It’s a GFR holiday tradition to publish Dean Tudor’s annual list of the best new cookbooks and food and wine related tomes in bookstores now. Click here to browse the whole series. Watch for a new category of book every week. And please support your friendly neighbourhood Good Food Fighter, and expertly curated, book shops: The Cookbook Store and Good Egg. – Malcolm Jolley, Ed.


Stocking stuffers are at the top of everybody’s gift list: something affordable (under $10, up to $20) that can also double as a host gift, something small and lightweight. Most of the books here are paperbacks. And of course, they can stuff an adult stocking. Typical for food are:

Gourmet mag books

GOURMET WEEKDAY (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, 192 pages, $23.95 CAN hardbound) contains some recipes from the former Gourmet magazine that are useful for busy weeknights and easy entertaining. There are vegetarian mains, seafood dishes, quick and easy dishes, and desserts, with cooking times and some included menus. GOURMET ITALIAN (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, 192 pages, $23.95 CAN hardbound) contains some recipes from the former Gourmet magazine that are useful for our love affair with Italian food. There’s a mix of classic and contemporary here, well over 100 preps on vegetarian dishes, pastas, meats, cheeses, and desserts.

mmm marshmallows

MMM… MARSHMALLOWS (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 64 pages, $19.95 CAN hard cover) is a collection of some 30 preps, including the basic making of marshmallows. You can, of course, use the commercial ones for her recipes on fudge, cookies, candy bars, cakes and s’mores. Interesting single ingredient book.

Sunday Brunch

SUNDAY BRUNCH (Chronicle Books, 2012, 120 pages, $19.95 US paper back) provides a year’s worth of food through 80 preps for eggs, stratas, pancakes, waffles, quickbreads, hash and beverages. There are also menus.

panini book

PANINI (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 64 pages, $18.95 CAN hardbound) deals with Italian toasted sandwiches, usually with melting cheese, veggies and some meat. They can be cooked on a grill or stove or with a panini press. Coverage in the 39 recipes includes breakfast, lunch, brunch, desserts, and a variety of condiment for pickles, mayonnaise, pesto and roasted tomatoes.

country baking book

THE LITTLE BOOK OF COUNTRY BAKING (SkyHorse, 2012, 186 pages, $19.95 US paper covers) has classic recipes for cakes, cookies, breads and pies, as well as tips and advice for sprucing up dishes. The 136 recipes also include gluten-free productions using a GF flour mix, muffins, bars, scones, crumbles, crisps, and cupcakes. Everything is easy enough to follow.

oils and vinegar

OILS & VINEGARS (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 64 pages, $18.95 CAN hardbound) is a nifty little collection of some 23 recipes for infusing oils and using nut, seed, and fruit oils such as walnut or hazelnut or pumpkin seed oil. And there is also arrange of gourmet vinegars, beginning with balsamic.

Waffles book

WAFFLES (Chronicle Books, 2012, 108 pages $19.95 CAN) is by Dawn Yanagihara,
and covers both sweet and savoury. She gives us 30 recipes plus toppings, and advice on different kinds of waffle machines.


TACOS, QUESADILLAS AND BURRITOS (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 64 pages, $16.95 CAN hard covers) has 30 preps for classic and contemporary Mexican street food. Sides and salsas are also included here.

101 Things Popcorn

101 THINGS TO DO WITH POPCORN (Gibbs Smith, 2012, spiral bound $9.99 US) is concerned mostly with toppings. But there is also a good variety of trail mixes, balls, bars, and savoury popcorn. There is more at

simple sushi

SIMPLE SUSHI (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 128 pages, $23.95 CAN hardbound) promotes bold flavours and fresh ingredients through such as miso asparagus rolls or ginger duck salad. The book also includes miso soups and noodle bowls. 54 recipes, including accompaniments.

guide to foodies

THE ICONCLAST’S GUIDE TO FOODIES (Dog ‘n’ Bone, 2012, 128 pages, $8.95 CAN hardcover) is by Alexandra Parsons. She has 50 article covering cooking, kitchens, menus, restaurants, grocery shopping, wine and lifestyles. Her baby names for foodies runs to over 7 pages: Aubergine, Galantine, Polenta, Epoisse, Apple… These are fables for the food obsessed.

200 appetizers

200 APPETIZERS (Gibbs Smith, 2012, 208 pages, $12.99 US spiral bound) is by Donna Kelly in the publisher’s “200” series. These are typical hors d’oeuvre, canapé, apps, finger food, mainly for entertaining. Lots of ideas here. The spiral binding is also useful.


DR. BURNORIUM’S COMPENDIUM OF HOT SAUCES (Dog ‘n’ Bone, 2012, 128 pages, $18.95 CN hardcover) deals with 50 bottled sauces, plus six you can make on your own (with habaneros, chipotles, Scotch bonnets, cayennes). There are 11 recipes using a variety of them in food. His burn ratings run to 7, which is Mad Dog 357 Silver or Blair’s Ultra Death. Other tame sauces include Psycho Juice 70% Ghost Pepper (only 5). A book for the machos and machas in your life. Bottles are illustrated so you’ll know what to avoid. Not for the faint of heart…Try The Source at 7.1 million Scovilles.

cabin cooking

CABIN COOKING (Gibbs Smith, 2012, spiral bound, $12.99 US) is full of rustic cast iron and Dutch oven recipes, useful for the modern home and family life as well as cabins. 150 preps detail breads, breakfast, sides, soups, stews, mains and desserts.

Click here to browse all of Dean Turdor’s 2012 Holiday Food and Drink Book Guide at GFR.

Dean Tudor is a Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus, The Treasurer of The Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada and creator of Canada’s award-winning wine satire site at Visit Dean’s websites at and His motto: “Look it up and you’ll remember it; screw it up and you’ll never forget it.”