Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies ~ *Cookbook Edition*

Happy almost-December, friends! The holidays are officially here and I’m excited to share my 3rd annual Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies to simplify your gift giving (and wish list making!) this season. πŸ˜‰ But this year, there’s a little twist…

Best Cookbooks for Gifts! ~ 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies | FiveHeartHome.com

…I’ve compiled a list of awesome cookbooks! As someone who reads cookbooks like novels — seriously, I have two of them in-progress on my nightstand this very minute — I’m always thrilled to buy or receive a new cookbook. I almost always have at least a couple of them on my personal wish list. And I figure that some of you are probably like me…or at least you have friends and/or family on your shopping list who are like me. πŸ˜‰

So this year, rather than rehashing a gift guide full of my favorite cooking-related tools, gadgets, and accessories, I’m instead going to share with you some of my favorite cookbooks, some of which I own and some of which I can’t wait to get and some of which I’m totally intrigued by. Sound fun? Then let’s get started…

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How to Celebrate Everything: Recipes and Rituals for Birthdays, Holidays, Family Dinners, and Every Day in Between by Jenny Rosenstrach

How to Celebrate Everything

Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story was one of the first food blogs I ever started “following,” before I even really understood what a food blog was. And while the recipes I tried always turned out great, it was the storytelling that first drew me in. True to form, I read Jenny’s latest cookbook straight through from cover to cover. Even better, this cookbook tugged at my heartstrings because its whole premise is creating family traditions centered around food. LOVE.

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Ina Garten is my food idol. And the reason? Her recipes are gorgeous and delectable yet fundamentally simple, and all of them are tested and perfected to the point of being — you guessed it — foolproof. So for me, this cookbook epitomizes everything that’s wonderful about Ms. Garten. Now how fabulous IS THAT?!

(And I don’t have it yet, but Ina’s newest cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey is definitely on my wish list. Those two lovebirds are the just cutest…)

The Homesick Texan’s Family Table: Lone Star Cooking From My Table to Yours by Lisa Fain

Homesick Texan's Family Table

This is the second hit cookbook from another blogger whose storytelling I simply adore. And if you recall my affinity for queso and margaritas, you can probably surmise that I also love the down-home, comforting recipes that fill this cookbook.

The Science of Good Cooking by Cook’s Illustrated

Science of Good Cooking

I consider any cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated to be kitchen gold. But since I’m a nerd at heart, I especially love this scientific approach to cooking fundamentals that ensure recipe success. Such an interesting and informative read for novices and pros alike!

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

With approachable, tasty recipes from the same warm, witty voice that permeates the popular blog of the same name, this cookbook is a treasure.

Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers by Samantha Skaggs

Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers

Hey! How did that one slip in here??? Wellllll, y’all knew I had to include it on the list. πŸ˜‰ But seriously, it’s been so much fun (and just a tad bit surreal) to cook dinners for my family from my very own cookbook. Since all of these recipes rely on the slow cooker, I can always fit them into my busy schedule…and I don’t have to worry about any icky processed ingredients because they aren’t included in the cookbook.

My kids already have their often-requested favorites, but it’s particularly special when friends and family and followers make a recipe and then let me know how much they loved it! I’m truly so touched and honored by everyone’s support…makes all of the blood, sweat, and tears I put into this cookbook (lots and lots of tears) worth it. πŸ˜‰

Perfect Party Food by Dianne Phillips

Perfect Party Food

I’ve had this cookbook for years and it’s one of my favorites for entertaining. The recipes are straightforward and delicious, and helpful tips are provided for making everything ahead of time.

Austin Entertains by The Junior League of Austin

Austin Entertains

Another go-to for party planning, I received this cookbook as a gift way back before I was married or had kids. It’s loaded with menus of scrumptious party-type recipes as well as little snippets of Austin lore. This is one of those cookbooks that’s fun to cook from and fun to read, particularly if you’re an Austinite (or Texas-phile). πŸ˜‰

The Art of Pie by Kate McDermott

The Art of Pie

I first encountered this cookbook while watching lots of In the Kitchen with David as I prepared for my own QVC segment. Since then, this “baking bible” of sorts has received plenty of acclaim and positive reviews. And as someone whose husband’s favorite dessert starts with P and ends with I-E, I’m hoping Santa will slip this cookbook into my stocking.

The Asian Slow Cooker by Kelly Kwok

The Asian Slow Cooker

Y’all may have already seen my review of a recipe from this cookbook last week, but my lovely blogging friend Kelly‘s new cookbook is seriously fantastic if you happen to be a fan of easy recipes and Asian cuisine. Who knew traditional take-out could be so simple to make at home?! As a bonus, the photography in this cookbook is stunning.

Christmas with Southern Living

Christmas with Southern Living

I have a couple of different Southern Living Christmas cookbooks from past years and I love paging through them for both recipes and inspiration. They’re full of holiday menus, homemade gifts from the kitchen, and simple decor ideas, and they always get me into the spirit of the season.

The I Heart Naptime Cookbook by Jamielyn Nye

The I Heart Naptime Cookbook

This cookbook is full of tried-and-true, simple and straightforward, family favorites from my sweet blogger friend, Jamielyn. For added fun, there are cute, easy crafts scattered throughout!

Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Around My French Table

Excellent ingredients. Simple preparations. Mouthwatering results. The French know what they’re doing…and so does Dorie! This is a cookbook for those who savor cooking and eating.

These last five cookbooks aren’t ones that I currently own or that particularly subscribe to my own personal cooking style. However, they’ve all received critical acclaim and tons of rave reviews, so I thought that these might appeal to some of y’all…Β  πŸ™‚

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka

The Skinnytaste Cookbook

A New York Times Bestseller loaded with lightened-up recipes that taste like the real deal, this cookbook was written with additional input from a registered dietician.

Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan

Well Fed

As much a how-to guide as a cookbook, this resource teaches even newbies how to prepare healthy, delicious, paleo recipes as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Pure Delicious: More Than 150 Delectable Allergen-Free Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Shellfish, or Cane Sugar by Heather Christo

Pure Delicious

I think that the title pretty much covers it. πŸ˜‰ But seriously, for anyone who needs allergen-free recipes, this beautiful cookbook of drool-worthy recipes just might change your life.

The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Alphabet-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking by Jeanine Donofrio

Love and Lemons Cookbook

Whether you’re a vegetarian or you simply need more vegetables in your life, this lovely cookbook has ideas for preparing anything and everything you could possibly bring home from the farmers market.

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon

Oh She Glows Cookbook

This popular vegan cookbook features inventive and delicious, plant-based recipes, many of which are gluten-free.

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So what do you think? Which of these gems do you already own? Which one piques your interest the most???

If you’re still interested in seeing some of my favorite kitchen, cooking, and foodie-type gadgets, you can check out last year’s Holiday Gift Guide HERE.

Quite a few folks have already told me that they’re giving my cookbook as Christmas gifts (!!!), and they’ve asked for my recommendations on slow cookers and slow cooker accessories to accompany the cookbook. You can see my favorite slow cooker-related goodies HERE.

* * * GIVEAWAY! * * *

Speaking of slow cookers, I’m giving away a copy of Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers (with a personally autographed book plate) to one lucky friend who comments on this blog post!

Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers cookbook giveaway

You can simply say ‘hi’ or you can share your thoughts on today’s featured cookbooks or you can let me know what’s on your list for Santa! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run until December 8th. It’s my small way to once again thank y’all for all of your support…and to wish you all a very happy holiday season! Good luck!!!


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See all of our RECIPES <<< here!

And see all of our PRINTABLES <<< here!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com






















  1. Congratulations on your cookbook! It’s so generous of you to give a lucky one of us a copy. Lol
    Thanks for the chance!!
    Joey J.

    • P.S.
      I watched your segment on QVC with David Venable(I love him & he’s from my home state, NC) You did a fantastic job!! How fun!!

  2. libby rouse says:

    Love slow cooking, what a great cookbook, thank you for sharing with a great giveaway!

  3. Such an awesome roundup of cookbooks – all definitely worthy.

  4. Hi, what an awesome giveaway ! Cookbooks are my favorite reading material, thanks so much for the chance to win !

  5. Kimberli Bean says:

    What an amazing lineup, wow!! Thanks for this post, I’m always on the lookout for great cookbooks & to win yours would be awesome!! 😊

  6. I just love cookbooks…love to add this one to my collection!

  7. I would love to win the cookbook

  8. Thanks for the gift ideas and giveaway! I’m a huge supporter of slow cookers for dinnertime (or even breakfast!).. the set it and forget it mentality can often be a welcome relief from thinking / working all day πŸ™‚

  9. I love getting cookbooks too! I read them like a book and get so excited thinking about making the different recipes! πŸ™‚

  10. We must have the same taste bc I have several of the books on your guide!

  11. Martha Morales says:

    I love cook books! Thank you so much for the opportunity! And congratulations!

  12. I love that you read cookbooks! I do too! πŸ˜‰

  13. I love everything Crock Pot!

  14. Susan Broughton says:

    Happy Holidays!

  15. Lynne Mason says:

    I so totally get you! I read cookbooks in bed too, my husband thinks I’m nuts. It is so comforting, but I usually end up going to the kitchen for a snack, because it makes me hungry. All of the cookbooks you listed look wonderful, 6 of which are already on my wish list! Thank you for your blog!!

  16. Dee Johnson says:

    So many great cookbooks! I have been wanting to read Oh She Glows cookbook. I have read lots of great reviews.

  17. I can’t believe how quickly the holiday season is already upon us. My kitchen is going to be busy! I’m thankful for my slow cooker πŸ™‚

  18. As a proud hoarder of cookbooks, I’d love to supplement my stockpile! : )

  19. Samantha, thank you for the great list! I really appreciate the Paleo and Allergy free cookbook recommendations. ❀️ So very happy and proud for you! You did a great job on TV!

  20. Hi! Thank you for all of your recommendations! I especially love your slow cooker cookbook because I’m always looking for great recipes to cook in the crockpot that are healthy for my family!

  21. Great list of cookbooks. I want them all! Love your recipes!

  22. Jeanne Rizzi says:

    I love every Barefoot Contessa recipe I’ve ever made – couldn’t agree with you more about her!!!

  23. I think you’ve had an amazing year and am looking forward to whatever comes next (more cookbooks??). I’m an American living in England so can’t win the cookbook but just wanted to say congratulations and thanks for the blog. It’s a great reminder of ‘home’.

  24. Kris Henski says:

    How exciting, I’d love to win a copy!

  25. Louellen Monte says:

    Hello, thank you for sharing these wonderful cookbooks. I’ve always loved cooking, and collecting cookbooks, and the cookbooks listed above sound like great additions to my collection. Again, thank you for sharing these cookbooks. Happy Holidays!!!

  26. Jenny Scheldberg says:

    I used to use my slow cooker a lot but got burnt out on the same old recipes. I need some new ideas! It’s so handy.

  27. Hi there! I never have any luck with the recipes I cook in my crock pot. Whenever I pull the crock pot out to try another recipe my family laughs and my kids and hubby say ” OK…what’s the back-up meal, because you know everything that you make in the crock pot comes out tasting like Crap”. I would love a crock pot cook book where the recipes are easy and delicious! I hope I win this cookbook! Maybe I could surprise my family with a good crock pot meal!

  28. Great cookbooks. Love the idea of Love and Lemons cookbook. Merry Christmas

  29. Joan Kubes says:

    I love to try new recipes!

  30. Kelly Cowan says:

    I love my slow cooker! I use it all the time! Thank you for the list of cookbooks. I enjoy reading them like books.

  31. Kristy Shupe says:

    My slow cooker is a lifesaver on busy church nights, thank you for all the recipes you share!!

  32. Great list! I’ve already enjoyed preparing one recipe from your cookbook, and look forward to trying them all.

  33. Have really been wanting to check out the recipes in your cookbook, thanks for the chance to win!

  34. Would love to win your cookbook especially after seeing the King Ranch Soup pic on IG! Looks so yummy!

  35. Angela Hendricks says:

    I want all of those cookbooks!! Reading cookbooks inspires me to try and make all these great recipes and I can’t wait to try them all! Thank you for the chance!

  36. I love reading cookbooks too. Thanks for your great recipes and the opportunity to win your very own cookbook. It would be a great addition to my kitchen library!

  37. Hi!! Choose me πŸ™‚

  38. My 12 year old love pies, cakes and starting to try cooking on her own. I wanted to get her a cookbook for Christmas. Do you think The Art of Pie is too hard for s beginning baker? She has already made homemade tortillas several times so she can roll out dough,

  39. Cookbooks are wonderful things to give and receive! It’s fun to run with a theme to fit the occasion or to gift the ingredients to one of the recipes along with the book so they can try out a dish right away πŸ™‚

  40. Congrats on the cookbook! I have to say your taste in cookbooks are quite similar to mine! Now if only I can cook and plate it as well as you!

    Thank you for such a wonderful contest and happy holidays! Stay warm!

  41. Alexandra Robertson says:

    My favorite gift to give and receive is a cookbook! I would love to win!

  42. This book is mine, all mine :-). I gave two away for Christmas gifts and I want one of my own. Yum, yum, yum!

  43. This would be a great gift for my husband. He does the majority of the cooking in the house. And he’s going back to school starting in the spring and with two active kids, crockpot meals are a lifesaver! It would be awesome to have some new recipes since we get stuck in a rut with the slow cooker.

  44. Love the giveaway idea! I follow you on IG and only just today noticed that you are from the Lone Star State as well! Makes me all the more excited to read the great things you share.

  45. Yes please! I love your recipes and love crock pot recipes!

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