5 Cookbooks to Gift this Holiday Season

Make a home chef happy: offer one of these newly released Made-in-Canada cookbooks this holiday season. There’s something for all tastes.

1. Great Food at Home

By Mark McEwan, Penguin Canada, $39

What: 100 contemporary recipes for winter nesting
Kitchen wisdom: “When a recipe calls for olive oil, it means a basic one, because anything better is wasted in the sauté pan. Top-quality extra virgin olive oil has too much flavour for that role and also burns easily.” (pg xi)

If you try just one thing: “Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich” – a little fancier than plastic cheddar on white bread; a lot tastier.



2. The Harrow Fair Cookbook

By Moira Sanders, Lori Elstone and Beth Goslin Maloney, Whitecap, $29.95

What: One for the jam-makers and pie-bakers. Rosette’s not required.
Kitchen wisdom: “Many of our recipes are meant to be special treats, and moderation is what makes a treat a treat.” (pg xvii)

If you try just one thing: “Devilish Eggs” an updated version of the staple from your parents’ party buffet.



3. Eat Tweet: A Twitter Cookbook

By Maureen Evans, Artisan Books, $18.95

What: Recipes in under 140 characters for Generation Tweet.
Kitchen wisdom: “Use this book as though it were your own collection of recipe cards. Write in its margins, jot down tasting notes and adjustments, and share them later online at eat.tweet.com.” (pg xiv)

If you try just one thing: “Perfect Soft-boiled Eggs.” There’s actually room for the whole recipe right here: “Heat12c h2o to simmr; +3-8egg. Maintain at near simmring(not bubbling) uncvrd6m. Rmv from h2o.”4.



4. French Food My Way

By Marc Thuet, Penguin Canada, $39

What: Full of froths and confits and gratins – a book for experts or people who like to look at pretty pictures.
Kitchen wisdom: “We make a point of rising even earlier to hit the market during zucchini flower season. If we’re a little late, these precious ‘roses’ will have happily found their way into someone else’s kitchen.” (pg 12) If you try just one thing: “Sweetbread Casserole with Hedgehog Mushrooms, Bacon Grapes and Pinot Noir.” A marriage between Canadian ingredients and French techniques… they make a lovely couple.



5. In a Pinch: Effortless Cooking for Today’s Gourmet

By Caren McSherry, Whitecap, $29.95

What: Recipes for quick and easy dishes that fool people into believing you’ve been chopping and braising all day. Kitchen wisdom: “It’s amazing how one condiment like balsamic glaze can heighten simple foods like pears and add a sweet crunch to nuts.” (pg 61)

If you try just one thing: “Christina’s Simple Chunky Tomato Soup”-simply delicious.


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For more cooking tips and recipes from Valerie Howes, visit our new food blog, Open Kitchen.