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Cookbook Watch: 'Little Flower' by Christine Moore

September 26, 2012|By Russ Parsons
  • "Little Flower" by Christine Moore
"Little Flower" by Christine Moore (Prospect Park Media )

The coming cookbook season is going to be a blockbuster, if the early results are any indication. Already in are "Bouchon Bakery," "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (to be reviewed Saturday), Michael Symon's "Carnivore," Naomi Daguid's "Burma," Michael Ruhlman's "Salumi," Maricel Presilla's encyclopedic "Gran Cocina Latina," and the first big book from the Canal House Gang as well as gorgeous books on the cooking of Greece, Sicily, Turkey and Morocco. [UPDATED: An earlier version of this story referred to Ruhlman's "Charcuterie", which was publishedin 2005.]

My desk is practically groaning under the weight of all those dead trees. But sometimes, what you want isn't the definitive book on anything. Isn't there room anymore for just a sweet little recipe collection? Something like, say, Christine Moore's "Little Flower"?

I certainly hope so, because this is a terrific book. It's not going to take you to any faraway places (unless you consider Pasadena a distance). It's not going to teach you new and mysterious techniques. It's probably not even going to change the way you cook in any appreciable way.

But the book, based on the food from Pasadena's much-loved Little Flower Cafe (and published by local Prospect Park Media), is full of the kinds of recipes that you know you're going to cook over and over. There are no extravagant constructions here or even very fancy ingredients; there's just the kind of casual cafe food that makes even small meals pleasurable.

I particularly like the granola, which couldn't be easier to make: cook maple syrup, oil and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves, then pour it over rolled oats and mixed nuts and bake it until it's browned and crisp; finally fold in chopped dried fruit. So simple, but I've got a big jar of it on my counter right now that I know I'll be refilling all winter long.

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