Dining out is outdated, and this season, home is where the food is. Whether you’re staying in to cook for your sweetie or whipping up a farmer’s market meal for your vegan friends, these 7 cookbooks are packed with mouth-watering recipes that will make you wonder why you ever dined out in the first place. The cookbooks also make great gifts for those friends strategically cultivated for their culinary prowess. Who knows?! Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll invite you to dinner.
Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel, by Laurent Tourondel
Mark your calendars, food lovers. Laurent Tourondel, founder of BLT Market, BLT Steak, and BLT Burger franchises, brings seasonal secrets to your kitchen counter. October fruits like the Bosc pear and Concord grape are last-season already. It’s time to get ready for the flavors of December, such as blood orange and cranberry. Learn to create cocktails and dishes that pair with farm-fresh seasonal ingredients. Sip Red Apple Bourbon Fizz and savor Cauliflower and Rock Shrimp Risotto with White Truffles on the chilly days of winter. The book reads like a calendar of seasonal cuisine. But instead of changing the month, just flip the page. Too bad books can’t hang on walls.
Buy Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel, by Laurent Tourondel, $22.52, at amazon.com
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten
Bring the Barefoot Contessa’s East Hampton cooking home for the holidays. Garten, a former Hamptons-based caterer and gourmet food store proprietor, turns hummus, roasted carrots, and other basics into culinary creations. She also reveals the secrets to making classics like French onion soup, Virginia ham, and corn cheddar chowder. Already something of a classic, this book is perfect as a gift for your new inner chef—or for someone who will invite you to dinner. How easy is that?
Buy The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten, $22.15, at amazon.com
The New York Restaurant Cookbook: Recipes from the City’s Best Chefs, by Florence Fabricant
Looking to get a taste of NYC without the traffic of Times Square? Take a tastier tour of the Big Apple by learning the secrets behind some of the city’s finest cuisine. New York Times food journalist Florence Fabricant mixes together the recipes and tips from over 100 of New York City’s best chefs—no subway ticket required.
Buy The New York Restaurant Cookbook: Recipes from the City’s Best Chefs, by Florence Fabricant, $19.77, at amazon.com
Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family, by Christy Jordan
Christy Jordan brings a little Southern comfort to your kitchen in this cookbook, which is based on her blog about down-home Southern cooking. Jordan spills kitchen traditions gathered from 9 generations of Alabama natives. Look for Southern-food classics like fried green tomatoes, chicken dumplings, macaroni salad, and Daddy’s “rise and shine biscuits.” Her simple and comforting dishes will stir up an appetite as deep as the South.
Buy Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family, by Christy Jordan, $17.40, at amazon.com
Eat Tweet: 1,020 Recipe Gems from the Twitter Community’s @cookbook, by Maureen Evans
No #hashtags necessary here, tweet peeps. Evans boils down recipes to 140 characters or less, but don’t worry, the taste factor is limitless. Salt and pepper translate to s+p, tst means toasted, but good food is always spelled the same, no matter how much you break it down.
Buy Eat Tweet: 1,020 Recipe Gems from the Twitter Community’s @cookbook, by Maureen Evans, $10.17, at amazon.com
Mosaic Meals: Bringing Vegans, Vegetarians, and Omnivores Together, by Janet Degras
Move over, Skinny Bitch. Janet De Gras makes cooking for any eater easy, without the attitude. She begins by breaking down the identities of each diet—vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore—and ends by creating a recipe-packed book to connect all 3 worlds. Guests with an alternative appetite will be flocking to your kitchen in no time.
Buy Mosaic Meals: Bringing Vegans, Vegetarians, and Omnivores Together, by Janet Degras, $12.99, at amazon.com
The Love Diet: Eat It Up, Take It Off, Get it On, by Juan-Carlos Cruz and Amy Reiley
The hottest book on the market, literally. Boost flavor to boost libido. The Love Diet teaches you how to eat delicious foods, while including healthy tips that are scientifically proven to promote sexual health. Recipes include nooky-inducing dishes such as chocolate mint seduction cookies, hot sausage stew, and feta-and-basil-stuffed mushrooms. These are savory, sizzling meals your body won’t regret.
Buy The Love Diet: Eat It Up, Take It Off, Get it On, by Juan-Carlos Cruz and Amy Reiley, $11.66, at amazon.com