On my Bookshelf: Cookbooks as Presents

When I moved into my new apartment back in July, I insisted on fitting three different bookshelves into a 700 sq foot apartment. Somehow, I still manage to leave cookbooks lying in piles around the apartment. Whoops.

Every few weeks, I go around to collect them and put them back in their place. As I haven’t done a cookbook roundup in a while, I figured this weekend’s clean up was a good opportunity to highlight some of my favs.

All four of these cookbooks were presents from friends and family who understand my weakness for beautiful food photography and appreciate books full of recipes waiting to be tackled.

Make it Ahead, by Ina Garten

I love to host dinner parties but on week days I don’t always have time to prep as much food as I want. Luckily, since my mom gave me this cookbook this summer, I’ve realized that I can host decadent dinner parties on weeknights without taking the day off to prep. Since I’ve surrounded myself with friends who also love good food, I like that I can trust Ina to give me recipes that will please everyone.

Perfect for: People who love to host but don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen.

Favorite dishes: Twice-baked sweet potatoes, beef tenderloin with bernaise mayonnaise and make-ahead goat cheese mashed potatoes.

Back in the Day Bakery: Made with love, by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day

Written by the couple who run the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia, the book is a compilation of some of their favorite recipes. Everything is an indulgence but let me tell you, it is so worth it. The book is also sprinkled with DIY projects and anecdotes from the bakery, making me feel connected to the bakery even if though I’ve never been to Savannah. The upside of dating another lover of sweets is that his family also loves sweet treats. That’s probably why they gave me this cookbook over the summer. I’ll have to say thank you by bringing more baked goods to thanksgiving.

Perfect for: Sweets lovers who appreciate the stories behind their food

Favorite dishes: Key lime shortbread cookies, caramel cake with salted caramel frosting and chive parmigiano-reggiano popovers

Homemade with Love, by Jennifer Perillo

A few years ago, my sorority little surprised me with this beautiful cookbook. We had bonded back in college over our love of baking so it seemed fitting that our post-college friendship would involve cooking our way through beautifully illustrated books. One of the reason I’ve loved this book is that, as its name suggests, it is all about the homemade. No cutting corners with this one. That being said, the homemade aspect of each recipe is good for weekend cooking but means I’m less likely to pick this book up on a rushed Tuesday after work.

Perfect for: People who have the time to make their food from scratch

Favorite dishes: Roasted tomato soup, homemade cheese crackers and

The Oh She Glows Cookbook, by Angela Liddon

Oh She Glows was a gift from my godmother last year. It’s the second cookbook she’s given me over the years and since this one is way healthier than previous books, I think she was hinting I should eat more healthy food this year. Message received. Written by fellow canadian blogger Angela Liddon, this cookbook makes eating healthy so easy and delicious that even a skeptic like myself makes the effort. I love bacon too much to ever be vegan but this cookbook makes me forget that.

Perfect for: Vegans or people who want to add healthy meals to their diet.


Favorite dishes: Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with avocado-cilantro cream sauce, peanut butter cookie dough bites and winter citrus salad