Posted December 16, 2013 by in Awesome Books

5 Gift Cookbooks: Cook Up Some Holiday Cheer

Virtually everyone on your gift list this year would either love or benefit from a well-selected cookbook. After all, we all have to eat and most of us like to eat good food. Some of us were born to cook, while others need a little help.

Whatever the culinary skills of your friends and family, there’s an amazing cookbook out there designed just for them. The key is figuring out which book is best for which person. Here are five types for a wide variety of skill levels and tastes:


1.  Cookbooks for the Hurried

We all know at least one of these. There’s the working mom with three kids, who serves tater tots and fast food far more often than she’d like simply because there is no time to cook. Then, there’s the business executive who puts in long hours and rarely sees the kitchen. Whatever the reason for having little time at home, most of us can sympathize with not having enough time to cook.

For that reason, cookbooks that focus on quick, easy, yet nutritious meals make wonderful holiday gifts for most people. One amazing option is The Weeknight Survival Cookbook: How to Make Healthy Meals in 10 Minutes. It’s packed with 12 weeks’ worth of menu selections that will take the stress out of meal time, no matter how busy the recipient is.


2.  Cookbooks for Men

Many men are remarkable cooks, despite the cliché that men don’t follow directions, and there are a lot of them out there who would appreciate a good cookbook. If you know a man who has a deep appreciation of good food and is interested in preparing meals beyond the basic backyard barbecue, then a cookbook is a perfect gift.

One we recommend is Eat Like a Man: The Only Cookbook a Man Will Ever Need. This book gets rave reviews and includes 75 recipes written for the male chef. Of course, it would be a lovely book for a woman as well, especially if that woman takes much joy in preparing hearty, wholesome meals for her significant other.


3.  Cookbooks for Kids

Cooking can be a wonderful learning experience for kids in so many ways. Sure, it teaches one of the most important life skills for independent living, but there are other lessons to be learned as well. Conversions for measurements, following directions, and learning pride in one’s accomplishments are just a few of the benefits of letting the kids enjoy the kitchen.

For younger children, The Do It Myself Kids’ Cookbook: Nothing Hot, Nothing Sharp book is a wonderful choice. Children as young as four can create culinary masterpieces with the easy-to-follow instructions. For tweens and teens, consider Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook: 50 Favorite Recipes to Make in a Slow Cooker, which introduces kids to creating hot, savory meals without the dangers of stovetop cooking.


4.  Cookbooks for the Dessert Lover

 Every family has at least one person who loves to bake sweet treats. Whether it’s for the love of desserts themselves or for the love of watching everyone else enjoy the creations, this person should not be without an amazing collection of recipes.

For that, we simply must recommend The Lady & Sons Just Desserts: More Than 120 Sweet Temptations from Savannah’s Favorite Restaurant. No one does desserts quite like Paula Deen and her recipes are so simple and easy to understand. Whether the baker you know prefers ceramic cookware or aluminum, he or she is sure to appreciate the delights to be discovered here.


5.  Cookbooks for the Health-Conscious

There may be thousands of “healthy meal” cookbooks on the market and it’s not without reason. Part of the joy of cooking for yourself is the ability to prepare fresh, healthy meals and know exactly what’s in them. Whether you know someone who has a medical condition, is watching their weight, or simply wants to eat better, a good, solid cookbook tailored to that purpose makes a wonderful gift.

While you have plenty to choose from, we like The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook: 150 Delicious Recipes for Simple, Everyday Suppers in 45 Minutes or Less because it divides the recipes into sections based on needs. For example, you’ll find a 30 minute or less section, a family section and even a section for those looking to keep calories down. In addition, it will be hard to get bored with this cookbook simply because of the sheer volume of recipes.


Of course, if you know someone with specific needs or interests, such as diabetes or an interest in learning more about eating Paleo-style, you’ll find plenty of options there, too.

The bottom line is that cookbooks are amazing gifts and there truly is one out there that’s perfect for everyone. This year, give them a gift that will keep giving for years to come; give them a cookbook selected just for their tastes and lifestyle.

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Courtney Gordner