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My Favorite Cookbooks 2014


Today I want to give you some stellar gift ideas…for your closest foodie friend, or for yourself.

Everyone’s in the kitchen this time of year, whether it be baking cookies to give to friends, entertaining and having friends over or going to a holiday party!

So I thought I would assist you….arm you with the best books to cook from….OR an amazing cookbook to give as a gift, whether it be as a hostess gift, or found under the Christmas tree.

I love cookbooks. Major duh.

And if you haven’t heard I am writing one A WE SPEAK! Well, not actually right this second. Right now I am typing. But when I am done typing I will be writing. And cooking. And baking. And photographing. Yeah, it’s a whole process this book thing.

Which leads me to my whole point…cookbooks are an epic gift. Sorry, I may be a bit biased.

The books I am suggesting to you today are books that I cook/bake from and are written by friends or people who I desperately WANT to be friends with. Ina are you listeningggg?

Anyhow, a lot of love and heart went into these books and I am not taking the list lightly. I receive and buy SO many cookbooks a year..and narrowing it down was NOT an easy process. So please know that each and everyone of these books was picked by me, for a reason. Let’s discuss.



Kitchen Confidence by Kelsey Nixon ~ I got this book over the summer and ADORE it. I love Kelsey Nixon and want to just keep her in my pocket. BUT I love this book because the recipes are all do-able. They are dishes I eat regularly and the Panzanella Salad recipe alone is enough reason to buy this book. It is THAT good.

Easy Gourmet by Stephanie Le ~ Stephanie also has an AMAZING site called I am a Food Blog. I wasn’t very familiar with her blog before I got the book, but now I am a HUGE fan. My husband bought Easy Gourmet for me, and I am obsessed. The simplicity of the photos (which are STUNNING) and the ease and creativity of the recipes had me hooked! Also, Pulled Pork Pancakes WHUTT?!

Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant ~ I adore Jessica’s blog How Sweet It Is and her book is an extension of that. I made (and blogged) her recipe for Baked Oatmeal and it’s a favorite in our house! The book is filled with creative recipes and beautiful photos. It’ll be one you come back to time and time again!

Skinnytaste by Gina Homolka ~ Gina’s blog, of the same name, is a massive success…and so is her book. I am telling you while her recipes may be lighter on calories and fat, they are packed with flavor. Plus, Gina is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, which makes me love this book more. This is the book you’ll cook from multiple times a week!

Make it Ahead by Ina Garten ~ Let me preface this with I buy ALL Ina’s books. Make it Ahead was a huge draw to me, especially this time of year, because well..making it ahead is the best. I’ve already made multiple things from this book…the Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin is so good, especially when you serve it with the Apple Chutney recipe in the book…it’s LIFE CHANGING! I also made her Bacon and Butternut squash Farro recipe that was amazing! Ina never disappoints.




The Biscoff Cookie and Spread Cookbook by Katrina Bahl ~ I JUST posted about this book after making the recipe for Biscoff Cloud Cookies. This book is gorgeous and filled with fantastic recipes using Biscoff cookies and the spread. It’s a great alternative to peanut butter, so if your kiddo has a nut allergy you’ll want to pick up this book and bake like crazy! Plus, I think it would be a fantastic hostess gift along with a jar or three of Biscoff Spread!

Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook by Deborah Harroun ~ This book is so fun..and perfect for the holidays! Red Velvet is so festive it will take you through Christmas into Valentine’s and beyond. There are so many unique recipes using Red Velvet I would have never thought of..hello Red Velvet Churros!! And if you haven’t checked out Deb’s blog, Taste and Tell you need to hop over there now…She’s fantastic!

Dessert Mashups by Dorothy Kern ~ Dorothy has a dessert blog called Crazy for Crust which is so cute and this book is the natural next step for her! It’s such a fun concept…I mean who doesn’t love two desserts for the price of one?? Hello S’morescake!

Picky Palate by Jenny Flake ~ This book didn’t come out this year but I have to tell you, ever since I got it, back in 2012 it has a permanent place on my counter. Jenny is one of my most favorite people, and her book is filled with fantastic everyday recipes and AMAZING desserts. Her Pumpkin Streusel bread is one of my all-time favorite recipes ever!! Plus spiral bound cookbooks hold a special place in my heart.

Glorious Layered Desserts by Glory Albin ~ Glory is a great girl who is super talented..just check out her blog, Glorious Treats. Her desserts are totally beatiful and her book is equally as gorgeous! Plus, I love me a layered dessert! I even made her recipe for Chocolate Mousse…and I will tell you that it is PERFECT! This is a great book to have around the holidays, because Trifles are perfect for crowds!



Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten ~ Yes, the woman is making my list twice. Also, this book isn’t new, it came out last year I think.. but I am obsessed with it. The book is completely dirty, dog-eared and written in. I LOVE it. From Crispy English Potatoes (adore) to Crusty Basmati Rice (obsessed) and her Winter Minestrone soup with Garlic Croutons (my absolute favorite) I haven’t made one thing in this book I haven’t loved.  It’s a must. Buy it.

Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito ~ I have all the Baked books…and LOVE them. This one is no exception. Hello “Hair of the Dog Cake” and Nutella Chip Cookies! Their recipes have always been delicious and this book is just purty!

Brilliant Bundt Cakes by Sommer Collier ~ This book is so great…first off, who doesn’t love a bundt cake…they’re so nostalgic and happy! Secondly it’s an e-book and is  on special for $2.99!! Sommer’s blog, A Spicy Perspective is a fantastic mix of everyday dinners, desserts, cocktails and even travel! She is one of the sweetest and poured her heart into this e-book. My bundt pan is getting a workout this season!

Decorating Cookies Party by Bridget Edwards ~ Decorating Cookies has never been so adorable. I love Bridget and her blog, Bake at 350…and her second book focuses on fun themes. Her cookies are the best (I’ve had them) and her creativity is outstanding. Get your piping bags ready, you’ll be knee deep in royal icing for weeks after picking this book up! Plus, Bridget is one of the most adorable and truly nice people I have ever known. I love her from way back, man.

Sweet and Vicious by Libbie Summers ~ Oh friends. This book had me at the pink binding. Beyond being filled with amazing recipes, and gorgeous photos there is attitude for days. I have made a few things from this book, most recently a spin on her Hog Heaven Chocolate Cake and I can’t say enough about how delicious the recipes turned out. I don’t know Libby, but I sure want to be her bestie.


So there you go, a few books that you need to add to your collection. Happy Cooking!!



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13 comments on “My Favorite Cookbooks 2014”

  1. What a fun list! You are the sweetest for adding my now….vintage book, lol! Love you to pieces!

  2. jenny @ The Brunette Baker

    SHELLY! A COOKBOOK?!? Epic. Absolutely epic. I’ve been waiting for this moment since I started following your blog back in 2008! You’re my hero and I can’t wait to see what you do with it! I’m giddy with joy. For serious. Good for you! Xo

  3. LOVE this list and am so flattered that I’m on it! I have almost all of these cookbooks (can we say cookbook addict?) but there are a few that I’m going to be checking out now. And if you are a blue cheese fan, you should try the Iceberg Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing from Make it Ahead. I will never buy blue cheese dressing again. 🙂

  4. Jessica DeMay

    This is a great list, but I’m really really looking forward to your cookbook!! I can’t wait for it to come out!

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