Book Marks

Taste of America: The Great American Oven Cookbook
Karen Kaplan BSH Home Appliances, Huntington Beach, CA

Created as a comprehensive reflection of some of the best cuisine available throughout the United States, Taste of America: The Great American Oven Cookbook features a collection of 50 unique recipes – with each recipe representing a different state.

Edited by Karen Kaplan and available from Huntington Beach, CA-based BSH Home Appliances Corporation, the book features recipes submitted by cooking enthusiasts from around the country, with recipes including appetizers from Alaska (creamy halibut dip with serrano chile); entrees from North Carolina (mountain short ribs); and desserts from Georgia (peach cobbler). According to BSH, the recipes were submitted as part of a contest honoring the 50th anniversary of the Thermador built-in oven, and judged by a panel of experts, including chef Bradley Ogden, with judging criteria based on taste, originality and how well it represented its particular region.

Each chapter is listed alphabetically and laid out in a reader-friendly fashion, with each state and recipe name listed at top. A listing of ingredients and the recipe follows, but perhaps the most interesting part of each chapter is a brief introduction to each recipe that either offers historical insight into the cuisine of the region, the region itself, or the cooking utensils that are required to authentically create particular dishes.

For instance, the chapter devoted to “New England Spider Cake with Maple Syrup,” a dish from Vermont, briefly discusses the importance of a cast-iron skillet called a “spider” that was a prominent tool for cooking cornbread, and how it is still used by the entrant for this award-winning recipe that is suitable for breakfast or dessert.

Likewise, the chapter for “Ozark Spoon Bread” features a twist on a classic side dish from Missouri, as the recipe calls for butter and maple syrup instead of domestic Asiago or white cheddar cheese.

Each at-home chef who earned the honor of representing their home state also has their name and photo next to the recipe. Accompanying the recipes are full-page, four-color photos that show each prepared dish.

The book ends with an interesting selection of indexes, separated by course and recipe. Both indexes offer easy-to-follow subcategories listed by food group or food type (such as sandwiches, pasta or pizza) for easy reference.

Bathrooms: Creating the Perfect Bathing Experience
Vinny Lee
Jacqui Small, London, England
Distributed in the U.S. by IPG

Designed as a reference to create functional bathroom spaces, Bathrooms: Creating the Perfect Bathing Experience by Vinny Lee will help kitchen and bath designers create spaces that relax and rejuvenate.

Available from London, England-based Jacqui Small, and distributed in the U.S. by IPG, the book covers a range of topics, including how to decide on the type of bathroom to create, where to find unexpected areas for storage, and how to capture the aesthetics of some of the most covetable bathroom styles around – ranging from minimalist to the highly personal “Me Style.”

To that end, the book offers a wide variety of examples of the latest fixtures and fittings to capture a particular look, as well as top-of-the-line offerings in wall and floor finishes, baths, showers, heating and lighting, among others.

Set up into three main sections, “Planning,” “Inspirational Styles,” and “Sourcebook,” the book covers a variety of topics within its pages, including chapters titled “Solo Spaces,” “Colour Splash” and Practicalities,” among others.

For instance, the chapter titled “Spa Style” begins with an in-depth study of the needed design elements necessary to create the spa bath, including the use of neutral colors and natural materials, such as bamboo, wood and stone. The chapter continues with a look at typical spa bath applications, such as sunken baths and thermostatically controlled environments to alleviate pain from sprains, rheumatism, sciatica and lumbago, for instance.

Scattered throughout each chapter are sections called “Practical Ideas,” which offer information on a variety of themes, such as “Using Chromotherapy,” “Adding Sound and Vision” and “Ways with Windows.”

The book is accented by four-color photography that offers up-close and wide-ranging shots to capture the essence of the various project styles and products featured throughout. Each photo is accompanied by brief captions that discuss the design approach utilized in each application.

The book concludes with a listing of suppliers both from Europe and the United States whose products are featured throughout the book, as well as a listing of architects and designers whose work is highlighted on the pages of the book.