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Nov 19, 2017

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Recent and Decent Cookbooks (Vol. 5.4)
by Laura Holmes
Magazine Issue: U.S. Vol. 5.4

Modern Classics, Book 1
by Donna Hay
William Morrow; $25

Donna Hay is to Australian food what Julia Child is to American cuisine: an inspiration. Thank the heavens above that Donna Hay's book has arrived in the U.S. - with gorgeous photographs that make you want to leap in the book and take a bite, and the easy-to-prepare recipes, you'll want to give Ms. Hay a green card. Try the Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup or the Pad Thai for a quick weeknight meal. Or impress your beloved with Mint Gremolata-Crusted Lamb Racks or Basil Risotto with Roast Tomatoes on the weekend. (And when you've cooked your way through this book, check out Hay's six other cookbooks, just released in the U.S.)

Tom Valenti's Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals
by Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman
Scribner; $30

Let's face it: a majority of us don't cook because we hate looking at, and washing, all those dirty dishes. But Chef Tom Valenti (of New York City's famed Ouest and ÔCesca restaurants) has done the impossible - he's created recipes you can make with just one pot. Soups, chowders, casseroles, stews, chili, roasts (not to mention accompaniments like polenta, rice and potatoes)É almost every yummy recipe can be made in one pot. Even better: here's your chance to use those cans of chicken stock and beans that're sitting in your cupboard.

by Sheila Lukins with Peter Kaminsky
Workman Publishing; $20

New jobs, birthdays, new babies, new boyfriends - there are thousands of things to celebrate each year, but who can come up with clever ideas for each one? Sheila Lukins, that's who. Her latest book, Celebrate! is the entertaining guide. She's created menus centered around any occasion, from the Super Bowl to the Academy Awards to Mother's Day to a pool party - and all the standard holidays in between. She even throws in ideas for music, drinks and decorations for each occasion. Feed your football friends dishes like Saucy Shrimp Cocktail with Knockout Cocktail Sauce and El Cid Chili, or celebrate summer with a meal by the pool, complete with Madras Lamb Burgers, Tomato Salad and the perfect watermelon daiquiri. The recipes are a snap - anyone who can read (and operate a stove) can make these dishes. The colorful design and snappy photos make you want to plan a Groundhog Day bash.

A Sweet Quartet
by Fran Gage
North Point Press; $15

In this wonderful dessert book, Fran Gage, who used to own Patisserie Francaise in San Francisco, walks us through the world of sweets using just four ingredients (hence the title) and even educates you with essays about those ingredients along the way. Who would've thought butter, sugar, almonds and eggs could be so interesting? Even the most inexperienced bakers will find something they can make. The Almond Butter Cookies and the Chocolate Meringue "Sandwiches" are killer ways to end a meal (or a bad day).

Williams-Sonoma: Breakfast
Simon & Schuster Source

Who doesn't fantasize about breakfast in bed, ideally prepared by your significant other? Give this book to that certain someone with a missive to hop to it. This easy-to-follow guide has recipes for everything from pancakes, waffles and French toast to huevos rancheros, soft-boiled eggs with toast strips, and lacy hash browns. At the very least, Williams-Sonoma: Breakfast will save you from yet another morning of Cheerios and burnt toast.

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