Alison Roman knows that, in theory, you would love nothing more than a spontaneous get-together with friends or a mid-week dinner, but you’re just not confident enough in the kitchen to whip up something effortless. In this collection, she provides recipes for easy one-pot meals, fun cocktails, and lots of piquant snacks that are uncomplicated to make. Offer your guests foods that are “nothing fancy,” but which will leave great impressions on their taste buds.
You like to drink wine, but choosing a wine for your next gathering feels intimidating, right? In this user-friendly guide, famed sommelier Aldo Sohm has filled his Wine Simple with wine education that any wine drinker can use. And the book is full of infographics and illustrations that convey the information in friendly ways. Whether you’re still learning the differences between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir, or you’re ready to build a wine cellar, Sohm’s guide is for anyone who loves wine.
How to Drink Wine
Wine appreciation is not just for the experts: you shouldn’t have to be a sommelier in order to enjoy what you’re drinking. Here Reynolds and Stang demystify wine and offer answers to questions you may have been too embarrassed to ask. Whether you’re looking for suggestions on which varietals to try next, or what tastes great with the foods you’re serving, How to Drink Wine is a perfect pairing for budding oenophiles.
Adeena Sussman takes home cooks along with her as she provides a tour of Shuk Hacarmel, the local market in her Tel Aviv neighborhood. She utilizes her market’s offerings to whip up dishes that offer winter-weary mouths a shot of vibrant spice. But you don’t have to journey to Israel to join her. Here, she provides accessible and trouble-free recipes to brighten your winter kitchen.
Just the Good Stuff
New Year’s resolutions to “eat better” have often been abandoned by Mardi Gras, but Rachel Mansfield wants you to know that taking care of yourself does not have to mean spending all of your time in the kitchen or giving up all the foods you love. In Just the Good Stuff, she offers healthy adaptations for comfort foods, grab-and-go breakfasts, and plenty of sweet stuff. A great guide for anyone who thinks that eating healthy means giving up the joy of food.
The Goodful Cookbook
The barriers to taking care of ourselves with food include difficult prep, expensive ingredients, or the fear that we aren’t doing it “right.” The Goodful Cookbook is a judgment-free zone where those whose nutritional goals are to become vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free—or just to eat better—can find lots of great recipes. It even features tips for efficient food storage. Whether you’re looking for foods to suit your mood or trying to accommodate particular guests, Goodful’s got you covered.
Rachael Ray 50
Her upcoming 50th birthday inspired Rachael Ray to write this combination of cookbook and memoir. Featuring 125 recipes and 25 essays, Ray reveals to readers the roles that cooking and eating have played in her development as a chef. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit in Rachael Ray’s kitchen while she tells stories and whips up meals, this intimate cookbook is for you.
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
New Yorkers looking for great Italian food have flocked to Lidia Bastianich’s restaurant, Felidia, since it opened in 1981. Now, she shares recipes that have made her restaurant an enduring favorite. But you don’t need a fully-stocked restaurant kitchen to recreate these great meals. Bastianich provides step-by-step instructions that been adapted for the home cook. Classic Italian meals and exciting new dishes will have even your most picky guests declaring è delizioso!
Nancy Silverton has been declared the “Queen of LA’s restaurant scene,” and her steakhouse, Chi Spacca, does booming business. Her interest in cooking meat was influenced by the years she spent living in Northern Italy, where you’re more likely to find grilled meat and rice than in the pasta-heavy south. In addition to a ton of recipes featuring various cuts of meat, Chi Spacca is also full of ideas for grilling vegetables, as well as techniques for preparing traditional steakhouse fare such as Caesar Salad.
You love belonging to your book club, but you’re already dreading the next time they all gather at your place. Opening a bag of chips will not cut it with the other members, nor do you have time to shop for hard-to-source ingredients and to spend days in the kitchen doing prep.
This collection of cookbooks and wine guides offer an amazing array of snacks, desserts, and appetizers with which to wow your guests without the stress.
Seriously, who wants to spend all of their time cooking when there are books to be devoured? These cookbooks for book clubs are designed for those of us love food but who also want to save the time to finish the book before the book club arrives.
Featured image: @dertyderty via Twenty20