Country cookbook for easy summer living

When weekend guests arrive frazzled with Friday afternoon traffic, Lee Bailey serves a peach cobbler with hot tea on a pleasant old country porch just off the kitchen.

Saturday will be the day for a picnic at the shore with a sand-proof beach basket containing veal-stuffed red peppers, marinated garden vegetables, sour cream corn bread, and perhaps a green tomato and apple pie.

Photographs of these and other weekend food scenes play an important part in ''Country Weekends: Recipes for Good Food and Easy Living'' (Clarkson N. Potter, competition. The author, Mr. Bailey, is neither a professional cook nor a professional writer. His regular line of work is interior design.

Along with the photographs, the book's quick recipes for uncomplicated meals served at the author's beach home in Bridgehampton, N.Y., made points toward winning.

Plans for meals from Friday dinner to Sunday night supper are pictured in lush but simple country settings. Tips on vacation-house living tell how to make summer living easy.

Here is a recipe from Mr. Bailey's ''Country Weekends'' cookbook.

''These delicious and easy-to-make cookies are excellent with ice cream. They were the only thing my mother learned to cook - one of those eccentric choices that probably are just accidents. She used to make them and send them to me regularly when I was away at school and later when I was in the army.''

Butter Pecan Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup pecans, grated

1 tablespoon ice water

2 teaspoons vanilla

Additional powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together. Mix in flour and pecans. Add ice water and mix. Add vanilla and mix.

Roll dough into balls or crescents and place on 1 or 2 ungreased cooking sheets. Bake 20 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown. Roll in additional powdered sugar while still warm.

Note: Two standard-size cookie sheets usually won't fit in a regular oven, so a good idea is to buy a slightly smaller one to be used when baking with 2 pans at the same time.

The Tastemaker Awards, the nation's only awards program honoring cookbooks, is sponsored by the R. T. French Company. Winners are selected by a nationwide panel of 50 magazine and newspaper editors, cookbook authors, publishing executives, and academicians.

A total of 125 cookbooks were nominated this year and winners in 10 separate categories were chosen by votes of 10 panels.

The winner in the American category is ''Cuisine of the American Southwest,'' by Anne Lindsay Greer (Dial Press, $24.95).

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