For someone who likes to cook, a good cookbook can be engrossing, enlightening, and downright erotic. In other words, the perfect gift.
While recipes abound online and on television, there's just something about cookbooks that can't be replicated elsewhere. The pictures, the stories, just their mere presence sitting on a shelf can be comforting and inspirational to a cook.
Here are five great cookbooks to consider gifting to your favorite cooks:
The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser $23 at Amazon.com
The New York Times food section is one of the best when it comes to newspapers, and most cooks have countless clippings collected from it. This book provides the best of the recipes since the paper started publishing them in the1850s. The fact that each recipe is dated makes it an interesting study in history as well.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummon $17.61 at BarnesandNoble.com
For the no-frills down-home cooking kind of chef, Ree Drummond dishes it up like no one else with easy-to-follow, delicious recipes.
The Food Substitutions Bible by David Joachim $16.47 at Amazon.com
Every cook has been there without that one thing they need to complete the recipe, and this book can come to the rescue, offering just the right fix. In its second edition, it provides more than 6,500 substitutes for ingredients, techniques, and measurements.
Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington $13.88 at BarnesandNoble.com
This is a great book for the cook who's also into gardening, frequenting farmers' markets, and sustainable food. It offers a city spin on wasting less and enjoying more.
Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold $451.21 at Amazon.com
This 2,200-page set of five volumes is a gift for the serious cook if you have a serious budget. It hasn't been released yet, so you'll have to get creative in presenting them the gift, but when it arrives, it promises to transform a cook's life through science and amazing technology. And the price has come down from the original $625, so it's kind of a bargain of sorts.
What's your favorite cookbook?