Are you in need of last minute holiday gift ideas for finishing up your gift-giving list? If you’re anything like me, your old-faithful, go-to place is your Kitchen shelf with your favorite cookbooks! You know, those extra special cookbooks and the ones used so often that their front covers have fallen off. They’re the cookbooks with coffee-stained and ink-marked pages dog-eared on the tried-and-true yummy cookies and sweet snack recipes that have become traditional family favorites during this special time of year. My collection of Louisiana cookbooks has been growing over the years!
A long time ago, my Grandma gave me a special family cookbook, Wylma’s La Trouvaille Cookbook: The Simple Joy of Cajun Cooking, as a gift. It was written by, Wylma Duplantis Dusenbery, and this little cookbook contains several of my favorite recipes as well as short stories. Can you see it in the picture above? It’s the blue one with the hardback, next to the River Road Recipes cookbook by the Junior League of Baton Rouge. I have a good feeling that I’ll be making either Pacanne Gralle’ (one of my great-grandma’s recipes), or the JLBR’s Snickerdoodles cookies.
I am constantly adding to my collection of Louisiana cookbooks, which includes Louisiana Real & Rustic, by Emeril Lagasse, The Dooky Chase Cookbook, by Leah Chase, and Crescent City Cooking, by Susan Spicer. During the Thanksgiving holidays, Luke and I made Emeril’s ‘Oyster and Spinach Soup’ recipe, and it was absolutely delicious!
Another wonderful cookbook on my kitchen shelf is Roux to Do: The Art of Cooking in Southeast Louisiana Cookbook, written by the Junior League of Greater Covington. Along with the taste-tested recipes, the JLGC graciously shares their love of local art and food, ‘Roux Do’s and Don’ts’, and a multitude of interesting stories about the cultural community of St. Tammany parish, New Orleans, and the regional area of Southeast Louisiana. During the holidays, maybe I’ll try making the ‘Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with Custard and Banana Rum Sauces’ recipe, or the ‘Tiramisu’ recipe, courtesy of Benedict’s Restaurant in Mandeville, or the ‘Chocolate Doberge Cake’ recipe. Yum! Without a doubt, these are a few of my favorite luxury desserts!
Nearly everyone in my family has either given or received a gift of a classic cookbook, whether new, like the Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary edition, or a vintage one, like the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 1953 edition, or The Good Housekeeping Illustrated American Cookbook, 1982 edition. I love that each of these includes traditional holiday recipes, meal-planning, and menus.
I’ve even given myself cookbooks as a gift from time to time, like the Southern Living Off the Eaten Path cookbook. It’s filled with signature recipes from small hometown restaurants and out-of-the-way cafes found in great hidden spots in the South. It was a great surprise to find the delicious White Chocolate Bread Pudding and White Chocolate Sauce recipe of a signature dish served at LOLA Restaurant in historic downtown Covington, LA.
A couple of years ago, I picked up a 2011 Southern Living Christmas Cookbook at Dillards. It’s filled with beautiful photos, delicious recipes, menu plans, to-do lists, as well as gift-giving and decorating ideas for the holidays. Also, the purchase special edition cookbooks helps Dillard’s to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
If you’re thinking about giving a cookbook as a holiday gift but don’t know which ones to decide on, you won’t regret purchasing any of these. They’re all favorites of mine, and I’m hoping to add another (or, two) new cookbooks to my kitchen shelves this year. Do you have any favorite cookbooks? Do share, and happy holiday baking!