2017 gift recommendations

For a few years now I've recommended some of my favorite books as gifts. This year is no different. Well, it is a little different. This year I'm doing it in my newsletter, which I've included below. Remember that you can always sign up to receive (mostly) weekly editions of my food newsletter.

Butter & Syrup
A food newsletter. Issue 27.
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Hi there. I get a lot of cookbooks (professional hazard?) and below I'm recommending my favorites. Thanks as always for your time and attention. Hope you find it useful.

$1.99 ebooks for 1 day only

For a single day — Saturday, Dec. 9 —

Was I supposed to keep this a secret until Saturday? Possibly. I don't know.

But it's just us here.

p.s. My book How to Instant Pot is back in stock on Amazon. Huzzah!

7 books that would make great gifts*

(*6 of which I didn't even write)

I wish I had written this book, but I didn't, so we can be glad that Colu Henry did. This is for the legions of people who fall somewhere between (a) opening a jar of sauce and (b) rolling out fresh pasta on a weeknight. This book makes me want to have pasta for dinner every night, which I'll grant you is not so far from where I started out. But still. 
Buy 'Back Pocket Pasta'
Have you heard of this blog called Smitten Kitchen? Hahahaha. You have. Because everybody has. The New Yorker did a short piece on Deb Perelman that perfectly summed up why she's so popular. My very self-involved reaction to this book: It has a four-star rating on Amazon, which both makes me sort of feel better about my own review travails and causes me to despair for humanity. (It's kind of like when someone reviewed Will It Waffle? and seemed to come down on the side of "This is just a collection of things you can make in the waffle iron!" Well. Yes. That is what it is. Thank you for your two-star review?)
Buy 'Smitten Kitchen Every Day'
Like this couple's previous mega seller, The Flavor Bible (also highly recommended), this book isn't really about recipes; it's about showing you how to think about food and flavors. It's written by one of the smartest food-thinkers out there and based on years of research and interviews with dozens of chefs. Wonder which is more acidic, lemon or lime juice? It's in here, along with about a million other tidbits like that.
Buy 'Kitchen Creativity'
I've mentioned these four books before, but I am repeating myself in case you have not committed to memory past editions of this newsletter.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: A book that, not unlike Kitchen Creativity above, covers how to think about food, not just how to make it. This one has recipes, too.
Buy 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat'
The Vegetable Butcher: Man, I love this book. It's just gorgeous. And if it helps more people eat their vegetables, then so much the better.
Buy 'The Vegetable Butcher'
Myers + Chang at Home: Like a lot of restaurant-based cookbooks, this one falls squarely in the category of "project cooking." You're unlikely to whip up these recipes after work with what's on hand. But you'll probably find yourself wanting to carve out time to make them. 
Buy 'Myers + Chang at Home'
Will It Waffle?: Oh, come now. I wasn't going to recommend one of my books? I'm self-effacing to a fault, but I'm not a nincompoop. Of course I think you should buy my book(s)! I've received great feedback from both givers and recipients of Will It Waffle?  (And: I know many people reading this have given copies as gifts already. Thanks so much for that.)
Buy 'Will It Waffle?'

2 Instant Pot recipes

Here's one vegetarian recipe from 101cookbooks and one decidedly not-vegetarian new recipe from me.
Fiasco Beans
Soy-Ginger Beef Short Ribs
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"Will It Skillet?" giveaway

Great news: I'm giving away five copies of my latest book, "Will It Skillet?"

Talking to people, I've heard a lot of emotion surrounding cast iron: reverence, devotion — and fear. Reverence and devotion come from people who've used it for eons and have a skillet passed down from another generation. Fear comes from people who think it's hard to care for.

Let me just say: "Will It Skillet?" is for both groups. It dispels some myths of caring for cast iron, tells you how to keep it in great shape and, of course, provides irressistible and unexpected recipes.

We're talking lasagna, tortillas, apple pie, funnel cakes, and mac and cheese. Oh, and a Giant Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. Can't forget that.

Both "Will It Waffle?" and "Will It Skillet?" contain 53 recipes and someone asked me if there was any significance to that number. It's a totally reasonable question but .... There is no mystical significance.

The idea was to provide enough recipes to get across the idea — to show people what cast iron (and the waffle iron) could do.

Fifty-three recipes seems to do the job nicely. The 54th is up to you.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to US residents of the 50 states and Canada, age 18 years as of June 22, 2017. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on June 22, 2017 and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on July 1, 2017. Click here for official rules. Void where prohibited.

Pick up "Will It Skillet?" at your local bookstore (they'd love to see you), or buy it at:


Barnes & Noble