Looking for last-minute Christmas or Hanukkah gifts?
Here are some cookbook suggestions for the home cooks and cocktail enthusiasts on your gift-giving list.
Tops on the list is the latest edition of “Joy of Cooking” (Scribner, $40, hardcover) by John Becker and his wife Megan Scott. Becker is the great-grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, who self-published the first copies of the beloved cookbook in 1931.
The hefty tome — its 1,156 pages weigh at least four pounds — are filled with thousands of revised and updated classic recipes along with more than 600 new recipes. Making their first appearance in “Joy of Cooking” are such recipes as Cajun Dirty Rice, Oysters Mosca, Milk Punch, Vegan Eggnog, Thai Iced Tea, Gooey Butter Cake, Chicago-style Deep-Dish Pizza, Kale Salad, Brussels Sprout Slaw with Spiced Yogurt, Tex-Mex Migas and gluten-free breads.
Recipes continue to be written in the cookbook’s signature “action method” format, which means there’s no separate listing of ingredients. Instead, ingredients are imbedded in the instructions. Like the earlier editions, the latest version has no photographs, but does include numerous small, black-and-white illustrations. It also has an attached red ribbon for marking pages.
The book, also available as an eBook, offers plenty of information on cooking methods, techniques and ingredients. In other words, it will become an indispensable addition to the recipient's cookbook shelf.
Those on your gift list who must avoid gluten will appreciate “Gluten-Free Baking at Home: 102 Foolproof Recipes for Delicious Breads, Cakes, Cookies, and More” by Jeffrey Larsen (Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, $30, hardcover).
The 278-page cookbook, beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs, uses customized flour blends to create foolproof recipes for quick breads, muffins, cakes, cookies, bars pies, tarts, cobblers, yeasted breads and rolls.
The author, a cooking instructor and recipe developer who specializes in allergen-free cooking and baking, says he knows from experience “the isolation that comes with food allergies” and wants everyone, including those who don’t have allergy issues, to enjoy the recipes.
“How to Cocktail: Recipes and Techniques for Building the Best Drinks” is the first-ever cocktail book from America’s Test Kitchen ($24.99, hardcover). The 262-page book includes 150 recipes illustrated with full-color photos and lots of tips for making high-quality cocktails.
The book is organized around a technique-driven approach with chapters on stirred, shaken, muddled, blended and big-batch drinks. It’s a good gift choice for someone just setting up a home bar and more experienced cocktail makers.
Fans of HGTV’s "Love It or List It Vancouver" and "Love It or List It, Too" will enjoy “Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebration” by the television programs’ host, Jillian Harris, and her registered dietitian cousin, Tori Wesszer (Penguin Canada, $32, hardcover). In the 324-page cookbook, the pair discuss their lives and the recipes that their families have enjoyed through the years.
The book, illustrated with full-color photos, opens with the authors’ suggestions for celebration menus before moving onto 100 easy-to-prepare recipes. The recipes are mostly plant-based because that’s how the authors eat, but there are some fish and seafood dishes. Recipes are divided into eight chapters and range from Angel Cakes (pancakes) to Smoky Tofu Bacon.