The Hippo


Jul 16, 2019








Kitchen page-turners
Cookbook recommendations for your summer


 While you might enjoy lying on the beach with one of the summer reading recommendations in this week’s Hippo cover story, there are page turners meant just for your kitchen too. Librarian Tim Sheehan of Chester Public Library and Library Assistant Jessica Sheehan of Goffstown Public Library offered up their cookbook recommendations for summer cooking. Both Tim and Jessica Sheehan (yes, they’re married) also run cookbook book groups at their libraries.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond
“Drummond is a favorite of the Chester Public Library Cook & Share Group,” Tim Sheehan said.
Drummond has a show on the Food Network, plus quite a few The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbooks (so if you like this one, there’s more to check out later). The cookbook is organized by holidays, with each chapter featuring a menu of holiday-inspired eats, plus lots of photos (including step-by-step visuals).
The Fourth of July chapter features recipes like Homemade Lemonade and Big Bad Burger Bar, with tips on making burgers (and how to serve them buffet style), plus Key Lime Pie.
Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook by general editor Chuck Williams
Tim Sheehan recommends this cookbook for grilling inspiration. It features recipes originally published in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library and Cookware series as well as original recipes designed just for this book.
“I think this is a good book for those who want to go beyond traditional grilling,” Tim Sheehan said. “Fish lovers will enjoy the various recipes provided in this book. Meat lovers will not be disappointed with the huge amount of recipes. My goal this summer is to try the Hickory-Smoked Fresh Ham recipe.”
The Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook also features classic complements to grilled main dishes, like Boston Baked Beans, Creamy Red Potato Salad with Celery Seeds and Three Berry Cobbler for dessert.
The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger 
In summer, we want to eat light (whether it’s because heavy sauces are a turn-off or you’ve got an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie yellow polka dot bikini to fit into). Jessica Sheehan recommends this cookbook for summer cooks who are looking to revamp their favorite dishes in a healthier way.
“The Food You Crave is an excellent selection for those looking to modify their eating,” she said. “Ellie provides the healthier version to classic main dishes, snacks, desserts and more. Her Tofu Chocolate Mousse left our cookbook club doubting it was actually made with tofu. It was delish!”
Each recipe in the cookbook includes a nutritional breakdown as well as tips and techniques for eating well.
Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals by the Editors of Cooking Light Magazine
“The chapters on sandwiches and salads are ideal for hot and humid days when one does not want to stand over a grill or run an oven for very long,” Tim Sheehan said. “Excellent for those who visit farmers markets on their way home from work.”
While most of these cookbooks are great for some summer-inspired cooking, Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals meets the day-to-day summer cooking quick fixes. Nobody wants to cook in summer, but for the light and fast meals, this makes dinnertime a little easier and tastier.
“Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals is a great book for anyone who loves cooking with fresh ingredients but wants to make a meal quickly to enjoy the remainder of their evening enjoying the outdoors,” Tim Sheehan said. 
Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Help You Get Started in the Kitchen by Mollie Katzen 
If you’ve mastered ramen and toast and would like to up the ante in the kitchen, Jessica Sheehan recommends Get Cooking as a guide to picking up some new culinary skills. 
Katzen is the author of bestselling Moosewood Cookbook, and Get Cooking is the first in a series geared toward beginner cooks. It includes foolproof recipes for dishes like burgers and homemade pasta that can be fun for summer.
“Mollie’s dishes are simple, delicious and filled with ingredients you already have at home,” Jessica Sheehan said. “Summer is perfect for the inexperienced cook. It lends itself to fresh, easy recipes for the kitchen or grill.”
Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten 
This cookbook features recipes like smoked salmon, seared scallops and celery root puree, plus desserts, dinner recipes and more. Rather than specifically a summer cookbook page-turner, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof is a good cookbook for cooks who’d like to take some extra time this summer to hone their culinary skills.
“Barefoot Contessa Foolproof covers it all! From cocktails to desserts, Ina’s recipes are innovative and unique,” Jessica Sheehan said. “While I would recommend this book for a more experienced cook, there are some great beginner recipes included in this volume. Overall, it has become a favorite.” 
As seen in the July 3, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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