Being equal opportunity eaters and drinkers here at South Florida Food and Wine, we obtain our inspiration and desires from so many different sources, least of which is old school, the book. We have amassed a cookbook/entertaining book library over the years to rival Amazon.com; at least we think so with over 200 hardcover and paperback tomes lining just about every inch of our home and office. We are now at the point of using our library for decorative purposes as well as our entertaining muse. The latest additions to our collection run the gamut from weight loss to smoking/barbecue. Like I said, we’re equal opportunity eaters over here. Each of the below four books have their place in adapting summer menu inspiration.
The Quick Six Fix by Stuart O’Keeffe a resource cookbook for the time-pressed or for those who love the kitchen but are impatient cooks. O’Keeffe outlines 100 quick-and-easy recipes, all prepared with 6 key ingredients, not including seasonings, with 6 minutes of prep/organizing time and 6 minutes to clean up. Heads-up note: the recipes don’t take six minutes to cook, on average, 30 minutes to prepare. If you’re not savvy in the kitchen, the 6 minutes to prep a dinner might be challenging for you, but give it 10 without stress, and you’re on your way to better than takeout. Some of our favorites from the book, especially for quick and cool summer eats, Kale-Fingerling Potato-Bacon Salad, Jumbo Shrimp Roll with Spicy Chili Butter, Mexican Street Corn, and Popcorn Cauliflower Nuggets. Hardcover $27.99
Lose Weight By Eating by Audrey Johns Cookbook/diet book/self-help book. Hands down the most real weight loss book on the market. Johns tells her story of being overweight, the many diets she has been on, and how she tackled and conquered her massive weight loss of 150 pounds; all by eating. Johns book is chock-full of doable recipes made with real food and hundreds of substitution tips and tricks. In search of weight loss inspiration? This book is it. Paperback $24.99
Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen Smoke is the personality of barbecue, the transformation from simple barbecue happens when burning wood infuses its serendipitous flavors into the food. Project Smoke teaches you how to make this magic happen. Raichlen, America’s “master griller” details how to cold-smoke, hot-smoke, and smoke-roast. Project Smoke is written for everyone, everywhere, from building your own backyard smokehouse to a stove top smoker. No one is left out of the smoke game and with Raichlen’s seven steps to smoking nirvana the next smokin’ weekend is on you. Paperback $22.95
Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena. More than just a cookbook, Tacopedia delves into the Mexican taco ethos through color, lore, history, interviews, illustrations and photos. Tacopedia is a fun, informative read, versus strict follow-to-the-letter (recipe) cookbook. $20 flexibound.
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