2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

Like I say year after year – I think cookbooks make the best gifts! Here’s my official 2016 list. Some titles you may recognize because I’ve featured them here throughout the year, and some you’ll likely hear more about very soon. You might also want to check out my 2014 and 2015 lists because there are some favorites on those lists as well. As always, be sure to list your recommendations in the comments – I always love hearing about new books!

Click the books in the photo above or in the links below to check them out!

The Love & Lemons Cookbook by yours truly
Another shameless plug to put our cookbook on your wishlist and/or to remind you that it would make a great gift 🙂  It features over 100 vegetarian (many vegan) recipes that you won’t find here on the website. It’s organized by fruits & vegetable from A-Z (Apples to Zucchini) – a perfect gift for the veggie lover in your life!

Ingredienti by Marcella and Victor Hazan
This one isn’t actually a cookbook, but I’m in love with this charming book anyway. Based on the handwritten notebooks left behind from the late Marcella Hazan (author of legendary books on Italian cooking such as Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking), it’s a book about ingredients and how Marcella recommends that you select and simply prepare them. “Don’t think so much about what else you can put into a recipe. What you keep out is just as important as what you put in.” The book is based on sixty years of her daily visits to the  market and the notes are lovingly transcribed by her husband Victor. A must-have if you love vegetables and Italian grandmothers.

Naturally Delicious by Danny Seo
This book is at the top of my stack right now. If you are like me and you love healthy plant-forward recipes, this book is for you. Although it’s not vegetarian there are some really creative vegetable recipes, many are gluten free and grain free. I have my eye on the Red Hibiscus Gazpacho, Saffron Cauliflower “Rice” Paella, and the Flourless Double-Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies. I know “cauliflower brownies” sounds kind of scary but I’m SO fascinated to try!

The Forest Feast Gatherings by Erin Gleeson
I LOVED Erin’s first book, but I want to tell you that I really really love this followup. It’s packed with even more glorious graphics and gorgeous watercolor recipe illustrations. This is a great holiday hostess gift or a great one to pick up before the holidays for a little entertaining inspiration. Also, check out The Forest Feast for Kids – an adorable cookbook for the little ones!

Small Victories by Julia Turshen
I wrote about Julia Turshen’s lovely book in this post along with a recipe for her delicious Afternoon Cake recipe. What I love about this book is that each recipe gives at least 3 variations of how to tweak the recipe to make it completely new. It’s full of creative ideas and tips (small victories) – a great book for beginner cooks and avid home cooks alike.

Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh
The hilarious book from my blog pal Molly is not only filled with funfetti and mac & cheese flow charts, but check out these Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos that we made that we absolutely loved.

Sweeter off the Vine by Yossy Arefi
I follow Yossy of the blog Apt. 2 Baking Co. on Instagram and regularly drool over her gorgeous pies, cakes, and gorgeous galettes. If you want to bake like she does, I recommend picking up her book. It’s organized seasonally by fruit – a great resource for baking with the seasons. I’m excited to try her Cranberry Bread Pudding for the holidays.

How to Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach
“How to Celebrate Everything” includes recipes for Christmas, New Year, but most importantly, every holiday in between (birthday mornings, a bus-stop social, pasta night with friends). I wrote more about Jenny’s wonderful book in this post. It’s an encouraging book to create family rituals and to find meaning in the connectedness of day-to-day family life.

Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin
If you’re gluten free and you love to bake, you need this book. Heck, even if you’re not gluten free, you’ll love her amazing uses of unconventional flours to enhance the flavors (and nutritional value) of the recipes. Think Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies, Mesquite Gingersnaps buckwheat chocolate cookies, and this Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf that’s become a regular in this house. I especially love how she gives options to make her pie and tart crusts vegan by using coconut oil.

Chickpea Flour Does It All by Lindsay Love
I’m sure many of you read the popular blog Dolly and Oatmeal – I just adore Lindsay’ls recipes. As the title suggests, every recipe in this book uses chickpea flour – from savory recipes (we loved her Chickpea Flour Pizza with Asparagus) to sweet, this is a great resource if you’re looking for allergy-friendly cooking and baking.

Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon
I’ve been a fan of Angela’s blog long before I started mine. I loved her first book and her second book is an absolute must-have! Soups, smoothies, salads, hearty vegan entrees and more. This would be a great book to pick up before Christmas because she has an entire chapter devoted to vegan cookies! We made these Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Bean Macaroons and they were delicious. I also made her Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Tart and could not believe it was vegan!

Modern Potluck by Kristen Donnelley
Entertaining can be SO much work which is why I love Kristen’s book. Instead of taking on all the hostess responsibilities yourself, why not throw a pot luck? This book is full of creative, foolproof, crowd pleasing recipes. I especially love how each recipe comes with make-ahead preparation and storage tips. Check out the delicious No-Bake Sweet Pea Enchiladas that we made.

What books are on your list?

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate

Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate

Happy December! That feels so weird to say because in Texas it never truly feels like December (and I’m ok with that), but we did wake up to an especially chilly morning the other day. I went downstairs, made my daily ice cold smoothie, and brought it to my desk. I sat here shivering, realizing that I’m doing this late-fall morning thing all wrong.

Since then, I’ve been mixing up this concoction for me and Jack – it’s a healthier hot chocolate than the Swissmiss from the snow days of my childhood. Instead of cocoa, I decided to use a combo of cacao powder and maca powder. Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium. Maca (powder from the Peruvian maca root) has a malty vanilla flavor and it’s good for fatigue, memory, and a slew of other things.* It offers a little pick me up that’s similar but not as extreme as coffee. Perfect for a little morning boost.

I don’t actually serve this with whipped cream for breakfast, but if you’re making this for dessert go ahead and make it pretty with a dollop coconut whip (recipe below) and shaved chocolte.

Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate

These superfood powders are a bit of an investment, but stored in the fridge they last a really long time. I get mine at my local Whole Foods. They’d be great items to pick up if you’re one of the lucky winners of our gift card giveaway (just a reminder – it closes on Tuesday!).

In addition to our giveaway, Whole Foods is giving away groceries for ONE YEAR as part of their #mytradish program – click here to enter the sweepstakes.

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

Of course you don’t need a recipe for grilled cheese, but I just HAVE to share this simple combo because it’s so so delicious. This is the sort of thing that I love to make when I don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen but I also don’t feel like leaving the house.

Sweet, soft apples, savory sage, red onion, and a good slather of grainy mustard – all between melty cheese (or vegan cheese) and bread. I think this might be my favorite sandwich assembly to date, I just love the sweet and salty mix. Make these with a bowl of soup and you have perfect week-after-Thanksgiving couch food.

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

But before you head to the couch – be sure to checkout Monday’s cookbook & grocery giveaway post if you haven’t already!

Apple Sage Grilled Cheese

Cookbook + Whole Foods Giveaway

Love & Lemons Cookbook + Whole Foods Market Gift Card Giveaway Love & Lemons Cookbook + Whole Foods Market Gift Card Giveaway

Have you been holiday shopping this weekend? If not, here’s a great start – for this giveaway 6 WINNERS will each win a copy of The Love & Lemons Cookbook along with a $50 Whole Foods Market Gift Card. So whether you’ve been waiting to get your copy or you’re looking for a great gift, enter now:

Here’s how it works: 
1. Leave one comment below to enter.
2. Get bonus entries by posting a photo of the book or a recipe you’ve made from the book on social media (Instagram, Twitter & Facebook) with the hashtag #loveandlemonscookbook.
3. Get another bonus entry by tagging a friend on this Instagram post.
4. Winners will be chosen at random on December 6th. You must have a US or Canadian address to win.

Happy Holidays!

Special thanks to Whole Foods Market for partnering on this post and providing the gift cards!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Back in college when I first started incorporating more vegetables in to my life, my go-to vegetable was broccoli. I’d throw it on everything – broccoli on pizza, broccoli in pasta, broccoli stirred into my stir fry. Then one day the world went crazy for kale and I feel like broccoli got left behind. It’s so humble and hearty, yet folks always seem to forget about it. It’s not winning awards for the trendiest vegetable, but who knows/? Maybe 2017 will be its year in the spotlight?

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

I love these twice baked sweet potatoes because they’re at least twice as healthy as any version I’ve eaten before. They’re made with nutrient-dense sweet potatoes and stuffed with broccoli. I made a creamy cashew sauce by blending some of the baked sweet potato mash with creamy cashews and rosemary. Before I baked it all, I lightly steamed the broccoli and tossed with lemon, dijon mustard and scallions. More of that creamy sweet potato sauce goes on top.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

This is one of those recipes where the cheese is optional or not optional, depending on your preference. The creamy sweet potato/rosemary cashew filling is so delicious that the cheese isn’t necessary for flavor. But if you ask husband Jack if he wants cheese on anything his answer will always be “yes, please more cheese!”

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli