Getting Your Masters in Pastalogy

Pastalogy, the new major for those who aren't afraid of the infamous g word that ends in -luten.  Marc Vetri's Mastering Pasta is a beautiful throwback to the simple, or not so simple art form of flour meeting water and egg to develop into one of my favorite carbs.

Having dabbled into the world of making my own gnocchis, I was thrilled to see a whole chapter dedicated to those pillowy soft bites of heaven.  He even tinkers with non-potato gnocchi, bringing squash into the fold, a creative twist that sounds well worth attempting in your kitchen.

In addition to gnocchis and fresh pastas, this guide to all things deliciously homemade and Italian gives you the inside edge on perfecting risottos, as well as making your own broth (a.k.a. brodo) along with other knockout sauces to adorn the homemade delicacies strewn across the pages of Mastering Pasta.

Turning inspiration into reality just involves hunting down some tipo 00 flour, or perhaps a little semolina, and selecting a page out Vetri's arsenal.

This book was received from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for review.

The Healthy Mind (starts with what's on your plate)

As a huge fan of all things that manage to overlap in the tasty and healthy categories, The Healthy Mind Cookbook was a joyous addition to this blogger's collection.

The first three chapters delve into some fascinating areas that are typically not cookbook fare.  Firstly, we are presented with new knowledge on our brain chemistry and making mindful choices about healthy eating.  Once your neurons have been stimulated by the first chapter, we're led to the next -- a veritable catalog of "the culinary pharmacy" of various spices, herbs and produce.  Cardamom, I learned, is rich in a trifecta of minerals: potassium, calcium and magnesium.  The entire chapter covers such a wide gammut of foods you will appreciate in a new light.  The final "pre-recipes" chapter deals with the fun stuff, taste and flavor.

Unique to The Healthy Mind, is a whole section named "Dollops", and rightfully so, these are the powerhouses of flavor that will transform your great plates to amazing.  Minted chimichurri and the Pomegranate Olive Mint Salsa are both on the short list of MMDs (must make dollops, naturally).

Not to leave out the sweet toothed amongst us, Rebecca Katz covers the treats that both brain and body will approve -- Pumpkin Tart in a Cashew Crust & Meyer Lemon Pudding with Fresh Strawberries are two sweets that will need to be given a whirl.  As the weather slowly begins to warm from icy to mild breezes, lighter and nutritious plates have a confirmed place at our table.

This book was received from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for review.