by Sybil PrattMay 2012
Savoring the seasons
Food writer and recipe developer Ian Knauer spends his weekdays in New York’s asphalt jungle, but on weekends he’s at the family farm in rural Pennsylvania, the place he loves most, working in the garden and turning its abundance into fabulous meals. The Farm, his debut cookbook, follows the seasons, featuring vegetables at their peak in recipes that riff on classics and promise to “get the best food to the table in the least amount of time.” Ian adds baby arugula to Spaghetti Carbonara for its peppery freshness; his Spring Pork Stew, with its early veggies, transforms the original Navarin d’Agneau into an all-new dinner delight; Grilled Caesar Salad with Yogurt Dressing offers an extra-summery take on a favorite; and Rabbit in Cider-Mustard Sauce, followed by a Fresh Ginger-Apple Tarte Tatin, would be ideal for a festive dinner on a frosty fall evening. As fine a writer as he is a cook, Ian has included essays and header notes that will be your goad and guide to making the most of nature’s year-round bounty.
THE PERFECT WEDDING GIFT
Here comes the bride, here comes the groom and here comes the wedding gift that will keep the happy couple happily fed. The Newlywed Cookbook is a beautiful package—elegantly designed, large format, heavy coated stock and chock-a-block with gorgeous full-color photos—and a lovely way to encourage culinary togetherness. Sarah Copeland, a food expert and newlywed herself, has made sure that, aside from having a pretty face, this is a real, down-to-earth, easy-to-use, reassuring cooking companion that just-marrieds can rely on for everything from stocking the pantry and getting the best at the market, whether it’s meat, fish or veggies, to making brunch and lunch, super suppers and classic cozy meals, romantic dinners for two and fabulous feasts for friends and family.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
“Mom” cookbooks, or “solving-the-everyday-need-to-feed-the-family” cookbooks, seem to be accumulating as fast as the mommy blogs that usually engender them. And, from the pile I’ve pored over recently, Katie Workman’s The Mom 100 Cookbook is the star. Katie’s oomph, attitude and culinary savvy translate into 100 doable, dilemma-solving, delicious recipes that moms (and even dads) can depend on for breakfast, lunch, dinner, bake sales, potlucks, easy entertaining and coping with that scourge of the table, the fussy eater. In true Workman style, every recipe comes with added extras: make-ahead advice; cooking tips on prep and ingredients; Katie’s special yellow Post-its offering her hard-won wisdom; ideas for “What kids can do” to help as you cook; notes on vegetarian variations; and “Fork in the Road,” her smart scheme for setting aside part of a dish before adding bolder flavorings, thus allowing picky palates to eat alongside the more adventurous without extra work for you-know-who. The full-color photos throughout are as fabulous and inviting as the recipes. Katie really proves that “mother knows best.”