Holiday Cookbook Guide: The Best Presents For Them...And You

Dandelion and Quince: Exploring the Wide World of Unusual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs by Michelle McKenzie

This beautifully illustrated cookbook educates and honors the abundance of farmers markets and grocery stores alike. It features many overlooked and yet to be discovered by domestic cook ingredients, from nettles, to sunchokes, exploring fava leaves, kumquats, mustard and more. The bounty of leaves, roots, blossoms and berries curated in Dandelion & Quince are simple foods that can easily be incorporated into everyday cooking, while bringing some much needed diversity to the kitchen and to our diets. It pays tribute to the care taken by farmers, teaching readers how to select the best produce and where and when to use it. Everything from overlooked leaves, easily dismissed weeds, and previously discarded seeds have found a passionate champion in Michelle McKenzie, who delivers over 150 recipes to satisfy all palates. Her book provides guidance, tricks, tips, and advice, such as tasting your food constantly and how to embrace mistakes. Known as the program director and an instructor at 18 Reasons, a cooking school, event venue, and community gathering place in San Francisco's Mission District, McKenzie has clearly found her calling in communicating her love of food onto the page, making this a handsome, thoughtful gift for anyone who loves to cook.

Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs by Julia Turshen, Gentl + Hyers and foreword by Ina Garten

In this stunningly designed and deeply personal collection Chef April Bloomfield's "simple, achievable recipes," you will find a focus on bold flavors, pure ingredients, and hearty dishes for meals around the clock. Not only does Turshen provide straightforward recipes, but includes two or three spinoffs for each one, allowing variation and encouraging experimentation. Nothing is fussy, nothing is rigid, and everything is open for a home cook's delicious exploration. As well, Small Victories has a genius section of 7 Lists of 7 Things You Can Do, featuring chicken, ground beef, pizza dough, seafood, soup, and more. This is the perfect cookbook for busy, on-the-go folks who come home at 6pm and confront a fridge of leftovers, wondering "what can I possibly cook?" With more than 160 to-die-for photos, concise instructions and inspirational modifications, this book is an essential and covetable gift for both novice and advanced cooks--and it's sure to get you an invitation for dinner!

Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm by Molly Yeh

The charming, eloquent, and effervescent Molly Yeh celebrates her Jewish and Chinese background with lovingly tested recipes for Asian Scotch Eggs, Scallion Pancake Challah Bread, Cardamom Vanilla Cake and Marzipan Mandel Bread, as well as dishes to surprise and delight everyone. Food almost takes a backseat to Yeh's writing, which is powerful, funny, and so filled with life that you'll want to curl up with this book and a plate of cookies for a long afternoon. Fans of Yeh's blog, My Name Is Yeh, will be delighted with this gracing their kitchen shelves and newcomers to Yeh's kitchen witchery will delight in getting to know her, her husband, and their brood of chickens. Packed with everyday classics, updates to traditional comfort food, and unique ingredients, each recipe is backed by a personal story from Yeh's life, cementing the connection between living and eating well. This is a great gift for someone who just moved into their own place for the first time, a new cook, or someone who has recently transplanted, as Yeh is a city girl turned farm girl, hauling herself from New York to North Dakota--but really, there aren't many people who won't fall head over heels for Molly on the Range.

Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

Need a gift for someone with a sweet tooth or are you dying to dig into a delicious New Year? Then you simply must pick up a copy of Dorie's Cookies! Written by Greenspan, otherwise known as 'The Cookie Jedi,' brings her 25 years of culinary mastery into this delightful ode to everyone's favorite dessert. The IACP and James Beard award–winning chef and New York Times bestselling cookbook author playfully admits in the introduction that she has wanted to create an all-cookie cookbook for over twenty years, every since she wrote her first book back in 1991--so you know she has thought through every single recipe in this decadent bible. In the gorgeously photographed pages, you'll find everything from her famous Lunch-box Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars to They Might Be Breakfast Cookies packed with raisins, dried apples, dried cranberries, and oat, to her three ingredient only Almond Crackle Cookies, and holiday favorites like Italian Saucissons and German jam sandwich cookies.

Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share by Kristin Donnelly

If you want to give a gift with the sentiment of dining, look no further than Modern Potluck. What better way to bring loved ones together than over savory, simply recipes designed to delight every palate? With over 100 day of and make-ahead recipes, this is the perfect present for busy households or fans of one-dish-dining.


Quinoa Sushi Rolls with Salmon and Vegetables

Quinoa Sushi Rolls with Salmon and Vegetables

To prepare the quinoa sushi rolls first place the quinoa in a saucepan set over a moderate heat.

Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until dried out and starting to colour.

Add the water, bring the boil, and then cover and cook over a reduced, low heat until tender, 15-20 minutes.

Remove the quinoa from the heat and set aside, leaving covered, for 10 minutes.

Fluff with a fork to separate the grains and then spread out onto a large tray.

Leave to cool to room temperature.

Place a sheet of nori on a bamboo mat.

Spoon half the prepared quinoa on the nori, spreading it out evenly.

Drizzle 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar on top.

Arrange half the salmon and vegetables (cucumber and carrot) or avocado across the bottom half of the quinoa in bundles.

Using the bamboo mat to help, roll the nori into a tight cylinder.

Repeat with the remaining nori, quinoa, and filling.

Cut into sushi rolls using a sharp chef's knife.

Serve the quinoa sushi rolls with teriyaki sauce and pickled ginger, if desired.


Christmas Poppy Seed Roll Cake

Christmas Poppy Seed Roll Cake

To prepare a delicious Christmas roll cake start heating the oven to 190°C (170°C on a fan oven), gas 5.

Sieve the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt and sugar. Stir in the butter.

Mix together the egg yolks, yeast and milk and add to the flour-butter mixture.

Quickly form into a smooth dough and let rise in a cool place (until the filling is almost cool).

Melt the butter for spreading and prepare the filling as follows: Boil the milk and the butter for the filling.

Add the poppy seeds, sugar, cocoa, grated lemon zest and vanilla sugar.

Bring everything to a boil and remove from the heat.

Then add the candied peel, nuts, raisins and cinnamon. When the mixture has cool slightly add the egg and some rum to taste.

If the filling is still a little soft add some breadcrumbs. Let cool completely.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

On a floured surface roll out the dough into a rectangle approx. 0.5 cm thick.

Spread with the melted butter and then spread with the filling. Roll up loosely and place on the cookie sheet.

Let rise for a further 10 minutes and then bake for 45 minute until golden brown.

To make the glaze sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the rum and a little warm water until the mixture is smooth and shiny.

Spread over the still warm Christmas roll cake and sprinkle some chopped hazelnuts on top.


Vietnamese Stuffed Squid (Muc nhoi thit)

Vietnamese Stuffed Squid (Muc nhoi thit)

To prepare the Vietnamese stuffed squid recipe (also called Much nhoi thit), first finely chop the squid tentacles and mix in a bowl with the shrimp paste and spring roll filling.

Fill the squid body with this mixture (store leftover filling in the refrigerator) and secure with a wooden skewer.

Place on a plate and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 190°C (170°C in a fan oven), gas 5.

Bring plenty of salted water to the boil and cook the noodles until al dente.

Drain and quench briefly in cold water. Mix the noodles with the carrot, cucumber and chilli and season to taste with 4 tbsp nuoc cham sauce.

In a pan, heat plenty of oil to 180°C and fry the stuffed squid for around 1 minute until crispy.

Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for around 10 minutes.

To be certain that the filling is cooked, leave to rest for a further 5 minutes.

Slice the squid into rings and serve on plates with the noodles.

Scatter with chopped shallot and coriander leaves and garnish with halves of lime.

Serve the Vietnamese stuffed squid with the remaining nuoc cham sauce as a dip.


Christmas Fruit Trifle

Christmas Fruit Trifle

To prepare fruit trifle recipe with custard, a traditional Christmas dessert, start placing the trifle sponges in the base of a serving bowl to form an even layer, cutting to shape if necessary.

Sprinkle over the sherry.

Top with the fruit and pour over the custard.

Place the Persian fairy floss on top of the fruit trifle and scatter over the silver leaf.