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Picks and Pans Review: A Collection for the Modern Cook

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by Susan Spungen

Readers who are comfortable in the kitchen and who long to hone their skills will savor Recipes, a handsome volume from Susan Spungen, the founding food editor and former editorial director for food at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for accomplished cooks to play around with new ideas and flavors; organized by technique—sauteeing, roasting and the like—Spungen’s cookbook focuses on sensual dishes ranging from Polenta with Caramelized Corn to Honey-Roasted Squash to Grill-Roasted Chicken. Spungen’s elegant lemon-curd cheesecake would make a stunning finale for a holiday feast, and her Little Black Dress Cake—”the goes-with-everything chocolate cake recipe”—is the kind of drop-dead dessert that every stylish baker needs.