Holiday Cookbooks 2014 Roundup – Day 2

by Irvin on December 10, 2014 · 87 comments

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Holiday Cookbooks 2014 Roundup, Day 2. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Being obsessed with cookbooks is absolutely relative. When I think about the number of cookbooks I have versus the average person I’m probably bordering on hoarder level. But when I think about some of my friends who have thousands of cookbooks I feel like my stack of books are just a drop in the bucket. Cookbook insanity is really very relative if you ask me, and when I’m forced to pick which ones to highlight during the holidays it’s always a tough call. awesome giveaway of FOUR books for one lucky reader! Stick around or scroll to the end of this post to learn how you can win a copy of Flavor Flours, Blue Chair Cooks, My Portugal and Unichef. [This giveaway is closed!]

Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ve long said that once you start baking with whole grains and ancient grains and get out of the rut of wheat flour, your baked goods will explode with flavor. It’s like painting all your life with the color white only to discover a whole new palette of colors once you start exploring different flours. So it only makes sense that I utterly adore Alice Medrich’s new book Flavor Flours which champions this exact idea! I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book ever since I chatted with Alice about it a few years ago at Omnivore Books, a local cookbook bookstore. With chapters on the different alternative flours history, what their flavor affinities are (teff flour goes well with chocolate, oat goes well with dried fruit) and how to store each flour, this is the reference guide for anyone looking to stretch themselves a little bit in the kitchen. With reinvented classics like lemon tart using corn flour, banana muffins with sorghum flour and dark and spicy pumpkin loaf with buckwheat flour, you’ll open your eyes to the wide world of whole grains and nut flours. I just hope you have storage space in your cabinets because if you’re like me, your flour collection after getting this book will soon start to revival your cookbook collection.

Blue Chair Cooks with Jam and Preserves. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

When local jam and preserves company Blue Chair released their first book, I was utterly smitten with it. I not only loved the recipes they created as well as the easy instructions on how to can but I adored the photography in the book! Their second book Blue Chair Cooks with Jam and Marmalade doesn’t disappoint. A massive compendium of dishes and meals using jams and preserves as the ingredient, this book is perfect for the serial DIY preserver who stacks their jams and jellies on the shelf with the knowledge that they’ll never get through all of those preserves by just eating them on toast. With recipes like chicken “tagine” with turnips & apricots, apple pumpkin pie with tomato jam, and Finnish meatloaf served with lingonberry jam, this is the perfect follow up cookbook to their first one. How else am I suppose to know what to do with those six jars of aprium strawberry jam from this summer?

My Portugal. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I try not to use the word “luscious” too much when it comes to food photography but the dishes featured in My Portugal by George Mendes really does make me question if there is a better description. Too many chef created cookbooks feature one miniscule bite of food perfectly plated in the middle of the enormous hand thrown rustic plate. This is not one of those books. The pork belly and clams with pickles pot actually looks like a reasonably serving for two people (or one really hungry person I guess) while the coconut-saffron cauliflower and broccoli is something I want to dive into RIGHT NOW. Though the photography is beautiful this book is something someone who is comfortable in the kitchen will actually use. Sure there are one or two recipes that require professional kitchen supply ingredient those recipes are really the exception to rule where fresh produce and quality meat and aromatic spices and herbs are used to pull the flavors of Portugal forward to your home.

Unichef. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m always a bit dubious when I see charity cookbooks come out, as they often seem rather subpar in their execution. However I love the collection of recipes in Unichef compiled from influential chefs that came together to help support UNICEF, the international organization that focuses on helping children in need across the world. A veritable who’s who of famous chefs ranging from Anthony Bourdain to Jamie Oliver to Wolfgang Puck and more the recipes all seem incredibly accessible without being dumbed down. Giada de Laurentiis’ gives us vegetable parmesan while Eric Rippert includes baked eggs with ratatouille. Hugh Acheson explains how much he loves vegetables with is fall salad of cauliflower, butter lettuce, Brussels, radish, currants & carrots with cider vinegrette and Mario Batali submits his bucatini all’Amatriciana a dish his grandmother used to make. With biographies and stories from the chefs, 100% of the royalties from the book are directly donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Baked Occasions. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

The list of Baked books keeps growing longer and longer with Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito pumping out more and more Baked books. Their latest, Baked Occasions, takes the calendar of holidays, popular and ridiculous and creates recipes for each of them. From the ultimate birthday cake for the Baked bakery birthday to blood orange tiramisu for the Ides of March to chocolate chip hush puppies for national dog day (did you even know there was a national dog day? I didn’t!) there seems to be awesome recipes for nearly every celebration. But even if the calendar of treats seem over the top (I mean it IS a Baked book, so there’s a bit of over-the-top sheen to everything they do right?) the recipes are spot on delightful with classic treats updated the Baked way, such as nutella chip cookies, while some of the more out there desserts are still pretty tasty sounding like the red wine chocolate cupcakes with chocolate glaze. A year of treats, the Baked way, isn’t a bad thing at all!

Flour + Water. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Flour + Water is one of my all time favorite restaurant concept cookbooks. Though I’ve enjoyed food from the restaurant in the past, reading the recipes in their cookbook, coupled with engaging stories about each meal or dish and how they came about makes me fall in love with their food all the more. But, more than the stories (which I love) and the beautiful photography (which make me crave carbs more than anything else) are the recipes. The glorious accessible and easy to follow recipes. These are recipes that I can see myself making over and over again, corzetti with sausage, clams and fennel; toasted farrow garganelli with short ribs, hazelnuts and radicchio, ricotta and tomato torteletti in brood (tomato water). These are the sort of fine dining Italian dishes that sounds fancier than they are to make. The kind of meals you can serve to company or just have at home yourself. This is the sort of cookbook you can go back to over and over again, just to read curled up in your couch or standing at your kitchen counter as you get lost in the rhythm of rolling out fresh pasta. This is a book that everyone who loves food needs in their home.

Good Cheap Eats. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m all for eating on a budget (despite common misconceptions, food writers like myself aren’t really rolling in the huge amounts of money) so when I got a copy of Jessica Fisher’s Good Cheap Eats, based on her popular blog of the same name, I was pretty excited to dive in and see what she has to offer. With 200 recipes that don’t break the bank and with lots of tips on what dishes you can make ahead and what dishes keep, this is the sort of cookbook for those folks who still wants to eat great but don’t have a huge disposable income (in other words, most of us!). With no-frill recipes like beer-marinated grilled steak, meaty lasagna with Asiago béchamel and Cajun shrimp and sausage rice along with family/entertaining friendly fun ideas like how to make your own burrito bar as well as handy sections on how to tell if your meat is done or how to stretch your budget, this book is ideal for college students who are ready to graduate from instant ramen to families watching their budgets.

The Big Book of Sides. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m going to call it like it is: Rick Rodgers, the author behind The Big Book of Sides is the Joyce Carol Oates of cookbooks. I mean every six months there is a cookbook with his name on it and they are not insignificant books either. With over 450 recipes for sides this book does NOT mess around (and apparently Rick had 75 more recipes that he had to cut because of space!). From coconut-lime rice to whole wheat, cheddar and sage drop biscuits to spinach with garlic chips to latkes with chives sour cream (though I might argue that I can totally make a meal just with latkes, making them less a side dish and more a main) this is the sort of resource cookbook that everyone who has a large family or loves to entertain needs on their shelf.

Brown Sugar Kitchen. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ve never eaten at Brown Sugar Kitchen, the soul food restaurant right across the Bay Bridge over in West Oakland though I’ve been lucky to sample their food at various different food events here in San Francisco. Having met Tanya Holland, the executive chef many times I was thrilled to hear her cookbook Brown Sugar Kitchen was coming out. From her amazing Creole shrimp and chicken gumbo to her fabulous macaroni and cheese to the new Southern classic fried chicken and waffles, these recipes are solid and warm like you expect them to be. I love the idea of serving waffles with apple cider maple syrup and her fast sautéed collard greens sounds quick and refreshing versus the long cooked tradition. I’ll eventually make my way over to the restaurant but in the meanwhile, I’ll be pretty happy to make her bacon, cheddar and green onion biscuits at home.

Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

It seems like everywhere I turn, another friend or friend of friend discovers that their body doesn’t play well with gluten or dairy. Thankfully Silvana Nardone is here to the rescue! With her new book Silvana’s Gluten Free and Dairy Free Kitchen, Silvana has recreated some classic dishes like blueberry swirl muffins, crispy fried chicken and nachos mac and cheese which all sounds pretty darn tasty even for those of us who can tolerate gluten or dairy. With clear and easy instructions (as well as little details like how long the recipe takes to prep and cook) this is a great book for those families with special dietary needs looking to get a meal on the table that everyone can eat and enjoy on a weeknight.

Baking Bible. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Rose Levy Beranbaum is known for her exhaustively tested cookbooks that are in nearly every home and professional baker’s home and the The Baking Bible is no exception. Tackling nearly every baked good, from cakes to pies to cookies and breads, this book is a professional pastry course at a fraction of the cost. From rustic desserts like the blueberry buckle or the perfect peach galette to the more finished pink pearl lady cake with fondant or the prune preserve and caramel cream cake roll, the information packed into the comprehensive book is invaluable if you love to bake. Think of The Baking Bible as a reference guide and textbook to baking but one that you’ll actual use, not just leave on the shelf.

Slanted Door

Charlie Phan’s Slanted Door is one of the very first fancy fine dining restaurants that I ate at here in San Francisco and I still have fond memories of it. Though they’ve moved twice since their first incarnation (my favorite of them all, though it may just be the memories I have from that space and the people I ate with) they still deliver some of the best modern version of Vietnamese food I’ve had. Though some restaurant driven cookbooks rely on high end restaurant grade ingredients or ridiculous preparation, The Slanted Door cookbook recipes all seem relatively easy to make even for those not familiar with Asian cooking, and the ingredients can mostly be found in a well stocked grocery store (though you may have to do a trip to an Asian grocery store to find some of the specialty ingredients like Shaoxing rice wine or fish sauce). With classic signature dishes like shaking beef, vegetarian imperial rolls and steamed halibut with ginger lime broth as well as more contemporary takes on Vietnamese dishes like Vietnamese fisherman’s stew, grilled rack of lamb with tamarind sauce and roasted lobster with butter herb dressing this is a cookbook that you can grow with as you get more comfortable making Vietnamese food at home.

Heritage. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

One of my biggest regrets in our road trip across American that I took with my partner two years ago was not dining at Husk, Sean Brock’s restaurant in Charleston, North Carolina. We stayed in an adorable (and strangely reasonably priced) hotel right across the street from it but at the time we were watching our budget and Husk seemed too much a splurge. Though we ate well in Charleston, flipping through Heritage, the new cookbook by Chef Brock makes me realize that we probably missed out on one fabulous meal. This book is as much a coffee table book with gorgeous photos of the food and the low country where the food is sourced as it is a series of biographies of the farmers and food producers that provide the ingredients that make Chef Brock’s restaurants Husk and McGrady’s so fantastic. Oh and there are the recipe too. Some are more time consuming than others (48 hour pork rinds? Oh my!) but the others are easier than you think (grilled chicken wings with burnt scallion barbeque sauce; cracklin’ cornbread; and slow-cooked pork shoulder with tomato gravy, creamed corn and roasted baby Vidalias). This isn’t your typical southern cuisine cookbook, this is fine dining at it’s best.

[THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED]
I’m giving away a copy of Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich, Blue Chair Cooks with Jam & Marmalade by Rachel Saunders, My Portugal by George Mendes and Unichef to one luck reader! All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me what your plans are for the holidays! Are you traveling to visit family? Are you staying home and hosting a giant holiday party? Are you ignoring everything and avoiding Christmas music like it’s the plague? Tell me your plans and you could win a copy of these four amazing books!

The Fine Print
By leaving a comment below to enter, you are agreeing to the Official Rules.
▪ NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
▪ VOID WHERE PROHIBITED
▪ You must be over the age of 18.
▪ This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens. Sorry non-US people!
▪ The contest starts as of today, and will run until Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, 9am PST.
▪ The combined retail value of everything is about $150.
▪ The winner will be chosen by a randomly selected comment. All comments will be numbered and I will use Random.org to pick a random number.
▪ The number of eligible comments below determines the odds of winning.
▪ If there’s a problem with contacting the winner, I reserve the right to award everything to someone else randomly chosen. So in other words, make sure you type in your correct email address if you want the membership and respond within a week to me when I contact you or I’ll give everything to someone else.
▪ The prize is being delivered directly from the publishers. If they have not delivered the prize to you within three weeks of me notifying you of winning, please reach out to me again and I will do follow up to make sure everything is OK. Please keep in mind we are all human and things happen. I will do everything within my power to make sure the prize is delivered in a timely manner.

Special thanks to Andrew McMeel, Artisan, Ballantine Books, Chronicle Books, Glitterati, Harper Collins, Harvard Common Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Stewart Tabori & Chang, Ten Speed Press, for providing review copies of the books featured above. I was not compensated for the post above and all opinions above are completely my own. And extra special thanks to Andrew McMeel, Artisan, Glitterati and Stewart Tabori & Chang for providing copies of your books to giveaway to one reader. You guys are awesome!

[This blog post has affiliate links, which means if you click through to purchase a book, I get a small percentage of the sales, at no cost to you. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the book or item of your choice.]

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine December 10, 2014 at 5:34 am

I’m not traveling much, but I’ll be spending time with my 2 families and baking delicious desserts for them!

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Hilary December 10, 2014 at 6:14 am

I’m staying at home & hosting a Christmas Eve celebration.

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Janine December 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

I’ll be traveling to Texas to spend time with the BF’s family

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The Suzzzz December 10, 2014 at 8:08 am

I’m working right up until Christmas, then I’m sticking close to home since most of my family lives within a 15 minute drive. The only major thing I’m involved with is a Hanukkah dinner party that I am planning for my friends next week before they all scatter for the season. None of us are Jewish but we all enjoy learning about other cultures and religions, especially through food, so I’m hoping it turns out well. And honestly, it all started because I wanted an excuse to make a massive amount of latkes.

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Thomas December 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

We host Christmas at our house and the in-laws come with half the food. I usually make a couple pies – would love to get Flavor Flours for kicking dessert up a notch, though I know you’ve already got lots of recipes featuring alternative grains. Just gotta buy some!

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Janice Wilhelm December 10, 2014 at 10:15 am

Our plans are the same this year as in all years. We gather at my husbands grandparents home. Out of 6 siblings (4 boys/2 girls), 3 (1b/2g) stayed at home to take care of the parents. The girls are the only ones left at the house, but they still put on the spread. Once the meal is done, the table (that seats 12) gets covered in all kinds of different candies & homemade cookies. The cookies bring us all together and we (jokingly) argue which cookie is the best (it’s the sand tarts). The recipes for the cookies are old. They all use lard and the ingredients are measured by the pound using an old scale with weights. The girls prep & bake for over a month before the big day. It’s is something we look forward to each year.

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joanne December 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I am hoping to travel to the south (gasp) to spend Christmas with my boyfriend’s family! Happy Holidays to you.

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Nicole D. December 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I would so love to forget about the holidays completely this year…..that being said, I’m sure we will be headed to my sister’s house!

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shelly December 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

I blame my mom for my cookbook obsession. She would have loved to see this.

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Lei December 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Missing our dad this year, so we’ll have a quiet gathering to remember good times and toast his memory. I foresee a Chocolate Kahlua Cake…

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Ryan F. December 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm

It’s our first Christmas in Minnesota! We’ll be home, spending a quiet Christmas (hopefully) in the snow.

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Ginny Prell December 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm

My husband, kids and I will stay at home in KY and spend the whole day together. Enjoying whatever the holidays bring us. My kids love to sit around and watch movies and I (Mom) usually cook a big Christmas dinner for us. Breakfast is always Baked French Toast with apples. The whole day they snack on the cookies I have been making all along (including the Springerle’s I made a few weeks ago should be just right on Christmas Day with a cup of coffee. ) Happy Holidays!

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Kerrey December 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I’d really love to win this one. Just had to go gluten free for medical reasons, so Flour Flavors would be perfect, and I am attempting marmalade today for the first time. I don’t think it’s working! My Portugal has been on my list for a while, and the other is new to me, but sounds interesting. Planning a low key holiday this year with the kids, just the way I like it!

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Marissa December 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Plan on spending the holidays at home with my hubby and 1 year old – playing, watching movies, and baking 🙂

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Linda December 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

My mother would be so happy knowing that I’m continuing her baking. She passed away in March 2008.

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deneen December 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

will be going to my sister’s for Christmas. We all (our parents included) gather there on Christmas eve, eat a ton of food, watch movies & play games. Then up early on Christmas morning to watch the kids open presents & eat plates of cookies for breakfast.

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Di Larson December 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams….. I will be working a double shift at my part-time job.

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Jenny Hartin December 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Just the usual.

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lyla December 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm

It will be a quiet holiday. But in the days leading up I will be busy with quick breads and cookie trays destined for family back east and local homeless shelter.

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Tamara December 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Ignoring it all. It’s my specialty 🙂

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Brooke December 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

We will be unpacking for the holidays.

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Bea December 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Sometimes life changes our plans and traditions. Taking care of two sick family members, so the usual festivities on ice for this year. But it is all good….more time to count our blessings and remember the reason for the season.

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Stacie Tamaki December 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Since I’ve moved and don’t have a lot of friends in MI I’ll be celebrating Christmas morning by making Gingerbread Ebelskivers filled with diced butter sauteed pears and served alongside freshly made lemon curd. Am craving the Gingerbread Pancakes from Zazie’s in SF so this will be my attempt to recreate them. Danish style. Out here in the Midwest.

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Marcia December 10, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I’d love these books!

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Linda Mire December 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Christmas Eve at my Brother’s home. Then a laid back Christmas with my Children and their partners.

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Brian Richerson December 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Stacie sent me to post a comment. I love cooking and my favorite cook book is “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman. Ciao.

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Rona December 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Spending a quiet holiday at home with family and friends and lots of great food.

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Jenifer Smith December 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I’m staying at home…Possibly traveling to the coast for the weekend.

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Robin Currie December 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

We have Christmas at home and then go to my in-laws to celebrate another Christmas and my father-in-law’s birthday….he is turning 92 years old this December 30!

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Mary Ann December 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Hosting Christmas Day, can’t wait.

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Caroline December 10, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Irvin, you choose the absolute best books. I love when you do this every year because it just opens the door to so many new books I haven’t heard of.

I’m really excited for this Christmas! Our best friends who moved to Australia a year and a half ago are coming to stay with us! We miss them dearly. Looking forward to cooking and EATING a lot! Happy holidays!

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Wendy Read December 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm

We will be home Irvin 🙂 Probably on an inversion table receiving IV fluids after I ship out my last box of jam. I adore cookbooks and what an amazing review job you have done with these. Can’t wait to purchase YOUR book when it is finished. XO

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Gary December 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm

I will be staying home.

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Dana Kaiser December 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

wow. I love your writing style and detailed reviews of the books. I linked here through Cookbook Junkies, and yes you are right about those with thousands. Quality not quantity is my personal motto. My family and I are heading from the East coast to the tip of Texas to visit the in-laws, and then back…with lots of stops along the way to enjoy culinary delights!

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Joan December 10, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Christmas Eve we’re having appetizers for supper at our daughter and son-in-laws. Then I’ll make Christmas breakfast at our house and supper at my Dad’s for the whole family.

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Tonya Harmon December 10, 2014 at 7:10 pm

We’re staying home this year. I’m having a big French Country dinner party for our friends, with the menu drawn from recipes I learned taking a cooking class from Danielle many years ago, the woman who was the subject of the movie, Haute Cuisine. There will be much wine, music and merriment and all my favorite people, and I can hardly wait to feed them.

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Sarah December 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm

flying out to spend a week with in-laws and a week with my family, all with a 2 yr old and a cross country flight.

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Kristen December 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I am so excited to take a much needed winter break from school and visit my parent! I have been out of the country way too long.

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Kat Vega December 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm

I’ll be here in Texas missing my kids in NY and trying to win over my BFs family who I just learned doesn’t much care for me.

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Judy December 11, 2014 at 1:19 am

I always make a huge brunch to eat as we open presents. We try not to overwhelm the grandchildren.

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Debra December 11, 2014 at 1:50 am

Having a simple Christmas close to home with family and friends. Also expecting a new grandson right around Christmas!

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Ana Carvalho December 11, 2014 at 3:39 am

My son; and I will join my Mother in my brother’s house we are taking the bus and traveling 6 hours to his town. Once there I plan to teach my nephews and my son how to make mango recepis like mango chutneys; mango lassi ice cream and mango salsas. They live in a condo where there lots of mango trees and at the end of the year its mango season! Happy Holidays to all! By the way I am a US citizen living abroad…and hope I can get those books 🙂

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Jabbara December 11, 2014 at 3:49 am

Spending Christmas in the sawtooth mountains in Idaho with the family.

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Chef TonyB December 11, 2014 at 4:13 am

Looks like my post didn’t make it from yesterday. My favorite Holiday food item memory was my mother’s vanilla white cake with coconut whipped cream icing. The cake HAD to be served ice box cold and cut in very thin slivers. Well that’s how I loved to eat it. We would have a glass of ice milk along with the cake. I haven’t thought of Ice Milk in decades! Enjoy your holiday food memories!

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Marisa Franca @ All Our Way December 11, 2014 at 4:14 am

Well we are actually having two Christmas celebration — one at our house and then Christmas eve at our daughter in Carmel, IN . We are picking up our prime rib today so we can age it {really simple to do and it tastes fantastic} and then for our daughter’s I’m making baccala alla veneziana the way my mamma made it. And I simply love cookbooks and I can’t give them away. They are like members of the family 🙂

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Holly Siminski December 11, 2014 at 5:03 am

I’m travelling home to see my family hopefully!

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Terry December 11, 2014 at 5:14 am

I’m hosting a small family dinner where we will enjoy being together, and try to ignore how crazy the holiday gets for so many out there.

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Aaron Rishell December 11, 2014 at 5:18 am

Staying home and hosting family.

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Holly December 11, 2014 at 6:39 am

My daughter is coming home for the holidays, so we will enjoy spending time with her.

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rachel in OR December 11, 2014 at 7:44 am

I’m traveling to family right after the holidays..when the airfares are cheaper!

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annelies December 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

How have you never been to Brown Sugar Kitchen? We need to rectify that, stat. (PS- just leaving a comment, not entering the contest).

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Cat Harding December 11, 2014 at 9:26 am

I got really excited- but I’m in England. 🙁

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Mia December 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

I’ll be celebrating Hannukah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and my birthday with my family and friends. Very excited!! 🙂

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Peggy December 11, 2014 at 11:08 am

Spending time with family & friends.

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Ann December 11, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I will spend the holiday with my son and family. I will make grandma M’s famous noodles. Loved by generations. Nothing like homemade noodles.

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Amy December 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

We will be home for Christmas. We go out for Chinese food on x-mas eve with my husband’s side of the family and then go bowling on Christmas day with my side.

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Imane December 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm

this year we’ll have a romantic Xmas my husband and I

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Jenn December 11, 2014 at 1:52 pm

We’ll be staying at home this year, celebrating the holidays bundled up, enjoying the cold and snow 🙂 Great giveaway!

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Lana | Never Enough Thyme December 11, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Kids and grandkids are coming! I’m cooking, decorating, and entertaining – as usual!

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edward ang December 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I get to play the doting uncle (and Santa Claus) to my gorgeous nieces for the holidays. It will be a fun filled and rollicking holiday season!

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Paula Nicholson December 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

We will be going to the in- laws on Christmas Eve and my parents on Christmas Day! There will be lots of new toys for our 3 boys to play with and lots of yummy food consumed!

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Kathy Roels December 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I love new exciting recipes. Please Please Please!

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Susan Rodgers December 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm

As a full-time RN, wife, mother and daughter caring for aging parents, my idea of relaxation is reading cookbooks, baking and giving away the creations! The holidays are more fun because I’ll be baking more!!!

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Amy December 11, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Staying at home celebrating my daughter’s birthday. She has already selected the cover cake from Baked Occasions as her birthday cake for me to make.

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Michelle December 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm

We are staying home and having family over to eat tamales on Christmas Eve.

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Francis Abwa Njie December 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm

I’ll be cooking Korean food in PA.

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YN December 12, 2014 at 4:05 am

My plans include spending time with those I love and giving them home-made goods as gifts.

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claudia harris December 12, 2014 at 7:10 am

I’m in Bodhgaya, India, where the Buddha sat under the tree. Christmas Day I will undoubtedly spend some time sitting under the tree. Perhaps I’ll steam (no oven here) some buckwheat gluten free date muffins to distribute to friends, along with my stash of Trader Joe’s chocolate.

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J. L-Gat December 12, 2014 at 11:50 am

This year I am spending the holidays with my bf’s sisters at kihei. My bf and I are planning on making chili because that’s the only dish he could make since I taught him how to make his own chili spices lol! And I’m going to make my oatmeal rum raisen cookies!

I don’t plan on traveling this year as I am on my last semester of advance baking 1. A month ago I just got the opportunity to work at one of Hawaii’s best known Chefs Mark Elleman; at one of his restaurant Honu’s Seafood and Pizza as a baker’s assistant and I’m about to take on another opportunity to work as a baker at this really cute small bakery here at Paia which I am so stoked about!! But this year I am spending the holidays with my bf’s sisters at kihei. My bf and I are planning on making chili because that’s the only dish he could make since I thought him how to make his own chili spices lol! And I’m going to make oatmeal rum raisen cookies!

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Sarah December 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

For the first time in nine years, I’m going home for Christmas (in previous years I was overseas without a kitchen, and I went on an absolute baking bender when I got home). Christmas in my house involves listening to traditional Polish carols, making sauerkraut and split peas, and baking dozens of cookies to distribute to family and friends. I would love to win the “Blue Chair” book in particular as I just bought a Mauviel jam pan and canning set! Thank you so much for the awesome giveaway and happy holidays 🙂

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Sharyl W. December 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I spend Christmas Eve with my parents and siblings and Day I spend with Mark’s family.

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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine December 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I’m finally going home for winter break (from college)! SO excited!

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janetfctc December 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

My plans for the holiday are just to hang out with my family, eat cookies until we burst and watch sappy Christmas movies 😀

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Mrs. L December 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

We will do the standard…go visit the husbands parents on Christmas Eve, then drive from there to my aunts house to spend the night and have Christmas with my Dad and family Christmas morning. Then back home later in the day to celebrate just the two of us. Lots of driving (at least two hours each leg of the drive) and an exhausting spin but happy to be able to see everyone.

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Allison Day December 12, 2014 at 5:45 pm

This year is a quiet year for us, just staying at home. But regardless, you can be sure there will be tons of sushi for New Year’s! 😀

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itzia December 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

I’m staying in town and having the family come over to our house.

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Rian N. December 13, 2014 at 8:40 am

I’m traveling again! It’d be a shame to not take advantage of working on the East Coast to check out the cities here – so, Philadelphia, here I come!

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Debbie Ducusin December 13, 2014 at 9:29 am

Not traveling this year. I’m making Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner. And baking the dessert finale…though I have yet to decided on what to make.

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Lorien December 14, 2014 at 12:47 am

Staying home as usual, but being or first year with two kids, I’m sure it’s not gonna be any less busy around here 🙂

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Beth December 14, 2014 at 8:06 am

We’re going to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family and then later in the day celebrate with my husband’s family.

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Nancy Nevin December 14, 2014 at 11:13 am

Irwin…thanks for asking! Two things for Christmas: First, flying ON Christmas Day to land at 9 pm in my hometown so see two new babies in our family. It’s a schlep, but what’s better than new babies for Christmas? Second, I’m trying to turn last year’s big “C” diagnosis (trying NOT to play that card – really) into an inspiration to really let go and just go for “it”. Now if I can only figure out what “it” is…but maybe a new food blog (yes, another…heavy sigh). A healthy diet after “c” takes so much work. I’d love to make it easy for people. Cheers to you and yours!!
ps. And maybe winning the cookbooks would be a little sign from above that I’ve got the right “it”.

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Jazmin Lui December 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm

My plans for the holidays are NOT studying anymore and returning to Canada to enjoy time with friends and family – and of course Christmas baking marathons!

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Anne December 15, 2014 at 7:57 am

This time is year is difficult for me, and if I had my way, I would go to bed, pull the blanket over my head, and wake up in January. No, make that March. But since I can’t do that, I’m having a very low-key holiday. My spouse and I will exchange gifts and I’ll make us a nice meal on Christmas. More than that I just can’t handle. 🙁

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Alice December 15, 2014 at 8:29 am

we are enjoying a quiet holiday then we are off to Japan!! 🙂 We are moving overseas! Woo-hoo!

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Renee December 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

We plan on spending the long weekend at home in our PJs. Cooking, baking and eating what will amount to be way too much food. The kids are looking forward to Santa/Hanukkah Harry and gifts but the adults are looking forward to sleeping in!

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Judy December 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

We’ll enjoy spending time with family including a new (keeper) girlfriend for son number 3.

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Hilary December 16, 2014 at 12:18 am

My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby this week—so I’ll spend the holidays lavishing the little one with presents.

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