Check back often for new ideas

Check out some new cookbooks I have tried:

Treasured Recipes from Early New England Kitchens

The Food of France by Maria Vilegas and Sarah Randell

What's Cooking Rice & Risotto by Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen

Bobby Flay Cooks American

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook

My exploration of spicy cooking




I am a self confessed coffee addict.  In response to that I have a great cookbook for others who want to know all there is to know. 

The Essential Guide to Coffee:  The Essential Bean 

By Catherine Calvert

With Recipes by Jane Stacey

It is a glorious celebration of the lure and the lore of coffee with dozens of irresistible recipes for cookies and cakes, pies and muffins and even soups, salads and sandwiches to pair with your favorite cup here are tips for selecting the best roasts, storing beans and brewing the perfect mocha, the richest espresso or simply the finest cup of coffee you've ever had.


Here is a great recipe for Brownies from the book:

Preheat the oven to 350F Grease and flour a 9 inch square baking pan. Into a bowl, sift together the flour baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate with the instant coffee, stirring until smooth. Pour the butter-chocolate mixture into a bowl, add the sugar and stir until it is incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, Stir in the vanilla, Stir in the dry ingredient until the batter is smooth. So not over mix. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the brownies are just set. (The center of the brownies should still be wet when tested with a skewer.) Let the brownies cool on a wire rack before cutting them into squares.

Makes sixteen 2 1/4 inch squares


Dinners in a Dish or a Dash: 275 Easy One-Dish Meals Plus Tons of Time-Saving Tips
by Jean Anderson

    Anyone responsible for keeping a family fed day in and day out appreciates the value of that old standby, the one-dish meal. It combines components from several food groups, it ends up in a single pot, and it can often be prepared ahead, frozen, and reheated in either a microwave or a conventional oven. Noted cookbook author Anderson has brought together a number of one-dish meals: soups, casseroles, stir-fries, and skillet dinners.  See a sampling of her recipes and how to order any of her cookbooks.


Sweetie Pie the Richard Simmons Private Collection of Dazzling Desserts.  

    This is a great cookbook for those of you who can't resist a piece of cake or creamy gooey desserts even when you are trying to watch your weight and eat healthy.  Not only are the desserts great to look at, they taste awesome.  There are pictures to help you make these delectable edibles look like they came from a pastry shop.


Food & Wine 2000  an entire year's recipes from America's favorite food magazine.

    Ever wonder how you find that recipe again from the May issue of the magazine?  Well here is one solution.  This cookbook has all of the recipes from the 2000 subscription of the Food & Wine Magazine.  It is full of pictures and cooking hints.  The recipes run the gamut from simple to gourmet and the instructions are clear and complete.


These cookbooks and MANY more can be found at 


I tried this incredible meat thermometer.  It is the Polder Preprogrammed Cooking Thermometer.  Click here to check it out.  I bought it on and this purchase would get you free shipping.





I collect cookbooks of recipes, just like the rest of you.  But, I also collect what I call science books on cooking. 


I have the Shirley Corriher book called Cookwise.  It is published by William Morrow and Company.  It is a chemistry book about cooking.  It tells why and what happens when acids are mixed with baking soda or why milk curdles when heated but cream doesn't.  It also gives hints on how to prevent the "accidents" of recipe failure like a cracking cheesecake or the separation of the filling from the crust of a cream or meringue pie.

 I also have a few of the books that are called "A Gourmet's Guide to...."   I have the Herbs and Spices one and the Chili One and the Rice one.  They are published by HP Books which is a division of  The Berkley Publishing Group.  These are great when you feel you need to know more about a specific ingredient.  They are thin books that are easy to cart with you to the grocery.  When I was learning about peppers I would often take the book with me to pick out the peppers by the pictures.

 I have two books on kitchen equipment that I use all the time.  One is called the Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst.  It is published by the Barrons's Educational Series, Inc.  It defines ingredients and equipment so well.  I have never looked something up in it that was missing.

The other one is called The Well-Tooled Kitchen by Fred Bridge and Jean F. Tibbet.  If you want to know what a Chestnut Knife looks like or why you would buy a Choucroute Fork this book is for you. 

 I also have a substitute book called Substituting Ingredients: An A to Z Kitchen Reference by Becky Sue Epstein, Hilary Dole Klein, Hilary Doyle Klein (Contributor).  This is a great reference to have, especially if you make things at the last minute.   If you are making something and you don't have butter milk what do you do? If you run out of brown sugar what do you do?  It is very complete.


I have a new review of some old standards:  Click here to read about Lean and Luscious or Lean and Luscious and Meatless.





Got a cookbook you want to recommend?  Diane has a collection of over 500 cookbooks and is always looking for new ones.  Please send us your suggestions.