Top Cook-Books for the Holidays

I think we can all agree that one of the best aspects of the holiday season is all of the yummy food!  Food is such a huge part of the season – whether we enjoy certain traditional meals because they are cultural, or have become traditional treats in our homes – or simply because we love the social aspect of gathering together with family and friends over a delicious meal – the flavours of the season are something we all understand and can appreciate!

With both American Thanksgiving, and the Holiday season approaching, I thought it would be fun to highlight some awesome cook-books, along with suggestions for dishes you may wish to incorporate into your own seasonal meals!  Who knows?  You may even start a new tradition!

Each cook-book on this list has been selected for a specific reason, and each offers a range of delicious meal options, from appetizers, to mains, to side-dishes, to desserts!

For Comfort Food…

If you are looking for a cook-book full of the most delectable comfort foods, then you need to check out Half Baked Harvest – Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard.  With over a million followers on Instagram, and 10 million+ monthly views on Pinterest, you know this girl is doing something right!


I first discovered Tieghan on Pinterest when I tried out her Caprese Pesto Pasta Bake.  It was so incredible, I had to do a shout-out on Instagram.  I immediately began following her and have been following her drool-worthy posts and fun baking stories ever since!  What I love the most about this cook-book is that not only is the prepared food stunning and delicious, it is also completely doable!  I may not be the fanciest chef, but every one of these recipes is something I could make for my friends or family, and I love the fact that I’m getting the chance to use ingredients I might not normally use, but in dishes that are totally family friendly.  I cannot say enough good things about Half Baked Harvest, so if you are looking for some delicious new dishes to incorporate into your holiday meal planning, check out Half Baked Harvest – Super Simple.

Recipes we love for the holidays:

  • Pomegranate-Thyme Vodka Spritz (p. 73)
  • Autumn Harvest Salad (p. 84)
  • Maple Cinnamon Acorn Squash (p. 70)
  • The Best Pressure Cooked Mashed Potatoes (p. 62)

Recipes we’re trying next:

  • Honeycrisp Apple Bourbon Smash (p. 75)
  • Rosemary Peach Bruschetta Chicken (p. 180)
  • Strawberry Pretzel Tart (p. 265)


If you love alternative options…

I have to admit, although I don’t live a vegetarian, vegan, or whole-food-only lifestyle, I am always looking for ways to incorporate new dishes (and ideas) into my cooking.  So, I was really excited to check out Fraiche Food Full Hearts by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. 


I have been following Jillian Harris on social media for years, and have long admired her commitment to sourcing the most ethical foods, and adopting lifestyle choices that line up with her values.  I’ve also really enjoyed watching the range of recipes she has shared over the years, which don’t compromise amazing flavour! I also follow her cousin, Tori, and her account Fraiche Nutrition on Instagram.  I love all of the amazing food inspiration that both of these accounts provide!  In the cook-book, Fraiche Food Full Hearts there are so many alternative options for your traditional holiday meals – so whether you want to attempt a meatless Thanksgiving dinner, or a vegan holiday dessert, you can find flavourful options that will leave you wanting more, and help you to feel good about your food choices this season.

Recipes we love for the holidays:

  • Maple Thyme Roasted Parsnips and Carrots (p. 218)
  • Potato Garlic Cauliflower Mash (p. 209)
  • Sticky Apple Date Toffee Pudding (p. 275)
  • Vegan Eggnog (p. 309)

Recipes we’re trying next:

  • Coconut Cauliflower Tacos with Pineapple Salsa (p. 113)
  • Vanilla Cherry Scones (p. 83)
  • Sweet Chili Tofu (p. 101)


If you love quick and easy…

I know for a lot of us, getting a decent meal on the table is hard at the best of times, let alone during the craziness of the holiday season.  So, if you are someone who relies heavily on your Instant Pot, slow cooker, air fryer, skillet, or dutch oven, then I have the perfect cookbook for you! Skinny Taste One & Done by Gina Homolka has put together the most incredible selection of home-made meals that incorporate the go-to kitchen appliances you use most often, but encourage you to try fresh new flavours in place of your standard go-to meals.


This cook-book is divided up based on method for cooking, which is really handy, and also clearly highlights which recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc.  There is truly something for everyone, and I really love how easy to use this cook book is, especially for busy moms like me!  Skinny Taste One & Done is perfect for busy moms on the go!

Recipes we love for the holidays:

  • Ginger-Lime Chicken with Broccoli and Carrots  (p. 90)
  • Turkey Breast with Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, and Gravy (p. 139)
  • Grilled Scallop and Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette (p. 291)
  • Creamy Cheddar-Broccoli Soup (p. 243)

Recipes we’re trying next:

  • Crispy Salmon Fish Sticks Lime-Dill Dipping Sauce (p. 201)
  • Curry Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas with Mint-Cilantro Chutney (p. 117)
  • Loaded Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (p. 247)


If your kids love to cook…

Ok this is the cook-book that I am probably the most excited to share with you, because I think it’s absolutely brilliant, and is such a fantastic way of bringing your kiddos into the process of meal-prep for the holiday season.  Cook by Colours – For the Youngest Chefs in the Kitchen by Brent Currie and Jessie Jardine is such a clever way of teaching your kids the basics of cooking.


Cook by Colours comes with colour-coordinated measuring cups and spoons, and is almost entirely picture-based so that kids of all ages can follow along, step by step, and truly take ownership of the cooking process from start to finish.  The book also comes with helpful tips for kids when it comes to staying safe in the kitchen, and the various tools they might encounter.  Recipes include breakfast foods, drinks, sides and starters, entrees, and snacks & desserts.  As a teacher, this cook-book makes me so happy, because I know my kids are learning to appreciate the art of cooking.  I also love that this book was created by people right here in Saskatchewan, and I think anyone with kids should have a copy of this handy… it would even make a great Christmas gift!

Recipes we love for the holidays:

  • Crocodile Cornmeal Muffins (p. 29)
  • Dragon Dip (p. 42)
  • Peacock Mini Pies (p. 112)
  • Jumping Meatballs (p. 53)

Recipes we’re trying next:

  • Peanut Butter Cookies (p. 123)
  • Foxy French Toast (p. 1)
  • Bear Buns (p. 93)


I hope you enjoyed this list of amazing cook books, and are inspired to try some new dishes this upcoming holiday season!  What are your favourite seasonal dishes?  I would love your recommendations in the comments below!

Clea Lake (9)

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