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| Courtesy The Happy Cow Cookbook Vertical Diner's Shoofly Cake is featured in "The Happy Cow Cookbook."
From Mexican dishes to desserts: 5 new cookbooks by Utah authors

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First Published Jul 15 2014 09:20 am • Last Updated Jul 15 2014 07:19 pm

Whether you are seeking authentic Mexican, healthy dinners or easy desserts, there are five new cookbooks by Utah authors to satisfy your culinary craving.

Here is an alphabetical list of the cookbooks, with a little about the authors and their standout recipes.

At a glance

Vegan recipes from Utah

Salt Lake City’s Sage’s Cafe and Vertical Diner are featured in “The HappyCow Cookbook: Recipes from Top-Rated Vegan Restaurants Around the World.”

Part cookbook, part travelogue, “The HappyCow” includes recipes and information about some of the world’s most popular vegan restaurants.

Ian Brandt, who owns Sage’s Cafe and Vertical Diner, is one of several proprietors who answered questions about how they got started in the restaurant business and their most popular menu items.

Recipes for Sage’s shiitake escargot and tiramisu and Vertical Diner’s tofu scramble and shoofly cake are included in the book, which costs $19.95.

The cookbook was edited by Eric Brent, founder and director of HappyCow, an online guide for vegan restaurants, and Glen Merrzer, co-author of “Better Than Vegan.”

Vertical Diner’s Shoofly Cake

Owner Ian Brandt modified his grandmother’s shoofly cake recipe for his vegan restaurant. It makes a great breakfast or dessert, especially when drenched with a shot of espresso.


4 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup shortening, chilled

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar


1 ½ cups water

½ cup sugar

½ cup molasses

1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon baking soda

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan.

For the streusel, place flour in a mixing bowl. Cut in chilled shortening. Add salt and sugar to create a crumble.

For the cake, combine water, sugar, molasses and vinegar in a large 1-gallon pot. Place on the stove over medium heat and bring to a boil. When the liquid reaches a simmer, turn off heat. Add baking soda and stir well to prevent the liquid from foaming over. Pour liquid into the greased cake pan.

Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the liquid in the pan, allowing some pieces to sink and some to float. Ideally, half of the crumble will float and half will be absorbed.

Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean with no crumbs attached. Remove from oven.

Serve with vegan ice cream or top it with a shot of espresso — or do both.

Servings » 12

Source: Vertical Diner

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Daily Tortilla: Authentic Mexican Recipes » Debut author Ricardo James gathered 70 simple recipes from friends while living the historical town of Querétaro, Mexico.

About the author » A native of Wyoming, James studied Spanish pedagogy at Brigham Young University, where he also taught Spanish and directed study-abroad programs. He currently lives in Springville and is the owner of an educational consulting firm.

Recipes to try » Pico de gallo, tortillas de maiz (corn tortillas), sopa de verduras, (vegetable soup), ensalada de nopal (cactus salad) and galletas de boda (wedding cookies)

Price » $16 (Cedar Fort Publishing)

Eat Fresh: Quick and Easy Meals » In his debut cookbook, Holladay resident Tom Woodbury has combined his love of science with a passion for food. The book contains 100 recipes for entrées, appetizers, sides, soups and salads and proves that healthy food also can taste good.

About the author » Woodbury is the author at cookwithtom.com and is a former contributor to "Good Things Utah" on ABC 4 and ShopNBC.

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Recipes to try » Perk up breakfast with lemon ricotta pancakes or breakfast cheese soufflé, or give dinner a worldly flavor with tandoori chicken tenders or Italian seafood soup.

Price » $15 (Cedar Fort Publishing)

One Dirty Bowl: Fast Baking, Faster Cleanup » Made-from-scratch desserts don’t have to take all day with this cookbook, which has 70 recipes that can be made in a single bowl.

About the author » Author Christina Dymock is a graduate of the University of Utah and the author of several books, including "101 Things to Do With Popcorn," "Young Chefs: Cooking Skills & Recipes for Kids" and "The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook." A resident of central Utah, she blogs at TheHungryFamilyatHome.com.

Recipes to try » Chocolate Cake to the Third Power (a three-layer/three-flavor cake), cheesecake sundaes, turtle bites, inside-out pumpkin s’more cupcakes and peanut butter truffle bars

Price » $16, Cedar Fort Publishing

The Robyn’s Nest Cookbook: Big Butt Desserts Edition » With a name like that, you know this self-published cookbook, by the owner of Salt Lake City popular Robyn’s Nest sandwich shop, will be entertaining and delicious. A portion of the proceeds goes to literacy programs in Utah schools.

About the author » Anderson said she and her husband often have "friendly competitions" to help improve themselves. "My husband bet me that I could not sell 100,000 copies of this book in one year," she said. "And I bet him that I could."

Recipes to try » Make My Boobs Bigger Pie and Happy Ass Peppermint Schnapps Cake

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Summer squash lasagna

4 to 5 whole summer squash zucchini or crookneck, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch strips (Enough to make three layers in a 9-by-13-inch pan.)

¼ cup salt

2 cups spaghetti sauce

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large stock pot with at least 16 cups (1 gallon) water. Add salt. Bring water to a boil. Add squash and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat and drain well. (Instead of boiling, lightly spray each piece of summer squash with cooking spray. Grill over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes per side.)

Layer 1/3 of the cooked squash strips in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Gently spread 1/3 of ricotta over squash. Top with 1/3 of spaghetti sauce. Repeat two more times until three layers are in place. Top with mozarella.

Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and brown. Remove from oven and let rest of at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Servings » 6 to 8

Source: Eat Fresh: Quick and Easy Meals, by Tom Woodbury

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