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Round-Up of New Cooking Reference Books

[Round-up of New Baking Books]
[Round-up of New Ethnic/International Books]
[Round-up of New Food Issues Books]
[Round-up of Memoirs and Essay Collections]
[Round-up of New Diet/Nutrition Books]
[Round-up of Chef's/U.S. Regional Cookbooks]
[Round-up of Family and Children's Cookbooks]
[Round-up of Alcohol and Drinks Books]

Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
by Michael Ruhlman, $27, Hardcover, (Scribner)

Ratios are the simple proportions of one ingredient to another. Biscuit dough is 3:1:2 – or 3 parts flour, 1 part fat, and 2 parts liquid. This ratio is the beginning of many variations, and because the biscuit takes sweet and savory flavors with equal grace, you can top it with whipped cream and strawberries or sausage gravy. Cooking with ratios will unchain you from recipes and set you free. With thirty-three ratios and suggestions for many variations, Ratio is the truth of cooking: basic preparations that teach how the fundamental ingredients of the kitchen – water, flour, butter and oils, milk and cream, and eggs – work. When you know a culinary ratio, it's not like knowing a single recipe, it's instantly knowing a thousand.

Tips Cooks Love: Over 500 Tips, Techniques, and Shortcuts That Will Make You a Better Cook
by Rick Rodgers and Sur La Table, $15, Paperback, (Andrews McMeel)

Tips Cooks Love gives cooks more than 500 useful tips for cooking and preparation. The easy-to-use book is organized alphabetically for quick answers. It includes tips about ingredients as well as cookware, tools, cooking methods, and other handy information for the busy home cook. The book also features ten "deconstructed" recipes that offer lots of smart ideas illustrating ways to improve the dish and one's cooking. Six "technique" sections for quick and informative reference offer tips on tricky skills, such as braising, baking, and grilling, as well as some great charts to help cooks adapt a recipe to a different-size pan.

No More Takeout: A Visual Do-It-Yourself Guide to Cooking
by Stephen Hartigan and Jerry Boak, $25, Hardcover, (Wiley)

Throw out your takeout menus, save money, and discover just how easy and delicious home-cooked meals can be! More than 450 step-by-step photographs show you how to cook. Three recipe levels take you from basic dining to blowout meals. Easy-to-follow instructions walk you through each recipe. Gear and ingredient lists take the guesswork out of what you'll need. Sidebars give you helpful kitchen tips and tricks. Menus offer complete game plans for memorable meals.

Food & Wine Lover's Puzzle & Quiz Book
by The Puzzle Society, $9.99, Paperback, (Andrews McMeel)

Quite possibly the perfect combination: food and wine paired with challenging puzzles. The Food & Wine Lover's Puzzle & Quiz Book features over 200 word challenges and quizzes. It's just what the foodie ordered. All the puzzles are crafted with epicurean-themes that will excite just about anyone's pallet. The collection features crosswords, word search, wordwheel, codewords, arrowords, kriss kross, pathfinder, and logic problems.

The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion
by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst, $29.99, Hardcover, (Barron's)

Based on the popular and authoritative The New Food Lover’s Companion, this enlarged and enhanced new reference volume was written for discerning home chefs and everybody else who wants to become more knowledgeable about good food and elegant dining. Alphabetically arranged entries define and describe fruits and vegetables (both well-known and exotic varieties); meat cuts and preparation methods; fish, shellfish, and ways to cook and serve them; breads, pastas, and other grain-based foods; cooking tools and techniques; reliable ways to preserve and store foods; herbs, spices, and their many uses ; and much more. More than 6,700 entries are supplemented with a general introduction, hundreds of illustrations, and pithy quotations about food and dining from chefs and gourmets. The new deluxe hardcover binding with dust jacket includes a ribbon place marker and golden-tipped page edges.

The Entertaining Encyclopedia: Essential Tips for Hosting the Perfect Party
by Denise Vivaldo, $24.95, Paperback, (Robert Rose)

People are rediscovering the fun and economy of hosting parties and throwing their own celebrations. Every phase of entertaining is covered in this book, from how to write and create your own invitations to deciding on a theme and planning and serving the food. Also included are 200 recipes and 25 comprehensive menus, including a picnic-boxed lunch, a Chinese banquet, and an Oscar-night party. The recipes are nearly foolproof, straightforward, and loaded with insider tips and ideas, and fit entertaining on a budget or planning a large event. The author is a professional event planner who has catered more than 10,000 parties.

Related Recipe:
Antipasti Platter

The Visual Food Lover's Guide
by QA International, $16.95, Paperback, (Wiley)

Small enough to carry everywhere, this practical, full-color guide covers almost every type of food you will find at a supermarket, farmer's market, and specialty food store. The Visual Food Lover's Guide gives you information on buying, storing, and cooking every type of food, more than 600 color illustrations to help clearly identify foods, and nutritional facts for every ingredient. There are also essentials on vegetables, legumes, grains, fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices, a quick reference on foods as common as chicken and as exotic as kombu seaweed, and how-to photos of basic food preparation techniques, such as properly cutting a pineapple, cleaning crab, and making homemade pasta. This is an invaluable guide on how to identify, select, prepare, and store over 1,000 types of food.

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Related Articles:
Round-up of New Baking Books
Round-up of New Ethnic/International Books
Round-up of New Food Issues Books
Round-up of Food Memoirs and Essay Collections
Round-up of New Diet/Nutrition Books
Round-up of Chef's/U.S. Regional Cookbooks
Round-up of Family and Children's Cookbooks
Round-up of Alcohol and Drinks Books
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