On the Shelf

 

America The Great Cookbook

Edited by Joe Yonan

What happens when 100 (mostly) revered food heroes and chefs are asked what foods they prepare for their loved ones? We get this beautiful book. Featured contributors, such as Carla Hall, Ruth Reichl, and Marcus Samuelsson, give the reader a peek at their lives and how they turn their craft inward to honor the people they care about the most. Recipes explore each contributor’s home region, including local ingredients and time-honored traditions. By the time you’re done reading, you will have traveled across the country and enjoyed Sunday dinner with 100 new friends. A portion of this book’s sales proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry, an organization that provides children with nutritious meals and teaches families how to shop and cook for themselves on a budget. This collectible book offers delicious recipes, compelling stories, and stunning photography while helping our food-insecure population.

 

The Recipe Box

By Viola Shipman

Award-winning author Wade Rouse chose Viola Shipman as his pen name to honor his grandmother, whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction. In The Recipe Box, Rouse introduces us to Sam Mullins, a young woman who feels trapped working at her family’s pie shop. After a brief escape to New York City goes awry, Sam returns home, resigned to give working for the family business one more shot. She soon discovers a treasure trove of family history hidden in her mother’s and grandmother’s recipes. Rouse’s talent for bringing his characters to life—especially Willo, Sam’s feisty grandmother—elevates this book. The inclusion of actual heirloom recipes, such as rhubarb sour cream coffee cake and pumpkin bars with vanilla cream cheese frosting, are a delicious bonus.

 

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

By Samin Nosrat

If you are like me, cooking is key to relaxing. Planning and preparing food for family and friends gives me a huge sense of accomplishment (especially if they enjoy it). It’s a great stress reliever. I often spend Sundays learning new culinary techniques and experimenting with new dishes. This book is my new culinary companion. The author has taken a unique approach to identify the basics of each of the titular cooking elements, and encourages beginning and advanced cooks to incorporate each into their cooking—without using detailed recipes. Also included are sample recipes to help cooks experiment. Throughout the book are charming illustrations that help visualize the concepts. Even longtime home cooks can learn new tricks. Nosrat has created not only a very accessible and encouraging cookbook, but also an essential one.

—Ronald Block, Cuyahoga County Public Library