Whether buying cookbooks for yourself or a loved one, you want a book that you will actually use.
No foofy, over-complicated recipes for me; just give me the righteous, straightforward flavor. These eight cookbooks bring the delicious.
Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
I can’t help myself—I’m a big fan. With this book, Queen Ina clues you in on how to prep, assemble and cook ahead recipes that will make your life so much easier, whether entertaining at home or making a lazy supper for the family. The always-gorgeous photos will inspire you.
“Cook with soul” is part of Sean Brock’s manifesto. This James Beard Award-winning chef owns the wildly popular restaurants Husk and McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., where he reinterprets Southern cuisine on a daily basis.
Baking Chez Moi
This James Beard Award-winning author shares the dessert secrets of French home kitchens, from simple cakes to petite pastries and mousses, these are flavors you will crave. Case in point: the “Smoothest, Silkiest, Creamiest, Tartest Lime Tart.” Sold.
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories
You’ve read his blog, you follow him on Twitter, now buy the cookbook. These 100 French recipes—both sweet and savory—chronicle his time living in Paris, complete with charming stories of their inspiration.
Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi
His first vegetable cookbook, “Plenty,” was a massive global smash. Here are 150 new veggie recipes—sorted by cooking method—that will have you running for the nearest farmer’s market.
Flour + Water: Pasta
McNaughton, chef of San Francisco’s Flour + Water, shares the secrets of his Italian pasta favorites like Pumpkin Tortelloni with Sage and Pumpkin Seeds, or soul-stirring Tagliatelle Bolognese. Mangia, per favore.
The Baking Bible
Rose Levy Beranbaum
Legendary dessert diva Beranbaum is back with a meticulously planned book that spans the breadth and depth of baking. You will taste her passion for baking in every bite. Start with the White Christmas Peppermint Cake for your holiday gathering.
Indian for Everyone
This Chicago-based author knows about flavor. Her third book of Indian home cooking is her most comprehensive; it makes this often daunting cuisine approachable with a helpful ingredient primer and easy-to-follow instructions.