A fresh berry pie graces the cover of "Perfect Pies" by Michele Stuart, Connecticut's award-winning pie wizard. It's a tempting introduction to the goodies packed in this little volume. Crust-making tips, toppings, fillings -- plus a chapter on savory pies (including a lobster potpie) -- make this a fine choice for pie-making novices, as well as bakers seeking inspiration and a few new recipes, whether it's a chocolate-pecan-bourbon pie or a maple-oatmeal-raisin pie. It's $25 at amazon.com.
There are vinaigrettes, and there is the richly flavored Woodford Reserve Bourbon Sorghum Vinaigrette. A chef at the Kentucky distillery created the slightly sweet (thanks to that molasses-like sorghum) and tangy blend, that gets a bit of a kick from Tabasco and paprika. It works well with salads, of course, but we liked it brushed on chicken before grilling. An 8.4 fluid ounce bottle is $10 at bourbonbarrelfoods.com.
To sink your teeth into the buttercream frosting of a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, perhaps a classic chocolate or a specialty such as red velvet, you don't need to make a pilgrimage to New York (or L.A. or Dubai or Chicago). The bakery is now shipping its cupcakes (frozen) nationwide. Prices start at $18 for six classic cupcakes in a box or $30 when packed in a signature tin. Specialty cupcakes start at $21 for six in a box ($33 in a tin). To order, go to magnoliabakery.com.