My xmas present to myself is a yearly spurge on cookbooks and/or food related books. Please post your top 3, and expound on why they're your favorites.
1) Culinary Artistry by Dornenberg & Page
Hardly a recipe in the book. It's more about food matches and pairing, and creating menus. And developing as a cook.
2) The Way To Cook, by Julia Child
It's Julia at her best. I use this not so much for recipes, but as a reference guide.
3) Don't laugh Martha Stewart's Hors d' Oeuvres Handbook. Her recipes have a reputation for not working. So, I don't use the recipes per se, I use this book for ideas. Then I either create my own recipe of gather bits and pieces for other cook books. But you have to hand it to her for visual appeal and creativity - too bad her recipes tend not to work.