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  • Writer's pictureChef Kelly Unger

Shippable Holiday Gifts for the Cook - Part 4 of 4

Cookbooks! As many of you know, I have a serious cookbook addiction. Here I'm going to focus on three specifically but I'll also give you a short list of others I love.

First up is Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. Not really a cookbook per se, but a ton of information about the foods with the most healing power. This knowledge is powerful. Especially during these times, we all need to focus on our health. But this book will give you the information you need to fix many common ailments. There is a recipe for each food item and the recipes present the items in the most healthy way possible. Anthony William has many other books, such as Cleanse to Heal, and Liver Rescue - both of which I have and love - and many others as well. I think Life Changing Foods is the best first Anthony William book and most topical and absorbable for these times. If you've been to a class, I quote from this book all the time, that's how strongly I feel about the information in this book.

My next favorite cookbook suggestion is Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. I have taught classes and made many of her recipes and all of them have been huge crowd pleasers. For example: Pommes Dauphinoise, Paris Mushroom Soup, Bacon, Eggs & Asparagus Salad, Pumpkin Stuffed with Every Good Thing, and Marie-Helene's Apple Cake, to name a few. I love Dorie Greenspan and as a huge Francophile, love these French dishes - ranging from classics to countryside recipes gained from friends and travel. Dorie also has a cookie book, Dorie's Cookies, which I also highly recommend.

Finally, Zahav! A World of Israeli Cooking by Mike Solomonov. Since we can't go to the restaurant now - not only because of covid but also because the wait time for a reservation is very long - let's bring the restaurant home. The pita bread recipe is the best I've come across and it's the one I make for my family. It's super easy and a great intro to bread making. Every recipe I've tried from this book has been super delicious. I taught several classes on a menu from this book this Fall - Harissa Chicken, Pita Bread, Apple, Walnut and Kale Tabbouleh, and Chickpea Brittle. This menu was requested for private group cooking classes and everyone loved these recipes. So much so that I will definitely offer another cooking class in the upcoming schedule with more recipes from this book. And, worth mentioning that parsley is in the Life Changing Foods book mentioned above and tabbouleh is a dish that relies heavily on parsley. Tabbouleh is a life changing recipe!

Other cookbooks I love for various reasons (either the layout, or the recipes are healthy OR indulgent or the fact that it takes me somewhere I've never been): Alipne Cooking by Meredith Erikson, Tasting Georgia by Carla Capalbo, Bazaar by Sabrina Ghayour, The Blue Zones Kitchen by Dan Buettner, Let's Eat France by Francois-Regis Gaudry, Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, Sababa by Adeena Sussman.

I hope this series was helpful! I've posted videos with this information on my Instagram @chefkellyunger. I miss cooking with you and pray I can open back up soon. Stay safe and healthy and eat more parsley! Happy holidays!

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