Don’t despair, cookbooks have the mealtime answers
By Edward Hirst
Rowan Public Library
For those of us who don’t possess the culinary skills or have quite enough time in the evenings for serious cooking, the library has a few books that might be helpful.
“Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to get your Kids Eating Good Foods,” by Jessica Seinfeld ó as a mother of three, Seinfeld can speak for all parents who struggle to feed their kids right and deal nightly with dinnertime fiascos.
As she wages a personal war against sugars, packaged foods and other nutritional saboteurs, she offers appetizing alternatives for parents who find themselves succumbing to the fastest and easiest (and least healthy) choices available to them. Her book is filled with traditional recipes that kids love, except they’re packed with veggies hidden in them so kids don’t even know.
Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything: The Basics” is an essential set of recipes and information the beginner or busy cook will find helpful. This title is the first book in a new series based on his popular “How To Cook Everything.” It features Bittman’s straightforward voice and no-fail recipes to inspire new cooks who want a simple, reliable reference for everyday cooking.
His “How to Cook Everything: Quick Cooking” is another good source for quick meals. These recipes are simple and flexible and can be made in 30 minutes or less with a lot of variety, including recipes like Ziti with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce, Shrimp Marinara and Broiled Chicken with Pesto.
“The Elements of Cooking: an Approach to Style” has all the information ó no more and no less ó you need to cook, as well as countless tips (including only one recipe in the entire book, for the “magic elixir of the kitchen”) and no-nonsense advice on how to be a great cook. You’ll learn to cook everything, as the entries cover all the key moves you need to make in the kitchen and teach you, for example, not only what goes into a great sauce but how to think about it to make it great.
“Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents: Cooking with Whole Foods,” by Cynthia Lair ó This cookbook has something for each member of the family, from the small child to the adult with a sensitive palate. Its basis is in whole foods, a refreshing change from new cookbooks chock-full of prepared and convenience foods.
Though the recipes incorporate only whole-food ingredients, they do not ignore the modern necessity of the quick and easy-to-prepare meal. An outstanding recipe is the French Lentil and Potato Stew, a hearty and healthy weeknight soup with subtle flavors.”Everyday Pasta: Favorite Pasta Recipes for Every Occasion,” by Giada De Laurentiis features healthy meals that can be prepared in 20 minutes.
Adapted from “Desperation Dinners,” the syndicated food column, this handy book by the same name includes more than 250 recipes from Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross, along with tips, timesaving techniques and advice for stocking your kitchen to help in quick meal preparation.
June computer classes: Headquarters ó Introduction to Windows, Monday, 7 p.m.; Microsoft Publisher Part 2, Thursday, 1:30 p.m.
Children’s programs: Registration continues for this year’s Summer Reading Program, “Catch the Reading Bug!” at headquarters and East and South branches.
Movies in June: Heroic Tuesday Nights is the theme. “Spiderman” is showing this week. “Batman Begins” is showing June 24. All movies start at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Web site: For a listing of all library programs at all library locations, www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.