Some people would say the holidays are the best time of the year because they get to spend more time with family, or they love giving and receiving presents, or they're just glad to have a vacation from work.
These people would be wrong.
In our humble opinion, the best thing about the holidays is all the food that's available. Whether at the office party, a family dinner, brunch with friends, or hell, the chocolate you bought from Shoppers Drug Mart, eating delicious feasts and treats is the main reason why the holidays are so anticipated.
And if you like to cook, you know the holidays are always slammed with events where you have to bring food, or alternatively, host a dinner at your home.
Need inspiration? We picked out 15 cookbooks we think you need to check out pronto. From gorgeous coffee table books to practical cookbooks to baking books, we've got you covered, no matter what you like to eat.
1. Smitten Kitchen Every Day
The highly anticipated follow-up to food blogger Deb Perelman's The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, her Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites showcases the best of Perelman's talents: easy but delicious cooking the whole family can make together.
From sticky toffee waffles to three-cheese pasta bake to the best gooey oat bars that will win all the awards at your kids' bake sale, these recipes work well in all seasons, for any occasion.
2. Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook
Want to support women in the food and restaurant industry? Look no further than this beautiful tome, the first-ever cookbook from the team behind the indie magazine about women and food.
Cherry Bombe features recipes and stories from 100 inspiring women chefs and foodies, including Mashama Bailey, chef of The Grey; Angela Dimayuga, executive chef of Mission Chinese Food; Padma Lakshmi, star of "Top Chef"; Chrissy Teigen, supermodel and cookbook author; Christina Tosi, chef and founder of Milk Bar; and Joy Wilson, of Joy the Baker.
3. Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends
Next time you're thinking of ordering out for some Thai food, put down that phone and pick up this wonderful cookbook.
Kris Yenbamroong, the chef and owner of Night + Market, strips down traditional recipes without giving up the flavour, meaning anyone can tackle this cookbook. Want to impress your friends with wok-seared pad Thai or coconut curry? You can easily do it with this book.
Where to get it:Chapters/Indigo
4. A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend: How to Live a Healthy Veggie Life... and Still Eat Treats
From the popular DIY style blog comes creators' Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson's first cookbook. Filled with ideas on how to eat healthy, this cookbook contains unique and delicious recipes for all the meals in your life, with the philosophy that weekdays are for eating responsibly, while weekends are for indulging.
5. Lomelino's Pies: A Sweet Celebration of Pies, Galettes, and Tarts
Looking for a beautiful coffee table book that doubles as a cookbook? Look no further than this slice (heh) of gorgeousness.
Featuring sumptuous images of decadent pies taken by cook, food stylist, and photographer Linda Lomelino, this book offers readers a trip through pie heaven. From classic recipes to new superstars such as Peach and Strawberry Pie with Brown Butter and S'mores Pie, you'll definitely be the star of your holiday party should you choose to make one of these mouthwatering desserts.
6. Hong Kong Diner: Recipes For Baos, Hotpots, Street Snacks And More...
Featuring gorgeous photography and an edgy design, this cookbook could be a monument for the Hong Kong food scene. Chef Jeremy Pang treats readers to the insider secrets of the city where he grew up; featuring 70 dishes, including bao, fried noodles, hotpots, rice balls, seafood and bubble tea, this book is unlike any other Asian cookbook out there.
7. The Palestinian Table
A must-have for those keen to discover all that Palestine's culture and lifestyle has to offer, this cookbook contains 150 authentic Palestinian recipes, from breakfasts to celebratory dishes, that are good enough to become traditional dishes to be passed down in your family.
But it's more than just a cookbook — author Reem Kassis also discusses the importance of heritage and community through her recipes and shares anecdotes from her life in Palestine. Gorgeously illustrated and containing beautiful commissioned photographs, this is one book any foodie on your holiday list will love.
8. Duchess Bake Shop: French-Inspired Recipes from Our Bakery to Your Home
So you can't afford to go to Paris? Bring Paris to you with this beautiful cookbook filled with French-inspired recipes that you can make in your non-Parisian kitchen.
Perfect for bakers who love a challenge, you'll find everything from the classic macaron and pains au chocolat to puff pastries, The Duchess cake, and even Canadian-inspired pastries such as Farmer's Saskatoon Pie, Butter Tarts, and the Courteau Family Tourtière.
But even if this is your first time turning your kitchen into a patisserie, the book's instructions will help you become a more confident baker, and you'll be baking for family and friends in no time.
9. Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker
'Tis the season for stews, soups, casseroles, and anything involving slow-cooked meats. Enter Martha Stewart, cooking goddess, with a new cookbook on how to master your slow cooker that's been sitting idly by for too long.
Readers can peruse 110 recipes filled with ideas for poached fish, scalloped potatoes, braised meats, and even the perfect cheesecake. Your life will feel like it's a lot easier once you start your journey towards low-heat, hands-off cooking, Martha style.
10. Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey
Almost as vibrant and lush as Turkey itself, this cookbook, by two internationally acclaimed experts, shows off the rich and diverse cuisine of the Middle Eastern country.
After having spent 20 years exploring the country's culinary delights, journalist Robyn Eckhardt and her husband, photographer David Hagerman, share what they've learned from village cooks, bakers, cafe chefs, farmers, and fishermen in a beautiful book that's not only easy to follow but a feast for the eyes, as well.
You and your friends will gorge on pot-roasted chicken with caramelized onions, the "imam fainted" stuffed eggplant, stovetop lamb meatballs with spice butter, and artichoke ragout with peas and favas.
11. Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes
Sometimes making food for yourself or your family can feel like a burden. And it's no wonder — what with the demands of work, family, plus whatever you do in your spare time, cooking sometimes falls to the wayside, and when we have to do it, we can feel less than inspired.
That's where Dining In can help. Alison Roman's debut cookbook features 125 simple recipes and quickie techniques that will light the flame inside you once again. Favouring veggie options with delicious flavours, this cookbook will make you feel like cooking is fun, not a chore. Even better if someone cooks for you!
12. Natural Feasts: 100+ Healthy, Plant-Based Recipes to Share and Enjoy with Friends and Family
When people hear "plant-based," many assume that the food isn't tasty or just involves chowing down on leafy greens. This couldn't be further from the truth, and this cookbook, by bestselling author of Deliciously Ella, Ella Mills, proves it.
In Natural Feasts, Mills shows how easy it is to make clean, gluten-free, plant-based eating delicious. From breakfast options such as blueberry squares and roasted almond butter bars, and easy fare such as sesame slaw and spiced potato cakes, to mains such as quesadillas and chana masala, you'll never want for more delicious foods than in this book.
13. Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi
The photos alone are worth the $30 price tag, but this New York Times bestseller is more than just pics of delicious-looking desserts.
Containing more than 110 recipes for baked goods, sweets, and confections from pastry chef Yotam Ottolenghi, you'll have a hard time choosing what to make. From olive oil orange cake, to cinnamon pavlova, to flourless chocolate layer cake with coffee, walnuts, and rosewater, these recipes will make the perfect present for the foodie in your life this holiday season.
14. The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook: Charming Recipes From Anne and Her Friends in Avonlea
Ever wish you could live in Avonlea and have bosom buddies? Us too. But since we can't all be Anne with an E, we can be the next best thing: someone who eats like Ms. Shirley. In this charming and beautifully illustrated cookbook, we can cook from recipes inspired by Canadian author L.M. Montgomery's beloved series, Anne of Green Gables.
Ever wondered what Diana Barry's favourite raspberry cordial tastes like? That's in this book. Or did you dream about Anne's liniment cake (without the liniment)? That's in here too! From poetical egg salad sandwiches to Marilla's plum pudding with caramel sauce, you'll feel as if you've stepped right into Avonlea itself, without moving from your kitchen. Best of all, these recipes were created by Montgomery's granddaughter, Kate Macdonald.
15. Orange Blossom & Honey: Magical Moroccan recipes from the Souks to the Sahara
This book is going straight to everyone's coffee table, right? And when you look inside, you won't be disappointed. A culinary journey across Morocco, John Gregory-Smith presents foods that you can find in the High Atlas mountains, the northern city of Fes, and the souks of Marrakesh.
Prepare yourself to feast on traditional lamb barbecue, Morrocan-style paella, stuffed Berber breads, and spice mixes and marinades. We'll see you on the other side.
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