In our opinion, some of the best gifts are cookbooks. They're both useful and inspirational, educational and even aspirational. The best encourage us to hop into the kitchen or...hop on a plane to a faraway land (we can dream, right?)
This year our team put our heads together to bring you our favorites: some brand new, others simply notable, and one immense classic that's been updated and re-released.
So what are we waiting for? Let's get cooking (and gifting)!
The Joy of Cooking, New 2019 Edition
Emma alerted us to the re-release of this classic cooking tome, and we think Irma Rombauer would approve! This new edition was revised and expanded by her great-grandson and his wife, with more than 600 new recipes and updates to thousands of the preexisting classics to account for modern methods and ingredients. We love the new chapter on streamlined cooking and saving time and money, as well as the modern nod to techniques like sous vide and grilling. An indispensable and inspiring reference and resource for any home cook on your list this year!
Buy it: The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, $17 from Amazon
Every now and again, a truly special cookbook is released, a cookbook of the likes we've not yet seen. Such is the case with Jubilee, a celebratory look at African-American cooking. We're not talking just soul food here, we're talking food made by enslaved master chefs, black entrepreneurs, and free caterers among others, largely created in the homes of the elite and shared widely - today adapted for the modern kitchen.
Buy it: Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, by Toni Tipton-Martin, $20 from Amazon
Simple Cake is one of Megan's favorite books of the year: it's beautifully photographed and boasts 10 base cake recipes that you can use to create any number of humble or not-so-humble creations to celebrate any occasion (or just the fact that it's Tuesday and your family loves coconut cake).
Buy it: Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake, by Odette Williams, $14 from Amazon
Another of Megan's picks this year, Extra Helping contains over 70 recipes for cooking for those who need an extra hand: our community, our ailing friends and neighbors, our coworker that just had a baby, our sister who had a bad week. This book is about so much more than food: it's about showing up and being kind ... and eating the best chocolate pudding you've ever tried along the way.
Buy it: Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting, and Building Community One Dish at a Time, by Janet Reich Elsbach, $20 from Amazon
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
An Everlasting Meal
While not a new book, Summer says Everlasting Meal will forever have a place on her bookshelf, front and center: "It’s less of a cookbook and more a philosophy on how we should approach cooking." Bonus? The prose is beautifully crafted, and the words stick with you long after the book is done.
Buy it: An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, by Tamar Adler, $13 from Amazon
Whole Food Cooking Every Day
A new vegetarian cookbook by Amy Chaplin that we love for its truly innovative organization (hello, entire chapters devoted to Waffles and Cauliflower Bakes), to-die-for recipes, and tips on incorporating fewer processed foods into your diet in a very approachable, delicious way.
Buy it: Whole Food Cooking Every Day, by Amy Chaplin, $31 from Amazon
Emma's vote for the cookbook she's been most excited about getting her hands on this year: "As a Midwest native, I can confidently say that the Midwest has the corner on delicious baked sweets. This cookbook will get you through the holidays, school bake sales, summer backyard potlucks, and any other event that needs a little something sweet."
Buy it: Midwest Made, by Shauna Sever, $22 from Amazon
The Adventurous Eaters Club
Our whole team has fallen hard for this inspiring cookbook full of recipes, tips and personal anecdotes for getting your kids excited about eating real, whole foods (yes, even including - gasp - kale). Trade the power struggles and negotiation in for exploring and trying new things thanks to the Collins' innovative recipes and laid back advice for creating an adventurous, welcoming kitchen at home. It's never too late!
Buy it: The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime, by Misha Collins, $14 from AmazonContinue to 9 of 10 below.
Everyday is Saturday
Sarah Copeland is no stranger to family-friendly cooking and her latest cookbook proves that actually getting dinner on the table each weeknight is, indeed, a doable endeavor! With dozens of make-ahead tips and scaled-up recipes so you're guaranteed leftovers to freeze, we can't stop talking about this time-saving approach (or that chocolate snacking loaf cake).
Buy it: Every Day is Saturday: Recipes + Strategies for Easy Cooking, Every Day of the Week, by Sarah Copeland, $29 from Amazon
Smitten Kitchen Every Day
Summer, our Senior Editor, can't recommend Deb Perelman's newest family-friendly tome enough: "I have to say this is one of my go-to cookbooks for regular weekday cooking. Many of the recipes are simple enough that I can commit them to memory after only making them a couple of times."
Buy it: Smitten Kitchen Every Day, by Deb Perelman, $17 from Amazon