Cookbooks make great Christmas presents and stocking fillers, they are bright and have the most beautiful pictures that could send even the most kitchen-fearing member of your family running for the flour and eggs! However, often there are so many cookbooks in a bookshop that, unless you are a foodie at heart, you can be left feeling overwhelmed and perhaps grab the nearest you see, which could lead to disappointment on the present receiver’s part! My guide to cookbooks is based around the notion that Irish cookbooks are the best to buy, not only because in Ireland today it is essential to buy local and buy Irish but also you eliminate the risk of lack of produce that may be widely available in Britain or Europe but have not quite reached our shores yet. Often Irish cookbooks will tell you which fruits and veg are in season and when which is very helpful as you are using a recipe in which you know the ingredients will be fresh, in season and readily available! Have a look at some of the cookbooks below and you will see there is one for everybody in your family! And remember, always buy local and buy Irish!
For the Sweet-Tooth
Rachel Allen of Ballymaloe has become a welcome and permanent fixture on our bookshelves. Her recipes are simple, well-informed and easy to follow.“Cake” is absolutely no exception. The photos in the book are bright and beautiful, a welcome addition to any home cook’s bookshelf! Buy this for the sweet-tooth in your life and you could be receiving baked goods for life, result!
I know exactly what you are thinking; my granny would never give up her own recipes to follow anybody else’s but this book, written by the Countrywomen’s Association contains all things traditional and loving that even the most precise and pernickety or grandmother’s will appreciate!
For the Italian Foodie
I’m not sure about you but I absolutely love seeing Catherine Fulvio on her tv show; she is bright, bubbly, smiley and her recipes are easy to follow whilst her authentic Italian creations are greatly inspired by the Irish landscape and produce around her in the beautiful Ballyknocken. This cookbook won’t disappoint and has lots of simple, delicious and hearty Italian recipes for you to try at home!
Men love hearty and wholesome food, yes,I hear you, they also love to eat apple pie, but only those of you lucky to own one of those men will rarely see them faffing around with pastry. This book, “Surf’n’Turf” by Shanahan and Flynn will engage the male cook through its hearty and fulfilling recipes. There is even a pint of Guinness on the front cover, if that doesn’t make them turn the page, nothing will so just stick with the socks for Christmas!
For the Vegetarian
Café Paradiso is one of the most beautiful and amazing restaurants in Cork city. The things that thechefs can do with vegetarian food is truly a treat and this cookbook means you open up the world of awe-inspiring vegetarian cooking in Café Paradiso to the veggie in your life who is sick of the same old veggie risotto! This book is haute-cuisine vegetarian at its very best.
For your Brother
Donal Skehan has had a successful year, starring in both his own RTÉ show and on Junior Masterchef. Having come to attnetion through his cooking blog and offered a book deal and subsequently approached by RTÉ it is safe to say this boy is going places. However, one look at his simple, easy to follow and delicious looking recipes leave no question as to why he has come so far and will continue to do so!
For the Yummy-Mummy
Sheila Kiely’s book “Gimme the Recipe” is designed for busy schedules and a hectic lifestyle. They are tried and tested by herself (a mother to six children!). If anybody knows how important it is to feed your family nutritious, healthy food under time and work constraints, it’s Sheila! So, for the busy working mother in your life why not get this! The colourful, clear and bright pictures add a beautiful touch to a very popular cookbook.