The 12 Best Books for Entertaining
The time has finally arrived to gather with our loved ones again, and we can’t wait to share a meal and reflect on the last year, and look ahead at what’s to come! These books contain ideas for every type of gathering, from dinner party to backyard barbecue, and will help you find the perfect recipe or recipes for your next gathering.
See You on Sunday
A Cookbook for Family and Friends
“A book to make home cooks, and those they feed, very happy indeed.”—Nigella Lawson
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Town & Country • Garden & Gun
“People are lonely,” Sam Sifton writes. “They want to be part of something, even when they can’t identify that longing as a need. They show up. Feed them. It isn’t much more complicated than that.” Regular dinners with family and friends, he argues, are a metaphor for connection, a space where memories can be shared as easily as salt or hot sauce, where deliciousness reigns. The point of Sunday supper is to gather around a table with good company and eat.
From years spent talking to restaurant chefs, cookbook authors, and home cooks in connection with his daily work at The New York Times, Sam Sifton’s See You on Sunday is a book to make those dinners possible. It is a guide to preparing meals for groups larger than the average American family (though everything here can be scaled down, or up). The 200 recipes are mostly simple and inexpensive (“You are not a feudal landowner entertaining the serfs”), and they derive from decades spent cooking for family and groups ranging from six to sixty.
From big meats to big pots, with a few words on salad, and a diatribe on the needless complexity of desserts, See You on Sunday is an indispensable addition to any home cook’s library. From how to shuck an oyster to the perfection of Mallomars with flutes of milk, from the joys of grilled eggplant to those of gumbo and bog, this book is devoted to the preparation of delicious proteins and grains, vegetables and desserts, taco nights and pizza parties.
Cooking for Good Times
Super Delicious, Super Simple [A Cookbook]
Paul Kahan with Perry Hendrix and Rachel Holtzman
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Chicago chef Paul Kahan is legendary for cooking up amazing food at home while everyone--including him--is hanging out in the kitchen, talking, and having a great time. Cooking for Good Times shares Kahan's best secrets for low-stress cooking for friends and family, using his program of twelve basic actions to mix and match (such as "Roast Some Roots, "Make Some Grains," "Braise a Pork Shoulder," and "Make a Simple Dessert"). In every chapter, Kahan gives six to eight customizations for each core recipe for ways to make dishes seem new. Simple recommendations for wine and beer styles to pour remove the fuss over beverage options. With recipes ranging from Roasted Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Green Sauce to Farro with Roasted Cauliflower and Oranges and Steak with Radicchio and Honey-Roasted Squash, plus more than 125 mouth-watering photographs, Kahan's playbook is guaranteed to make hosting more relaxing, fun, and delicious.
In Bibi's Kitchen
The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean [A Cookbook]
Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
“Their food is alive with the flavors of mangoes, cinnamon, dates, and plantains and rich with the history of the continent that had been a culinary unknown for much too long.”—Jessica B. Harris, food historian, journalist, and public speaker
IACP AWARD FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE ART OF EATING PRIZE • ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Bon Appétit, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Food Network, Vogue, Delish, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, Town & Country
In this incredible volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen present 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. Most notably, these eight countries are at the backbone of the spice trade, many of them exporters of things like pepper and vanilla. We meet women such as Ma Shara, who helps tourists “see the real Zanzibar” by teaching them how to make her famous Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper; Ma Vicky, who now lives in suburban New York and makes Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef) to bring the flavor of Tanzania to her American home; and Ma Gehennet from Eritrea who shares her recipes for Kicha (Eritrean Flatbread) and Shiro (Ground Chickpea Stew).
Through Hawa’s writing—and her own personal story—the women, and the stories behind the recipes, come to life. With evocative photography shot on location by Khadija Farah, and food photography by Jennifer May, In Bibi's Kitchen uses food to teach us all about families, war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary.
That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life
Creative Gatherings and Self-Care with the Cheese By Numbers Method
Marissa Mullen; Illustrated by Sara Gilanchi
“[Marissa Mullen] takes the guesswork out of the coolest, most solid thing to bring to any party or potluck: the cheese platter.”—Rachael Ray
With her gorgeous, showstopping cheese and charcuterie boards, Marissa Mullen takes cheese to a whole new level. Her simple, step-by-step Cheese by Numbers method breaks the cheese plate down into its basic components—cheese, meat, produce, crunch, dip, garnish—allowing you to create stunning spreads for any occasion.
This beautifully designed book goes beyond preparation techniques. According to Mullen, cheese plates can be an important form of artistic self-care, like flower arranging or meditative coloring books—but you can eat the results! That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life celebrates the ways in which cheese brings people together, and how crafting a cheese plate can be a calming, creativity-bolstering act.
With fifty exquisite, easy-to-make cheese and charcuterie plates, this book will teach you how to relax, enjoy, and indulge— to find your cheesy bliss.
In Ottolenghi Simple, powerhouse author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi presents 130 streamlined recipes packed with his signature Middle Eastern–inspired flavors, all simple in at least (and often more than) one way: made in 30 minutes or less, with 10 or fewer ingredients, in a single pot, using pantry staples, or prepared ahead of time for brilliantly, deliciously simple meals. Brunch gets a make-over with Braised Eggs with Leeks and Za’atar; Cauliflower, Pomegranate, and Pistachio Salad refreshes the side-dish rotation; Lamb and Feta Meatballs bring ease to the weeknight table; and every sweet tooth is sure to be satisfied by the spectacular Fig and Thyme Clafoutis. With more than 130 photographs, this is elemental Ottolenghi for everyone.
Recipes + Gatherings: A Cookbook
With her dinner series Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai celebrates the magic of gathering, bringing together friends and strangers to connect over the acts of cooking and sharing meals. For those who yearn to connect around the table, Karen’s simple, seasonally driven recipes, evocative photography, and understated styling form a road map to creating community in their own kitchens and in offbeat locations. This collection of gatherings will inspire a sense of adventure and community for both the novice and experienced cook alike.
Dada Eats Love to Cook It
100 Plant-Based Recipes for Everyone at Your Table An Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook
“When I’m looking for something quick that doesn’t use refined sugars and refined flour, Samah is the person I turn to. I can’t get enough!”—Giada De Laurentiis, New York Times bestselling author of Eat Better, Feel Better
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FOOD52 AND LIBRARY JOURNAL
Samah Dada doesn’t buy into the all-or-nothing mentality of healthy eating. By using real, unprocessed ingredients in surprising ways, she shows you how to have your cake and eat it too—because it’s actually made out of chickpeas.
Samah knows that eating well doesn’t mean eating boring food. She uses only the most nutritious ingredients, not because she’s cutting out food groups to follow the latest fad, but to create drool-worthy meatless dishes that are mostly vegan (with options for dairy and eggs), mostly gluten-free (with easy substitutions to go entirely gluten-free), and all helpful in reducing inflammation. She reinvents Indian cookbook staples—and other classics—with recipes such as:
• Sweet Potato Aloo Tikki
• Creamy Black Lentils
• Spicy Eggplant Masala
• Chocolate Chip Tahini Cake with Chocolate Frosting
• Cauliflower Cacio e Pepe
• Masala Mac and Cheese
• And more!
With Dada Eats Love to Cook It, you’ll discover how to use healthy ingredients for maximum flavor and joy.
Grain-Optional. Gluten-Flexible. Mostly Plant-Based. Totally Inclusive.
Inspiration for Small Plates and Meandering Meals: A Charcuterie Cookbook
“Graze is the most useful cookbook I’ve seen in a long time. It’s perfect for the way we eat now: simple food, big platters, big flavors.”—Diana Henry, author of Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavours
Grazing is an enchanting way to eat. It means skipping from dish to dish, tasting different things without committing to a single one. It’s about creating multiple dishes that work together as a meal, that all share a theme, an aesthetic. When she entertains, or even pulls together a quick dinner for just two, food stylist Suzanne Lenzer enjoys this tapas-style of eating—and with her guidance, you can too.
In Graze, chapters are organized by level of involvement, from simply slicing veggies (“Mostly Chopping”) to cooking up lavish spreads (“Worth the Effort”). Whip up fast and easy Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Arugula Rolls and Three-Tomato Panzanella on a busy weeknight or indulge in Flaky Cheddar Biscuits with Heirloom Tomatoes and Peaches, Shredded Potato Cakes with Ramps, and Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Skewers on the weekend. And to finish off the meal, try desserts like Brown Butter Brownies and Lemon-Lavender Posset.
Making delicious, beautiful dishes and snacks for grazing, whether for two or twelve, doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. With simple, no-nonsense tips on how to stock your pantry, sample menus, and easy-to-modify recipes, Graze is the ultimate resource for preparing healthy, wholesome, and appetizing food without spending hours in the kitchen.
Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED
As anyone who has hosted a dinner party knows, cocktail hour is the most fun part of the evening for guests—but the most stressful for whomever is in charge of keeping the drinks flowing. The solution, though, is simple: batch it! In this fun collection, Maggie Hoffman offers 65 delicious and creative cocktails that you don't have to stir or shake to order; rather, they are designed to stay fresh when made ahead and served out of a pitcher. Recipes such as Tongue in Cheek (gin, Meyer lemon, thyme, Cocchi Rosa), Friendly Fires (mezcal, chile vodka, watermelon, lime), Birds & Bees Punch (rum, cucumber, green tea, lemon), and even alcohol-free options are organized by flavor profile—herbal, boozy, bitter, fruity and tart, and so on—to make choosing and whipping up a perfect pitcher of cocktails a total breeze.
Unfussy Food for Having People Over
“Enemy of the mild, champion of the bold, Ms. Roman offers recipes in Nothing Fancy that are crunchy, cheesy, tangy, citrusy, fishy, smoky and spicy.”—Julia Moskin, The New York Times
IACP AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The New Yorker • NPR • The Washington Post • San Francisco Chronicle • BuzzFeed • The Guardian • Food Network
An unexpected weeknight meal with a neighbor or a weekend dinner party with fifteen of your closest friends—either way and everywhere in between, having people over is supposed to be fun, not stressful. This abundant collection of all-new recipes—heavy on the easy-to-execute vegetables and versatile grains, paying lots of close attention to crunchy, salty snacks, and with love for all the meats—is for gatherings big and small, any day of the week.
Alison Roman will give you the food your people want (think DIY martini bar, platters of tomatoes, pots of coconut-braised chicken and chickpeas, pans of lemony turmeric tea cake) plus the tips, sass, and confidence to pull it all off. With Nothing Fancy, any night of the week is worth celebrating.
Praise for Nothing Fancy
“[Nothing Fancy] is full of the sort of recipes that sound so good, one contemplates switching off any and all phones, calling in sick, and cooking through the bulk of them.”—Food52
“[Nothing Fancy] exemplifies that classic Roman approach to cooking: well-known ingredients rearranged in interesting and compelling ways for young home cooks who want food that looks (and photographs) as good as it tastes.”—Grub Street
Eating Out Loud
Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day: A Cookbook
Eden Grinshpan with Rachel Holtzman
“Finally! Eden Grinshpan is letting us in on her secrets of her healthful and deliriously delicious cooking. Giant flavors, pops of color everywhere and dishes you’ll crave forever. It’s the Eden way!”—Bobby Flay
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY DELISH AND LIBRARY JOURNAL
Eden Grinshpan’s accessible cooking is full of bright tastes and textures that reflect her Israeli heritage and laid-back but thoughtful style. In Eating Out Loud, Eden introduces readers to a whirlwind of exciting flavors, mixing and matching simple, traditional ingredients in new ways: roasted whole heads of broccoli topped with herbaceous yogurt and crunchy, spice-infused dukkah; a toasted pita salad full of juicy summer peaches, tomatoes, and a bevy of fresh herbs; and babka that becomes pull-apart morning buns, layered with chocolate and tahini and sticky with a salted sugar glaze, to name a few.
For anyone who loves a big, boisterous spirit both on the plate and around the table, Eating Out Loud is the perfect guide to the kind of meal—full of family and friends eating with their hands, double-dipping, and letting loose—that you never want to end.
At Home in the Kitchen
Simple Recipes from a Chef's Night Off [A Cookbook]
David Kinch with Devin Fuller
“An instant classic, it defines California cool and wears its sophistication lightly.”—Padma Lakshmi
When David Kinch isn’t working at one of his restaurants, he cooks in his strawberry-colored bungalow—affectionately known as the Pink Palace—where he lives on the Northern California coast. A casual meal might include a rustic pasta made with cans from the pantry, a simple roasted chicken, or too many oysters to count.
In At Home in the Kitchen, you’ll find David’s ready-for-anything Mother-Sauce Mayo, a revelatory Guacamole with Pomegranate, the best make-ahead Grilled Cheese, and everything you want to eat for dinner tonight: Onion & Brioche Soup, Brussels Sprouts with Cider & Goat Cheese, Penne with a Walnut Sauce, Jambalaya New Orleans Style, Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Cod, Whole Roast Cauliflower with Capers & Egg, and much more.
Photographed on location in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, where David surfs, sails, and entertains, this laid-back cookbook is packed with go-to recipes, songs to listen to while cooking, and a few classic cocktails (rhum punch, daiquiris, sangria, margaritas!) to set a cheerful mood. And while each recipe has no more than a few key ingredients, David’s clever techniques, subtle twists, and fresh flavor combinations guarantee delicious—and impressive!—results in no time at all.