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Back-to-Kitchen for Back-to-School: Cookbooks that Make the Most of Your Time

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Find cooking inspiration in these cookbooks. (Video: Anjela Martinez and Nancy Hu Conro, Harris County Public Library)

The carefree days of summer have finally left us to get back to the regularly scheduled program that is fall. Getting the family back to school schedules can be a struggle for some and one of the major stresses can be meal planning. In searching for some new meals to include in our rotation, I recently browsed through the cookbook aisle of my local library branch and discovered a few really interesting cookbooks that could help battle back to school meal planning blues. 

The Paleo burger from Ready or Not! 150+ Make-Ahead recipes by Nom Nom Paleo, would make for a delicious Monday Special. This book is for those who need to squeeze as much time out of their meal planning as possible; it’s organized in a way to help shorten actual cooking time. The meals are Paleo-based but are easily made non-Paleo and each recipe is clearly depicted with step-by-step photos and helpful tips. 

Who doesn’t love a good taco? With this recipe from The Austin Cookbook by Paula Forbes, you can have breakfast ready to go all week long! Prep, cook, wrap and zap them in the microwave to have a quick and healthy breakfast that will let you hit that snooze button again and still get everyone out of the house on time. This cookbook features some of the most iconic meals from deep in the heart of Texas and is stocked full of recipes from the major Texas food groups aka BBQ, Tacos and Tex-Mex. Ideal for a solid meal that will feel like eating out.

Back to school means something entirely different for parents. Parental participation is often required in many school projects and some of us like to go the extra mile. The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook - Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino is a fun way to win over the next science fair. The book is filled with fun but tasty treats that incorporate a little bit of science and a lot of sweets.

While in this cooking rut, I also discovered what else is cooking at the library. Besides having baskets full of cookbooks, many of library branches have cooking programs that introduce new recipes and cuisines, culinary techniques and ways of preparing food.

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