Editor's Favorite Cookbooks

For a gift that truly spreads the love.

Our Favorite Cookbooks

Photo: Randy Mayor

Our Favorite Cookbooks

A cookbook is the type of gift that reaches many people. Give it to a friend—whether an epicure or a water-boiling novice—and soon you will have all who frequent his or her table singing your praises.

Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

Photo: Randy Mayor

Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen

Any fan of CakeWrecks.com knows how hilariously wrong cake decorating can go. Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse will help you get it right: Real recipes (not mixes); technique tips; and a handy chart for custom food-coloring.

Price: $25

Shop: Amazon.com

Meat by James Peterson

Photo: Randy Mayor

Meat by James Peterson

From roast turkey to veal piccata and everything in between (quail, rabbit, goat...), cooking authority James Peterson makes sure you get the most expensive part of the meal right.

Price: $35

Shop: Ten Speed Press

Radically Simple by Rozanne Gold

Photo: Randy Mayor

Radically Simple by Rozanne Gold

Rozanne Gold is the godmother of super-simple home cooking, having published Recipes 1-2-3: Fabulous Food Using Only 3 Ingredients way back in 1996. Then came a 1-2-3 series. Now Radically Simple adds 325 recipes to the Gold standard.

Price: $35

Shop: Rodale Press

Weber's Time to Grill by Jamie Purviance

Photo: Randy Mayor

Weber's Time to Grill by Jamie Purviance

Barbecue expert Jamie Purviance teams with iconic Illinois grillmaker Weber for this smart collection of more than 200 recipes and quicker-grilling tips. Speedier smoked ribs? Bake them in foil first, then finish on the grill.

Price: $25

Shop: Amazon.com

The Scandinavian Kitchen by Camilla Plum

Photo: Randy Mayor

The Scandinavian Kitchen by Camilla Plum

Denmark’s “best in world” Noma restaurant produced a dazzling cookbook, but it wasn’t exactly practical. Camilla Plum’s pan-Scandinavian tome is much more approachable: Chapters on berries, vegetables, and mushrooms burst with life—and tempting recipes.

Price: $35

Shop: Kyle Books

Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

Photo: Randy Mayor

Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

If it's a small, succulent parcel encased in dough, pastry, batter, or leaves from anywhere between India and Polynesia, you'll find a recipe and crystal-clear instructions for making it with Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings. Want more? Check Andrea's companion blog.

Price: $30

Shop: Ten Speed Press

Cooking Light through the Seasons

Photo: Randy Mayor

Cooking Light through the Seasons

Our best seasonal cookbook, Cooking Light through the Seasons, collects the best recipes for the freshest ingredients. May we suggest you start with the Strawberry Agua Fresca on page 19?

Price: $30

Shop: Oxmoor House

Baking by James Peterson

Photo: Randy Mayor

Baking by James Peterson

You'll find James Peterson's James Beard Award-winning tome, Cooking, on the shelves of every Cooking Light food editor. He has a special talent for friendly and thorough instruction, which is also evident in Baking.

Price: $40

Shop: Ten Speed Press

Thai Street Food by David Thompson

Thai Street Food by David Thompson

London- and Bangkok-based chef David Thomspon dishes up huge in-your-face travel photos and authentic recipes, plunking you in the middle of the glorious culinary chaos of Thailad's streets and markets.

Price: $60

Shop: 10 Speed Press

Salted by Mark Bitterman

Photo: Randy Mayor

Salted by Mark Bitterman

As the FDA considers lower salt standards for Americans, salt has never been a hotter chef's ingredient. This is part cookbook (Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt), part salt tract (positing "Five Rules of Strategic Salting)," part reference tome.

Price: $35

Shop: Ten Speed Press

Simple, Fresh, Southern by the Lee Brothers

Photo: Randy Mayor

Simple, Fresh, Southern by the Lee Brothers

South Carolina's Matt and Ted Lee are here to challenge Paula Deen's regional hegemony. Lush, lucious dishes like Pimento Cheese Potato Gratin and Roasted Potatoes with Country Ham and Chiles could find a place on your table no matter where you live.

Price: $35

Shop: Clarkson Potter

Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen

Photo: Randy Mayor

Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen

Irish culinary authority Darina Allen's Forgotten Skills of Cooking covers the expected--corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and nettle soup. But treates like violet vinegar and homemade butter, plus color pictures throughout, make this book a keeper.

Price: $40

Shop: Kyle Books

Italian Home Cooking by Julia della Croce

Photo: Randy Mayor

Italian Home Cooking by Julia della Croce

If you're expecting complex, simmered-all-day ragùs, you're in for a treat. Julia della Croce's new homage to Italian cooking is filled with suprisingly simple fare, like spaghetti with sautéed radicchio and macaroni with quick broccoli sauce—just the things for cold January nights.

Price: $30

Shop: Amazon.com

World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky

World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky

Food-lit pioneer Mark Kurlansky breaks ground again with an enviro-foodie graphic novel. It's compelling content for readers of any age: What would happen if the oceans were emptied?

Price: $17

Shop: Amazon.com

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