Here are two COOKBOOKS that I can personally recommend! Either one is a great gift idea. Maya Angelou's book is part recipes and part memoir. I love her writing, so I enjoyed her essays at the beginning of each chapter. The recipes are probably good, however I haven't felt a need to cook from this book. But to sink into my favorite reading chair and read about Maya cooking - now, that's pure pleasure. Non-fattening too. This book is on clearance everywhere right now.
Here's what a reviewer said about the book: "Maya Angelou is renowned in her wide and generous circle of friends as a marvelous chef. Her kitchen is a social center. From fried meat pies, chicken livers, and beef Wellington to caramel cake, bread pudding, and chocolate éclairs, the one hundred-plus recipes included here are all tried and true, and come from Angelou’s heart and her home. Hallelujah! The Welcome Table is a stunning collaboration between the two things Angelou loves best: writing and cooking."
The best thing about this book is the pictures! Every recipe has a great photo. Of course the recipes are great too. With Paula Deen as their mom, these boys couldn't help but have a collection of recipes for hearty, everyone-loves food.
Just order a book or two - right now, for Christmas - they'll come in handy as a gift for someone special. Maybe you can even slip one into your own Christmas stocking.