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The cookbook lover’s gift guide

The vast (and vastly delicious) selection of beautifully-illustrated, recipe-packed cookbooks available at bookstores and online gives you near endless holiday gifts for your favorite foodies. The following cookbooks not only caught our attention but also made our mouths water. We recommend putting them at the top of your gourmet gift list.

Cooking in Everyday English: The ABCs of Great Flavor At HomeCooking in Everyday English: The ABCs of Great Flavor At Home

You can’t go wrong with a celebrity chef cookbook, especially one that turns restaurant-caliber dishes into easy home kitchen fare. Celebrity chef Todd English, an award-winning famous restaurateur and PBS television personality, shares his trademark flavor formulas for using fresh, seasonal ingredients and translates them into simple, tantalizing dishes for the home chef in Cooking in Everyday English (Oxmoor House, October 2011). In this innovative yet approachable cookbook, Chef English shows us how to create impressively tasty meals that also present amazingly at the table. A visually stunning cookbook, Cooking in Everyday English features 150 gorgeously-illustrated recipes, recipe grocery lists and step-by-step food techniques that teach you the hows and whys of every dish. Get ready to sink your teeth into mouthwatering recipes, such as Miso Mashed Potatoes, Tequila Braised Short Ribs and Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes.

Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to YoursMolto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours

In Molto Batali (Ecco, October 2011), celebrity chef Mario Batali, the bestselling author of Molto Italiano and Molto Gusto, shares 120 of his favorite seasonal recipes in a monthly format that celebrates the spirit of togetherness at the dinner table year-round. From lush summer salads to hearty winter braises, the seasonal dishes in this delicious cookbook enliven any dinner table, from a weeknight meal to a holiday celebration. Each month features a sumptuous main course, three toothsome pastas, four delectable veggie sides, a rustic soup and an indulgent dessert. Get your fill of hearty homemade recipes, such as Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust; Wine-Stained Gemelli with Sausage “Meatballs” and Eggplant; Sauteed Rutabagas with Chile, Mint, and Maple; Green Garlic Soup; and Nectarine and Black Pepper Cheesecake.

The Food Lover's Guide to WineThe Food Lover’s Guide to Wine

A wine book unlike any other, The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine (Little, Brown, and Company, November 2011) by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg isn’t a cookbook per se, but it is certainly an indispensable reference for food lovers who want to find the perfect vino for their meals. Formatted like the authors’ two previous bestsellers, The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat, this food and wine pairing book is an encyclopedic A-to-Z guide profiling hundreds of different wines by their essential characteristics — from body and intensity to distinguishing flavors, and from suggested serving temperatures and ideal food pairings to recommended producers (including many iconic examples). As a bonus, the book provides illuminating insights from dozens of America’s best sommeliers via informative sidebars, charts and boxes, which complement the book’s gorgeous four-color photography. Every food lover should have this book in his or her kitchen.

Adventures with ChocolateAdventures with Chocolate

For the serious chocolate connoisseur, pick up master chocolatier Paul A. Young’s scrumptious new cookbook Adventures with Chocolate (Kyle Books, November 2011). With his first cookbook, Young shares his chocolate-making magic, the varieties of chocolate, flavor pairings and decadent recipes which innovatively combine ingredients, such as pink peppercorns, saffron and marmalade. In addition to knee-weakening chocolate desserts, such as Hot Chocolate and Basil Cakes and Sea Salted Chocolate and Pecan Cake, Young delectably surprises us with one-of-a-kind savory recipes like White Chocolate Sauce for Seafood, Paul’s Venezuelan Chocolate Chile Chicken and Chocolate Water Biscuits for Cheese. This holiday season, have all of your friends and family join you for an adventure with chocolate as you serve some of the most delicious and unique chocolate creations at your holiday gatherings.

The Whole Hog Cookbook: Chops, Loin, Shoulder, Bacon, and All That Good StuffThe Whole Hog Cookbook: Chops, Loin, Shoulder, Bacon, and All That Good Stuff

For the serious adventure eater who loves pork, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli, September 2011) by seasoned chef and debut cookbook author Libbie Summers is a succulent ode to pork, complete with sustainable recipes using the whole hog from snout to tail. The book is a hard-bound visual, culinary and literary delight. Recipes are peppered with appetizing imagery and quirky, off-beat stories of Summers’ life experiences like growing up on a small farm and traveling the world as a chef. The tales, appropriately dubbed “Pig Tales,” precede each chapter of the book and make it humorous and relatable. Even the recipe introductions reveal Summers’ clever and simplistic approach to making menu items come to life. Savor-worthy recipes include Sweet Tea Brined Pork Shoulder, Pork Chops and Applesauce, Pork Belly Gyros, Pork Pies and Jerk Roasted Tenderloin.

The Sausage BookThe Sausage Book

Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton’s The Sausage Cookbook (Kyle Books, November 2011) is the ultimate cookbook for sausage fanatics. Not only do Sandler and Acton show home cooks how to make more than 30 different varieties of sausage, including fresh, cured, precooked, smoked and blood sausages, using quality ingredients, they also deliver 80 recipes using these tasty links. If you don’t have any homemade sausages on hand, the authors give you butcher options. Ideal for hearty winter dinners, sausage recipes include Sausage and Bean Cassoulet, Chorizo & Goat Cheese Tart, Worcestershire Sauce Sausage Hotpot, and Rookwurst and Kale. Who doesn’t love sausage? This is also the perfect gift for comfort food seekers.

The Italian TableThe Italian Table

A follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Pasta Sfoglia, Ron Suhanosky’s The Italian Table (Kyle Books, November 2011) will bring the family around your gourmet giftee’s table. Different from other cookbooks that simply list recipes in each chapter, Suhanosky’s family-themed cookbook presents chapters that each gather hungry readers around a particular table on which a memorable meal was served in his life. Get ready for exciting, entertaining recipes, such as Classic Ribollita and Spicy Chickpea Soup with Lamb Polpettine and Creme Fraiche; Grilled Pork Spiedini with Fresh Plums, Sausage and Rosemary; Turnip Gratin with Crushed Amaretti; and the author’s favorite childhood dish, Creamed Corn with Mascarpone and Black Pepper Taralli. If your fave gourmand loves Italian and loves entertaining family and friends, The Italian Table is the perfect holiday gift.

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin' for TroubleNadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookin’ for Trouble

Got a rock star home chef on your foodie gift list? Cookin’ For Trouble (Ballantine, October 2011) by Nadia G, host of the wildly popular comedy cooking show on Cooking Channel, Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen, is filled with nearly 300 gorgeous photos, savvy chef know-how and rock star ‘tude which is bound to glam up (and crack up) everyone’s dining experience. Each clever bitchin’ chapter, all of which are themed with titles like “Back-of-the-Fridge Bachelorfest” or “(dysfunctional) Family Pizza Night”, features a funny introduction and recipes. Nadia G also delights with creative menus, such as Hi-Speed Suppers, Girls’ Night In, Veg-Head Specials, Student Shkoff-fest, and a special chapter devoted to everyone’s favorite food group: Bacon! Complete with a foreword from Guy Fieri, Cookin’ for Trouble is an edgy cookbook for the ‘Net generation and anyone who wants a little excitement in the kitchen.

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and ScreenThe Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen

Another out-of-the-ordinary cookbook, The Dead Celebrity Cookbook (HCI, October 2011) is a genius cookbook by Frank DeCaro, best known for his seven year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. DeCaro reminds us that before there were celebrity chefs, there were celebrities who fancied themselves as chefs. With this in mind, he compiled favorite recipes from more than 145 of Hollywood’s beloved stars who are no longer with us, laced them with hilarious commentary and included them in an entertaining and uniquely delicious cookbook. Perfect timing for hosting your own ‘Dead Celebrity Holiday Party’ and featuring a dead celeb menu, DeCaro’s cookbook features fabulous conversation-starting recipes, such as Sinatra’s Barbecued Lamb, Anthony Perkins’ Tuna Salad, Rock Hudson’s Cannoli and more. This is a cookbook that even your half-hearted foodies will enjoy.

Try these cookbooks from SheKnows

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SheKnows Cookbooks: Holiday entertaining edition

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