2015 Cookbook Gift Guide

2015 Cookbook Gift Guide

I say this every year – but I think cookbooks make the greatest gifts. Here is a collection of some of my favorites that have come out this year. (If I’ve missed any good ones – let me know in the comments below!). Also – be sure to glance over at last year’s gift guide because there are some goodies on that list too!

Travel Inspired:

Rosewater & Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood
Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
Mexico the Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte (*see note)

Books from restaurants we’ve loved:

Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi
Gjelina by Travis Lett
Flour + Water: Pasta by Thomas McNaughton

Vegan / Vegetarian:

Food52 Vegan by Gena Hamshaw
My New Roots by Sarah Britton
The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte


The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak
Bien Cuit by Zachary Golper
Food52 Baking by the Editors of Food52

Other Favorites!

The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme
Wine Folly by Madeline Puckette
Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady

*note – these large Phaidon books often have a lot of mistakes. Mexico the Cookbook has a few spotty reviews, but I still love it for visual inspiration, ingredient ideas, and of course it looks great on my coffee table. Just a heads up.

This post contains affiliate links, all opinions/recommendations are my own.

Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet Potato Recipes / loveandlemons.com

What’s your favorite fall vegetable? If you’re not saying “sweet potatoes!” with an exclamation, then, well, you might want to switch over to another post.

My favorite has to be the almighty and ever-so-versatile sweet potato. I love the way my kitchen smells when I roast them and I love how they’re easier to cut (without injury) than most squashes. For some sweet inspiration, here are some of our favorite recipes:

Pictured above: Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Skillet

Sweet Potato Tahini Crostini / Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Recipes / loveandlemons.com

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos / Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad

Sweet Potato Quinoa Quesadillas

…and a bunch more in the Sweet Potato section of our recipe index (click!)

Sweet Quinoa Quesadillas / loveandlemons.com

Austin Restaurant Guide

Austin Restaurant Guide / loveandlemons.com

Are you coming to Austin for ACL this weekend? Are you looking for a few good places to eat? Ok, good. Here’s a list of some of my personal favorites – most are located in the (generally South Austin) neighborhoods nearby.

South Lamar Area:

Juiceland – veggie juices & smoothies
Henri’s – tiny neighborhood spot – great food, cheese & wine
East Side King – Paul Qui’s food trucks (although this one’s not a truck)
Ramen Tatsu-ya – come hungry, vegan options
P Terry’s – it’s like Austin’s In-N-Out Burger
Odd Duck – Texas farm-to-table, lunch, brunch or dinner
Uchi – yep, there’s good sushi in Texas
Casa De Luz – vegan, macrobiotic, hippie & healing
Lick Ice Cream – local ingredients, vegan options (try the vegan vanilla pear)
House Wine – hidden wine gem, half-price wines on Sundays

Austin Restaurant Guide / loveandlemons.com

South 1st Area:

Bouldin Creek Cafe – vegetarian, vegan, fun, cheap
Thai Fresh – casual Thai, coffee, vegan & gf desserts
Elizabeth St. Cafe – vietnamese cute cafe that I frequent often
Sway – upscale Thai but so good, love their patio
Dolce Neve Gelato – best gelato in Austin, owned by two cute Italians
Seventh Flag Coffee – good coffee, cute space

South Congress:

Hopdoddy – skip Shake Shack and go here (unless the line is long)
South Congress Cafe – get the migas or carrot cake french toast for brunch
Perla’s – mostly seafood, great vegetable sides, my favorite patio
San Jose Hotel – favorite patio for drinks
Joe’s Coffee – favorite spot to people watch

Austin Restaurant Guide / loveandlemons.com

Shortlist of other favorites (Downtown / Central / East Austin):

Taco Deli - everyone has their pick for best tacos – this is mine
Peached Tortilla – one of my favorite trucks, turned restaurant
Launderette – farm to table, chic vibe, love having dinner here
La Condessa – my favorite mexican food & best guacamole
Olamaie – southern food but delicious vegetable dishes too
Josephine House – pretty spot, good wine, dinner, brunch
flagship Whole Foods – the Disneyland of Whole Foods-es
SFC Downtown Farmers Market – Saturdays 9am to 1pm
Whistlers – for cocktails, late night bite from Thai Khun

note: this list was made with proximity to Zilker Park in mind so there are definitely a few great ones that I skipped here – I’ll save those for another list, another day. 

All photos taken from my Instagram account. Follow along to see where we’re currently eating!

Almond Breeze Brunch Workshop

almond breeze brunch workshop / loveandlemons.com

Happy Friday! I hope you have brunch plans this weekend, because today I have a little brunch recipe inspiration to get you started…

Last weekend, we flew to California to host this super fun brunch cooking class with Almond Breeze. It was a blast getting to meet & cook with a few fans of the blog (of all ages!). First we made my favorite frittata recipe with summer squash, cherry tomatoes and basil. This is a great easy recipe, especially with the abundance of late summer produce that’s in season right now.

Brunch Workshop / Summer Tomato Basil Frittata @loveandlemonsalmond breeze brunch workshop / loveandlemons.com

Of course we couldn’t have an almond milk party without smoothies. At the class, we made super fruity Emoji smoothies. What is an emoji smoothie, you ask? It’s an instagram-able smoothie where the combinations are based on your favorite little phone icons!

Brunch Workshop / Emoji Smoothies @loveandlemonsBetter with Breeze Brunch Workshop w/ Love & Lemons Brunch Workshop / Whole Grain Vegan Waffles @loveandlemons

And for a sweet treat – waffles! We made these vegan waffles which are made with whole grain spelt flour. The recipe uses flaxseed meal instead of egg, coconut oil instead of butter, and they’re sweetened with maple syrup. Everyone mixed their batter and took turns at the waffle irons before moving on to the topping bar – a.k.a. the “take the picture of your waffle” area.

Steal this waffle bar idea for your next brunch party: set up a bunch of toppings (yogurt, assorted fruits, maple syrup, etc)… have your guests mix their own waffle batter and then and top them however they like!

Brunch Workshop / Whole Grain Vegan Waffles @loveandlemonsalmond breeze brunch workshop / loveandlemons.comBrunch Workshop / Whole Grain Vegan Waffles @loveandlemons

If you make these recipes, tag your photo with #betterwithbreeze on Instagram!

Favorite Summer Sips & Sweets

Favorite Summer Sips & Sweets / loveandlemons.com

I keep hearing all of this crazy-talk about summer being almost over. I suppose backpacks are on the shelves at Target, but until the first pumpkin muffin shows up on Pinterest, summer is in full swing to me. To celebrate my favorite season not being over, here are a few of my favorite cocktails and sweet treats…

Ginger Peach Sangria

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt  /  Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails

Fancy S’mores / Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies / loveandlemons.com

… and last but not least: Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillets. (You could also bake these as normal cookies or in ramekins).

What are you making this weekend?