It is back to school time and BEATING THE LUNCH BOX BLUES: Fresh Ideas for Lunches on the Go! by J.M Hirsch is a handy volume for parents who want to inspire healthier and more interesting foods for their kids. The target audience is definitely busy people who need lots of fresh ideas for kids’ lunches. The book is based on JM Hirsch’s blog and presents photos, tips, and ideas rather than recipes like DIY taco kit made from leftover chicken or steak, whole-wheat tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, and veggies.


CUISINE NICOISE; Sun-kissed cooking from the French Riviera by Hillary Davis is a gorgeous volume of recipes from the South of France. The cooking of this region is based on the Mediterranean diet with emphasis on olive oil and all kinds of heart-healthy ingredients. Local and fresh are the key words in recipes that include cantaloupe soup with raw beet salad; grilled swordfish salad; Swiss chard gnocchi; lamb sauté with ratatouille sauce and potatoes; and almond-orange polenta squares. This is a beautiful volume for anyone who wants to eat healthfully and yet impress family and guests!


THE GLORIOUS VEGETABLES OF ITALY by Domenica Marchetti is a beautifully photographed volume of 100 recipes showcasing Italy’s gorgeous and bountiful vegetables. The book is organized by courses making veggies the star, not the sides on the menu. Highlights include bread soup with summer squash; braised radicchio with pancetta and cream; Tuscan kale frittata; and my favorite ribolita soup.


HEATHER CHRISTO’S GENEROUS TABLE: Easy & Elegant Recipes through the Seasons by Heather Christo is a beautifully presented homage to entertaining seasonally. I usually don’t love menu cookbooks but this one is surprisingly chocked full of inspired recipes. The menus are simple to follow and provide tips to making the dishes successfully. Highlights include the grilled wild salmon with apricot mustard glaze and stone fruit; seared sea scallops with artichoke pesto; butternut squash enchiladas; and apple cinnamon oatmeal crisp.

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