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?