Check It Out: Celebrate the season with holiday recipes

With the holidays upon us, it's time to bring out the cookbooks to look for new recipes. The Newport Beach Public Library has many to choose from for making your holiday menus delectable.

"Daisy's Holiday Cooking: Delicious Latin Recipes for Effortless Entertaining by Food Network star Daisy Martinez presents the latest Latin-themed collection of multi-course menus for gatherings of all sizes.

Recipes are grouped by event, such as a Christmas Eve dinner for six that includes Tamarind Margaritas and the challenging Arroz Con Pato, roasted duck served over a rich base of rice cooked in duck broth.

Preparation schedules provide timelines and detailed instructions for making items well in advance, and helpful photo guides give novices confidence. Entertainers looking for a twist on the classics or simply a new dish to bring to a holiday potluck will find plenty of flavorful ideas here.

"Southern Living Cooking for Christmas: Favorite Holiday Recipes to Share with Family and Friends" is an all new collection containing 350 recipes and 200 photos for the ultimate holiday and entertaining guide.

The book opens with 20 menus specially designed for the holidays — from casual family meals to dressier party fare. A recipe section features holiday food categories from appetizers to entrees to desserts-all perfectly suited for seasonal meals.

Bonus sections feature "Get Set for the Season" and a "Holiday Journal" filled with expert cooking and entertaining tips as well as handy calendars and charts for party planning and Christmas card and gift lists. American cuisine New American cuisine, using highest quality ingredients

Chef Bradley Ogden is celebrated for his New American Cuisine, using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients available. In his first cookbook in over a decade, "Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden 150 Festive Recipes for Bringing Family & Friends Together," Ogden has broken up into sections on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

The recipes take center stage and are followed by suggested menus and preparation schedules. The especially helpful "Special Note" sections offer tips on identifying fruits and vegetables, and one even tackles hangover remedies.

Gina and Patrick Neely coauthor "The Neely's Celebration Cookbook: Down Home Meals for Every Occasion." According to the Neelys, it takes family, friends, and ample good food to make a celebration. In their new book, they share their recipes and secrets for entertaining year-round, dishing up new spins on seasonal classics, and suggesting occasions to celebrate that most of us haven't thought of ourselves.

Entertaining friends and family can be a challenge when you're vegan and gluten-free. It can be even trickier when you're not, but a family member or close friend is. So what do you do when you want to prepare a gluten-free and vegan holiday dinner for eight?

Turn to "Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays: Celebrating the Year with Simple, Satisfying Recipes and Menus" by Jennifer Katzenberger for help! Here you'll find both sweet and savory, gluten-free and vegan menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Whether you're gluten-free and vegan or not, you'll please the ones you love with these simple yet sophisticated and pleasing menus.

With all of these festive cookbooks the Newport Beach Public Library wishes you a delicious start to the holiday season. Enjoy!

For those of you who would like to learn how to create, and sample, some of the gourmet cuisine of top chefs in Orange County at a very reasonable cost, check out the What's Cooking at the Library programs held monthly at the Central Library.

On Jan. 17, Chef Ryan Wilson from Five Crowns and Side Door will be at the library for a demonstration and tasting event. He'll be followed by Chef Cathy Pavlos of Lucca on Feb. 21 and Chef Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina on March 20.

To find out more, or register for these special programs, visit the website at and click on the What's Cooking logo.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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