Best Cookbooks to Give as Gifts in 2018

For Fellow Book Lovers

Every December, I like to do a round-up of my favorite cookbooks of the year. They aren’t necessarily books published in that year, but rather books from my collection that I’ve found myself referencing, perusing, or recommending over and over again. I think books make a perfect gift and cookbooks are the perfect host/hostess gift when you want to bring something that’s not a bottle of wine.

Here is my 2018 selection which includes everything from healthy cocktails to Instant Pot how-to’s to mysterious mushrooms.


The Cookbook: Dinner in an Instant

Author: Melissa Clark
Who is it good for?: Someone who purchased an Instant Pot but still has it in the box and wants to experiment with gourmet-style recipes that they should make in the Instant Pot (versus recipes that can be made in one). New York Times food writer Melissa Clark is creative, clear, and comprehensive and this selection of recipes is best suited to omnivores since she includes large sections for meats, grains, beans, vegetables, and desserts.
My favorite recipes: Homemade Yogurt (dairy, soy, and coconut milk variations included); Butternut Squash Soup with Lemon and Coriander
Get it here.*

The Cookbook: Healing Mushrooms

Author: Tero Isokauppila
Who is it good for?: Your friend who is always into the latest health trend and doesn’t think the phrase “mushroom latte” sounds disgusting. The first half of the book is a basic primer on the benefits of a variety of medicinal mushrooms and the second half is filled with recipes. Isokauppila is the founder of mushroom supplement company Four Sigmatic so this book focuses more on medicinal mushrooms like turkey tail, chaga, and lion’s mane (versus everyday grocery store mushrooms like white button).
My favorite recipes: Broccoli Soup with Mushroom “Bacon”; Chaga Un-Coffee
Get it here.*

The Cookbook: Sheet Pan Dinners

Author: Kate McMillan
Who is it good for?: A busy family or couple looking to simplify both dinner preparation and clean up. This book is for omnivores, although it does include several vegetarian recipes. I actually gave this book to my sister last year for Christmas along with a couple of sheet pans and a meat thermometer—I annotated the pages with my suggestions and substitutions since she’s new to cooking.
My favorite recipes: Spicy Asian Chicken Drummettes with Broccoli and Spiced Walnuts; Gingery Asian Eggplant with Tofu and Green Beans
Get it here.*

The Cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Author: Samin Nosrat
Who is it good for?: A committed home cook who loves learning the science and principles behind the recipes (or perhaps a lover of food TV like Samin’s Netflix series of the same name). Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is whimsically illustrated and takes the reader through basic elements of cooking with an attention to global flavors and traditions.
My favorite recipes: This book does include lots of recipes that look great but I’ve actually enjoyed it as a reference book and a teaching tool.
Get it here.*

The Cookbook: The Drunken Botanist

Author: Amy Stewart
Who is it good for?: Someone who identifies with either the word drunken or botanist or finds the humor in their combination. I’ve had this book for years and it’s still my favorite reference guide for spirits and cocktails. It’s encyclopedic in nature and catalogs all the plants from which we derive alcohol including their history and of course botanical info. It’s very readable and a cute coffee table book to boot.
My favorite recipes: Pisco Sour; Mojito y Mas
Get it here.*

Did you have a cookbook you loved in 2018? Share it with me in the comments below!