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Festive Feasting: 7 Must-Have Cookbooks for the Holidays

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The holidays are coming fast, and with them, the frenzy of shoppers descending for their Christmas dinner ingredients. You'll want to order that turkey at least three weeks in advance. And the fruitcake? Well, if you don't have that booked yet, you'll have to settle for the Marks & Spencer brand. Of course, this year many restaurants and gourmet food chains have started to offer "Christmas Dinner Kits" – complete with a pre-cooked ham, turkey, and all the dressings and desserts you'll need. 

But if you want to do this properly – the old-fashioned way then you'll need to start where most good things do – with an excellent cookbook.

Here are seven festive cookbooks to help you prepare the perfect holiday feast.

Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook is packed with all the classics you need for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious recipes for edible gifts, party food and new ways to love those leftovers. It's everything you need for the best Christmas ever.

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Feasts

For an exotic twist on your Christmas dinner, Sabrina Ghayour's Feasts, presents a delicious array of Middle-Eastern dishes from breakfasts to banquets and the simple to the sumptuous. Enjoy menus and dozens of recipes for celebrations and occasions with family & friends, such as summer feasts, quick-fix feasts and brunch.

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A Simply Delicious Christmas

A Simply Delicious Christmas, first published in 1989, is a much-loved cookbook, with tattered, well-worn copies to be found in most households in the country. Twenty-five years on, Darina Allen is back with a stunning new edition, revised and updated to reflect today's tastes. You'll still find all the traditional favourites here – Old-Fashioned Roast Turkey, St Stephen's Day Pie, the famous Plum Pudding and the Chocolate Christmas Tree –as well as over one hundred new recipes to suit modern palate. A Simply Delicious Christmas caters to every need over the festive season, from planning ahead for the Christmas Day feast to suggestions for drinks and nibbles for entertaining, as well as recipes to accommodate those with food intolerances and ideas for edible presents. It's what Christmas memories are made of!

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Great British Bake Off: Christmas

The ultimate Bake Off Christmas collection with all of Paul Hollywood's and Mary Berry's Christmas masterclass recipes. Each chapter also includes spectacular recipes from Bake Off contestants, and Mary and Paul reveal the secrets to those classic Christmas dishes - whether it's Paul's perfect mince pies or Mary's ultimate Christmas pudding. Packed with everything from edible decorations and delicious gifts to party dishes and showstopping centrepieces, this book is the perfect Christmas companion.

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Sweet

In his stunning new baking and desserts cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and his long-time collaborator Helen Goh bring the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings - including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, pistachio and cardamom - to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream. There is something here to delight everyone - from simple mini-cakes and cookies that parents can make with their children to showstopping layer cakes and roulades that will reignite the imaginations of accomplished bakers. Perfect for your holiday table.

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Feed the Resistance

From favorite cookbook author Julia Turshen comes this practical and inspiring handbook for political activism-with recipes. As the millions who marched in January 2017 demonstrated, activism is the new normal. When people search for ways to resist injustice and express support for civil rights, environmental protections, and more, they begin by gathering around the table to talk and plan. These dishes foster community and provide sustenance for the mind and soul, including a dozen of the healthy, affordable recipes Turshen is known for, plus over 15 more recipes from a diverse range of celebrated chefs. With stimulating lists, extensive resources, and essays from activists in the worlds of food, politics, and social causes, Feed the Resistance is a must have handbook for anyone hoping to make a difference. All proceeds from the purchase of this book go to ACLU.

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Egyptian-American food enthusiast born in Chicago, raised in Beirut, and living in Dublin. Regional Ambassador at Bookwitty. Intimately familiar with the term "identity crisis".

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