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Turntable Kitchen’s Cookbook Lover’s Gift Guide

I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer in having a house full of good books that don’t just live in my iPad or eReader. I have always loved the feel of a hard cover, the smell of paper and ink, and the way that a physical book looks on a bookshelf. Even though I hardly write anything down on paper, I desperately hope that print never dies, which is why I love gifting and getting getting books.

When I receive a new cookbook, I find myself as engrossed as I would be in a thrilling novel or a truly compelling film. The first thing I do with a new cookbook is leaf through each page, making mental notes of recipes that I know I’ll need to revisit. Then, I’ll often read the introduction. From there, I’ll re-browse photos, and start reading personal essays, if there are any. And finally, I’ll start making plans.

My favorite cookbooks are those I open frequently, even if I’m not necessarily intending to cook anything from them. I flip through for instant inspiration, to remind myself of ingredients and flavor combinations I want to riff off of, or to re-familiarize myself with cooking techniques or food styling.

This holiday season, I recommend giving someone you love a book. Below is a list of a few of my long-time and new favorites. Happy gifting!

1. For your favorite vegetarian: Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen

2. For the ambitious baker/would-be pastry chef: Tartine

3. For the ice cream addict (gift this along with an ice cream maker!): Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

4. For the man in your life or Alice Waters devotee: Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys

5. For the bohemian cook and someone who wants a cookbook they can ‘read’: My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur

6. For the friend who loves the farmer’s market and living a healthy lifestyle: The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods

7. For the seasonal cook who enjoys seafood, bacon, and Meyer lemons: The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant

8. For those interested in whole grain baking (and the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookie there is): Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

9. For the newbie cook or someone who wants to quickly find the answer to a lot of cooking questions: Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook

10. For the travel enthusiast/adventurous home cook (lover of hummus and za’atar): Jerusalem: A Cookbook

11. For the entertainer/host with the most: Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends: Fresh ways to entertain with style

12. For the home canning enthusiast or favorite hipster: The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook

13. For your food blog-obsessed friend/lover of roast chicken and cinnamon rolls: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

14. For your favorite cooking couple who’s not afraid of breaking down a whole chicken: Ad Hoc at Home

15. For your (potentially) single girlfriend with a sweet tooth: Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes

Check out our other holiday gift guides:

Turntable Kitchen’s Coffee Lover’s Gift Guide
Turntable Kitchen’s Vinyl Record Collector’s Gift Guide

Don’t forget that the Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box makes a great holiday gift. Subscribe here.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks

    I’m basically in love with every single book rawt thar.

  • Adrienne Hovey

    Amazing list! My boyfriend thinks it’s funny that I read cookbooks like a novel… & always raves about the food, Ha!

  • I have to have real book cookbooks. E-books just don’t cut it! You’ve put together an awesome list! I might have to get cookbooks for everyone on my list this year!

  • Such a great list! I would like all of the books above that I do not currently own, regardless of whether or not I fit your (fabulous) description of ideal recipient. 😉

  • Love this! Now I want to drive straight to Big Sur, rain storm and all.

  • Thanks, Bev!

  • Thanks, Adrienne! Cookbooks are meant to be read, not just browsed! Keep on reading, and cooking. Hope all is well 🙂

  • Thanks, Rachel! I think cookbooks make excellent gifts 🙂

  • Ha. I tried to summarize who I thought would be the ideal recipient of each book, but really, I think they can all be enjoyed by any person who likes to cook (or just look at beautiful food photos!)

  • Me, too! I am dying to go to the Big Sur Bakery…I still haven’t been 🙁 It’s on my list, though!

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