I like food. A lot. I have a healthy appetite and I love trying new things when it comes time to eating. I’m definitely guilty of going out for food or eating at work rather than making food at home and the only real game changer is a good cookbook. My day to day culinary skills usually don’t usually amount to much more than making a sandwich, the occasional batch of French toast and stirring a glass of powdered iced-tea mix. That’s about as far as my creative mind can stretch when it comes time to food. See, for me, a good cookbook is like opening a closet door to Narnia. Easy to follow instructions and photos to help you gauge just how close to the intended dish you got are so incredibly helpful. The holidays always present a lot of cooking opportunities as well. Why not impress your family with a gourmet meal instead of offering up peanut butter and jam sandwiches?! If you know a foodie, or somebody who wants to become a foodie, the books below make excellent gifts.
Ever have a craving for a specific taste, but couldn’t figure out what to eat to satiate that crave? Chapters Indigo’s most recent Heather’s Pick, The Flavour Principle, is the book for you. Lucy Waverman (award winning author of 8 cookbooks) and Beppi Crosariol (the Globe and Mail’s Wine and Spirits columnist for the past 12 years) have created a cookbook built around the key tastes behind some of our favourite foods. Earthy, Salty and Herbal are just three of the categories encompassing specific tastes from all around the world. As an added bonus, the book also offers drink pairings for each dish!
The holiday season can be tough on our wallets. They can also be extremely hectic as far as time management goes. For the food lover on a budget and a tight schedule, I recommend Jamie Oliver’s two new books! Let’s start with Save with Jamie. This book is amazing for people looking to feed themselves and their family healthy meals without breaking the bank. Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals is the other great book. The recipes in this book put exciting new twists on easy favourites like pasta, chicken, salads and steak. These books are great for people who think they can’t cook or just plain don’t have time to. Budding foodies will delight over how easy it is to make these gourmet meals!
Maybe that aspiring home cook you know needs a little more help than you thought. The fine folks at America’s Test Kitchen have been working to help these people out for more than 20 years. Meet The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook. This book actually has every single cooking related thing I can think of. Want to know the proper way to preheat an oven or measure brown sugar? This book has you covered. What about which knife is best used for which task or how to cook brown rice? Yup, that’s in here too! Basics aside, this book also has a ton of really great recipes in the back too. This is perfect for young people who have recently started living on their own and need a little bit of a confidence booster for when they get sick of all those instant ramen noodles.
The holidays are a great time to have friends and loved ones over to relax and have a drink. My bar tending skills max out at opening beers, uncorking wine and adding a little bit of booze to eggnog. For the more adventurous mixologist out there I recommend getting them The Bar Chef by Frankie Solarik. Written by the owner of renowned Toronto cocktail bar, Bar Chef, this book covers everything from the set up to the art and science behind making some truly out of this world cocktails. There’s even a non-alcoholic drink section in the book, which is a really nice addition. Chris Nuttall-Smith of The Globe & Mail says “for drink lovers who aren’t afraid of new ideas, this superb book might just become a Magna Carta.”
When was the last time you used that slow cooker you got as a gift a couple of years ago? Did you think the only thing it was good for was making chili while you’re work? WRONG. You can make so much stuff in a slow cooker! I, like many, was severely misled when it came to the wonderful world of the slow cooker. Thankfully, Canadian celebrity chef Ricardo has written a new book called Slow Cooker Favourites in an attempt at opening the world’s eyes to the miracle of slow cooking. This book has amazing recipes for everything from pasta, to soups, to fish and breakfast. Did you know that there are a bunch of really amazing desserts that you can make in a slow cooker?! Me neither! Plus, who doesn’t like coming home from work and smelling an amazing dinner waiting for them?
I (and my stomach) highly recommend sharing these delicious and helpful cookbooks with your loved one this holiday. But why not get copies for yourself too, guilt-free? Enter our giveaway below and stock your kitchen before the holidays with all six cookbooks recommended above!
Good luck, Savvy Readers and happy eating!
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