Its title sounds a bit imposing, but "The Blender Bible," a new paperback by Andrew Chase and Nicole Young (Firefly, $19.95), is so named because of the many ways it expands the range of the kitchen appliance often relegated to Margaritaville.

Hundreds of ways, in fact, beyond cocktails and smoothies, although dozens of those recipes are also included. There are soups, salad dressings, sauces for main dishes, desserts and a surprisingly hefty chapter on baby food recipes. Overall, the recipes are simple to follow, cover a lot of ethnic territory and follow the blender's basic appeal: Throw stuff in, whirr and pour it out. Someone who's not so comfortable in the kitchen would find these recipes doable. Pre-chapter recipe indexes are a helpful feature.

Keepers of old blenders might have to experiment a little. In the book's recipe directions, gone are the choices of chop, grind, puree and liquefy. Most call for low to high speeds, in line with the dial options of some recent models. Pulse is still a key feature, though.

About one-quarter of the book is devoted to baby food recipes, organized into age-specific groups (6 months and older, 8 months and older, etc.) Co-author Young notes that 11 babies were born to her friends during the taste-testing for the book. At first glance, it's not obvious why anyone would need a recipe for baby-food carrots (carrots, and water!). But recipes such as: Dhal for Beginners; Tilapia, Celery and Tomatoes; and Apples, Plums and Tofu suggest expansive thinking for the palates of tomorrow. And for the health-conscious, nutritional information per half-cup serving is included.

Grape Blueberry Fizz

2 servings

The name says it all, topped by lavender-colored froth. Adapted from "The Blender Bible."

11/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup grape juice made from Concord grapes

1/2 cup vanilla-flavored yogurt (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)

1 cup sparkling water or seltzer

In a blender on high speed, puree the blueberries, juice and yogurt until smooth and most of the blueberry bits have disappeared. On pulse, add the sparkling water or seltzer until just combined. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 192 calories, 4 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat, 65 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to

Chicken Pate

Makes about 2 cups

Lighter than you'd imagine. Serve with crackers or use as a filling for tea sandwiches. Adapted from "The Blender Bible."

6 strips bacon, each sliced in half lengthwise

1 bunch chopped scallions, white and green parts separated

4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 11/4 pounds), roughly chopped into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons dry sherry

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons sour cream (may substitute low-fat)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground white pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the white part of the scallions and the chicken, stirring often, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and cook for another 30 seconds, scraping up any browned bits.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a blender. Add the cream cheese cubes, sour cream, parsley and white pepper to taste. On low speed, blend until smooth. On pulse, add the green parts of the scallion just until combined. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Per serving (based on 12): 93 calories, 7 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 3 g saturated fat, 128 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to

Almond and Garlic Gazpacho

4 first-course servings

An unusual cold summer soup. The authors suggest that using Spanish almonds, which are available at Whole Foods Markets, adds an intensity of flavor. (If you use them, omit the salt from the recipe.) Adapted from "The Blender Bible."

3/4 to 1 cup low-fat milk

4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 slices toasted white bread, torn into small pieces (crusts removed)

1 cup blanched unsalted almonds

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1 small cucumber, seeded and diced, for garnish

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a large pan over medium heat, heat the milk, garlic and thyme, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme.

Transfer to a blender and add the toast pieces, almonds, salt and pepper. Blend the mixture on low speed until the almonds appear to be finely chopped, and then on high speed until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cucumber and oil. Set aside.

To serve, pour the chilled almond mixture into individual bowls and top with the cucumber.

Per serving: 273 calories, 9 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 531 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to