5 Creative Cookbooks for Your Holiday Feasting

The holidays are the perfect time to indulge our appetites with treasured (and savory!) ​food and treats. Still, they don’t curb our desire for new flavors and cuisines to add to our menus. If you’re looking for memorable ​entrée additions or the odd side dish to try this winter, don your apron and look no further than these entertaining cookbooks from icons who have mastered the arts of cooking and eating. Bon appétit! 

Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson

Prolific celebrity food writer and television chef Lawson considers cooking to be “an act of kindness​​​” and credits the craft with helping her through some turbulent times in her life. Her 10th cookbook, Simply Nigella is as much a meditation on the art of savoring life as it ​is a back-to-basics cooking primer. Lawson serves up simple, classic dishes with ​a touch of exotic flair, as seen in her Thai turkey meatballs and cauliflower-and-cashew-nut curry.

Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix: More Than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities by Mark Bittman

Strikingly appealing ​photos and colorful grids​ aid Bittman in his quest to teach us how to create scrumptious dishes for any—and in fact every—occasion. ​Such foundational elements as tomatoes, asparagus, cocktails and vegetable soup unlock “universal instructions” that can be combined into variations on a theme.​ From casual family meals to more ambitious dinner parties, Bittman simply and delectably covers all the bases.

Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich & Tanya Bastianich Manuali

This mother-daughter cooking duo starring renowned chef Bastianich delivers an immersive master class in Italian cuisine. Students will luxuriate in the book’s richly detailed guides to choosing ingredients, pasta and wine pairings, and interpreting food labels, as well as its comprehensive glossary of Italian dishes and culinary terms. Packed with more than 400 authentic recipes, this cookbook promises hours of educational and edible delight.​

Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach

If pork dumplings, Massaman curry and mall chicken tempt your palate but seem beyond the purview of your skills, look no further than this layperson’s guide to Asian cooking. Meehan and his Lucky Peach magazine crew have devised recipes that aren’t strict but instead are free-flowing and improvisational, providing would-be chefs with plenty of practical tips and advice in a fun, lighthearted manner.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper! by Ree Drummond

Almost no list of cookbooks is complete without an appearance from Drummond, the famed food blogger turned television chef. Known for her sumptuous meals and equally mouthwatering food photography, Drummond in this book turns her ample talents to the most savory meal of the day: dinner. Her fast and tasty recipes include such classics as beef Stroganoff, meatballs and vegetarian chili, plus dessert selections that will surely satisfy your craving for comfort food.

Featured Photo: Flickr

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