Padma Lakshmi children’s book serves up memories, food advice and recipes

NEW YORK — Neela is a young girl who loves cooking with her mom. Saturday is her favorite day of the week. That’s the day they go to the green market.

So begins Padma Lakshmi’s charming entry into the world of children’s book, “Tomatoes For Neela,” which mixes the author’s memories of family cooking with practical food advice, a nod to farmworkers and even a pair of recipes.

“It is just a very small personal story that centers around a young single mother who also is a recipe writer like me,” says Lakshmi, the host of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and

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An appetizer idea book inspired by wedding cocktail hours

“Ultimate Appetizer Ideabook: 225 Simple, All-Occasion Recipes” (Chronicle Books, $19.99).
“Ultimate Appetizer Ideabook: 225 Simple, All-Occasion Recipes” (Chronicle Books, $19.99).Handout

For wedding photographers Kiera and Cole Stipovich of Concord, some of their favorite moments to capture are during the cocktail hour. That’s when the bride and groom begin to relax, says Kiera. Snapping also the wonderful collection of hors d’oeuvres served inspired the pair to write the “Ultimate Appetizer Ideabook: 225 Simple, All-Occasion Recipes” (Chronicle Books, $19.99). The chunky, short hardcover reflects the Stipovichs’s career photographing weddings and their roots and passion for cooking. “We both come from families that are food obsessed,” says Kiera, who previously ran a

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