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Recipe Books

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Even Oprah’s trainer must agree: The holidays simply are not the time for diet books …

Cheese Primer by Steve Jenkins
Think cheese is something that comes in a plastic squeeze bottle? The author (a former aspiring actor) used to too. Now one of the most respected cheesemongers in America, he sets out to enlighten us all with an international guide that tells — in opinionated, lively prose — how to choose, serve, and enjoy.

Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan, based on the PBS series hosted by Julia Child
You won’t get Julia’s voice, or her broad, enthusiastic gestures, but you will get a (decidedly not crash) course on baking everything from ”cakes for occasions” to ”homey pies and tarts,” with a little help from her friends, who just happen to be some of the country’s most reputable bakers.

Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg
Got the message, bucko? No cutting corners here. This doesn’t purport to be the authoritative guide to baking in general (Rosenberg already gave that a stab in her first book, the All-Butter, Fresh-Cream, Sugar-Packed one), but rather a book specifically about cookies — pecan crescents, almond chocolate praline crisps, orange pecan ginger florentines, and 10 different versions of chocolate chip alone.

Dinner and a Movie Cookbook by Claud Mann
The popular Friday-night TBS series has spawned a cookbook for film and food buffs — who, judging from the book, seem to be linked by a love of trivia. The recipes have a sort of ’50s-kitsch feeling to them, and sometimes sound more bizarre than tasty (”Pretty in Pink Salmon Filets”? ”Carrie’s Prom Crisp”?). But it’s a lot easier to cook from a book than take notes from a TV show, as years of watching Julia attest. And every holiday season needs a recipe called ”’Edible’ Fruitcake … No, Really.”

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