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Updated by Valley Libraries Radio Reference on Apr 12, 2021
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January 13-15, 2021: Cookbooks

Whether your new year’s resolution is to eat healthy, cook more, or even indulge, your local libraries have recipes to help you achieve your 2021 goals. On today’s Valley Libraries Radio Reference, we’re talking cookbooks.

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Ali's selection

Ali's selection

Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy has been my go-to cookbook this year. From ready in three hours focaccia to grilled greens and b broccoli to the best, easiest, most versatile yogurt dip, this cookbook is full of dishes with simple ingredients with big flavor and impact. A former senior editor at Bon Appetit and now working with Buzzfeed Food, Roman’s recipes and commentary are bright, modern, and witty. The premise of the cookbook is that having people over for a meal should be fun, not a hassle. She shares failures and triumphs, and is hilariously unapologetic about what she does and doesn’t like - salads don’t need fancy dressings, most things need olive oil and lemon, and lamb chops always make an appropriate appetizer. We can’t have dinner parties right now, but the recipes in Nothing Fancy are great for whatever crew you’re cooking for.

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Sarah's selection

Sarah's selection

America’s Test Kitchen - a staple PBS television show for years - says that all your decadent dreams will come true with their new Everything Chocolate cookbook. I can vouch that that claim is true. Not only will you come across some fabulous and drool-worthy recipes for cookies, frozen desserts and everything in between, but the ATK crew also shares tips on selecting the right type of chocolate for the baking project at hand. And, what I love about their cookbooks in general is that the recipes are based on a lot of trial and error as their chefs work to perfect and share the best recipes for at-home cooks. If you want to have a chocolatey Valentine’s Day treat ready for your sweetheart next month, I highly recommend putting a hold on Everything Chocolate.

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Ginny's selection

Ginny's selection

Pam Anderson wants to put dinner on the table every night for her family of four. A food writer, not a professional chef, Anderson used to approach this problem with about 30 minutes, no plan and the food in her pantry and fridge. Needless to say they ate out a lot. Andersen decided what she needed was not a menu plan and a recipe, but a pattern and a standard shopping list. So she createdHow To Cook Without a Book, a collection of master “recipes'' as well as little jingles to jog the pattern memory. The chapter on weeknight stir fries opens: “With onion, garlic and ginger, stir-fry a pound each of vegetables and meat, Then stir in a flavoring sauce for a meal satisfying and complete.” Ok, not great poetry, but Anderson provides a basic recipe and several variations as pattern examples for entrees, soups, salads, and other themes. Not having to think of dinner 'til it's dinnertime is a truly liberating idea.