Parents Need to Eat Too

Acquisitions Department

Acquisitions Department

Lucky me, I picked up three new cookbooks recently. Let’s take a look, shall we?

But before we start, I must apologize. These pictures suck. Clearly, I need to take a class or something.

First up, my favorite of the bunch: The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual. This is a cookbook/kitchen almanac to keep on your bedside table—it’s that much fun to read—but if you like hearty, homey, impeccably flavored Italian-American food, it’s also one that will wind up splattered with red sauce, red wine, and red wine vinaigrette. The two Franks (Castronovo and Falcinelli) own a bunch of restaurants, including a Spuntino right here in BK, and are nearly as famous for their meatballs as for their Mary J-fueled inspiration. If I thought pot would lead me to create anything as tasty as the recipes in this book, I’d be blazing through a quarter a day.

I bought the Frankies book with my own hard-earned American dollars, but the next two were a prize package—I actually won something! Monica Bhide, a writer friend I’ve mentioned before (she’s the author of Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen, which, holy cow, is only ten dollars right now on Amazon! If you don’t already own it, it’s worth much more than a ten-spot), ran a giveaway on her blog. And I won! That’s a first—I enter blog giveaways about as frequently as I run them myself.

Anyhoosie, I entered because the pair of books Monica was offering seemed right up my alley. Sure enough, they are. The first, Dinner for Busy Moms: Easy Strategies for Getting Your Family to the Table, is more of a how-to book than a straight cookbook. It helps busy parents figure out how to get dinner on the table every night. The concept is a lot like what I’m doing here, but with the emphasis reversed: While I start with the food and go into the mechanics of cooking while parenting, author Jeanne Muchnick focuses on the strategies and then considers the food. So there are meal-prep time-savers, meal planners, shopping tips, and ways to get the kids involved. The final chapter has about 20 family-friendly recipes, too.

The last book is a straight cookbook, but with a twist: It’s not only aimed at busy parents, it helps us feed our families (quickly, and well) with local, sometimes organic, sustainable food. SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families is the second book by Aviva Goldfarb, based on her popular website, The Six O’Clock Scramble. It’s organized seasonally, and encourages us to shop and cook only what’s in season locally. Smart stuff, and good-looking recipes, too.

So there you have it. My three new cookbooks. What have you bought lately?

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I was recently gifted The William Sonoma Essentials of Asian Cooking. I'm usually skeptical of cookbooks that clump lots of cuisines in one book. Yet I've been pleasantly surprised. The recipes are easy to follow, I can find all of the ingredients they call for (with the help of my local asian grocery store), and the final product tastes just as good as what I get in restaurants.

  2. Wow, restaurant-quality Asian food (of any kind) impresses me.

  3. My mother-in-law just got me The New England Clam Shack Cookbook which I was so excited about, I had to write it up on my blog. Essentially, it has recipes for chowders, fried clams, lobster rolls, clams on the grill – from restaurants all through New England. I can't wait to try it, but I have to wait until I'm off crutches. How perfect for summer though!

  4. I'm so glad you're getting a chance to use my latest cookbook, Debbie! I look forward to hearing how you like the recipes, and your other recent aquisitions look like great finds, too! Happy Scrambling!

  5. I must read the first one. The other seem like they would be interesting as well.

    How do you mark recipes you want to try in cookbooks? I usually make a list on a piece of paper and stick it in the book. My mom writes inside the front cover, but I hate to write in books.

  6. Wow, I never responded to you guys! So sorry.

    Carrietracy, I grew up kosher so just about everything you describe is alien to me. Buuut I do love a good New England clam shack–I just order fish!

    Aviva, thanks so much for stopping by!

    Marthaandme, I do two things: I have these nifty little metal page markers called Book Darts, and I just attach one to the page when I find something interesting. Then, after I try a recipe, I write on the inside cover. That way I wind up with an overall impression of a cookbook–if several difft results are good, I'm more likely to try another, kwim?

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