Carrie Levin, The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook (Warner Books, 2001)

Considering it's the most important meal of the day, restaurant owner Carrie Levin teaches us what breakfast should be in her new book, The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook. After over 20 years at New York's famous restaurant Good Enough to Eat, Levin generously opens her kitchen and shares her personal tricks of the trade with the home cook.

This clear, easy-to-read and downright usable guide is filled with every possible breakfast recipe one could imagine. From a traditional "Western Omelet" to a more contemporary "Ginger-Ale Pear Turnover," this book has something for everyone. If 150 recipes are not enough, Levin encourages the reader to take such basics as "4-Grain Pancakes" and "Fundamental French Toast" and run with them, using personal creativity to produce a breakfast repertoire to call your own.

Levin's language is so casual and conversational, it's as if she is standing in your kitchen chatting on a lazy Sunday over a cup of coffee. Filled with countless tips and suggestions, particularly when it comes to eggs, she reveals her secret to perfectly scrambled (it's all in the "click") and fail-proof poached (vinegar and swirling the water). The beginning cook will welcome the step-by-step instructions and helpful hints, and the more skilled in the kitchen will certainly pick up a tip or two.

Levin moves quickly through her recipes, beginning with simple dishes and graduating to the more complicated blintzes, scones and even homemade jams. In addition to the recipes, the book begins with an introductory chapter on everything needed to stock the kitchen and ends with morning beverages to compliment any breakfast creation and sample brunch menus for all occasions.

[Stacy Troubh]