If the blazing hot temperatures arent enough of a hint that summer is back in gear, then there are plenty of other ways to tell that were in the thick of it. The days are getting longer, the shorts are definitely getting shorter (or disappearing completely), and our weekends have become increasingly devoted to beach getaways.
But there is no greater sign of summer than the smell of a good old-fashioned outdoor barbecue. The best part of this tried and true summer tradition? You dont have to be a culinary whiz in order to know what youre doing behind the grill. Just consult these top 10 recipe books and you’ll be flipping kabobs and whipping up summer cocktails with perfection in no time.
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What summer party is complete without cocktails? Try these fun recipes like Tipsy Tea and Ruby Sangria, and we guarantee your guests will be impressed. Porch Parties: Cocktail Recipes and Easy Ideas For Outdoor Entertaining, by Denise Gee, $12.20, at Barnesandnoble.com
By August, we've usually had our fill of cheeseburgers. Kabob recipes are a great way to stay inventive at the grill all summer long. Kabobs and Other Light Grills, by Ghillie Basan & Richard Jung, $13.63, at Barnesandnoble.com
The best part about summer cooking is all the fresh ingredients. This book will show you how to take advantage of your local farmer's market this season. Williams-Sonoma Cooking From the Farmers' Market, $34.95, at Williams-Sonoma
Barbecues don't have to be synonymous with meat. Try this James Beard Award-nominated cookbook for yummy vegetarian recipe ideas like Sweet Potato Quesadillas and Lentil Burgers. New Vegetarian Grill: 250 Flame-Kissed Recipes For Fresh, Inspired Meals, by Andrea Chesman, $12.20, at Barnesandnoble.com
When entertaining a crowd, making individual cocktails can get time consuming whipping up a pitcher or two is the perfect solution. This book shows you how to get it right. Ultimate Guide to Pitcher Drinks: Cool Cocktails For A Crowd, by Sharon Tyler Herbst, $11.92, at Barnesandnoble.com
This barbecue basics guide makes grilling a cinch, even for all you cooking novices. The Little Black Book of Barbecue: The Essential Guide To Grilling, Smoking, and BBQ, by Karren Barbas, $10, at Amazon.com
With 300 recipes, this cookbook is your one-stop shop for fun-filled summer salads, appetizers, drinks and desserts. The Big Summer Cookbook: 300 fresh, flavorful recipes for those lazy, hazy days, by Jeff Cox, $17.96, at Barnesandnoble.com
This book may be called Boy Meets Grill, but we guarantee that all of you ladies are perfectly capable of tackling the flames too! Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill: With More than 125 Bold New Recipes, by Bobby Flay, $29 at Barnesandnoble.com
This collection of desserts will allow you to utilize all of the summer fruits you love so much we're especially excited to try the cherry tart with crushed amoretti. Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market, by Deborah Madison, $32.50, at Collective Works Bookstore
If the cover alone doesn't sell you, just take our word for it. This cookbook will teach you everything you need to know about making the quintessential summer treat at home ice cream! The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments, by David Lebovitz, $13.67, at Barnesandnoble.com