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Cooking Up Christmas | Creative Cookbook Gifts

What could make a better gift for your culinary-minded friend or family member than a beautiful cookbook with inspirational recipes that, if you’re lucky, you may even be invited to enjoy? You could even create a gift basket by pairing a cookbook with a bottle of wine and spices used in the recipes for a thoughtful and meaningful offering this season. Here are some fantastic cookbooks that will make an impression.


Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten

Ina Garten, arguably one of America’s favorite home cooks, offers gift givers her 12th cookbook, perfect for stashing under the tree. The Barefoot Contessa takes a new twist on everyone’s favorites by kicking the classics into high gear. Some blue-plate specials that get a makeover include grilled cheese, reimagined as Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches, perfectly paired with Creamy Tomato Bisque, and Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions, served with waffle-iron hash browns instead of fries. The cookbook offers soup to nuts entertaining ideas from cocktails to desserts. Most Intriguing Recipes: Start with Pomegranate Gimlets and then try Lobster BLTs

by Toni Tipton-Martin

In Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, James Beard Award–winning author Toni Tipton- Martin shares more than 100 African American recipes and stories originating from a range of cooks, from enslaved chefs to entrepreneurs. There are some familiar classics like Sweet Potato Biscuits, Seafood Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Pecan Pie with Bourbon, but also some creative dishes like Bourbon and Apple Hot Toddies and Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne. Interesting fact about the author: She has a collection of nearly 400 African American cookbooks dating to 1827. Many of those recipes are featured in this cookbook, making it a perfect gift for the culinary historian. Most Intriguing Recipes: Try the Braised Celery and the Beets Étouffée as unique sides


In Bibi’s Kitchen
by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

Somali entrepreneur Hawa Hassan is the founder and CEO of Basbaas Sauce, a line of condiments inspired by her country of origin. In In Bibi’s Kitchen, Hassan’s cookbook with food writer Julia Turshen, readers are taken on a culinary journey through Somalia and beyond to South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya and Eritrea—all key countries in the global spice trade. Organized first by country, then by storyteller, 75 recipes are shared through the memories of bibis, or grandmothers, who welcome us into their kitchens to share flavorful recipes and stories of war, loss, migration, refuge, sanctuary, family and love. This cookbook is ideal for readers who want a story behind their recipes. Most Intriguing Recipes: Double down on pasta with Ma Vicky’s Famous Lasagna (seasoned with adobo!), and Sweet Vermicelli Noodles with Cardamom and Butter for dessert

Beyond the North Wind
by Darra Goldstein
Young Russians today are rediscovering their cuisine as a significant part of their heritage, and Beyond the North Wind celebrates that cuisine, rich with whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and straightforward, robust flavors. With 100 recipes spanning everything from pickles and preserves, to infused vodkas, to homemade dairy products such as farmers cheese and cultured butter, to seasonal vegetable soups, the author honors the beauty of Russian food, elegant in its minimalism. This home-style cookbook is perfect for curious chefs who want to learn more about the little-known culinary history of this fascinating and wild part of the world as it brings to life Russia, its people, and its palate. The cookbook was written by James Beardnominated author Darra Goldstein, founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. Most Intriguing Recipes: Roasted Radishes with Garlic and Caraway, and Black Currant Cheesecake

La Buvette
by Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy

Francophiles will love receiving the charming cookbook La Buvette: Recipes & Wine Notes from Paris, featuring 50 recipes straight from the owner of a Parisian wine shop, bar and café. Author Camille Fourmont, with co-author Kate Leahy, focuses on simple, grazing-style food, paired with good wine, while celebrating the overall Parisian lifestyle. She also includes intimate portraits of some of Paris’s best wine and food makers. This cookbook is more of an overall entertaining guide, including tips on selecting wine and sourcing antique kitchenware. Most Intriguing Recipes: Apps to try include Camille’s “Famous” Giant Beans with Citrus Zest, and Goat Cheese, Black Garlic and Cherries

Eating Out Loud
by Eden Grinshpan
Eden Grinshpan offers a playful new take on Middle Eastern cuisine with more than 100 fresh, flavorful recipes that reflect her Israeli heritage. In Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day, she mixes and matches simple, traditional ingredients in new ways. This cookbook is a perfect gift for a more casual chef who loves hosting impromptu gatherings. One highlight is a whole chapter on eggs, including multiple variations of shakshuka. Another “hand-held” chapter features on-the go, sandwich-style recipes. Grinshpan is a chef, food personality, and host of “Top Chef Canada” while collaborator Rachel Holtzman has worked on numerous bestselling books. Most Intriguing Recipes: Cauliflower-Turmeric Pickles, and Lamb Shakshuka with Lemony Yogurt


Cool Beans
by Joe Yonan
James Beard Award-winning food writer and food and dining editor of The Washington Post, Joe Yohan bring us 125 globally inspired recipes celebrating some of the most stalwart workhorses in the culinary world—beans! The cookbook includes mains, snacks, soups, and even desserts featuring beans as well as chickpeas, lentils, pulses and more. From a practical standpoint, the cookbook starts us with base recipes for cooking a variety of beans in multiple appliances, including both electric pressure cookers and slow cookers, as well as on the stovetop. The recipes draw from culinary traditions spanning the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Africa, South America, Asia, and the American South. This would make an ideal gift for a plant-based chef who likes working with whole-food ingredients to create unique dishes. Most Intriguing Recipes: Start the party with Red Bean, Walnut and Pomegranate Pâté and finish the meal with Cardamom, Lime and White Bean Bundt Cake

The Vegan Athlete’s Cookbook
by Anita Bean
If you’re looking for something creative to give your super-healthy, fitness-focused friend, consider The Vegan Athlete’s Cookbook: Protein- Rich Recipes to Train, Recover and Perform. Author Anita Bean is an award-winning registered nutritionist, health writer, author and champion athlete specializing in sport and exercise nutrition. She offers over 100 exciting, healthy, and tasty vegan recipes, packed with all the protein and balanced nutrients athletes need to optimize performance. This book also features evidence-based advice on how to fuel workouts, debunks vegan myths, demystifies sports nutrition, and helps readers gain the confidence to create delicious, nourishing meals that will support their fitness goals. Most Intriguing Recipes: Mixed Grain Salad with Crispy Tempeh and Harissa Dressing, and Black Bean, Butternut and Cauliflower Curry

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