Califonia Bountiful

Holiday cookbook bonus

Nov./Dec. 2010 California Country magazine

The editor of California Country's Book Review section offers these five holiday-inspired books for seasonal gatherings and gift-giving.

The New Thanksgiving Table

The New Thanksgiving Table takes the nation's traditional feast and offers up the regional flavors that make American cooking great. This best-of-the-best cookbook includes menus and serving tips from author and cooking instructor Diane Morgan. It's aimed at ensuring a stress-free celebration and includes more than 70 recipes—from juniper-brined roast turkey to cranberry cheesecake with chocolate cinnamon crust. Sumptuously photographed by award-winning food photographer Leigh Beisch. $24.95. Order from local booksellers or online at


Discover Ironstone Vineyards

From the Sierra foothills of Calaveras County comes Discover Ironstone Vineyards, a collection of recipes with suggested wine pairings that showcase the expertise of the winery's chef, Dan Lewis, and capture in photos the beauty of the foothill winegrape-growing region. With recipes edited by wine type and suitable for holiday entertaining, dishes range from watermelon martinis to fennel-crusted pork loin to apple-brandy tart. $16.95. Order online at


Cookie Craft Christmas

Cookies and Christmas go together like candy canes and mistletoe, but Cookie Craft Christmas by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer takes the art of the cookie to show-stopping heights. From easy sugar cookie peace doves to gingerbread angels with elaborate stenciled icing, the techniques are clearly described and fully illustrated. The book also has a handy resource list for hard-to-find baking and decorating tools. $14.95. Order from local booksellers or online at


Very Merry Cookie Party

If life is about trade-offs, then Very Merry Cookie Party is a holiday must. It's a guide to planning and hosting a holiday cookie exchange from nationally known author and food historian Barbara Grunes, writer Virginia Van Vynckt and award-winning food photographer France Ruffenach. Noting that holiday cookie exchange parties are growing in popularity, this cookbook offers 120 distinctive recipes with tips on how to dress up cookies for the celebration. $19.95. Order from local booksellers or online at


All Cakes Considered

Start the new year on a sweet note with All Cakes Considered, a collection that offers a year's worth of weekly recipes—tested and approved by the staff of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." The radio show's producer, Melissa Gray, provides a fun-filled chronicle of her year-long baking adventure. Try cowboy cookies or wow 'em with sour cream spice cake with orange butter frosting. Includes more than 50 recipes and helpful hints. $24.95. Order from local booksellers or online at

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