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New series! You know that shelf in your house with all the great cookbooks you don't get to nearly as often as you like? Yeah, there's one of those over here, too. The Hitting the Books series will allow for occasional opportunities to dig into that shelf and highlight some handy cookbooks.

This first HtB post is all about comfort food. First up: Red-Hot BLTs from Isa Does It (available at Lawson-McGhee Library: 641.5636 MOSK) by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

A total win for hot sauce lovers, this one features a generous amount of Frank's and was just the thing to perk up a chilled day when it seemed like it might never stop raining. Nothing combats a rainy day like vinegar and cayenne. This is among the simplest recipes in the book, but the timing was right. Isa's book will definitely pop up here again, because there's a long list of recipes to jump on, sooner rather than later.

Since tomato season is done for, above is a Bell pepper (roasted red), Lettuce, and Tempeh sandwich on whole grain. The sweetness of the pepper is a nice foil for the spicy tempeh, and a great autumn alternative to the traditional BLT. The mayo is homemade from the next book, The Vegan Stoner Cookbook by the Vegan Stoner team (pictured up top).

The mayo is blissfully straightforward, like traditional mayonnaise is: oil, liquid protein (here, soy milk), and vinegar. Plus, seasonings you can easily adjust to get your preferred blend. Whiz with an immersion blender, and you have fresh mayo in a snap. The no-fuss style of the Vegan Stoner folks is completely genius. Come for the great illustrations, stay for the food.

With vegan mayonnaise already made, tartar sauce couldn't be far behind. Because it contains not only capers, but also cornichons (we used this recipe). So Vegan Stoner's tempeh and chips was the next recipe on deck. Crispy, and hearty, and totally fried, this one made a confirmed tempeh-hater pal totally happy. Again, totally fried.

The thick slabs of tempeh get nice and tender (and not at all bitter, without pre-steaming), surrounded by a golden blend of flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, and in this version, a healthy sprinkle of Old Bay. Roast up a pile of potatoes (mixed is lovely, or use frozen fries, as the book directs), and tuck into some serious comfort, which is what this book is all about.

See you next week with a new recipe. In the meantime, happy reading.