cover image Treasured Recipes: 200 Prize-Winning Dishes from America's Hometown Cooks

Treasured Recipes: 200 Prize-Winning Dishes from America's Hometown Cooks

. Better Homes and Gardens Books, $29.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-696-21159-1

After nearly 80 years of sponsoring recipe contests in its magazine (when first prize was originally $5--a week's worth of groceries in 1923), Better Homes and Gardens offers this collection that includes a few standout recipes (for example, Festive Cranberry-Apricot Pie) and lots of kitschy fun. Each recipe is accompanied by its creator's name and the year it was selected a winner, and many also sport sidebars on the popularity of certain foods over the years--an award-winning Hawaiian Lemonade from 1959 is paired with a note explaining that at one time any dish that contained pineapple was tagged Hawaiian and that in the 1950s it was chic to throw luau-themed parties. Many of the older recipes suggest modern-day shortcuts, such as Good Seed Bread made with a bread machine, and Microwave Candy-Bar Fudge mix. Dishes with ethnic influences sound light and appealing, including Lemony Italian Salad, a pretty composition of lentils, Parmesan, spinach and prosciutto, and Basil Chicken in Coconut Sauce, the grand-prize winner in 1997, which mixes Indian and Thai flavors. America's timeless love of sweets is in evidence with a multitude of desserts, as well as sweet side dishes like Cranberry Fluff (a melange of cranberries, apples, grapes and miniature marshmallows). With the something-old-something-new formula, this book has its place on a well-stocked backlist, but is unlikely to cause any ripples in the market when it arrives. 110,000 first printing. (Oct.)