Christmas Cookbook Buying Guide!

Christmas Book Buying Guide 2015 // The Sugar Hit!

1. The Nordic Cookbook
Is it a secret that I’m obsessed with Nordic Food? I definitely haven’t tried to hide it. I have no Nordic heritage and I come from a place that is almost literally polar opposites with the region, but there’s something about this frost-covered land that calls my name. They love coffee, berries, potatoes, waffles and porridge, and dang it, so do I. I can’t WAIT to get my hands on this cookbook!


2. Voracious
Show me a lady who loves to eat and read, and I’ll show you someone I want to hang out with. Also, if they live in NYC, that’s a solid bonus. Cara Nicoletti checks all these boxes, is a trained butcher, and her book Voriacious is officially on my ‘pleeez get me this’ list for Xmas. It’s a collection of essays and recipes inspired by her favourite literature (mostly if not all fiction, I think). #WANT


3. Midnight Feasts
If you have a copy of my book *IT’S ON SALE!* then you know that I am a HUGE fan of Midnight Feasts. The drama, the lawlessness, the illicit nature, the SANDWICHES; it all speaks directly to my heart and my gut. This book is a collection of recipes and stories from food people like Fergus Henderson, Rose Gray, Prue Leith and even Gwyneth Paltrow. Also, part of the proceeds go to support a children’s literacy charity in the UK, so GREAT!


4. Made In Italy
OK, I happen to know for sure that this one is in my present-pile and I am so stoked! It’s a 600 page compendium of recipes from all over Italy, written by Giorgio Locatelli, with plenty of his own life story from growing up in Italy thrown in. The recipes are super authentic, and I happen to love Giorgio from watching his documentary series ‘Italy Unpacked’ which is all about the food and art of Italy (I might be a nerd, fine with it). Needless to say, super keen for this bad boy.


5. Home Baked
Yvette Van Boven is a bad ass lady. She is a Dutch food writer and cook, and her ‘Homemade’ series of cookbooks is pretty huge. It seems impossible, but I don’t actually own any of her books as yet, I just stalk her all over social media. I love her recipes, and the art direction for this book is so far up my alley it’s in my living room. Plus the Netherlands is such a beautiful country I would love to learn more about their baking.


6. A Modern Way To Eat
This is the first book from Anna Jones, who is a protégé of Jamie Oliver’s coming up through his Fifteen program (which takes at-risk youths and trains them as chefs). I have been a long-time fan of Anna’s from her recipes and styling in Jamie magazine, which I always loved. This book is all about eating health-concious, but not diet-y, vegetarian food in a way that fits with modern life. Into it.


Christmas Book Buying Guide 2015 // The Sugar Hit!


7. Simply Nigella
OK, I’ve already got this one. I got it a week before it came out, because I pre-ordered it about a year before it came out, because I am a Nigella Lawson devotee. I love her point of view, the way she writes about food, and her recipes. So I had to include this book on the list just in case you’re looking for ideas or recommendations – it is a beautiful tome. Highly recommend.


8. Crumb
This book is by Ruby Tandoh, ex-constestant on The Great British Bake-Off, or if you’re in the USA you might know it as The Great British Baking Show. It just looks like a sick book, to be honest. Donuts are on the cover, for donutssakes. Plus it has a litany of the old-school British and European baking that I am obsessed with. Give me custard or give me death.


9. Breakfast
Now I really am proving my nerdness. This somewhat obscure choice is more of an academic book – a food history book, I guess you’d call it. It deals with my absolute favourite meal of the day, and I am slightly obsessed with getting my hands on it. It’s not cheap though, which is why it’s on my Christmas list, and not already in my syrup-covered hands. But I really want to learn about the history of breakfast! Don’t you? Doesn’t it sound fascinating?


10. The Sugar Hit
I mean, I know it probably seems a bit maniacal to put my own book on this list, but it would be SUCH a good Christmas present! It has a whole Holidays chapter! Filled with pudding and tiramisu and stollen and other delightful goodness! Plus it’s on sale at the moment. Get one for your mate! Plus, did I mention it’s 30% off?


11. Easy Gourmet
This book belongs to my friend Steph of I Am A Food Blog. Steph is just a kickass cook. Everything I’ve made from her website turns out amazing. Her Porchetta recipe is mouthwatering, and I can’t believe that I still don’t have a copy of her cookbook. It even has a Breakfast chapter, which is what I live for! WHAAAAAT?!


12. Homemade Decadence
Notorious JTB! Get her books or be square, as far as I’m concerned. This one is a particular delight. It’s full of the kind of recipes that you would make for any sleepover ever. It also has a killer chapter called ‘Ice Cream Social’ which I turn to all the time for easy dessert inspiration. Love it.


Christmas Book Buying Guide 2015 // The Sugar Hit!

13. A Year of Cozy
If you read this post, then you know my feelings about Adrianna, i.e. I want to move into her house and make friends with her dog and do fun projects and cook together. Is that weird? Yes. Yes it is. But luckily, Adrianna wrote this book, which means I can feeeeeel like I’m living my best life, without actually having to sleep in her home. Smart lady.


14.Whip It Up
This guy. This book. This bold graphic style. These easy, killer recipes. Billy’s Whip It Up is actually solid Christmas gift material. Do you know anyone that has a cute dog? There’s a chapter for dog treats! Anyone who wants easy weeknight meals, or cocktails, or really really good waffles? They’re all in here. I’m telling you, gift this and you win at gifting (which is a non-word that I’ve come to love).


15. Homemade Memories
It is weird how Kate from The Little Loaf wrote this book about baking up versions of childhood favourites, and even though we live on opposite sides of the world, SO MANY of the recipes came straight out of my childhood too! If you know what a Vienetta is, you would love this book.


16. Top With Cinnamon
My girl Izy. Still love this book – it’s such a killer! I actually get it off the shelf all the time to thumb through, not just to look for ideas of what to cook for dinner, but to look at all the great London-y photos that are in there too. A beautiful book. Great for young aspiring foodies too!


17. Seriously Delish
Now this one is from Jess of How Sweet Eats, and I just straight up use it all the time. The thai lettuce wraps from this book have become a standard offering in my house. It’s just chock full of the kind of thing you will cook for dinner, and they are all tasty as hell. Plus, the baking is amazing, as you would expect. <3


18. Comfort & Joy: Cooking for Two
Aaaaand finally, this one, from my girl Christina. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! Christina has that mix of indulgent and eeeeeeasy DOWN. And I know the word indulgent makes me sound like Giada trying to sell you on some cruddy looking cupcake, but what I’m talking about here is real indulgence – perfectly cooked beef, little pot pies, the things that you cook which make you feel restored and alive. Hope to see this one under the tree!


Are there any others that you’re hoping for this year? Let me know (so I can add it to my list)!


xx Sarah.

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  • I’m loving this list! Probably because I already own 5, bought one as a gift, and have 4 already on a Wish list! The rest MUST be needed too.

    Crumb is brilliant. I recently got it and it is chock full of yummies.

  • I aleady have so many of these on my Christmas wishlist (and on my bookshelves – I love Izy’s book and Homemade Memories is my favourite cookbook of the year, for sure).

    I’ve never heard of Voracious before and it sounds like my jam – books + cooking? Yes please!

    Have you read The Little Library Cafe blog? Sounds like it would be up your street!

  • What a great list Sarah! I’m hoping Nigella’s book finds it’s way into my Christmas stocking (I have feeling that Santa knows which side his bread is buttered on and is making sure that it gets delivered…).
    I love Christina’s books too! I brought them back from the US recently as one of my souvenirs!
    Going to have to damage the credit card and stock up the bookshelves with some of the other titles too I think :)

  • Thanks god! I was wondering which book to buy for my best friend. And the worse is that she is working as a pastry chef in Savoy (london)… Would you believe how hard is to find the right book for her.

  • What a fantastic list! I am drooling after a bunch of these now. And I can personally attest to the awesomeness of Voracious. I picked it up from my local library a couple of months ago, read through the whole thing in a week, and immediately bought it. I haven’t actually tried the recipes yet, but I don’t think there’s any way they could be bad!

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