Yes, make your mother breakfast in bed. And then let her curl up with a good book, in fact, a cookbook. She deserves a morning (a day, a week…) to relax and take in all the beauty and wonder in the world.
And these cookbooks will let her do just that: they’re travelogues and poems and celebrations of everything cooking does, including bringing families together. Here, our picks for the best cookbooks to give mom on Mother’s Day.
Nothing Fancy: Recipe Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food by Diana Kennedy
Diana Kennedy is an authority on all things Mexican, having spent most of her life reading, researching, eating, and living in the country. And while she’s best known for her traditional Mexican recipes with local ingredients, in this cookbook Kennedy shares “soul-satisfying” food from all cultures: favorite recipes from her British childhood, dishes from her travels, and more. She tells her stories, with signature attitude and wisdom, while she lets you into her kitchen. It will remind you of the way you cook with mama.
America’s Best Breakfasts: Favorite Local Recipes from Coast to Coast by Lee Brian Schrager and Adeena Sussman
Instead of making mom breakfast in bed (or in addition to), get her this delicious cookbook that is an homage to “two of the nation’s honored traditions”: breakfast and road tripping. This cookbook is a collection of breakfast recipes from some of the states’ best diners, bakeries, and breakfasts and includes all cuisines: southern shrimp and grits, Filipino steak with garlic fried rice, cannoli French toast, and more. Better idea: make mama one of the recipes from this book as you let her get lost in the pages.
200 Best Sheet Pan Meals: Quick and Easy Oven Recipes One Pan, No Fuss! by Camilla Saulsbury
Mom is a super hero: she works hard in and out of the house and still gets dinner on the table. Help her out a little with this genius cookbook. All the recipes can be made in just one sheet pan; meaning flavors are bold and clean up is easy. And it includes entrees, sides, and desserts! Oven-fried rice, coconut lime fish, roasted plantains, vanilla pound cake…. Happy Mother’s Day indeed.
The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen by Ricardo Zarate and Jenn Garbee
In this gorgeous and inspiring cookbook the “godfather of Peruvian cuisine”, Lima-born LA-based chef Ricardo Zarate explains the magic of cooking in modern day Peru. Zarate’s recipes (and stories) reflect the indigenous foods and techniques but also capture the influence of Japanese, Chinese, and European cooking that is so intricately mixed in with Peruvian food and culture. There are classic recipes (ceviches and pisco sours) and modern takes (Peruvian-style sushi and a burger) and stunning photography. Let mama take a trip through Peru with Zarate.
Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd
Mama knows how to entertain. And she knows how to make it look easy. This book is for her. This lovely cookbook is about simple cooking, where the food is delicious, but the focus is on the wonderful company. Cyd presents beautiful ingredients in straightforward preparations but in new combinations (and provides genius entertaining tips). And forget dinner, this cookbook is all about “brunch, teatime, happy hours, picnics, potlucks, and dessert”… if only every day were as wonderful as that. Or as wonderful sounding as Cyd’s recipe for rainbow chard empanadas with pistachio crema.
Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo by Marie-Pierre Colle and Guadalupe Rivera
Frida’s Fiestas is an intimate look at the happy events in the life of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Part cookbook, part memory book (assembled by her stepdaughter), the book showcases more than 100 dishes that Frida herself served in her home. There are colorful and vibrant full color photographs and the book is full of the passion with which Frida lived her life. Mama will be reminded of the beauty and adventure in the world.