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Gift Guide: For the Foodie

November 26, 2012

Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be running occasional book-themed gift guides for different types of people on your holiday list. Our first guide is for the food-lover, and features a few of our favorite new cookbooks. Even the hardest reader to buy for will appreciate the gift of new menu ideas!


Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof by Ina Garten: There is a reason Ina Garten is the queen of entertaining. Her recipes are universally beloved, and she has a knack for creating dishes that are simple enough to be manageable, but always special enough to serve to hungry guests. In her new book, she shares tips for pulling together a menu, making sure every dish is ready to be served at the same time, and figuring out what you can make in advance. The recipes are mouth-watering, and range from the incredibly fast, like Fennel and Garlic Shrimp, to Slow-Roasted Filet of Beef with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise, which takes longer to cook but can be prepped in advance and then left alone. Ina’s recipes are slightly updated takes on classic American dishes, and she believes in honoring the ingredients’ natural goodness with simple preparation and seasoning. It’s true, she is not shy with butter and cream, but I guarantee you will not be able to resist her Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts or Maple Pecan Pie. Yum!


The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman: Moving from a food star to an up-and-comer, the first cookbook from a well-known food blogger is guaranteed to become dog-eared from use. I’ve followed the Smitten Kitchen blog for years, and have never been disappointed by any of Perelman’s recipes. Her recipe for Boozy French Toast has wowed brunch guests at my house for years. Her cookbook is full of the same mix of healthy and more decadent recipes, along with gorgeous photos she took herself and funny intros to each recipe written in her signature warm, casual tone. It’s hard to know what to make first when you’re choosing between recipes like Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin, Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Rosemary and Kale Salad with Cherries and Pecans.


Finally, if you loved last year’s Plenty cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, you will enjoy this new cookbook, Jerusalem. This is a stunning collection of Middle Eastern dishes, from vegetables to sweet desserts, and the combination of Ottolenghi, who is from the Jewish west side of Jerusalem, and co-creator Sami Tamimi, who is from the Arab east side of the city shows how combining these two cultures can result in delicious new cuisine. This is not just a cookbook, it is a travel guide, cultural reference and homage to a city’s food heritage all in one.

Do you like to receive cookbooks as gifts? Which ones are at the top of your holiday wish list this year? We’d love to hear!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2012 8:30 am

    I haven’t been keeping up with cookbooks lately because I’m not doing much cooking right now. I still love to look through cookbooks though and all of those look good, especially The Smitten Kitchen.

  2. November 26, 2012 12:00 pm

    I’ve been cooking from Roots, by Diane Morgan, for about a week now – a different recipe every time! Our CSA box is full of root veggies (some that I can’t identify!) and without this cookbook I would have given up on doing anything but roasting and mashing.

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