The holidays are a wonderful time to share good food with family and loved ones, and what better gift for the cook in your life, than a new cookbook?
Here are some of our favorites!
A World of Cake
150 Recipes for Sweet Traditions from Cultures Near and Far
by Krystina Castella (Storey, 2010, $24.95)
Take a trip around the world with this lavishly illustrated and wide ranging book about one of my greatest weaknesses – cakes. You’ll find everything from Red Velvet Cake from the Southern US, to Israeli Seed Cake, Japanese Friendship Cherry Blossom Cake, and Tunisian Zucchini-Almond Cake with Peach Sauce. There are sections for Street Cakes, and several ‘Cake Family Trees’ that show the international variations of cake types such as Sponge Cake. For the armchair travelers, cooks, and gourmands! Read More.
The Illustrated Step-by-Step Cook
More than 300 updated recipes from DK’s classic Look & Cook Series
by Lucy Bannell, editor (Dorling Kindersley, 2010, $35.00)
For beginning cooks and experienced foodies, alike, this cookbook features photos of each dish, along with many step-by-step photos and illustrations. With sections titled “Home from Work”, “Comfort Food”, and “Food to Share” – along with the more traditional sections on Starters, Meat-Free, and Fabulous Desserts – this will inspire cooks to get to work! Read More
This cookbook is as homey and beautiful as the author herself, and includes sections like “Hurry up! I’m Hungry! : Dinner on the double for those days when it feels there’s scarcely time to cook”; and “Off the Cuff : Pantry suppers and feasts from the fruits of the fridge-freezer”; and “The Cook’s Cure for Sunday-night-it is: Cosily substantial suppers that provide support and succor, or how the foods of yesterday can make tomorrow feel more manageable”. When Nigella talks about cooking, she makes me believe in the magic of feeding my family well. Read more.
This bold, full color cook book starts with a call to action: “Teens: Take over the vast empty space called the kitchen!” and continues with advice on buying organic and local food when possible, avoiding ‘mystery ingredients’ and chemicals, and staying safe with hand washing and smart tool use, before launching in to the adventure of cooking, with dishes aimed especially at voracious teen appetites. Each recipe is clearly laid out, with simple instructions, and a photo of the finished product. Many are simple and quick, others are a bit more elaborate. There are entire sections devoted to sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas, in addition to the more standard sections with breakfasts, side dishes, entrees, and desserts. What a great volume to introduce your favorite teen to the joys of the kitchen! Read More.
For the cookie afficionado on your list, this hefty tome treats cookies like works of art — down to the portrait-like photos and the meticulous recipes. The recipes are organized by texture, as the title hints, and the possibilities are nearly endless. How about some Apricot Lemon Bars with Hazelnut Crust, anyone? Or Coconut Macaroons or any one of the six different ‘Upgrades’ to the classic, such as Coconut Pineapple, or Chocolate? As the book flap says, “choosing what to bake from Chewy Gooey… is like taking a transcendentally delicious cookie personality test. Read more about this book, or read Alice Medrich’s blog