America's Favorite Desserts, Quick-Fix Recipes for Athletes, Ottolenghi Keeps It "Simple," Turshen Reinvents Leftovers | Cooking Reviews

Those with a passion for baking cookies will gravitate to this book; Ottolenghi’s many fans will want this, but so will home cooks; a diverse and memorable addition to any home kitchen; no one is better than Turshen at coming up with unpretentious, delicious, and approachable recipes

redstarByrn, Anne. American Cookie: The Snaps, Drops, Jumbles, Tea Cakes, Bars & Brownies That We Have Loved for Generations. Rodale. Aug. 2018. 336p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781623365455. pap. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781623365462. COOKING
Byrn (American Cake; "The Cake Mix Doctor" series) explores the origin and significance of several dozen cookie recipes in her latest culinary survey of American foodways. The introduction sets the stage, outlining the basic ingredients and supplies required for the recipes. Sidebars offer baking suggestions and historical notes, and each recipe is introduced with a brief anecdote about its origins. Byrn outlines the characteristics of the “war cookie,” often made with rationed ingredients and requiring little in the way of shaping or decoration, as well as the hallmarks of the more ornate fried, candied, and whipped cookies served in times of abundance. Straightforward and clear recipes are grouped into six chapters based on their method of preparation, accompanied by copious photographs and suggestions for simple substitutions or variations. Snickerdoodles, ladyfingers, and the original chocolate chip cookie recipe are represented here, but so are more unusual treats with whimsical names such as Webster cakes, wild persimmon cookies, and Lady Bird Johnson’s peanut brittle.
VERDICT Anyone who enjoys a little historical context with their recipes and those who have a passion for baking cookies will gravitate to this book.—Rebecca Brody, Westfield State Univ., MA

Flanagan, Shalane & Elyse Kopecky. Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes. Rodale. Aug. 2018. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9781635651911. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781635651928. COOKING
Olympian and 2017 New York City Marathon winner Flanagan along with chef and nutrition coach Kopecky team up once again (after Run Fast. Eat Slow) to share nutritious and quick recipes for runners on and off the track. Encouraging athletes to have a healthy relationship with food by focusing on nourishing meals using whole foods as opposed to counting calories and embarking on fad diets, they’ve developed recipes that are “fast and approachable without compromising flavor or nutrition,” including delicious types of pizza and burgers. Readers will find options for boosting energy for long runs as well as sustaining lunchtime salads and meals for reviving sore muscles. The superhero muffins are back by popular demand with three new variations. In addition, most dishes can be adapted to satisfy different needs (gluten free, nut free, dairy free, etc.). Sprinkled throughout are Flanagan’s expert tips for strength training, good sleep practices, as well as recovery stretches.
VERDICT Flanagan and Kopecky have successfully created another appetizing cookbook with wholesome foods and accessible recipes. Busy athletes will devour this.—Melissa Keegan, Ela Area P.L., Lake Zurich, IL

redstarOttolenghi, Yotam. Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook. Ten Speed: Crown. Oct. 2018. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607749165. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781607749172. COOKING
With this latest release, Ottolenghi (Plenty; Jerusalem) offers a pared-down version of his signature Middle Eastern–inspired fare, with the explanation that “simple” means different things to different cooks. This volume highlights dishes that can be made in under half an hour, using ten ingredients or fewer, those that can be prepared ahead of time, and others that use mostly—or only—pantry staples. Working within these constraints forces the author to flex his creative muscles, and the results shine. Recipes are divided into chapters on brunch; raw vegetables; cooked vegetables; rice, grains, and pulses; noodles and pasta; meat; seafood; and dessert. There are also meals such as pea, za’atar, and feta fritters; soba noodles with lime, cardamom, and avocado; and fig and thyme clafoutis. A section at the end offers menu suggestions for events such as midweek suppers, weekend brunches, and feasts throughout the year.
VERDICT Ottolenghi’s many fans will want this book, but it will also appeal to home cooks looking for exciting, approachable recipes. An essential purchase.—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

redstarPCC Community Markets. Cooking from Scratch: 120 Recipes for Colorful, Seasonal Food from PCC Community Markets. Sasquatch. Sept. 2018. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9781632171887. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781632171894. COOKING
This volume from PCC Community Markets, Seattle’s pioneering co-op grocery chain, sets itself apart with its clarity, range, and beautiful presentation. The recipes, covering everything from breakfast to cocktails, are straightforward and appropriately detailed. It’s clear that PCC’s chefs have written these recipes with home cooks in mind: they produce hearty dishes combining interesting flavors. The chapter on salads is a standout, with unusual variations on familiar themes, such as orzo salad with roasted cherries, arugula, and chorizo. Headnotes and sidebars are illuminating and often funny: of rhubarb (a recurring item) the authors say, “When vegetables are this determined to be odd, all we can do is enjoy them in their weirdness.” Inserted occasionally throughout are “Flavor in Five” guides to various cooking basics, including vinaigrettes, marinades, chowders, stir-fries, and crisps.
VERDICT This diverse collection of easy-to-follow and flavorful recipes is a delicious, memorable addition to any home kitchen.—Christopher Myers, Lake Oswego P.L., OR

Telem, Oz. Cauliflower:Over 70 Exciting Ways To Roast, Rice, and Fry One of the World’s Healthiest Vegetables. Hardie Grant. Sept. 2018. 240p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781784881788. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781784882112. COOKING
Cauliflower continues to have a moment—it has replaced both rice and steak in many meals. This new work by Israeli food blogger Telem begins with those options and continues from there, featuring more than 70 recipes, some including the plant leaves and stalk. In the United States, cauliflower is usually sold as just the head, with perhaps a few vestigial leaves attached, but Telem shows what can be done with the entire plant. Beautifully illustrated in large, full-color pictures, the dishes have an international flair and range from soups, salads, and pickles to pastas and pizzas. Recipes have both metric and U.S. measurements, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free modifications provided for most. Each recipe also offers a brief introduction that provides additional context and background. The tone is fun, easygoing, and definitely aimed at home cooks.
VERDICT While specialized, this is a nicely produced volume full of delicious-sounding recipes for a very versatile vegetable.—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH

Turshen, Julia. Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus, and Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers. Chronicle. Sept. 2018. 304p. illus. photos by David Loftus. index. ISBN 9781452164922. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781452164960. COOKING
Turshen’s (Feeding the Resistance; Small Victories) latest cookbook organizes 150-plus recipes into menus for a variety of occasions—Card Night Enchiladas, Brunch for a Crowd, a Middle Eastern Dinner Outside—and provides innovative ideas for using leftovers; e.g., making egg salad from deviled eggs or French toast using Vietnamese iced coffee. In addition to recipes for dishes such as tortilla soup with the works, super crunchy lime-y salad, and easy pumpkin and olive oil cake, there are tips and tricks for preparation and cooking. Each menu provides a time line for steps that can be taken up to a month, three days, one day, or a few hours ahead or at the last moment. The book concludes with useful lists such as Seven Things To Do with Cooked Rice, Seven Things To Do with Not-So-New Produce, and Seven Great Things To Delegate.
VERDICT No one is better than Turshen at coming up with unpretentious, delicious, and approachable recipes for home cooks of varying skill levels. An essential purchase for circulating cookbook collections. [See “Editors’ Fall Picks,” LJ 8/18.]—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

Author Image
LJ Reviews

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.