Tag Archives: cookbooks

How to Chop an Onion

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Junior high school: Home Ec."


“After a long day of routine work many people find the creative act of cooking a relaxing change of pace that restores their energy. It’s a gift to be able to cook for others—and it’s wonderful to be cooked for.” —Deborah Madison in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

I recently asked an old friend for some poetry recommendations. Being a literal minded and pragmatic sort of person, I have always avoided poetry, my most oft cited reason being, “Why do they have to talk around everything? Why can’t they just get to the point?” After being moved by a poem at the end of last year, I realized that, as is often the case, I was wrong. I have since set about rectifying the situation, and my friend gave me some sound advice: “Do yourself a favor and don’t think of yourself as a novice poetry reader. Everyone’s a novice at reading good, surprising poetry, you know?”

Now, this blog post isn’t really about poetry (I’m just not ready for that yet), but about something near and dear to my heart: cooking. I am not an authority on the subject of cooking; I am simply someone who likes to cook at home and has realized (as I’ve started getting older and am attempting to grow up) that I really enjoy cooking and preparing food. So I’m saddened when people say they “can’t cook,” as if it’s a skill they are not capable of learning with time and practice, like any other skill. To the stubborn naysayers and non-cookers among us I say: if I can pick up a book of poetry, then you can surely pick up a frying pan. Cooking is for everyone, and I think my friend’s advice about poetry translates well to the art of preparing food—don’t think of yourself as a novice cook; everyone’s a novice when it comes to creating simple, carefully and lovingly prepared food.

Luckily the library holds an impressive cookbook collection. One place you might want to start is with Harold McGee’s new book Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes. This book does not contain recipes, but definitions of different foods and how to cook them. It is all about the science of cooking, which is not as scary as it sounds. For example, let’s say you want to make a cheese sauce (because seriously, who doesn’t want to make a cheese sauce?), and the last time you made one with cheddar cheese, it turned out all lumpy and oily. This does not mean you can’t cook—it simply means you had not realized that you needed to check this book out from the library. According to Mr. McGee, cheese sauces are a cinch:

Cheese sauces are made by melting and dispersing solid cheese into hot liquid. The cheese adds both flavor and body thanks to its concentrated proteins and fats, but these can also cause stringiness, lumping, and greasiness…to prevent cheese in sauces from turning lumpy and greasy, grate the cheese finely. Add the cheese to hot but not boiling liquid. Stir as little as possible to avoid forming protein strings. Include some flour or starch to prevent protein clumping and fat puddling.

Mr. McGee is not a poet (unless you consider discussions of “fat puddling” poetic), but he is a very well-respected food scientist, and Keys is a well-organized reference tool for cooks both new and old. If you’ve ever wondered about all the various ways you can cook an egg, or what the difference between frying, sauteing, sweating, glazing and wilting vegetables is, then this is the book for you.

Of course, food science tips are hard to put into practice without having some recipes to work with. A co-worker recently recommened Deborah Madison’s weighty tome Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone to me, and I can already tell that it’s going to become one of my favorite cookbooks. True to its title, this is not simply a cookbook for vegetarians—I think everyone can find something tasty and appealing in this book. Many of the recipes are straightforward and simple, and in addition to including a primer on cooking methods, utensils and seasoning, there is a section of recipes ordered by vegetable and a short background on what to look for when selecting particular vegetables, how to store them, and, most importantly, how to use them.

And if you’re in need of still more food inspiration, there is always this fine little book.

Of course, as in poetry and writing, sometimes it’s easier to begin from a prompt. I am embarassed to admit this, but I only recently discovered the proper way to chop an onion. If you’re afraid of cooking, and are not sure where to begin, this is as good a place to start as any:



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Revisiting Books for Groundhog Day…

Even though I live in Pennsylvania where we consider Groundhog Day to be a real holiday complete with loud celebrations, drinking and furry mascots, as this day approaches I find myself thinking more about the theme of that movie with the same name.  I have come to see Groundhog Day as a time to reflect and look back on people, places, and even books that I’d like to revisit.  Here’s my book re-visitation list for this year:

Book Cover for Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – I love the descriptions, of the quirky people, of the stately houses, and of the town. This book made me want to live in Savannah. Yes, I know it is also a true crime novel, and that shouldn’t make me want to move there. But honestly, there’s crime everywhere and this one was more interesting than your run-of-the-mill murder-for-drugs sort . . .

Book Cover for And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – If you’ve never read Agatha Christie, here is where you should begin. This is the quintessential whodunit. You will be amazed and enthralled. You will probably not figure out the ending. This is one of the books that even convinced the mystery hating librarian, Will Manley, that not all mysteries are bad.

Book cover for A Prayer for Owen MeanyA Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – To this day, I still have no idea why this book moved me so much. But it did. And I’m not alone. Everyone I know who has read it has immediately fallen under its spell. First you read it, then you love it, and then you have to talk to others about it. It’s almost addictive and that’s how reading a good book should be.

Book cover for The House at Pooh CornerThe House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne – I love the Pooh books. I didn’t love them as a child. But as a college student I used to read them aloud to the guy I was dating at the time, whose name happened to be Christopher. I still remember laughing out loud with him while reading the last chapter, when Eeyore and the rest of the gang play poohsticks. Ah, college life . . .

Book cover for Joy of CookingJoy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer – I should use this book more than I do when referencing a recipe to cook. Maybe it’s because I have one of the newer editions and I really prefer my mother’s older version from the ’60s. I used to read and re-read the opening chapter on entertaining like it was a novel. Hmmm. Maybe I should see if she’s willing to make a trade . . .

And a movie or two . . .

Movie case for The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride – ”Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” “Aaaaaaaaas Youuuuuuuuu Wiiiiiiiiiiiiish!” “Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” “Love IS pain, Highness!” “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.” “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.” Do I need to go on? I didn’t think so.

Movie case for My Fair LadyMy Fair Lady – This is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. I love the uncovering of the flowers in the opening scene. The sets are very detailed. All of Eliza Doolittle’s outfits are fabulous!  (And everyone else’s too.) I think I’m going to have to watch it on the BIG television this time.  Warning: I will sing along!

What books and movies are on your revisitation list?

–Melissa M.

Leave a comment on today’s post for a chance at today’s prize in the 29 Gifts giveaway.  Daily winners will be contacted by e-mail.


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Chocolate. It even feels good to say it. Chocolate.

In the throes of winter, I think there is nothing better than a delicious cup of hot cocoa.  Of course, I like hot chocolate in the fall, too, and spring, and I’ve been known to drink it in the summer, as well.  Of course, hot cocoa isn’t always available when you need it (need being the operative word).  Sometimes ice cream is your only option, or cupcakes, or cookies, or truffles.  And sometimes you just have to break out the unsweetened stuff and bake a cake with it.  I have heard that you can use chocolate in savory dishes, as well, although I’m not sure I see the point.  Nonetheless, it’s good to have so many ways to enjoy this year-round treat!

If you love chocolate as much as I do, you may want to check out one of these:

The Healing Powers of Chocolate The Healing Powers of Chocolate, by Cal Orey.  It’s a health food.  Really.    


The Chocolate Wars Chocolate Wars: The 150-year Rivalry Between the World’s Greatest Chocolate Makers, by Deborah Cadbury.  Chocolate and intrigue, what more could you want?  


Bitter Chocolate Bitter Chocolate: The Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet, by Carol Off.  Where does your chocolate come from? 


Milton S. Hershey Milton S. Hershey: The Chocolate King.  A home-state chocolate story.  


The Seven Sins of Chocolate Seven Sins of Chocolate, by Laurent Schott. Okay, so is it healthy or sinful?


As always with chocolate, I could keep going much longer than appropriate… 


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Don’t Go Out, Stay In!

Crockpot Photo

Your Mealtime Savior. Photo by Carol Browne.

Has it hit you yet? Have you reached that point in the season where it’s just so d@#n cold that you don’t want to leave the house? Have you seen enough people and done enough holiday partying that you just want to curl up on the couch, be left alone and eat real meals instead of dips, chips, and hors’d’oeuvres? Then it’s time to haul out that slow cooker (aka Crock-Pot)!  I know you have one.  It’s hidden in that hard-to-reach cabinet above your refrigerator or under the stairs. It’s right next to your fondue pot, waffle iron and that punch bowl you inherited from your great aunt.

There is nothing better than throwing a few (or several) things into a big pot, turning it on and then going about your business. You forget you’re even cooking until that smell starts wafting through the house. You stop for a minute and say to yourself, “What IS that?” Then you remember and you smile, knowing a good meal is on its way and you haven’t really done anything. And don’t forget about the cleanup; one pot cooking equals one pot cleaning. Seriously, does it get better than that?

For the Beginner:
The Complete Slow Cooker: Packed with Recipes, Techniques and Tips
by Sara Lewis

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking
by Ellen Brown

If You Want to See Massive Amounts of Choices for Dishes:
Betty Crocker the Big Book of Slow Cooker, Casseroles & More
by Betty Crocker

1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes: The Only Slow-Cooker Cookbook You’ll Ever Need
by Sue Spitler with Linda R. Yoakam

Fix-it and Forget-it Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes!
by Phyllis Pellman Good

Slow Cooking Is Ethnic:
The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
by Anupy Singla

The Italian Slow Cooker
by Michele Scicolone

Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes: 120 Holiday and Everyday Dishes Made Easy
by Laura Frankel

Slow Cooking from Around the Mediterranean
by Carolyn Humphries

It Can Be Healthy Too!:
Healthy Slow Cooking: More Flavor, Fewer Calories
by Editors of Woman’s Day

150 Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipes: Delicious One-pot, No-fuss Recipes for Soups, Appetizers, Main Courses, Side Dishes, Desserts, Cakes, Preserves and Drinks
by Catherine Atkinson & Jenni Fleetwood

The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook
by Rachel Rappaport with B.E. Horton

It’s So Easy:
Pillsbury Fast Slow Cooker Cookbook: 15 Minute Prep and Your Slow Cooker Does the Rest!
by Pillsbury Editors

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes
Edited by Carrie E. Holcomb

And Inexpensive!:
The $7 a Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook: 301 Inexpensive Meals the Whole Family Will Love!
by Linda Larsen

Slow Cooker: 365 Appetizing & Affordable Meals Your Family Will Love
by Margaret Kaeter

Cook Once Eat Twice: Slow Cooker Recipes : Meal 1 Tonight, Meal 2 Tomorrow
Edited by Carrie E. Holcomb

Slow Cooking Is Not Just for Winter:
Slow Cooking Through the Seasons
by Carolyn Humphries

365 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes: A Recipe for Every Day of the Year
by Nicole Phillips

And It Can Be Gourmet:
Art of the Slow Cooker: 80 Exciting New Recipes
by Andrew Schloss

The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World
by Lynn Alley

So get out there…er, um…Stay in and cook!

-Melissa M

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Grab Your Babuska and Go Visit Your Babcia!





It’s National Pierogi Day! (Or pierogy or piroghi or pyrogy or however you want to spell it.)  National Pierogi Day falls on the anniversary of the very first day that pierogi were stocked on a grocery store’s shelf.  This happened in Shenandoah, PA in 1952.

Just in case you’re not from around these parts, pierogi are dumplings made from unleavened dough and filled with either a savory or sweet filling.  Just about every world cuisine has a filled dumpling in their repertoire, but pierogi are specifically Eastern European.  Which explains their popularity in what’s known in the industry as the ‘Pierogi Pocket’ that stretches from lower New England to Chicago.  Just as with all nationalities, immigrants from Eastern Europe brought their culinary delights with them and introduced them to America.  The ‘Pierogi Pocket’ happened to have the highest number of immigrants from that part of the world.

We here in Pittsburgh LOVE our pierogi.  We have the highest annual pierogi sales of any city. There are the Pierogi Races at every Pittsburgh Pirates home game. (At least you know a local favorite will win something at a Pirates game, even if it’s not usually the baseball team!)
And I don’t think we can even count the number of local church pierogi sales with their handmade-by-little-old-Polish-ladies creations.

My memories of pierogi are a little closer to my heart.  My mother’s second husband was Polish.  His mother, referred to as Grammy, made her pierogi from scratch.  She typically filled them with  mashed potato and cheese, but would also make prune ones on occasion.  She spent the better part of the days before Christmas Eve making enough pierogi to feed the extended family for that holiday dinner.  In Catholic nations, the Christmas Eve dinner is supposed to be meat-free.  So our Polish family tradition was to serve these pierogi and homemade beet soup, or borscht.

Now for the first several years, being an uninformed, stubborn teenager of Irish-Italian descent, I refused to eat these delicious offerings.  Instead my lovely, and extremely patient, Grammy heated a Swanson Fried Chicken TV dinner especially for me each year.  I would like to tell you that I had a great epiphany about pierogi, but honestly I cannot remember exactly what changed my mind or when.  I do know that I am grateful for what her hands made and that she was able to pass along her recipe to my step-brother before Alzheimer’s invaded her beautiful brain.  The tradition lives on with the next generation, which is as it should be.

But now I LOVE pierogi, as any self-respecting Pittsburgh girl should.  My current favorites are a specialty, homemade by friends of mine.  (If you know me personally, ask and maybe I can score you the hook-up too.)  These pierogi contain the usual potato and cheese mixture, but with jalapeno added!  I love that spicy zing with some sour cream to cool it down.  There are several ways to cook your pierogi and serve them.  I prefer to boil mine first to heat them through and then fry them in a skillet with butter and onions to crisp them a bit.

If you are looking for some pierogi recipes to try making them yourself, any of these should put you on the right track…

The Eastern and Central European Kitchen: Contemporary & Classic Recipes by Silvena Rowe

The New Polish Cuisine by Michael J. Baruch

The Polish Country Kitchen Cookbook by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab

A World of Dumplings: Filled Dumplings, Pockets, and Little Pies from Around the Globe by Brian Yarvin

So today go out and celebrate your heritage, or at least you Pittsburgher-ness.  Eat your pierogi!

-Melissa M

P.S.  Babcia means grandmother in Polish.


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The Smell of Fall

This past weekend I noticed a new yet familiar and comforting smell on the wind, one that occurs every year.  It’s the smell of leaves and crisp air, and it can only mean one thing:  fall is just around the corner.

The beginning of fall constitutes a few things.  For one, football season begins, and many of us spend Sunday rooting for our favorite team (go Steelers!).  We slowly exchange our short-sleeved shirts and sundresses for warmer attire.  We begin to think about pumpkins and butternut squash.  We wait for shorter days and longer nights.  For many of us, the fall season marks a transition between summer and winter.

As we anticipate (or dread) this transition, we can celebrate the season.  Here are some books and websites for fun fall thoughts.


The Miracle of Fall

A project of the University of Illinois Extension, this site aggregates fall festivals, fall foliage webcams, and much more.

The Foliage Network

Twice a week, from September through November, you can visit the network and get updated information on leaf color changes nationwide.


Fall is an excellent time to work on cooking skills!  Here are some cookbooks that incoroporate seasonal foods.

Autumn: From the Heart of the Home, Susan Branch.

Fall, Family and Friends, Gooseberry Patch.

Fall Notebook, Carolyne Roehm.

In Celebration of Autumn, Helen Thompson.

Adult Fiction

If fiction is your thing, here are some novels set in autumn that deal with life issues, love, and family.

Autumn Leaves, Victor McGlothin.

Cloud Nine, Luanne Rice.

Grace in Autumn, Lori Copeland.

The Lay of the Land, Richard Ford.

Speak of the Devil, Richard Hawke.

Children’s Books

Who doesn’t love children’s books?  Here are some items useful for teaching children all about the season.

Are You Ready For Fall?, Sheila Anderson.

By the Light of the Harvest Moon, Harriet Ziefert.

Leaf Trouble, Jonathan Emmett.

Now It’s Fall!, Jeanie Lee.

For fall fun outside the library, don’t forget about Fort Ligonier Days, The Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, The Three Rivers Film Festival, and RADical Days. These are just some of the many events that occur during the special three months known as fall.

–Melissa H.

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Baking power

I am an avid reader of cookbooks.  I am not a good cook.  It is rare that I even turn on my stove.  It is my oven that I think about while sitting at the customer services desk checking material in and out.  There is a stillness and clarity of mind that goes along with the measuring out of flour and the blending of egg and butter. 

I am a fan of simple recipes.  It is important that the majority of ingredients are things you already have in your kitchen.  Here are some of my favorites.

  • Last night I baked Macaroon Angel Cakes (page 267) from the book Best of the Bake-Off Collection: Pillsbury’s Best 1000 RecipesThis is a large textbook-like cookbook.  The Angel Cakes could more accurately be described as coconut angel food cake in cupcake form.  They are delicious.
  • Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything is the most useful book I have ever come across.  His recipe for Brownies (page 717) put any store bought brownies to shame.  The recipe is ridiculously simple and totally worth the possible store trip for the unsweetened chocolate.  Make these, trust me.
  • Martha Stewart’s book Cupcakes is filled with simple and inventive crowd-pleasing recipes.  I especially enjoyed the recipe for Snickerdoodle cupcakes.  They call for some sort of fancy frosting that I can’t get involved with (Martha and her piping and fondant sculpting).  I find that any cupcake can be enhanced with a simple cream cheese frosting.
  • In the winter I like to bake bread.  It is not as scary as it may seem to create a good loaf at home.  Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads is a great start.  The first recipe in the book is called “Your First Loaf.”  Your roommates and/or family members will not let you make this just once.

The beautiful thing is that all of these cookbooks may be taken out of your local library for free.  I love the idea that there is a world full of recipes out there that is always available. 


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I Sense a Theme Here…

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” –Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

Well, that may very well be, but it isn’t spring yet.  We are still in the throes of winter around here and in the winter, my thoughts turn to food.  So lately, I’ve been spending time eating at some fabulous restaurants, making hearty meals when snowed in at home,  and perusing the cookbook collection here at the Library.  As I was scanning the shelves, I began to detect a not-so-subtle theme emerging from the titles of some of the cookbooks.  Let’s see if you can figure out what I noticed . . . 

Whisking Up Egg Whites

Image courtesy of http://www.101cookbooks.com

A Culinary Love Story 

Anne and Beau met in culinary school.   “Have you ever been Seduced by Bacon?” Beau asked her one day, as they worked side by side in a dessert lesson.  “No, but I have been Tempted. You don’t think I’m Cheap & Easy, do you?” Anne replied.  Beau had been Ready and Waiting for Anne since they first met in a basic sauce cookery class, but she had seemed out of his reach.  Anne was used to the big city, Small Bites, Big Nights, and bright lights.
“Do you always do it like that – Slow & Easy?” Anne asked with a quick bat of her lashes while observing the way he handled his whisk.  “You know that Nobody Does it Better than the French,” she said.  Beau was left with his Mouth Wide Open at Anne’s suggestive tone and, more importantly, the way she was able to create such stiff peaks on her meringue. 
“I’m thinking of inventing a new dessert creation,” Anne announced. “It will be called the Dessert Fourplay, featuring a quartet of Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey.”  “That sounds delicious.  What a pleasure it would be to get a taste of that,” Beau said.  “Oh trust me, The Pleasure is All Mine,” stated Anne.  “Faster! I’m Starving!” was all that he could muster in reply, as the Sparks in the Kitchen flew. 
And with that exchange of flirtations, Anne and Beau knew that cooking up something Hot & Spicy wouldn’t be limited to the kitchen! 

Now you tell me, are all of those books really about food?

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What America Ate

The Food of a Younger LandTonight I will be facilitating Dish! A Foodie Book Club. We will discuss The Food of a Younger Land, edited by Mark Kurlansky. 

This book is a compilation of previously unpublished essays about how Americans cooked, ate, and interacted with food in the period just prior to World War II. This is significant because it’s when refrigeration, transportation, and the manufacture of processed foods became widespread.  These three innovations completely changed the way Americans ate and thought about food.  They were no longer limited to what was local and/or in season.

These essays were the product of the Federal Writers’ Project, which was in turn part of the Works Progress Administration. The federal government created the WPA to provide jobs to the millions of unemployed workers during the Great Depression. I was familiar with various WPA projects: buildings and improvements made to state and national parks, bridges and overpasses here in Pittsburgh, as well as art projects and installations throughout the country. But I was not aware of the Federal Writers’ Project, which employed artists and writers. The FWP had only one significant project prior to the unpublished America Eats project. It was the American Guide Series for each of the United States, modeled on Baedekers guides popular for European travelers. If you are interested in a snapshot of America from that time period, the Library has a collection available in the Reference Department at Main.

But back to tonight’s book . . . For this project, the country is divided into five sections, each containing stories, essays, descriptions, recipes, and even poems, all about local food and customs. In the Northeast section, I enjoyed the description of an “Italian Feed in Vermont” and a list of “New York Soda-Luncheonette Slang and Jargon.”  From the South, I loved reading about the contributions of Eudora Welty and Zora Neale Hurston. In the Middle West section, I was amused by a paragraph on the drinking habits of Kansans. A list of Colorado Superstitions about food from the Far West was fascinating. In the Southwest section, I loved learning that tacos needed an introduction in an article entitled “A Los Angeles Sandwich Called a Taco.”

I found most interesting not how much people from these areas were different, but how much they had in common. They made do with what they had, used every part of every animal, and enjoyed gathering for large feasts and celebrations that revolved around food. Kentucky Oysters, Lamb or Pig Fries, or Oklahoma Prairie Oysters, anyone?

If you are available this evening between 6 – 7 PM, please join us in the Director’s Conference Room on the First Floor.  We’d love to see you there.


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A Taste of India

On Saturday, December 12, from 2:00-3:15 PM, the Library will “Celebrate India” with a program featuring information and entertainment about the food and culture of this diverse country. In preparation for this event, library staff from various departments have been preparing booklists (and video and music lists) to showcase Indian materials owned by the library. What follows is one of those lists, Indian cookbook recommendations prepared for the occasion.

The Bollywood CookbookThe Bollywood Cookbook by Bulbul Mankani
The hottest stars from the Bollywood scene share their favorites dishes. Each chapter includes a short biographical sketch of the actor. An essentials section covers recipes for basic ingredients such as ginger paste, ghee, roti, and garam masala.
The Calcutta KitchenThe Calcutta Kitchen by Simon Parkes
This exquisite book covers the subject of Bengali cuisine, which is rarely found unless you are invited to dine at a private home. Chapters cover cosmopolitan Calcutta, sweets, vegetarian dishes, as well as rituals and celebrations.
Complete Book of Indian CookingComplete Book of Indian Cooking: 350 Recipes from the Regions of India by Suneeta Vaswani
If you are looking to truly understand and cook Indian cuisine, this book will prove to be indispensible.  It begins with common ingredients, spices & herbs (including spice blends), basic techniques, hints and tips. Each chapter covers one area of food—appetizers, fish, salads, meats, and sweets—and then is further broken down into regions—north, south, east, and west.
India's Vegetarian CookeryIndia’s Vegetarian Cookery by Monisha Bharadwaj
Vegetarianism is a way of life for most of those who live in India.  The variety and depth of vegetarian cuisine in each region of India is covered in this comprehensive book which shows that eating without meat is healthy, interesting, and exciting.

Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian CookingMadhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey
You can’t have a booklist on Indian food without including Madhur Jaffrey. For many, she was the first to introduce the home cook to the idea of making Indian fare. This is one of her latest and includes over 70 recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less.  This book also contains a suggested list for a well-stocked pantry as well as menus for both family meals and entertaining.
Meena Pathak Celebrates Indian CookingMeena Pathak Celebrates Indian Cooking by Meena Pathak
No long, drawn out, hard to prepare recipes in this book. Ms. Pathak covers traditional Indian recipes along with more innovative fusion dishes to introduce readers to the wonders of her native cuisine.

My Bombay KitchenMy Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking by Niloufer Ichaporia King
Part recipes and part memoir, this cookbook is as much fun to read as it is to use for food preparation and contains over 165 recipes. Also the first book on Parsi cooking published in the United States written by a Parsi.


Six SpicesSix Spices: A Simple Concept of Indian Cooking by Neeta Saluja
One of the most daunting aspects of making Indian food for the first time is working with the spices and other unfamiliar ingredients that form the basics of the cuisine.  This book attempts to break through that barrier by presenting several of these techniques and devoting a chapter to each, such as cooking with powdered spices, seasoning with ghee, and cooking with curry paste. Each chapter includes at least a dozen recipes so you can try out and hone your newfound skills.

Please check the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh web site in the next week or so for more information about this upcoming celebration of India.


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