SOUTH POLL: Survey the bookstore and you’ll notice that much of this season’s new cookbook crop hails from below the Mason-Dixon line. But not every book is singing the same Dixie tune: See how different cookbooks handle the Southern staple, okra.
By Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing ($35)
The husband-and-wife team behind the New Orleans restaurant MiLa gives down-home cooking a restaurant- kitchen spin. Exhibit A: Roasted Okra with Chili Oil, which gets a spicy Indian edge.
—Allyson Dickman, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
From the October Issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray
NOW EAT THIS! ITALIAN
By Rocco DiSpirito ($27)
Grazie, Rocco! The latest cookbook from this longtime luminary features Italian classics like creamy fettuccine alfredo, all trimmed to 350 calories max. And because the recipes come from real Italian mamas—who appear throughout the book—you know the calorie-cutting doesn’t compromise flavor.
From the September “Italian Issue” of Every Day with Rachael Ray
CRAZY GOOD ITALIAN
By Mike Isabella ($35)
What do you get when you cross a Top Chef All-Star with an Italian-American childhood? Isabella’s first cookbook, which includes family traditions (check out Grandma’s Potato Gnocchi) and the chef’s own creations (remember that pepperoni sauce from Top Chef?). It’s a mix that totally says delizioso.
From our September “Italian Issue” of Every Day with Rachael Ray
The author of a new cookbook-meets-study guide says teens can learn tricky vocabulary words just by following a recipe. We feel smarter already.
Cook Your Way Through the S.A.T. ($13, barnesandnoble.com) is filled with 99 recipes designed to help kids learn and retain new words. Each dish includes a fun-facts blurb with 10 special terms, followed by a match-game quiz on their meanings. “Cramming doesn’t work,” says author Charis Freiman-Mendel. “But if you use those unfamiliar words to make something delicious in the kitchen, they’ll stick with you.” While there’s no guarantee that scores will jump 100 points, there is a reward at the end of this special study session: Dinner is done!
—Allyson Dickman, Lifestyle Editorial Assistant