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Michele Kayal

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Julia Lite, Coming to a Stove Near You

Posted: 08/03/09 05:49 PM ET

Most of us don't have the tenacity -- or even the desire -- to cook through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I" in 365 days -- or at all.

But of course, the publishing industry has anticipated the latent need-to-feed that's likely to surface in even the laziest among us as we watch the upcoming Julie and Julia, about the hapless secretary who turned around her life by cooking all-Julia-all-the-time. It's right to disdain such blatant publicity stunts, but Julia's Kitchen Wisdom is actually one if the most useful cookbooks I've come across recently. Packed with tidbits on roasting chicken, making cream-free cream soups, reviving wilted salad greens (yes, even in the bag!!) and restoring a broken hollandaise, it's a Cliffs Notes of cooking.

The nice slim volume of Julia lite is a great way to round out -- or in my case, start off -- your Julia collection. For more, please check out my story for Associated Press.