Comments: We had a discussion a few years ago with a cookbook editor who was bemoaning the fact that "people no longer cook." Ochef readers cook, we replied proudly, and also, people in general cook for any and all holidays (in the days leading up to holidays our traffic spikes by a factor of four or five….)
This card deck by Bon Appétit (which has 50 oversized cards, instead of a card-player's 52) is all about cooking for holidays – with two Labor Day recipes, a Kwanza dinner, four recipes for Thanksgiving, one for Cinco de Mayo, one for Bastille Day, etc. There are also recipes for special celebrations – birthday (2), anniversary (2), baby shower (1), cocktail parties (2), general celebrations (2), and more.
It's a little hit or miss. Do the Halloween recipes – Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup and Ginger-Squash Cake with White Chocolate Frosting – mesh with your desires? (In general, our readers ask about hors d'oeuvre recipes or bubbling punch for Halloween). But, of course, many of these recipes, such as Herb-Rubbed Steak with Peperonata, Mini Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tarts, and Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes, can be used for any number of occasions. And all of the recipes look both relatively fancy and relatively simple. They are just what many people are looking for in holiday dishes.
The card format is certainly easy to use, although the type is about as small as we're comfortable with. Each recipe card has a photo of the finished dish on the back to help guide you (unfortunately the photos on #14 Lemon Soufflés with Boysenberries and #15 Halibut with Roasted Beets and Dill-Orange Gremolata are mixed up, but you will easily be able to tell them apart, and both are Mother's Day recipes, and we're pretty sure mother will forgive you).
There are also a few card-sized pages of ideas to make planning a party or holiday celebration a little easier, including do-ahead strategies and tips for "keeping your sanity."