When it comes to entertaining for the holidays, there’s one thing that I always want to put my best foot forward with: the food. Over the years I’ve collected a treasure trove of cookbooks—some that I go back to regularly and others that, well, just aren’t worth their salt.
Below is a roundup of time-tested favorites that I couldn’t live without:
Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer. Originally printed in 1931, this timeless cookbook is a treasure to countless cooks. It’s known as one of the greatest teaching cookbooks ever written because it breaks down cooking techniques in a way that’s easy to understand, and it’s filled to the brim with recipes for both everyday meals and entertaining a crowd. It’s a staple, and a great cookbook to start out with if you're starting to build your collection.
Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family by Ina Garten. First off, let me start by saying that I’ve never met a Barefoot Contessa cookbook that I didn’t like. In fact, when I think of soul food, her dishes are exactly what I think of. From appetizers to main courses, desserts to craft cocktails, each of her cookbooks is filled with recipes that are truly crowd-pleasers. Barefoot Contessa Family Style focuses on recipes that are perfect for feeding a large group. It’s always the first cookbook I look to when I’m planning a big meal served around a shared table.
Camille Styles Entertaining: Inspired Gatherings and Effortless Style. Oh, how I adore Miss Camille! She’s cornered the market on entertaining and this book is one that I love referring to before big gatherings. It’s filled with inspiration for a variety of different get-togethers, and includes many of her go-to tips and favorite recipes.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations by Ree Drummond. Now here’s the thing: if you’re counting calories or trying to stay health conscious, then you’ll want to skim right past this recommendation. However, if you’re like me and tend to throw caution to the wind when it comes to food around the holidays, then do yourself a favor and add this cookbook to your arsenal. Inside, you’ll find a special section for each holiday, breaking down Ree’s favorite recipes. It’s timeless, delicious and you’ll want to wear stretchy pants if you end up making any of the recipes. You’re welcome.
Lauren Conrad Celebrate. You may know Lauren Conrad as a style maven or, if you’re like me, you might even remember her as LC on MTV’s reality show The Hills. Little LC is all grown up and she just happens to have the golden touch when it comes to entertaining. I love this book because it’s brimming with inspiration for more elaborate celebrations.
Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion. Last year, I was on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. It was honestly torture, and I remember getting sad just thinking about all the yummy food I’d have to pass on over the holidays . . . until I found this gem. It was a life saver, and with its help I not only enjoyed our meals but I also looked forward to them! If you or someone you love is on a grain-free diet, then I highly recommend adding this cookbook to your library.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite cookbooks for entertaining! I’m always looking for new additions to add to my collection. What others do you recommend?