1. Cooking

Books That Cook: holiday cocktails, waffles, soups

Published Oct. 20, 2014

.TITLE: Cocktails for the Holidays — Festive Drinks to Celebrate the Season by the editors of Imbibe magazine (Chronicle Books, $19.95, 120 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Many a seasoned hostess will tell you one key to a great party is a signature drink. Not only does it reduce the cost because you don't have to buy a variety of liquors and mixers, it also reduces your work, allowing you to spend more time with your guests. There are recipes for punches as well as cocktails, which make entertaining easy for larger groups.

FOR: This book is for anyone who entertains, not just during the holidays but all winter long. There are recipes for warm and iced libations, perfect for any climate.

RECIPES: Spiced Pear Daiquiri, Santa's Little Helper, Cinnamon-Campari Sidecar, Pearl Street Warmer, Whitecap, Hot Buttered Cider, Honey Milk Punch, Brandied Apple, Winter's Waltz Sang Royal and Falling Leaves.

. TITLE: Soup for Two — Small Batch Recipes for One, Two or a Few by Joanna Pruess (Countryman Press, $24.95, 128 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Cooler weather will be here soon and, with it, a taste for soup. Many of the recipes are easily doubled but it's tough to tell what you're doubling because, unfortunately, many of the recipes do not mention the number of servings they make. There is a wide variety of recipes, some with ingredients that are staples in your pantry.

FOR: Empty nesters, bachelors and bachelorettes, even families if you're okay with doubling recipes.

RECIPES: Provencal Mussel Soup, Chinese Noodle Soup with Shrimp, Scallop and Kale Soup, Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup, Leftover Turkey and Tomatillo Soup, Miso Soup with Tofu, Shitakes, Bok Choy, and Soba Noodles, Minted Spiced Green Pea Soup with Chunky Chickpeas, Thai Carrot-ginger Soup and Turkey Barley and Spinach Soup.

. TITLE: Will It Waffle? Yes, It Will! 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron (Workman Publishing, $14.95, 210 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: First of all, you do need a waffle iron to use this cookbook. This cookbook offers lots of fun and interesting recipes to share with your family. Kids will love the novelty. None of the recipes are difficult. You'll find recipes for snacks, breakfast, main courses, desserts and, yes, waffles. It's a really interesting concept and I'm sure some recipes work better than others.

FOR: Those looking for variety and a fun aspect to meals.

RECIPES: Waffled Calamari Salad With Thai Dressing, Crisscrossed Crab Cakes With Sriracha Mayonnaise, Waffled Tamale Pie, Waffled Ham and Cheese Melt With Maple Butter, Waffled Croque Madame, Waffled Macaroni and Cheese, Waffled Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Waffled Chicken Breast Stuffed With Spinach, Pine Nuts and Feta, Zucchini Parmesan Flattened Fritters, Waffled Fries, Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles and Red Velvet Waffled Ice Cream Sandwiches.


  1. Hoisin-glazed chicken meatballs. LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI  |  Special to the Times
    They’re topped with a hoisin sauce, and can be baked or pan-fried.
  2. Olive oil cake with nectarines. MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Need something for a potluck? Entertaining at home? This cake is simple and decadent.
  3. "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle," the new light projection show at Universal Orlando, will open this weekend, running on select nights through Nov. 15. Universal Orlando
    Death Eaters, Voldemort and other creepy creatures from the world of Harry Potter star in the nighttime display.
  4. Brothers Duane and David Hogg, of Hogg Batch Coffee. Courtesy of Joey Clay Studio
    Two brothers from St. Petersburg have started a small coffee company.
  5. Chocolate chunk sea salt biscotti. MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Italian treat is crunchy yet chewy, with chocolate and almond flavors.
  6.  LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI  |  Special to the Times
    They’re topped with a buttermilk brown sugar glaze.
  7. Marinated zucchini MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    You’ll hardly recognize the vegetable.
  8. Honey chipotle chicken tacos MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    And for the toppings, try these quick pickled red onions.
  9. Enjoy la dolce vita with Limoncello Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake With a Biscotti Crust.
    Plus, the crust is made from crushed-up biscotti.
  10. Top Turkish Feta Zucchini and Carrot Pancakes with whipped feta and yogurt sauce. [LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI   |   Special to the Times]