School’s (almost) out for summer, so it’s time to pick up that hobby you’ve been putting off all year because you’ve been too busy: learning how to cook. Did you know that the UGL has always had a collection of cookbooks (they’re in the TX call number range)? Thanks to the hard work and discerning eye of one of our Graduate Assistants, we just got a whole bunch of new ones! We’ve been lucky enough to peek at them before they hit (and then quickly fly off of) the shelves, so we’ve had our eyes on a few. Whether you’re staying here for summer classes or even planning to go home for a few weeks (provided you have internet access and can renew the library books you check out…), we’d like to recommend a few of our awesome new cookbooks for you. GET COOKING!
Fan of comfort food? You definitely want to meet Pioneer Woman. Part blogger, part rancher, part Food Network star (new!), Pioneer Woman kind of has it going on. Her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From an Accidental Country Girl, is chock full of good ol’ fashioned yummy things – think loaded potato skins and insanely good looking guacamole. Definitely achievable, even if you’re cooking skills are…under construction.
If you’re feeling ambitious about learning to cook this summer (i.e. you’re graduating and, happily or unhappily, have no big plans for the next couple of months), you might want to dip into Cook Like a Rock Star: 125 Recipes, Lessons, and Culinary Secrets by Anne Burrell. Chef Anne Burrell is a bit of a rock star chef, herself, so she has a right to teach you these things. The recipes use basic, accessible ingredients (hello, “Killer Mac & Cheese with Bacon”), but with Chef Anne’s advice, actually turn out pretty fancy. Wow your friends and/or family.
The Deen brothers, Paula Deen’s adorable and oh-so-Southern sons Jamie and Bobby, will have you drooling before you even start cooking with Y’all Come Eat (to which we say: we’ll be right there!!). Two words: cornbread casserole…or, two other words: cheeseburger pie. If those things don’t get you excited about chowing down, this book may not be for you! And, if you’re already stoked for tailgating when Illini football starts back up, this book–with its selection of tail-gating faves–is most definitely for you.
Do you speak Spanish or have Puerto Rican and/or Latin American roots? You’ll definitely enjoy Daisy: Mañana, Mediodía, y Noche. Daisy Martinez pulls together her family’s recipes with those she’s collected on trips around the Caribbean and Latin America to create a tantalizing menu of flavorful dishes. If you’re fluent in Spanish (the whole book is in Spanish) but know much about Latin American culture, never fear! Daisy also takes the time to introduce you to the key ingredients you’ll need to whip up comida deliciosa para tu familia o tus amigos!