TITLE: The American Cookbook — A Fresh Take on Classic Recipes by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr and Caroline Bretherton (DK Publishing, $25, 256 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: If you are a fan of classic American foods such as mac and cheese and fried green tomatoes but want to change up the recipes, this cookbook will help you do it. Sometimes, the classic version of a recipe is given with three variety suggestions. For example, the classic mac and cheese recipe suggests tomato and ricotta, tuna and petit pois, or mac 'n' cheese balls as variations.
FOR: Those who like, but get a little bored with, classic recipes. There are lots of choices so your menu won't become stale. Most recipes are perfect for any skill level but there are a few that require a more advanced understanding of techniques.
RECIPES: Bourbon and brown sugar BBQ chicken, garlic buttered roast turkey, pork chops with apple and bacon compote, Boston baked beans, vegetable fajitas with cilantro cream, sweet potato Parmesan tots, strawberries and cream whoopie pies, jalapeno, onion and cheddar hush puppies, mole shredded pork enchiladas, three-bean chili, spicy chorizo-style dirty rice, deli-style Reuben, peach cobbler, Boston cream trifle, tomato, basil and mozzarella pizza, sausage and chestnut stuffing and rainbow potato gratin.
TITLE: Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond by David Ponte, Jamie Barber and Lizzy Barber (Sterling Epicure, $24.95, 192 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: Brazilian food uses fresh ingredients, especially pork, prawns and fresh fruits such as limes and bananas. Some ingredients — like cassava meal or guava paste — may be harder to find than others, but most are readily available. This is more than a cookbook. You can learn to samba; you can learn about Brazilian fruits; you can even learn how futebol came to Brazil.
FOR: You really don't have to be too adventurous for the recipes in this cookbook. The recipe names may be a bit intimidating but there are no difficult techniques.
RECIPES: Cachaca grilled chicken, picana burger, steak oswaldo aranha, shrimp, pineapple and palm heart salad with honey-cinnamon dressing, crazy lady cake, beijinhos, banana upside-down cake, malagueta jumbo shrimp, cachaca grilled chicken, grilled crab shells, mango and coconut granola crunch, Brazilian hot chocolate, chili and cumin marinated hanger steak and chili mayonnaise.
TITLE: The Big Book of Breakfast & Brunch (Betty Crocker, $19.99, 336 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: Experts and moms alike have always said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This new cookbook from Betty Crocker will give you a plethora of recipes to start your day. Some of the recipes can be made ahead and baked while you get ready for school or work. There are even a few gluten-free recipes.
FOR: Breakfast lovers! There are lots of great recipes here.
RECIPES: Oatmeal pancakes with banana walnut syrup, raspberry-rhubarb puff pancake, cinnamon French toast sticks with spicy cider syrup, very berry parfaits, carrot mango smoothie poppers, sausage-French toast panini, maple bacon buttermilk waffles, upside-down banana-walnut French toast, cinnamon breakfast bread pudding, cheesy sausage and egg bake, peachy chai smoothies, super spinach smoothies, s'mores hot cereal, indulgent overnight oatmeal swap, cranberry-apple gran-oatmeal, very berry parfaits, veggie-stuffed omelet, creamy chocolate-almond coffee, and breakfast tacos.