From the whimsical and themed to mighty reference tomes, here’s some gift ideas.
They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World is a cookbook filled with handwritten recipes from artists who then illustrated the pages. The designs range from funky to silly to just plain lovely. Don’t worry, all the recipes are legible – edible, too – but this is more of a coffee table conversation piece than a cookbook.
Angry Birds: Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes. Fans of the popular Angry Birds apps will enjoy this cookbook of egg recipes. The fairly simple recipes are illustrated in the same style as the games.
Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food. Jacques Pepin has been cooking for more than sixty years and he’s put a lot of accumulated wisdom into his latest cookbook. The tome is packed with tips for each recipe and even includes a DVD of Pepin demonstrating techniques. Essential Pepin is good for beginners as well as more experienced cooks.
The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine. If 700 recipes isn’t enough for you, here’s one with nearly three times as many. Cook’s Illustrated tests every recipe they print to be certain they will work out exactly as written. The meticulous testing makes this another cookbook suitable for everyone.
Starting with Ingredients: Baking: Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Bake. Don’t forget the bakers on the list. This massive tome has baking tips, explanations of the difference between ingredients (why use butter or shortening or some other source of fat), sources for unusual or better quality ingredients, and more than three hundred recipes for baked goods.
The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash is a classic from 1982 that was reprinted last year. It’s arranged by vegetable or fruit, making it perfect for anyone who’s ever looked at a vegetable and said, “What can I make with that?” or the late summer gardener’s lament “More zucchini?” (or tomatoes or whatever). Plenty of recipes for each vegetable and fruit will keep even those with very green thumbs from getting bored with their produce.
I’m not including a link to buy it online because I couldn’t find it for a reasonable price. However, I did find it on the shelf of the local Barnes and Noble for $18 and also at Half Price Books (didn’t check the price).
Italian baking ingredients photo via Shutterstock.