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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Tapas to Meze:Cookbook

I'm sure I used to like the winter. I used to vacation in the mountains and alps. I used to go skiing. I used to spend hours gazing at the falling snow, sipping hot chocolate from a cozy lodge. But not anymore. The minute it gets cold or begins to rain or heaven forbid both, I start whining. Home for less than two weeks and I long to be back in Mexico enjoying the warmth and the sunshine.

One way to overcome the winter blues is to transport yourself to the Mediterranean and short of plane tickets, I can think of no better way than by reading Joanne Weir's latest cookbook out in paperback, From Tapas to Meze.

There are several reasons to love this book. One is the glorious photographs. Another is the delightful introductions to each recipe. Weir shares secrets and stories with her readers, inviting them into her confidence. But the main reason to love this book is the recipes themselves, all 160 of them.

This book covers all kinds of recipes from countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and even the Middle East and North Africa. Whether you are looking for party food, appetizers or snacks, this book will fit the bill. In an era when everyone seems to be looking for a healthier way to eat, this is one option that doesn't scream "diet".

Another bonus to this book is that it is not limited to summertime fare. Recipes that will give you a sunny burst of flavor this winter include an Orange, Beet and Walnut Salad, a Risotto with Red Wine and even Tunisian Brik, a phyllo pastry filled with potatoes, scallions and fried egg.