Gift Guide 2014: Five NYC-Based Healthy Cookbooks

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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Emeraldhorticulture for Wikimedia Commons
New Year's is quickly approaching, which means lofty resolutions are about to commence. After months of indulging on baked goods and booze, chances are there's someone in your life who's going to attempt to turn over a nutritious new leaf starting on January 1 -- and you probably already know who it's going to be. Push them ahead with the gift of nutritious recipes. Here are the five best new healthy cookbooks, from NYC-based authors.

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Mexico: The Cookbook Drops This Week; Café el Presidente Serving Dishes From the Book

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All photos courtesy Phaidon
Margarita Carrillo Arronte is one of Mexico's best-known chefs and promoters of culture. The lifelong cook moved on from assisting her mom and grandma (they had her helping out as soon as she was tall enough to hover over the stove); her storied career includes work as a chef, TV personality, leader of the Slow Food Movement in Baja, culinary ambassador for the Ministry of Agriculture (from 1996 to 2006), and leader of the successful 2010 campaign to appoint Mexican cuisine as a UNESCO cultural heritage property.

She now has a new cookbook that explores regional fare throughout the country. As part of the release tour, Carrillo Arronte is stopping by New York. And you get to sample the recipes from the book at Café el Presidente (30 West 24th Street, Chelsea; 212-242-3491) throughout the week and at its Day of the Dead fiesta.

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New Guide to Queens Takes Readers on a Round-the-World Food Tour

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Seven years ago, writer Andrea Lynn made a discovery that many NYC transplants miss: Queens, often misunderstood as drab, suburban, and impossibly distant, is in fact a dynamic place, packed with countless culinary gems.

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Throwback: 10 Lessons from 55-Year-Old Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two Cookbook

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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All images from Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two Cookbook, General Mills, 1958
A lot has happened since Betty Crocker published her Dinner for Two cookbook in 1958.
Betty Crocker never actually existed in flesh-and-blood form, but long before she started churning out boxed cake mixes and frostings, she was used for an ad campaign for Gold Medal flour in 1921. Shortly thereafter, the company used her name to answer all manner of baking questions posed by women around the country and even gave her a radio show.

She went on to publish several cookbooks, including The Betty Crocker Cookbook, which debuted in 1950 and remains in print to this day. Lesser known is Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two, published in 1958, which is tailor-made to city-living whether you're in a couple or not; recipes are simple, easy to source, and short, and they make only enough food for two people. So if you're single, you'll have some leftovers; if you live with another, it's just enough for one meal.

But that's not to say the book isn't hilariously dated (although the illustrations by Charles Harper remain fantastic). And despite sweeping changes in how we think about ingredients, cooking and gender roles, there is still plenty that rings true in Crocker's classic take on cooking.

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Gotham Bar & Grill's Chef Alfred Portale on His New Book and Love of Peaches

All photos courtesy Gotham Bar & Grill
Gotham White Peach Salad
Four years ago, Gotham Bar & Grill chef Alfred Portale decided to celebrate summer with Greenmarket to Gotham, a weekly prix fixe lunch sourced almost entirely from the Union Square Greenmarket. Spotlighting seasonal ingredients allows Portale to highlight a different local farmer every week for 12 weeks, June through August. These summer lunches follow a strict vegetarian diet; each dish hinges on fresh fruits and vegetables, without leaning on meat for substance.

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Check Out All Hands on Deck, Red Hook's New Benefit E-Cookbook

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In the months since Hurricane Sandy left some New York-area communities in a state of panic and disaster, no neighborhood has stepped up in a more inspiring and positive way than Red Hook.

Today All Hands on Deck, a cookbook containing 25 recipes from Red Hook's restaurants, bars, bakeries, and supper clubs, is available online for $15. All proceeds from the book's sales will directly benefit Restore Red Hook, a group founded by small business owners in the wake of the Hurricane.

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Fat Chance: Michael Ruhlman Releases an iPad Cookbook on Schmaltz

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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via Ruhlman.com
Looking for 23 ways to use schmaltz in your holiday recipes? Michael Ruhlman's got an app for that.

The Book of Schmaltz: A Love Story to a Forgotten Fat is the James Beard Award winning author's ode to the "heart attack food." Ruhlman, who details his new appreciation for self-publishing on his blog, fell hard for the rendered chicken fat after being passed a family recipe from a Jewish neighbor. The book features old-world recipes, as well as more modern ones -- so you can serve your kreplach with a side of Parisienne gnocchi. Ruhlman also describes how to make "the best chopped liver you've ever had," which might cause a few neglected grandmothers to reconsider how they describe themselves.

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A Brownie Recipe Found in Motherless Brooklyn

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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A recipe and an artifact, from Michael Popek's new book

Following up on our post about bookseller Michael Popek's charming collection, Handwritten Recipes and Forgotten Bookmarks, here's a quick look at three recipes and the books they were found inside.

Above, the Blonde Brownies found in Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn. The fat called for in this recipe is melted shortening, which dates the recipe a bit, but the book was published by Vintage in 1999.


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One Bookseller's Fascinating Found Recipes

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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A recipe for corn muffins found in "Cat's Cradle"

Those of us who spend a lot of time rifling around old books are always finding unexpected treasures in the pages -- handwritten shopping lists, photographs, candy wrappers, receipts. What about recipes?

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Alicia Silverstone Is Writing Two New Cookbooks

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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Actress, activist, and vegan cook Alicia Silverstone announces via her blog that she will be writing two new cookbooks: The Kind Mama will cover cooking during pregnancy and while caring for young children. The Kind Diet Cookbook will be a companion to her 2009 vegan cookbook The Kind Diet.

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