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A Collection of Cookbook Reviews

This is a compilation of cookbook reviews we've published in years past. Newer reviews are no longer posted individually. Instead they're included with recipes we've excerpted and prepared ourselves.

A Collection of Cookbook Reviews
I Love Corn by Lisa Skye

A collection of fifty innovative corn recipes from notable chefs around the country.

Fresh corn is a much loved, versatile ingredient that works as well in desserts as it does in soups and main dishes. In "I Love Corn," author Lisa Skye has lovingly compiled a collection of 50 internationally-inspired recipes from renowned chefs and culinary experts as well as a section on how to choose, store and prepare fresh corn.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Lobster and Corn Bruschetta ~ a fabulous combination of fresh corn, cream, tender lobster, cilantro and avocado atop a slice of toasted baguette
  • Chiang Mai Sweet Corn Fritters with Cucumber Relish ~ a bite-sized Thai-inspired treat made with fresh corn, coconut milk, red curry paste and cilantro
  • Popcorn Pudding with Salted Caramel Corn and Butterscotch Sauce ~ a creamy pudding concoction of popcorn, fresh corn and vanilla topped with sweet-salty caramel corn and butterscotch sauce

Everyday Grilling from Sur La Table

Fifty creative and easy-to-follow grilling recipes accompanied by expert tips and advice.

In "Everyday Grilling," Sur La Table has compiled a handy guide to grilling, including what tools you'll need and what woods to use to achieve different flavors. Grilling beginners and pros alike will enjoy the unique selection of recipes that draw inspiration from American, Greek, Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisines.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Grilled Romaine with a Six-Minute Farm Egg ~ a perfectly cooked egg over caramelized, wilted romaine lettuce and a healthy sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Grilled Eggplant Cannelloni with Ricotta and Prosciutto ~ thin slices of eggplant rolled around a ricotta filling and blanketed with fresh tomato sauce
  • Grilled Pineapple and Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Ganache ~ a rich chocolate sauce drizzled over juicy pineapple and toasted pound cake

I Love Bacon by Jayne Rockmill

Fifty delicious bacon recipes from star chefs across the country.

"I Love Bacon" is a delicious compilation of unique, bacon-centric recipes from well-known American chefs. There are instructions for how to make your own bacon, as well as recipes for appetizers, entrees, soups, salads, side dishes and desserts.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Bakon Mary Cocktail ~ a classic Bloody Mary made with Bakon Vodka and served in a crumbled bacon rimmed glass (Black Rock Spirits, Seattle WA)
  • Bacon Wrapped Mango Chutney and Manchego-Stuffed Dates ~ the title of this appetizer recipe pretty well says it all ~ what a fabulous combination of flavors (Chef Allen Susser of Chef Allen's, Aventura FL)
  • Pig Candy Ice Cream ~ a sweet and salty vanilla bean ice cream loaded with brown-sugar baked applewood-smoked bacon (Chef Cat Cora of Kouzzina, Orlando FL)

I Love Meatballs by Rick Rodgers

A collection of more than 50 meatball recipes from around the globe.

Meatballs are a fabulously versatile food, capable of taking on a wide variety of ethnic-inspired flavors. The recipes in "I Love Meatballs" are inspired by the cuisines of Italy, Greece, Sweden, Germany, Morocco, India, Thailand, China and Vietnam. The author shares his insight on different varieties of meat, discusses some classic mix-ins and how they affect texture and flavor and offers tips on cooking methods, storage and freezing.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki ~ bite-sized lamb meatballs flavored with cinnamon, fresh mint and oregano, served as a appetizer with a garlicky yogurt-cucumber sauce
  • Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs on Rice Vermicelli ~ chicken meatballs flavored with lemongrass, chiles and garlic are served over thin rice noodles and paired with a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce
  • Curried Koftas with Tomato Raita ~ lamb meatballs flavored with Madras-style curry powder and fresh cilantro are grilled and served with a tomato-yogurt sauce

Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig

A unique approach to classic Midwestern fare - 150 recipes.

"Heartland" is an artfully photographed book that showcases America's Heartland from a food lover's perspective.

Inspired by the culinary heritage of various ethnic groups that have settled in the Midwest, Fertig's recipes have a time-tested, home-style quality, but her simple, straightforward prep methods are strictly contemporary. Chapters are arranged by course; breakfast and brunch, breads, appetizers, drinks, salads, soups, main dishes and desserts and there's also a section with a list of online sources for artisanal Midwestern specialties.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • No-Knead Clover Honey Dough - a master yeast dough recipe to use for breads, coffee cakes, rolls and flatbreads
  • Brewpub Cheese and Charcuterie on a Plank - an assortment of blue cheese, fontina, Gouda and coppa are warmed on the grill atop a cedar plank
  • Summer Sangria - a refreshing combination of semi-dry white wine, homemade herb syrup, triple sec, fresh fruits and berries
  • Morel Grilled Ribeye - a unique grilling paste made with dried morel mushrooms that have been finely ground
  • Honeycrisp Apple Upside-Down Pie - a simple, clever technique for preparing a delicious dessert of caramelized apples and puff pastry

Serve Yourself by Joe Yonan

One-hundred inspired dishes in single-serving portions.

Written by Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan, "Serve Yourself" is a fabulous resource for cooks and food-lovers who either live alone or simply find themselves dining alone on occasion.

The recipes include some truly creative flavor combinations, yet Yonan has a knack for keeping them practical and simple by providing thorough directions and a wealth of common sense tips.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Pan-Fried Sirloin with Smashed Potatoes and Anchovy Sauce ~ an innovative, simple take on Texas chicken-fried steak
  • Mahi Mahi with Kiwi-Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice ~ tart kiwi and creamy avocado bring bold flavor and texture to fresh fish
  • Duck Breast Tacos with Plum Salsa ~ a delicious combo of boneless duck breast, spices, fruit and chiles
  • Fig, Taleggio and Radicchio Pizza ~ sweet figs and tangy Taleggio on a personal sized pizza
  • Spicy Coconut Sorbet ~ a unique blend of coconut milk, Thai chiles and tequila

The Good Neighbor Cookbook by Sara Quessenberry & Suzanne Schlosberg

A collection 125 creative recipes for make-ahead foods that transport easily.

"The Good Neighbor Cookbook" is filled with easy and inventive recipes for sharing homemade, delicious food with neighbors, family and friends.

Uniquely arranged by occasion, chapters include: Bringing Home Baby, Get Well Soon, Welcome to the Neighborhood, Block Parties and Barbecues, Meet and Eat: Community, Religious and Business Gatherings, Novel Ideas for Book Clubs and Condolences.

Many of the recipes are fresh looks at party favorites and classics, reinvented as make-ahead dishes that transport easily.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Zucchini Relish with Goat Cheese and Crackers ~ a do it yourself style crostini to be served to a group
  • Pepper Jack Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce ~ prepare this dish ahead of time and freeze for up to 2 months
  • Hearty Minestrone Soup with Potato Gnocchi ~ double this satisfying recipe and freeze half for later
  • Coconut-Almond Haystacks ~ a sweet and crunchy treat that sure to be a hit at a school carnival or bake sale

Bite Me by Julie Albert & Lisa Gnat

A collection of 175 creative recipes seasoned with edgy humor and a fun-filled attitude.

Compiled by two sisters, the recipes featured in "Bite Me" are simple enough for everyday meals, yet unique enough for memorable entertaining as well. Divided into chapters with titles like Grab me, Crave me and Fork me, Albert and Gnat cover all the courses, from appetizers to dessert.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Sweet And Sour Candied Salami ~ easy to prepare cubed salami appetizer, baked in a fruity sauce with a subtle kick
  • Bodacious Herb And Goat Cheese Chicken Breasts ~ boneless chicken breasts stuffed with a creamy filling of herbs and cheese and baked with crispy crumbs on top
  • Crunchy Baked Sea Bass ~ firm white fish coated with lemon-garlic mayonnaise and topped with crushed Ritz crackers and fresh dill
  • Butter Tart Squares, Eh? ~ a gooey combination of brown sugar, maple syrup and currants baked in a shortbread crust, sort of a nut-free take on pecan pie

The Earthbound Cook by Myra Goodman

A collection of 250 delicious recipes combined with a definitive guide to making healthful and environmentally responsible food choices.

"The Earthbound Cook" is a lot more than a simple cookbook. In addition to being a wonderful collection of recipes, the author's eco-friendly philosophy and food expertise make this comprehensive volume a guide to making healthful and environmentally responsible food choices.

Goodman provides numerous tips and ideas for creating an eco- friendly home kitchen and a wealth of ingredient information that will help the reader become a better, more knowledgeable cook overall.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Easy Garlic Thyme Pork Tenderloin ~ marinated with Meyer lemon, garlic, and Dijon-style mustard and served with pan sauce
  • Sesame Soba Noodle Salad ~ a refreshing combination of fresh cucumber, carrots, radishes and soba noodles topped with a sesame dressing
  • Baked Apples Three Ways ~ apples beautifully paired with nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, honey and brown sugar

Foodista: The Best of Food Blogs Cookbook from Foodista.com

100 recipes selected from the submissions of over 1500 food bloggers worldwide.

"Foodista" is a beautifully photographed book divided into five chapters; Cocktails and Appetizers, Soups and Salads, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and Desserts. Each recipe is prefaced with notes that provide background information on the recipe itself, as well as insights into the author's life and how food and cooking have become a central focus.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Scallop Sandwiches from Mangos, Chili and Z ~ yummy seared scallops spiked with apricots, yogurt, and proscuitto
  • Cedar Smoked Asparagus Soup from Vegan Visitor ~ fresh smoky asparagus blended with leeks and gold potatoes
  • Baked Lentil Cheeseburgers from Creative Delites ~ veggie burgers seasoned with fresh ginger, cilantro and garam masala, topped with Jarlsberg cheese and fresh tomato and served on an onion roll - who needs meat?
  • Apple Pie Bars from The Runaway Spoon ~ an easy to prepare spiced apple bar topped with butterscotch chips

Coffee and Cake by Rick Rodgers

Delicious cake and specialty coffee recipes ~ expertly paired.

"Coffee and Cake" will delight anyone who loves a great cup of coffee alongside a sweet, yummy treat. Inside you'll find basic information about the growing and harvesting of coffee beans, interesting facts about coffee preparation methods and original recipes for outstanding coffee drinks. The remaining pages are filled with delightful recipes for coffee cakes, cup cakes, classic American favorites and European café treats;.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Apple-Cranberry Ginger Loaf ~ this moist applesauce loaf combines cranberries, walnuts and ginger for an old fashioned taste
  • Blackout Cupcakes ~ these combine chocolate, mayonnaise and coffee for richness
  • Daiquiri Chiffon Cake ~ a heavenly light chiffon cake fragrant with fresh lime and rum
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding~ warm, mildly spiced date cake topped with toffee sauce

Tea and Cookies by Rick Rodgers

A collection of marvelous cookie recipes and a guide to choosing just the right tea to serve with them.

Tea lovers will find a wealth of information in this innovative cookbook from Rick Rodgers.

The book explores the history and origin of many tea varieties, includes information on proper storage, brewing and serving techniques as well as original recipes for hot and cold teas infused with fruits, flowers, spices and herbs. Also included are a number of fabulous cookie recipes, baking tips and more.

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Here's a sampling of what's inside:

  • Chewy Ginger Cookies ~ fresh ginger, turbinado sugar with rich spiciness
  • Alfajores ~ a delicate Argentine sandwich cookie filled with dulce de leche
  • Currant Cream Scones ~ flaky, buttery scones with dried currants and cream
  • Sesame Balls ~ Asian- style cookies with black sesame seeds

The Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook by Ardie Davis, Paul Kirk & Carolyn Wells

More than 200 delicious recipes from award-winning barbecue experts.

"The Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook" is a collection of delicious member recipes, compiled in celebration of the society's 25th anniversary.

In addition to main courses, the book includes a variety of appetizer, side dish and dessert recipes, augmented by stories, quotes and photos. You'll also find helpful charts, guides and tips from the experts that will help you learn the secrets of great grilling and barbecue.

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Here's a sampling of what's inside:

  • Smokin' Chinese Pork Rangoons ~ a unique twist on the Chinese restaurant favorite using smoked pork butt in place of crab
  • Grilled Fresh Ravioli ~ simple instructions that turn fresh, store-bought ravioli into an easy appetizer
  • Grilled Pork Roast with Pepper Jelly ~ tender, juicy pork loin roast, marinated and basted with hot pepper jelly
  • Lachlan Valley BBQ Lamb ~ butterflied leg of lamb with a pungent curry-spiced barbecue marinade

Michel Roux Sauces by Michel Roux

Recipes for 200 sauces with practical tips and detailed instructions.

Michel Roux's "Sauces" is the quintessential guide to sauces and quite possibly the only cookbook you'll ever need on the subject. Inside you'll find "mother sauces," marinades, infusions, nages, white sauces, emulsion sauces, vinaigrettes, flavored oils and butters, salsas and much, much more.

The sheer volume of recipes in the book, Roux's attention to detail and his carefully planned food pairings make Sauces a wonderful resource to have in your kitchen.

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Here's a sampling of what's inside:

  • Parmesan Water (recommended as an amuse bouche along with tiny sage-potato gnocchi)
  • Champagne Sauce (a decadent accompaniment for poached white fish)
  • Mango Coulis with Saffron (drizzle atop poached meringues or fresh sliced fruit)

The Spice Kitchen by Sara Engram, Katie Luber & Kimberly Toqe

More than 100 creative recipes that focus around herbs and spices.

The recipes in "The Spice Kitchen" focus on the innovative use of spices and herbs in all types of dishes. The book also includes a detailed guide to many popular spices, with information on their origins, flavor profiles and affinities.

Here's a sampling of what's inside:

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  • Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Cinnamon Vinaigrette ~ a unique combination of strawberries, avocado, red onion and chopped pecans.
  • Spiced Orange Pan Sauce over Grilled Lamb ~ garlic-rubbed lamb chops topped with an orange sauce flavored with cumin, cinnamon and green cardamom.
  • Roasted Peaches with Rosemary Streusel and Cinnamon Whipped Cream - fresh peaches, oven roasted with a fragrant streusel topping spiced with rosemary, cinnamon and ginger.

Jasper's Kitchen Cookbook by Jasper J. Mirabile, Jr.

Over 100 traditional and contemporary Italian recipes from the chef/owner of Jasper's in Kansas City, MO.

"Jasper's Kitchen Cookbook" contains dozens of authentic Italian recipes, from antipasti to dolci. Chapters are organized by course: appetizers, soups and salads, pasta and risotto, main courses and desserts and the recipes are simple and well explained and have a focus on fresh ingredients.

Find on AmazonHere's a sampling of what's inside:

  • Arancini ~ Sicilian rice balls
  • Sicilian Involtini ~ chicken with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and capers
  • Linguine San Remo ~ linguine with shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster
  • Crunchy Amaretto Tiramisu

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