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Christmas 2021 Gift Guide: Cookbooks to give as Secret Santa or stocking filler gifts

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 12 December 2017

From theatrical cocktails to campfire cooking, brunch favourites to 6-minute bakes, each of these small but perfectly formed books could be the perfect Christmas gift for a food and drink lover on your Christmas list.

The New York Times Cooking: No-Recipe Recipes

No-Recipe Recipes

This nifty little collection of dishes from Sam Sifton, editor of The New York Times Cooking, follows a “no-recipe” approach, encouraging the reader to become a more intuitive and confident cook. The 100 no-recipe meals are refreshingly unfussy, from skillet suppers to speedy pasta.

The Noodle Cookbook

The Noodle Cookbook

This ultimate cookbook for noodle lovers is organised according to country, with chapters covering creative noodle-based dishes from Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan, and Thailand. Expect all of your favourites, from ramen to chow mein, alongside plenty of new dishes to try.

Fakeaway: Healthy Home-cooked Takeaway Meals


by Chris Bavin

From Lamb Jalfrezi Meatballs to Pad Thai, Fakeaway is full of takeaway-inspired recipes that are cheaper, lighter and more enjoyable than ordering in. Perfect for the delivery app addict on your Christmas list.

The Alcorithm jacket

The Alcorithm

by Rob Buckhaven

As its title suggests, The Alcorithm uses a revolutionary algorithm to accurately predict the kinds of booze you’ll enjoy based on the flavours you love, from fruity to floral, smoky to sweet. For each of the key profiles in the flavour spectrum, Rob suggests myriad new drinks to try, helping to expand your repertoire of go-to tipples and grow your confidence in choosing alcohol you’re guaranteed to like. Innovative and approachable, it’ll totally transform the way you drink.

The Alchemist Cocktail Book

The Alchemist Cocktail Book

by The Alchemist

Become an expert mixologist with this boundary-breaking collection of cocktail recipes from the team behind the popular nationwide bars. With a focus on creativity and flair, these are recipes to take you far beyond the basics and to help you inject a little theatre into your at-home cocktail making.

Everything You Need to Know About Whisky

by Nick Morgan, The Whisky Exchange

Take a deep dive into the wonderful world of whisky with this compact little guide exploring everything from the process behind the perfect Scotch to insider tips on how to find your new favourite whisky, plus plenty of whisky-based cocktails to try.

Which Wine When: What to Drink with the Food You Love

Which Wine When

by Claire Strickett, Albert Blaize

Which Wine When is a wine and food pairing guide for anyone who finds themselves struggling to pick a bottle of wine based on anything more than an attractive label. Divided into chapters for specific dishes and styles, from home-cooked classics to takeaways to snacks and nibbles, it offers a host of potential wine pairings, making it much easier to choose what to drink with dinner.

Fizz: 80 Joyful Cocktails And Mocktails For Every Occasion


by Olly Smith

The perfect gift for Christmas, this recipe book celebrates the art of cocktail making. From Champagne to cava, cider to beer, even soda to kombucha (for the teetotallers), Olly Smith collates 80 simple cocktail and mocktail recipes for every occasion. Our favourite? The Sherbet Fizz Mocktail.

The Campfire Cookbook: 80 Imaginative Recipes for Cooking Outdoors

The Campfire Cookbook

by Nico Stanitzok, Viola Lex

With 80 imaginative recipes for cooking outdoors, this cookbook is the perfect gift for the adventurous cook in your life. Recipes range from the classics, from BBQ chicken to corn on the cob, to pancakes and even chocolate cakes baked inside oranges. There are also checklists for all the camping essentials and basic recipes for all of the camping must-haves.

The Little Book of Brunch

The Little Book of Brunch

by Caroline Craig, Sophie Missing

From eggs to avocado, bacon to bagels, this ultimate collection of brunch recipes is a celebration of what is fast becoming the nation’s favourite meal. The Little Book of Brunch features everything from firm favourites to something a little different. 

Breakfast London: Where Real Londoners Eat

Breakfast London

by Bianca Bridges

For the restaurant-goer in your life who loves to brunch in London, this is a brilliant collection of the best spots in town from someone who’s tried them all. Divided between London’s area codes and with a handy key so you know which are dog-friendly, weekend only or vegan, this is an easy-to-navigate book for the indulgent weekend eater. 

Six-Minute Showstoppers

Six-Minute Showstoppers

by Sarah Rainey

Perfect for beginner bakers or time-poor cooks with a sweet tooth to satisfy, this fun, no-fuss baking book contains 100 recipes that can be whipped up in just six minutes. No kneading, proving, resting, rising or waiting around, these cakes and bakes rely on basic, store cupboard ingredients to get desserts, like Red Velvet Mug Cake, ready before the next ad break is over. 

The Squash and Pumpkin Cookbook

The Squash and Pumpkin Cookbook

by Heather Thomas

The Squash and Pumpkin Cookbook is a collection of healthy and creative recipes, all based around squash and pumpkin. These endlessly versatile gourds get the starring role they deserve in everything from spicy chutneys and warming stews to rich chocolate brownies. Heather’s typically straightforward and accessible instructions will help home cooks of all levels to get the most out of their ingredients and put vibrant meals on the table with ease.

The Tofu Cookbook

by Heather Thomas

Another ingredient-themed mini-cookbook from the same series as The Squash and Pumpkin Cookbook, this is one for the tofu lovers in your life. Crammed with 60 helpful, easy and quick ideas on how to cook this popular plant-based protein, it covers everything from starters to desserts with the beginner cook in mind.

The Hot Sauce Cookbook

by Heather Thomas

A brilliant guide to cooking creatively with chilli sauces, this little book shows how to add flavour and intensity to meals using popular spicy sauces, from Thai sweet chilli to Sriracha. One for the chilli fiends.

Buddha Bowls

Buddha Bowls

by Hannah Pemberton

Buddha Bowls teaches the art of balancing every meal all in one beautiful nourishing bowl. Easy to make, these veggie and vegan recipes cover post-workout recovery bowls for one as well as dinner party ideas to share with friends.

Eat to Sleep: 80 Nourishing Recipes to Help You Sleep Well Every Night

Eat to Sleep

by Heather Thomas, Alina Tierney

Getting a good night’s sleep can be easily affected by what we eat and when we eat it, so for anyone in your life having trouble with getting a good kip, this cookbook could be the winning ticket. With 80 recipes, plus tips and advice, this handbook will spell out how to eat the right foods at the right time to help keep those sleep hormones in check.

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich: 60 Unbrielievably Delicious Recipes

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

by Sian Henley

This fun little cookbook is a celebration of the grilled cheese sandwich in all of its forms. From breakfast and brunch to something sweet, this cookbook will inspire you to branch out beyond the conventional cheese toastie.


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