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Eye Candy Cooking and Entertaining Books

These Books are a Treat for the Eyes

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These days cookbooks aren't just for cooking and entertaining books are more than how to's.  Because of the beautiful photography, many of these books are a feast for the eyes, feeding you with abundant eye candy, without ever lifting a spatula and shaking out a table cloth. If you're looking for gifts for foodies who are looking for beautiful, eye candy photos of food, and inspiration for creating beautiful parties in their own homes, look no further than this collection of eye candy books.

1. Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

Rizzoli New York
This stunning, oversize cookbook should be on the top of every home baker's wish list this year. The combination of everyday baked goods with a twist, and special occasion treats made possible in the home kitchen, make this as good of a reference book as it is a baking course.

2. Alberto Pinto Table Settings

PriceGrabber

This is a book will provide inspiration for anyone who enjoys looking at beautiful things and is looking for ways to create beauty on her own table when entertaining.

3. Paris Patisseries, History, Shops, Recipes

Price Grabber

This book is all about the crave-worthy visual appeal. It covers the history of pastry art in Paris with a review of timeless trends, as well as some of the newer ones. You'll find double page spreads of desserts and shops. The photographs are luscious, but with only 20 recipes from some of Paris' top pastry chefs and chocolatiers, it's merely a glimpse into the French art of creating desserts. However, the pictures of the pastry shops and desserts are spectacular and shouldn't be missed.

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4. Intercourses, An Aphrodisiac Cookbook

Certain foods have the reputation for creating a romantic mood. "Intercourses" presents 17 of these aphrodisiac ingredients with a primer on their powers, sensuous recipes that incorporate them, and pictures that will complete the seduction.

5. New French Recipes

Flammarion
This is not your mother's French cuisine. These recipes are a very modern collection with photographs that pull you into the pages.

6. Local Flavors by Deborah Madison

Price Grabber

This book is perfect for the locavore. Deborah Madison discusses her favorite farm markets while presenting a delicious assortment of recipes, organized by their seasonal appearance at market. The artful photos of fruits and veggies will tempt even a die-hard veggie hater.

7. Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Relax with this laid-back cookbook filled with practical tips from the queen of laid-back cuisine. The beautiful photographs will make you want to get into the kitchen or at least sit down at the table with Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself.
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8. Confetti Cakes

Little, Brown, and Company
I love flipping through this book and looking at the artistry of the amazing cakes. Any aspiring cake decorator will find inspiration in this book as well.

9. I Like You, Hospitality Under the Influence

Warner Books
Comedian Amy Sedaris wrote this fun book about entertaining. As much as it's written in a "tongue in cheek" style, it actually has useful tips and good recipes. Best of all, the myriad of illustrations and photography feel like an "I Spy" book for adults. Fun.

10. Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres Handbook

The front third of this handbook is only photographs of the prepared recipes. The recipes follow in the back end. Sit down with this book when you want the experience of walking into a spectacular buffet and not knowing which nibble to select first. Tantalizing.
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11. Inspirations by Preston Bailey

Bullfinch Press
Is there someone on your gift list who loves to create beautiful parties? Do they go crazy over eye candy? Then Preston Bailey's book, Inspirations, may be the perfect gift for them. This isn't a cookbook, but it will provide inspiration for setting the stage for anyone who likes to entertain.
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