There's always a good occasion for cookbook giving, especially if it's a really good cookbook. This one, I think, should be an unlikely candidate, yet I've become a reluctant fan.
I speak of the cookbook, Down Home With the Neelys. You're probably familiar with the Neelys, all snuggly and treacly and full of deep love innuendo, as they craft truly sinful southern cuisine. Frankly, their show makes me feel like I need to see the dentist (and a personal trainer). All that cooing and lover's talk is just nauseating. But for some reason, their cookbook fell into my life. And whoa (and woe) I'm sold. Every recipe I've made out of the thing has been a knockout. That's pretty impressive, since I've had cookbooks I just read and never use. The Key Lime Bar recipe is literally to die for, the beef stew rendition the best I've tasted in years. And don't get me started on the chicken with creole mustard sauce. Be warned: this is not diet food. This is special occasion, throw nutrition to the wind sort of food.
Find the Neelys' southern opus at www.amazon.com. And you might want to order some exercise books while you're there, just for balance and all.