal preparation, this is a cookbook that brings both learning and entertainment into the family kitchen.
‘The Complete Book of Raw Food: Healthy, Delicious Vegetarian Cuisine Made with Living Food’
Edited by Julie Rodwell (Random House, $30)
As consumers become aware of the benefits of adding raw foods to their diets, this book will become essential for many of us. The first part of the book is devoted to vital information about ingredients, tools, juicers and juicing, sprouting and greening, dehydrating and advice from the pros. The 375 recipes, contributed from the world’s top raw food chefs, are divided into chapters that include Salads & Dressings, Soups; Snacks & Sides; Smoothies, Shakes, & Juices; Bread, Crackers & Chips; Raw Milk & Cheese Substitutes; Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Entrees; Spreads, Sauces & Dips; Cookies & Other Sweets; Pies & Cakes; and Ice Cream and Puddings.
There is also a raw food glossary and a list of services, supplies and resources in addition to biographical information about the contributors.
This is an excellent collection that is comprehensive and definitive. The easy-to-follow directions make simple, healthy and delicious meals almost effortless to prepare.
‘International Cuisine from The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute’
Compiled by Michael F. Nenes (Wiley, $45)
Many American cooks, feeling adventurous, are attempting more international dishes than ever before. It is not all that unusual to find dishes from Mexico, Spain, France or Italy on the family supper table.
This exciting new collection explores the different cultures and cuisines of the world through more than 400 recipes. The chapters include foods and menus from Mexico, South America, the Caribbean, Japan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Spain, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece & Crete, Africa, India, the British Isles, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Russia.
In addition to the recipes, there are brief sections that show how the history, geography, religion and ingredients of a particular region influence and help define its food. This is the perfect book to teach cooks at every level about the diversity of cuisine from around the world.
‘The River Cottage Meat Book’
By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Ten Speed Press, $40)
“The River Cottage Meat Book,” first published in the United Kingdom, has been reissued for American cooks and covers all of the basics such as choosing the very best raw materials and understanding the different cuts and the cooking techniques used with each of them.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a renowned British chef and campaigner for real food, serves up a thought-provoking and practical guide, in addition to more than 150 delicious recipes. His book is divided into two main parts: Understanding Meat and Cooking Meat. Whether your aim is to prepare a Pork Roast with perfect crackling, a traditional Steak and Kidney Pie, a hearty Irish Stew or Roast Grouse, “The River Cottage Meat Book” is the only reference you’ll need.
As the author points out, an educated consumer can buy and prepare meat for better health and better living, while supporting the environment, vibrant local economies, and, yes, the respectful treatment of animals.