Mary’s Memo – December 8th


Trust me, anyone who likes to cook will appreciate a cookbook and I have several new ones for you to order from Amazon. com. You can also have them shipped directly to the recipient. The first one is Flourless, Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts by Nicole Spiridakis (Chronicle Books, September 2014; Hardback/$27.95). Flourless is filled with more than 75 naturally gluten-free, decadent desserts. Nicole Spiridakis is a writer, recipe developer and wedding cake baker. She contributes regularly to NPR’s online column, Kitchen Window, and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Washington Post and Backpacker magazine.

In Pork by Cree LeFavour (Chronicle Books, October 2014; Hardback/$27.50), more than 145 recipes demonstrate pork’s versatile character. These recipes feature all parts of the pig, from belly, chops, ribs and neck to larger cuts such as shanks, steaks and hams. Cree LeFavour grew up on a ranch in Idaho. She is a cookbook author of three books including Poulet and Fish (also published by Chronicle Books).

Greens + Grains, Recipes for Deliciously Healthful Meals (Chronicle Books, December 2014; Softback/$19.95) by Molly Watson features creative meals for all occasions that pair a green with a grain such as beets + barley, kale + faro and arugula + quinoa. If you aim to eat healthier and at the same time love a dinner that tastes amazing, looks sophisticated and comes together in an hour, this book is for you! And you don’t need to know how to cook greens or grains already; this book will teach you the best methods to use for each type. Molly Watson is a food editor and writer whose pieces regularly appear on the Local Foods site for, in Edible San Francisco, as well as Elle, The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She honed her serious recipe development at Sunset magazine. Greens + Grains is her first book.

To Cook is To Love as told to John Verlinden by Mami Aida (Langdon Street Press May 1, 2014; Softcover/$21.99) is about modern Cuban cuisine, interweaving healthier meals with Cuban history and culture. Traditional dishes like Arroz con Pollo are reinterpreted with attention to nutrition without sacrificing flavor. To Cook is To Love makes Latin food accessible to chefs of all levels, with 200 easy-to-follow recipes that are accompanied by information boxes about the ingredients, cooking methods and presentation. Readers will not want to leave Mami Aida’s table until they’ve heard her inspiring story and tasted every delicious dish!

The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary (, November 2014; Softback/$24.95) is a delicious cookbook of over 200 recipes from plain to intensely rich that can easily be made in your kitchen. Geary teaches baking and cooking classes at more than 100 schools across North America every year. He is a food journalist and the author of 5 cookbooks.



• 2-1/2 cups peanut butter sandwich cookie crumbs
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


• 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
• 4 eggs
• 8-ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks


• 1 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Crust: In bowl, combine cookie crumbs, flour and butter. Press into 13x9-inch baking pan lined with foil; freeze. Filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer running, pour in melted chocolate in a steady stream. Mix in peanut butter, lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chunks by hand. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool on counter for 10 minutes (do not turn oven off). The cake will sink slightly.

Topping: In a bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, peanut butter, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Sprinkle with chocolate chunks. Bake 5 minutes more. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours before cutting into bars. Recipe makes 10 to 12 bars.
Source: The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary (, November 2014; Softback/$24.95.

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