Share a Meal From Afar By Gifting These Inspiring Cookbooks

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Welcome to the Hunker Holiday Gift Guide. From joyful decor picks to gifts that give back, these items are sure to delight everyone on your list.

If you can't spend the holidays with your family this year, you're not alone. With limited travel and the risks of gathering indoors, many of us will be celebrating differently than usual. Though it's not ideal, we have a very 2020 solution to this problem. Just because you can't feast together in person doesn't mean you can't all enjoy the same meal. By gifting one of these inspiring cookbooks to yourself and your loved ones, you can all cook the same dishes and feel connected through food.

1. In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan, $25.47

Grandmas are the best cooks and these African matriarchs are no exception. For this essential family volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen teamed up to gather powerful stories and flavorful recipes from bibis (or grandmothers) in eight spice trade countries.

2. From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry, $21.49

Everything feels hard right now, so perhaps your holiday meal should be easy. All of the dishes in this book are designed to be roasted in a single dish or pan. Expect simple yet delicious recipes like spatchcock chicken with chile and baked sweet potatoes with avocado and chimichurri.

3. The Good Book of Southern Baking: A Revival of Biscuits, Cakes, and Cornbread by Kelly Fields and Kate Heddings, $26.16

When it comes to dessert, the South has got it figured out. Look to this regional collection from celebrated New Orleans pastry chef Kelly Fields and food writer Kate Heddings for homey, indulgent sweets like Creole cream cheesecake and moon pies.

4. Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater, $19.89

Dedicated to the chillier months of the year, this seasonal vegetarian cookbook puts autumn and winter produce at center stage. It's ideal for families looking for hearty, plant-based plates that are simple to put together.

5. Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family by Priya Krishna, $23.49

Food writer Priya Krishna grew up with Indian-American cuisine that probably looks familiar to a lot of families across the country. Her debut cookbook honors flavor-packed hybrid dishes like roti pizza, tomato rice with crispy cheddar, and whole roasted cauliflower with green pea chutney.

6. The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig, $33.78

Hanukkah fried chicken, cheese latkes, and sufganiyot are just a few of the stellar holiday recipes in this comprehensive anthology of Jewish cuisine that includes interpretations from renowned chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi, Michael Solomonov, and Alex Raij.

7. Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, $21

Queen Ina Garten's newest release focuses on the thing we all need most right now — comfort. An entire meal of modern classics like creamy tomato bisque, skillet-roasted chicken and potatoes, and Boston cream pie will certainly hit the spot.

8. The Nom Wah Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from 100 Years at New York City's Iconic Dim Sum Restaurant by Wilson Tang and Joshua David Stein, $25.49

For over 100 years, Nom Wah Tea Parlor has been serving dim sum to families in New York City's Chinatown. Recipes for the restaurant's iconic dumplings and decades of immigrant stories fill the pages of this bright, colorful compendium.

9. Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral, $27.99

Treasured Los Angeles restaurant Guelaguetza has been a key part of the Oaxacan community for over 25 years. The family behind the traditional Mexican eatery shares its signature recipes like pink horchata, mole negro, chilaquiles, and other warming plates.

10. Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks by Vicky Bennison, $20.27

As we mentioned, grandmas know their way around the kitchen. For these Italian nonnas, pasta is a love language and they want to teach you all about it. From Rosetta's trofie with basil sauce to Pasqualina and Maria's tagliatelle with tomato and anchovy sauce, the recipes are as authentic as they come.

11. Pie for Everyone: Recipes and Stories from Petee's Pie, New York's Best Pie Shop by Petra Paredez, $19.90

Pie is a quintessential holiday treat and no one does pie quite like Petee's. The New York shop reveals its secrets in this cheerful compilation that exalts local ingredients and provides step-by-step guidance so that the perfect pie can be achieved at home.

12. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat, $20.98

As long as you master the four major elements (salt, fact, acid, and heat, obviously), good cooking is guaranteed. That's the idea behind this beloved illustrated guide that features lessons on caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and more.


Morgan Goldberg is a writer based in Los Angeles. She likes pasta, hiking, and crossword puzzles.

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