With Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away, now would be a good time to brush up your cooking skills, right? What? You don’t know how to cook? Burnt toast is your specialty? Boiling water is a mystery?
Everytime I walk into my local library branch, I always make a point to stumble past the cookbook section: usually adding a couple of pounds to my book bag. Over the past few months, I have compiled a list of my absolute favorite cookbooks and my favorite recipes in them. The full list can be found by searching the library catalog for a list under the name “All-Star Cuisine.” The recipes cover a wide variety of desserts, main courses, appetizers and more – there’s no true rhyme or reason. So for all you aspiring chefs out there, here goes (in no particular order) some of my personal favorites:
Making Artisan Gelato
1. Making Artisan Gelato by Torrance Kopfer & Madeline Polss — This is an excellent time to judge a book by its cover. The moment I saw the picture and title, I knew we would be friends (good call). It’s tough to pick a favorite recipe, but I have to admit that the Straticella gelato is the best I’ve had in a long time. The recipes are sorted by difficulty, cover a wide variety of flavors and the book contains many tips on ingredients and techniques you can refer to. Don’t be intimidated! Experiment! If you have an ice-cream maker, this is a book I highly recommend. If you don’t, I highly recommend you get one. 🙂
2. Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast & Brunch — I was a little hesitant about this one (it was on the heavy side) but the large pictures and detailed instructions convinced me to take it home. It was worth every pound! The images are very helpful and it has a KILLER pulled pork sandwich recipe… It’s tedious and time-consuming but you will not regret it. There’s a myriad of dishes here to try.
3. The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham — I’ll admit there are more dessert books on this list that I originally intended, but that’s because it’s hard to go wrong with them. This gourmet cupcake book is from Austrailia (so some is in Metric, etc) but is managable. Impress your family and friends with these ulitmate cups of scrumptious cake! Even the simplest Vanilla Daisy Cupcakes give Cupcake Royale a run for its money.
4. Tapas (A Taste of Spain in America) by José Andrés — I first tried tapas at Andrés’ JALEO restaurant in Washington DC, only to fall in love. Some of the recipes are too exotic for me, but hopefully you are more courageous (I passed on the octopus). However, even for us weak-hearted chefs, there are tasty tapas such as Potato Chip Omletes, petite paellas and chicken fritters.
Teen Center Advisor
Have a favorite restaurant/recipe/cookbook? Please share it in the comments!
BLACKBIRD BAKERY GLUTEN-FREE
I don’t know how many teens are wheat/gluten-free, like me, but I think there are actually quite a few of us. There’s a pretty big market for gluten free products right now, and people who are celiacs or are avoiding wheat/gluten are being presented with far more options than they have been in the past. Great news for anyone (especially me) who loves to bake! 🙂
Recently, I’ve discovered a number of fun gluten-free cookbooks. My favorite so far has been Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free. Everything I’ve tried is fun, elegant and delicious. The pancake recipe yields the best freakin’ pancakes on the planet! They are AMAZING. I may never use another pancake recipe again… I’ve also included a picture of some almond cakes with raspberry jam I made.
So… want to start baking? 🙂
Post by Kenaia Neumann, 15
Teen Center Adviser
Would you eat something that could kill you? What if your friend ate it, how about then?
Tons of people eat puffer fish every year and most live to tell the tale. Just Hungry, a blog written by Maki, a native Japanese foodie now living in Switzerland, is asking whether the casual reader would ever try puffer fish. Her post is really informative and I loved reading about how puffer fish is served and which parts of the fish are poisonous.
So, would you eat puffer fish if it were offered to you? By an experienced and certified chef, of course.
Doesn’t he look safe to eat? Continue reading