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Recommendations for a cookbook as a wedding gift

A friend of mine is getting married soon, and my partner and I are getting her some bakeware from her registry. We thought it would be nice to put a good cookbook in the gift, as well and were hoping for some good recommendations.

The bride (my friend) is a vegetarian who enjoys cooking and loves all things Italy. The groom's not a vegetarian and I don't know if he cooks, but I figure even if he doesn't he'll reap the benefits of it all either way.

Anyway, any recommendations? We thought something baking related would be appropriate but it isn't absolutely necessary. I was thinking of "Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen" after reading a few good reviews around here, but I don't know anything about the book myself.

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  1. If you're giving bakeware I do think it's nice to give a baking book.

    The classic of all classics is Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible.

    Or her new one: Heavenly Cakes.

    She has a website: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/

    1. My favorite Italian vegetarian cookbook is "Italian Vegetarian Cooking" but I think it is out of print?? I also like "The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating" I am not a vegetarian so am not an expert but both these books have delicious recipes. Sorry I don't have a dessert book but I would think, unless they are vegans, that most dessert books would work??? I am not familiar with the "Dolce Italiano" book but will look for it at the library - thanks for the idea.

      1. My standard wedding gift is "Joy of Cooking." :-)
        Shows my age, huh??

        2 Replies
        1. re: susanpmccoy

          Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

          1. re: foodsnob14

            Bittman's veg book is fabulous too, but How to Cook Everything is my standard gift as well.

        2. If you can get ahold of a early '70's edition of the "Good Housekeeping Cookbook" that isn't worn out from use. Very informative and full of basics both for cooking and baking.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

            Ahhh, very good choice - I have their illustrated cookbook from the mid-1980s - with the souffle on the cover.


            Otherwise, I think "Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" is a good choice: http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Cook...

          2. So as not to duplicate whatever she already has in her cooking library, how about a gift subscription to Cooks Illustrated (paper or online) or a gift certificate for Jessica's Biscuit, a catalog and online cookbook seller? If you are committed to an actual book, the "Best Recipe" line of CI cookbooks, which include baking books, are well-respected.

            1. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I'm a pretty hardcore meat-i-tarian. Great book. Lots of good stuff for vegans, vegetarians, and sides for carnivores. And it's encyclopedic.

              This is our standard wedding gift.

              1. What about the Silver Spoon, or its Spanish counterpart, 1080 recipes?
                Both beautiful books that at least to me should be in any kitchen!

                1. I think it is out of print, but Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts is simply terrific. YWell-written, the recipes are brilliant, everything about this book makes me happy. I've given it as a well-received wedding gift several times.

                  1. A subscription to any of the Reiman Publication Taste of Home magazines is great! No advertisements in any of their magazines!

                    Another suggestion would be any local group's cookbook (church, ladies organization, etc.). They always have good 'down home' recipes.

                    Also give the bride the website 'www.allrecipes.com' address. Lots of great recipes for the beginner to advanced cook for all types of food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sassylassy

                      My Taste of Home has resorted to tons of advertising now (in Canada, at least). But it is still a good idea for a wedding gift.

                    2. How about "Italy - The Beautiful Cookbook". I have not seen it, but have the one on Provence, and it is really nice.

                      Roger Vergé's "Entertaining in the French Style" is a great book, with some really nice recipes.

                      Both are good coffee-tables books too.

                      1. Carol Field's "The Italian Baker" is the best Italian baking book I've seen. The recipes are well-written, comprehensive, and work. Ms. Field is to Italian baking as Marcella Hazan is to Italian cooking. It's available at Jessica's Biscuit for $40.00. I have Dolce Italiano but am underwhelmed by it.

                        1. Any Bittman cookbook; Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home; new Blackberry Farm cookbook.

                          1. Guiliano Bugialli's "Foods of Naples and Campania". There are MANY dishes that are vegetarian, and others that could easily be adapted (ie. subbing veg broth for chicken broth). Lots of good things with eggplant, lemon, tomato, pasta, etc. It's also a big book with lots of pictures - beautiful for display in the kitchen or on a coffee-table.

                            1. Lidia Bastianich books, although not vegetarian, would be a lovely wedding gift as they are informative and do contain vegetarian recipes in them.

                              How about David Rocco's "La Dolce Vita"? His style is rustic peasant country cooking.