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BellaOnline's Women's Lit Editor

I'll cook to that!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I wonder how there can be so many cookbooks and books on food out on the market today.

But instead of just wondering, recently, I decided to start checking out food books. Some are tired and others have a new take on traditional recipes or new ones I never would have thought of on my own.

Even better, many contain new ideas and quick and easy ways of making a beautiful dessert or simple but delicious meal.

If you're a foodie, then you can't get enough of new takes on recipes and experimenting with brand new foods. Food books of the day are full of trends, classic styles and beautiful art and photography.

Recently, I picked up a few good reads full of great ideas for holidays and cool fall evenings. One you might want to try is Sara Jenkins' Olives & Oranges: Recipes & Flavor Secrets From Italy, Spain, Cyprus & Beyond. Full of rural Tuscan foods and authentic recipes itís a beautiful read and includes inventive, savory dishes.

From traditional Greek recipes like lamb, yogurt and mint to authentic Roman veal saltimbocca or Gazpacho made from cantaloupe, flexible recipes that are for the everyday cook are ripe for the picking in this foodie read.

Her cooking instructions are thorough: complete recipes that don't treat the reader like they should fill in the blanks. There are small plates to sweets; quick-cook or slow-cook, all intermingled with plenty of how-to tips and other nuggets that are just plain fun to read.

For more food from different cultures, try Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking. Like many of the latest cooking and food books being released, this is much more than a list of recipes from within the Jewish tradition.

The book offers the history and stories associated with the Yiddish culture and its trip to America. It is a sort of Jewish food biography on its history and with more than 100 recipes, it offers plenty of opportunities to experiment with some Jewish cooking of your own.

Schwartz does acknowledge the high fat content in the majority of Jewish cooking and also offers some modern ideas for making Jewish food healthier and something that can be eaten more than just on special holidays.

Before looking at this, the more common, stereotypical Jewish foods that came to my mind were kosher pickles, matzoh ball soup and bagels. But this book gives insight into lesser-known traditional Jewish fare: potato Kugel, pot-roasted brisket and others.

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