Holidays and cookbooks go together like chocolate and peppermint. Like eggnog and brandy. And like bacon with almost anything, it seems. Even if you never set foot in a kitchen this season, here are some cookbooks guaranteed to delight.
Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup by Maggie Stuckey elevates the hearty and humble meal to an artful pleasure – with a purpose. Along with recipes, you’ll find profiles of “soup groups” nationally that are working to restore a sense of community, plus instructions for starting your own group.
The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen by Laurey Masterton takes readers on a year-long journey through the world of varietal honeys and demonstrates how to cultivate both an appreciation and a discerning palate for this wondrous food.
One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal by David Tanis delivers on its promise with recipes that can capture intensity, pleasure, and depth of flavor in a single dish. Make your own Italian Hot Pepper Oil then add it to Polenta Pizza with Crumbled Sage.
The title says it all. Come Home to Supper: Over 200 Casseroles, Skillets and Sides (Desserts, Too!) To Feed Your Family with Love by Christy Jordan forgoes anything “fussy or new-fangled” and boasts kid-friendly results.
Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth by Leslie Bilderback is a clever solution for cake-cravers who may want to sample lots of flavors without commitment – or remorse. The simple Yellow Mug Cake recipe can be embellished almost endlessly, but try the mug versions of cheesecake and bread pudding, too.
Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits by Andrew Schloss is right on trend for lovers of cocktail culture and culinary creativity. Recipes range from traditional herbals such as mint and licorice to intriguing concoctions made with radicchio, rosemary, or ancho chili peppers.
The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple but Classic French Recipes by Rachel Khoo captures the charm of its namesake while offering some modern takes on classic dishes. Coq au Vin on skewers, s’il vous plait!
One Pan, Two Plates: More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two by Carla Snyder answers the daily what’s-for-dinner question handily. Try the Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon with Corn and Poblano Succotash for a meal that’s ready in just 20 minutes.
Charlotte’s own Taylor Mathis traveled across 12 states to research and write The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: A Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football, and the South. The result is the perfect gift book for sports fans, even if they never try the Deep Fried Cookie Dough or Bacon Whiskey.
Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most Requested Naturally Delicious Recipes from One of America’s Best-Loved Restaurants was authored by the 19-member Moosewood Collective. With updated recipes to reflect vegan and gluten-free trends, the book celebrates the legacy and longevity of the vegetarian restaurant founded in 1973.
And here’s something different: Menu Mash-Up: A Game of Culinary Creativity. It is the creation of Karen Hudes. Packaged in a cute recipe-style box, the game challenges players to create the best meal using ingredient and menu cards.
Here’s to good reading, and good eating!