Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cooking = Fun!

Cooking can be a lot of fun! I bet you've never heard recipes SUNG to you before. The Recipe Project: A Delectable Extravaganza of Food and Music, with songs by the group One Ring Zero, began as a simple idea: take the recipes of today's top chefs, set them to music, and sing them word for word. The result? A quirky cookbook/CD combo you can dance and shimmy to while cooking. A different mood for each recipe is guaranteed.

However much folks may enjoy singing along as they cook, many feel that eating the food is more fun.  And to get to the eating part, a bit of guidance is extremely helpful. How do we make that tasty food so we can enjoy it? One way is to discover yummy recipes in cookbooks.

The Urbana Free Library loves cookbooks and we have a vast collection. Here's a sampling of some of the best and brightest we've gotten lately.

If you're a fan of the cooking competition reality show Top Chef/Top Chef Texas, you may have been intrigued by this culinary marvel, which was a highly-desired prize for one of the recent quick fires. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Baking by Nathan Myhrvold is a "six-volume, 2,438-page set that is des­tined to rein­vent cook­ing." Yep, it's an elegant whopper of a cookbook that has already found devotees here at Urbana Free. The photographs are amazing and the text clearly expresses the joys of molecular gastronomy .

Modernist Cuisine Trailer from Modernist Cuisine on Vimeo.

Food Network TV chef Ree Drummond presents simple but extremely tasty recipes in her latest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food From My Frontier. She's posted a full color preview of the mouthwatering results on her blog.

And finally, for the purists among you, we have Pam Anderson's How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart. Anderson has sympathy for all those who come home from work tired and have to fix a meal. They have to page through a cookbook and scramble to make sure they have all the ingredients before they can even start dinner. Anderson believes all recipes are "variations on a theme",  so she stresses technique. You can pull together a meal easily, recognizing what you can prepare from the ingredients you have on hand, eliminating a cookbook as the middleman. (Of course, you DO need Anderson's cookbook to attain this goal. We're happy to have it in our collection so you can check it out.)

Urbana Free is the place to be for cookbooks! Come in and browse the 641.5's. Give us a call at 217-367-4405 to place any requests, or email us

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