As readers know, cookbooks are among the most circulated books at the Calloway County Public Library. In fact, the popularity of cookbooks has inspired the creation of CCPL’s Cookbook Club, a book club for cookbook lovers, cooks, and foodies, that is set to begin in late September. This week CCPL Great Summer Reads features new CCPL cookbook arrivals (and possible Cookbook Club considerations) “Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes To Make Any Meal a Smash Hit” by Elizabeth Karmel, “Southern Girl Meets Vegetation Boy: Down-Home Classics For Vegetarians (and the Meat-Eaters Who Love Them)” by Damaris Phillips.

Steak and Cake

Elizabeth Karmel believes that the only thing better than a great steak dinner is a great steak dinner with a fabulous dessert—especially if the dessert is cake. It is her contention (and I think most would agree with her) that steak and cake is “the universal favorite meal for friends, family, the boss—and, of course, a birthday.” The idea was what first led to the creation of her immensely popular Steak and Cake classes at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). When she stopped teaching the class a few years ago, she decided that the subject matter would make a fun cookbook. Boy, was she ever right!

“Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes To Make Any Meal a Smash Hit” is a delicious collection of steak and cake combinations (use Elizabeth’s or mix and match your favorites from the 35 fabulous choices). To help make dinner planning a breeze, Elizabeth has added recipes for tasty toppings and sides. Readers will also appreciate the inclusion of both a steak and cake primer. Beautifully photographed, easy-to-follow recipes are sure to make this a new cookbook favorite for cooks of any skill level.  

Food Network star  Damaris Phillips is a proud Kentucky chef who adores fried chicken, bacon, and recipes filled with meat. She also loves her husband Darrick who is an ethical vegetarian. She shares that within weeks of their first date, they found themselves trying to figure  out how they could “bridge their culinary and ethical gap.”  Thankfully, they did manage to bridge it, and the results were not only a happy marriage but also the fabulous cookbook “Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Down-Home classics for Vegetarians (and the Meat-Eaters Who Love Them).”

“Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Down-Home classics for Vegetarians (and the Meat-Eaters Who Love Them)” features Damaris Phillips’ charming conversational writing style,  delicious vegetarian versons of favorite Southern dishes including chicken fried seitan steak, loaded potato, and facon soup, and crab-less cakes. A perfect introduction to vegetarian cooking—highly recommended.

Also new and recommended in the CCPL Collection: “The Ultimate Burger by America’s Test Kitchen,” a step-by-step guide to creating delectable burgers, DIY condiments, and sides; and “No Crumbs Left: Recipes For Everyday Made Marvelous” by Teri Turner a collection of that are both delicious and fully endorsed by Whole30.

Readers can find these titles in a variety of formats at the Calloway County Public Library.   CCPL is located at 710 Main Street and online at

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