Wrap These Reads

These five books hit shelves just in time for the holiday season and make for great gifts.

Holiday shopping can be a hassle, but with a new crop of cookbooks and cocktail guides available this season, narrowing down gift options for that special someone is simple.

Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations (Clarkson Potter, $75) is where Martha Stewart returns to her roots: entertaining. In her first book on the topic in nearly 30 years, the icon of gracious living shares a year’s worth of celebrations. Lavish photos reveal glimpses of the author’s homes in New York and Maine, and her anecdotes, tips and mouthwatering recipes will have you dreaming up dinner parties this holiday season.

The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook (Sterling Epicure, $25), from Planet Green TV’s The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, features recipes focused on heirloom vegetables and local produce. The authors provide inspiration for seasonal meals, ranging from simple to spectacular, with photos that will send readers antique hunting to recreate an atmosphere of estate-worthy elegance. Plus, blank pages are provided for you to include your own family recipes.

Simple Food, Big Flavor (Atria Books, $27), restaurateur and Food Network star Aarón Sánchez’s latest cookbook, opens the door to a world of Mexican cuisine far beyond nachos and guacamole. The owner and executive chef of New York City’s Centrico, Sánchez introduces 15 base recipes that expand into more than 100 dishes abundant with flavor.

The PDT Cocktail Book (Sterling Epicure, $15), by mixologist Jim Meehan, owner of New York speakeasy, Please Don’t Tell, is an essential ingredient to any successful cocktail party. Filled with more than 300 classic and original libation recipes, with illustrations by Chris Gall, plus tips for glassware, barware, mixers and garnishes, this volume will surely bring a new level of swank to your next soirée.

Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals From My Home To Yours (HarperCollins, $30), Mario Batali’s ninth cookbook offers month-to-month menus that illuminate the superstar chef’s theory that “families should not just eat together, but should eat well when they do.” With 120 recipes and meals that include a main course, three pastas, four sides and dessert, each of Batali’s family menus is a blueprint for a feast this season.

Published on November 29, 2011