Vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free? Six new cookbooks.

A sampling of new 2014 cookbooks to guide home cooks toward fresh ideas in the kitchen.

5. The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen

The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen

The subtitle on this handy guide sums it up perfectly: "5 favorites you thought you would never eat again." When it comes to baking, crumbly cookies and gummy breads seem to predominate the gluten-free variety.

But the editors at America's Test Kitchen took a year long odyssey to crack the code to make fluffy muffins, rich lasagna, and, yes, even birthday cake that you won't be ashamed to serve in "How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook." You'll be a smarter cook, too, if you study their "Why This Work" guides that accompany each recipe and "Test Kitchen Tips" sprinkled throughout the cookbook.

With their tried-and-true track record, we trust that ATK has figured out the science for creating gluten-free recipes that any eater will enjoy.

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“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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