Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday Hosting Made Easy

”Let’s have the holidays at our house this year!” It sounded like such a good idea all the way back in September, but with Thanksgiving a little over a week away you’re beginning to wonder how to keep your dozen guests fed and happy. Don’t fret: Pick up any one of these helpful cookbooks and let the festivities begin.

The Christmas Table
Diane Morgan, Chronicle, $19.95
Celebrated food writer Diane Morgan proves that holiday entertaining can be delicious and seamless with the release of her newest cookbook. Dedicated to making the holidays fun, she offers up tasty recipes for yuletide entrées both traditional (bourbon-and-brown-sugar-crusted ham) and modern (whole roasted salmon). She devotes separate chapters to the “Great Cookie Exchange” and “Leftover Favorites,” and includes helpful menu and timetable guides in the back. Check out her recipe for Cranbeer-y Relish featured in the November/December 2008 issue of Imbibe.

The Paley’s Place Cookbook
Vitaly and Kimberly Paley, Ten Speed, $35
James Beard Award winner Vitaly Paley mixes his French-trained culinary artistry with wine notes and cocktail recipes in his first cookbook, out just in time for the holidays. Poignant farm-to-table stories are sure to warm your heart, while Paley’s recipes are guaranteed to warm your belly. Festive dishes like roast duck with cherries and huckleberry kuchen include helpful wine-pairing suggestions; a separate chapter dedicated to making your own bar mixers and juices will elevate just about any spirit this season.

Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations
Jayne Cohen, Wiley, $32.50
Traditional Jewish recipes meet new contemporary creations in this tome of Jewish cooking. Organized by holiday with inventive variations throughout, Jayne Cohen even provides tasty kosher alternatives for vegetarian and vegan guests while still maintaining the veracity of Jewish food culture and heritage.

A16 Food+Wine
Nate Appleman and Shelly Lindgen, Ten Speed, $35
Festive feasting just got a lot tastier with this deliciously informative cookbook and wine guide from San Francisco’s A16 restaurant. Take a journey through Southern Italian viticulture with wine director Shelly Lindgren’s wine resource guide and then follow executive chef Nate Appleman’s instructions for perfecting oven-cooked pizzas, house-cured meats and fresh pasta sauces. Thankfully, it’s out just in time to save you from all that leftover turkey.