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The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market kicks off Wednesday market days this week on May 2nd with a special Live broadcast of the Martin Bandyke Show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the market. Following Martin's live broadcast Whole Foods Market will feature a tasting of locally grown produce from 10:30 a.m. to noon. So come on down Wednesday to the best Farmer's Market anywhere.

How I Learned to Cook

In How I Learned to Cook: Culinary Educations from the World’s Greatest Chefs, forty chefs share short sketches of their lives as chefs: what brought them to cooking, working as prep cooks, family backgrounds, kitchen mishaps, influences. And these are big names: Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, Marcella Hazan.

I read the entries by chefs whose restaurants I have eaten in: Sara Moulton making beer steamed Det Burgers at the Del Rio, Gary Danko writing about his difficulties getting accepted as a student by Madeleine Kamman, Rick Bayless taping a show with Julia Child for In Julia’s Kitchen with the Master Chefs.

Then I read the rest. I especially liked the ones about getting a start in the kitchen and having to quickly figure things out, with the occasional mess up such as poaching the fish that was to be fried and frying the fish that was to be poached.

Hot Vegetarian Cookbooks, For Everyone!

The AADL has many cookbooks to browse through. If you’re looking for something different, or something yummy, why not check out some tried and true vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. They are sure to please both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Vegan With a Vengeance has simple and delicious recipes. By the same author is Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The book is just that; all cupcake recipes that are sure to make any dessert lover’s hot list. Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker is packed with many easy recipes that require staples you’re sure to have around the house. Throw them in the slow cooker and come home to a tasty meal. Last but not least, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen is full of authentic recipes rich in flavor. These books definitely make cooking fun, and even healthy.

Valentine's Sweetfest for Teens!

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We're kicking it old school with cookie and cupcake decorating. Frosting and lots of toppings are the name of the game. Eat them yourself or save some for a sweet gift. For grades 6-12. See you this Sunday, Feb. 11 from 2-4 PM at the Downtown Library...

Beat the cold with hot homemade food!

What could be better on a chilly winter day than a steaming helping of homemade chicken pot pie? (Perhaps a slice of apple or cherry pie for dessert?) In the NPR article, "Restoring Humble Potpie to Its Rightful Place," you will find not one, but two delicious recipes to warm up any winter day. You can also check out our assortment of Cook's Illustrated cook books, or my personal favorite, the America's Test Kitchen cook books.

eve Contemporary Cuisine Methode Traditionelle

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eve: Contemporary Cuisine Methode Traditionnelle by Eve Aronoff is a beautiful and daunting cookbook, celebrating the food from the restaurant in Kerrytown.

Be sure you have thoroughly read the recipes before attempting to prepare them. You may need to make a trip to a local Asian or Middle Eastern ethnic food store, order some spices online, run out to Zingerman’s, Durham’s Tracklements, Monahan’s Seafood Market, Sparrow’s Meat Market, Morgan and York, or the Farmer’s Market. You may have to prepare some of the ingredients listed before attempting the main recipe.

For me the recipes are more likely to entice me to eat at eve than to attempt to actually cook the dishes. The chapter on Accompaniments has some recipes that are simpler. Even here the Fingerling Potatoes are best fried in rendered duck fat pulled from Durham Tracklement’s cured duck breast prosciutto.

In addition to the recipes and the lovely photographs there are occasional charming pieces by Eve Aronoff about the restaurant, her culinary background, her family, local food purveyors, and members of the staff.

Foodie Radio & NPR Recommended Cookbooks: A perfect holiday treat

One of my favorite things to do on a leisurely weekend or holiday afternoon is tune the radio to a show about food, and cook something I don’t usually have the time for, like the 4-hour pork stew I made on Friday. The online archive of the Splendid Table does just the trick when my local NPR station isn’t playing something appropriate.

For inspiration on what to cook, or just to read for fun, read about NPR’s cookbook picks for this season. Each cookbook description includes a link to one recipe (free!) from the book . Titles held at the Ann Arbor District Library are:

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan includes more than 300 recipes for delicious desserts, including Devil’s Food White-Out Cake, which is pictured on the cover. Greenspan has also written three other books in our collection: Baking with Julia, Desserts by Pierre Hermé, and, my favorite title of the day, Pancakes: From Morning to Midnight.

In Jamie's Italy by Jamie Oliver, see Italy through Jamie’s eyes, as he travels through the country, exploring what he calls “villagional” – variation in dishes that varies from village to village so much so that it is more than regional. You can take his recipe for pasta e ceci (pasta with chickpeas) for a test drive before checking out the book.

The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains may not sound like a good source for the kind of decadence you usually associate with good baking, but be prepared to be proven wrong. The good folks at King Arthur are masters of great flavor, and in creating recipes for this cookbook, they said a decisive “no way” to any recipe that just “tastes good for whole grain.” Try out their Banana Chocolate Chip Squares for an example of some whole grain goodness that tastes great.

In Happy in the Kitchen, chef Michel Richard will make you drool, with gorgeous photos and this written record of what Arthur Boehm calls a “wonderfully playful cooking intelligence.” Recommended for serious amateurs and professional chefs, this book will provide useful tips while stretching your foodie imagination. There’s no free recipe link for this cookbook – you’ll just have to check it out at the library.

Let’s Eat Out Tonight

Local governments provide a cornucopia of information for residents on the Internet. Here’s one that will help you make informed decisions about eating out. Washtenaw County provides Restaurant Inspection Reports for local restaurants, bars, night clubs, school cafeterias and more. Then you can check out the restaurants section at Arbor Web and leave those pots and pans for another night.

Move over, Martha.

Amy Sedaris, everyone’s favorite comic shape-shifter and newly minted solo author, wants you to get drunk. On her witty repartee, that is (and maybe a few well-chosen cocktails). Her new book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence delivers plenty of the expected sardonic humor, and some recipes, too. If you consider yourself a fan of both plastic food and Martha Stewart, this book is for you.

Plan a Michigan Wine Harvest Tour

Plenty of Ann Arborites are planning fall trips to visit Michigan wineries - to witness the harvest and buy wine. You can plan your own midwestern oenological adventure by checking out Wineries of the Great Lakes: A Guidebook, by Joe Borrello. For complete and updated information on Michigan wineries - locations, hours, and more - go to the Michigan wine website.

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