This year, why not deviate from the traditional bottle of wine and hand that hostess (or grandma, or coworker) a gift that will keep giving all year round? The 2015 crop of cookbooks will impress everyone from your foodie friend to your college-age cousin who’s just learning to cook for himself. They’re easy to wrap, but their fun covers would look great under the tree all on their own. Another great reason to gift a cookbook: maybe the recipient will use it to make something tasty for you. Here are 20 of the top cookbooks folks are buzzing about this season; pick these up at your favorite local bookstore, or buy directly from Amazon right here.
1) Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change The Way You Cook by Kristen Miglore
Best for: the cook who knows it all
Each week, the executive editor of popular food blog Food52 features a “genius recipe” that might involve an unexpectedly simple technique, debunk a kitchen myth or apply a familiar ingredient in a new way. This cookbook features 100 of those recipes like Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread and Nigella lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake, all published alongside tips, mini-recipes and gorgeous photos.
2) Everyday Detox: 100 Easy Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturally by Megan Gilmore
Best for: the health nut
Nutritionist and Blogger Megan Gilmore shares 100 delicious-yet-healthy recipes that will keep you satisfied and help promote weight loss, improved digestion and even sleep. The best part is there’s no dieting, juice fasting or calorie counting required.
3) The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by Best for: the mega nerd
Serious Eats’s J. Kenji López-Alt focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Did that sentence just give you a flashback to high school chemistry? Don’t worry, there are more than 1,000 full-color images in this bestseller. Recipes include quick, foolproof Hollandaise sauce, crispy/creamy potato casserole and more.
4) The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper by Ree Drummond
Best for: the busy working mom
A made-from-scratch meal on a weeknight, even with the entire family’s social calendar on the line? It may seem like a pipe dream, but Food Network personality and best-selling author Ree Drummond makes it easy with her newest cookbook that features 125 recipes that combine pantry staples with fresh ingredients. Meals include beef stroganoff, ready-to-go freezer meatballs, Mexican tortilla casserole and more, all served alongside Drummond’s signature humor and charm.
Bring a taste of the country into your urban life with Food Network’s Nancy Fuller’s delicious but simple meals from the heart. Recipes include buttery braised radishes, bacon-wrapped trout, carrot cake and more dishes to melt the city blues away.
Chef Alex Stupak takes a deep dive into the beloved Mexican staple, teaching readers to make fresh corn and flour tortillas to be wrapped around flavorful salsas and exciting fillings like pineapple-topped pork al pastor. The book features stunning photos by Evan Sung and presents the argument that Mexican food should be as esteemed as fancy French cooking.
8) NOPI: The Cookbook by
Your jet-setting foodie friend has definitely heard of acclaimed London restaurant Nopi. Impress her with this cookbook by author Yotam Ottolenghi and Nopi head chef Ramael Scully, who have put together 120 new recipes from the restaurant. Dishes feature everything from star anise and sumac to miso and molasses.
Skip the crowded restaurants Sunday morning, grab your pals and cook up the best meal of the week right at home. Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay’s latest installment includes 140 recipes starting with cocktails (both spiked and virgin) as well as eggs, pancakes, waffles, French toast and more. Pull up a seat and enjoy a Sangria Sunrise, Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Drizzle, Sautéed Bitter Green Omelets and Wild Mushroom-Yukon Gold Hash.
Help Dear Ol’ Dad upgrade from by-default griller to true backyard pitmaster with the help of Austin Texas’ own Aaron Franklin, who owns one of the most popular ‘cue shacks in the country if not the world. The book has chapters dedicated to building/customizing your own smoker, finding and curing the wood, creating fires, sourcing meat and of course cooking mind-blowing barbecue.
11) Paula Deen Cuts the Fat: 250 Recipes Lightened Up by Paula Deen
Best for: your sassy Southern friend who’s trying to drop a few lbs.
Iconic Southern chef Paula Deen has lost more than 40 pounds by swapping ingredients to reduce fat and calories, and her new book features lighter versions of 50 of her classic Deep South recipes like: The Lady’s New Cheesy Mac, Savannah Gumbo, Nutty Sweet Potato Balls and more.
17) Mom Knows Best Cookbook by
This cute, easy-to-read cookbook is full of recipes shared by — you guessed it — moms. It features unique dishes like Becky’s Breakfast Pizza and quick fixes like a Speedy Salsa-Egg Roll-Up to grab on the way out the door.
18) Vegan Black Book: The Vegan Foodie Cookbook by Bronwen and Robert Skye
Best for: your long-time vegan friend
The Skyes have gone through much trial and error over the years to create and refine an entire book of streamlined, stylish vegan recipes for cooks of all skill levels. This book also includes a color photo for every recipe so you can flip through and find something that looks enticing.
19) Prepare to Party: Any Day Soiree by Ana Hammond
Best for: your friends who just bought a new house
Ana Hammond’s ultimate guide for would be hosts-and-hostesses comes chock full of appetizer recipes, theme party ideas, wine pairings and more. With helpful hints like how to time your cooking, this book is the ultimate beginner’s guide to becoming the hostess with the mostest.
20) Thug Kitchen Party Grub: For Social Motherf*ckers by Thug Kitchen
Best for: your hard-partying, potty-mouthed friend
This unique cookbook contains a bunch of healthy-yet-tasty dishes (and a bit of profanity). The first installment of Thug Kitchen was so popular the authors decided to double down with this party-themed book that contains apps like Deviled Chickpea Bites and entrees like Mexican Lasagna.