Do you have someone on your Christmas list that loves to cook or bake? Or someone who just loves to salivate over pictures of gorgeous food? Cookbooks are one of my favourite gifts to give because you can find one to fit every skill level or taste (no pun intended).
We have a bit of a cookbook “situation” at our house. My husband is an ex-chef and I’m an avid baker. When we moved in together, so did our cookbooks, and they kind of took over our bookshelves. And since he and I usually purchase or receive at least one cookbook a year each, our collection just keeps growing.
Do we need this many cookbooks? Probably not. Will we ever get through all the recipes in these books? Unlikely. My husband doesn’t even follow recipes – he just flips through cookbooks for inspiration. As for me, probably at least half of the food I make is from recipes I found on Pinterest.
Still, it’s nice to have something tangible to work with, being able to add notes in the margins, dog-eared pages, stains, and splatters identifying well-loved recipes. Cookbooks can hold memories – the time when you first baked your mom’s famous chocolate cake and spilled batter all over the page, the small fingerprints from your children “helping out”, a recipe that you made for a very special occasion. And I love the idea of passing down cookbooks from generation to generation, rediscovering family favourites, make new traditions.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page.
Here’s a list of my favourite cookbooks to give as gifts, including a few that are on MY wish list this year:
- The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman
The first Smitten Kitchen cookbook is probably my all-time favourite cookbook. Most of my go-to baking recipes are either from this book or from Deb’s blog. Her second book is definitely on my wish list this Christmas!
- Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen
Reading the recipe index for Cravings is like reading a restaurant menu where you just can’t decide what to order because everything sounds so yummy. This book is filled with gorgeous photography, Chrissy’s trademark humour, and recipes that are sure to end up in your weekly meal rotation.
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives by Ree Drummond
For those who love pictures, this book is a treat. All of the recipes include step-by-step instructions with photos for each step. I also like that she has sections for ready in “under 40” and “under 20”, as well as one for “sheet pan suppers”. Perfect for busy families and the recipes sound, well, scrumptious! And just like Ree’s blog, this book is peppered with pictures and tidbits about her kids, her husband, and life at the ranch.
- Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
A collection of Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian recipes that is sure to please anyone on your list, vegetarian or not.
- The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka
I’ve made several recipes off of Gina’s blog and the results always matched the tagline for this book: big on flavor! Her Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip is a game changer. My family requests it for every holiday get-together!
- Franklin Barbeque: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin
My husband uses his smoker all year round (even in the dead of winter) and he swears by this book. I don’t much about smoking or grilling other than that the results have been delicious!
- Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
Just looking at the pictures in this book makes me feel like I’ve gained 5lbs! The baker in your life is sure to appreciate Joy’s recipes. The bourbon-chocolate pecan bars are mind blowing.
- The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon
Angela’s recipes will have even the most hardcore omnivore’s say, “That’s vegan?”
- Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
A collection of classic recipes and French comfort food to bring a taste of Paris to your kitchen. Dorie’s recipes make you realize just why the French are so well-known for their food.
- The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt
Half cookbook, half reference manual of the best cooking tips/techniques and the science behind them. This one is going on my wish list as well!
What are your favourite cookbooks?