The crunch, crunch, crunch of nachos are satisfying to munchers and can be heard a mile away it seems. Did you ever wonder how they got started? It is believed that nachos got their start during the 1940s in a Mexican restaurant. Chef Ignacio Nacho was a chef at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. 

While waiting for lunch, some diners wanted a snack to go along with their drinks. Chef Nacho’s pantry was nearly bare, so he quickly concocted a snack by toasting some corn tortillas and topping them with cheese and a slice of jalapeno. The tasty snack quickly caught on with people. 

They have now taken on a life of their own and recipes for dishes using nachos number in the hundreds. Much like the humble beginnings of the potato chip, it takes just one person to develop a recipe that shakes up taste buds and becomes a sensation.


Summer is a time to eat all the fresh fruits and vegetables available from your garden or the farmer’s market, and enjoy cooking on the barbecue. Eating fresh foods also helps you lose weight or keep it off. You can find some great recipes in these books:

“Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook” features updated recipes using fresh ingredients. This popular diet plan now has a wide variety of dishes you can cook. Main dish, vegetables, vegetarian, desserts and more are offered along with nutritional information and how-to tips.

You’ll find more than 100 recipes in “The Drop 10 Diet Cookbook” by Lucy Danziger. Covering all three meals as well as snacks and drinks, the food and recipes are designed with healthy eating in mind. Easy recipes can be made for one or a whole family. Learn how to stock your pantry for easy weight loss, too.


“Taste of Home: The Market Fresh Cookbook” uses fresh produce in recipes allowing you to add variety to all of your meals. Soups, main dishes, salads, side dishes and desserts make up over 300 recipes. There are also instructions on selecting, storing and preparing produce to get the most from your dollar.

“Wild About Greens” by Nava Atlas has recipes for arugula, bok choy, collards, kale, and more. Use these greens fresh, with pasta, grains and other vegetables. You’ll also discover recipes using greens in salads, soups, stews, juices and smoothies.

Barbecue fans will want to make some dishes from Paul Kirk’s “500 Barbecue Dishes.” Meats, vegetables, and fruits are all part of the recipes and mouth watering pictures help you decide which one to try first.

“Good Housekeeping Grilling” will keep you barbecuing year round with its detailed recipes. Recipes from different cultures add spice and variety for adventurous eaters. Safety rules for barbecuing, meat temperatures, nutritional information, and other handy tips make this a useful guide for both new and experienced barbecue cooks.

This is just a sampling of the many cookbooks available at the library for summer cooking. You are bound to find a cookbook to use all the fresh produce at your disposal, so stop and visit us soon.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at

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