I love to give Christmas books as gifts, especially to my daughters or younger friends. I well remember what it was like to have no money for such treats. Even buying the festive December issues of Woman's Day and Family Circle felt like an extravagance. Yet they were so enjoyable with all of the wonderful recipes and ideas for decorating and gifting. Today, when one can often find like-new Christmas cookbooks at ThriftBooks, I can purchase these delightful volumes very frugally for gifts.
Today I thought I would share a little review of the above book by Gooseberry Patch, simply titled Christmas Cookbook. (You can find a copy of this, in very good condition, on Thriftbooks for only $4.69: Christmas Cookbook.) Published in 2004 by Oxmoor House, this book is a gem. The photography is stunning and the recipes so festive!
There are two basic sections of the book: "Our Favorite Christmas Menus" and "Our Favorite Christmas Recipes". The first sounds as if it includes only menus, but that is not the case. There are a good number of recipes included with every menu. Here are the menu plans it includes:
* Christmas Dinner with all the Trimmings
* Christmas Eve Supper
* For the Kids
* Breakfast with Santa
* Home for the Holidays
* Casual Weeknight Supper
* Caroling Party
* Open House
* Just Dessert
* Cookie Swap
Scattered throughout both sections are little features titled "Christmas Memories".
"Our Favorite Christmas Recipes" include the following categories:
* Tree-Trimming Treats
* Memorable Main Dishes
* Casual Entrees
* Christmas Morning Delights
* Holiday Sideboard
* Hearty Soups & Bountiful Breads
* Visions of Sugarplums
* Goodies for Giving
At the back of the book are also a recipe index, a section with helpful holiday hints, an entertaining planner and a Christmas dinner planner.
I definitely found many recipes in this cookbook that I want to try. Double-Chocolate Christmas Praline-Fudge Cake is one of them. This layer cake with a chocolate ganache in between the three layers and a thick, candy-like praline frosting on top and dripping down the sides looks astoundingly delicious! Best of all, it can be completely made ahead and frozen, then thawed before serving.
And I found a few recipes that I already use. Baked Sausage & Eggs, for instance, in the "Breakfast with Santa" category, was my make-ahead company breakfast standby for years and years.
Most fun of all, to me, is the fact that the previous owner of this used book had turned down page corner after page corner, obviously marking recipes that he or she wanted to try. I wonder if they got to do that? Although I love owning this book, I feel a bit sad that the previous owner decided for whatever reason to let it go.
If you are looking for a good all-around Christmas cookbook with wonderful recipes and gorgeous photos, you may want to try and find a copy of this one. I highly recommend it!