Cooking or Entertaining Book Recommendations

For a birthday gift for a friend (female, 50's) who loves to cook and loves to entertain and who is renovating her kitchen, I'm looking for a food, cooking or entertaining book as a birthday gift for her. All suggestions are welcome. (sorry this isn't specifically about food, sort of)

  • Posted by: DebJ
  • August 14, 2012


DebJ August 15, 2012
Thank you all very much... great ideas here (and some for me, too)!
dazeyduke August 14, 2012
Martha Stewart had a book that must be 20 or 30 years old called "Entertaining". I still use some of the menus and craft ideas when I entertain. It's a classic.
petitbleu August 14, 2012
I really enjoy Big Small Plates by Cindy Pawlcyn. I'm not sure it's an "entertaining" book per se, but it does focus on small dishes that would be great served at any gathering. Some really fabulous ideas.
lorigoldsby August 14, 2012
Ted Allen's book "In My Kitchen" is fairly new, so she may not have it yet...i like that he talks about not making something in 30 minutes, but when you are wanting to cook for friends because you enjoy it...its worth the time to do so!
HalfPint August 14, 2012
I've always like Nigella Lawson for cooking and entertaining books.
pierino August 15, 2012
I've met Nigella Lawson and can tell you that she is as beautiful and intelligent in person as she is on TV. She is one super smart woman.
SKK August 14, 2012
Beatrice Peltre: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life This is her blog Love her recipes and her photography, as well as her writing.
chef O. August 14, 2012
Jamie Oliver has some great books and Cooks Illustrated best recipes is my go-to guide for lots of great dishes
pierino August 14, 2012
How hip is your friend? If she can be on the edgy side I'd suggest a subscription to David Chang's wicked concoction "Lucky Peach". It's a quarterly publishd by McSweeney's. On the academic side another quarterly is "Gastronomica" published by UC Press.
SeaJambon August 14, 2012
Any of the Barefoot Contessa Books are great. I can think of a number of really fun/great cookbooks (my bookshelves are moaning with all the weighty tomes...), but Barefoot Contessa does a nice job of also hitting the "entertaining" part. You might also want to consider a subscription to either Fine Cooking or Cook's Illustrated (the latter especially if she has a geeky side).
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