Tasty Cookbook Additions To Your Summer Reading List

Bicycle_in_Pappajohn_Sculpture_Park_downtown_Des_Moines_woman_readingSummertime. It’s the perfect time to kick back and relax – and don’t forget the snacks!

Under a shady tree or in the sun at the lake, out back on the patio or in the frosty A/C in your family room, get your tall cold glass of iced tea, and have a container of cookies handy (so you don’t have to make too many extra trips to restock the treat supply). We’re all about being efficient and practical, even when it comes to summer relaxation.

Oh, and remember to bring along your summer reading, too.

Summer is the perfect time to treat yourself to your favorite kind of reading.

What’s on your summer reading list this year?

We highly recommend a couple of gorgeous cookbooks by Michele Castellano Senac:

  • As Old As Time and its follow-up,
  • Time After Time.

Add a few new cookbooks to your summer reading pile over on that table next to your tall glass of tea, and plate of cookies.

AsOldAsTime-coverDeveloped specially with Veronica Foods Oils and Vinegars (the company that supplies AllSpice’s exclusive balsamics and oils) in mind, we’ve been turning to Castellano’s books over and over again this summer for ideas and inspiration.

The author describes As Old As Time as “a culinary odyssey into the world” of single-varietal and flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  With an eye toward creating healthier, more delicious dishes using “the power of … ancient foods,” the book’s recipes come with basic instructions as well as simple adaptations and substitutions you can choose for more variety.

time-after-time-cookbookCastellano’s latest book, Time After Time, takes the reader on a “farm-to-table culinary journey” using what the author calls “life-giving” ingredients (we just like to call them flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars).  It’s a great look at choosing just the right balsamics and olive oils to bring out the best in seasonal produce and locally-sourced meats.

Did you ever pick up a bottle of infused olive oil, or a flavored balsamic, for one special recipe?  Time After Time and As Old As Time are great resources to answer the question, “What else can I do with that ingredient?

Here are a few of our new favorite recipes from these two books:

  • Mighty Mint and Arugula Salad – Time After Time (Favorite Fruity Dressing)
  • Peppery Grilled Flank Steak – As Old As Time (Balsamic and Oil)
  • Farmer’s Market Quiche (Mushroom Sage Oil, basil, oregano, parsley)

Both books ($24.95 each) will spark your imagination with suggested ingredient pairings (which olive oil to use with fresh herbs in a quiche? how to dress a mid-summer salad?).

Filled with recipes and illustrated with beautiful photos that take you from farm, to farmer’s market, to table, the books make a great addition to your gift of an oil-and-balsamic pairing, too. We think you’d enjoy these books, too.

Happy summer reading – and eating!


Photo credits: Nicole Baart