SIXTEEN YEARS AFTER IT FIRST hit the shelves, Necessities and Temptations has sold more than 100,000 copies, with sales continuing to benefit Central Texas charities. Published by the Junior League of Austin, a volunteer organization of women dedicated to giving back to their communities, the book was even inducted into the Walter S. McIlhenny Hall of Fame for charity-benefit cookbooks in 2001.

The cookbook features more than six hundred recipes ranging from basic (Rich Chicken Soup) to elegant (Flaming Cherries Jubilee). Necessities and Temptations is aimed at cooks of all levels, with basic measuring tables and definitions in the first chapter and tips and guides on how to throw a formal dinner party in the final chapter.

The recipes cover the spectrum of the food pyramid, with chapters such as “South of the Border Favorites,” “Poultry, Beef, Pork, Lamb and Game,” “Eggs, Cheese and Pasta,” and “Desserts and Sweets.” A “Potpourri” chapter contains recipes for more creative endeavors like meringue baskets and decorative icings. Instructions on how to create homemade candy houses and gumdrop animals will appeal to children. The final chapter on entertaining gives additional dining tips, such as creative ways to fold a napkin, how to set a table for a four-course meal, and how to create decorative carvings and flowers.

Recipes found in Necessities and Temptations include:
Mexican Quiche
Chicken and Tortilla Dumplings
Zucchini Moussaka
Beef Gumbo
Shrimp With Feta Cheese
Carrot Zucchini Tomato Bake
Molasses Rye Bread
Pineapple Cake With Cream Cheese Ginger Frosting

Proceeds raised by the Junior League of Austin benefit organizations such as the AIDS Services of Austin Food Bank, the Austin-Travis County Shelter, the Cancer Program/Child Life Program, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Hispanic Mother/Daughter Program.