Vanilla, chocolate—fugetaboutit! Jeni Britton Bauer is back with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, her new foray into the world of the fabulous and the frozen. She serves up more than 50 luscious, flamboyantly flavored ice creams, with great header notes and detailed instructions. Bauer’s second cookbook is more expansive than her first, including a “Bakeshop” chapter loaded with big hits like Stone-Ground-Grits Pudding Cake, brandy-spiked Bananas Foster, Peoria Corn Fritters, a super-nutty flourless Macaroon Cake and crispy, jam-filled Sweet Empanadas, all more divine when topped with a Jeni-inspired scoop of Cumin & Honey Butterscotch Ice Cream, French Toast Frozen Custard or a vegan-friendly, dairy-free Rose Water & Pistachio Crème Sans Lait. Then, she moves the bar up even higher with ideas (and glorious photos) for composed desserts—spectacular sundaes, parfaits, ice cream layer cakes like Cocoa Rococo with four kinds of chocolate, and a few smashing ice-cream-centric cocktails.

SOAK IT UP!
Amber embers glow, the savory scent of fire-flecked food wafts in the soft summer breeze—it’s July and the world is grilling. Now, all you need to make life, and dinner, even better is that little something that gives anything and everything you cook on the grill a special zing. We’re talking marinades, those easy-to-make blends that infuse grillables from steak to salmon, portobellos to porchetta with fabulous flavor, while you’re doing something else. Marinades: The Quick-Fix Way to Turn Everyday Food into Exceptional Fare, with 400 Recipes is Lucy Vaserfirer’s remarkable, remarkably doable compilation, a virtual ode to the liquid concoctions that make the ordinary extraordinary. A world of flavors—built with herbs, spices, fruits, condiments, wine and beer, with the accents of Asia, India, the Middle East, Spain, France, Hawaii, Mexico and more—await that plain chicken breast, simple lamb chop and fresh fish fillet. Go for it, marinate and enjoy!

TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
There’s a new way to follow the biblical exhortation to be “fruitful and multiply” without adding to the population explosion. Go through Brian Nicholson and Sarah Huck’s beautifully illustrated Fruitful: Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes, select from the 140 recipes and, as you add them to your repertoire, the number of delectable, peak-picked fruit dishes will multiply as will the compliments you get. Nicholson grew up on his family’s fruit farm in upstate New York tending and cultivating flavor, and he has imbued this cookbook with that same loving care. In seasonal sections, each fruit gets its full due, with practical growing tips, advice for preserving and sensational seasonal recipes. Now, while we’re in high summer heaven, you might try Smoked Duck and Cherry Confit Toasts, Apricot-Quinoa Tabbouleh and Stone Fruit-Mascarpone Gratin. And when fall showers us with apples, pears and quinces, you’ll know where to look and what to cook.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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