‘Fin­ger Foods’ by Joyce Tan­ner Whit­ing

Serve Daily - - FOSTERING INNOVATION - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

June is the month of wed­ding re­cep­tions. Some­times the food at a re­cep­tion is re­ally great – like the ap­pe­tiz­ers and desserts guests en­joy at re­cep­tions held in the Whit­ings’ gar­den in Springville.

Joyce Whit­ing is not only a gar­dener but also a cook­book au­thor who en­joys cre­at­ing and shar­ing recipes through her book “Fin­ger Foods: El­e­gant Treats and Bite-sized Eats for Ev­ery Oc­ca­sion.”

The book is an af­ford­able pa­per­back edi­tion fea­tur­ing photos of her gar­den and ta­bles laden with beau­ti­ful food. Whether you are cater­ing a wed­ding or serv­ing your fam­ily, these are recipes worth hav­ing.

Some of the fa­vorite recipes in the book in­clude Le­mon Tassies, Cho­co­late Bombes, Tomato/Olive Bruschetta and Reuben and Cu­cum­ber Sand­wiches.

When Grandma Joyce (the name she used to sign my book) gra­ciously catered the re­cent au­thor’s night at the Springville Li­brary, I was able to taste these dishes and more. Since they could all be eaten with­out a fork, we could hold our books and eat our treats.

Whit­ing shares her ex­per­tise on ev­ery­thing from serv­ing plate sizes to menu com­bi­na­tions for any party you may be plan­ning. The tips in­cluded with recipes en­cour­age in­ex­pe­ri­enced cooks to try dishes like Co­conut But­ter­flied Shrimp and Cashew Chicken Rolls.

“I get con­cerned that so many folks think that cook­ing from scratch is hard or that you have to be a gourmet chef to make some­thing won­der­fully tasty. Scratch cook­ing isn’t hard and it’s so re­ward­ing for those who need a cre­ative out­let,” said Whit­ing in a re­cent in­ter­view.

She con­tin­ued, “But don’t dis­count pre-pack­aged time-savers ei­ther. I’m the first to ad­mit that a brownie mix, and I have my fa­vorite brand, is just as good as most scratch brownie recipes. It’s what you do with the mix that makes the dif­fer­ence.”

Whit­ing wrote the 217 page book af­ter be­ing con­stantly asked for recipes and has been sur­prised by the re­sponse when it came out just a few months ago.

“The re­sponse has been pos­i­tive,” she said. “But who is go­ing to tell the au­thor they don’t like her cook­book? Many have ex­pressed their de­light at how easy most of the recipes are and most peo­ple com­ment on how great the book looks.”

“Fin­ger Foods” is avail­able from the au­thor, cedar­fort.com and ama­zon.com. Barnes and Noble and other lo­cal book­stores also carry it or can or­der it. The au­thor’s web­site is www.table­for­fifty. com.

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