,TITLE: Delish Cooking School: Learning to Cook Step-by-Step (Hearst Books, $34.95, 687 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: Delish Cooking School is one of the best cookbooks for beginners that I've seen in a long time. It is packed with recipes for everything from easier dishes like roast chicken to international fare like Cantonese lamb. You'll find not only the usual ingredients like beef, chicken and pork but also lamb and duck, plus recipes for sauces, desserts, stir-fries and more.
FOR: Primarily beginners, but any skill level could learn something new. Plus, there are sections that deconstruct ingredients, providing information about herbs, salad green varieties, vegetables and more. For example, the eggs chapter offers tips for separating eggs, buying, storage and more.
RECIPES: Chunky beef and vegetable pie, chicken pot roast with mustard cream sauce, Texas-style spare ribs, lentil and bean burgers, roast loin of pork with apple sauce, roasted vegetable tart, caramelized onion and beet tart, Mississippi mud cake, chocolate caramel slice, tomato tarts and broad beans and thyme.
,TITLE: Fine Cooking Comfort Food: 200 Delicious Recipes for Soul-Warming Meals (Taunton Press, $19.95, 252 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: This collection is suited for any skill level. Some recipes require more prep work than others, but no techniques are too difficult.
FOR: Home cooks who want to prepare kicked-up comfort food from time to time.
RECIPES: Quick skillet mac and cheese, spiced yogurt waffles with toasted pecan maple syrup, cornmeal-cherry muffins, blueberry cheesecake with gingersnap crust, beef stew with root vegetables, Transylvanian goulash and winter vegetable soup with coconut milk and pears.
,TITLE: At the Farmer's Market With Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands by Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan (Chronicle Books, $22.95, 168 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: This cookbook includes more than recipes for food. There are "recipes" for tie-dying T-shirts with blackberries and making an organic wreath. The authors hope to encourage parents to take their children to a farmer's market, where they might be able to meet a farmer.
FOR: Families that enjoy cooking together. It's not necessary to shop at outdoor markets to prepare these recipes, but getting the most flavorful produce will enhance the dishes. Each recipe offers tips for what part of the recipe a child can perform.
RECIPES: Summer corn pudding, edible dried-fruit bracelets, frozen nectarine yogurt, old-fashioned grape jelly, gnocchi with Parmesan cheese, buttery citrus curd bars, stir-fried broccoli with chicken, crunchy refrigerator pickles, fava bean puree with crunchy croutons, cinnamon nut swirl monkey bread, and radish tea party sandwiches.
Ellen Folkman, Times correspondent
Books That Cook appears monthly in the Taste section.