Unusual holidays and interesting cookbooks

When I looked to see what sort of things were going on today, July 27th, I found all kinds of interesting and unusual holidays. Today is officially regarded to be Bugs bunny’s birthday. In 1940 the wascally wabbit debuted in Tex Avery’s A Wild Hare.

Today is also Parents’ Day, a day set aside to promote responsible parenting and to recognize positive parental role models. It is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July each year.

It is Aunties Day, a day honoring Aunts and Godmothers; Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day; and Walk on Stilts Day (hopefully not while carrying your houseplant).

It also happens to be National Crème Brûlée Day. Although there does seem to be some confusion as to whether it falls on the 21st or 27th. Well, for our purposes we’ll say it’s the 27th.

In honor of National Crème Brûlée Day, I thought we might focus this column on some of the newest and more unusual cookbooks available for checkout.

Guy on Fire: 130 recipes for adventures in outdoor cooking
by Guy Fieri, with Ann Volkwein

This is the perfect time of year to explore outdoor cooking. Guy Fieri, of Food Network fame, introduces us to the equipment and rules of barbecue as well as some very interesting recipes (charred octopus and white bean salad anyone?) Some of the recipes included in this book might be a bit ambitious for the average camper, but I thought the baked ziti and the pineapple upside-down cake with rum blueberries might be worth a trying out.

Salad samurai : 100 cutting-edge, ultra-hearty, easy-to-make salads you don’t have to be vegan to love
by Terry Hope Romero

Salad Samurai ( I just really like the name), according to the book cover will “teach you the way of the veggie warrior, rescuing salads from their bland, boring reputation and ‘side’ status“. The author, Terry Hope Romero, is an award-winning chef and bestselling author. There are salad dressing recipes, hearty salads, seasonal salads, and even sweet and savory desert salads. So if you’re thinking vegan or just looking to find a really good new salad recipe, give this book a chance.

The can’t cook book : 100+ recipes for the absolutely terrified!
by Jessica Seinfeld

I’d like to mention The can’t cook book even though it’s checked out right now and I haven’t had a chance to get a good look at it. According to the description it will “show you how to prepare the deliciously simple food you love to order in restaurants…in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions”. I think this cook book sounds like it’s more my speed.

This is the author’s second book. Her first book, Deceptively Delicious, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. If the author’s name sounds a bit familiar, it’s because her husband is Jerry Seinfeld. Yes, that Jerry Seinfeld.

Keep cookin’ cowgirl : more recipes for your home on the range
by Jill Charlotte Stanford

“Cowgirls have always known that what makes people happy is good food, prepared simply.” This book is filled with simple dishes that will stick to your ribs plus black and white photos and anecdotes of cowgirls past. These recipes are suitable for Sunday dinners with the family or for out on the range.

The author has written several other books including The Cowgirl’s Cookbook andYou Might Be a Cowgirl If…A Guide To Life on the Range.

The dairy-free kitchen : 100 recipes for all the creamy foods you love–without lactose, casein, or dairy
by Ashley Adams

This book actually does have a recipe for crème brûlée in it!

Ashley Adams has a blog on About.com called Dairy Free Cooking. She discovered, like many people, that she has a food allergy to dairy. She has since mastered the techniques of dairy-free substitutions in cooking and baking recipes.

The Dairy-Free Kitchen includes tips on how to avoid buying hidden dairy and finding nondairy calcium sources – including spinach, almonds, and sesame seeds among others. There is even a chapter on making dairy-free milks, butter, cheeses and yogurts. Now, I don’t think I would ever go so far as to make my own milk or cheese, but some of the recipes are interesting and don’t look too complicated. The last chapter is devoted to recipes just for kids, traditional family staples with a dairy-free twist.

These are just a few of the cookbooks currently available. Visit us at the library and see a display of all our newest cookbooks. As always, all of the books on display are available for checkout.

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