Baby, it’s cold outside! As I write this, temperatures outside are LOW, like really really low.
We are gearing up for the holidays, decking the halls, donning our Lolë apparel and preparing for a feast, which brings me to today’s topic: Holiday Cooking.
As a cook and avid baker myself, I am always happy to recommend cookbooks to fellow aficionados and initiates. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a first timer, keep reading to find the ideal Christmas cookbook for you.
Are you dreaming of a gourmet Christmas? Then check the Holiday/Christmas editions in the Williams-Sonoma’s Cookbook Collection. Be careful though, visits to Williams-Sonoma stores may cause indiscriminate shopping sprees (all that cooking gear!). Books from famous chefs like Gordon Ramseys’ Christmas with Gordon and Mario Batali’s Mario Batali Holiday Food are also great options.
The Editors of Southern Living Magazine offer great tips and ideas to celebrate the most wonderful time of year in their book Southern Living Best-Loved Christmas Classics: Favorite Holiday Recipes and Easy Decorating Ideas. Good Housekeeping also has many books on the topic but my favorite is probably The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and Share. If you’ve never been to one, a cookie swap is an event where each guest brings x number of dozens of a single cookie (x usually is the number of guest plus one for sampling) plus the recipe. Cookies are then sampled and swapped so that each guest goes home with a dozen of each of everyone else’s cookies and their recipes. Doesn’t it sound fabulous? (For more information visit Martha Stewarts Host a Cookie Swap Guide).
If Christmas Eve will find you short on time or experience I have some books that will make your life a lot easier. Fix-it and Forget-it Christmas Cookbook: 600 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes (Pellman Good) is a great way of optimizing your time (ideal for multitaskers). You can also go with tried and true recipes like those from Quick & Easy Christmas Cookbook: Over 200 delicious holiday recipes your family will love…most in 30 minutes or less! or 101 Christmas Recipes , both by Gooseberry Patch.
Are guests with dietary restrictions troubling you? Then, you better not cry and you better not pout because there are plenty of cookbooks for you. For those with gluten allergies or intolerances books like Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats (Sauvage & Barboza) are ideal for you. Vegans and vegetarians will be happy with recipes from Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions (Atlas) and ‘Tis the Season: A Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook (Blanchard). Health-conscious guests will love anything from Cooking Light’s Holiday Cookbook (Averett), which provides nutritional information for all recipes. If your party guests include a mix of dietary restrictions try The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes that Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss (Reinhart & Wallace) and Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays: Celebrating the Year with Simple, Satisfying Recipes and Menus (Katzinger).
With all this recipes, I have no doubt that your culinary talents will shine. Let them show, let them show, let them show.
Photo : Petr Kratochvil