DUE TO THE WORLDWIDE economic downturn, it is becoming more common to entertain at home. But eating in doesn't mean you need to serve your guests assorted chips and dips, frozen fish fingers with Tater Tots and green-bean casserole (made with condensed cream of mushroom soup and canned onion rings) or take-away pizza with sweet corn and Thousand Island dressing. There's a host of cookery books available to suit all occasions and budgets and even some that cater to, let's say, another kind of appetite. For the lads, there's the brilliantly titled How To Be Her Kitchen Love God (Thorsons, $91) by Anna Maxted and Karen Collier. Subtitled the Cosmopolitan Cookbook For Men, it promises to 'ensure your time in the kitchen is well spent - and well rewarded'. The first chapter, 'Getting Started', gives advice on pantry and equipment essentials and introduces the basics such as stocks and simple sauces. After that, chapters progress from 'Cooking To Seduce' to 'The Morning After', 'Just The Two Of Us', 'Cooking For The In-Laws' (that's assuming you get that far), and the inevitable 'Make Up Meals'. But the cavalier tone does not make it through to the recipes, which are surprisingly solid. They are simple and straightforward, using few shortcuts and convenience foods. Another great title is Cool Food For Hot Chicks by Louise Holland and Roberta Moore (Ebury Press, $181.90). The 'just for the girls' book states proudly that it includes recipes by Kate Winslet (salmon teriyaki style), Gwyneth Paltrow (marinated grilled swordfish) and Nigella Lawson (Calvados syllabub), but it's not a celebrity cookbook. It doesn't pitch in the same lighthearted vein that How To Be Her Kitchen Love God does, but again, most recipes are easy to follow. The chapter on getting started (entitled 'Hunting And Gathering') segues into 'Working Girl' (dishes that can be made quickly after a hard day at the office, 'Entertaining Adonis' (self-explanatory), 'Dinner Party Diva' and 'Girls Just Want To Have Brunch'. Entirely on the other end of the scale of home entertaining is Nan Kempner's RSVP (Clarkson Potter, $400). New York fashion icon Kempner compiled the menus from 'more than two dozen of her favourite hosts and hostesses'. The chapters might seem like bragging to the rest of us - 'Light Fare With Princess Marie-Chantal', 'A Birthday Surprise For Gordon Getty', 'Weighing Anchor With Valentino' and 'Hacking About The Highlands With Sheila de Rocham-beau' - but to the American socialite and 'hostess extraordinaire', it's probably ordinary fare. The photography is beautiful (with several pictures of the author in haute couture), but much of it relies on the gorgeous settings in which these people are lucky enough to live. And when socialites entertain, it's obvious that it's not just with only one domestic helper in the kitchen - they have chefs, maids and butlers in full regalia. Still, the recipes, while calling for more luxe ingredients than the previous two books use (lots of lobster), are actually easy enough to follow, even without professional and expensive help.