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Stories for fabulous foodie faves? Look at Storey Books' four neat picks

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Some good stories (and great gifts) from Storey Books.

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Homebrewers and home winemakers love both the process and the results they get from making their own beer and wine. But the start-up costs can be expensive with all of the equipment needed, the learning curve is steep, it can be a long wait for the beverages to be ready. Liqueurs are the fastest, easiest, most versatile of libations to make at home. With just some simple kitchen equipment and Andrew Schloss’ innovative recipes in Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits ($18.95), it’s fun, easy, and safe to create and enjoy your own liqueurs and it only takes a few days to have a finished product.
Liqueurs are liquors flavored with sugar and aromatics such as herbs, spices, nuts, flowers, fruits, seeds, vegetables, roots, and even bark. In Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits, Schloss offers 159 recipes for both liqueurs and unsweetened infused spirits including clones for 21 name brands like St. Germain, Chambord, Limoncello, and Bailey’s, and intriguing and original flavor combinations–try some Ginger Peach Sake, Radicchio Campari, or Honey Pistachio.
In addition to the recipes for making liqueurs and infused spirits, there are 80 recipes for cocktails that use the liqueurs. Oaxaca Eggnog, Black Pepper Lemonade, Manhattan Rustico, Flowering Martini, Pumpkin Spice, Cardamom Sidecar, and Blue Lavender are just some of the unusual cocktails that can be made using homemade liqueurs with such diverse flavors. This book is a one-stop shop for making fantastically flavored drinks.
Make liqueurs at home to:

• Give as a homemade holiday gift the recipient is sure to enjoy

• Create a signature cocktail with favorite flavored liqueurs for a wedding or party

• Use homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs for a fresh taste of the garden year-round

• Have creative housewarming or hostess gifts ready to give

• Taste unique flavor combinations not available from a store

Gone are the days of TV dinners and bland light lagers. Not only are Americans now taking pride in cooking foods with fresh, local ingredients, but we’re also living in a frothy golden age of American beer, with more than 2,500 breweries in the United States producing upwards of 100 style variations of craft beer. And just as they’ve revolutionized our beer culture, so are craft breweries and brewpubs across the nation elevating the food we eat with a good cold draft. It’s no longer only about chips or burgers or wings (though they do taste great with beer!)–chefs are now taking meals to a whole new level using the complex and intricate flavors imparted by different–varieties of meals to a whole new level using the complex and intricate flavors imparted by different varieties of malts, hops, and yeasts to realize the full taste potential of dishes ranging from salads to choice cuts of meat and fresh seafood.
In his new book, The American Craft Beer Cookbook ($19.95), beer journalist John Holl–who firmly believes that beer pairs better than wine with a fine meal–has traveled the country and collected more than 150 recipes from breweries, brewpubs, chefs, and beer-centric restaurants that illustrate the delicious intersection on the culinary road where food and beer meet. In some cases beer is used as an ingredient, and every recipe discusses how to find that perfect pint to bring the meal to a crescendo where the complexity, depth, and breadth of a craft beer beautifully complements, contrasts with, or enhances the flavors on the plate.
From Southern Tier Brewery’s Free Range Super Pancakes to Uncommon Brewer’s Lemongrass Chicken, Trinity Brewing’s Watermelon Salad, and Harpoon Brewery’s Winter Warmer Pumpkin Pie, the recipes highlighted cover breakfast through dessert, and the breweries profiled showcase local favorites from Hawaii to Maine. The American Craft Beer Cookbook will inspire home chefs to create the perfect, melt-in-your mouth celebration of food and beer.

In her new cookbook Soup Night ($19.95), Maggie Stuckey presents the story of optimism through mouthwatering recipes and inspiring anecdotes collected from preexisting soup night groups. What Maggie has found and documented in this gorgeous four-color cookbook is that the humble idea of gathering friends and neighbors on a regular basis for a casual night of soup and sides has an extraordinarily positive ripple effect on children, senior citizens, families, and communities at large. The idea of breaking bread is deep-rooted in American tradition, but it’s now that our country needs to bond together, and Soup Night is the call to action that we’ve been waiting for.
Soup Night far extends the stories of these communities. This cookbook with a special personality offers more than 90 soup recipes, plus 40 more recipes for sides, salads, and desserts. With dishes like Asparagus-Leek Chowder, Vegetarian Eggplant Chili, Carolina Cornbread, and Lemon Ice Cream, readers will be savoring the local flavors of the season. Tips and tricks to hosting a soup night, stocking a soup pantry, and adapting recipes to fit any dietary need are interlaced throughout the pages of the book.
With simple ideas for gathering neighbors and friends together readers will be looking for any opportunity to make Soup Night a part of their lives.

Keeping honeybees has become popular across the country, from city rooftops to backyard gardens. With the numbers of bee colonies diminishing, beekeepers boost the populations of these important pollinators and enjoy delicious honey of many varieties. Whether you keep bees yourself, want to support the local beekeepers near you, or just love honey, The Fresh Honey Cookbook ($14.95) by Laurey Masterton presents 12 months of recipes featuring different honey varietals and seasonal ingredients.
The Fresh Honey Cookbook celebrates the subtle flavors of honey with a seasonal calendar of 84 recipes that focus on what’s fresh each month–from appetizer to dessert. Although each chapter is organized around a specific honey, including orange blossom, tupelo, avocado and blueberry–you can use any honey you have on hand in the recipes. In January, on the menu are Meyer Lemon–and Honey-Marinated Chicken Skewers, Pork Tenderloin with Orange Blossom Honey Mustard, Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, and Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cherries. In midsummer, it’s time to enjoy July’s garden-fresh flavors with Laurey’s Sweet Potato Salad with Sourwood Honey, Grilled Garlic Shrimp with a Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Vermont-style Summer Squash Casserole, and Broiled Peaches. Recipes without honey balance the menus and feature ingredients that would not exist without pollination from bees. In each recipe, both the honey and the important pollination-dependent ingredients are noted in bold type.
The Fresh Honey Cookbook also details Laurey’s experiences with her beehives through the seasons. Readers will learn why bees make honey, how it’s harvested, what they can do to help the bee population, and what is going on in the hives throughout the year. This is an appreciation of both bees and the honey they produce, perfect for cooks, beekeepers, or anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits and flavors of honey.

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