If you’re still trying to complete your holiday gift shopping, cookbooks are a great idea. Valerie Koehler from the Blue Willow Book Shop shares some of her favorites with food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone. From beginner cook to advanced chef, collector to enthusiast, you just might find some nifty gift ideas in these segments.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, catch Cleverley’s radio show, Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM. (PS: She gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)
For the Beginner Cook
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray
Rachael, beloved by many makes it seem easy and fun in the kitchen.
Betty Crocker Cookbook: 1500 Recipes For the Way You Cook Today
A primer for anyone just starting to learn to cook.
Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook
400 quick and easy recipes from a proven source.
Kitchen On Fire by Olivier Said and Chef Mike C.
This is our FAVORITE of all the new basic cookbooks.
Chock full of photographs for the visual learner-from chopping to braising, baking to grilling-the beginner will pore over this one.
Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs
Amanda Hesser is the editor of last year’s wonderful NYT Cookbook. This year, she gives us the best from her blog which states
that the best recipes come from home cooks. That’s what we want to hear. These are simple,fail proof recipes.
Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? By Ina Garten
Ina Garten is revered by home cooks everywhere for her easy going style and easy to make recipes.
My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
Ms. Paltrow brings a message of celebration of family with delicious, easy recipes with fresh flavors that the beginner cook will appreciate.
Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible
One word: Butter. Two words: Comfort food.
Intermediate Level – You know the basics and now you’re ready for the next level of difficulty
The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and family
Most families have a story about consulting Mrs. Rombauer. The attention to details about techniques solidifies your budding expertise.
The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
If you’ve seen their show or read their magazine, you know that they analyze every recipe, refining and refining until they are the best.
There’s a lot of science here so when you are ready to understand the whys, you are ready for this.
Lidia’s Italy in America by Lidia Bastianich
Now is the time to learn why we all love Italian food and how we can reproduce those yummy recipes at home. Prepare to delve into the Italian kitchen and learn new words, techniques, and food.
For the Pros and Collectors/Enthusiasts Who Read Cookbooks for Fun
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
Julia is the grande dame of French cooking. She taught generations of home chefs the thrill!
Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin
The book includes a wonderful CD with some of his signature techniques. We have argued over whether this is difficult-I voted for adventurous.
About Texas Food
Entice With Spice by Shubhra Ramineni
Shubhra is a busy Houston professional who brings the essentials of Indian cooking to us. While she says they are easy, you will be learning lots of new techniques and ingredients.
Don Strange of Texas by Frances Strange
Don Strange, a long time San Antonio caterer who is credited with bringing fajitas to the “big stage” is lovingly remembered by his wife as she gives his most sought after recipes.
Big Ranch Big City by Louis Lambert
Lambert, a long time Hill Country resident and owner of many popular Texas eateries employs some pretty advanced techniques for the city chef. We love the beautiful pictures of our favorite state!
Homesick Texan by Lisa Fain
Lisa left Houston for NYC but her heart remains in Texas. Her popular blog brings our favorite dishes to everyone. Get ready to find some peppers!
The Casserole Queens Cookbook by Crystal Cook And Sandy Pollock
Here’s comfort food with easy recipes that are all very familiar to any beginner cook. These ladies are lighting up the Austin food scene.
Source of cookbooks: www.BlueWillowBookshop.com