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I'm in the Mood for Food: In the Kitchen with Garfield

By: Jim Davis

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US List Price: $18.95 - UK Equivalent: 11.76 - Our Price: 10.59 - You Save: 1.17 (9%)Book Description: Over the years, Garfield the cat has struck a chord with readers who can identify with his laid-back, shall-we-say-lazy approach to life. The famous feline - whose passion for food and sleep is matched only by his aversion to diet and exercise (he prefer lie-downs to sit-ups) - has become the poster cat for all kinds of people, none of whom would ever describe themselves as "Type A's."

So what's wrong with that? Twenty-five years after cartoonist Jim Davis introduced this lovable character to newspaper readers, Garfield's timeless appeal remains at an all-time high. And to celebrate a quarter century as the world's favorite feline, Garfield introduces I'm In The Mood For Food: In The Kitchen With Garfield. Chock-full of tasty recipes, the cookbook also features spot art and food-related Garfield comics in colour. I'm In The Mood For Food includes chapters on family food, party food, pasta, outdoor cooking, kids' recipes, snacks, and desserts. Consider some of these mouth-watering morsels: Lazy Cat's Lasagna; Color Me Hungry Red Pepper Potato Frittata; Royal Roasted Lemon-Herb Chicken; I'd Rather Be Happy Than Thin Chocolate-Chunk Cookies. All in all, I'm In The Mood For Food will appeal to cooks everywhere, especially those who love Garfield, and, like him, believe the best things in life are edible.

About the Author: Garfield debuted on 19th June, 1978, in just 41 U.S. newspapers. Today it is the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world, appearing in 2,570 newspapers, with an estimated 263 million readers in 111 countries. Garfield, the lasagna-loving fat cat, lives in Muncie, Indiana, where he is kept well fed by his creator, cartoonist Jim Davis. Garfield's recipes were developed by Barbara Albright, a registered dietitian, former editor-in-chief of Chocolatier magazine, and author of numerous cookbooks.

Garfield's Always In The Mood For Food!

Garfield stars in cartoonist Jim Davis' new book, "I'm in the Mood for Food: In the Kitchen With Garfield."

There on the cover of the new cookbook is our chef-hero, his white toque not quite fitting over his ears, but his wooden spoon and spatula clutched defiantly aloft in his paws in a yeah-victor's salute.

Garfield, the self-described epicurean cat, is posed in that dust-jacket portrait over a tabletop spread with pizza and pancakes, pasta and roast chicken. Above is the book's title: "I'm in the Mood for Food" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2003, $18.95), by Jim Davis, with recipes by Barbara Albright.

The mood of the book is hilarious.

Its subtitle is "In the Kitchen with Garfield." But the colourful vignettes, comic strips and full-page illustrations by cartoonist Davis, Garfield's creator, show his feisty feline outside the kitchen much of the time - goofing around, eating a lot, of course, entertaining pals and, true to type, obsessing and dreaming of food.

"My philosophy: It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you stuff your face," Garfield declares in his introduction.

He generously shares with his readers (smitten fans) some 70 recipes. Real workable recipes, too - it's just the labels that pun around.

The FUNdamentals chapter include When in Doubt Pig Out Breaded Pan-Fried Pork Chops. Lazy Cat's Lasagna is in the pasta section; Life's a Party Havarti Shrimp Dip With Garlic Toasts is among ideas for party days.

Tempting Tuna Steaks adorn the grill menu; Lucky Ginger Pennies are cool kids stuff, and Macho Nachos wait in reserve to counter a snack attack.

Killer Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie promises no mercy at sweet-treat time.

Each turn of the page is brightened by the generous variety of Davis' illustrations, seasoned with Garfield's comments, in this well-designed book. The recipes, ranging from meat-and-potatoes to coffee cake, have been developed by Albright, a food writer, cookbook author and registered dietitian.

Here are three to try.

This gooey casserole is recommended as an excellent choice to take to a potluck meal because you cook the potatoes the day before, and then assemble and bake the casserole the next day. Don't be afraid to experiment with variations. Try other types of cheese or sprinkle cooked crumbled bacon over the top.

Cheesy Baked Potato Casserole

6 medium potatoes, scrubbed
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup sliced scallions, including the tender green tops
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large saucepot. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Season the water with salt. Cover and cook over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue simmering for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes give slightly when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Drain off the water, and cover and refrigerate the potatoes overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish.

Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the sour cream, cheese, scallions, butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 6 servings.

A slice of this decadent pie is a grand finale to any meal.

Brownie-Bottomed Ice Cream Pie

For the brownie bottom:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the filling: 4 cups of your favorite ice cream, softened
1 and 1/3 cups heavy (whipping) cream, chilled
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate coffee beans for garnish (optional)
Grated chocolate for garnish (optional)

To make the brownie bottom:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter the bottom and side of a 9-inch pie plate.

Place the chocolates in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in a microwave oven on high for 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, until the chocolate is melted. The chocolate turns shiny as it melts. Stir the chocolate, because it is probably melted even though it appears to have held its shape. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water, stirring until smooth. Remove the top part of the double boiler from the bottom.) Cool the chocolate for about 10 minutes, or until tepid.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter, oil and sugar for 30 to 40 seconds, or until combined. Beat in the egg. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla. At low speed, mix in the flour and salt, just until combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pie plate, smoothing the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted 2 inches away from the center comes out slightly moist. Cool the pie on a wire rack until completely cool.

Add the filling:

Using a rubber spatula, quickly spread the ice cream in the brownie-lined pie plate. Cover the pie with plastic wrap; freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.

In a chilled, large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla just until stiff peaks start to form. Remove the pie from the freezer and unwrap. Using a large metal spatula, spread the topping over the entire surface of the pie. Decorate with chocolate coffee beans and sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Keep these diminutive cookies on hand whenever you are looking for a mini pick-me-up.

Lucky Ginger Pennies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
Granulated sugar (for coating cookies)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

In a separate bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and egg, and mix until well blended. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Use a tiny spoon to scoop the dough out of the bowl, then roll it with your fingertips into balls that are about 1/2-inch diameter. Roll the balls in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar. Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until the cookies are crinkled and set.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the dough is used. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month and at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes about 10 dozen mini cookies.

Recipes from "I'm in the Mood for Food" by Jim Davis, with recipes by Barbara Albright, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2003, $18.95.

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