The family is in town for the holidays. There’s that group of friends you’ve been meaning to get together with for ages. The kids are coming home for a few precious days together. All reasons to host a gathering, to show your love through a special home-cooked meal. Maybe you’ve collected recipes that sound delicious on their own but you want to create a cohesive menu. Or maybe it’s 2pm and you’ve spontaneously invited a few people over for dinner. Can you pull a party together in four hours? What if you’ve still got a few hesitations about being the host?
Whatever the case, we’ve gathered a few cookbook recommendations to help you plan a gathering or two this season and serve a delicious meal with help from the experts. Because that’s what the holidays are really about – bringing loved ones together, spending those dark evenings together around a table, warming up with the season’s best flavors and most comforting meals.
For Seasonal & Vegetarian Entertaining Menus
Forest Feast Gatherings / Erin Gleeson
Erin Gleeson is a New York City transplant now living in the woods of Northern California. Beyond the beautiful photographs and watercolor illustrations that grace the pages of her third cookbook, released last year, this cookbook is full of “detailed guidance on hosting casual, yet thoughtful, get-togethers from start to finish with recipes that serve 6 to 8.” Erin guides you through everything from the recipes themselves to quick decorating ideas so you can host a locavore and produce-forward party for any occasion.
To Take the Stress Out of Entertaining
Dining In / Alison Roman
We aren’t the only people who seriously love Alison Roman and her work. A long-time contributor to industry-leader Bon Appetit, Alison released this cookbook this year full of “simple, of-the-moment dishes that are full of quickie techniques (think slathering roast chicken in anchovy butter, roasting citrus to bring out new flavors, and keeping boiled potatoes in your fridge for instant crispy smashed potatoes).” Pair her recipes with additional advice (full of both wisdom and sass) on how make having people over no big deal.
To Nourish a Relationship with a Table for Two
Date Night In / Ashley Rodriguez
Even in a time of year when most gatherings are focused on large groups, we’re big advocates of taking time to nurture relationships one-on-one. A dinner for two is often overlooked. But, it’s a gathering that can be made all the more significant with some extra planning. Queue, Ashley Rodriguez! Author of the blog Not Without Salt, this cookbook is the culmination of a series of posts she titled “Dating My Husband.” Seasonally organized, the menus are crafted to encourage home cooks and couples to dine together, “nourishing our relationships and the food that connects us.” The book contains recipes for 25 seasonal dates, appropriate for cooks with any level of skill and many with minimal time commitment.
We hope you enjoy these cookbooks and are able to plan a few creative holiday gatherings this season!