The Savvy 2013 Gift Cookbook Guide (+ Giveaway!)

Cookbooks can be such a fun gift to give and receive. There is a cookbook out there for nearly everyone, from the beginner cook to the baker to the health fanatic and even to the literary nerd. They are easily shipped (I love sending people homemade preserves, but man, are glass jars annoying to mail). And if you package them with some cooking tools (a cocktail shaker with a drinks book, or a cast iron skillet with a dinner book, they can be elevated from “what a nice book” status to “what an amazing gift!”

Here are 12 of my favorite cookbooks to give and cook from myself (with a giveaway at the end!):

The Savvy 2013 Gift Cookbook Guide

Winter Cocktails by Maria del Mar Sacasa. This is the first book of cocktails I’ve found that isn’t clunky and difficult to navigate. The pages are filled with tempting-looking cocktails, along with some appetizer recipes and DIY infusion ideas. Plus, the photography is gorgeous. See a full review here.

Tequila Mockinbird by Tim Federle. I couldn’t wait for my annual holiday bookstore gift card, and went ahead and bought this book this week…I’m just too excited about it! Not only do the cocktails all have names like “The Last of the Mojitos,” “Pear the Wild Things Are,” and “Gin Eyre,” but each headnote tells you a bit about the book and why it inspired that particular recipe. Perfect for cocktail lovers and literary nerds alike. Also, it ends with suggested drinking games. Book club, anyone?

Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. Aka, my #1 source for new canning inspiration. The book has plenty of solid basics and how-to directions for the new canners, but also has a ton of creative flavor combinations and preserve ideas. See a full review here.

Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington. This book was invaluable when I first started learning to cook from scratch. Gift it to the new cooks in your life who are interested in from-scratch fare; they’ll learn everything from how to stock the pantry to how to make salad dressing to how to cook a pot of beans.

Home Made Winter by Yvette van Boven. First of all, this book is gorgeous, filled with great photography and beautiful drawings outlining some of the recipes. Plus, it has step-by-step photos for making your own apple cider, butter and Irish cream, as well as cozy-looking recipes like baked risotto with cauliflower, Gruyère and crisp bread crumbs, and butternut crème with goat cheese cream and sage.

Whole Grains for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. I love Krissoff’s books so much, I’m including two on this list. This book is perfect for anyone who is trying to eat a bit healthier, loves experimenting with new ingredients, or enjoys cooking with whole grains. See a full review here.

Saveur: The New Comfort Food by James Oseland. Who doesn’t love some good comfort food this time of year? This book is filled with recipes for comfort food from around the world, ranging from The Ultimate Grilled Cheese to Chicken Tikka Masala to Sopaipillas.

Bluephies New American Cooking by Bill Horzuesky. I talked about this restaurant about a million times while I was living in Madison, and I am so glad I bought their cookbook to bring a little taste of Madison to Ithaca with us when we moved. Bluephies will always hold a special place in my heart, especially for both their enchilada platter and their chocolate chip cookie dough egg rolls. Even if your giftee has no connection to Madison, WI, they will love the hearty, flavorful dishes made from this cookbook.

Poulet by Cree LaFavour. Chicken is one of my go-to proteins, and while I love a good roast chicken, it can get a bit boring week in and week out. Poulet has tons of creative chicken recipes, sorted by geographical inspiration. See a full review here.

Tacos by Mark Miller. At least twice a year, I go through a serious taco phase. Every single taco recipe I’ve made from this book has turned out better than the last. See a full review here.

The Gardener and the Grill by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig. Admittedly, this one is a bit out of season. But it is my favorite book for both gardeners and grill-fanatics alike. See a full review here.

Sprinkles! by Jackie Alpers. An entire book of recipes that glorify the cheery, colorful, sparkly sprinkle. Plus, it has recipes to make your own sprinkles. Seriously. I can’t wait to make my own sprinkles!


And, good news!  Quirk Books has generously offered to give one Savvy Eats reader a copy of Winter Cocktails and Sprinkles. The giveaway will run until December 27 at 12:00 a.m. See below for how to enter and more details!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. says

    I think there might be too many to name on my list right now, especially after I wandered into B&N recently but most likely next on my list is Roberta’s book or Schillers Liquor Bar or Ottolenghi, oh I can’t choose!

  2. Natanya says

    I already had Tequila Mockingbird on my wish list… anything that mixes my love of books with my love of alcohol! (…not an alcoholic…)