Naomi’s Holiday Gift Guide

The Best Books To Help You Cook

Fall is a great time for cookbooks, with big new releases every week just in time for the holidays. But I look at cookbooks all year round and I want to share my 2018 favourites with you.  As you will see, there is a trend towards less complicated, more approachable recipes that people will actually use, which is a win-win. Whether you’re looking for a gift for you (self-care!) or someone you love, enjoy.  


This is a great year for fans of Middle Eastern flavours.  Israeli Soul by Michael Solomonov, owner of the Philadelphia restaurant Zahav and the Zahav cookbook author, is a new release that is on my gift list.  My favourite is the 5-minute hummus plus 25 different toppings. Feast:  Food of the Islamic World is an encyclopedic work by Anissa Helou that spans the cooking of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.  Honey & Co. At Home:  Middle Eastern recipes from our kitchen by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich is the newest in a series of great Honey & Co. books. Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi is about streamlined recipes with fewer ingredients that take less time to prepare.


Tasting Paris:  100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local by Clotilde Dusoulier, will transport you directly to the Champs-Elysees or wherever you love to be in Paris.  Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie is filled with Dorie’s own unique blend of French-American dishes as always.  Also worth checking out is In the French Kitchen with Kids:  Easy Everyday Dishes for the Whole Family to Make and Enjoy by Toronto’s Mardi Michels.  


If you’re interested in seasonal cooking, have a look at Earth to Table Every Day by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann.  I also feel compelled to mention the most excellent Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, which is from 2017 but I bought it in 2018 – so that counts.


On the baking front, I highly recommend Food52’s Genius Desserts, edited by Kristen Miglore.  All About Cake by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar is fun and inventive and more approachable than her previous book – I need an occasion to make the Arnold Palmer Sheet Cake.  Rose’s Baking Basics by Rose Levy Bernbaum, is a new classic, particularly for novice bakers.  I was impressed by the clear directions and the pictures of various steps. And baby it’s cold outside, but I am still making ice cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.


Speaking of guilty pleasures – Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings:  Hungry for More comfort food recipes are fun to make and eat – not necessarily healthy but will inspire you to stay home and cook.     


Shameless plug here – I have discussed many of these books and other favourites on the Tonic talk show and the magazine.  If you’re interested in more details, check out my interviews at Happy holidays!


Categories: Book Review, Featured Contest