Chocolate Cheese Salad

Ok, so first let me say that this post is not a recipe for "chocolate cheese salad"  (ick!)  but rather a cookbook roundup featuring three specialty cookbooks, one for each of these areas.   First up is Trish Deseine’s Chocolate,  a gorgeously illustrated large trade paperback featuring dozens and dozens of amazing chocolate recipes from the simple and everyday to the gourmet challenging.   The cover recipe for "Stuck Cake" is a flourless chocolate cake which is too thick and rich to remove from the pan and thus is served simply with spoons for everyone present to dig in.   Other recipes that especially caught my attention include the Black Forest Trifle and the author’s own version of the Sacher Torte,  the signature dessert of the Sacher Hotel in Vienna, Austria.    Highly Recommended

 If you’ve ever wanted to learn a Lot more about cheese,  Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials is for you.    Starting with some basic advice for navigating the cheese shop counter,  then continuing with lessons on the basics of turning goat, sheep and cow’s milk into cheeses,  this book is informative in the extreme.   By the end you will know all of the basic types of cheeses (fresh, semi-soft, semi-hard, hard, soft-ripened and blue) and be prepared to navigate both online and brick and mortar cheese shops.   The recipes,  to be perfectly honest,  mostly did not appeal to me.  Werlin’s emphasis seems to be firmly on the overly complex and "chi-chi frou-frou" type cooking that I just have never been able to get into.   As a primer on cheese, however, this one is definitely Recommended.

And finally today,  Wiley Mullins’ Salad Makes The Meal is kind of a mixed bag, in my opinion.   While I enjoyed the early chapters where Mullins relates growing up in rural Alabama and helping his aunt each year to can and preserve the very best local produce, before going on to become a brand manager in the packaged foods industry and balooning to over three hundre pounds and finally finding a combination of salad eating and modest excercise that enabled him to take off the weight.   The actual salad recipes, though?  Eh.   For one thing I don’t think recipes are especially needed or even useful for salad where combinations of the very freshest ingredients you can find are sure to rule the day.  Secondly and perhaps more importantly,  some of the salad recipes just didn’t appeal to me.    Not Recommended.