Books For Cooks

Cookbooks are a guaranteed good gift for anyone on your list.Allow me to explain.......

Happy Holidays Everyone. Over the next few weeks I'll be blogging some book ideas for gift giving. We'll do the traditional categories: for a grandpa, for a four year old, for someone who travels etc. The picks will include books Brian and I love, whatever's new and a few others. Of course it will be impossible to cover every great book so come on down to the store.

***Mention these blogs to get 20% off any book (not combined with other offers).

We have the great Independent Bookseller Catalog on hand this year which will be really helpful for you too. The cover posted here is a reprint of a WPA poster.

First up......cookbooks

Readers of Hudson Patch will not argue with me if I tell you there are lots of Trader Joe's fans in town. Every time Micheal asks for suggestions for “what should go here”, (buildings ready for development) Patch readers “vote” for Trader Joes.

That is why my #1 pick for a cookbook gift would be a Trader Joe's book. There are a few available that contain recipes using TJ's foods. I Love Trader Joe's,The Pocket Companion Guide To Trader Joe's (this one is meant to be taken to the store so it will also fit in a stocking) Cooking With Trader Joe's Vegetarian etc. They are all reasonably priced- $14.95-$24.95 and are updated frequently to reflect their current products.

I'm choosing my #2 pick,Culinaria, for a few reasons. They are cookbooks that would be wonderful for someone on your list planning a trip to Europe, loaded with information beyond recipes, not very well known and I just love them.

I bought my first book in the series Culinaria at Barnes and Noble many years ago. The series includes: Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Germany and also China and Southeast Asia. They are currently being updated and range from $24.99-$39.99. Worth every penny, loaded with beautiful pictures of food production and food culture in these countries. I have spent way more time just reading them and dreaming of travel than cooking from them, but I've also relied on them for recipes. In fact I've double checked recipes in other books against Culinaria many times.

The China and Southeast Asia editions are an excellent reference for Asian ingredients. As I said before all the books would be wonderful before a trip. They cover regions of these countries and the foods produced and celebrated in each.

If you have someone on your list who watches Top chef or The Chew , we've got new books for you. The Chew is on ABC daytime. Four celebrity chefs, a health and a lifestyle expert bring together great recipes every day. Their book is really nice. Full of pictures, tips , recipes and all around great inspiration. One of the chef's, Carla Hall, just put out her own book too, Cooking With Love.

If you know someone getting married or just starting out etc there are a few classics that will be appreciated for years to come. Betty crocker, Good Housekeeping, The Joy Of Cooking. Martha Stewart cookbooks are also excellent.

I have used the Betty Crocker book my mother gave me as my go to for 20+ years. I don't know why I started cheating on Betty a few years ago with America's Test Kitchen but I have to admit I would recommend it highly. It has the same comprehensive format as the others but with side bars with information from their tests, i.e. the WHY to do it a certain way.

There are plenty of celebrity chef cookbooks. Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa has a brand new book. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof : Recipes You Can Trust. Not much more to say, is there? :)

Well ok,

Millions of people love Ina Garten because she writes recipes that make home cooks look great; family and friends shower them with praise and yet the dishes couldn’t be simpler to prepare using ingredients found in any grocery store. In Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, the Food Network star takes easy a step further, sharing her secrets for pulling off deeply satisfying meals that have that “wow!” factor we all crave.

For Ina, “foolproof” means more than just making one dish successfully; it’s also about planning a menu, including coordinating everything so it all gets to the table at the same time. In Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, Ina shows you how to make a game plan so everything is served hot while you keep your cool. There are notes throughout detailing where a recipe can go wrong to keep you on track, plus tips for making recipes in advance. It’s as though Ina is there in the kitchen with you guiding you every step of the way.

With 150 gorgeous color photographs and Ina’s invaluable tips, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof is a stunning yet infinitely practical cookbook that home cooks will turn to again and again.

If you tell us some interests of the person you're buying for, we can probably pair it with a cookbook. There are plenty of books related to specific ingredients. Cooking with wine, bread baking, gluten free, diabetes and heart health, baking, tapas, etc etc. Rick Bayless has a fantastic new book, Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and snacks. Frontera is his uber successful restaurant in Chicago.

For years, fans have urged Rick Bayless to collect recipes for his prized margaritas, guacamoles, and snacks in one book. Now Rick shares 35 new and classic margaritas, including his version of the perfect margarita, the popular Topolo Margarita, and modern variations made with Mezcal. There’s a margarita for every budget, taste, and season, including the Quintessential Strawberry Margarita. Rick also provides a guacamole recipe for each month of the year, such as a summer guacamole with grilled sweet corn and roasted jalapeños. As added bonuses, Rick suggests aqua fresca cocktails, with fresh fruit juices, and offers recipes for nut and vegetable snacks. Each recipe is written with the kind of exact and easy-to-follow directions that guarantee great results every time. Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks is a must-have for anyone who has eaten at Rick’s restaurants or just can’t resist the undeniable pleasure of a margarita and its perfect complements.

I'm getting overwhelmed as I write this. There are too many wonderful books to recommend! I haven't even covered regional cookbooks and let me tell you we have some great ones. We also have wonderful biographies, autobiographies, memoirs...... You can't go wrong with any one of a few different biographies of the beloved Julia Child. She led a fascinating life. So fascinating that one of the books is about her cats. Trust me.....

Will you please come down to the store? I honestly think cookbooks make wonderful gifts. Cold weather = cooking season, they're timeless and everybody eats, am I right?

We also have recipe organizers and , grocery list pads and handy sticky notes just for marking recipes and jotting down notes. Cookbooks for kids, Cookbooks related to Downton Abby, Hunger Games etc etc

How many etc are you allowed to use before its really bad grammar?

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