Entertainment » Vol. 52

Cook your way through these new releases

By Kimberly Dunbar

This month, Gwyneth Paltrow is back with her third cookbook, It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook (Grand Central Life & Style). The cookbook is designed to help everyone create fresh and healthy meals in minutes. In addition to staples like breakfast, lunch, dinner and appetizers, Paltrow also includes recipes for “Cozy Evenings,” “Summer Nights” and “Unexpected Guests.” And if you’re looking for something to make on the go or in a pinch, this book is for you.

In typical Gwyneth and GOOP (her lifestyle blog) fashion, these recipes – cooked up with GOOP’s food editor Thea Baumann – contain little to no sugar, fat or gluten. The recipes contain a handful of ingredients, which make them easy to assemble and whip up; however, the catch is that many of the ingredients aren’t things most people already have in their pantries (for example, fish sauce, miso and buckwheat grouts). To help get you organized, Paltrow and Baumann include a list of ingredients and tools used in the recipes.

Once you’ve hit the grocery store, you’ll be ready to tackle Paltrow’s more-than 130 unique recipes (this isn’t your grandmother’s cookbook) like falafel, cauliflower tabbouleh, chicken piccata, carbonara and miso ramen in the time it would take you to order takeout. There are also recipes for basics like aioli, granola, dipping sauces and coconut whipped cream, because, as Paltrow and Baumann write, “In cooking, as in anything, it’s the details that make all the difference.”

In the book Pen & Palate: Mastering the Art of Adulthood, with Recipes (Grand Central Life & Style), released this month, two friends document the trials and tribulations of surviving their 20s and all that comes with it – like living off of homemade soup and in closet-sized apartments while trying to start a career and becoming a mature adult (we’ve all been there). Authors Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen have been best friends through the good and the bad, while navigating dating, finding careers and surviving life in the big city. Another constant in their lives is their shared love of food and cooking, which is at the heart of the narrative.

Many of Lucy and Tram’s life lessons are centered on food, as they attempt to find balance in their relationships with their mothers, significant others, each other and, most importantly, their own selves. This coming-of-age memoir is an ode to lifelong friendships, filled with both adventures and misadventures in cooking and one important lesson: Life, like the art of cooking, can get messy – especially when there is a grease fire – but one must always get back up and try to fry that chicken again. In a book that is more of a narrative than a cookbook, the girls share humorous tales of growing up and delicious recipes (including that recipe for fried chicken).

Want more Lucy and Tram? Visit their blog at penandpalate.net.

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