Author and baker Beth Howard is anything but typical, just like the recipes featured in her new cookbook, Ms. American Pie. Howard’s baked goods look amazing in the full-color photos that grace the pages, and even non-bakers will be tempted to try their hands in the kitchen. She features traditional dessert offerings like her signature apple and coconut cream pies as well as more unusual recipes, like pulled-pork hand pies and spaghetti pie.

And where does she live? In none other than the original “American Gothic” farmhouse in Eldon, Iowa, where every summer she sells her signature offerings from the home’s front parlor, called the Pitchfork Pie Stand.

This isn’t a typical cookbook and readers will enjoy the snippets of life the author shares with her readers. She has had challenges and tragedies but her love of baking and positive attitude have carried her through. While readers will learn about Howard and her interesting life, this is definitely a cookbook and every recipe sounds and looks wonderful. I’ll be making the coconut cream pie for Easter and the French silk pie won’t be far behind.

Published by Race Point Publishing, Ms. American Pie retails for $28 and is available from book stores and on-line booksellers.