If television commercials are any barometer, the holiday season has been approaching since Labor Day. But after tomorrow, gift shopping gets real. Fortunately, these 12 locally penned cookbooks (all released this year) are far too good to return, so feel free to purchase and give, or keep and just salivate at will.

The Wholesome

The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations by Kim O’Donnel

According to Meatless Monday champion Kim O’Donnel, “feasting isn’t just for Thanksgiving!” This sequel to her first cookbook, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, creates meal plans for 26 holidays—from Easter to Election Day, even Diwali—all organized neatly by season. Amid bright colors and inspirational quotes, O’Donnel shares celebratory dishes like sweet potato-pesto gratin, black-eyed pea paella, and Dark N’ Stormy pear crisp (yes, that Dark N’ Stormy).

Da Capo Press: October 23.

Dishing Up® Washington by Jess Thomson 

Highly accomplished (and, lucky for us, Seattle-based) food writer Jess Thomson brings us the Evergreen State installment of the Dishing Up® series. Celebrating foodstuffs from all corners of our state, Thomson’s work features seasonal and regionally inspired meal plans, as well as profiles of food lore and local food producers. This collection of recipes includes El Gaucho’s mashed potatoes, RN74’s beef bourguignon, and Hot Cakes’ original s’mores cookies. Bonus: local ostreaphile Jon Rowley explains how to eat an oyster.

Storey Publishing: November 20. 

Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin

In Renaissance man fashion, vegetarian blogger Michael Natkin brings us a hardbound compilation of his favorite recipes and pro-quality photographs he shot himself. Each chapter corresponds to a course and a color of the rainbow, allowing readers to easily create their own masterpiece of a meatless meal. Expect easy yet awe-inspiring dishes from all (populated) continents, such as shitake tacos with Asian pear slaw, basil gnudi with summer squash, and even Sephardic doughnuts (with a vegan option!).

Harvard Common Press: May 1.

Edible Seattle by Jill Lightner 

Brought to you by those rustic magazines at PCC. Editor Jill Lighter turns a magnifying glass on Seattle food culture, capturing the seasonality and flavors of our unique culinary situation. Includes profiles of local food producers and cute recipe anecdotes, all with a heavy emphasis on home gardening and eating with the seasons. Recipes for all courses contributed by Seattle eateries—including Volunteer Park Café and the Herbfarm—and local food writers, or taken from the magazine’s own cache. Salmon tacos, anyone?

Sterling Epicure: May 1.

More from Macrina by Leslie Mackie

Ten years after the release of her bestseller, Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook, founder Leslie Mackie reveals a sequel packed with even more artisanal breads, muffins, scones, pies, and the like. And you don’t need to be Christina Tosi to succeed with these; all recipes are adapted and tested for the amateur baker at home. Sweet profiles of employees, clients, and suppliers are sprinkled among the recipes, which include vegan and gluten-free options.

Sasquatch Books: October 30.


The Everyday Wok Cookbook by Lorna Yee

The latest cookbook venture from local food writer Lorna Yee tests the cast-iron boundaries of the humble wok. Yee begins teaching readers how to select and care for their darling woks, before sharing her innovative—and thoroughly American—pan-fried recipes for any meal of the day. Some memorable mindbenders from Yee's wok: old-fashioned Southern buttermilk fried chicken, red sauce spaghetti with bison meatballs, and, the holy grail of all wok cookery, cannoli with chocolate chip ricotta filling.  

Sasquatch Books: November 6.  

 Salty Snacks by Cynthia Nims

Cynthia Nims, found these days on her blog MonAppetit, brings us this guide to the salty and savory world. We’re not talking Fritos, people. Rather, think coconut crisps with basil and chiles, salami chips with grainy mustard dip, or Parmesan thumbprint cookies with tomato-tart cherry jam. For the health-conscious crowd, Nims even includes a zesty spin on kale chips involving lemon and ginger.

Ten Speed Press: September 25.

The Sinful  

The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance

For the first time, T-Doug reveals the classified instructions behind his famed bakery’s most adored and indulgent treats. Included are 125 of his customers’ favorite recipe, like Giada de Laurentis’s beloved cinnamon sugar and mascarpone doughnuts, Nora Ephron’s treasured peanut butter cookies, and everyone’s dearest monkey bread and triple coconut cream pie. A chapter-long crash course in essential baking knowledge and frequent sidebars add useful interest for out-of-towners and amateurs.

William Morrow: October 23. 

The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried by Andrew Bohrer

Bartender, spirits rep, Friend of Sauced, and raconteur Andrew Bohrer shows off his cocktail know-how in this compilation of over 100 recipes for unusual and mind-numbing shots. Look for miniature (i.e. adorable) versions of classic cocktails, simple yet silly bangers and slammers, shots with fresh fruit or veggies, and even what Bohrer calls “Shots of Last Resort,” employing whatever ingredients are around. Who knew that yogurt, vinegar, pickle juice, salsa, or sweet and sour sauce could become alcoholic and remain delicious?

Adams Media: August 18. 

The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto by Josh Henderson

Street food entrepreneur Joshua Henderson reflects upon the rise of his Skillet enterprise and shares classic recipes and their inspiration in his inaugural cookbook, filled with beautiful photos by Sarah Jurado. Make Skillet’s signature fries, kale salad, burger, granola, poutine, or meat sauce for your lucky friends and family, or make a French impression on Cinco de Mayo with the wildly delicious duck tacos.

Sasquatch Books: July 10. 

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream by Molly Moon Neitzel and Christina Spittler

This is the cookbook debut for Seattle’s wildly popular ice-cream purveyor. Including over 70 recipes for ice cream, sorbet, and toppings, Molly Moon Neitzel celebrates her passion for frozen cream in an inspirational and nonintimidating manner. Once can even learn how to make an ice cream cake with minimal insanity. Recipes are arranged seasonally with a focus on fresh fruits, including the popular Baracky Road, salted caramel, blackberry sage, and honey lavender ice creams.

Sasquatch Books: April 13. 

Bake it in a Cupcake by Megan Seling

 Megan Seling, hilarious Stranger staffer and lover of baking, presents this printed potpourri of recipes for the dessert that made her famous: cupcakes with desserts baked inside. Inside, find 50 different varieties of the treat that has inspired a near cult following. Notable recipes include baklava honey-vanilla cupcakes with spiced frosting, cherry pie dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting, blueberry pancake cupcakes with maple syrup, and even gingerbread house cupcakes (with gingerbread men inside!). Seling courteously includes a few pages at the end for readers to document their own stuffed cupcake creations.

Andrews McMeel: October 2.

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