Whether you consider it a melting pot or salad bowl, America’s culinary culture is rich with spices, both savory and sweet. Caraway seeds add piquancy to Jewish rye breads. Paprika, hot or mild, gives Hungarian stews and meats warmth and subtlety. Vanilla, theoretically the blandest of flavors, is intrinsic to many beloved forms of chocolate, cookies, cakes and even tea and coffee.
Indian spice blends, named curries when made up for Europeans, vary from district to district, from mellow to fiery. In Ethiopia, a berbere spice combination may take a dozen different ingredients—typically including chiles, allspice, cardamom, and fenugreek—to create unforgettable flavor.
If you are interested in exploring new types of cuisine or want to learn more about these ingredients’ place in world history, books about spice can brighten your summer.
Cooking with Coconut: 125 Recipes for Healthy Eating offers a plethora of methods to use the delicious coconut fruit in an wide assortment of recipes.
The coconut is considered to be one of the most versatile plants in existence. The fruit, fiber, and tree sap can be processed and used in multiple ways. Coconut "meat" can be eaten green, ripe, or dried. Coconut water (the liquid found inside the fruit) and milk (coconut water mixed with coconut "meat" to make it thicker) can be healthy for cholesterol levels. Using coconut products in your everyday meals may not only be a healthier choice, but it may help you feel better about what you're eating.
Moon Juice was created by Amanda Chantal Bacon, a world-renowned chef and overall health nut. In 2011, Amanda Chantal Bacon, a fine-dining chef and overall health nut, opened Moon Juice, a Los Angeles-based shop for healthy foods and beverages.
So, you want to make a substantial, memorable meal, but you don’t want to use every pot in the house or have to time multiple dishes to arrive at the table in good shape? Maybe what you need is a One-Dish Wonder. The very experienced editors at Southern Living (Oxmoor House) have gathered recipes that don’t require a lot of fuss, will work well at covered-dish suppers, and will satisfy a gathering of friends and/or family. Recipes range from breakfast to dinner to sides to desserts. Some are strictly from scratch, while others take advantage of time-saving, pre-packaged ingredients.
Savory pies really shine here, including Loaded Chicken-Bacon Pot Pie, Cheese-Crusted Pizza Pot Pies, and Vegetable Pot Pie with Parmesan-Black Pepper Biscuits. And, of course, there are many dishes in traditional casserole form. Casseroles are great for the aforementioned covered-dish suppers, and they can also provide welcome sustenance for families and friends going through difficult times. Some that caught my eye: Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole, Four-Cheese Macaroni, and Easy Lasagna.
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island. (catalog summary)
If you like epistolary fiction (letter writing) like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, check out these other titles as well.
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady (General Fiction)
A man of enormous size and strength, Gordon Rankin, Jr., has been plagued with misfortune his entire life, which culminates in an old, trusted college friend publishing a novel that borrows freely from the traumatic events of Rank's own life. (catalog summary)
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (Humor, General Fiction)
Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the Midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters; his writing career is in the doldrums; his life is a tale of woe. In a series of letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, he creates small masterpieces of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. (catalog summary)
If you like a good cooking show—and a good story—dive into John O’Connell’s The Book of Spice for a lot of kitchen knowledge, delivered with an English accent. From his first try at tandoori chicken at a family picnic, Mr. O’Connell was hooked on the beautiful differences spices could make.
As seasoned cooks know, spice is very nice, and there are certainly more of them available now, both online and in the supermarket. Indeed, there are so many herbs, spices, and blends that it’s a daunting proposition to select one to try out. Surely it would be better if you understood not only their uses but also their fascinating histories.
Whether you're confined to comforting abyss of your home or out in the chill when winter weather strikes, you're always thinking: stay warm. With Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year, you'll discover an array of soup recipes: from warming vegetable soups, to light soups—warm or chilled, author and cook Betty Rosbottom has your dinner menu covered.
From the makers of Mother Earth News comes Mother Earth Living magazine—the ultimate guide to a healthy and natural lifestyle. Throughout the issues, you'll discover different methods of keeping a non-toxic household, the best and latest remedies for simple colds and longterm illnesses, recipes with whole foods, and quick garden tips.
The library has print issues of Mother Earth Living from 2012 to the present. The January/February issue features efficiency tips for the new year, such as getting rid of unwanted clutter around the house, meal planning, health benefits of fermented foods, and the outstanding effects of the culinary and medical herb oregano. Put your copy on hold now!
The season of winter brings long days and frigid nights. It's the time of year when you'll want something warm and delightful to drink while gathering with friends. In Winter Cocktails: Mulled Cider, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks, author Maria del Mar Sacasa shares more than 100 seasonal recipes for cold-weather cocktails and appetizers.
Heavy holiday meals got you down? Even if you were virtuous and limited your intake of feast foods, odds are for that all that sweet stuff left you more than ready for a change of pace.
For almost 70 years, the Rodale Institute has been teaching people how to bring the good stuff into their diets. Their motto from the beginning: Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People. It’s still a good motto. They’ve led the organic gardening and farming movements for generations, and they know what they’re doing. They also know how to cook—and not just the fancy recipes that rely on ultra-special ingredients. The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook is as solid as it sounds.