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6 cookbooks that make dining a true party at home

Good cookbooks contain within themselves a good deal of comfort. Each book boasts a bucket of toothsomeness and happy-making ability to make you drool, dream, and fantasise of how each recipe would taste like on your lips.

And of course, not all cookbooks deserve equal praise. The preference also depends on one’s unique tastes and styles. On this very special occasion where we are on social distancing and WFH sessions, we want to show you our selection of cookbook favourites that will make dining at home a true celebration and just a breeze to whip up – all free from stress.

[Hero image credit: Unsplash/Brooke Lark]

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Alison Roman is arguably the next Julia Child or Anthony Bourdain in the home culinary world. She’s here to tutor you on the art of dining in. She makes a feast out of beans and a celebration out of clams simply dressed in a scrumptious garlic-y, buttery sauce. So for those who are true fans of her unique style of cooking and her recipes on Bon Appetit and even on NYT Cooking, Dining In will be a bible in your kitchen, like it is in ours.

Following the success of her first cookbook, Dining In, Nothing Fancy is Alison Roman’s continuity on her genius in cooking and throwing a succulent feast at home. Once again, the American cookbook author, TV host, and cook is here to show you a successful dinner party doesn’t involve panicking. Follow her 101 guides on how to have folks over and feast over fuss-free, nothing-fancy yet highly delectable fare.

Big Night In is a fun tutorial on how to throw a food-filled party, according to the themed menu you dream of (or crave for). With this cookbook, you can skip over to fall and winter or go as far as the Mediterranean or the Middle East with meals curated according to themes. Lo and behold, a big night in can be just as much fun as a big night out.

What’s the one food every cook – and foodie – has on hand? Bananas. But instead of having them on their own, here are 50 basic recipes from The Banana Cookbook that are as easy as peeling a banana. From a quick snack to a full-on meal, the humble yellow fruit will turn into a true workhorse that works wonders in your kitchen. 

What’s more addicting than chocolate? Chinese food. Sounds lame but true – and is evidenced in the popularity of Chinese takeouts from around the globe. The Veggie Chinese Takeaway Cookbook, however, will likely help you save big money as well as cutting up unnecessary calories come with the typical grease-dripping Chinese takeouts. All recipes are meat-free and friendly for vegetarians — and they can also easily be adapted for vegans.

Cooking a soul-satisfying, palate-pleasing meal doesn’t have to be long and laborious. Jamie’s 15-minute Meals by Jamie Oliver is a true delight when it comes to effortless yet crazily delicious food. Each recipe is umami-packed with mostly pantry staples you probably have on hand already. According to the sample videos on YouTube where Jamie actually timed himself as he cooked some of the mouth-watering dishes from this book, the 15-minute meal is actually a can-do mission, instead of just a catchy cookbook slogan.

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.
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