7 Great Cookbooks That Will Make Your Mouth Water

Now that it’s holiday season, good food is on everyone’s mind. Whether you’re planning a five-course Mediterranean delight for everyone in your family, or making a simple dessert for two, here’s a list of our favorite cookbooks, sure to inspire your efforts this season. And don’t worry if you can’t cook, there’s a book especially for you!

Joy of Cooking
by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker

For the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Joy of Cooking, Joy comes full circle in a revision based on the 1975 edition which restores the voice of the original authors; focuses on American home cooking, not chef cuisine; and restores many beloved recipes lost in the most recent revision.Seventy-five years ago, a St. Louis widow named Irma Rombauer took her life savings and self-published a book called The Joy of Cooking. Her daughter Marion tested recipes and made the illustrations, and they sold their mother-daughter project from Irma's apartment. Today, nine revisions later, the Joy of Cooking has been selected by The New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important and influential books of the twentieth century and has taught tens of millions of people to cook, helped feed and delight millions beyond that, answered countless kitchen and food questions, and averted many a cooking crisis.

The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
by Claudia Roden

With more than 800 recipes, including the aromatic variations that accent a dish and define the country of origin: fried garlic and cumin and coriander from Egypt, cinnamon and allspice from Turkey, sumac and tamarind from Syria and Lebanon, pomegranate syrup from Iran, preserved lemon and harissa from North Africa. This is a mouth-watering accumulation of the author's thirty years of further extensive travel throughout the ever-changing landscape of the Middle East, gathering recipes and stories.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts.

Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen
by Grace Young

The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen, with its 150 recipes culled from a lifetime of family meals and culinary instruction, is much more than a cookbook. It is a daughter's tribute -- a collection of personal memories of the philosophy and superstitions behind culinary traditions that have been passed down through her Cantonese family, in which each ingredient has its own singular importance, the preparation of a meal is part of the joy of life, and the proper creation of a dish can have a favorable influence on health and good fortune.

Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt
by Marlena Spieler, Sheri Giblin

Toasted golden in a pan or browned to melty perfection under the broiler, grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food—and a meal in itself. And believe it or not, it just got better. Author Marlena Spieler has created 50 mouthwatering new takes on this fromagophile's favorite. Her tantalizing pairings range from hearty Sage Sausage and Jack Cheese with Preserved Lemon to Melted Alpenzell, Emmentaler, Pear, and Cumin. There are also plenty of new twists on the tried and true, such as Smoky Bacon and Cheddar with Chipotle Relish or Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Fig Jam. Oozing with cheese suggestions, an array of quick-to-make mustards, and tips on choosing the perfect bread for each sandwich, this collection will make anyone stand up and say "cheese!"

Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes
by Dominique Ansel

How do you catch lightning in a measuring cup? Dominique Ansel is the creator of the Cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid that has taken the world by storm. But he's no one-hit wonder. Ansel has become a modern-day Willy Wonka: the creator of wildly creative, extraordinarily delicious, and unbelievably popular desserts. Now, in his hotly anticipated debut cookbook, Ansel shares the secret to transforming the most humble ingredients into the most extraordinary, tempting, and satisfying pastries imaginable.

The Can’t Cook Book
by Jessica Seinfeld

Are you smart enough to dodge a telemarketer yet clueless as to how to chop a clove of garlic? Are you clever enough to forward an e-mail but don’t know the difference between broiling and baking? Ingenious enough to operate a blow-dryer but not sure how to use your blender? If you are basically competent, then Jessica Seinfeld’s The Can’t Cook Book is for you.