Well-Read: 5 New Cookbooks to Love

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


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Bookshelves are fun to have in every room of the house. The ones in my kitchen are filled with more cookbooks than I could ever possibly get to but I enjoy collecting them. From the old standards such as Silver Palate and The Moosewood Cookbook to the current collection of just about every Food Network’s star's latest, I am inspired to try new recipes and create some of my own. Here are the most recent to join my collection.

The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook - Pat and Gina Neely

My copy recently arrived in anticipation of their Rhode Island book signing; The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook boasts down-home meals for every occasion. When time allows I enjoy watching various cooking shows on the Food Network. The Neelys are always entertaining and make it clear that the most important thing is to have a good time and laugh at everything. Their passion for cooking is contagious and I often make notes on recipes I’d like to try. One of my favorites is the grilled romaine Caesar Salad. Fabulous! 

Tip –Come see the Neelys this Thursday at Dave’s Marketplace in East Greenwich at 4pm!


Cooking With My Sisters - Adriana Trigiani

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a huge fan of Adriana’s. From her fiction and young adult titles to her beloved memoir, I’ve read them all. Cooking With My Sisters illustrates what is important to Trigiani who is one of five sisters and two brothers –family, great food and preserving tradition. She says that she and her sisters love to read and they love to entertain. In their cookbook, the sisters share recipes that were handed down to them along with the stories that also nourish their families. Blending the traditions and recipes of both sides of the family provides future generations with quite a menu! 

Tip-try the Trigiani Lasagne; the family secret is out!

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Lidia’s Italy in America
- Lidia Matticchio Bastianich

Always on the go, Lidia Bastianich has just come out with her eighth cookbook! (5 of them have been accompanied by PBS series) She is also the owner of NYC’s Felidia and part of the dream team that cooked up what is the premier Italian food emporium and shopping experience, Eately. (A must see on your next visit to New York!) Lidia takes her readers on a road trip to the best of Italian American cooking from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to Gloucester, Massachusetts with its rich history of Sicilian immigrants and fishing industry. The cuisines we learn about are distinctly American while paying tribute to Italy.  

Tip- Lidia is a big fan of the Ocean State having recently raved to Matt Lauer on The Today Show about the much beloved Scialo Bros. Bakery!

Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions - Nava Atlas 

The traditional menus of holidays past are slowly catching up to the eating habits of the people celebrating these holidays. Gone are the days when turkey, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots would make everyone at the table happy. The good news about vegan and vegetarian recipes is that they are like the universal donor –everyone can partake! With the Vegan Holiday Kitchen you can mix it up and serve creative dishes. Nava has written nine previous cookbooks and has long been considered an expert in meat-free holiday fare. With recipes for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas to brunches, lunches, dinner and buffets such as Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie to Cashew Chocolate Mousse Pie you just might have a few former meat eaters leaving your feast. 

Tip-don’t tell the non-meat eaters that it’s vegan/vegetarian!

The Lexicon of Real American Food - Jane and Michael Stern

The Sterns were recently in town for the New England Booksellers Conference so I had a chance to both meet them and embarrass myself all in the space of just a few minutes! I’m always fascinated with husband and wife teams and like to inquire about what it’s like working together. Harmlessly I asked and was stunned to find out that this was, in fact, their 42nd book. I told them I needed to do some catching up. Jane’s non-verbal response to my question (a roll of the eyeballs) put me at ease and we went on to talk about some of their Roadfood books for which they are apparently quite well-known. 

Tip- check out p.225 for a tidbit about the Rhode Island Chicken Dinner!

Reading enthusiast and all around "book-pusher" Robin Kall can be heard live Saturday mornings from 7-8am on Reading With Robin WHJJ 920AM.  Also streaming live at www.920whjj.com. Follow on Twitter @robinkall, and Facebook - Reading With Robin. All new Web site! www.readingwithrobin.com


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