Food & Drink
GIFT GUIDE: The Cookbook Roundup
by Lea Faminiano
The holidays are right around the corner and you’re probably wondering what to get your favorite foodie. For the do-it-yourself foodie friend, the one who is always cooking up something delicious, we’ve rounded up a couple of the best tried-and-true cookbooks to keep them exercising their culinary skills. Think about it – give your favorite baker or chef a good cookbook, and you’ll probably get some treats in return. It’s a win-win!
Here’s a couple of my favorites, all of which I own, so I am confident you and the person you are gifting them to will enjoy them!
Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi
This cookbook makes you wish you were Christina Tosi. What kid didn’t like mixing up random ingredients when they were younger? Well, Christina Tosi turned that into a career. You can make your very own Compost Cookies, Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie, or even their famous Cereal Milk. Sometimes I curl up in bed with this book and just read it (that’s not weird at all, right?). After looking through this, you’ll probably be inspired to come up with your own crazy concoction.
Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan
My personal favorite cookbook that I own. I am such a Dorie Greenspan fangirl to the point where I brought her cookbook to the first CookieBar pop up shop (which has since evolved into Beurre & Sel) and she signed it and complimented me on how dirty it was, a sign that I have actually made everything in this book. Every single recipe is perfect and if I ever need any kind of baked treat, this is my go-to.
David Lebovitz is hilarious (check out his blog) and all of his cookbooks are laced with funny antidotes connected to each recipe. I make his cheesecake brownies often and his ice cream recipes are a snap – pick up either of these books and you’ll be able to make treats for days.
A great cookbook for couples. America’s Test Kitchen does what their name says they do and prefaces each recipe with a walkthrough of how they scale down their recipes. This way, you don’t have an insane amount of food left over, and you’re left with a perfect meal for two, every time.
I have the 2009 and 2010 versions and keep coming back to those recipes that represent the best of those featured in the magazines. The chapters are either divided into season or by course (or season and course), so you can easily plan a whole meal within this one cookbook.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
Every home chef should have this culinary staple in their kitchen library – it’s filled with classic French recipes and has practically revolutionized French home cooking, so you can learn how to whip up coq au vin and impress everyone. A great companion read that is less daunting is My Life in France, Julia Child’s autobiography of when she first discovered her love of food and her time writing her first two cookbooks – I’ve read this over and over (it follows Julia Child’s plotline in the movie Julie & Julia).
Other great cookbooks I’ve tried include: Macarons by Pierre Herme (make sure to get the English version if you’re friend’s not a Frenchie), The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts, Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is That? and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.