A Few Current Cookbook Favorites + Giveaway

December 21, 2010(updated on October 3, 2018)

cookbook stack one

Lately, it seems as if every day brings a new gift guide or best cookbooks of the year list from some corner of the internet. I briefly considered putting one or another of my own together, but I did a gift guide last year (and things haven’t changed much in the world of canning since then) and truly, I am not perfectly acquainted with all the new cookbooks that came out this year.

cookbook stack two

Instead, I thought I show you the stack of cookbooks that I’ve been flipping through and using the most lately. Some of these came out this year, but a handful of them are classic books that I’ve loved for years.

How to Feed Your Friends with Relish

How to Feed Your Friends with Relish came out several years ago. However, I only discovered it recently, so it’s happily new to me. It’s just the kind of cookbook I like best, lots of good food and plenty of narrative that allows you to read as if it were a novel. Plus, knowing that it was written by a British author means that when I read it, I can use an English accent in my head, which is a whole other kind of satisfying entertainment.

DIY Delicious

D.I.Y. Delicious by Vanessa Barrington is a book that falls firmly in my wheelhouse and so will certainly appeal to many, many readers of this site. Essentially, she set out to learn how to make a whole world of things we’ve taken to buying at the grocery store. She takes the homemade assignment far further than I do here and shows how to make lovely things like tortillas, worlds of vinaigrettes and sour dough starter.

The Way We Cook

The Way We Cook is a book I first discovered when it first came out in 2003 (in fact, Amazon tells me that I bought it almost exactly seven years ago today) and I love it as much today as I did when it first arrived. In the beginning, it was an aspirational cookbook for me, full of things like seared scallops and many-ingredient stews.

As I became a more confident cook, I grew into it and my copy is now wrinkled and stained. I’ve got good news for you all too. I recently spotted copies at Borders for $4.99, so if it sounds interesting to you, head to your local outpost and see if you can’t score a bargain copy.

Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook

Written by fellow food blogger Rachel Rappaport, The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook is a fantastic book for those of us who love our slow cookers. The thing I like most about this book is that it has helped me expand my understand of what a slow cooker can do (in the past, I’ve use mine primarily for fruit butters, chicken stock and cooking beans). There are a number of recipes I’ve marked that I hope to try soon. After all, what better time of year for a slow cooker than chilly winter?

Almost Meatless

In recent years, I’ve been working hard to buy better meat. For me, this means that it was locally raised and grass-fed. Of course, that choice comes with a heftier price tag and means that the end result is that we end up eating less meat.

Happily, Almost Meatless has been on my shelf since the spring of 2009, helping me make that good meat taste wonderful and stretch further than I ever thought possible. It’s a really great book that also happens to have been I written by two women I know and adore. However, I’d love it even if they were perfect strangers.

Salted

Written by salt expert Mark Bitterman, Salted, is a glorious book. Admittedly, I was a natural audience for it, as I’ve been obsessed with salt for years now (truly, I have more than eight varieties in my kitchen right now). But even if I was a complete salt novice, I would have been quickly converted by its lovely pictures and pure passion. If you get a book store gift card for the holidays this year and find single subject books fascinating, you should consider splurging on this one.

Love Soup

Not to be totally redundant, but I do truly love soup. Be it bean, chicken, beef or vegetable, I welcome it in my kitchen. I first heard about Love Soup when it came out last fall. I spent a year resisting buying it (when I buy a new cookbook, my husband raises an eyebrow and says, “really? Another one?”) before finally succumbing back in October. Since then, it has served as inspiration for many a warming bowl of soup. When my sister gets married someday, I want to give her a copy of this book paired with a sturdy soup pot.

In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite

You’ve probably heard about In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite already. It’s been something of a food blog darling since it came out this fall. I tend to be a little skeptical of books that get so much attention (I can’t help but root for the underdog), but in this case, the people were right. It’s wonderful. I particularly love the fact that there’s a chapter called ‘Things With Cheese.’ There is no way not to love this book.

The Yogurt Bible

I like yogurt. I like it plain, with granola or with a few spoonfuls of jam stirred in. I also like to cook with it (example: this quick bread recipe). I’m loving The Yogurt Bible because it has opened up a wider world of yogurt appreciation than I ever knew possible. Mmm, yogurt.

Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

I have a well-documented weakness for community cookbooks and have at least 25 in my apartment (a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to adopt a number from a collection that had belonged to the mother of a friend of a friend). However, The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook is really a whole different animal from those simple spiral-bound community collections. It’s an expertly curated assortment of classic southern recipes and I love it.

Mixt

I love salads nearly as much as I love soups. In fact, just this evening, we had a chopped salad of crunchy veg, grilled chicken and garbanzo beans, bound together with a pesto-mayonnaise dressing. It was a new salad for me and came to be because I’ve had my copy of Mixt Salads out on the dining room table for the last week, radiating fresh ideas. This is wonderfully helpful since I often find myself treading the same well-traveled path between butter lettuce, arguula and baby spinach. It’s nice to eat something new.

Gifts Cooks Love

As you may have figured out, I’m a sucker for edible gifts. Gifts Cooks Love takes my simple canning and baking and reminds me that it can be elevated it into something special. I realize it doesn’t do you a whole lot of good for this holiday season, but this is the kind of volume that will become a classic that you’ll turn to year after year.

Yikes, writing this post has been something of a marathon. I hope you made it this far! If you did, you’re in luck. I have copies of two of the books on this list to give away. Leave a comment sharing your favorite cookbook to give as a gift by Thursday, December 23 at 11:59 p.m. to enter for a chance to win a copy of either The Yogurt Bible or Gifts Cook Love.

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289 responses to “A Few Current Cookbook Favorites + Giveaway”

  1. I simply adore Virginia Willis and have picked up 3 copies of Bon Appetit Y’all for friends. I consider her the modern (and most certainly southern) version of Julia Child. Her recipes are inspired by French cooking, but are rooted in southern cooking tradition. I hope you get a copy for Christmas!

  2. my favorite cookbook to share is by cooking light: The 5 ingredient 15 minute cookbook why because it is full of fast recipes for busy people that are simply easy to follow & better for you 🙂 I love your post & it makes me want to visit the library

  3. One of my husband and my favorite cookbooks is one based on how the local Mennonite women cooked called “Mennonite Community Cookbook, Favorite family recipes” by Emma Showalter it has THE best homemade biscuit recipe, and many other good recipes. It is practically worn out.

  4. “With Love & Butter,” a collection of recipes from my favorite bakery, Holly B’s on Lopez Island, Washington. It reads like a wonderful, story-filled blog and each recipe is amazing.

  5. I’m new to this blog (and canning) and loving it! I spent the other day reading through your archived recipes and can’t WAIT to try the blueberry jam with our local blueberries (they’re like candy, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since they’re last appearance at the market). I especially love your photos – you know what they say, you eat with your eyes first!
    I just finished wrapping up my first batch of marmalade jars for gifts, and wish I had more time for a few batches of who-knows-what.
    I think my favorite cookbook to gift would be Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home (again, sucker for gorgeous food photography!).
    I’d love either of those cookbooks you’re gifting! 🙂

  6. Baking Illustrated by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine is the one book I fully trust when someone needs a recipe I’ve never tried. I haven’t baked everything in the book, but everything I’ve made has been amazing.

  7. My favorite cookbook to give as a gift is Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. If I know it’s someone that can’t handle that and just wants pretty pictures I pass on The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

  8. my favorite gift cookbook is Devin Alexanders Decadent diet. Most of the recipes are great whether you are “dieting” or not!

  9. For cooks who have expressed bewilderment or unsteadiness, I get The Joy of Cooking. (And I write in the corrections for them, so they don’t have to hunt them down as I did). Otherwise I give a magazine subscription — sure to find at least one thing they like that way!

  10. I just bought Joann Chang’s cookbook for her bakery Flour in Boston. She’s got some amazing recipes and wonderful baking tips in this book. I will be going back to the bookstore to get a couple of copies to give as gifts this year.

  11. Interestingly enough, my friends and family often talk food and recipes, but we rarely give cookbooks unless specifically requested. I think that’s because we all have very different cooking preferences. Ones that I love to receive are any of the Cooks Illustrated Best series. I have several stained pages in their Best Make-Ahead Recipes.

  12. I have a cookbook that I give as a wedding gift–a collection of my family’s favorite recipes, printed up and spiral bound. When my oldest daughter went to college, I spent an entire summer typing up all my recipes (I hate to type), and didn’t want to use all that effort for just one person, so I printed up copies and started giving it as gifts. It took many years for my husband to warm up to the idea, as he thinks it is cheap. But I have young women approach me often, telling me how much they use my cookbook.

  13. Eugenia Bone’s Well Preserved is one of my favorites for both great canning recipes and recipes to use the preserves in.

  14. Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen is a great introduction into making all kinds of dough wrapped goodies and it’s surprisingly easy. A winner for adventurers and new cooks alike.

  15. Thanks for the great post! I love the picture *and* personal description of each.

    My favorite cookbook? Anything by Mark Bittman. I am enamored with him at the moment. Well, have been for several years now. I would give HOW TO COOK ANYTHING to a college grad or a newly wed, someone who is cooking on their own for the first time; THE MINIMALIST COOKS AT HOME for anyone who is comfortable in the kitchen but wants some new ideas for quick “gourmet” meal ideas; and KITCHEN EXPRESS for the comfortable cook who wants quick ideas for using in-season food.

    In love, I tell you, in LOVE. Mark Bittman, will you marry me? =)

  16. wow. that diy and the meatless one, they both look amazing.
    my most favourite book to buy is The Hungry Girl’s Cookbook. It’s a local handmade publication (melbourne, aus), and a tiny, tiny little thing. But this is good because everything in there is ace and it’s slim enough to sneak on the shelf.

  17. I often give the Moosewood Cookbook to friends who are interested in eating healthier fair which doesn’t contain meat. The cookbook is great because you can so easily add meat to many things in small amounts or keep it out. The recipes are intimidating, and in general, it is a nice one for people who are veggie-curious.

  18. ‘The Cooks Companion’, by Stephanie Alexander. It’s the bible in my kitchen, with ingredients listed and what to do with them in that glorious Stephanie Alexander way. For those not in Australia, it’s really worth hunting it out for a look.

  19. i’m loving gluten free girl & the chef right now. highly recommended with great stories, pictures, and luscious recipes!

  20. I’ll be heading out to pick up a book or two on your list! My favorite current go to cookbooks are Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine (gotta love these deep, earthy dishes filled with aromatic spices) and The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich.

  21. Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is my very, very favorite. I pick up any copies I see second hand (it is a big and therefore expensive book) to gift to friends.

  22. My favorite cookbook is a sleazy thing from the discount shelves of Barnes and Noble – The Soup Bible by Debra Mayhew (editor). And it’s actually excerpted from her larger work The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Soup and I keep thinking I should upgrade to that one, but I keep cooking out of the Soup Bible, and I haven’t run out of recipes yet.Often when I’m looking for inspiration, I’ll pull out the five most appropriate cookbooks and end up putting most of them back. When I go to this cookbook, however, I make sure I have bookmarks because I can usually find at least three recipes that will a) suit my mood/cravings, b) be something I haven’t tried, and will only call for ingredients already in my pantry.I have had recipes fail from the cookbook. The garlic and saffron soup was totally my fault for using twice as much saffron as the recipe called for. And I’ve made a much higher percentage of the cookbook’s recipes than I have for any other cookbook I’ve ever owned. This is my dirtiest and most damaged cookbook of them all.

  23. I am so lusting after that book “salted” I have been obsessed with salt and that is going on my must buy list!!! What I love to gift is the Ball Blue book- it’s such a great book for new canners!

  24. My favorite cookbook to give is the Moosewood cookbook. Everything I’ve ever made from that book has been amazing and creative. 🙂

    By the way, I love this post. I always get a little overwhelmed when looking through the cookbook section of any bookstore, so it’s nice to see what people have tried and tested.

  25. I’m a sucker for cookbooks, especially the ones that focus on gifts from the kitchen. Anything Anna Thomas writes is going to be good and her first cookbook is a kitchen staple in my home.
    The cookbook I’ve given most has got to be Joe Dabney’s ‘Smokehouse Ham, Spoonbread and Scuppernog Wine’; it’s THE classic tome on Southern Appalachian cooking, history, folk lore and the only non-cookbook to win the James Beard award. In a word, Joe’s book is amazing.

  26. The theme when I give cookbooks seems to be Texan: barbecue, Tex-Mex, Southern cooking. I miss the food in Texas, so this is not much of a surprise to me.

  27. This might be a boring choice, but I love giving America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks as gifts. It’s especially great for new cooks who would like to know the reason a recipe is written the way it is.

  28. I love to give “The Settlement Cookbook” as a gift to young people starting out in their own homes and families, because it has everything in there that you need. If I could afford to, I would also give “Julia and Jacques” with it, because they explain so clearly how to do so many dishes people want to make. And the writing and photos are lovely.

  29. I’ve given New Indian Home Cooking by Madhu Gadia several times – it’s accessible to people who like Indian food but have no idea how to cook it. I tend to package the book up with a few bags of Indian spices (the ones you find at an Indian market and not the standard grocery store) to get them started. It’s been well-received.

  30. I have a copy of “Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book” to give my niece with a Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker. It will be a very nice wedding gift.

  31. I went to Powells Books this afternoon in Portland, perusing the cookbooks. I was hoping to pick up a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s newest, Around my French Table. I was told it was sold out at the publisher! I had read several reviews and articles about the book and tried several of the recipes- all stellar.
    I too have a bit of an addiction to cookbooks. Twenty two years ago I worked for Powells in their cookbook store on Hawthorne. It was like putting a junkie in a drug store I’d guess! I still lust for cookbooks all these years later.
    It was nice to see two of the books on the Food in Jars list were Portland authors.The food gift one by Diane Morgan looks yummy and fun. I have been busy making food gifts for the holidays.
    The book I have given most to friends and my sons as a “first cookbook”, is the original Silver Palate. It has loads of info and encourages creativity even for a beginner cook.

    Cook, share and eat it up.As Buddah said, “If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing some part of it.”

  32. I don’t often give cookbooks as gifts, because many of my friends are foodies, and have extensive cookbook collections of their own. However, a lot of the younger generation in my family has recently made the big step of getting their own apartments, and my usual gift for them is THE JOY OF COOKING.

  33. I’m Puerto Rican and all my american friends have fallen in love with Puerto Rican cooking. To those that want to start cooking authentic Puerto Rican I usually gift “Cocina Criolla” By Carmen Aboy Valdejuly. Its the Puerto Rican cooking bible!

  34. My grown kids gave me the Taste of Home cookbook a few years ago, and I have subsequently given several of this great cookbook as wedding gifts! Fantastic instructions and pictures. I just can’t get into a cookbook that doesn’t have pictures. Guess I’m a visual learner, huh?

  35. My new favorite cookbook to give is “The Family Dinner” by Laurie David. Its full of great, healthy recipes! The book reads like a novel, which is lovely. It also includes ideas for activities and games to bring your family together! I love this book…its a must for any mom!

  36. I received Around my French Table by Dorrie Greenspan for Hanukkah and have already made several items. I would gladly gift this book to a friend.

  37. I always read to the end of your delightful blog! My Joy of Cooking has fallen apart, so when I need good how-to directions I often turn to my oldie but goodie Fannie Farmer. Silver Palate and Moosewood have been staples for years.

    Even without the giveaway, this is a great idea…I’m making a list of new books to check out at the library and local bookstores. LOVE #15 Vicki’s comment about her family recipes cookbook. Making one of those will be high on my next-year’s fun list!

  38. Thanks for this list! I love to see which books others are enjoying. My partner also raises an eyebrow when I come in with new cookbooks, so I try to pick only the really good ones! I have many friends from overseas having moved around my entire life, so I enjoy giving great American cookbooks. I’m excited about the one from the Southern Foodways Alliance. I’ve given cookbooks from my native Kentucky, and this year, I gave my best friend from Australia a copy of _American Desserts: The Greatest Sweets on Earth_. Have a lovely holiday!

  39. I have to check out your list because I only have 4 shelves of cookbooks and your selection looks so enticing. ;>

    I’ve gifted several different slow cooker cookbooks because I know people who have the tool and never use it.

  40. Simple Suppers by The Moosewood Collective is one of my favorites. It was given to me as a gift and I would give it as well. It is filled with easy yet interesting recipes that are primarily vegetarian (it has a few seafood recipes included).

  41. Goodness! What a post. You and I share a passion for cookbooks! My husband says something similar to what your husband says when I acquire new cookbooks. 🙂 I recently ordered Sarabeth Levine’s new book (mainly because of the inclusion of the jam recipes).

    I love to give The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray & Elsie Hoover & family. The book is organized by type of produce, so if I have something I don’t know what to do with, this book makes it easy to quickly find a good recipe. Each section also has a “how to can” portion.

    If I am selected to win, I’d prefer the yogurt book. (Although really, I’d just be excited to win!)

  42. If I was to give a cookbook as a gift it would probably be Vij’s or anything by Nigella Lawson. I think the only person I’ve given cookbooks to has been my mom though.

    I think I might need D.I.Y. Delicious…

  43. My favorite to gift is Betty Crocker red/white check cookbook. I’ve given them to my 2 daughters and they use them all the time. I’d like to get the gifts cooks love. I love to make granola and gift it all year but especially at christmas. Eileene

  44. That’s a wonderful post, and I hope I get a bookstore gift card over the holidays so I can buy some! And as for your husband, tell him your cookbooks are cheaper than his e-readers!

  45. Thanks for the list! I sometimes worry that I’m the only one with a cookbook addiction…. it’s good to know that there are others out there 🙂

  46. I have cleared out all cookbooks, due to my preference for online recipe blogs, except for 2: Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and my own notebook which has an abundance of newspaper, magazine and hand-written recipes in it. I have been thinking about a canning book though….

  47. I haven’t seen most of these before but they all look great. Last night I wrapped up all of my jars of pickles and jams to give to my family, so I would love to win a copy of Gifts Cooks Love!

  48. I’ve given several copies of KIDS KITCHEN (Fiona Bird) to children (great with a personalized apron!)

    Please enter my name to win GIFTS COOKS LOVE.

    Thanks, and happy holidays!

  49. I get that same raised eyebrow every time I buy a cookbook. I love them! Thanks for the recommendations. I don’t have any foodie friends currently so when I give cookbooks they tend to be classic and basic for newer cooks. I recently bought a copy of that old chestnut(am I allowed to mention this on a foodie blog? Lol!) Betty Crocker. Also I’ve shared my own copy of Jeff Smith’s Frugal Gourmet cooks American twice. I keep replacing it, though. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

  50. I bought 2 Mes Confititures, one for me & one for a friend. Now I have to order “Gifts Cooks Love” for 2. Everytime a friend sees a cookbook she loves she buys 2, and I do the same. Then we go thru them together over a cup of tea, or a martini…depending on the mood.:)

  51. I LOVE The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving. I’ve used it for making pickles, jams and liqueurs. And, unlike the Ball book, I don’t need 20 pounds of tomatoes to make something.

  52. I really don’t own many cookbooks and try to just check them out of the library. Most recently, a source of cooking inspiration has been Moosewood Restaurant’s Simple Suppers.

    Thanks for this list, Marisa. I love it!

  53. My favorite cookbook to give as a gift is “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman, because I think everyone needs to have this workhorse sitting on their shelves. My favorite to receive would be the “Gifts Cooks Love” I saw a review of it and have lusted it after it ever since 🙂

  54. Both of my younger sisters received copies of Bittman’s How to Cook Everything once they moved into their own apartments.

  55. I have given Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Passionate Vegetarian” to just about everybody I know, since it’s the cookbook I use most, and gifting it saves writing out individual recipes from it when people ask me for them. It may be an unwieldy gift, but for me, it’s an efficient one!

  56. I think I would give either a Moosewood cookbook (any of them), or one of my all time favorites: Simply in Season. I love that one and the way its organized helps me find recipes for all those ‘odd’ veggies we get at our CSA.

  57. As a young bride years ago I received a copy of Better Homes & Gardens ‘Complete Step-by-Step Cook Book,’ and have since given copies to other new cooks. What’s great about it for newbies is all the step by step explanations and photos of basic cooking techniques. I’m now a much more accomplished cook with several shelves of cookbooks, but I still refer back to this one from time to time.

  58. I love and would give the Food Network Kitchen Cookbook. Mine came as a two book set and is perfect for helping you stock your pantry with basics, recipes for all the mother sauces and foundational recipes, delicious looking photography and easy to make recipes.

  59. I am guilty of being an internet browser for recipes. We used to have TONS of cookbook that always went unused but I am now figuring out that they were not good cookbooks. You are inspiring me to start a good collection 🙂 I do love my “Encyclopedie de la cuisine de Jehane Benoit” which is the cookbook you will find in every french-canadian’s household. Hoping to win a new cookbook to start my collection!

  60. My all-time favorite cookbook is Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten. Totally amazing…. and each recipe transports me back to Paris.

  61. What a great post…and then all the comments with more cookbooks mentioned-what a bonus! Asking me to pick a favorite is of course like picking out a favorite child! However, while trying to figure out how to cook duck for the upcoming holiday dinner, I am rediscovering Julie Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Some wonderfully classic and, sometimes, old fashioned recipes!

  62. oh man… not sure I could pick a fav! both of the books your giving away look awesome… I have a cook book problem..(says my husband) but what does he know 🙂

  63. I have so many cookbooks but I love to give Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything. I just bought myself Greenspans Around My French Table and I’m loving it.

    Merry Christmas!

  64. I’ve given 3 copies of How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman this year. Great for beginning cooks and for experienced cooks who just want to get something healthy and tasty on the table without much fuss. A super reference for basic recipes.

  65. I love to give America’s Test Kitchen, The New Best Recipe. It’s great to have explanations and to have a good solid base of recipes that just work for a lot of standard dishes.

  66. I love to give Jamie’s Food Revolution to my non-cooking friends. His book is easy to follow and so are the recipes. I think cooking can be intimidating at first, but Jamie’s book puts you at ease. Happy Holidays!

  67. I’ve recently been turned on to the Lee Brothers and love their first book, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. I need more buttermilk and sweet potatoes in my life. It also has wonderful Southern food stories.

  68. I have to say that my favorite to give is Joy of Cooking, 1975 ed. Learn to do anything from scratch from this jewel.

  69. I love the Fannie Farmer cookbook! It is filled with all the recipes for things that everyone “should” know how to make. Macaroni and cheese, baking powder biscuits, a dozen cakes and frostings, pot roast, roast chicken, corn on the cob, boiled eggs, sauteed onions… it’s fantastic! Plus it has conversions and other helpful information printed on the inside covers. Any edition of this cookbook makes a great gift, especially for a college student or bridal shower!

  70. Oh I looooovvvveeee cookbooks. I really enjoyed reading your post & suggestions. Two of my favourite cookbooks I love to give (as they are my tried-and-true favourites) are THE AMISH COOKS BAKING BOOK, and PERFECT RECIPES FOR HAVING PEOPLE OVER. If I could choose a 3rd it would be BREAD MAKING BY MACHINE OR BY HAND.

  71. I *LOVE* “The River Cottage Family Cookbook” for a gift for anyone with or without kids. It’s a beautiful, back to your roots guide to nourishing your family, not just feeding them. Recipes for making your own salt? Check. Really fun stuff, and the bean and sausage soup recipe transcends its simple ingredients.

  72. I like to give America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Skillet cookbook. It’s a good, basic cookbook that doesn’t have many, if any, recipes with “open a can of cream of whatever soup” in it’s instructions. It’s especially helpful to the recently decided SAH parent.

  73. I’ve become newly obsessed with Flour by Joanne Chang, so would happily give it as a gift to anyone who likes to bake. But for a new cook, I would give the new Joy of Cooking in a heartbeat.

  74. i live in a small, southern town, so i enjoy giving copies of the local junior league cookbook called “Gracious Goodness.” it’s just a fun, kitschy look at the way the grande dames of a certain era in the south cooked–complete with marshmallow fluff, “olio”, and lard in the ingredients. also? some darn good recipes.

  75. Fantastic post! I am loving the Weber’s Real Grilling. We received it as a gift a few years ago and it is awesome. No more charred chicken, no more undercooked pork chops, and a great recipe for grilled pizzas. We have given it as a gift more times than I can count. So good!

  76. I usually choose the cookbook to give depending on the recipient. This year I am giving How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (which I absolutely adore to cook from) to my brother and sister-in-law. It is a fantastic book, even if you aren’t vegetarian!

  77. My favourite gifted cookbook was Jamie’s Food Revolution. My wife and I gave a copy to our good friend (and the best man at our wedding) for his birthday this year, to help him learn to cook. We also offered cooking lessons, but we moved across the country rather suddenly, so we haven’t been able to fufil that one yet.

  78. Wow! I like to be in the company of like-minded folks, especially when it comes to cookbooks. I read them like novels. I have a few that I’ve given out as gifts: The Mennonite Cookbook is a fabulous collection of recipes from all over the US and Canada and many are old time recipes for comfort foods including a nice chapter on preserving foods. I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that my grandmother gave me and I really cherish it as a book for the beginner to the wanna-be professional with chapters on all the basics, but includes menu development, cake decorating and some preserving. Another cookbook that I really enjoy is Marcia Adams, Cooking from Quilt Country…there are lots of great recipes there including making sauerkraut soup, homemade lemonaide and it includes seasonal dishes or those for Amish events such as a wedding or a barn raising which includes an entire community coming for a meal! Her photos are wonderful as well!

  79. My go to cookbook is Mark Bittman’s “How to cook everything” He keeps it simple and easy but every recipe I’ve tried works out wonderfully.

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