"The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book: Scrumptious Recipes and Fabled History From Toll House to Cookie Cake Pie"
(Countryman Press/W.W. Norton, paperback, $19.95) The latest. Read all about it here: GreatAmericanChocolateChipCookieBook.com.

"The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book"
(Running Press/Perseus, paperback, $15.95).
The definitive guidebook to Philadelphia's favorite food, including history, stand profiles (complete with detailed driving directions and hours), artistic and event tributes and recipes to re-create this great taste at home. “The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book” is everything about the cheesesteak that mind and mouth can digest! Read more at greatphillycheesesteakbook.com.

“One of my favorite food books so far this year. … An excellent read for those Philadelphia ex-pats who miss their favorite sandwich or casual cheesesteak fans who would like to know more.”--Hamburger Calculus blog

"Dishes out heaping portions of local color, history and helpful info."- Philadelphia Inquirer

"A really entertaining read."--Metro

Watch 10! show host Bill Henley and I spar over my assertion that democracy might be less important than cheesesteaks.

Buy now at amazon.com

"Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods That Changed the Way We Eat"
(Quirk/Chronicle, paperback, $14.95). Unwraps the boxes and opens the bottles to tell the surprising stories of the inventors, companies, marketers and other creative geniuses behind such supermarket stars as Twinkies, Velveeta, Kool-Aid and Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks, revealing, to give just one example, that the voice behind the Pillsbury Doughboy’s "hoo-hoo" was the same as that of Rocky and Bullwinkle’s dastardly Boris Badenov. Sort of an updated, more compact paperback "I’m a Spam Fan" (see below) with more, and more colorful illustrations.

"A colorful who’s who and what’s what of longevous convenience products from Potato Buds to Pop-Tarts, the book supplies all sorts of entertaining grocery store lore." - Saveur

I talk Wonder Bread on the 11-14-04 "Daily Bread" episode of Public Radio International’s "To the Best of Our Knowledge."

Basis of the "Not My Job" quiz taken by crime novelist James Ellroy on National Public Radio’s "Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me" Nov. 6, 2004 at NPR.org and click on Round 2/Not My Job.

Listen to me read the "I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter" entry from this book here (courtesy Kelly Writers House and WXPN).

Buy now Amazon.com or Indiebound.org



"Jell-O: A Biography: The History and Mystery of America’s Most Famous Dessert"
(Harvest/Harcourt, paperback, $14.95). The complete cultural history of this colorful dessert (and sometimes salad) including Jell-O’s invention and marketing campaigns, Jell-O celebrations and media appearances and recipes (including one for a swimming-pool-size Jell-O wrestling medium). With more than 200 photos and illustrations in black and Jell-O lime green.

"The definitive look at the history and cultural significance of this sweet, colorful food-as-plaything."—The Hartford Courant. Read the story here.

"A surprisingly funny array of Americana, kitsch and trivia." - People

"Sticks resolutely to a Jell-O flavored philosophy: fun and color and silliness are nothing to be ashamed of, nutrition be damned."- New York Times "Think Tank" appreciation. Read the full story at NyTimes.com.

Buy now from Amazon.com.



"Spam: A Biography: The Amazing True Story of America’s Miracle Meat"
(Harvest/Harcourt, paperback, $14.95). Similar to above, except about the world’s most popular luncheon loaf. How Spam rescued the Russian army from starvation, where you can find Spam tacos, sushi and pizza, Spam websites and festivals, the complete text of the Monty Python Spam skit, recipes for Spam Spargot, bread, cheesecake, mincemeat truffles and much, much more! Fully illustrated in black and pink. Featured on "The Tonight Show" and "Fresh Air."

"The definitive treatment on the subject” by “the world’s foremost authority on convenience foods." - Associated Press

"Witty, extensively illustrated overview." - People. Full review here.

Named a "Best Book for the Teen Age" by the New York Public Library

Available from Amazon.com or Indiebound.org and because it’s still in print, this will actually help support my food writing habit!



"The Kitchen Sink Cookbook: Offbeat Recipes from Unusual Ingredients"
(Birch Lane/Carol, hardcover, $14.95). More than 150 of the world’s weirdest recipes, including chow mein candy, rattlesnake chili, Velveeta fudge, hot dog pie, garlic ice cream, oatmeal soup, pollen pancakes, White Castle stuffing, and, of course, the famous clothes dryer shrimp and kitty litter cake recipes. Featured on "The Rosie O’Donnell Show."

"'Offbeat' might be too sedate a description." - Publisher’s Weekly

Out of print but available used for up to a nutty $78.06 on Amazon.com



"I’m A Spam Fan: America’s Best-Loved Foods"
(Longmeadow Press, hardcover, $14.95).  No, not another book about Spam but rather short profiles of the foods America eats the most and loves the best (like Spam, Jell-O and Kraft Mac and Cheese) arranged by supermarket aisle.  Coffeetable book format.

"The most interesting book about food we have read this year and probably the most important… an exhilarating source of information, insight and fun." - authors Jane and Michael Stern

"Mmm-mmm good." - New York Daily News

Buy now (for less than the cost of the M&M’s profiled therein) from Amazon.com