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Cookbook review: The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2

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(Read caption) Variegated Spiced Latkes, by Food52 contest winner Sagegreen, are a mix of sweet potato, unpeeled Russets, and parsnip. The Food52 Cookbook editors report that, in this recipe, "fennel and fresh ginger tickle your tongue in the most pleasant of ways."

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This may be one case where too many cooks in the kitchen is a good thing.

The award-winning community of online home cooks is back with another crowd-sourced tome, The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2. Created by food writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52.com is a recipe and cooking website that invites online users to contribute and critique recipes, and share solutions for kitchen challenges. So immediate has been its success since its launch in late 2009, Food52 has attracted more than 85,000 members and was named the 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation

This second cookbook edited by Hesser and Stubbs includes 104 recipes culled from the themed recipe contests hosted each week over the course of a year on Food52 (as in 52 weeks). Full of interesting, unique dishes and candid comments from Food52.com groupies, "The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2" inspires as easily as it charms.

Volume 2 is organized by season in order to best showcase its emphasis on seasonal, fresh cooking. Its recipes demonstrate a certain artisanal flair, with such titles as "Almond Cake with Orange Flower Water Syrup," "Variegated Spiced Latkes," "Coconut Cajeta & Chocolate Fondue," and "Late Night Coffee Brined Chicken," to name a few.

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