Betty Crocker,
Betty Crocker's Best Christmas Cookbook
(IDG Books Worldwide, 1999)

Whether you are looking for a hearty main meal or something new to bring to a holiday party, this book lives up to the title! I picked it up on a whim, simply because it is a lovely looking cookbook and I adore holiday cooking. Beautifully photographed pictures of the food are alongside easy-to-follow recipes, along with helpful hints, tips for changing the recipe if you like, and menu suggestions.

The first section is titled "Simple Sipper and Savory Nibbles" and contains various holiday drinks and appetizers. This is a perfect section if you are planning a house party or what to bring to a potluck. Chapter two contains "Merry Main Dishes." I highly recommend the Rib Roast with Herb Rub, which I made for a family dinner. There is even a recipe for Roast Goose!

Chapter three is "Sensational Salads and Sides," and I will happily vouch for the Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, which I have made for holidays and special occasions and it always receives raves from my family. "Holiday Breads," the next section, contains recipes for treats that make wonderful gifts and additions to holiday meals. Of course, no Christmas cookbook is complete without desserts, and "Sweet Shop Favorites" has a variety that will keep your mouth watering.

"Festive Family Fun" and "Holiday Gifts and Decorations" round out the book, adding wonderful crafts and cooking projects that the whole family can enjoy. These include Salt Dough Decorations, a Gingerbread Village, Decadent Fudge Sauce, and a Cranberry Kissing Ball. This book can add to the family feeling of the holidays, not only by adding luscious new recipes to the family standards, but also giving the entire family an opportunity to cook and create together!

Not only is this a wonderful holiday cookbook, but many of the dishes can be used year-round, making Betty Crocker's Best Christmas Cookbook an enjoyable addition to the cookbook shelf.

[ by Beth Derochea ]
Rambles: 14 December 2001

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