If you’re trying to squeeze more fruits and veggies into your New Year’s diet, refreshing and healthful homemade juices and smoothies might be just the way to go. In The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies, Eric Helms shares juicing tips and expertise to get you started, along with recipes from his Manhattan juice shop, The Juice Generation.
From years of juice bar experience, Eric knows how to ease the uninitiated into a world where kale, spinach and beets get blended and squeezed into crave-able treats. He organizes this book along a 3-phase “Green Curve,” beginning with simple recipes with sweeter flavor profiles, moving onto more green-heavy advanced recipes and ending with super powerhouse drinks with robust (not sweet) flavors, for the juice pros. Along the way, simple combinations and guidelines let you customize your juices and smoothies to fit your personal taste. No matter where you fall on the “Green Curve” spectrum, you’ll be sure to have fun with your greens and feel good about your food with this book as your guide.
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Mix up a big bowl of Classic Potato Salad from Martha's American Food for the 4th of July. This all-American picnic salad is an iconic summer staple.
There’s no better way to celebrate America then to explore the amazing culinary diversity we enjoy across the nation. We’ve delved into regional traditions in-depth here at Cooking Channel, crowd-sourcing favorite dishes and developing them into our feature Across the Country in 50 State Dishes. Martha Stewart’s new cookbook, Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast, runs with this same idea, uncovering treasured local specialties and delivering classic recipes for iconic dishes. Along the way, through food, she uncovers interesting nuggets of American history, stories of immigration and beloved regional flavors.
Martha’s American Food begins with recipes for all-American favorites like blueberry pancakes, hamburgers, meatloaf and peanut butter cookies – you can never have too many recipes for these standbys, and Martha’s versions look fantastic. And then she divides the country into five regions: Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and West, with recipes, stories and fabulous photography capturing the uniqueness of each – it’s a culinary road trip!
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Lemon Pie Bars make great take-along treats for all summer get-togethers. Photograph by Squire Fox
My reputation as a baker was on the line a few weeks ago at our office cupcake bake-off. As I was searching and scrambling for a recipe, the cute-as-a-button The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Best Little Bakery in the South caught my eye. A few days later I baked pretty pink Strawberry Cupcakes from the cookbook for the competition – they didn’t win, but they were fantastic (if I do say so myself). In fact, all the recipes in The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook are fresh, homey takes on classics, and I can’t wait to bake more beautiful sweets from this cookbook.
Cheryl and Griffith Day, pictured on the cover, founded the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah in 2002. They’re both self-taught bakers, with Cheryl baking the sweets and Griffith taking on breads and the bakery’s savory fare. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook includes all their customers’ favorites, including breakfast treats, quick breads, pies, puddings and cookies, all made with fresh, local ingredients and a good bit of Southern charm.
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Barbecue like a pro with this recipe for Barbecue Championship Ribs from Slow Fire.
If you’ve ever aspired to cook championship ribs, homemade pastrami or other smoke-kissed, slow-cooked meats, this is the cookbook to get you started. In Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Barbecue, cook-off champion, food writer and cookbook author Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe shares simple no-fail recipes tailored for beginners.
Ray covers all the basics, starting with tools and techniques for great barbecuing; devoting a whole chapter to spice rubs and sauces; and then delving into recipes for ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken and more. Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or just looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift, Slow Fire is a great new cookbook for all barbecue lovers.
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Use fresh summer peaches to make this Peach Crumb Coffee Cake from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook.
A simple cast-iron skillet is one of my favorite kitchen tools, mainly because it can be used with very high heat and retains that heat so amazingly. It’s ideal for searing steaks (one of Alton’s favorite uses) and baking cornbread.
I’m always on the lookout for new ways to put this pan to work, and The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook doesn’t disappoint. It includes recipes for, yes, cornbread, but also soups and stews, main dishes, side dishes and desserts, with a whole chapter devoted to outdoor cooking. Whether you’re cooking over a campfire or having a backyard barbecue, nothing sets the “rustic cookout” mood better than a summery side dish or dessert served in cast iron.
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Make Mom's Banana Cake from Sweet Home for your Mom this Sunday.
In Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Desserts and Ideas, food writer Rebecca Miller Ffrench shares how baking sweet treats can be nurturing, loving and caring, recalling and creating lasting memories. Her family has a long dessert-loving tradition, from her grandparents’ remembered nighttime sweets routine to her mother who always had an after-dinner treat waiting. And she carries the tradition on, making dessert for her own children regularly. Sweet Home is a collection of Rebecca’s family recipes, along with ideas and inspiration for preserving your own family’s recipes and starting your own traditions. It’s a beautiful and sentimental cookbook everyone (especially Mom!) is sure to enjoy.
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Mix all your vegetables in one pot and cook quickly to make this simple Farmers' Market Vegetable Soup. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
To keep working towards those 2012 healthy-eating resolutions, the new Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook is a great tool for busy cooks wondering what to make for dinner every night. It includes over 300 recipes (and more than 100 beautiful photographs) organized by the type of pot required – skillets, casseroles, Dutch ovens and, of course, slow cookers, to name a few. Every chapter begins with cooking tips for the featured kitchen appliance or tool and every recipe includes full nutritional data and Weight Watchers Points Plus values. Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds or just eating healthier, this cookbook will help you get good-for-you foods on the table every day.
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Ellie's lasagna hits all the right comfort food flavor notes, but it's easy on the waistline.
Yes, you can eat healthy without depriving yourself of lasagna, meatloaf, chicken pot pie and other comfort food favorites that are so appealing this time of year. Ellie Krieger, host of Healthy Appetite, shows you how in her latest cookbook, Comfort Food Fix. With some simple substitutions and a few healthy tricks, Ellie serves up 150 classic, hearty dishes full of flavor and low in calories and fat. She includes full nutritional information for every recipe, along with a before and after, classic vs. made over, comparison (classic lasagna has 800 calories per serving, while Ellie’s weighs in at only 550). So go ahead and indulge in your favorite foods, guilt-free.
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You can have Ching's veggie-packed Black Pepper Beef and Stir-Fry on the table in 35 minutes.
Cooking Channel chef Ching-He Huang simplifies and lightens up Chinese food in her TV shows Chinese Food Made Easy and Easy Chinese: San Francisco (find great recipes from her shows here). In her new cookbook, Ching’s Everyday Easy Chinese, Ching gives her special touch to Chinese takeout favorites and traditional foods, delivering more than 100 quick, easy and healthy Chinese recipes.
Ching’s cookbook is organized and reads like your favorite Chinese takeout menu, stepped up a notch or two. It starts with a few breakfast offerings (Pork, Ginger and Duck Egg Congee) and then dives into soups and appetizers (Pork and Shrimp Fried Wontons). Main dishes are divided into poultry (Kung Po Chicken); beef, pork and lamb (Cantonese-Style Sweet-and-Sour Pork); fish and shellfish (Spicy Sweet Jumbo Shrimp); and then vegetarian dishes. There’s even a section with “Specials,” or special occasion foods for get-togethers, like Chili Bean Braised Beef.
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Apple-Studded Brown Butter Streusel Coffee Cake is an easy apple dessert, great for using sweet apples.
Apple season is in full swing, and that means apples are crisper, sweeter and riper than ever, with dozens of varieties available at pick-your-own orchards and farmers’ markets. And if you find yourself trying to decide between Mutsu, Empire, Cortland, Pink Lady and other unfamiliar apple varieties, wondering which is good for cooking, baking and eating out-of-hand, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso is the perfect book to have by your side.
Amy includes a reference section that describes 59 great apple varieties in-depth (with pictures!), but for ease of use, she also divides all apples into four general categories: firm-tart, firm-sweet, tender-tart and tender-sweet. There’s even an “apple varieties cheat sheet,” dividing the apples into these categories, that I may Xerox before heading to the farmers’ market.
The recipes, which span from savory meat pies to apple tarts and breakfast through dinner dishes, all include a general apple category suggestion (and occasionally a specific variety suggestion), so you’ll know you’re using the best type of apple for each recipe. It’s amazing and sure to get you out of the familiar Granny-Smith-for-baking rut.
A rustic Free-Form Apple-Pear-Cranberry Tart makes an impressive dessert for any get-together.
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