Secret Cookbook Santa Sign-Up

‘Tis the season to be jolly and there’s no jolly without eating and there’s no eating without cookbooks. Hence my idea for the first ever (as far as I know) internet-wide literary-food-gift-exchange program entitled THE AMATEUR GOURMET’S SECRET COOKBOOK SANTA. (All caps adds to the festivity.)

With the help of Andrea, our Amateur Gourmet survivor champ, we will spread the joy of cooking across continents and into your mailboxes. Here’s how it works:

(1) Sign up in the comments below. List three cookbooks that you’d really like and three cookbooks that you’d rather not get because you already have them. (NOTE: There is no guarantee that you will get a cookbook you put on your list, but it may help your secret santa narrow the playing field. Also, I should say here, there is no guarantee that you will even get a cookbook! Someone will get your address but who knows if they’re evil or not? Maybe they won’t send you anything and simply reap the benefits of being a Secret Cookbook Santa. I can’t protect you from the evil in the world, dear reader. Let’s just put our faith in humanity and hope for the best. OK?)

(2) When we hit 100 sign-ups, that’s it. Andrea has a child, you know. Maybe if there’s interest beyond the initial 100 another food blogger can take over for the next 100.

(3) Once you have signed up, send an e-mail with your address (or mailing information) to If you sign up in the comments with a different name than the one in your e-mail, make sure to link the two so your Secret Santa knows who you are and can see the cookbooks you like, etc etc.

(4) Pretty soon you will receive an e-mail from Andrea telling you who to send a cookbook to. Please send it so it arrives before Christmas because that would just make sense. If you’re Jewish and you want your cookbook before Hannukah, you are being ridiculous: Hannukah is in like 5 days. If you are an international person you can participate, but you will be expected to send your cookbook internationally. If you are national (as in you live in America) you will only have to send a cookbook within the contiguous United States and maybe Guam if anyone reading this site lives in Guam.

And that’s it, basically. I think we’ve covered all our bases. If this sounds too complicated, all you really have to do is (1) sign up in the comments and (2) send an e-mail to with your address. We’ll stop at 100.

Hope this has you fah lah lah lah lah-ing all the way to the stove. Enjoy!


The Amateur Gourmet Elf

44 thoughts on “Secret Cookbook Santa Sign-Up”

  1. What a great idea! Sign me up!

    Books I would like:

    Nigella Lawson, Feast

    Julia Child, The Way to Cook

    Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

    Books I already have:

    Jamie Oliver books

    Donna Hay books

    Thanks! Happy Holidays!

  2. Ooo! Me too!

    Books I would like:

    Moosewood low fat favorites

    Nigelle Lawson, Feast

    The Essential EatingWell Cookbook

    Books I already have:


    Cheeseboard collected works

    Jamie Oliver books

    Looking forward to swapping with my SS!

  3. books I would like:

    any by Ina Garten

    any by Mario Batali

    books I have:

    Gourmet cookbook

    Olives Table

    Magnolia Bakery

    Many Martha Stewarts

  4. This sounds wonderful. We’re only sending each other one cookbook, right?

    OK, cookbooks I want…

    The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

    The Book Lover’s Cookbook

    The Wine Bible

    Cookbooks I have (it’s sad, I know)

    Williams Sonoma Classics

    Betty Crocker/Women’s Day/Better Homes and Gardens basic starter cookbooks

    Wok and Stir-fry

  5. Ooh, this is neat. Good luck to you guys keeping this all organized!!

    Things I want:

    Something by Deborah Madison (anything)

    Something by Rose Levy Beranbaum (except The Cake Bible)

    The Gourmet Cookbook

    Things I have:

    Nigella Lawson (all of ’em)

    Julia Child (pretty much all of ’em)

    An entire bound set of Cook’s Illustrated, which covers most of their books I’d guess.

  6. Fun!

    Cook books I want:

    Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

    any by Ina Garten

    Tom Valenti’s Soups, Stews and One-Pot Meals

    Cook books I have:

    all by Nigella Lawson

    several by Martha Stewart

    several by Trish Deseine

  7. I’ll play!

    Cook books I’d like:

    Any Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa

    Magnolia Bakery

    The Best Recipe

    What We Have

    Lidia Bastianich

    Lots of books on barbecue and grilling

    loads of Italian cookbooks

  8. Excellent Idea.

    Books I’d Like

    Cooking New American

    Jaques Pepin:Fast Food My Way

    The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen : Recipes for the Passionate Cook

    Books I Have:

    Many! including

    The Babbo Cookbook

    Charmaine Solomon’s Asian Encyclopedia

    The Bread Bible (Rosy Levy Berenbaum)

  9. This sounds like fun!

    I would really really like

    Jacque Pepin: Fast Food My Way

    Also, the Gourmet cookbook

    Basically any other cookbook, especially if it has the words ‘fast’ and/or ‘easy’ in the title.

    I have:

    Southern Living Cooking Light

    Some stir-fry cookbook

    Six ingredients or less

    Betty Crocker’s 30min or less

  10. Great idea!

    Cookbooks I’d like:

    Vegan Planet

    The Artful Vegan

    Nonna’s Italian Kitchen

    Cookbooks I have:

    a variety of the Moosewood books

    Sinfully Vegan

    um… a lot of other veggie cookbooks. :)

  11. This is fantastic idea.

    I would love to receive:

    Barefoot in Paris

    Barefoot Contessa Parties

    The French Laundry Cookbook

    I already have:

    The Minimalist Cooks Dinner

    The Minimalist Cooks at Home

    Back to the Table

  12. how fun!!

    books i would like!

    -anything by nigella lawson

    -anything by alice waters

    -anything by mario batali

    books i have or dont want :)-

    -anything emeril

    -anything julia child

    -barefoot in paris

    i cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. How exciting!

    What I would like:

    Either of Pierre Herme’s dessert cookbooks (chocolate or regular)

    Something Moosewood

    Something by Nigella

    (I’ll really appreciate any real cookbooks since the only ones I own are from the bargain bin at Borders.)

    What I have:

    How It All Vegan (but I’m not a vegan)

    As I said, a bunch of cheap ones titled by region or number of ingredients.

  14. How fun! I would like:

    The American Boulangerie: Pascal Rigo

    Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: Deborah Madison

    Butter Sugar Flour Eggs: Gale Gand

    I already have:

    tons of bread cookbooks

    lots of vegetarian books

    most of Nava Atlas’ books

  15. alrighty then! this is fab!

    I want:

    How to be a domestic goddess

    Barefoot Contessa

    The French Laundry Cookbook

    I have:

    lots of ‘basics’ books

    some ethnic cooking

    also some baking

  16. Sign me up, Santa(s)!

    I’d like:

    1) Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

    2) Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York

    3) Julia Child’s The Way to Cook

    I already have:

    All of the Nigella Lawson books

    Amanda Hesser’s Cooking for Mr. Latte

    Lots of basic cookbooks

  17. me too, me too!


    Nigella’s Feast

    Any Barefoot Contessa

    Susan Branch’s Autumn


    Nigella’s Domestic Goddess

    Most of the Williams Sonoma “Complete” Series

    Emeril’s Every Day’s a Party

  18. Awesome. I’ve always wanted to do a Secret Santa.

    Books I want:

    The New Best Recipe

    Anything by Nigella Lawson

    The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

    Books I have:

    Many random, old cookbooks

    The Best Recipe

  19. What a cool idea…

    I’d love:

    Fast Food My Way: Jacques Pepin

    Getting Thin and Loving It: Kathleen Daelemans

    I’m Just Here for More Food: Alton Brown

    What I have:

    Tons and tons of cookbooks, from pastry and breads to Jamie Oliver and Donna Hay, classics to new ones (My thought… you can never have too many cookbooks!)

    :) Samantha

  20. Love the idea of the exchange. I am looking for a regional one though, the “Listen to the Mrs.” cookbook first one they made back in the 80’s, by Art Lewis and Sue Smith(local radio talk show 790 WSGW )in Central Michigan. I have the rest of them and one extra of the last one willing to give.

    Also would like the “too busy to cook cookbook”1981 from Bon Appetit

    and I have

    Mario Batali- Simple Italian Food

    Listen to the mrs. cookbook sixth edition

    The Easy Bake oven Gourmet cookbook

  21. Oh, this is crazy fun!

    I would like something in the area of:

    Jamie oliver

    Ina Garten

    Anything ethnic

    I already have:


    Tyler Florence

    Sushi out the ying-yang

  22. Yay! I love cookbooks!

    I would like:

    The Minimalist Cookbooks, by Mark Bittmann, including that crazy one where he and Jean-Georges Vongerichten cook together

    The Babbo Cookbook

    The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

    Nigella, Feast

    I already have:

    Barefoot Contessa

    Better Homes and Gardens

    Amanda Hesser

    Most of Nigella

    Plenty of baking cookbooks


    Diana Kennedy

    Julia CHild

  23. Great idea!


    any Mario Batali

    How to Grill, Steven Raichlen

    any Nigella Lawson


    lots of basic cookbooks

    Jamie Oliver

    lots of dessert books

  24. Oooo, how fun! I wanna play.


    Barefoot Contessa Parties

    Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

    Union Square Cafe Cookbook

    a good baking book (surprise me)


    All the other Barefoot Contessa books

    The Joy of Cooking

    How to be a Domestic Goddess

  25. hello! I’m an international person (wow, thanks for giving me the opportunity to say this), so I could probably only manage quite simple wishes in my Rome international bookshop, but probably lots of Italian cookbooks in English.

    My wishes are:

    anything my secret santa really likes and thinks one can’t live without


    alice b toklas cookbook

    fannie farmer

  26. w00t! w00t! sign me up too! I’m very excited :-)

    Books on my list:

    -anything by Ina Garten

    -anything unique and original (even home-made)

    -anything international

    Books I already have:

    -Rebar Modern Food Cookbook (highly recommended) and other vegetarian ones

    -Just about everything published by the Australian Women’s Weekly

    -Lots of “cookie” books

    looking forward to it! Thanks kind TAG fans :-) Bubbie

  27. Oooh! Me too, me too!


    Flavors of Korea (Korean Vegetarian)

    Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

    Most anything vegetarian/ethnic (esp Asian)


    Bread Machine Baking

    Classic Indian Vegetarian & Grain Cooking

    Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces

  28. How nice!

    Would like (not limited to–but vegetarian-friendly please!):

    Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables

    any good dessert book with beautiful pictures

    Nigella Lawson, How to Eat


    other Chez Panisse books

    Fannie Farmer

    Shirley Corriher, CookWise

    Thank you!

  29. What FUN!

    Here’s the info:

    Books I Would Like

    French Laundry Cookbook

    Anything Nigella Lawson

    Anything Barefoot Contessa

    Books I Have

    A few Jamie Oliver Cookbooks

    A few Martha Stewart Cookbooks

    A few Julia Child Cookbooks

  30. Of course I didn’t put all my Italian cookbooks in the have list, my secret Santa wouldn’t be so daft as to send a pasta cookbook or anything similar from the US to Turin, Italy, would he??

  31. oh me too! me too!


    – Moosewood cookbook book of desserts

    – anything jamie oliver

    – barefoot contessa


    – all the other moosewoods

    – the rebar cookbook (seriously, you want this cookbook)

    – any “light” or “lowfat” cookbooks

    – the wholefoods market cookbook

  32. What a great idea!

    Books I’d like:

    The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen : Recipes for the Passionate Cook

    The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

    Any Cooks Illustrated books

    Books I Have

    Lots of Slow Cooker books

    Jamie Oliver’s Dinners

    The first Alton Brown book + the Gear book (I’ve asked Santa for the baking one)

  33. What I’d love:

    any by Ina Garten

    The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge

    Any cookbook that my secret person has used frequently and had good results

    What I don’t want:

    Anything by Rachael Ray

    Anything that is prone to having horrid results (I’m new at this cooking thing)

    What I have:

    The Joy of Cooking

    Better Homes and Garden

    The Flying Biscuit Cafe Cookbook (yum!)

  34. It looks like the sign-ups are slowing down. Are you going to stop before you reach 100?

    I want to start shopping! :-)

    Happy Hanukkah!

  35. Oh yay!

    Books I have:

    How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella

    Moosewood cookbooks

    All Martha Stewarts

    Books I want:

    Any from The Barefoot Contessa

    Feast from Nigella

    Any Julia Childs

  36. uh. mah. gad. lesse…

    barefoot contessa

    marcella hazan (any)

    mimi sheraton

    stalking the green fairy

    anything by mfk fisher

    arthur schwartz’s nyc food

  37. Cool!


    A good Thai cookbook.

    A cookbook of South American Food.

    An ethnic or regional cookbook from someplace that’s not on the list of the top ten ethnic food categories.

    Have: A wide variety with favorites being Alton Brown, Jamie Oliver, Moosewoods, Madhur Jaffrey, and Rick Bayless.

  38. Your Secret Santa assignments have started going out. A number of you did not email your addresses to If you’d still like to participate, please get us your address right away so that we can tell your Secret Santa where to send your cookbook!

    It’s still not to late to join in, but time is running out…

  39. Count me in!

    I want:

    I’m just here for more food – Alton Brown

    Anything by Julia Child

    Any Marcella Hazan

    Don’t need:

    Anthony Bourdain’s latest

    Moosewood Cookbooks


    This is a great idea!

  40. I’m playing too!

    Cookbooks I’d like:

    The Gourmet Cookbook

    Bouchon Bakery

    Anything my Marcella Hazan

    Already have:

    Barefoot Contessa books

    Nancy Silverton books

    The books you see above on the left.


  41. Fun, Fun, Fun!

    I want:

    From Curries to Kebabs

    The Compleat Squash

    On Food and Cooking

    I already have:

    a ton of bread books

    a ton of baking books

  42. I’m happy to make it in time!

    I love cookbooks and would appreciate any of the following:

    Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Bertholle & Beck

    American Boulangerie by Pascal Rigo

    Maccioni Family Cookbook by Egi Maccioni

    The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne

    I have a LOT of other cookbooks but Im really not picky and I think this cokbook swap is going oto be fun. Happy Holidays everybody and good eating and drinking to all!

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