Favorite Cookbooks for Gift-Giving

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This isn’t so much a book review as it is simply a good list, a list of beautiful, special cookbooks to give to yourself or someone you love. One of the great pleasures I take in making this list is the number of books, those out new this year as well as older favorites, whose remarkable authors are my friends. This big world of food has some special gatherings where we get to meet, share ideas, travel, and of course, talk about and eat food non-stop. But whether I know the authors or just feel like I do, their books are a welcome presence on my shelf, on the floor next to my bed, stacked up on my dining-room-table-desk, and most of all, in my kitchen.

I’ve linked over to Amazon, but I like to buy my books whenever I can locally, here at Between the Covers in Harbor Springs or McLean and Eaken in Petoskey.

New beauties, out this year:

Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule

Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides: 250 Dishes that Really make the Plate by Fred Thompson

Roots by Diane Morgan

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes by Maria Speck

Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry by Barbara Massaad

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller

Modern Sauces by Martha Holmberg

Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage (with an introduction by…Maureen Abood)

Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu


Other favorites (this list could go on forever, but here are a few):

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Around My French Table by Dori Greenspan

Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson

Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop by Meg Ray

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson

Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen by Monica Bhide

The New Portugese Table
by David Leite

Eggs: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Frittatas, Omelets, Scrambles and More by Jodi Liano

Gingerbread by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn

The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchietti

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  1. Roger Toomey says:

    Going back over some of my emails I again visited this page. Reminded me that the Orthodox Church in Kearney NE produced one of those “everybody throw in your favorite recipe” cookbooks about 10 years ago. I don’t know if they have any more left and most of the recipes are the usual American cooking but there are quite a few traditional dishes.

    Anyway if you would be interested you can contact the church at:

    St. George Orthodox Church
    1505 Ave. “G”
    Kearney NE 68847

    I don’t remember how much it was but I think less than $15. Don’t have her phone # but I think Bessie Shada (Mrs. Tony Shada) was in charge.

  2. Nancy Singleton Hachisu says:

    Maureen–thank you so much for this thoughtfully compiled list. And thank you for putting my book in the mix. I really appreciate that you felt it belonged. Still looking forward to your story! -Nancy

  3. Paula says:

    Dear Maureen,

    What a fantastic list of books!
    I’m so proud you’ve included one dedicated to the portuguese kitchen.
    Missing your comments…


  4. Diane Morgan says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I am honored to be included in this wonderful list of books–most of which I own–yes I am a cookbook junkie, too! Thank you for sharing your list and making me a part of your cookbook collection!


  5. Cheryl says:

    Dear Maureen,

    I’m so flattered to be in such spectacular company. Thank you for your endorsement and for curating such a fine list. I would love to check out Salma Hage’s book…


  6. Maria Speck says:

    Dear Maureen, I’m honored to be on your list next to such stellar authors. Thank you!

  7. Antonia Allegra says:

    How right you are, Maureen! Your great cookbook list COULD go on and on, but you’ve edited it with skill.
    These are all ideal books. Make me want to jump into the kitchen!

  8. Diane Nassir (My maternal grandmother was an Abowd) says:

    Maureen, I just purchased ‘Ancient Grains’ at Amazon. Thank You for this list–I love wheat berries but have never known what to do with them.
    Merry, Merry Christmas and Peace and Joy in the New Year!
    P.S. I am making my baklava today for holiday giving–using commercial, organic, whole wheat fillo leaves which my local village grocer carries in her market.