Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Gift Book List for Foodies and Travelers

Good morning! I don't know about you but books are one of my favorite things to give and to get for Christmas. There is nothing like sitting down after a long day and enjoy a beautiful book especially in the winter with a cup of steaming cocoa and a roaring fire. 

This list is a few of my favorite cookbooks books, from candy, to cheesecakes, to southern foods I think there is a little something for everyone!

According to Amazon:

Based on Emily Dilling’s popular blog,, My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes takes readers on a tour of Paris’s growing artisanal and craft food scene. Visits to markets with local farmers, coffee roasters, and craft brewers in the city offer insight into the exciting development of local food movements in the city of lights and its surrounding region. Complete with seasonal recipes inspired by local products, farmers, chefs, restaurants, and cafés, My Paris Market Cookbook brings the experience of shopping for, and cooking with, fresh locally grown products into readers’ homes and kitchens.

A guide for a new generation of culinary travelers, My Paris Market Cookbook provides curious cooks and avid Francophiles with an unique itinerary for rediscovering the city, including tips on how to find the best off-the-beaten path natural wine bars, craft breweries, urban gardens, and farm-to-table cafés and restaurants. It’s the perfect handbook for travelers, food lovers, or anyone visiting or living in France—and those of us who just want to cook and eat like we do!

I have been traveling each year to Paris since I was 16 and I can never get enough of it. The sights, sounds and of course the food. This little book written by fellow blogger Emily Dillling is a gem for those who love Paris as it is part guidebook and part cookbook. Arranged by season, Emily shares not only the markets of Paris(including addresses)  but  iconic French recipes as well. 

According to Amazon:

Elizabeth Minchilli has been eating her way through Rome since she was 12 years old. Eating Rome, based on her popular blog Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome, is her homage to the city that feeds her, literally and figuratively. Her story is a personal, quirky and deliciously entertaining look at some of the city's monuments to food culture. Join her as she takes you on a stroll through her favorite open air markets; stop by the best gelato shops; order plates full of carbonara and finish the day with a brilliant red Negroni. Coffee, pizza, artichokes and grappa are starting points for mouth-watering stories about this ancient city. Illustrated with Minchilli's beautiful full-color photos and enriched with her favorite recipes for Roman classics like vignarola, carciofi alla romana and carbonara, Eating Rome is the book that you want if you are planning your first trip to Rome or if you have been to Rome a dozen times. And even if you just want to spend a few hours armchair traveling, Elizabeth Minchilli is the person you want by your side.

I have been to Rome several times and all I can say is I wish I had this book with me in the past.  Elizabeth Minchilli is another fellow blogger who has parleyed her beautiful, informative blog into a book. Whether you are traveling to Rome in the future or just an armchair traveler this book is for you. It is filled with recipes, information and the stories of Elizabeths' life. You will learn that Italians do eat pasta everyday but they only eat a small amount, as well as where to get the best gelato and why not to eat in public, all useful information if you will be visiting Rome in the near future. 

Amazon states:

Making Artisan Cheesecake presents the classic and well-loved cheesecake in a new, adventurous, and modern way, and answers any questions about it that home cooks and bakers- foodies who love delicious classic desserts- might ask. In addition to sharing many variations, author Melanie Underwood teaches all the techniques behind building a range of different styles, and encourages readers to develop their own unique recipes. She also covers options for crusts, cheeses, and batters; baking techniques; how to keep the top from cracking; and the differences among various styles, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Italian, Brazilian, and Japanese.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time than you know I love baking, cakes, cookies, brownies and more. In the past I have baked a few cheesecakes with results that have been hit or miss. After reading this book I can say that everything I have made has turned out perfect! Melanie provides you with everything you need to know to make a beautiful and delicious  cheesecake. In the first thirty pages you learn how to make crusts, the batter and how to cook each cake so that it comes out perfect. 

According to Amazon:
Extreme Brownies is a collection of 50 wildly creative, extensively tested recipes from pastry chef and restaurant consultant Connie Weis, owner of brownie business Brownies & S'more in Virginia Beach, VA. Connie believes that brownies can't just look great, they have to taste great and have the right texture, making them above all, calorie-worthy.

Pastry chef techniques and flavors are incorporated into detailed easy-to-follow recipes, elevating brownies and blondies into baked goods that could easily be morphed into high-end restaurant desserts, as she has done many times. Because Connie is such a precise and careful baker, the recipes in this scrumptious book make it possible for home bakers to reproduce without difficulty brownies such as her best-selling Caramel-Stuffed Sea Salt Brownies, her signature "PMS" Brownies, and many others, including Spotted Cow Brownies, Black Walnut Fudge Frosted Brownies, Espresso Cacao Nib Coffee Marshmallow Brownies, Holy Heavenly Hash Brownies, S'more Galore Brownies, Harlequin Truffle Brownies, Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake Brownies, Triple Blueberry White Chocolate Blondies, Lemon Mascarpone Blondies, and many others. Also included is TODAY show host Hoda Kotb's favorite Peanut Butter Cup Brownies.

I LOVE this book! I am frequently in search of a brownie recipe to try and this book has 50 fabulous recipes that I am slowly making my way through. I have made the Cookies and Cream Brownies as well as Connie's PMS Brownies and they are fabulous. If you like chocolaty, fu dgy brownies than this may e a book for you to try. 

Amazon says:

Sally McKenney, creator and author of Sally's Baking Addiction, is back with a brand-new cookbook chock-full of a whole new host of treats for your sweet-tooth fix. If you're a candy and sweets lover, then look no further. Complete with over 75 brand new recipes, indulge in truffles, fudge, caramels, and marshmallows. And if you like Oreos, Reese's, Snickers, or other candy bar favorites, Sally will show you the best ways to incorporate these into cookies, cupcakes, bars, and more.

Complete with easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes, Sally's signature photography for every recipe, and snippets from Sally's own kitchen experiences, Sally's Candy Addiction has a recipe for every candy lover in your life.

I have long been a fan of Sally's blog, Sally's Baking Addiction, her beautiful photos and fabulous, and easy recipes. This book is for anyone that has a sweet tooth so it is perfect for me! It is filled with easy recipes for truffles, caramels(my favorite), barks, brittles and more. For those of you who have never made candy don't worry, Sally provides you with all of the information you need to know to make these recipes work, everything from how to temper chocolate, to using a candy thermometer and more. 

Amazon says:

From Garden & Gun—the magazine that features the best of Southern cooking, dining, cocktails, and customs—comes an heirloom-quality guide to the traditions and innovations that define today’s Southern food culture, with more than 100 recipes and 4-color photography throughout.
From well-loved classics like biscuits and fried chicken to uniquely regional dishes such as sonker (Piedmont, North Carolina’s take on cobbler) or Minorcan chowder (Florida’s version of clam chowder), each recipe in The Southerner’s Cookbook tells a story about Southern food and its origins. With contributions from some of the South’s finest chefs, a glossary of cooking terms, and essays from many of the magazine’s most beloved writers, The Southerner’s Cookbook is much more than simply a collection of recipes: it is a true reflection of the South’s culinary past, present, and future.

The Age GRACEfully Cookbook: The Power of FOODTRIENTS To Promote Health and Well-being for a Joyful and Sustainable Life

Amazon says:

FoodTrients, originated by Grace O, is a unique program supported by current research that positions food as an anti-aging strategy for achieving sustainable health. A FoodTrient is her name for the natural anti-aging properties of food. Delicious foods and rejuvenating nutrients combine to create Aging GRACEfully Cookbook, a collection of enticing and nourishing recipes that promote health and well-being for a joyful and sustainable life. The recipes are built on the foundations of modern scientific research and ancient knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural ingredients from cultures all around the world.

There are many books about super foods and supplements, but few provide at-a-glance guides in each recipe detailing key ingredients and how they increase health and longevity. Grace O’s cookbook focuses on five categories of FoodTrient that are essential to healthful living:

Antioxidant: Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals

Anti-inflammatory: Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease

Immunity Boosters: Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response

Mind and Beauty: Enhancers that encourage vibrant skin and hair and improve mood and mental agility

Disease-Preventing: Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases

My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own

Amazon says:

In her most intimate and compelling cookbook yet, Alice invites readers to step not into the kitchen at Chez Panisse, but into her own, sharing how she shops, stores, and prepares the pantry staples and preserves that form the core of her daily meals.  Ranging from essentials like homemade chicken stock, red wine vinegar, and tomato sauce to the unique artisanal provisions that embody Alice’s unadorned yet delightful cooking style, she shows how she injects even simple meals with nuanced flavor and seasonal touches year-round.  From fresh cheeses to quick pickles to sweets and spirits, these often-used ingredients are, as she explains, the key to kitchen spontaneity when combined with simple grains, vegetables, and other staple items.  With charming pen-and-ink illustrations by her daughter, Fanny and Alice’s warm, inviting tone, the latest book from our most influential proponent of simple, organic cooking ensures a gracious, healthy meal is always within reach.

Alice Waters is a chef, writer, food pioneer and owner of the acclaimed restaurant Chez Panisse. Her latest book, My Pantry:Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own is beautiful little book that states first and foremost, "the secret to great meals is a well stocked pantry." I am primarily a baker but I am always open to trying new things, especially things I have never made before.

Illustrated by Fanny Singer (Alice's daughter) Alice shares recipes for spices, condiments, vinegars, beans, preserves, cheese and more. For the most part I loved this book, I loved getting know know this iconic chef and what inspires her to create delicious food in her own kitchen.
However, I do think that some of the recipes, for instance making your own chèvre cheese are a little ambitious for most readers. For instance, where does one buy goats milk?

Do you have any books on your list that you are asking for for Christmas? Or that you are giving for Christmas? If so please share with us!

I hope that you are enjoying these last 2 weeks before the holiday, before we know it it will have come and gone and we will be into a new year.

Have a great day.


  1. BOOKS are a great gift and these look fantastic. I must run off to school, but I need to come back to read the reviews. Dearest Elizabeth, ENJOY YOUR DAY!

  2. Extreme brownies, cheesecake books.....oh yea these are my kind of books:) I love the gift of books as you can really personalize them to the persons interests. Great ideas here!!

  3. Cheesecake, brownies, and candy... and now I'm feeling hungry!

  4. This is a great list. I have been pondering the garden and gun book as well as the Alice Waters book I do not bake so I will not be partaking in those! Thank you as well for introducing me to a couple of wonderful blogs! Happy Holidays

  5. Wow...I would love any one of them, but "Eating Rome" and "The Southerner's Cookbook" are both right up my alley! Hope you have had a wonderful week of holiday prep. xoxo


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