Shopping, cooking and entertaining is the holiday trifecta that sends people into a regular flurry of excitement, and also invariably panic. Creating a feast on a time crunch, prepping your abode, and making all those last-minute arrangements before company comes calling can give anyone a conniption.

Whether it’s your first time hosting a holiday party or you believe you’re a living, breathing, domestic god/goddess, BookTrib gives you a diverse range of books recently published on wining and dining that are sure to impress your impatient guests, and assure them that yes, it was all worth the wait.

Whiskey in a Teacup

Reese Witherspoon (Touchstone Books)


Reese Witherspoon has become a cultural icon as an actress, producer, entrepreneur, and (we would be remiss not to mention) high-profile book club advocate. Now also an author, her cookbook Whiskey in a Teacup contains Southern recipes from her Aunt Dorothea that reflect their lifestyle, laced with funny personal anecdotes from Witherspoon’s upbringing. Whether used to make delicious biscuits or serve Witherspoon’s stories as conversational fodder at your own soirée, this book is a winner.


Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering 

Joanna Gaines (William Morrow)

Joanna Gaines brings her charismatic television personality to the page and definitively proves herself as a benevolent and powerful force of hospitality. Luckily for us, Joanna is also a generous force since she is sharing many of her cooking recipes and secrets, including ones used by the Gains’ restaurant Magnolia Table. Over 125 classic recipes are featured from comforting mac and cheese to a delectable lemon pie. Any of these specialties are bound to be crowd pleasers.

The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook

Steven Rinella (Spiegel & Grau)

Host of the television series and podcast MeatEater, Steven Rinella walks us through 100 recipes that will be perfect for any hunter to transform his/her game into a masterful meal. Preparing a dish using big game, small game, waterfowl, upland birds, freshwater fish, saltwater fish and everything in between is laid out in a clear and easy manner that will prove accessible to beginner and expert cookers alike. Hunters or anglers, or whoever is preparing their catches, will experience a new sense of satisfaction being able to cultivate the wild tastes and provide guests with a fresh and filling meal.

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks

Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

Maybe it’s the careless laughing manner in which Ina Garten expertly flips those small food items in a frying pan, items I firmly believe would turn into projectile missiles in my less skilled hands without instruction. Maybe it’s that inviting look in her eyes urging me that I too can do this, but she’s hooked me right away with her newest cookbook.

To Ina, cooking and hosting go hand-in-hand. Among many simple streamlined recipes and pieces of advice, in Cook Like a Pro, the host of Food Network’s “The Barefoot Contessa” explains easily how to set up an elegant home bar and make a swoon-worthy Raspberry Baked Alaska that can be completely prepared ahead of time for your guests!

Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake 

Kristen Miglore (Ten Speed Press)

Kristen Miglore, International Association of Culinary Professionals award-winning and New York Times best-selling cookbook author, takes the wisdom she has gleaned from the Food52 community and teaches us how to create some of the most iconic dessert creations spanning the previous century. Warm peach cobbler with a hot sugar crust, Maida Heatter’s East 62nd Street Lemon Cake, and many more mouthwatering recipes for you to choose from.

Tips on how to use unconventional ingredients and beautiful images that will make your stomach rumble will make this your right-hand manual. This cookbook features recipes for elegant dinner parties, bake sales, and the ever-important opportunities for personal snacking.

French Pastry 101

Betty Hung (Page Street Publishing)

How are we to master that enticing yet ever elusive crème brûlée? Betty Hung, co-owner of Beaucoup Bakery in Vancouver gives us tips and tricks to simplify classic French confections without foregoing any of the wonderful taste. Hung breaks the creation of complex pastries into completely manageable steps, with helpful recommendations of which dishes to select based on the time you have to make them. Chocolate cakes with gooey centers, coffee eclairs, voilà, we have attainable masterpieces.

50 Ways to Love Wine More: Adventures in Wine Appreciation 

Jim Laughren (Crosstown Publishing)

Now that we have discussed the details of dining, we must move onto the equally enjoyable counterpart, wining. Some may approach a book about wine appreciation with some hesitation expecting a pretentious author and dry content (not meaning delicious dry wines.) Jim Laughren, wine connoisseur and down-to-earth author quickly dispels these notions, and gives us a comprehensive guide to wine tasting, wine travel, wine buying, wine pairing, wine sharing, wine history and more!

Share your favorite wine vacations with family and friends for future travels or be able to pick out a wine that will stun guests at your party for a bargain of the price. Anyone who enjoys wine or know they will be spending extended amounts of time with wine lovers will appreciate this book.

Ten Grapes To Know: The Ten and Done Wine Guide

Catherine Fallis’ (Countryman Press)

Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis also takes a rather comfortingly simple approach to wine appreciation by narrowing the field down to ten grapes. This book is an essential confidence builder with tips on picking up differences and recommendations in every price range for a newly burgeoning wine lover.

This expert also shares her own memorable tasting experiences from the journey she’s had as an expert, so there is something for everyone in this book. Covering Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel, Ten Grapes to Know will help you select the perfect bottle to share with your friends or impress your in-laws.

Whether an intimate gathering or grand feast, we hope these books will reduce some stress and brighten your holidays!

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