Monday, September 5, 2011

Final Word: Cooking with a can-do attitude

Monday, September 5, 2011

I don't cook. I only eat. It's a problem.

  • By Suzy Parker, USA TODAY

By Suzy Parker, USA TODAY

Lucky for me I live with someone who is a great cook. Other than my trademark meatloaf, with its two secret ingredients, A-1 sauce and Parmesan cheese, I have not made a meal in 27 years. A good run. I do the dishes. Seems only fair.

So I'm always intrigued people actually buy cookbooks. Not only do they buy them, they read them. I was on a flight the other day and the woman next to me was actually reading recipes. Recipes!

Lucky for such foodies, books extolling their culinary world arrive every month. This spring is no exception.

The good thing for the rest of us is that the wonderful world of wasabi has branched out. Food, and any kind of food, is now celebrated.

Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It, from the bigger-than-life Food Network's celebrity chef, is filled with dozens of "kick-ass" recipes, or so Fieri says.

Included: s'more pizza. Yes, s'more pizza. Seems it's the treat du jour this spring.

Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young were wise enough to put a photo of the old-fashioned campfire favorite on the cover of their new Campfire Cookery. They also were wise enough to include campfire cocktails recipes to wash the s'mores down.

Speaking of treats, how about Food Trucks?

This paperback by Heather Shouse is a fun romp — a guide to "the kitchens on wheels" that serve up meals on urban street corners.

I walk by a lobster-roll truck most days on my lunchtime stroll to the gym. The long line is testimony that these trucks offer up fare worth waiting for.

Not that I'm just a street-corner, lobster-roll kind of guy, some schlump who doesn't know truffles from tahini. No sirree. I know good food when I open it.

My good friends from college — the Chef Boyardee family — are out with an aptly titled Delicious Memories. Written by Anna Boiardi, the granddaughter of Mario Boiardi, the book is filled with fabulous-looking dishes that appear to not come out of a can. Odd, I know.

And then there's Harold Pearman's spring offering, A Cookbook for a Knucklehead: Bachelor, New Graduate, Beginner and Other Spoiled Brats.

I do not consider myself a spoiled brat, but this book works for me. Each recipe is accompanied by three photos: the ingredients, the saucepan in use, what the finished product should look like.

But the best tip is upfront. "Be careful and think at all times."

Perhaps that's why I just do the dishes.


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