Cooking Reviews | November 15, 2012

”LibraryFerroni, Lara. Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk. Sasquatch. 2012. c.192p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781570617881. pap. $19.95. COOKING

In her second cookbook, Seattle-based food writer and photographer Ferroni (Doughnuts ) shows readers how to make their favorite snacks (e.g., Vanilla Snack Cakes, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Cheesy Fish) using more healthful ingredients. For example, her Mini Cake Doughnuts, a clever take on a vending machine favorite, are made with spelt, rye, and barley flours. The featured flours, fats, and sweeteners never feel like mere substitutions; Ferroni has picked them with particular flavors and textures in mind, and she explains all of them in an introductory chapter (“Real Ingredients”). Each recipe includes a gluten-free and vegan variation. VERDICT Ferroni proves that snacks need neither preservatives nor processed ingredients to be delicious. Highly recommended.

”LibraryWorthington, Diane Rossen (text) & Yvonne Duivenvoorden (photogs.). Seriously Simple Parties: Recipes, Menus & Advice for Effortless Entertaining. Chronicle. 2012. c.224p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780811872577. pap. $24.95. COOKING

Writer and James Beard Award-winning radio show host Worthington has authored more than 20 cookbooks. In her third “Seriously Simple” title, she offers party-planning tips (e.g., how to stock a bar and arrange a cheese plate), as well as seasonal menus and recipes for a year’s worth of formal and informal occasions (e.g., Holiday Cocktail Party, Mexican Fiesta, Easy Family Dinner). Many recipes, like Butterflied Dry-Brined Roast Turkey, Meatball Sliders, and Mocha Celebration Cake, can be made in advance, allowing readers to maximize time spent with guests. VERDICT This is an inclusive and efficiently organized collection that’s great for everyday cooking, not just parties.

Baker, Lucy. Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes To Savor and Share. Running Pr. 2012. c.176p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780762444885. pap. $19. COOKING

Many edible gifts are as fun to give as they are to receive, and as food writer Baker ( The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets ) notes, they’re often less expensive than store-bought equivalents. Among these 75 crunchy, boozy, sweet, and spicy luxuries you’ll find Spicy Pumpkin Seed-Pecan Brittle, Apple Cider Jelly, Spiced Pear Gin, and Peppermint Marshmallows. You’ll also see plenty of gift-wrapping and packaging suggestions. VERDICT Using conventional ingredients and equipment, Baker achieves gourmet results. Her accessible recipes will appeal to readers who’d like to make homemade gifts but have little time.

The following titles are reviewed in the November 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Ankeny, Robin & Charlotte Lyon. Cake Balls: Amazingly Delicious Bite-Size Treats. Running Pr. 2012. c.144p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780762445769. $16. COOKING

Bayless, Rick with Deann Groen Bayless. Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks. W.W. Norton. Nov. 2012. c.224p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780393088922. $24.95. COOKING

Edwards, Bridget. Decorating Cookies: 60 + Designs for Holidays, Celebrations & Everyday. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. Nov. 2012. c.160p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781454703211. pap. $17.95. COOKING

The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Cookie Lover’s Cookbook: Gooey, Chewy, Sweet & Luscious Treats. Hearst: Sterling. 2012. c.444p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781588169631. $29.99. COOKING <

Kuan, Diana. The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home. Ballantine. Dec. 2012. c.208p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780345529121. $30. COOKING

Muniz, David & David Lesniak. Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple; Brownies, Cupcakes, Cookies, Whoopie Pies, and More. Rizzoli, dist. by Random. 2012. c.224p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780847838769. $29.95. COOKING

O’Donnel, Kim. The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations: Year-Round Vegetarian Feasts (You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into). Da Capo Lifelong. 2012. c.208p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780738215945. pap. $17.99. COOKING

Additional Cookbooks

Duguid, Naomi. Burma: Rivers of Flavor. Artisan: Workman. 2012. c.384p. ISBN 9781579654139. $35. COOKING