FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
For people who like to cook, a “must” Christmas gift we suggest is new cookbook, Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality by Anne Quatrano, Rizzoli New York, 2013. Quatrano is one of the most accomplished chefs in the United States. She was named Best Chef of the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation and Best New Chef by Food & Wine. She has been featured in The New York Times, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit. In Summerland, Quatrano draws on her 28 years of experience to pull together more than 100 of her best recipes and entertaining ideas. Beginning with September, readers will find chapters devoted to the bounty of each month on the year. Christmas is a quiet setting by the fire with truffled broccoli soup, roast with Yorkshire popovers and stump de Noel, her own take on the French holiday classic. Peppered throughout the cookbook are stories of Summerland, the farm that’s been in Quatrano’s family for five generations and that supplies the produce for her four restaurants in Atlanta as well as a cook’s larder and market, Star Provisions. Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality is destined to become a classic cookbook on Southern entertaining. Order via Amazon.com.
We must have an increased number of vegans or people who lean in that direction because I have never seen such a proliferation of vegan cookbooks until this year. One of the recent ones is Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester (Fair Winds Press, $19.99/paperback. Just prep a few items the night before or morning of, and come home to a hot meal or side, or dessert, the moment you come in the door. You’ll be amazed what your little slow cooker can do! Kathy Hester enjoys spreading the word about how easy it is to make tasty vegan food. She writes HealthySlowCooking.com, is the vegan blogger for Key Ingredient and writes for various publications including the vegan magazine, Chickpea. Photos in the cookbook are by Ohio-based food, lifestyle and portrait photographer Kate Lewis.
Bake and Destroy, Good Food for Bad Vegans (Page Street Publishing, August 2013, $19.99/paperback) by Natalie Slater, a skilled crafter, writer and baker, takes vegan cooking to places it’s never been before. The recipe list is different, but once the flavor combinations sink in, they are irresistible and include the Crouching Corn Bread, Hidden Broccoli, which the author feeds her son to get him to eat the vegetable, Fruit Punch Twinkies and Shepherd’s Pie Pizza to name a few. Slater’s is the creator and writer of Bake and Destroy, a blog that gets 700,000 hits a month and just won the Cooking Channel’s Perfect 3 award. She has served as a judge on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” has written for Mint Magazine and Baking Pastry International and her recipes have appeared in Bust Magazine, Time Out Chicago and several other publications.
A BALANCING ACT
At holiday time, many people skip meals and starve themselves prior to holiday functions to make up for excess calories they expect to eat later in the day. However, doing so can cause a dangerous drop in blood glucose. Plan small snacks and meals throughout the day, such as a piece of fruit and low-fat yogurt, a handful of nuts and some veggies or a small sandwich to avoid getting overly hungry. This will help prevent overeating at the party or holiday event.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, December 2013.
ANOTHER “HAIL TO KALE” RECIPE
Daughter Mary Ann made half the recipe and like her, I ate half of it at one sitting! Kale is so nutritionally dense that it should be a “must buy” when you do your supermarket shopping. Look for triple-washed, ready-to-eat Cut 'n Clean Greens kale in your Chief produce department. Now for the recipe:
WILTED KALE WITH BACON AND VINEGAR
• 2 lean bacon strips
• 3/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
• 8 cups Cut 'n Clean kale
• 2/3 cup unsalted chicken stock like Swanson’s
• 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Remove from pan and crumble. Increase heat to medium. Add onion to drippings; sauté for 3 minutes. Add kale; cook 2 minutes or until kale begins to wilt, stirring occasionally. Add stock; cover and cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and maple syrup. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve immediately. Recipe makes 4 servings. Calories per serving: 76.
Source: Recipe adapted from www.myrecipe.com.