Steak and Cake by Elizabeth Karmel (Workman Publishing Company, $22.95).……

From the first pages of the introduction to the “matchup” suggestions made after each recipe, it’s obvious that author and grilling and barbeque expert Elizabeth Karmel is passionate about savory meats and luscious desserts.  Steak and Cake is a delicious collection of crowd-pleasing recipes. 

Nothing is more comforting than a juicy steak with all the fixings. Followed by a scrumptious cake with whipped cream or chocolate chips.  Karmel’s cookbook provides hungry readers with more than a hundred mouthwatering recipes.  Not only are the recipes inspired, but Karmel takes the guess work out of what dessert to pair with the main meat dish.  For example, there’s Tri-Tip Santa Maria with low-and-slow cabbage and old fashion garlic bread paired with Turtle Brownie Bites; Tuscan Steak with white anchovy and truffle butter and grilled lemons paired with Italian Cream Cake; Mary Pat’s individual beef Wellingtons paired with Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar Cake; and (my personal favorite) Elizabeth’s Steak Burgers with roasted shallot and bacon marmalade paired with the original PB&J cupcakes.    

Beautiful color images accompany each recipe and provide those who want to master cooking steaks on the grill. It gives an idea of what the meat should look like if prepared correctly.  The book also includes helpful hints about the right tongs to use for barbequing and the secret to making the perfect baked potato.  There’s even a section entitled “Something on the Side” with recipes from celery salad and Yorkshire pudding to grilled Mexican street corn salad to mushroom tarts. 

Steak and Cake is the perfect go-to cookbook.