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BellaOnline's Home Cooking Editor

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Two Cookbook Reviews

Guest Author - Sandy Moyer

I've never been to Ithaca, New York, but after reading the pages of the wonderful cookbook, Sundays At Moosewood Restaurant, I feel like I've not only enjoyed visiting the town's famous restaurant, but like I've been on a world tour with it's 18 chefs/writers...finding recipes for world cuisine from countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean and more. The itinerary also includes regions of the USA with a glimpse at the tastes of old New England plus a sampling of recipes for down-home Southern favorites.

Ithaca is a town in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. On Sundays, Moosewood Restaurant, which opened in 1973, has a menu that focuses on international cuisine and ethnic dishes. Each chapter in the book was compiled and written by a different Moosewood chef. Some of them chose their particular country or region depending on their family background. Some picked a country they had visited and enjoyed and a few just chose a country that intrigued them.

The recipe categories are... Africa South of the Sahara - Armenia & The Middle East - The British Isles - The Caribbean - Chile -China - Eastern Europe - Finland - India - Italy - Japan - Jewish - Mexico - New England - North Africa and the Northeast African Highlands - Provence - Southeast Asia - The Southern United States.

What is most amazing to me is that these are vegetarian dishes! But...this is definitely much more than an ordianary vegetarian cookbook. It has something for everyone. The extensive guide to ingredients, techniques and equipment is really one of the best I've seen in any cookbook. It's well written and packed with recipes for easy to prepare fabulous dishes... a diverse collection from around the world. It has alot to offer and I highly recommend this extraordinary collection of vegetarian recipes to anyone who is looking for great cookbook!

Here's a few examples of the recipes in Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

"North African cooking is varied and interesting.
A variety of pastries, cakes and fruit desserts completes most meals."

Recipe for Moroccan Date Cake

"Kroketi od Sira-Skute, Macedonian Cottage Cheese Croquettes, can be served with tart applesauce or with a side dish of fresh sliced tomatoes topped with sour cream and minced chives. If left over, kroketi can be reheated nicely in the oven."

Recipe for Kroketi



Rare Bits - Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes will also take you on a tour ... a journey through culinary history. The author, Patricia Bunning Stevens is both a historian and a cooking enthusiast. In this book she combines the two. Well written accounts of the intriguing beginnings of both traditional classics and today's most popular mealtime favorites are accompanied by easy to follow, enticing recipes. Most have familiar names...Some have strange sounding names....Names that you might have been curious about or wondered where those names came from. The origins, backgrounds, and histories are informative, enlightening and entertaining.

Did you know that the name Caesar Salad has nothing to do with Julius Caesar? This popular salad got it's name in 1924 from "Caesar's Hotel" in Tijuana, Mexico! Or...that those little cornmeal cakes known as hush puppies got that name because they were given by southern hunters and fisherman to their yelping dogs with the cry "hush puppies"! Traditional recipes for both of these popular foods are included.

Learn the origin of Kaiser rolls, Chicken a la King, Waldorf Salad, Thousand Island Dressing, . Screwdrivers, Buffalo Wings, Denver omelets, Eggs Benedict, Welsh Rarebit and many other "Rare Bits" in this cookbook full of authentic recipes.... pleasing to modern tastes and written for today's kitchens.

If you want a wide variety of recipes...from Sloppy Joes to Chateaubriand...Crispy Treats to Bananas Foster, you'll love this cookbook. If you want a book packed with fascinating culinary history, you'll enjoy reading this wonderful cookbook from cover to cover.

Here's a few examples of the recipes in Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes

"United States Senate Bean Soup may be the only soup in the world named for a legislative body. It has been served for half a century in the United States Senate restaurant, which is operated for the senators and their guests."

Recipe for United States Senate Bean Soup

"Buffalo Chicken Wings" were invented by Teressa Belllissimo of The Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Late one night in 1964 her son, Dom, and some of his friends came into the tavern wanting something to eat. Belllissimo had nothing on hand except for some chichen wings she was saving for soup. Faced with hungry young men, she improvised with what she had and the fiery Buffalo Chicken Wings were born. Served with blue cheese dressing and celery stalks to cool the tongue, they became an Anchor Bar attraction every Friday night. Their popularity spread, first in New York state and then across the nation; in many areas they are now known simply as Buffalo Wings."

Recipe for Buffalo Chicken Wings



Both of these books can be purchased at Barnes & Noble.Com.

Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Sundays at
Moosewood Restaurant

Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes

Rare Bits:
Unusual Origins
of Popular Recipes

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Content copyright © 2014 by Sandy Moyer. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sandy Moyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Allyson Elizabeth DŽAngelo for details.

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