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The best cookbooks for summer

With summer in full swing, it’s high-time to sink your teeth into recipes featuring seasonal ingredients and reflect your need for ease in the kitchen to make time for other summer activities. Whether you’re planning a camping trip, aiming to deliciously use your locally sourced farmers’ market food finds, or need to take a culinary vacation to the coast, we’ve got four summer cookbooks highlighting the fresh tastes of the sunny season and recipes that will suit every occasion that comes your way before the leaves start to turn. Here are our most recent summer cookbook favorites.

1The Camping Cookbook

The Camping Cookbook

Roughing it in the great outdoors doesn’t mean subsisting on trail mix and freeze-dried “just add water” meals. With a few essential camp cooking supplies and an arsenal of camping-friendly recipes, you can enjoy great tasting food that is actually fun to make over a campfire. Annie Bell, author of The Camping Cookbook (Kyle Books, June 2011), shows you how to embrace camp cooking with 95 tried and true inspirational camping recipes that range from hearty brunches that hit the spot after a hard hike to campfire suppers that bring a delicious end to a day of outdoor fun. This beautifully illustrated book also includes the best cooking equipment to use, how to pack, what to prepare at home before you go, and ways to cope with limited running water. Whether you’re tent camping in the wilderness or road tripping in your RV or cuddling up in a cabin, you can sink your teeth into delicious recipes, including Chicken Tagine with Pine Nuts and Raisins, Fish Baked in Newspapers, Garlic Rosemary Potatoes, Bon Bon Brulees, and Pirate Bananas – all with minimum effort and mess.

2Green Market Baking Book

Green Market Baking Book

The perfect cookbook to page through before you head to the farmers’ market, Green Market Baking Book (Sterling, January 2011) by Laura C Martin offers a unique collection of sweet and savory baked treats chosen from chefs and bakers that use only locally grown sustainable whole foods, natural sweeteners, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Martin recognizes the significant increase in people wanting to eat locally, seasonally, and healthfully and turned to food professionals, such as Alice Waters, Chef Ann Cooper, Molly Stevens, Rozanne Gold, and Rebecca Wood, to share their healthiest and tastiest baking recipes. In the Green Market Baking Book you’ll find Alice Waters’ Whole Grain Waffles, Rozanne Gold’s Yellow Squash and Sundried Tomato “Quiche”, Shermer Pecans’ Apple Oat Pecan Drops, and Linton Hopkins’ Rosemary Olive Bread to name just a few. Some of this baking book’s recipes are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and low-fat, giving you a tasty array of baking recipes that you can serve your family members or friends that have dietary restrictions.

3The Maine Summers Cookbook

The Maine Summer's Cookbook

If you long for the fresh fish dishes you delved into when you were vacationing on the East Coast or you’re simply looking to expand your cooking horizon with recipes that sing summer, The Maine Summers Cookbook (Viking, July 2011) is for you. From their kitchen on Isle au Haut to your table, Linda Greenlaw (America’s only female sword fishing captain!) and her mom Martha Greenlaw, share 100 of their favorite coastal recipes featuring seasonal produce, fresh seafood, and other mouthwatering ingredients along with 90 gorgeous photographs that make the book as eye-appealing as it is delicious. You’ll want to put this book on your counter and cook from it all summer long. Recipes include: Sea Salted Pita Crisps with Garlic Sage Hummus, Maine Shrimp Risotto, Striper Ceviche, Heirloom Tomato and Haricots Verts Antipasto, and (Maine-famous) Blueberry Cheesecake. If a trip to Maine is out of the question, The Maine Summers Cookbook is a great way to bring the taste of the East Coast to you.

4The Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local

The Idiot's Guide to Eating Local

Whether you’re a budding locavore or a seasoned sustainable eater, registered dietician Diane A Welland’s book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local (Alpha, May 2011) will teach you a few things about the benefits of “going local”. Welland, who is also the author of The Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean, doesn’t just want you to wander aimlessly through the farmers’ market, she wants you to know why and how to do it right. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local gives you a primer on the rewards of eating close to the land, tips for shopping at farmers’ markets and supermarkets, and guides to choosing foods at food festivals, CSAs, and U-pick farms. In addition, Welland teaches you about heirloom vegetables, seasonal fruits, fresh meats and dairy, and other local food near you. To help you make the most of your locally-sourced bounty, she also includes serving suggestions and regional recipes highlighting local specialties. If you’ve been wondering what is in season in your locale and how to prepare it, simply open up this easy-to-read book to the section covering your region. In no time, you’ll be confidently eating local and wanting to share The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local with others.

Cookbooks from SheKnows

BBQ Bash Edition
Drink Mixer Edition
Healthy Mom’s Kitchen Edition

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