Local authors had something to say about food this year.
"Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, $27.99). The third entry in the bestselling, must-own series of bread-baking-made-easy books, by two enterprising Twin Citians.
"Big Vegan," (Chronicle Books, $29.95) by Robin Asbell. The Minneapolis author and cooking instructor dives into the deep end of the no-meat, no-dairy pool, with 350 flavor-heavy recipes.
Meet the author: Asbell will sign books at Kitchen in the Market (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-568-5486, www.kitchen inthemarket.com) on Dec. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.
"Bluestem the Cookbook" by Colby Garrelts and Megan Garrelts with Bonjwing Lee (Andrews McMeel, $45). Twin Cities diners should make the eight-hour drive to Kansas City to dine at the Garreltses' intimate, innovative and seasonally obsessed restaurant. But for those who can't make the trip, there's a second-best option: Spending time poring over -- and cooking through -- this publishing rarity, one that brings the enterprise to life without going anywhere near the bricks-and-mortar establishment. Credit goes to Lee's vivid photography and the easy-to-follow, scrupulously tested recipes, which seamlessly segue from professional kitchen to home cook.
"The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day" by Wini Moranville (Harvard Common Press, $24.95). From autumn to spring, this Francophile labors as the restaurant critic for the Des Moines Register. Come summer, she and her husband, David, live in France, devoting several months to perusing city and rural markets and cooking up a storm. "Bonne Femme" distills 20 years of that home-away-from-home cooking experience into a 250-plus collection of recipes that captures the way modern, time-pressed French families cook and eat at home.
Meet the author: Moranville will sign books at both Cooks of Crocus Hill locations on Dec. 17: Edina (3925 W. 50th St., 952- 285-1903, www.cooksofcrocushill. com) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and St. Paul (877 Grand Av., 651-228-1333) from 2 to 4 p.m. Moranville will be at the Bookcase (607 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-473-8341,www. bookcaseofwayzata.com) on Dec. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m.
"Celebrations With Carmela's Cucina," by Carmela Tursi Hobbins (Nodin Press, $19.95). A taste of the Italian-American table from a local cooking instructor.
“Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading,” by Janice Cole (Chronicle, $24.95). An engaging and informative how-to guide to raising chickens in urban environments, with 125 recipes that will delight cooks of all stripes, even those who buy their eggs at the supermarket or farmers market.
"Cooking Up the Good Life/ Creative Recipes for the Family Table," by Jenny Breen and Susan Thurston (University of Minnesota Press, $19.95). Seasonal recipes with a healthful, often local, bent.
"Heartland: The Cookbook" by Judith Fertig (Andrews McMeel, $35). The author of "Prairie Home Cooking" and "Prairie Home Breads" does the farm-to-table movement proud, with 150 imaginative recipes. Photographer Jonathan Chester's big-hearted landscapes capture the region's beauty.
"Ingebretsen's Saga, A Family, A Store, A Legacy of Food," by Anne Gillespie Lewis (Ingebretsen's Gift Shop, $14). History of the Scandinavian shop, with recipes.
"The Macy's Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook" by Steve Siegelman (Book Kitchen, $24.95). Cook from Thanksgiving to New Year's with 80-plus recipes from the department store's panel of top chefs, including Rick Bayless, Cat Cora, Marcus Samuelsson and Twin Citian Tim Scott.
"Minnesota Lunch" edited by James Norton (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $19.95). The humble sandwich is the vehicle that takes readers on a culinary journey from the Iron Range to the State Fairgrounds and many mouth-watering points in between.
"North Star Cocktails" by Johnny Michaels (Borealis Books, $19.95). The La Belle Vie mixmaster shares 200-plus contemporary cocktail formulas, many culled from fellow members of the North Star Bartenders' Guild.
"The Northern Heartland Kitchen" by Beth Dooley (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95). Celebrate the seasons -- and yes, winter is delicious -- in this inspired and informative kitchen companion.
Meet the author: Dooley will sign books at Linden Hills Co-op (3815 Sunnyside Av., Mpls., 612-922-1159, www.lindenhills.coop) on Dec. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m.; at Lucia's to Go (1428 W. 31st St., Mpls., 612-825-9800, www.lucias.com) on Dec. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.; at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, 952-443-1400, www.arboretum.umn.edu) on Dec. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to noon; and at Cooks of Crocus Hill (3925 W. 50th St., Edina) on Dec. 18 from noon to 2 p.m.
"Salad Days" by Pam Powell (Voyageur Press, $19.99). A year's worth of fresh and lively salad ideas, from the entrepreneur behind the Salad Girl line of locally produced salad dressings.
"Scandinavian Classic Baking" by Pat Sinclair (Pelican, $16.95). More than 40 recipes that are the foundation of baking traditions in Scandinavia.
"The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends" by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, $35). The dynamic duo behind public radio's St. Paul-based "The Splendid Table" follow up their 2008 weeknight-focused cookbook with this useful and entertaining keeper. The recipe for slow-roasted pork with glazed orange slices is worth the price all on its own.
"White Truffles in Winter" by N.M. Kelby (W.W. Norton, $24.95). The St. Paul novelist draws readers into a fictionalized account of the life of Auguste Escoffier, the godfather of French cooking.
Meet the author: Book signing and tasting at Lucia's (1432 W. 31st St., Mpls., 612-825-1572), Dec. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m, free; and reading as part of Carol Connolly Series on Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., University Club of St. Paul (420 Summit Av., St. Paul, 651-222-1741), free.