From Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant to Season by Nik Sharma, these books would make lovely gifts.

By Bridget Hallinan and Food & Wine Editors
April 29, 2020
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Courtesy of Barnes & Noble/Target/Williams-Sonoma

For those who love to cook (or want to get started), a cookbook is a welcome gift. They provide inspiration for endless dinners and comforting desserts; if you have a favorite chef or food writer, it’s a way to connect with them and learn their techniques and favorite ingredients. This Mother’s Day, we decided to ask our editors to give their recommendations, both for cookbooks they’d give to their moms, as well as cookbooks they’d want to receive, too. (Or even give as a gift to themselves.) The spread includes Perfectly Golden by Angela Garbacz, The Silver Spoon New Edition, and Nik Sharma's Season—whether you're celebrating in-person or from afar, any of these books would be a great choice.

Huckleberry

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“Zoe Nathan's cookbook, Huckleberry, is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and her book is chock full of everything I want to start my day with. As a mom who is normally the "breakfast chef" in my house, this is the book I'm constantly reaching for, since I know that anything I make from it will be a hit. Having this book on heavy rotation is also a hint to my husband when he's cooking; when he asks what I want for breakfast, the answer is always blueberry bran muffins, end of story. This cookbook is the ideal self-serving Mother’s Day gift for all the moms out there already dreaming about a delicious breakfast in bed, served after 9 a.m., please and thank you.” –Caroline Schnapp, audience engagement editor

Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda, $35 at barnesandnoble.com

Perfectly Golden

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“This year, I'll be giving my mom a copy of Angela Garbacz's new cookbook, Perfectly Golden. Angela's Goldenrod Pastries shops, in Lincoln, NE, are filled with fluffernutter buns, confetti cookies, and frosted fudgy brownies that all happen to be gluten- and dairy-free. Her book offers the same option, but also allows for endless variations for all types of preferences and restrictions: from all-purpose flour, milk, and eggs, to nut and seed flours, gluten-free blends, and more. It’s the perfect baking book for those who want delicious treats, every time, no matter what they have stocked in the pantry.” –Kelsey Youngman, associate food editor

Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats by Angela Garbacz, $28.50 at target.com and $30 at barnesandnoble.com

Season

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“I already ordered myself Nik Sharma's Season for Mother's Day. Countless colleagues have recommended it to me and I love everything on his blog and social media, so I can't wait to read and cook from it.” –Sarah Crowder, digital photo editor

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma, $21.50 at target.com and $35 at barnesandnoble.com

Cake

“Since I can't be with my mom for Mother's Day, I'm sending her a cookbook that has more than just recipes—it feels like the kind of warm hug I'd like to give her in person. Maira Kalman's ode to cake with co-author Barbara Scott-Goodman features illustrations of coffee cake, chocolate cake, and shortcake that make you want to start baking, woven in with handwritten narratives of the family memories those cakes conjure.” –Adina Steiman, deputy digital editor

Cake by Maira Kalman with recipes by Barbara Scott-Goodman, $17 at target.com and $25 at barnesandnoble.com (hardcover)

The Silver Spoon New Edition 

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“This is the greatest gift you could give your mom, or anyone. It's referred to as the "bible of Italian cooking" for a reason—it's packed with every single recipe that Italians actually make in their households, from the super simple (three-ingredient contorni) to the somewhat elaborate (stuffed fresh pastas).” –Maria Yagoda, digital restaurant editor

The Silver Spoon New Edition by The Silver Spoon Kitchen, $46 (was $50) at barnesandnoble.com

Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

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“My mother is currently on COVID-19 lockdown in her nursing home many states away. Even before that, she wasn't an especially enthusiastic cook, but definitely an appreciative eater. She's been unwell for a long time and when I was in high school, I took up the task of the evening meals, faithfully diving into the classic plaid-covered, ring-bound copy of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book that's sitting on a shelf across the room from me right now. I can't tell you what year this copy is from because the first few pages are missing, but it kept both of us reliably fed, and the 2018 edition keeps the flame alive.” –Kat Kinsman, senior editor

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 17th Edition by Better Homes and Gardens, $27 (was $30) at barnesandnoble.com 

Half Baked Harvest Super Simple

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“My mom is carefully limiting grocery trips during social distancing, so a cookbook with simple but comforting meals will be a great companion to have. Half Baked Harvest's latest fits the bill with one-skillet dinners and make-ahead options so there's less stress over what to make and how much to buy each week. Plus, ice cream banana bread sounds simply delightful.” –Megan Soll, associate digital editor

Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods by Tieghan Gerard, $30 at williams-sonoma.com and anthropologie.com 

Madhur Jaffrey's Instantly Indian Cookbook and Dinner in an Instant

Left: Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Right: Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

“Right now, my mom is on her second round of parenthood: she and her partner are raising two young kids. She and I agree that the Instant Pot has been a game-changer. She also loves to travel, and so to bring global recipes to her family's table, I would give her a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Instantly Indian Cookbook. And you know what? I would love to receive a copy of the same—maybe with Melissa Clark's Dinner in an Instant thrown in for good measure.” –Karen Shimizu, executive editor

Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot by Melissa Clark, $14 at target.com and $20 at barnesandnoble.com

Madhur Jaffrey's Instantly Indian Cookbook: Modern and Classic Recipes for the Instant Pot by Madhur Jaffrey, $14.50 at target.com and $20 at barnesandnoble.com

Cook Like a Pro

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“If I were to get my mom a cookbook for Mother’s Day, I’d probably get Cook Like a Pro by Ina Garten. She’s a big fan of her recipes (she finds them almost foolproof) and some of these sound right up her alley. Homemade ricotta, baked pasta with tomatoes & eggplant, butternut squash gratin—not to mention, a Campari and orange granita, which just so happens to include our favorite apéritif.” –Bridget Hallinan, digital reporter

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, $35 at williams-sonoma.com 

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