Week Forty-eight: Holiday Gift Books/Cooking Edition

Books are among my favorite things to give and receive at Christmas, as they are both practical and sentimental. A few of my cookbook picks for fall/holiday 2012 are:

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (Ten Speed Press, $24.99) Cult San Francisco/NY coffee purveyor Blue Bottle’s new book covers the art of coffee, and then some. Brewmaster James Freeman lays out the roasting and brewing essentials, and his wife Caitlin Freeman adds a selection of recipes from the cafes. I’m hoping to tackle and master the French Press/Liège Waffle combo.

Bouchon Bakery (Artisan, $50) Whether your aim is to follow Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel’s recipes to replicate Bouchon Bakery’s delicious pastries at home (from the TKO, to cakes, brioche, and croissants), or simply to drool over the gorgeous photography (that would be me), you’ll be satisfied with this hefty, coffee-table-worthy book.

Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews McMeel, $45) The ne plus ultra of the new cookbooks: a modern, sensible and seasonal approach to meals. Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton know just how I want to cook and eat in 2013. I’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes and resolve to break out of my “chicken and a side and sometimes pasta” routine.

Little Flower: Recipes From the Cafe (Prospect Park Books, $25) If I had to choose a favorite type of restaurant, the café would win in a landslide. Christine Moore’s book of recipes from her Pasadena, CA Café “Little Flower” explains why: tarts and salads for the healthful me, and sweets galore for the indulgent me.

photos, layout and by jane potrykus: in addition, each book was purchased by simplepretty through amazon (none were review copies).

up next week: lifestyle gift books



  1. November 28, 2012 / Permalink

    I’m really trying to make books my go to gift this year (and maybe every year) so this is my kind of gift guide. The only problem is I want to do a one for you, one for me with all of these! Great picks!

  2. November 28, 2012 / Permalink

    finding the perfect cookbook seems like trying to find the perfect lipstick – hard. love your list and little flower appeals the most to me!

  3. December 4, 2012 / Permalink


    Someone just sent this to me and i am soooo flattered !! Your site is just beautiful! Come on out to Pasadena and have lunch.xoxoxo