The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Adventures by Adrianna Adarme
Far more than simply a collection of recipes, Adarme’s book includes everything from crafts (DIY candles) to charming life lessons. Every page is marked as either “Live,” “Make,” or “Do,” making the entire collection the perfect winter bucket list. As a bonus? Her corgi, Amelia, makes frequent cameos.
Must-make: Valentine’s Day Mess: chunks of warm brownie, shattered bits of meringue, whipped cream, a dusting of pistachios, and coffee ice cream
Home Baked: More Than 150 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Goodies by Yvette van Boven
From the bold, inviting cover to the watercolor illustrations inside, this substantial baking book will stand out on any bookshelf. A flurry of fun advice (DIY Nutella, how to make natural food dye) makes each page more exciting than the next, and the opening mise en place chapter is invaluable. The final section on dog treats ensures every family member gets a taste.
Must-make: Super-light Lemon Poppyseed Cake (the cover recipe!)
What Katie Ate on the Weekend by Katie Quinn Davies
Two years after the release of her wildly popular (andJames Beard Award-winning) first book, What Katie Ate, comes the Australian blogger’s weekend rendition, which is focused on cooking and hosting for family and friends. Sprinkled throughout the book are photos from Dublin and Sydney, and her food photography stuns in a way only Davies can deliver. It’s a pleasure for both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, and works as both a coffee table book and one to put to use daily.
Must-make: Mandarin, Pistachio, and Poppyseed Muffins
Better on Toast: Happiness on a Slice of Bread by Jill Donenfeld
Yes, toast is trendy—but it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Donenfeld raises the bar with mouthwatering recipes that range from the tried-and-true avocado (which she calls “the gateway drug to a book full of toast”) to more complicated concoctions involving bay scallops and chorizo. Perhaps best of all? Her recipe for homemade ricotta, which can be doctored up with peaches, cherry jam, figs, honey, and more.
Must-make: Madagascar Banana: sliced almonds, shredded unsweetened coconut, banana, avocado, lemon juice, and crumbled feta, all piled onto toast.
Near and Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson
The recipes in this cookbook are inspired by two things: where Swanson lives (Northern California), and where she’s traveled (Morocco, France, India, Italy, and Japan). The beautiful book is simplistic yet elegant, and every recipe is introduced with a personal story. Even seemingly straightforward recipes have bold boosts of flavor—think Watermelon Radish Soup made with nettles, fresh ginger juice, and silken tofu. It’s the perfect gift for an adventurous cook.
Must-make: Spring Rolls with ginger onion paste, brown sugar tofu, and mushrooms