Traditional recipes

Winter Classic Cocoa - Rangers Hockey H.L.

Winter Classic Cocoa - Rangers Hockey H.L.

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First, TEAM UP > this Superb Mixture of All Natural Unsweetened Cocoa and Sugar together in your favorite

(Classic) bowl and then SET it aside

In a small pan, (pour it on!) YES- pour the White (Classic) Milk > your choice of Milk in smoothly

"Take a shot" at it adding a little light or heavy creme

add your Classic Cocoa mixture and stir

Focusing > Carefully- Heat > while Stirring it up > until STEAMING HOT





keeping the SIMPLE BASICS in mind

by doubling or trippling this recipe by adding more Chocolate, less sugar, more sugar, more creme, less creme; nevertheless, go at it until you capture the right flavor in your moment of







serves 1 to massive crowds (needing these supplies of ingredients)




Go to your Stove TOP

The ultimate guide to winter dining on Long Island

Temperatures might be going down, but Long Island's restaurants are just starting to heat up. Igloos, greenhouses, fire pits — restaurateurs are devising countless ways, and sparing no expense, in an effort to preserve some semblance of the outdoor dining experience even as temperatures drop.

Aside from creative outdoor dining experiences, as well as some suggestions for spots offering heated outdoor dining, here you'll find places to grab standout hot chocolate and more.

Take a look, plus check out our Winter Holidays section for more goings-on.

Easter recipes, desserts and wine suggestions

Plan your Easter meal with these great recipes from our food experts.

These sticky buns are the perfect addition to your Easter brunch. Credit: AP / Matthew Mead

Don't know what to make for Easter dinner? Try one of these simple recipes.

The main dish on the Easter table often is either ham or lamb. There are plenty of wines that enhance .

Denise Chin knows when she's got a chocolate recipe right. "I'm waiting for an involuntary noise," said the founder of .

Chocolate seems to reign supreme when it comes to Easter. And while it's hard to deny the appeal of cocoa, .

Traditionally, Easter dinner centers around either lamb or ham, with an egg dish tucked in somewhere. And there's always a .

The classic Easter or spring lamb often is served with mint jelly. And that's fine, assuming you want to play .

A little retro and a whole lot of fun, cream cheese mints are the perfect way to keep little hands .

If you've eaten chocolate eggs from your Easter basket for breakfast and snacked on jelly beans for lunch, you might .

Three roasts for your Easter meal.

"Bless us oh Lord," intoned Joe Iavarone Sr. as he led his family in grace. Surrounding him at the table .

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Broadway Gourmet Bagel Cafe & Caterers

Broadway Gourmet Bagel Cafe & Caterers (893 North Broadway, North Massapequa): Broadway Gourmet is now also serving hot chocolate "baskets." Three options include: a pre-made "Kid's Cocoa Basket," $20, with pre-made with hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, and festive candies. Then there's custom-made "Holly Jolly Hot Cocoa" baskets, $55, with a box of hot chocolate and cups for 10 people, plus fixings such as marshmallows, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, Pirouette cookies, brownies bites and Rice Krispie treats. A large order, $95, gets you enough goodies for 20 people. For an upcharge of $10-$15, customers can add doughnuts, crumb cake bites, cookies and other treats. More info: 516-797-4840,


Ongoing throughout the month:

• Take a tour of Vertical Harvest greenhouse - Jackson's state-of-the-art, 3-story hydroponic farm tours at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays donation suggested -

• Jackson Hole Moose Hockey games will be held 6, 7, 20* and 21* at 7 p.m. in the Snow King Sports & Events Center. The team is back in action for their 24th season of hard-hitting ice hockey in Jackson Hole. Masks required capacity is limited. You must reserve your tickets in advance no walk-ups. Visit

Yellowstone National Park closes its east, west and south entrances.

Jackson Hole Hootenanny - Join Jackson’s all-time favorite folk musicians for a special virtual-only performance on the Center for the Arts' stage. Once a year, the Hootenanny trades in its usual Monday night venue in Moose, WY, and performs an in-town version of the long-running tradition. The 7 p.m. online event can be enjoyed at Available for 24 hours donations encouraged.

Teton Mudpots Holiday Sale - Sponsored by the Art Association of Jackson Hole, featuring local artisans shopping is on a reservation basis this year. -

Grand Targhee Mountain Resort Opens - weather dependent -

29th Annual Turkey Trot - 5K run/walk sponsored by Teton County/Jackson Parks and Rec Department -

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Opens - weather dependent -

Annual Town Square Lighting - Sip on hot cocoa, snack on local treats and drop off a letter to Santa in the Stage Stop Building (every night until Dec 25). The event is truly a sight to behold! -

Art Association's Annual Holiday Bazaar - Arts and crafts show, ideal for made-in-Jackson Hole holiday shopping. -

Top foodies choose their favourite recipes of all time

Giorgio Locatelli: 'Every October when I was little my grandfather would take me grape picking in Piedmont. I would pick sweet Muscat white grapes, for wine, and wait for the delicious bagna cauda served by my grandfather's friend, cooked over an open fire - a slow amalgamation of lots of garlic, olive oil, old bread and anchovies all melted together. We'd pick yellow peppers and chard for dipping -it's a beautifully convivial dish. My grandmother made this dish all her life - and she lived to be 101.'

16 garlic cloves, peeled
milk to cover
300g anchovy fillets (salted and rinsed, or 30 anchovy fillets in oil, drained)
300g butter, cut into pieces
200ml extra-virgin olive oil
100ml double cream
selection of raw vegetables, trimmed and cut into small pieces - choose from celery, Jerusalem artichokes, small globe artichokes, peppers, cucumber, fennel, radicchio and aspargus
a little beaten egg (optional)

Put the garlic cloves into a small pan, cover with milk and cook extremely slowly over a very low heat until the garlic is soft. Remove from the heat and crush the garlic into the milk until the mixture becomes creamy. Add the anchovies and let them dissolve, stirring over a very low heat. When everything is amalgamated, add the butter and the olive oil and stir gently to combine. Finally, add the cream.

Pour the bagna cauda into small individual fondue dishes, or into one large one, and keep warm over a lighted candle. Now, one by one, dip the tips of the vegetable pieces into it, and eat with bread. Repeat this until you have finished everything. At the end, you can stir a spoonful of beaten egg into the last of the sauce and let it coagulate - the last wonderful morsel.

· Taken from Antonio Carluccio's Italia (Quadrille Publishing, £25). Giorgio Locatelli is chef/proprietor of Locanda Locatelli, 8 Seymour Street, London, W1 (020 7935 9088)

Best roast chicken
By Alain Ducasse. Nominated by Rainer Becker

Roast chicken stuffed with girolles, new potatoes and spring onions

Rainer Becker: 'This is the perfect winter all-in-one dish. It's very warming with rich flavours and superb texture.'

This chicken has a rich stuffing of fresh duck foie gras, bacon, and chicken liver, as well as a second herb stuffing under the skin, of mixed herb butter that permeates the meat while cooking, giving it a wonderful flavour.

2 x 3lb free-range chickens

For the chicken glaze:

2 tbs chicken fat
(reserved from the chickens)
2 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
about 2 cups chicken stock or water

For the herb butter:

10 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 bunch each: fresh parsley, chervil and tarragon, stems removed, leaves chopped
1/2 bunch fresh chives, chopped
fine sea salt and ground black pepper

For the stuffing:

60g slab bacon or pancetta, diced
85g raw duck foie gras, cut into cubes
fine sea salt and ground black pepper
40g chicken liver (reserved from the chickens), cut into1.5cm cubes
85g white sandwich bread crusts removed and cut into 1.5 cm cubes

For the vegetables:

3 tbs olive oil or goose fat
575g small new potatoes, scrubbed
coarse sea salt
575g girolle mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
225g pearl onions, peeled
1 tbs sugar
fine sea salt and ground black pepper

Pull out and reserve the two pockets of fat from inside the body cavity of each chicken reserve two tablespoons of the fat for the chicken glaze. Cut off the wing tips, coarsely chop the chicken fat. Place it in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it starts to melt. Add a garlic clove and the chopped wing tips and necks and cook, stirring often, until browned - about 10 minutes. Pour off any excess fat and stir in the onion, thyme and the remaining garlic. Pour in enough chicken stock to barely cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup. Strain into a small saucepan, add a drop of water, and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the herb butter: In a medium bowl, mix the softened butter and chopped herbs until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the herb butter on a piece of plastic wrap and spread it evenly about .75 cm thick. Place in the freezer until firm.

To prepare the stuffing:

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the foie gras cubes and sauté until lightly browned - about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the foie gras, with its fat, to a fine sieve set over a small bowl to drain reserve the fat in the bowl. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to render its fat. With the slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl. Add the chicken livers to the fat remaining in the skillet and cook, stirring, until seared on all sides - about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove with the spoon and add to the bacon. Pour off the fat. Add the foie gras to the bacon and add the reserved foie gras fat to the skillet. Heat over medium-high heat, add the bread cubes, and cook, tossing and stirring often, until golden - about 4 minutes. Add to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together.

To roast the chicken:

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Cut the chilled herb butter into 5-7.5cm-wide sheets. Oil your hands, and very gently loosen the skin away from the flesh. Slide the herb butter sheets under the skin and then massage so that the butter softens and evens out.

Divide the stuffing between the chickens and truss them. Season with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan. Roast, basting often, for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the juices run clear. Transfer to a wire rack and rest for 10 minutes. Skim off any fat from the juices and add the juices to the chicken glaze.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the vegetables: Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a large skillet. Add the new potatoes, stir to coat with the oil, and season with coarse salt. Cover and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender - 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat the remaining oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, until tender - about 10 minutes. Add 1 tbs of the butter and the shallot and cook for 1 minute. Add the girolles to the cooked potatoes, add the thyme and toss to mix. Set aside.

In a small skillet, combine the pearl onions with 2 tbs of the butter and the sugar. Add enough water to just cover and season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced to a golden brown glaze and the onions are tender - 8 to 10 minutes. Roll the onions around in the pan to coat with the glaze add the potatoes.

To serve, add the remaining 1 tbs butter and the reserved chicken glaze to the vegetables and reheat over low heat until the liquid is simmering. Place the chickens on a large serving platter. Surround with the vegetables and serve.

· Taken from Flavors of France (Artisan, £45, Rainer Becker is head-chef/managing director at Zuma, 5 Raphael Street, London SW7, (020 7584 1010) Best risotto
By Marcella Hazan. Nominated by Rose Gray

Risotto with sausage and cranberry (borlotti) beans

Rose Gray: 'I've always been a fan of Marcella Hazan. She's an evocative food writer who is also very good on detail and precision and understands the importance of texture. This is a warming, wintry dish for people who love eating. I first came across it on a wine trip to Verona about 10 years ago. At that time you could only buy dried borlotti beans in the UK it's only recently that fresh ones have arrived in our markets. They have a beautiful creamy consistency they take on all the flavours of the fennelly sausage. '

450g fresh unshelled cranberry beans or 2/3 cup dried, soaked and boiled
1tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup crumbled, skinned pork sausage
5 cups homemade meat broth or 1/2 cup canned beef broth diluted with 4 1/2 cups of water
11/2 cups carnaroli, arborio or other imported Italian rice for risotto

For mantecare:

2 tbs butter
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano
reggiano cheese
1 tbs chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper

If using fresh beans, shell them, put them in a pot with enough cold, unsalted water to cover by about two inches, bring the water to a gentle simmer, cover the pot, and cook at a slow, steady pace until tender, about 45 minutes to one hour. Let them steep in their liquid until ready to use. If using dried beans, soak them overnight or for at least six hours, drain, then boil them in a fresh change of water. Let them steep in their liquid until ready to use.

Put the oil and chopped onion in a medium skillet, turn on the heat to medium, and cook the onions, stirring frequently until translucent but not coloured. Add the crumbled sausage and cook it, turning it over with a wooden spoon, until it becomes coloured a rich brown all over.

Retrieve the cooked beans from their pot, using a colander spoon or another slotted spoon, and put them in the skillet. Add one or two tablespoons of water from the bean pot, and mash about half the beans, pressing them against the bottom of the skillet with the wooden spoon.

Cook for about a minute, turning the contents of the pot over with the spoon from time to time. Pour the broth into a saucepan, bringing it to the boil and keeping it at a slow, sputtering simmer.

Place the heavy-bottomed saucepan where you'll be making the risotto on the burner nearest to the broth, empty the contents of the skillet into it, and turn the heat under the risotto pot to medium high. Stir, and when the beans and sausages are sizzling hot, add the rice. Stir quickly and thoroughly to coat the rice well.

Add one cup of simmering broth, and cook the rice, stirring

it and periodically adding liquid. Finish cooking the rice, stirring always and adding broth when needed, until tender but firm to the bite, about 25 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat and do the mantecare step, swirling in the butter and Parmesan, turning the risotto over four or five times. Add the chopped parsley, salt and ground pepper to taste, stir once or twice more transfer to a warm platter and serve at once.

· Taken from Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan (Macmillan, £16.99, from Rose Gray is chef/co-proprietor at the River Cafe Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6, (020 7386 4200)

Best roast lamb By Simon Hopkinson. Nominated by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Roast leg of lamb with anchovy, garlic and rosemary

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: 'I admire Simon Hopkinson, he's a brilliant food writer. Like me, he's a cook and not a chef, so he knows the right way to communicate with the domestic cook. This isn't the classic roast leg of lamb recipe: instead of studding it with garlic and rosemary, you put in tiny slivers of anchovies. Anchovies season the meat beautifully and this makes for a wonderful gravy.

I forever fancy eating this dish. We don't have Sunday roast at home but, because it's so simple, I'll always cook it for a dinner party.

1.8kg leg of lamb
2 x 50g tins anchovies
a small bunch of rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthways into three
75g butter, softened black pepper
1/2 bottle white wine
juice of 1 lemon and a bunch of watercress, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. With a small sharp knife, make about 12 incisions 5cm deep in the fleshy side of the joint. Insert a piece of garlic, half an anchovy and a small sprig of rosemary into each incision. Push all of them right in with your little finger. Cream the butter with any remaining anchovies and smear it all over the surface of the meat. Grind over plenty of black pepper. Place the lamb in a roasting tin and pour the wine around. Tuck in any leftover sprigs of rosemary and pour over the lemon juice. Put in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven temperature down to 180C/Gas 4 and roast the lamb for a further hour, or slightly more, depending on how you like your meat. Baste from time to time with the winey juices. Take the meat out of the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Taste the juices and see if any salt is necessary - it shouldn't be, because of the anchovies. During roasting, the wine should have reduced and mingled with the meat juices and anchovy butter to make a delicious gravy. If it's too thin, a quick bubble on the hob should improve the consistency. Mashed potato is good with this.

· Taken from Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson (Ebury Press, £12). Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a cookery writer and OFM columnist (

Best stew By Richard Corrigan. Nominated by Angela Hartnett

Angela Hartnett: 'I love what Richard Corrigan's doing at the moment. He's a very talented chef and has a very generous spirit, which translates into the food he cooks. What he's done to Bentley's Hotel in London is fantastic. This recipe of his is an absolutely delicious version of a hearty winter dish and I recommend it to everyone.'

2 middle necks of lamb, filleted, boned and bones reserved
450g floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled
450g waxy potatoes, such as Pentland Javelin or Maris Peer, peeled
700g carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
good pinch of fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh chives and parsley to garnish

When the butcher bones the lamb, have him give you the bones too. Make a well-flavoured stock using the bones and the trimmings from the carrots and onion plus other vegetables and herbs you like. You need about 900ml of lamb stock.

Cut the lamb into large chunks and put in a heavy-based saucepan. Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil skimming off all the impurities. Remove the pieces of lamb with a draining spoon and reserve. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Add the pieces of lamb and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the carrots into pieces a little smaller than the pieces of lamb, and the potatoes into pieces the same size as the lamb. Add the carrots, onion and floury potatoes to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the waxy potatoes and the thyme, and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes or until the lamb is very tender. The floury potatoes will have broken down to thicken the sauce, while the waxy potatoes will keep their shape.

Remove from the heat, cover and leave, without stirring, for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning, then serve, sprinkled generously with chopped chives and parsley.

There is some controversy about whether carrots should be included in this dish. Escoffier says no, but what would a Frenchman know about Irish stew? I like them. Cold pickled red cabbage is a traditional accompaniment in Ireland.

· Taken from The Richard Corrigan Cookbook From the Waters and the Wild (out of print). Angela Hartnett is head chef/patron at Menu at the Connaught, 16 Carlos Place, London W1 (020 7592 1222)

Best Chinese recipe
By Yan-kit So. Nominated by Rick Stein

Stir-fried clams in black bean sauce

Rick Stein: 'Yan-kit So's Classic Chinese Cookbook is a bit like Jane Grigson's Fish Cookery it's perfect. Sadly Yan-kit died in 2001 but she came to the restaurant 15 years ago and meeting her was a great honour. She lived in the States and in the UK but her family came from Hong Kong. Her recipes are straightforward with clear instructions and she's written a wonderful introduction analysing how Chinese people eat. I've served this recipe for clams (you could use mussels) in the restaurant for years. It's always really popular. The Chinese have a good way of using fried ingredients with fresh ingredients, so this recipe includes wonderful dried fermented black beans. I promise, once you source the ingredients it's incredibly simple to prepare.'

Serves 4-6 as a first course

24 clams, about 1.4kg
3tbs groundnut or corn oil
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1cm fresh ginger root, peeled and
finely chopped
4-5 spring onions, cut into 2.5 cm sections, white and green parts separated
11/2 tbs fermented black beans, rinsed, mashed
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbs Shaosing wine or medium
dry sherry
1 tbs thick soy sauce
3 tbs clear stock or water
1 tsp potato flour, dissolved in
1 tbs water
sesame oil to taste (optional)

Leave the clams in water with a little salt until ready to use. Scrub the shells very thoroughly.

Heat a wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic, ginger and white spring onion. Stir and let them sizzle for a few moments to release their aroma. Add the mashed black beans and stir to mix. Tip in the clams. Sliding the wok scoop or metal spatula to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss for 30-45 seconds. Splash in the wine and sherry around the side of the wok, continuing to turn and stir. When the sizzling dies down, add the soy sauce, sugar and stock or water. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat to medium and cook for about eight minutes.

Remove the opened clams with a pair of chopsticks or tongs to a warm serving platter and keep warm. Stir and turn the remainder a few times and cook, covered, for another four to five minutes so that they will open. Transfer the rest to the serving platter, leaving the sauce in the wok. Discard any clams that do not open.

Lower the heat, add the well-stirred potato flour to the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Tip in the green spring onion. Scoop the sauce on to the clams and serve immediately. Sesame oil may be sprinkled on, if desired.

· Taken from Yan-kit So's Classic Chinese Cookbook (out of print). Rick Stein is chef/proprietor at The Seafood Restaurant, Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall (01841 532700).

Best soup
By Anna del Conte. Nominated by Nigella Lawson

Chickpea and pasta soup

Nigella Lawson: 'This recipe for chickpea and pasta soup comes from one of my favourite books, which, shamefully, is out of print. This is the recipe I cook when skies are grey or spirits are down, and I borrowed it gratefully in my first book, How to Eat. Anna del Conte is something of a mentor of mine: her books inspire, as does she. Long before I started as a food writer, I went to one of her demonstrations and her kindness, scholarliness and plain good taste made me just a little bit, an important bit, more confident in the kitchen. "

400g dried chickpeas 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp salt 3 litres vegetable stock or water 3 rosemary sprigs 8 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised 120ml extra virgin olive oil 400g skinned fresh tomatoes, seeded 270g small tubular pasta such as ditalini parmesan cheese for grating chilli oil and flat-leaf parsley, optional

Put the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with plenty of water. Mix together the bicarb of soda, flour and salt and add enough water to make a thin paste. Stir this mixture into the bowl with the chickpeas and leave to soak for at least 12 hours - preferably 24.

When the chickpeas have doubled their weight (you don't have to get your scales out: trust your eyes) they are ready to be cooked. Drain and rinse. Put them in a large stockpot and add the vegetable stock or the same quantity of water. Tie the rosemary sprigs in a muslin bag and add to the stockpot.

Add the garlic to the stockpot and pour in half the oil. Cover the pan tightly and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook over the lowest simmer until the chickpeas are tender, which can take two to four hours. Do not uncover the pan for the first hour and a half, or the chickpeas will harden. For the same reason, do not add any salt until the chickpeas are nearly ready.

When the chickpeas are tender, remove the garlic and the rosemary bundle. Purée the tomatoes through a food mill or in a food processor and add to the soup with their juice. Stir well, add salt and pepper to taste and cook for a further 10 minutes or so. This is the point at which you should stop when you're cooking the soup in advance. In which case, when you want to eat it, put it back on the hob and reheat it, so that you can proceed to the final step, which is to cook the pasta.

Before you add the pasta, check that there is enough liquid in the pan. You may have to add some boiling water. Now, add the pasta and cook till al dente. I like to add some freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, but the glory of this soup will be undiminished if you prefer not to. But do pour some of the remaining oil into the pot of soup, and drizzle some more into each bowl after you've ladled in the soup. Put the Parmesan on the table with a grater.

· Taken from Anna del Conte's Entertaining all'Italiana (out of print) Nigella's kitchenware, Living Kitchen, can be seen at

Best fish
By Nigel Slater. Nominated by Nicola Jeal

A whole baked fish for midweek

Nicola Jeal: I like a fish with its eyes and tail on and this recipe is simple, quick and delicious.

For serving:

It depends on your appetite, but I usually reckon on one mackerel or sea bream per person, or two red mullet or four to five large sardines.

whole fish - such as large sardines,
red mullet, sea bream or small
mackerel, gutted
olive oil - enough to drizzle over the fish
garlic - 1 or 2 large, plump cloves per large fish, peeled and thinly sliced
thyme - the leaves torn from a few sprigs for each large fish
lemon - a quarter of a large, juicy one per large fish

Set the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Rinse the fish, pat them dry with kitchen paper and lay them in a roasting tin or baking dish. Drizzle over a little olive oil to moisten the fish and to stop it sticking, then add your seasoning of garlic, thyme leaves and lemon juice. Crumble over several flakes of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper and put the fish into the oven to bake. It is done when the skin peels away readily and the flesh will slide easily from the bones, which you can test by inserting a knife into the spine of the fish and gently teasing the flesh from its backbone. If it comes away without much pressure from you and looks juicy and opaque, then it is ready. Any transparency and reluctance to come from the bone and it needs a bit longer in the oven. Place the fish on a warm plate, first removing the head for the squeamish, and spoon over the meagre, though delectable, juices.

With baked vegetables: Rather than serve green vegetables or a salad alongside or after the fish, you could cook the vegetables with it. This is not purely to save on washing up but rather to let the flavours marry. Thinly slice fennel, young, slim leeks or chestnut mushrooms and cook them briefly in the olive oil over a moderate heat. Place the fish on top and bake until the fish comes cleanly away from the bone.

· Taken from Nigel Slater's Appetite (Fourth Estate, £20). Nicola Jeal is the editor of OFM

Best rabbit dish
By Simon Hopkinson. Nominated by Nigel Slater

Roasted leg of rabbit with bacon and mustard sauce

A wild rabbit will not do. If you have an enterprising butcher, then hopefully you can buy just the rabbit legs. If not, then buy two rabbits and use the remaining parts for another dish.

4 rabbit legs
110g unsalted butter, softened
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 tbs chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
grated rind of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
20 thin smoked bacon rashers, rind removed

For the mustard sauce

450ml whipping cream<br. 2 tbs smooth Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. With a small sharp knife, remove the thigh bone from the rabbit leg by forming a little tunnel around the bone rather than coming through from the side. This is only slightly tricky and just takes a little time and trouble. Mix together the butter, garlic, tarragon, parsley, lemon and seasoning. Divide this between the four cavities and wrap each leg with five rashers of bacon, then place on a lightly buttered baking tray. Make sure that the ends of each rasher meet on the underside. Roast the legs in the oven for about 10 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a further 10 minutes in a warm place.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Simply heat the cream with a tablespoon of the mustard and a little salt and pepper. Simmer for five minutes or so until slightly thickened. Keep warm.

To serve, cut three slices from the bulbous end of each leg and, being careful to collect the herby juices, arrange neatly on four plates. Sit the bony part upright alongside the slices. Add the second spoonful of mustard to the sauce, whisk, reheat and serve separately in a sauce-boat. A dish of plain boiled potatoes and a green salad would be a fitting accompaniment.

· From Roast Chicken and other Stories (Ebury, £12). Nigel Slater is The Observer's cookery writer

Best pasta
By Marcella Hazan. Nominated by Ruth Rogers

Sugo fresco di pomodoro

Ruth Rogers: 'People are always putting yet another ingredient into pasta dishes but for me, and for most Italians, the simplest tomato pasta sauce is always the best. My husband is Italian and that's what he loves the most. When we entertain, which isn't very often, people always expect a fancy meal but I often make this dish because it's the nicest dish there is. The trick is to slow-cook the tomato and if you are using cans of tomato make sure you get rid of the excess juice. This is a fabulous recipe. Enjoy.'

450g pasta
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced very thinly
300g tinned Italian peeled plum tomatoes, cut into large pieces,
with their juice
black pepper in a grinder
10 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand into small pieces

Put the oil and garlic in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes coloured a pale gold, add the tomatoes and turn the heat down to very low. Cook, uncovered, until the oil floats free of the tomatoes, for about 20 minutes. Add salt and grindings of pepper and cook for another two to three minutes, stirring from time to time. Off the heat, stir in the torn basil leaves.

Chef's note: The special taste of the sauce depends largely on the way the garlic is handled. It must be sliced very thinly, sautéed only until it becomes just faintly coloured, and then allowed to simmer slowly in the tomato so that it can release all its sweetness. Raw basil at the end contributes a fragrant fillip. Make sure the basil does not undergo any cooking. The sauce can be cooked several hours in advance. Add the basil after reheating, as serving.

· Taken from Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan (Macmillan, £16.99). Ruth Rogers is chef/co-proprietor at the River Cafe, Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6. (020 7386 4200)

Best pancake
By Tante Marie. Nominated by Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden: 'I'm always trying new recipes, but I have a real fondness for this crêpe recipe, which is why I've returned to it again and again over the past 40 years. I brought Tante Marie's book with me when I came to the UK in 1954. It works for all types of pancakes, savoury or sweet, chestnuts or mushrooms and never fails. The key is the quantities - you need to have perfect proportions with batter. This is light, lovely and will stay with you forever.'

Makes about 30 pancakes

600ml milk
300ml water
300g flour
6 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tbs salad oil
1 tbs brandy

Add the milk and water to the flour gradually, beating constantly so that the batter becomes very smooth. Add eggs, salt, oil, and brandy. Beat the batter until smooth and set aside to rest for an hour or two.

Heat a large frying pan and grease very lightly. Pour a serving spoon of the batter into the frying pan and move the pan around until the entire surface is covered. Both the batter and the resulting crêpe should be thin. When it is brown, turn with a large spatula and cook for a moment on the other side. Continue this process until all the batter is used. Keep the crêpes in a warm place.

· Tante Marie's French Kitchen, translated by Charlotte Purgeon (Nicholas Kaye, 1950, out of print). Claudia Roden is a food writer

Best cassoulet
By Paula Wolfert. Nominated by Fergus Henderson

Pork cassoulet

Fergus Henderson: 'A cassoulet is one of the best dishes ever and it always hits the spot. Wolfert's a fantastic American goddess of food writing, and hers is the wisest and most fantastic of all the cassoulet recipes. It takes a while to prepare, but it's well worth the trouble. The whole point of this recipe is to give you an appreciation and understanding of pork fat. Wolfert says the key is to add minced pork fat and garlic at the final stage of the cassoulet, and she's right. It's a very civilised way to cook.'

Serves 10-12

1.75kg hand of shoulder, boned
1kg fresh ham hock or pork knuckle
500g fresh pork skin with 6mm layer of hard fat attached, cut in 5cm wide strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg dry white haricot beans
250g lean salt pork or unsmoked bacon in a piece, or substitute Italian pancetta (the original recipe calls for slightly salted breast called cansalade)
5 tbs fat from confit
2 medium onions, peeled and cubed
3 small carrots, scraped and cut into rounds
1 small whole head garlic, unpeeled
175g jambon de Bayonne or prosciutto in one piece
1 small whole red-ripe tomato, peeled
1.8 litres unsalted chicken stock, thoroughly degreased
Herb bouquet: 4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 3 small stalks celery, tied together
500g andouillettes, if available, or other spicy cooking sausage (optional)
6 drumstick-thigh portions confit of duck, split at the joint
125g fresh hard pork fat or fat salt pork
4 small cloves garlic, peeled
500g homemade Toulouse sausages, fresh garlic-flavoured pork sausages, cotechino, or confit of Toulouse sausages
2 tbs fresh bread crumbs
2-3 tbs walnut oil (optional)

Two days in advance, season the hand of pork, fresh ham hock or pork knuckle, and the pork skin moderately with salt and pepper. Place in an earthenware or glazed dish, cover and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, soak the beans and rinse them under cool running water. Soak them in water to cover for 11/2 hours. Meanwhile, cut the hand of pork into 4-cm cubes. Reserve. Simmer the pork skin in water to cover until supple - 10 to 20 minutes. Drain, roll up the strips and tie them. Blanch the lean salt pork or bacon for three minutes in simmering water.

In a large flameproof casserole heat the duck fat and lightly brown the cubed pork. Add onions and carrots and sauté over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are soft and golden - about five minutes. Add the ham hock (in one piece) or knuckle of rolled pork skin and the blanched and drained lean salt pork or bacon. Raise the heat and allow the meats to brown a little around the edges, turning the pieces occasionally. Add the head of garlic, ham and tomato and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the herb bouquet, and simmer covered, for 30 minutes.

When the beans have soaked, drain and put in a large, heavy pan cover with tepid water and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain and immediately add to the simmering ragout. Continue simmering.

Separately cook the andouillettes in water to cover for 30 minutes. Add to the ragout, along with 250ml of the sausage cooking liquid, and cook for 30 minutes more (total cooking time is about two hours). Cool, lift off some of the fat that has risen to the top and reserve it. Cover the ragout and beans and refrigerate.

The next day, about four hours before cooking, set out the crock of confit in a warm room or place it in a deep pan of warm water to soften the fat. Remove the ragout and beans from the refrigerator. Blanch the fat salt pork for three minutes. Rinse and drain well (if you are using it instead of fresh pork fat). Grind the fat or salt pork to a purée with the peeled garlic cloves in a food processor. Reheat the ragout, add the pork purée and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cook slightly. Discard the herb bouquet and the whole head of garlic.

Preheat the oven to 140C/Gas 1. To assemble the cassoulet, remove the roll of pork skin from the ragout. Untie, cut the skin into small pieces, and line a large deep ovenproof serving dish with them. Cover with one third of the beans.

Remove the ham hock or pork knuckles and cut the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding bones and fatty parts. Scatter pieces and the pork cubes on top of the beans. Cut the andouillettes into 2.5cm pieces and place between the pork chunks. Heat the confit of duck separately over low heat and pull out all the bones. Place the duck meat on top of the pork and sausages. Add another layer of one third of the beans. Cut the lean salt pork or bacon and the piece of ham into bite-size pieces and scatter on top of the beans. Taste the cooking liquid and adjust seasoning. Pour enough liquid over the beans to cover them.

Stiffen the homemade Toulouse sausages, garlic sausages, or cotechino in boiling water for two minutes. Prick the sausages, brush with fat and brown them on one side under a hot grill or in a frying pan. Drain, cut the larger sausages into 7-10 cm pieces, and place, crisp side down, on top of beans. Sprinkle the beans with breadcrumbs and drizzle on 2 tbs of the reserved fat. Set the dish in the oven and bake the cassoulet for 11/2 hours. The top crust will become a beautiful golden brown.

Serve directly from the dish. Sprinkle with walnut oil, if desired.

Notes to the cook: Fresh pork rind is essential to enrich and flavour the beans. If fresh pork skin is not available, use the rind from the back fat and blanch for five minutes. If only salted rind is available, do not include in the first day's marinade.

· Taken from The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert (Grub Street, £14.99). Fergus Henderson is chef/proprietor at St John, 26 St John Street, London EC1 (020 7251 0848)

Best tiramisu
By Jean-Christophe Novelli. Nominated by Atul Kochhar

Atul Kochhar: This is my favourite recipe. The way it is presented is very dramatic and all the flavours have been balanced really well.

Serves 6
1 genoese sponge
3 egg yolks
100g unrefined caster sugar
250g marscapone cheese
250ml double cream
2 leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water for five minutes
1 small cup of espresso or strong coffee
2 tbs Kahlua
a little cocoa powder

Using a 6-cm ring mould as a cutter, cut four dishes from the sponge. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Add the marscapone and mix well. Whip the double cream until it just begins to thicken, then add this to the mixture. Transfer 2tbs of the mixture to a pan and heat gently.

Squeeze any excess liquid out of the soaking gelatine, add to the pan and stir until dissolved, then add to the rest of the cream, mixing well.

Mix the coffee and Kahlua in a bowl. Dip the sponges briefly in this mixture, then put them in the base of four deep 6-cm ring moulds.

Pour in enough marscapone mixture to come to the top of each mould and chill in the fridge until set. Dust the top of each tiramisu with cocoa powder, carefully slide the cutter moulds off and serve.

· Taken from Jean-Christophe Novelli's Your Place or Mine? (out of print). Atul Kochhar is chef/proprietor at Benares, 12a Berkeley Square House, London W1 (020 7629 8886). Many thanks to Books for Cooks, 11 Blenheim Crescent, London W11, who stock most of these titles

Best easy supper recipe

By Alain Chapel. Nominated by Heston Blumenthal

Gratin of macaroni

Heston Blumenthal: 'Alain Chapel was a gutsy chef whose cooking was ahead of its time. He wasn't scared to stick something creative into dishes. He mixed innovation and tradition to great effect. This dish is a Lyonnaise classic and was used by Chapel as a garnish for a second-course kidney dish. I serve a version of it at the Fat Duck. What's nice about this macaroni cheese recipe is that it uses Gruyère instead of cheddar. It works really well because it strikes a good balance between the richness of cheddar and the nuttiness of parmesan.'

salt and freshly ground black pepper

200ml crème fraîche or double cream

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. In a large casserole, bring two litres of water to the boil with 20g of salt. Add the pasta and cook for eight minutes. Drain by lifting it out of the water and immediately coat it in olive oil. Meanwhile, take an ovenproof dish broad enough to fit in two layers of the pasta if it is too small, the pasta will be too deep and only a small portion of it will be gratinated. Rub the inside of the dish with the clove of garlic, cut in half. This will coat the dish with a wonderful sweet aroma.

In a bowl, mix the pasta with the cream and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and pour into the ovenproof dish. Dot the surface with the butter and put into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. You should have a wonderful golden gratin. For a little more colour on the top, pop the gratin under the grill.

· Reproduced in Family Food by Heston Blumenthal (Penguin, £12.99) Heston Blumenthal is the chef/proprietor of the Fat Duck and The Hinds Head, High Street, Bray, Berkshire (016 2858 0333)

Best chocolate pudding

By Nigella Lawson. Nominated by Tom Aikens

Chocolate fondant

Tom Aikens: 'I rarely use cookbooks. I make up recipes as I go along, particularly on my day off I just buy whatever's good at the market and see what happens. However, I was flicking through Nigella's book and I was taken with this recipe. Chocolate fondant is the only chocolate recipe I like to eat, and what's nice about it is that you can make it in advance. Nigella's version is a lot simpler
than my fondant, and the results are dense, rich and delicious.'

4 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt

50g plain or Italian 00 grade flour

6 individual pudding moulds

buttered baking parchment

Unless you are making these in advance, preheat the oven to 200C/ gas 6, putting in a baking sheet at the same time. Lay three of the pudding moulds on a double sheet of baking parchment. Draw round them, remove and then cut out the discs as marked. Press them into the base of all six moulds.

Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Cream together the butter and sugar, and gradually beat in the eggs and salt, then the vanilla extract. Now add the fl our, and when all is smoothly combined, scrape in the cooled chocolate, blending to make a smooth batter.

Divide the batter between the six moulds. Quickly whip the baking sheet out of the oven, arrange the little tins on it and replace in the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes (the extra two minutes will be needed if the puddings are fridge-cold when you start). As soon as you take them out of the oven, tip out these luscious baby cakes onto small plates or into shallow bowls. Serve with whipped double cream, crème fraîche, crème anglaise or ice cream.

· Taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus, £25) Tom Aikens is chef/proprietor at Tom Aikens, 43 Elystan Street, London SW3 (020 7584 2003)

50 Best Book Series for kids

Each book in this series is a compilation of fairy tale retellings by Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. Readers can expect fun and funny new twists on familiar princess tales. Grades 3-5.

When Ben is sent to a tiny town to stay with his Grandpa, he expects his summer to be boring. Instead, he ends up discovering a veterinary clinic for imaginary creatures and teaming up with the most accident-prone girl in town to rescue a runaway sasquatch. Expect plenty of magical creatures, adventure, and laughs. Grades 3-5

A charming modern classic about four motherless sisters, their absentminded professor father, and their exploits and misadventures. This is one of my favorite kids book series because it’s lighthearted, warm, and just plain fun. Grades 3-6.

Ordinary teenager Murph accidentally enrolls in a top-secret school for superheroes. At first, he feels out of place, but his unique perspective, quick wit, and good humor end up being exactly what his classmates need in their fight against various villains. Grades 3-6

This non-fiction series is approachable, informative, and easy to read. It has something for everyone, whether they are interested in Harriet Tubman, Mr. Rogers, The World Series, Mount Everest, or Disney World. Grades 3-6

When Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger the entire kingdom falls asleep—except for her little sister, Annie. Thanks to a gift from a fairy when she was born, Annie can’t be touched by magic, and now it’s up to her to save the kingdom. Grades 3-6

When characters from books start to appear in her grandparents’ bookshop, Tilly realizes they may hold the key to solving the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. Can she face her fears and find the answers between the pages of her beloved books? Grades 3-7

Micah needs a miracle, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get one. But will the miracle he gets be the one he was searching for? A beautiful series about hope, loss, and the power of magic, miracles, and friendship. Grades 3-7

Jordan is an aspiring middle-school artist, trying to find his place as one of only a handful of minorities at his new private school in NYC. These graphic novels give a peak into the important issues of privilege, racism, and bias in an accessible, engaging, and entertaining way. Grades 3-7

Based on true stories from the author’s life, these graphic novels follow Raina as she navigates anxiety, family changes, a cross-country road trip, getting braces, and the joys and struggles of middle school. Grades 3-7

This series follows five siblings living in Harlem as they work together to save their home, their mother’s bakery, and help their neighbors. Lovely, wholesome, heartwarming stories of family love, community engagement, and looking out for others. Grades 3-7

Emily loves playing Book Scavenger, a game where people leave clues, codes, and puzzles that lead to hidden books. But when the creator of the game is attacked, Emily and her friend James must team up and crack the case to save him. Full of adventure, friendship, and book references. Grades 3-7

J.D.’s older brother Tom is known as “The Great Brain” around town because he’s always conning the other kids into doing his chores or giving them his prized possessions. Set in Utah in the early 1900’s, this book series is full of adventure and mischief and is so much fun! Grades 3-6.

When 12 twelve year-olds are locked in “the coolest library in the world”, they must race against time (and each other) to put the library to use, solve clues, and find the hidden escape first in order to win an amazing prize. Grades 3-7

Ace discovers a genie and is granted unlimited wishes, along with a task to save the universe. Unfortunately, each of his wishes come with a unique (and often hilarious) consequence. Can he succeed in his task before the consequences get the best of him? Fast-paced, funny, and exciting. Grades 3-7

Every Tuesday, the castle changes: adding a new room or hallway or an entire wing, and the only person who keeps track is Princess Celia. When her parents go missing, will she be able to use her knowledge of the castle’s every twist and turn to find them? Grades 3-6.

When Charlie starts hearing voices, he thinks he’s going crazy, but he isn’t: he can hear the voices of people in photographs. His unusual power lands him in an elite school for the magically gifted. Grades 3-7.

Meggie’s father can make books come to life–literally. When he reads aloud from a book called Inkheart the villains appear in his world, while Meggie’s mother gets trapped in theirs. Great book series for kids. Grades 3-7.

On his 13th birthday Alcatraz receives a bag of sand from his long lost parents, and on the next day his grandfather arrives to tell him why the sand is important and how it will help him defeat the evil librarians, who have taken over society. Great book series for Grades 3-7.

In the world of Erdas, each 11 year old child must discover if he or she has a spirit animal, a bond between human and beast that brings great power. Four children and their animals must work together to save the world. Grades 3-7.

Four children compete to see who can create the most delicious, over-the-top new candy. Full of mystery, mouth-watering descriptions, friendship, and plenty of plot twists. It will leave you craving more! Grades 3-7

This series follows the lives of the Beaumont family, who each develop a special skill, or “savvy” on their 13th birthday. Hilarity, mishaps, adventure, and self-discovery ensue as they learn to “scumble” their abilities. Heart-warming and laugh-out-loud funny, this is a series everyone will love! Grades 3-7

A high-flying fantasy series! The seven dragon tribes have been at war for twenty years. Will five dragonets fulfill the prophesy and finally restore peace? Grades 3-7

When Emily meets a pegasus who has crashed during a storm, she is thrust into a battle between Roman gods and stone warriors. She ends up on a quest to save Mount Olympus. Grades 4-6.

Septimus Heap disappears the night he is born, and his father brings home an abandoned baby girl on the very same day. The heaps raise the girl as their own, but who is she really, and whatever happened to Septimus? Grades 4-7.

When Sophie finds out she is an elf living in the human world, her life is turned upside down. Now living in the Lost Cities, surrounded by magical creatures she never knew existed, she is faced with the reality that the elven world is not as perfect as it seems. This series is full of adventure, funny characters, and suspense. Grades 4-8

As a ‘cursed child,’ Morrigan Crow expects to die on her eleventh birthday. Instead, she is swept away to a magical city where she must pass dangerous tests and show a special ability to gain admittance to a secret society or be sent to her doom. Witty, exciting, funny, and suspenseful. Perfect for fans of Harry Potter. Grades 4-8

This fantasy series follows orphan Sage as he ascends to the throne of Carthya. Intrigue, adventure, and twists abound as he faces his past, confronts his foes, and discovers who he can (and can’t) trust. Grades 4-8

When Kendra and Seth visit their grandparents’ house, they have no idea that they are caretakers of a sanctuary for magical creatures. They soon find themselves facing their fears (along with trolls, imps, fairies, witches, and more) to restore order and save their family. Grades 4-8

Thanks to new technology, five teens are transformed into holograms to direct people through Walt Disney World. When it turns out that Disney villains are threatening the park, the teens must figure out how to save The Magic Kingdom. Grades 4-8.

Four bored children stumble through an old wardrobe into a magical land in the midst of an eternal winter. Can they save the friends they make their from the witch who rules the land? This classic series hasn’t lost any of it’s appeal. Grades 4-8.

Percy’s always had trouble at school, but now that his algebra teacher’s turned into a monster and is trying to kill him things are just getting worse. Soon Percy finds out who he really is and sets out on a quest to the Underworld to prevent a war between the gods. One of the more popular book series for kids to come out in the past 20 years. Grades 4-8.

This timeless fantasy series begins when Taran, a lowly pig keeper, has a run in with a sinister horned rider. He’s joined by a minstrel, and princess, and furry little Gurgi in a quest to save Prydain. Grades 4-8.

In a future where only 2 children are allowed, third child Luke spends his life hidden in an attic, until one day he discovers he may not be the only one in his situation. Is he willing to defy the government for a different kind of life? Grades 5-8.

Brian is stranded in the Canadian wilderness after the pilot of the small plane he’s on has a heart attack and dies. He deals with questions of survival as he struggles with his feelings about his parents’ recent divorce. Grades 5-8.

Miri never expected to live anywhere but her small village on a mountain, but when the king’s priests decide she may be a candidate to marry the prince, she is sent to princess academy, where she must prove herself and save her friends. Grades 5-8.

When 15 year old Will is chosen as an apprentice to the mysterious rangers, he doesn’t realize they protect the entire kingdom. And the biggest battle of all is about to arrive. Grade 5-8.

Precocious orphan Anne ends up with elder brother and sister Marilla and Matthew by mistake, but they decide to keep her anyway. Anne’s heart is in the right place, but her imagination can’t be tamed so she makes mistakes and gets into scrapes almost daily. This classic kids book series has been enjoyed by generations of children! Charming and funny. Grades 5-8

Four kids who are thrown together as a family as a result of their parents’ marriage are sent sailing, with the plan that they’ll get to know each other better. But they don’t expect to be stranded together on an island when the boat capsizes. Grades 5-8.

Marcus travels to Farworld, a place where everyone has magic, except Marcus’ new friend Kyja. The two friends must work together to defeat the Dark Circle and save Farworld. Grades 5-8.

Meg’s father disappears while doing secret work for the government, and a mysterious strange appears with information for Meg. She travels through space and time with the help of her little brother Charles Wallace and new friend Calvin to try to save her father. Grades 5-8.

This fast paced pirate adventure tells the story before the story of Peter Pan, filling in all the questions you never knew you had: where did pixie dust come from and how did Peter get to Neverland in the first place? Lots of swashbuckling action, humor, and a great story. Grades 5-8.

Children respond to an ad in the newspaper to take mind-bending tests the few who pass are sent on a mysterious mission. Expect riddles, villains, and adventures. Grades 5-8.

Cole is unjustly sent to a youth detention center, where the warden makes the boys spend their days digging holes in the desert. The plot thickens when Stanley realizes they aren’t digging just for punishment: the warden is looking for something… Grades 5-8.

Rusty’s an ordinary housecat looking for adventure. He finds it when he joins the ThunderClan, a group of warrior cats. The ThunderClan is in danger from a rival clan, and Rusty (renamed Firepaw) must do what he can to help his new family. Grades 5-8.

12-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis sets up an elaborate trap to capture a fairy and demands a ransom for her release. But these high-tech, tactical fairies aren’t the stuff from bedtime stories. Can he out-smart the fairies or will they get the best of him? Grades 5-8

The incorrigible children in this book were found roaming the woods on Ashton place (they actually were raised by wolves!), and it’s up to their young governess (Penelope, age 15) to teach them manners, geography, and Latin. But what else is lurking on the edge of the estate? Grades 5-8.

All the Bellairs mysteries are deliciously creepy adventures set in places like haunted castles or mansions with secret passageways, and feature evil wizards, mummies, and more. Spooky and fun! Grades 6-8.

When Creel’s aunt decides to sacrifice her to a dragon (in hopes a handsome knight will come and save her), Creel doesn’t know she’ll end up with treasure from the dragon’s hoard, a pair of blue slippers. But the slippers are more than they seem, and it may be up to Creel to save the entire kingdom. Grades 6-8.

Huge three legged machines control the earth and nearly everyone on it. 13 year old Will Parker never thought he’d be the one to start the revolution, but that’s what he’s about to do. Grades 6-8.

And of course, there’s always Harry Potter, which is, without a doubt, my favorite kids’ book series. If, by some miracle, your kids haven’t read this series yet, 4th or 5th grade is the perfect time to start. And you can find even more books for kids here: 25 fantastic stand alone books for kids ages 8-12

34. ABBA &mdash Hova&rsquos Vittne (1981)

This special promotional copy of the ABBA single was only distributed to those within the record company. Only 200 copies were ever printed of the elusive red vinyl. The rare record features &ldquoHova&rsquos Vittne&rdquo on side-A and &ldquoTivedshambo&rdquo on side-B.


The swedish band from Stockholm are one of the most commercially successful musical group of all time. The classic lineup consisted of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. Sadly, both marriages could not with stand the pressures of stardom and success. If you kept your copy of Hova&rsquos Vittne in good condition, this record could get you $3,500 .

This holiday background from West Elm features a dining room full of modern furniture decorated to the nines with greenery — above the table, on the table as the centerpiece, and on the sideboard. There's also a Christmas tree in the corner of the room.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.

Watch the video: Introduction of Boston Bruins Alumni Roster - 2016 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game (May 2022).