If you’re like me, you buy your presents the day before Christmas/Hanukkah because you’re mad lazy. Reasonable. Sometimes, though, it’s because you don’t know what to get. So here’s a neato gift guide for everyone you know and love. It’s a highly subjective gift guide because it’s made up entirely of books by my friends that were published in 2011. Baker extraordinaire Dorie Greenspan does a similar thing and I am blatantly copying her idea. But all of the featured books are amazingly awesome, a testament to my friends, or, as I like to think, my talent in choosing my friends.
For the food blogger friend: The Food52 Cookbook
I used to work for Amanda, and am a huge fan of her site Food52, which curates recipes from super skilled home cooks. This book is a collection of winning recipes from the site (plus one I did for salted almonds, woot woot), and is full of accessible, flavorful recipes.
For the booze-lover: Bitters
Brad is not just my publicist, but also a man who knows his bitter drinks! His book is both a history of bitters plus collection of yummy bitter drink recipes. It’s the bitter truth!
For the beer-lover: Brewed Awakening
Josh is a total beer geek (and I mean that in the best way possible) and this book offers great insight into the origins of the craft beer movement and highlights cool breweries you don’t (yet) know of.
For the healthy eater: You Can Trust a Skinny Cook
Allison and I got our master degrees together, and she’s such a talented cook and culinary instructor. Her book is a collection of delicious recipes that are surprisingly healthy, plus there are tips on how to shed calories without losing flavor. Which, let’s get real, we’re all going to need after holiday bingeing.
For the lonely single person in your life: Serve Yourself
Just kidding, you don’t have to be lonely or single to enjoy WaPo food editor Joe Yonan’s book, which feature recipes for one. Joe and I were tablemates at an event recently and I can tell you from having eaten, like, ten of the sandwiches he brought for sampling, the recipes in the book are spot-on. Your home alone nights just got less lonely.
For the adventurous home cook: Cook This Now
Melissa is rad and seems to produce more content than is humanly possible. The recipes in this book are organized by season and all sound super tasty and really seem to capture Melissa’s personality.
For the passionate home cook: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School
Kat’s book is part manifesto for home cooking, part memoir of teaching self-described terrible cooks how to become more comfortable in the kitchen. Guiding them through a series of lessons, she teaches the pleasures of home cooking.
And now for the non-food books!
For the YA Lover: a combo of Sister Mischief and Past Perfect
Laura Goode’s debut is about a group of friends in suburban Minnesota who have a love of rap and a dislike of authority. It’s funny and moving, not to mention refreshing to find queer YA characters. And Laura puts out some bumping rhymes. Leila Sales’s book is also a love story, but a more traditional one. But it’s set in a reenactment village! How can you go wrong with that! Both these ladies are mad smart and funny wordsmiths.
For the writer friend: The Wilshire Sun
Josh and I were hallmates our freshman year of college and now we’re both writers! His debut novella is lyrical and craftily written, exploring the Hollywood dream but with great humor.
And obviously Four Kitchens is rad for the armchair traveler or restaurant enthusiast in your life.
But seriously, people, these are some super talented who have put out some great books in 2011. I can only wait to see what 2012 will bring. And if we’re friends and I left you off, it’s totally not intentional! I just have a bad memory! Email Me and I’ll add you on!