by Diane Rossen Worthington

Every year, hundreds of food books and cookbooks pass by my desk. I always look forward to sharing my favorites during the holiday gift shopping madness. I know how tough it can be to search out that perfect present for the cook on your list.

Here are a few of my picks for various types of cooks:

"Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours," by Dorie Greenspan

This is the book to choose for the Francophiles on your list. This tome is filled with home-style French dishes with Dorie's personal touch. Some are time consuming, and others (like the recipe below) can be put together in no time.

"Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys," by David Tanis

Chef at famed Chez Panisse for more than 25 years, Tanis leads us on a thoughtful and personal journey through his favorite dishes and kitchen rituals. He brings forth his kitchen wisdom by seasons with dishes like Savory Baked Eggs in Filo, Pan-fried Steak with Steak Sauce, and Shrimp "Cocktail" in a glass. His clever writing style -- with chapter headings like "Flatbread Wisdom" and "Auspicious and Delicious" -- are perfect for the serious cook on your list.

"Teen Cuisine," by Matthew Locricchio

This is the perfect book to give the teen who can't get enough of the Food Network. In this volume, with gorgeous photos from famed cookbook author and photographer James Peterson, the adolescent reader can find recipes and techniques that will more than tempt them. They will probably want to race to the market and create their very own dishes like calzone, pizza, granola, oven-fried chicken and chocolate fondue, just to name a few. It is cleverly designed to engage the reader with directions divided by "On your mark," "Get set" and "Cook!"

And, lastly, for the casual cook who craves comfort food, pick up "Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes ," published by the culinary retailer Sur La Table.

You'll find 50 classic dishes like Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Chicken Noodle Soup and Oven-Braised Short Ribs. This small collection can be a stocking stuffer or gift for almost any cook on your list.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

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