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Best Cookbooks of 2015

Friday, 4 December 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

For anyone with a keen home cook on their Christmas list (or if you happen to be one yourself) read on for my top cookbook picks from 2015.

10. Cookie Love, by Mindy Segal

If you have a cookie lover in your life who likes to bake, buy this book and cross them off your Christmas list. From drop cookies, to sandwich cookies and everything from the simple to the slightly complex, this has it all. I may never bake another cake again.

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9. Bitter: A Taste of The World’s Most Dangerous Flavour with recipes, by Jennifer McLagan,

Given the number of other recent cookbooks which have been wholly dedicated to how to cook with bitter ingredients – which is precisely zero – I was happy to receive this collection of recipes that brings flavours from the likes of dandelion greens, dark chocolate, Campari and coffee to the forefront. Here you will enjoy experimenting with ingredients that aren’t generally given centre stage.

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8. The Nordic Cookbook, by Magnus Nilssen

Internationally acclaimed chef Magnus Nilssen invites us into his mysterious world of Nordic recipes and traditions. At first I thought this would be more of a showy coffee table type addition to my collection and the photographs are indeed stunning, but the recipes are also surprisingly approachable making this a suitable gift for any home cook who wants to explore a part of the culinary world that hasn’t been done to death.

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7. Simply Nigella, by Nigella Lawson

Truth be told I am not always the biggest fan of Lawson’s cookbooks. But this time I think she nails it as she provides a fantastic collection of simple, straightforward recipes that don’t take themselves too seriously. Don’t miss the Toasty Olive Oil Granola.

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6. A Bird In The Hand, by Diana Henry

Who says chicken has to be boring? This book is all about elevating it to a new level and introducing delicious flavour combinations to any recipe repertoire. From lemongrass chicken to smoky chicken to chilli and even pomegranate chicken, herein lies your path beyond the average roast.

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5. What Katie Ate on the Weekend, by Katie Quinn Davies

What Katie Ate is one of my favourite food blogs (www.whatkatieate.com), and not only for the stunning photographs that make me want to run out and eat a basket of muffins. Her recipes deliver too. Now fans of this James Beard Award winning Aussie foodie’s first book can add this one to their collection.

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4. Kitchen Hacks, How Clever Cooks Get Things Done, America’s Test Kitchen

I really wish I’d thought of this idea for a culinary book. Those folks at America’s Test Kitchen sure are good at delivering practical tips and tricks to making your life in the kitchen easier and more successful. This is the perfect gift for any aspiring home cook.

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3. Nopi, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully

Given that one of Ottlenghi’s other books is one of my other current favourites, I knew this one would not disappoint. The unique combinations of ingredients like miso and molasses reminds me of how much I don’t know about cooking.

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2. This is Camino, by Russell Moore, Allison Hopelain and Chris Colin

The authors here refer to their cooking as “grandmotherly”. And by that they mean a paired-down approach, innovative and totally lacking in machismo. Just like their restaurant by the same name. This is the perfect gift for the purist cook in your life who favours a rustic, earthy approach.

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1. Gjelina, by Travis Lett

I never go to the LA area without making a stop at Gjelina’s restaurant in Venice Beach. It’s crazy good. Simple, straightforward dishes with a heavy emphasis on vegetables (but it’s not vegetarian). Gjelina’s has one of those menus where I want to order absolutely everything. And now the recipes are available in book form? Hello. This is my top pick for 2015.

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  • Roxanne

    Do you have any suggestions for a cookbook for teenagers? I have two nieces that are getting into cooking and baking and interested in cookbooks for Christmas.

    • Anna

      Hi Roxanne,
      Any of the books I recommended in my list would be appropriate. It depends on what they’re into – if they like sweets and baking then the cookie book would be great and gives enough variety of recipes at different skill levels that they can use it as an entry and then tackle more complicated recipes when they’re ready. If they’re more into cooking than baking, I’m loving Gjelina. The recipes aren’t that difficult and there is something for everyone in that book. Happy holidays! Anna