POPSUGAR Celebrity

Last-Minute Gift Guide: Cookbooks For Everyone on Your List

Dec 21 2012 - 3:15pm

Still hunting high and low for that perfect gift? Try a cookbook tailor-made to your special someone's personality type, proclivities, and lifestyle. The minutes may be ticking away till Christmas morning, but many of these inspiring reads can be found at a local bookshop and can also be delivered to the recipient's door via Amazon, provided you shell out for its reasonably priced one-day shipping by 3 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 21).

For the Kitchen Newbie

Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes For Great Food [1] ($35) is full of basic but not boring recipes explained in terms appropriate for those new to the kitchen who aren't yet confident in their cookery skills.

Honorable Mentions:

Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference For Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook [2] ($35) by Aida Mollenkamp

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes For the Home Cook [3] ($45) by Martha Stewart [4]

For the Baker Extraordinaire

David Lebovitz is our go-to man for foolproof pastry advice and recipes, so, naturally, his recently rereleased compendium of his favorite recipes, Ready For Dessert: My Best Recipes [5] ($35), is our must-have pick for the baker in your life.

Honorable Mentions:

Baking Illustrated [6] ($35) by Cook's Illustrated Magazine Editors

The Art and Soul of Baking [7] ($40) by Sur la Table [8] and Cindy Mushet

For the Grill Master

If the grill is his domain, then give him a copy of Charred & Scruffed [9] ($25) by Adam Perry Lang. His well-tested recipes might not be conventional, but they're sure to please.

Honorable Mentions:

Wicked Good Barbecue: Fearless Recipes From Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competition in the World [10] ($22) by Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, and Andrea Pyenson

Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue [11] ($23) by Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe

For the Vegetarian

Whether she's a stalwart vegan or just looking to consume more whole grains and vegetables, Deborah Madison's comprehensive Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone [12] ($40) is certain to inspire.

Honorable Mentions:

Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution With 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes [13] ($25) by Michael Natkin

Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen [14] ($23) by Heidi Swanson

For the Traditionalist

Give her a taste of the South with Southern Living Home Cooking Basics: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Southern Cooking [15] ($30) by the editors of Southern Living magazine, a beautifully photographed primer on all things Southern food, including an extensive (and photo-illustrated) guide to ingredients, equipment, and prep methods.

Honorable Mentions:

Silver Palate Cookbook 25th Anniversary Edition [16] ($20) by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Martha's American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation's Most Treasured Dishes, From Coast to Coast [17] ($40) by Martha Stewart [18]

For the Armchair Traveler

Jerusalem: A Cookbook [19] ($35) from veteran cookbook authors Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (their other works Plenty [20] and Ottolenghi [21] are also must reads) will leave your friend jonesing for a trip to Jerusalem. In the meantime, she'll have ample ideas for how to re-create enticing Israeli and Palestinian fare at home.

Honorable Mentions:

Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine [22] ($30) by Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij

Japanese Farm Food [23] ($35) by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

For the Harried Parents

The Healthy College Cookbook [24] ($15) by Alexandra Nimetz, Jason Stanley, Emeline Starr, and Rachel Holcomb might not seem the most obvious choice for busy parents, but its low-fuss recipes are sure to get the all-important clean-plate stamp of approval without necessitating precious hours spent stove-side.

Honorable Mentions:
Dinner: A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table [25] ($30) by Jenny Rosenstrach

Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes [26] ($28) by Catherine McCord

For the Cocktail Fiend

If the amateur mixologist in your life doesn't already own a dog-eared copy of Jim Meehan's The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender's Guide From the Celebrated Speakeasy [27] ($25), then it's sure to blow her mind. Both a compendium of classic and contemporary cocktail recipes from the storied speakeasy, as well as a look at cocktail history and a primer on tools and tips of the trade, it's a one-stop tipple fix.

Honorable Mentions:

The Savoy Cocktail Book [28] ($20) by Harry Craddock

The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, With 500 Recipes [29] ($35) by Dale Degroff

For the DIYer

Help your pal make the most of her farmers market haul with Yvette Van Boven's Home Made [30] ($40), a tome full of from-scratch recipes for the expected (pickles, bread, jams) and beyond (cheese, smoked meats, etc).

Honorable Mentions:

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook [31] ($40) by Rachel Saunders

The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking With Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-Doux [32] ($30) by Paul Virant and Kate Leahy

For the "Set It and Forget It" Type

If low-and-slow is her mantra, then she's bound to bookmark nearly every page in America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution [33] ($27), which turns conventional slow-cooker wisdom on its head with smart techniques and surprising recipes like slow-cooker lasagna.

Honorable Mentions:

All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking [34] ($35) by Molly Stevens

Art of the Slow Cooker: 80 Exciting New Recipes [35] ($25) by Andrew Schloss

For the Avid Blog Reader

If she's an avid blog follower with an RSS feed full of recipe-laden websites, then she's surely already fans of Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen and would be thrilled to receive a copy of her exceptional debut cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook [36] ($35).

Honorable Mentions:

Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes [37] ($20) by Joy Wilson

La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life [38] ($35) by Beatrice Peltre

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