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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cookbooks conjure summer's flavors

It's summertime, the living is easy, and so is cooking and entertaining with seasonal recipes and dining tips from these new cookbooks. USA TODAY looks at what's cooking from popular chefs.

The Book of Burger

by Rachael Ray

(Atria, $24.99)

The author: Cookbook author, syndicated TV star and Food Network TV personality

Seasonal recipes: 5-spice pork burgers with warm mu shu slaw; "Smoke and Fireworks" bacon-wrapped chipotle burgers' portobello burgers with spinach pesto.

Summer yum factor: Nothing says summer like a burger cooked on the grill, and as Ray often says "How good does that look!"

People's Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops From Brooklyn's Coolest Pop Shop by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell and Joel Horowitz (Ten Speed Press, $16.99)

The authors: Founded People's Pops in 2008. They live in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Seasonal recipes: Rhubarb & elderflower; apricot & lavender; cantaloupe & Campari ice pops.

Summer yum factor: Not for just kids, these high-end "popsicles," fruity, sweet and frozen, are the definitive summer time treat.

Martha's American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation's Most Treasured Dishes, From Coast to Coast

(Potter, $40)

by Martha Stewart

The author: Celebrity author of dozens of best-selling books on food, gardening, decorating and entertaining.

Seasonal recipes: Classic potato salad; creamy cole slaw; chicken-fried steak; grilled chile-citrus turkey breast

Summer yum factor: Stewart offers a chapter called "All-American" and divides the rest of the book into regions — Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and West — with recipes enhanced with seasonal fruits and vegetables.

I Love Corn

by Lisa Skye

(Andrews McMeel, $19.99)

The author: Skye field-produced the Discovery Channel show Go Ahead, Make My Dinner

Seasonal recipes: Fresh corn gazpacho; fresh corn ice cream; grilled corn Mexican style.

Summer yum factor: Celebrities including Daniel Boulud and Martha Stewart contribute. Lots of practical tips, too: "When buying corn, look for ears that feel plump."

Lobster! 55 Fresh & Simple Recipes for Everyday Eating

by Brooke Dojny

(Storey, $14.95)

The author: Dojny also wrote Dishing Up Maine and The New England Clam Shack Cookbook

Seasonal recipes: Mini lobster rolls; seashell lobster pasta salad with lemon-dill cream; grilled lobster with basil-lime butter.

Summer yum factor: Can't get to the beach? Evoke the seaside at your backyard picnic with the sweet meat of what Drojny calls the "cardinal of the ocean."

The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History

by Ricky Lauren

(Wiley, $40)

The author: Photographer and artist, wife of designer Ralph Lauren; this is her fourth book in what she calls her "personal lifestyle" genre.

Seasonal recipes: Dylan's sunshine salad with mango dressing; shrimp and scallop burgers; pasta with Hamptons summer vegetables.

Summer yum factor: Does anything say summer more than Southampton, Amagansett, Montauk and East Hampton? Lauren takes you there.

Edible Cocktails: From Garden to Glass — Seasonal Cocktails With a Fresh Twist

by Natalie Bovis

(Adams Media, $17.95)

The author: AKA the Liquid Muse, she's a mixologist and co-creator of a line of pre-bottled organic cocktails called O.M.

Seasonal recipes: Cilantro-cucumber vodka collins; basil grass lemon drop; Caprese martini.

Summer yum factor: Cheers for teaching how to plant a "cocktail garden" from "seedling to first sip" and use fresh farmers' market ingredients.

The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill

by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

(Running Press, $20)

The authors: These barbeque queens have appeared on the Food Network and Better Homes and Gardens TV.

Seasonal recipes: Char-grilled baby summer squash pizza; flame-licked tomatoes on the stem; grilled gazpacho.

Summer yum factor: The authors' mantra: "Let's grab our garden trowels and our grill tongs and get busy."

The Fire Island Cookbook

by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen; foreword by Al Roker

(Emily Bestler Books, $30)

The authors: AKA the World Wine Guys, they are wine, spirits, food and travel writers.

Seasonal recipes: Stacked tomato and mozzarella Caprese salad; grilled sweet peaches; Mike's Caribbean spiced ribs.

Summer yum factor: The book offers meals for each weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day with a strong focus on seasonal produce.

Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking & Easy Entertaining

by Cornelia Guest

(Weinstein Books, $32.50)

The author: Philanthropist; founder of Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies.

Seasonal recipes: Vegetable carpaccio and stuffed squash blossoms; grilled bread panzanella; grilled corn and avocado salad

Summer yum factor: Guest has entertaining in her DNA: she shows how effortless and elegant entertaining can complement your summer dishes.

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