Sunday, June 1, 2014

Food and Drink With DK Canada! Canada is running a great promotion from now until July 1st. They've put together a great selection of books in their Food and Drink Boutique - and they're all 30% off.
There's a wide variety of titles to choose from - baking, cooking, preserving, wines and more.
Two books specifically caught my eye...
First was Family Cookbook: More than 700 healthy quick recipes for all occasions by Caroline Bretherton.

700. Quick. Right up my alley for sure! And healthy to boot!

Family Cookbook is broken down into a number of sections, giving you a chance to choose from Babies and Toddlers, Family Meals, Easy Entertaining, Food to Go, Baking and Cooking with Kids. And within each section, there are chapters - pasta, rice, brunch, grilling etc. Bonus chapters on allergies, freezing, shopping and more are a great bonus. The index at the back does allow you to search by ingredients as well.

I admit (and I'm sure my family would agree) I am not a talented cook. I have my stand by dishes, but don't try something new often enough. And a lot of it is down to time - I don't want to spend a lot of time with complicated instructions and ingredients.

Family Cookbook recipes are exactly as promised - quick and uncomplicated. Easy for this basic cook. But oh my goodness - there are so many I want to try. Seriously, I have paged through all 496 pages and cannot believe how good everything looks. Baked ricotta is on the menu for tomorrow's dinner. With a side of watermelon salad. I really liked the 'smart with leftovers chapter'. No thinking about what to pack for lunch the next day.

Family Cookbook was chock full of amazing full colour photos that had my mouth watering. After all, we eat with our eyes first! The instructions are clear, easy to read and well laid out. This is just a fantastic cook book and one that I'll be referring to over and over again. It would be a great gift for just about anyone.

It's planting season in my neck of the woods. And with summer, comes fresh fruit and vegetables. We try to one or two meatless main meals a week. Vegetables Please: The more vegetables, less meat cookbook by Carolyn Humphries also looked like another cookbook I could really use.

The recipes in Vegetables Please are a little more 'sophisticated' if you will.  And inventive - taking and elevating basic veggies from side dishes into main meals. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on soups and crepes. Baked ricotta (do you see a theme here?) with roasted zucchini ('cause there's always too much zucchini in the garden) and tomatoes is a recipe I'll be trying.

There are some accompanying photographs for some recipes, but I would have liked to see more. The recipe instructions are  numbered, very clear and easy to follow, with a separate column for ingredients.

The opening chapter is lovely, detailing the vegetables, spices, herbs and legumes used in the book. There's also an excellent appendix on basic techniques, such as making an omelet, making pastry, roasting and cooking vegetables and more, all with accompanying colour photograph's.

That's just two of the books in the Food and Drink Boutique - check it out - you might find a great reference book for your cookbook shelf.

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