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8 Mouth-Watering Cookbooks to Impress Your Holiday Guests

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With the coming of the holidays, I look forward to hosting all of my friends and family for dinner and drinks. In the end, though, I really want to keep the holidays from feeling complacent and stale. Everyone has tried all of our old standbys, and so we have a number of new recipe books that will instruct, invigorate, and inspire new favorite dishes and drinks to enjoy! In the spirit of shaking things up and trying new recipes, below are my top picks for the most deliciously-written and mouth-watering cookbooks to impress your holiday guests - and make them look forward to your cooking next year!

Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385349482
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Knopf - October 17th, 2017

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and her daughter, Tanya, are dedicated to bringing the Italian joy for food and family into your home. And they succeed! Just paging through the 220 recipes that she recommends takes me back to enjoying Venice with a aperol spritz in hand, enjoying la bella vita and watching the world go by. Longing for Roma and the Italian life can be momentarily sated by an authentic risotto or the many varieties of bruschetta to which Lidia devotes her book. Filled with striking photographs guaranteed to bring on a demand for gustatory delights, LIDIA’S CELEBRATE LIKE AN ITALIAN exhorts us to relish our time together with incredible food and culture. In addition to impressing your guests with your sudden knowledgeable cooking skills, this would also be a fantastic gift for anyone who likes cooking or culture, as it is chock full of facts about life in Italia.

Naturally Vegetarian: Recipes and Stories from My Italian Family Farm: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101983591
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Avery - November 7th, 2017

For those families where vegetarianism is held close to the heart, Valentina Solfrini has the answer! Perish the thought that vegetarian meals need to be dull and bland, for Valentina  celebrates the naturally vegetarian Mediterranean cuisine with full page pictures of savory home-cooked meals. The best thing about NATURALLY VEGETARIAN, besides the delicious food made with a dedication to vegetarian cooking, is the explanations and instruction for how to build a pantry of high-quality staples from which to draw any of her recipes. In addition, Solfrini divides her cookbook into seasonal selections for ease of access. It certainly makes picking a recipe that much easier! Valentina also includes several variations on her recipes to allow for vegan substitutions. All in all, she writes a beautiful cookbook for those interested in a plant-based diet.

Downtime: Deliciousness at Home: A Cookbook Cover Image
By Nadine Levy Redzepi, Rene Redzepi (Foreword by)
Currently Unavailable
ISBN: 9780735216068
Availability: Special Order
Published: Pam Krauss/Avery - October 24th, 2017

Nadine Levy Redzepi is the wife of famed Danish chef and restaurateur Rene Redzepi, but her book showcases the best tips and tricks for cooking at home. Her motto for this book seems to be, “Cook for guests as you would for family. Treat your family like company”. Her recipes are all pleasantly accessible while also holding up well against a sophisticated palate (not that I have one). DOWNTIME is refreshingly clean, with a simple and approachable prose accompanied by detailed notes that make her recipes pop! Her quinoa salad with spiced onions looks especially edible.

The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook Cover Image
By Jim Lahey, Maya Joseph (With)
ISBN: 9780393247282
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 7th, 2017

In their first book, Jim Lahey and Maya Joseph reveal the secrets behind the legendary Sullivan Street Bakery of New York, founded in 1994. They take readers on a journey to bake their own bread, from making starter to the best breads to pair with meals. Sprinkled throughout with short explanations and suggestions, this book will make your guests yearn for that sweet smell of freshly baked bread, all while showing you how to make it! It also makes an excellent gift for anyone looking to expand their bread making beyond the simple sourdough. Take a flip through this book and be inspired!


Elizabeth Street Cafe Cover Image
By Tom Moorman, Larry McGuire, Julia Turshen, Evan Sung (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9780714873954
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Phaidon Press - October 25th, 2017

If you’ve ever enjoyed Austin’s Elizabeth Street Cafe, you have to have this book. Including 100 of their fabulous recipes, Chefs Tom Moorman and Larry McGuire reveal the secrets behind their incredible food. Look to this to satisfy all of your home-cooked Vietnamese food needs. If you’re like me and crave a wonderfully crafted Bahn Mi without leaving the comfort of your home, you need this book. While some of the recipes and ingredients may be aimed towards a more experienced cook, the pictures alone make this book a must-buy.

QUESO!: Regional Recipes for the World's Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip [A Cookbook] Cover Image
Currently Unavailable
ISBN: 9780399579516
Availability: Backordered
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 26th, 2017

Elevate your chips and dip to the next level with Lisa Fain’s QUESO. For any non-Texans, this cheese dip recipe book will open your eyes to a whole new world of dip enjoyment. While perfect for startling and pleasing non-Texans who wouldn’t otherwise give a chip about Texas, this book is nevertheless a fun read. Use it to get your friends salivating from the pictures before making them a new type of queso, like the Greek Queso featuring feta cheese, olives and a Greek sheep’s-milk cheese called Kefalograviera. Come grab this as a gift or to get your guests off your back about when dinner will finally be ready!

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101874813
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 24th, 2017

If you haven’t followed Deb Perelman on her food blog, her down to earth writing and excellent suggestions will have you stunned. If you do know about her recipes, this book is just the thing you need. Deb mixes a wonderful blend of new flavors with old classics, made easy. Everything she makes is enjoyable, with recipes that will make you want to cook more! The last two recipes I made from her cookbook were very were well received. Your guests are sure to enjoy anything of hers that you make. Also, Deb is a very talented photographer whose photos do justice to her gustatory delights!

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375413407
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Knopf - October 16th, 2001

What hasn’t Julia Child’s taught us about crafting French cuisine at home? Known as the cook to bring French food to the US, Julia’s classic cookbook can sometimes seem out of touch with modern conveniences and grocery stores. The 50th anniversary of her work solves that with a updating of her work for your convenience. No longer will you wonder about the translation of French cuts of meat to American meat markets, nor the proper ingredients and where to find them in your nearest store. In addition, Julia’s traditional recipes have been broken down into accessible steps meant for everyone from the beginning cook to the most experienced chef. Buy this book to make yourself a better cook. Forget letting your guests see this book, hide it and make them think you’ve developed cooking superpowers!