Cookbooks offer how-to on milkshakes, skinny dishes and small servings

Published May 15, 2013

,TITLE: Malts & Milkshakes — 60 Recipes for Frosty, Creamy, Frozen Treats by Autumn Martin (St. Martin's Press, $17.99, 160 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: This is a perfect cookbook for summer. There are so many inviting recipes you won't know which one to choose to make first. These recipes are perfect for anyone who loves ice cream, milkshake and malts. There may be some different ingredients, like rosewater or dried lavender flowers, in more unusual concoctions but for the most part, the ingredients are readily available. Important to mention there is a chapter on boozy shakes that, yes, include alcohol.

FOR: Those who love frosty treats reminiscent of a diner or soda fountain. It would make a fun pool party complete with shakes and malts.

RECIPES: Ginger ice cream, Chai tea shake, fresh mint shake, peanut butter shake, salted caramel shake, s'mores shake, strawberry cheesecake shake, espresso shake, passion fruit creamsicle shake, blackberry lavender shake, coconut shake, butterscotch shake or malt and watermelon lime shake.

, TITLE: 400 Calorie Comfort Food — Easy Mix and Match Recipes for a Skinnier You! by the editors of Good Housekeeping (Hearst Books, $14.95, 160 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Comfort food is just that, comforting. We delve into comfort food after a bad day or situation to make us feel better and we do for a time. Sometimes fried or laden with butter or gooey cheese it is not the healthiest of choices. With 400 Calorie Comfort Food, you can feel better about eating a pork chop smothered in gravy or chicken pot pie.

FOR: Those watching calories. The one thing you won't miss is comfort. This cookbook is jam packed with better-for-you comfort food. Other titles in the series: 400 Calorie Italian, 400 Calorie Chicken, 400 Calorie Vegetarian.

RECIPES: Smothered pork chops, stuffed peppers, honey-mustard chicken, turkey breast with vegetable gravy, classic cheese omelet, bacon and eggs over asparagus, pork loin with peach glaze, lasagna rolls, Spanish chicken and rice, sweet potato shepherd's pie, chorizo and pepper tortilla, cod with mushroom ragout, banana quick bread, pecan fingers, strawberry-rhubarb crisp and lime triangles.

, TITLE: One Pan, Two Plates — More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two by Carla Snyder (Chronicle Books, $24.95, 208 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Sometimes it's difficult to find recipes for two people. One Pan, Two Plates solves that dilemma since all recipes serve two. Many recipes are quick and perfect for a busy weeknight dinner but elegant enough for a special occasion or date night. There is a lot of variety with pasta dishes, chicken, beef, pork, fish and lamb. One thing you won't find are dessert recipes. These are all for main dishes.

FOR: Newlyweds, empty-nesters and couples.

RECIPES: Thai red curry chicken, rib-eye steaks Florentine, creamy Yukon gold potato gratin, fluffy spring frittata, wild mushroom frittata, turkey tonkatsu, one-pan roast deviled chicken, catfish tacos, pasta carbonara, vegetable biryani, herb-rubbed pork, skirt steak fajitas, croque madame, Cuban sandwiches, Hungarian beef goulash, lamb korma and beef stew.