A is for Absinthe

Remember that oversized board book we told you about a while ago? Richard Betts' "Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert" had kid-friendly illustrations, perky prose and thick cardboard pages -- and we snarkily wondered what might be next, "T is for Terroir?" Ah. We spoke too soon. Cocktail expert Lara Nixon, owner of Austin, Texas' Bad Dog Bar Craft, has just published "A is for Absinthe: A Spirited Book of ABCs." It's designed for parents, she says, "who are happy to read with their kids for hours, but who don't see their professions and interests reflected in the lineup of construction workers, farmers, adventure guides or talking wildlife that populate typical ABC books."

Can "Good Night, Booze" be far behind? Good night room, good night moon ... and good night to the old lady, whispering "I'll have a dry martini. With a twist." (No? Well, if absinthe is more to your liking, the details are at aisforabsinthe.com.)

The pizza-burger

As you've probably realized by now, we have a weakness for extremely quirky food combinations -- hello, Cronut and Ramenburger -- and extraordinarily large things, like the 4,000-pound chocolate cake Guittard made for Beverly Hills' centennial. So how could we not tell you about the Screamin' Pizza Burger? According to Nick, the blogger behind DudeFoods -- and the man who brought the concept of bacon-lattice into the public consciousness -- all you need to make one is two full-size frozen pizzas, one four-pound beef patty and a spatula of mind-blowing proportions. Find instructions and photos -- and details on his Double Decker Mac-and-Cheese Stuffed Bacon-Weave Taco, too -- at DudeFoods.com.

Baconomics

Cupcakes, kale, cronuts -- we are a nation obsessed by food trends. The newest book by David Sax (whose previous book, "Save the Deli," delved into the demise of Jewish delicatessens and the hopes for revival in San Francisco and Brooklyn) takes up the trend topic in "The Tastemakers, Why We're Crazy For Cupcakes But Fed Up With Fondue" (Public Affairs, $25.99, 320 pages). It's a witty and informative read for foodies, probably best consumed with a snack. A chia-dusted, kale-infused, Greek yogurt-spiked, red velvet cupcake, perhaps. Or a bacon-weave taco.

-- J. Burrell, Staff