By JackieBelle

I love to cook and I love books, so it only makes sense that I would like cookbooks!  When I shop for holiday gifts I never pass up the chance to browse through cookbooks- no longer are cookbooks just thick books with boring ingredient lists and complicated instructions.  Today’s cookbooks can tell stories, teach you to cook, make you laugh, and give you great ideas about entertaining and holiday cooking.  They are just one more way to help you bring your friends and family together to eat, drink, and be merry!  They make such nice gifts because they are things that people can hold onto forever, and every time they whip one out to whip up something delicious, they’ll think of you, the awesome gift-giver!  Here are a few cookbooks that will do a superb job of helping you maintain your awesome-gift-giver status:

THE HAPPY BAKER: A Girl’s Guide to Emotional Baking

Erin Bolger is the bake-it-yourself Carrie Bradshaw of the cooking world, and she’s discovered the secret to keeping a smile on your face while braving the minefield of modern dating: Yummy, homemade baked goods.  Her new book, THE HAPPY BAKER: A Girl’s Guide to Emotional Baking, mixes hilarious personal dating vignettes with easy-to-follow recipes that provide a creative and delicious way to bounce back from anything the dating world throws your way.  Introducing her delectable, down-home desserts with highly relatable personal stories, Erin is like your long-lost BFF, complete with cookie tin.  She knows how to turn heartache into kitchen inspiration, as you’ll see when you try the Netflix-perfect “Newly Single, Toffee Chocolate Popcorn” or her irresistible “Me and My Cookies Are So Over You,” which require some very therapeutic chocolate-chip smashing!  But it’s not all about the heartache- if you’re half of a happy twosome you might try “Jumbo Banana Pancakes for Two.”  Or maybe you found someone who seems to be promising- whip up some “I Finally Found a Keeper Gourmet Caramel Apples.”  From sassy singles to speed dating survivors, there’s something for everyone.  Offering the ultimate in feel-good baking, THE HAPPY BAKER is guaranteed to put the smile back on your face with joy-inducing calories. (Incidentally, those don’t count!)  As easy to create as they are delicious, Erin’s whimsical creations live up to her motto: dating is hard enough; emotional baking shouldn’t be!

Fix-It and Forget-It!

Good Books, the publisher who created the phenomenally successful series of Fix-It and Forget It cookbooks, introduces two new editions by New York Times bestselling author, Phyllis Pellman, and they are just in time for the holidays:

Fix-It and Forget-It Kids‘ Cookbook: 50 Favorite Recipes to Make in a Slow Cooker:
This is the first-ever slow cooker cookbook made especially with the little ones in mind.  It lets tiny chefs get into the kitchen without the fear of a hot stove or open flame, and it offers kids the direction and encouragement they need to prepare easy-to-make, tasty meals, including everything from main courses to snacks and even desserts.  Each recipe in Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook includes a full color photo of the finished dish and gives clear step-by-step instructions.  With recipes like Pizza Dip, Party Meatball Subs, and Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake, the budding chef in your household will be in the kitchen cooking up a storm!  And as in all Fix-it and Forget-It cookbooks, the recipes in Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook are submitted and pre-tested by everyday cooks around the country, making sure of a good meal for the whole family.  The book also includes a page on “Learning to Know Your Slow Cooker,” a conversion chart, cooking abbreviations, safety tips, a glossary, and a “My Cookbook Diary” section, so it’s a great all-around introduction to the joys of cooking!

Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook: 600 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes:

More people entertain friends and family between early November and early January than at any other time of year.  The pressure to deliver perfect holidays can be overwhelming, but here’s a secret weapon that can turn “stressed” into “simplified.”  Whether you’re making late suppers, family brunches, or amazing holiday meals, these 600 recipes from home cooks across the country will allow you to feast with your loved ones without being exhausted and frazzled.  (It’s way more fun to be dazzled than frazzled!)  This book will fill your head with tons of scrumptious, yet super-manageable menu ideas, like Holiday Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Cornish Hens with Potatoes, Sausage Tortellini Soup, Fruited Turkey and Yams, Seafood Cheese Fondue, Vanilla Steamers, and Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake.  (They had me at fondue!)  Also included are sections of “Ideas for Meaningful Holidays” and “Happy Hosting Tips.”  Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook will help you make your place the place to be during the holidays!

Remember- “less frazzle and more dazzle” is the golden rule to actually enjoying the holidays you work so hard to prepare for!  All of these cookbooks are fun to look through, easy to wrap and ship, and gentle on your budget.  So put these on your holiday shopping list and you’ll put yourself on the “always invited” list for years to come, and you won’t even break a sweat doing it!

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