At this point, you're likely either frantically searching for gift ideas or you've already wrapped it up and are just shopping for yourself.
Regardless, we've been poring over a stack of books recently, some of which we think would make great gifts this holiday season.
So here's The Bitten Word's 2010 holiday gift guide! It's pretty book-heavy, but we've got some non-book ideas as well.
For the Cook Who Wants to Learn Some New Tricks
Earlier this year, we wrote about Dorie Greenspan's latest book, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. We first gave the book to Zach's mom for her birthday, and then after thumbing through that copy prior to wrapping it, we decided to buy a copy for ourselves.
This a beautiful book and there isn't a single thing that we wouldn't make. In fact, when we're home in Tennessee for the holidays, we hope to cook some dishes from the book with Zach's mom.
Since we purchased this cookbook, Clay had a chance to meet Dorie when she was in town promoting it. She was phenomenal, and so is this book!
See a photo of Clay & Dorie below, plus check out our other recommendations!
For the Cook Who Really Wants to be an Artist
We were blown away when reading Dessert FourPlay by Johnny Iuzzini. In all honesty, we don't think we'd really make anything from this book, but that's also why we loved it.
The desserts are so intricate and beautiful, they're like little works of art. This isn't a book for just anyone with a sweet tooth -- this is for the home cook who's looking for a real challenge.
Side note: We didn't watch the show, but you might recognize Iuzzini from Top Chef: Just Desserts, where he was a judge.
For the Food Network Fan
We're big fans of The Barefoot Contessa, so of course we're including her latest book, How Easy Is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips.
If you like her other books, you'll enjoy this one, too.
It's filled with beautiful photos that will no doubt have you salivating.
For the Food Network Fan Who Wishes They Showed Nigella Lawson More Often
We have a soft spot for Nigella Lawson, so it's no surprise that we enjoyed reading her latest book, Nigella Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home.
Two recipes we're dying to make are the Marmalade Pudding Cake and her Lemon Polenta Cake, both of which sound phenomenal to us.
Plus, we just love how she writes recipes: "...and take the steamily fragrant pan to the table with quiet pride." Yes, please.
For Your Friend Who Really Loved Kitchen Confidential
This isn't a new book, but it's certainly a good one. Years ago, some friends gave Clay a copy of The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef by Marco Pierre White.
It sat on our shelf until it was picked up for our recent trip to South America. During our travels, Clay quickly devoured and loved the book, which is White's telling of how he went from being a regular Joe to a three-star Michelin chef.
White is no doubt familiar to you if you read Bill Buford's Heat; he figures prominently into that book. He's an excellent and compelling storyteller.
For the Cookie Monster
We were enamored with The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe From Each Year, 1941-2009. It's a slim but fun book, showcasing, as the title suggests, one cookie recipe from each year of Gourmet magazine.
Each recipe is accompanied by a few sentences about emerging food trends (1998: "Tuiles...garnished every dessert plate in the land..."), the influence of history (1942's Honey Refrigerator Cookies: "The war was on, and sugar was rationed..."), or just interesting anecdotes (1962's dozen issues only included one cookie recipe!).
They all have one thing in common: beautiful, delicious-looking cookies.
For the History Lover
Christopher Kimball, host of America's Test Kitchen, has a new book out: Fannie's Last Supper: Re-creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer's 1986 Cookbook.
We had a chance to meet Kimball when he was in town for a reading and discussed the book with him.
You know, it's not every man who knows how to correctly boil a calf's head in order to make Mock Turtle Soup. The book is a must-read for those interested in culinary history.
For the Practical Cook
It's a great cook book chock-full of things we want to make.
And here are some non-book ideas:
Food Magazines: We get a ton of joy out of the monthly arrival of our food magazines, so as always we recommend giving subscriptions as gifts!
A Maple Cube: We spotted this maple cube in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living. What would we do with it? We have no idea! Martha recommends shaving it over ice cream or yogurt. We just want to hold it...and grate it. You can buy it at ninutik.com.
Seeds: If you have a gardener in your life, you might want to check out RareSeeds.com. We saw them featured in the most recent Food & Wine. The company offers more than 1,400 seed varieties for vegetables, flowers and herbs. We've already requested a catalog. Gift certificates are also available.
Spices!: For our wedding, our friend Anna gave us a very cool set of spices from The Spice Station, a new store based on Los Angeles. They have the most adorable packaging and we love the spices we received. Check out their gift sets, which are available online.
And for more ideas, check out our previous gift guides as well:
What's your holiday shopping game plan this year? Let us know in the comments!