19 September 2020

Weekend Cooking: 4 New Cookbooks (Mini-Reviews)

Review of How to Make Hard Seltzer by Chris Colby
Happy Saturday. Hope you're all doing well. Today I'm writing about four cookbooks that have crossed my desk this month. Before I get into my mini-reviews, note that yesterday I wrote about two food-related topics, so you might want to take a look.

The first book I'm featuring is How to Make Hard Seltzer by Chris Colby (Brewers Publications; Sept. 7). I am not a home brewer of anything, nor do I plan to become one, but hard seltzer is becoming more popular and I was curious about how it was made. This book is a detailed how-to, including information on ingredients, formulas for brewing, flavorings, and equipment. There's a section on government regulations and an appendix for first-time brewers. The only chapter I'll be using is the one on making cocktails using hard seltzer. If you're curious about the process or want to try fermenting on your own, this looks like a good resource.

Review of The Intermittent Fasting Cookbook by Nicole Poirier
Next up is The Intermittent Fasting Cookbook by Nicole Poirier (Fair Winds Press; Oct. 6). Intermittent fasting seems very trendy or faddy, but in fact many medical professionals recognize its benefits. Poirier, a chef with an eye toward nutritional healing and with clients from the upper echelons of the Silicon Valley, has years of experience helping others figure out what and and when to eat. This book describes intermittent fasting, providing medical evidence to back up the suggested programs. The recipes are specifically geared to replace and replenish nutrients needed by those who practice fasting, whether that's for a specific number of hours a day or on alternate days. Poirier provides charts, quizzes, and food lists to help you figure out what to eat to meet your goals and conditions, such as weight loss, controlling diabetes, and staving off inflammation. The recipes fit a variety of dietary preferences (omnivores, keto, gluten free, dairy free, etc.), are easy to make, and don't feel at all restrictive.

We made a tuna chickpea salad for lunches and chimichurria flank steak and a vegan eggplant and tomato dish that were super tasty for dinners. I learned new things about intermittent fasting and really liked the recipes we tried, but I suggest that your check this one out the library before buying.

Review of Let's Fix Lunch by Kat Nouri
If you've been around for my Weekend Cooking posts, then you know how much I have struggled with lunches in the past. Now that Mr. BFR has retired and I've started slowing down my workload, lunches have become kind of a thing. Sometimes we even eat lunch together! However, if we don't have leftovers from dinner, I have no clue what to eat for lunch, especially because we're not big on sandwiches. Enter the next two cookbooks.

Let's Fix Lunch by Kat Nouri (Chronicle; Sept. 15) is all about (according to the subtitle), fixing planet-friendly meals that can be eaten at school, work, or on the go. If you do, indeed, pack lunches, you'll find plenty of advice for containers and the process of packing. I appreciate the information on how to prep ahead and the chart explaining how to put together lunches from that prepped food. The salads, soups, grain, and pasta dishes look good, but weren't particularly unique. I may turn to this book if I need to pack lunches for hikes and adventures and travel (as soon as we feel safe), but I currently recommend this as a borrow instead of a buy.

Review of Bento by Yuko and Noriko
I've always been fascinated by bento and wish I had the energy and creativity to make pretty boxes for our lunches. Alas, I'm a lazy cook and I rarely make the effort. Bento (Race Point Publishing; Sept. 1) is the second book I've taken for review by authors Yuko and Noriko. (See my review of their Simply Bento.) As with their earlier book, I was inspired by Yuko and Noriko. I love how pretty and well put together their bentos are. The noodle dishes are particularly appealing (maybe because they are all in one?). Mr. BFR was eyeing up the meatball bentos, and I think I'll give them a try as we get into fall. The 10-minute bentos looked doable as did many of the vegan versions. Still, I know myself, and despite how Instagram-worthy the photos and boxes are, I'm sure I'll ultimately fail to follow through. The recipes and information are solid, so if you're into bento or want to know more, this is a good resource.

As we head into October, I'll have a ton of terrific new cookbooks to share with you. I can't wait to get cooking, now that the temperatures have started to drop.

Shared with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker)

6 comments:

Marg 9/19/20, 7:22 AM  

With working from home we are now eating lunch at home every day and I have to say it is a struggle. .We are eating the same thing over and over.

Jackie McGuinness 9/19/20, 3:53 PM  

Lunch is hit or miss around here. Either leftovers, I'm not a fan, but John will eat anything leftover, even if I think it is passed its date!
I will just eat whatever I find in fridge.
When I do make something specific, I am quite pleased with myself.

Chimichurri flank steak sounds good.

Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings 9/19/20, 3:54 PM  

I wish I was creative enough to make bento boxes but alas I have no patience! I do love cookbooks that show them and this looks good!

Gilion at Rose City Reader 9/19/20, 4:14 PM  

Oh, I like fermenting things! I'm going to lookup that hard seltzer book.

Les in Oregon 9/20/20, 12:12 AM  

My husband loves leftovers for lunch, but we don't always have those available. He's pretty content just fixing a bowl of cereal & toast, but I like to have something a bit healthier on hand for him. I think soups, especially during fall and winter, would be a good way to go since I can make enough to provide several meals (and even freeze them for individual servings). It's just a matter of following through with my plan. ;) For me, lunch is relatively simple. I can eat an apple, cheese, a few nuts and a spinach smoothie and be happy. Or carrots, humus and a smoothie.

Laurie C 9/20/20, 10:41 AM  

My husband works from home so when I was working from home for a few months in the spring, we had weekday lunches together and I loved it! I mostly would make us elaborate salads, but sometimes we would decide to prepare a more filling lunchtime meal and eat salads at dinner.
Thank you for these cookbook reviews! Bento boxes have appealed to me over the years, but I haven't broken down and bought a cookbook. I think I brought Simply Bento home from the library last year and tried a couple of recipes but never got my Weekend Cooking post on it done!
I like the sound of the lunch one, but I feel like I have a good handle on what recipes make for a good lunch, and probably have enough recipes along those lines. Sometimes it's nice to have recipes collected around a theme all in one place, though, so I'll definitely check this out from the library to see if I need it!
My Weekend Cooking post is at: http://baystatera.com/book-review-umami-by-laia-jufresa-weekendcooking

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