Review of My New Toys: Cookbooks by Hermes House Publisher

June 18, 2010 in Book Review, Culture, Review by Heba

This should come as no surprise to anyone reading this: I love cookbooks! I especially like elaborate (yet simply worded),  colorful cookbooks with pictures that make my mouth water just by looking at them. :-) Of course, the problem is that I have more cookbooks than I can use, and I continue to buy more! (But this was one of the best cookbook purchases I’ve ever made): yesterday, Sherif and I made a quick stop at Borders in the middle of the day. I immediately fell in love with five cookbooks that were on sale – they were for a great price. However, when price is not an issue, space and time are! We currently live in an apartment that is big enough for us, but not for the hundreds of books that we own. So, my awesome husband had the brilliant idea of compromising – I got to choose three of the books I like and buy them, but the condition was that I get to USE them! Without the blink of an eye, I agreed…

Here are my new toys:

The first book, Cooking Ingredients: A Practical Guide to Choosing and Using World Foods is an illustrated guide to basically all the ingredients and foods in the world. It features detailed descriptions of all types of food – from fruits and vegetables to grains, meats and exotic fish. It also includes practical advice about how to choose each food, how to store it, and how prepare it, as well as some common ways to cook it. Each section includes information about the different varieties of that particular food, from where it originates, its appearance, flavor, aroma, and the types of dishes in which it works well. So, in a nutshell, it’s an encyclopedia of pretty much every ingredient you would use in your kitchen! I foresee this being not only a handy reference for preparing foods I know about, but more importantly, an introduction to some new and interesting ingredients that I wouldn’t have heard about in any other context…

Here’s just one of the pages in the book about choosing meat, specifically, lamb:

The second book that I was sure I’d buy from the very beginning is Mediterranean Food of the Sun. In recent years, the Mediterranean diet has been proven to be the best diet for heart-health and to trim the waistline. Printed by the same Hermes House publisher, this book is also filled with lovely illustrations and step-by-step recipes. It features 400 vibrant recipes from the shores of Italy, Greece, France, Spain, North Africa and the Middle East! Talk about a culinary adventure! ;-)

Here’s a sample page  of one of the recipes: Skewerd Lamb with Coriander Yogurt… mmm, sounds delicious!

Finally, the last book is about Indian cooking. Sherif and I love Indian food, both for its savory flavors and for its health benefits (turmeric, anyone?). So, we both decided to buy the Best Ever Indian Cookbook from the same publisher. It really does look like the best ever – the recipes are authentic and photographed well.

I can’t wait to try recipes like this: Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Curry. Reminds me of the Indian cauliflower dish I tried to make a while back. Now, I don’t have to second guess myself about the ingredients!

Here’s another yummy-looking one from the Indian cookbook, Chicken Korma:

As you can tell, I am super excited about these books! Whenever I use information or a recipe from one of them, I will blog about it and credit it on here. I can’t wait to use them and share with you my own twist on some of these more exciting and healthy recipes!

Do you have any inspirational and colorful cookbooks that you love and can’t live without?