Ileana Morales Valentine

Cookbooks can be both inspirational and useful, making them exceptionally good gifts, according to Tampa Bay Times cookbook reviewer Ileana Morales Valentine.

The hostess is dressed as a unicorn, reclining on a red velvet bed. She's bottle-feeding a lion cub. Monkeys scurry around in the room, which was rented from the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, Calif.