Cozy Cooking Season
With a chill in the air, it’s time for sweaters, apples, and making something hearty on the stove. Fall is the perfect time to try to master baking or develop a signature cocktail. The Hinsdale Public Library has a great collection of cookbooks and resources for finding a new fall favorite. Here are some highlights so you can get cooking:
Great British Baking Show: Great family viewing, this series winnows British home bakers week by week through a series of challenges. Unlike American game shows, there’s no yelling and no meltdowns- just amazing cakes and understated criticism. Available via the Library’s streaming app Hoopla or on DVD in the Library.
Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines: You know the Gaines Family from Fixer Upper. They’ve curated a beautifully photo-illustrated cookbook drawn from their family recipes and magazine articles. Unsurprisingly with 5 kids around the house, the recipes tend to be simple, fast, and crowd-pleasing. With descriptions of the kitchen gadgets and techniques Joanna uses in her home, this is a great cookbook if you’re just dipping into your own kitchen.
Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen: Almost scientific in its approach to mastering each dish, this cookbook documents some crucial techniques to improve your weeknight meals. Don’t be dismayed by the idea that you’re only “Cooking for Two.” The portions tend to be generous and are easy to scale up. Multiple Burns’ family favorites have come from this cookbook.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat: This accessible cookbook balances the four elements of good cooking. With narration, illustrations, maps, and an easy-going approach to cooking, this book will round out your knowledge of flavor and texture. Also recommended is the Netflix series of the same name- it’s an excellent distillation of the book and features some wonderful characters.
Moosewood Restaurant Favorites by Moosewood Collective: For vegetarian fare that doesn’t skimp on flavor and is hearty enough to satisfy committed meat eaters, this cookbook is the ticket. Written by one of the restaurants to pioneer a new style of natural vegetarian cooking, these recipes use natural ingredients to build deep flavor.
Smuggler’s Cove by Martin Cate: For cocktail hour, this book dives deep into the world of “exotic” cocktails. While giving you unique drink recipes both modern and classic, Cate weaves in a detailed exploration of rum and the history of Tiki bars and restaurants going back to the 30’s. If you want to make a truly delicious Mai Tai, this is the book.
Milk Street by Christopher Kimball: From the former editor of America’s Test Kitchen, this magazine is the delightful offspring of a travelogue and authentic ethnic cookbook. Travel to fabulous off-the-beaten path destinations and learn how to make the local dishes from the experts there.
Ridgeway Burns is the Youth and Young Adult Services Manager at the Hinsdale Public Library.