Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most-Requested Delicious Recipes From One of America’s Best-Loved Restaurants. By The Moosewood Collective (2013). If you haven’t yet been able to make a pilgrimage to one of the most beloved vegetarian landmarks in the country, then you can satisfy yourself with the newest compilation of recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. This cookbook is full of vegetable-based inspirations to fill a kitchen for years. You won’t find a lot of cutting-edge fare in this collection but what you will find is honest-to-goodness dishes that will remind you all that can be done with the bounty of the plant kingdom with ingredients you are likely to have on hand. Recipes for Classic Gado Gado, Peruvian Quinoa and Vegetable Salad, Moosewood’s Classic Tofu Burgers, Kasha and Mushroom Pilaf, and oodles of vegetable stuffed pitas grace these colorful pages. And since most of us are lucky enough to have at least a handful vegetarians and vegans in our lives, this books is helpful to have on hand to feed, satisfy, and to continue to surprise these lovable folks with satisfying dishes. A great gift for the holiday season. ~Lisa Cadow
Soupesoup by Caroline Dumas (2010/2012 English translation) – While in Quebec last week, I was amazed by the food (and kept trying to ascertain where Louise Penny’s fictional town of Three Pines would be placed). In one of the many cafes we visited, I commented to my husband that we needed a better repertoire of delicious, nutritious and quick-to-prepare meals to serve during that too brief interval between the end of hockey practices and the beginning of homework. Then, in a wonderful moment of “ask and you shall receive”, I found a superb road map for nutritious and memorable meals when pressed for time – Soupesoup by Ms. Dumas. This book has pages of delicious looking soups and sides, almost all requiring ten or fewer ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. (The sweet potato soup required two ingredients, with two optional garnishes, and was a hit in our house.) Ms. Dumas, a renowned Montreal restaurateur, grew up in a rural Quebec town, and her book is filled with French cooking – personalized and simplified by her unique experiences. As Ms. Dumas states in the introduction, because she acquired a sense of urgency in the kitchen from working as a canteen cook on movie sets, she tends to “cook with spontaneity, moving around the kitchen quickly, often surprising myself with the results”. I look forward to putting her recipes to the important “I don’t have much time to produce good food” test all winter long. ~ Lisa Christie (NOTE – it appears this title may be hard to find in the USA. We will keep searching for an independent source.)
And now a book to keep you occupied, but not too distracted, as you wait for things to cook. Since we already referenced Louise Penny in this post, we are reviewing her latest as this post’s fiction pick.
How the Light Gets In by Louise, Penny (August 2013) – In this outing, Ms. Penny ties up (in very satisfying ways) most of the loose and lingering ends from the past four or five Gamache mysteries. We think this is one of the best books in her series, and look forward to seeing where this series goes now that so many characters are ready to move on from their past misdeeds.