by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas, Sally Jackson

Clarkson Potter, $35.00, 262 pages

Bobby Flay, Food Network star and owner of several restaurants, has taken recipes directly from his restaurant, Bar Americain, and produced a cookbook paying homage to our national favorites. Classic regional dishes are featured in sections: Cocktails, Soups and Salads, Sandwiches, Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry and Meat, Sides, Breads and Desserts, Brunch, and Sauces and Stocks. Some ingredients are regional and/or seasonal and may be hard to find in the off-season. Recipe instructions though, are clear, concise, and easy to follow. Throughout the book are mouthwatering and enticing color photographs.

Cooks can use this book to plan a full menu from cocktails to dessert. For a down home barbeque, begin with a spicy, smoky Barbecue Cocktail, juicy Country-Style Ribs, creamy Lobster Potato Salad, and finish with slices of warm Thin Apple Tart. Need to impress a mother-in-law for Sunday brunch? Include decadent Bananas Foster Crepes and an icy cold Blackberry-Bourbon Julep to win her over. Holiday favorites will be Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry-Maple Creme Fraiche, Herb Roasted Turkey, Sourdough, Wild Mushroom and Bacon Dressing, and Sweet Potato Pie. Planning your next celebration with family and friends has never been easier.

Natalie Hatfield