Nielsen-Massey VanillasDon’t know how to use vanilla beyond desserts? Find out in this cookbook, below.




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December 2009

Marketplace / Gift-Finder

The Best Food Book Gifts

Favorite Books Of 2009


We read a lot of cookbooks and books about food, but these were our favorites of the year. From easy, yet impressive hors d’oeuvres to vegan dishes, these books could be the solution to the problem of what to get the person who has everything. If Italian food moves you more, check out our Food Books ~ Italian Cuisine page for more gift-giving ideas.

Products shown in alphabetical order. Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.


50 Great Appetizers


This small book with big ideas makes filling up plates of hors d’oeuvres for guests much easier. Whether you’re planning a Mexican fiesta or a ’50s cocktail party, there are potential party menus and themes and all types of hors d’oeuvres: topped & dipped, grilled & skewered, stuffed and rolled and plated & sauced. We made bite-sized polenta squares, grilled fresh fruit and mini salmon cakes on a day that we weren’t anticipating any guests so we could eat them all ourselves! The polenta squares were especially tasty topped with goat cheese and the salmon cakes were such a hit that no one was able to have seconds!

  • 50 Great Appetizers
    by Pamela Sheldon Johns
    $8.91 on

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  50 Great Appetizers

A Century Of Flavor: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas


It’s about time that a cookbook was devoted to the world’s favorite flavor. This one, created by producers of fine vanilla, shows how vanilla works in desserts as well as in barbecue ribs, chili, sweet potatoes, tomato soup and vinaigrette. Learn all about vanilla in our 9-page article.

  • A Century of Flavor: Nielsen-Massey
    $21.24 on

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  Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook: How To Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, And Sesame


With more and more people discovering allergies, we liked this baking book, which translates all the favorites—brownies, cupcakes, red velvet cake, whoopie pies—into allergen-free recipes. Buy a copy for your favorite allergy sufferers so they can bake their way to happiness.

  • The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook: How To Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, And Sesame
    By Cybele Pascal

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  Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook

Great Chefs Cook Vegan


Veganism is another growing movement, and fine chefs have dropped the butter and cream to accommodate their vegan customers. In this handsome book, 23 big names, including Daniel Boulud, Cat Cora, Todd English, Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, provide a mouthwatering three- or four-course vegan meal. The photography is equally three-star.

  • Great Chefs Cook Vegan
    By Linda Long
    $23.10 on

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  Great Chefs Cook Vegan

In A Cheesemaker's Kitchen


When Allison Hooper wanted to make goat cheese, there was no one in America to teach her. She went abroad and returned to start Vermont Butter and Cheese with Bob Reese, pioneers in the American artisan food movement. The cheeses were snapped up by America’s top restaurants, whose chefs (including Dan Barber, Molly Hanson, Raymond Ost, Eric Ripert and Michel Richard) honor the creamery’s 25th anniversary in this charming book of recipes and reminiscences.

  • In A Cheesemaker's Kitchen
    By Allison Hooper
    $13.57 on

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  In A Cheesemaker's Kitchen

Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters


Our picky wine editor, Kris Prasad, deemed this title “excellent.” From the writer/director of documentary wine film Mondovino—an erudite exploration of individuality and taste—the author hectors against wines produced for those who do not flinch at spending hundreds on a bottle based on huge scores from wine writers, but which have no relation to place or site (terroir), let alone country. This is a must read for those whose palates seek out true Burgundy, not for its weight but for its weightlessness, or Barolo for its rugged personality and not its ability to taste like a liquidized fruit salad—the latter examples earning big scores these days.

  • Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters
    By Jonathan Nossiter
    $17.16 on
  • Mondovino DVD Set

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  Liquid Memory

New Classic Family Dinners

Your family dinners may not look like Mark Peel’s, popular chef/owner of Los Angeles’ Campanile restaurant. But the 200+ recipes in his new cookbook will certainly inspire you to new heights. His mac and cheese is made with Gruyère, Parmesan and mozzarella—plus porcini mushrooms. Tuna noodle casserole is made with béchamel sauce. Even his Smoked Tomato Barbecue Sauce is a beauty—made from scratch with real tomatoes—no ketchup, no tomato paste. A fine choice for good cooks who create meals for four or more.

  • New Classic Family Dinners
    By Mark Peel with Martha Rose Shulman

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  New Classic Family Dinners

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© Copyright 2005-2022 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.