The Culinary Library

Worthwhile gift choices from Santa's book bag

The Culinary Library

Texas Titles to Consider

Fresh: Healthy Cooking and Living From Lake Austin Spa Resort by Terry Conlan (Favorite Recipes Press, $30) Terry Conlan's flavorful, eclectic cuisine is a major attraction at the famed lakeside destination spa as well as at regular sold-out cooking classes around the state. This lovely new volume features dishes known to delight the discriminating palates of spa guests along with helpful gardening information and rejuvenating spa tips. Recipes are globally inspired and accessible to the home cook. The chef's inviting voice inspires readers to savor the art of healthy eating.

Barbecue, Biscuits & Beans: Chuckwagon Cooking by Bill Cauble & Cliff Teinert (Bright Sky Press, $24.95) Cowboy author Cliff Teinert made quite a dramatic entrance at the "Bon Appetit, Y'all" book party during the recent Texas Book Festival. Teinert's appearance was such a huge hit because he's so obviously the genuine article. The engaging recipes in this book, and the ranching, catering West Texas cowboys who've shared them, are as authentic as they come. A must-have for anyone interested in Texas culinary history and regional cooking.

The Culinary Library

Texas on the Plate by Terry Thompson-Anderson (Shearer Publishing, $34.95) This lushly illustrated book made quite a splash at the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival last spring and with good reason. It's pretty to look at and worth taking into the kitchen. The author's reliable recipes reflect the depth and breadth of modern Texas cuisine, complete with regional specialties and major ethnic influences. She also enthusiastically embraces the Texas wine industry, offering wine-pairing suggestions from among her favorite Texas vintages with many dishes.

Celebrating Barbecue: The Ultimate Guide to America's 4 Regional Styles of 'Cue by Dotty Griffith (Simon & Schuster, $24) Griffith is the former food editor and current restaurant critic for The Dallas Morning News and should be commended for having the gumption to tackle the contentious culinary subject of regional barbecue styles in the first place. While some purists may grumble about specific regional conclusions, Griffith's book offers good general barbecue information.

Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections From the Pit Bosses by Robb Walsh (Chronicle Books, $18.95) Walsh sought out pit masters around the state, capturing their passion for barbecue and recording some of their recipes for posterity. This well-designed book was a hot seller at last summer's Southern Foodways Alliance Taste of Texas Barbecue event and is worthwhile if for no other reason than it introduces the Lopez family of Gonzalez Food Market to a much deserved statewide and national audience.

The Wine Roads of Texas: An Essential Guide to Texas Wines & Wineries by Wes Marshall (Maverick Publishing, $18.95) A perfect stocking stuffer and must-have companion for this weekend's Hill Country Holiday Wine Trail.

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