♬♬♬ It’s the most wonderful time of the year… ♬♬♬

I hum this to myself a lot: When my first CSA arrives in June. When the first good tomatoes all but fall of the vine in early September. When snowflakes the size of golf balls drop from the sky. AND, most of all, when it’s time to talk about cookbooks with my friend Margaret Roach, the master gardener behind A Way to Garden

Last year, we talked about all-time favorites, the first books we ever owned, and the ones with the most besmirched pages. This year, we’ve kept our chat to the latest crop: the fall and winter 2018 cookbooks, and we hope our chat might give you some ideas for gift giving this season. Rest assured, there is something for everyone — the bakers, the boozers, the pie lovers, the pizza lovers, the Ina fans, the Dorie fans, the gadget collectors, and more.

Read the transcript or listen here.

I have not had a chance to cook from all of the books we discussed, and there are many others I haven’t even had a chance to page through yet, namely Emily: The Cookbook, which is #1 on my Christmas wishlist—Santa, hope you’re reading. That said, I have cooked from a number of the season’s new books, and I’ve included some notes below.

A selection of the fall/winter 2018 cookbooks.

ALSO, Margaret and I are each giving away 12 cookbooks (!!!). To enter, leave a comment below: tell me what your favorite cookbook is for gifting (or just your favorite) and a little bit about why. Now, go double your chances to win by copying your comment into the comment box over at Margaret’s website.

Starting Monday Dec. 3, 2018, we’ll each draw one random winner a day through Dec. 14th. Here’s the order of the 12 Days of giveaways. The list will be updated daily to reflect the winner.

  1. Season: UPDATE: Winner is Cara Priddy
  2. Everyday Dorie UPDATE: Winner is Frank Wilk
  3. Israeli Soul: UPDATE: Winner is KARA P.
  4. Cooking with Scraps: UPDATE: Winner is Katherine Hubbard
  5. Sister Pie: UPDATE: Winner is Renee D
  6. Cook Like a Pro: UPDATE: Winner is Jo Kurdzeil
  7. Genius Desserts: UPDATE: Winner is Susan Rode
  8. Skinny Taste One and Done: UPDATE: Winner is Amy Olmsted
  9. All About Cake: UPDATE: Winner is Marie Guiles
  10. Milk Street Tuesday Nights: UPDATE: Winner is Sarah Bach
  11. Comfort in an Instant: UPDATE: WINNER is Michelle Swift
  12. Now and Again: UPDATE: WINNER is Paulina Muratore

One entry per person. Entries end at midnight Thursday, Dec. 13, before the final drawing. U.S. only. Good luck to all.

To help organize, Margaret and I grouped the books into a few categories, the first being Weeknight-ish/Everyday Cooking. If you’re looking for some inspiration for getting dinner on the table, here are a few options.

Category #1: Weeknight-ish/Everyday Cooking

Ottolenghi Simple: This is not a vegetarian cookbook, but it’s heavily vegetarian with lots of great inspiration, such as harissa tofu scramble and sweet potato mash with lime salsa. (Note: This is the British version … be sure to order this one if you live in the States.)
Yotam Ottolenghi's Simple: Simple, everyday recipes, heavily vegetarian but not exclusively.
Milk Street Tuesday Nights: Lots of global flavors in this one. Christopher Kimball notes in the introduction that in most parts of the world, especially those not influenced by French cooking, which relies heavily on heat and time, flavor is built with ingredients not time: herbs, spices, fermented sauces, etc. Organized by Fast, Faster, Fastest. A few recipes are calling my name: peanut-sesame noodles, Thai spinanch, and white balsamic chicken.
Milk Street's Tuesday Nights: A collection of weeknight friendly meals with global flavors.
Everyday Dorie: I love Dorie’s cooking style—made the spatchcocked chicken with za’atar, sumac, and cumin, and it was divine… stay tuned.
Everyday Dorie — Dorie Greenspans favorite, no-fuss, simple meals.
Cook Like a Pro: For Ina fans and beyond: loved the Charlie Bird farro salad.
Ina Garten's Cook Like A Pro: A selection of Ina's favorite recipes.
Skinny Taste One and Done: I was astonished by the Instant Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, which was incredibly delicious and, best of all, made in one pot … I’m always so grateful for an easy cleanup. This book is all about one-pan cooking, whether it’s electric — pressure cooker, slow cooker, air fryer — or not — Dutch oven, sheet pan, skillet, grill pan — every meal requires one vessel.
Skinny Taste One and Done Cookbook: for anyone who loves one-pot dinners.
Melissa Clark’s Comfort in an Instant: For your Instant Pot-obsessed pal, this book includes 50 recipes made in less than 60 minutes start to finish.
Melissa Clark's Comfort in an Instant: for any Instant Pot lover .... who doesn't love a little comfort?
Hungry for More: For Chrissie Tiegen fans and beyond. Made the oven-baked potato chips last night … delicious.
Chrissy Teigen's Cravings, peppered with humor and spice throughout, this books offers a selection of no-fuss, healthy-ish recipes.

Cook90On January 1st 2016, David Tamarkin of Epicurious resolved to cook more — to cook 3 meals a day for an entire month — an experiment he called “Cook90”. In the end, he emerged a better, faster, and healthier cook, and he has since inspired hundreds of thousands of others to take the challenge. His cookbook, Cook90, outlines exactly how to do it: recipes, strategies, meal plans, and more.

Category #2:  Global Flavors

Together: A collection of recipes created by the women affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London.
Together, the cookbook, a collection of recipes from a community of women affected by the Grenfall Tower tragedy.
Israeli Soul: I want to make everything in this book. Thus far I’ve had success with the cauliflower shawarma, which I served, as suggested, with the quick tehina.  Also, the 5-minute hummus, made with the quick tehina, is so fast and delicious.
Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia's latest cookbook: Israeli Soul, a book that celebrates the street food of Israel and all its delicious glory.
 Season: From blogger and San Francisco Chronicle contributor Nik Sharma, born in Bombay, Season is a collection of recipes influenced by Nik’s upbringing in Bombay and his acclimation to America. Not a traditional Indian cookbook. I have a number of recipes bookmarked, namely the Bombay frittata and the roasted cauliflower with lentils and paneer.
Nik Sharma's Season cookbook: not a traditional Indian cookbook but a collection of recipes influenced by an upbringing in Bombay and an acclimation to America from the perspective of a gay immigrant.
Almonds, Anchovies, and Pancetta I’m not sure yet which exact category this book falls, but I made the saffron-carrot soup from the almond chapter of the book and topped it with the toasted almond dukkah from the same chapter, and it all was so delicious. I’m a longtime fan of Cal Peternell and can’t wait to explore this book a little bit more. Stay tuned for the saffron-carrot soup recipe.
Cal Peternell's Almonds, Anchovies, and Pancetta
 A Common Table: From Cynthia McTernan, the blogger behind Two Red Bowls, A Common Table is a mix of stories and recipes inspired by both her and her husband’s cultural and geographical roots. Made the steamed scallion buns. Loved them.

Category #3:  Baking

fall/winter 2018 baking cookbooks
Genius Desserts: If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I am a big fan of Kristen Miglore and her Wednesday Food52 Genius Recipes column. From Genius Desserts, I’ve made a number of recipes, namely the peach cobbler with hot sugar crust and an apple version in the fall, both of which I loved.  
All About Cake: From the incredible Christina Tosi, All About Cake celebrates—wait for it—CAKE! In all forms: mug cakes, crockpot cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes (if you must), sheet cakes, and cake truffles, to name a few. In turn, I’m particularly excited to try out one of her layer cakes, which, if you are unfamiliar, are “naked” or unfrosted on the sides, which allows the various layers to be seen even when the cake has yet to be cut.
Christina Tosi's All About Cake: for cake lovers of all kinds from mug cakes to cake truffles to Christina's iconic naked (un-frosted) layer cakes.
Red Truck Bakery, if you are unfamiliar, is a beloved bakery in rural Virginia, and the cookbook includes “85 nostalgic recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, and more to make every day delicious—from breakfast to dessert. I made the apple orchard muffins with turbinado sugar crust — big hit all around!
The Cookie Book: Loving this! Made the snickerdoodles, which were simple and delicious and the spiced brown butter muscovado cookies, which were not simple but absolutely delicious and stunning and totally worth the effort. More soon.
Sister Pie: Absolutely loving this book. Wrote a little bit about it here and shared a recipe for Salted Maple Pie … yum.

Category #4:  Nose-to-Tail

Waste Not: Learned about this one through Margaret and her podcast with Top Chef star Tiffany Derry. Waste Not is a new cookbook from the James Beard Foundation and a campaign of anti-food waste advocacy spearheaded by that organization.

Cooking with Scraps: Really loving this! This one is especially good for anyone who eats a lot of vegetables or who gardeners. There are recipes that call for banana peels, zucchini stems, whey, tomato seeds, aquafaba, pumpkin seeds, fennel stalks, and more. Lots of practical recipes for making the most of your vegetable haul from infused vinegar and alcohol to strata and frittata.

Now and Again: The latest from Julia Turshen, who believes a complete meal doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, that leftovers can lead to inventive/fun cooking, and that gathering people  around the table for a meal is a good thing. Organize both by season and menu — a brunch or an easy Thanksgiving. Helpful tips about what can be made ahead of time. Each menu is followed by a section called “It’s Me Again,” which offers a few recipes for using the leftovers.

And last but not least:

Rebekah Peppler’s Apéritif: For Francophiles and beyond, Apèritif offers recipes for both classic and modern French cocktails, along with French-inspired bites and hors d’oeuvres.

Aperitif: learn how to cocktail as elegantly as the French