Tag Archives: Cookbook

Cookbook – Butter Celebrates

Butter Celebrates – Rosie Daykin Shares her Fabulous Sweets

Butter Celebrates, is bakery owner Rosie Daykin’s second cookbook (Butter Baked Goods was released in 2013) and this time she is sharing a year of celebratory recipes. From Valentine’s Day to New Year’s and everything in between, Daykin has recipes for every festive occasion.

If you define celebrations as time with family and friends, full of laughter, love, witty toasts, good music, general chaos and delicious food, as Daykin does, you’ll love this book and the anecdotes that make both a great resource for baking,  and an entertaining read. Full of pretty pictures that inspired me to not only update my tableware, but also get back working on my journey in food photography, Butter Celebrates leads aspiring and advanced bakers through the seasons.

From Heart-Shaped Raspberry Pop Tarts for Valentines Day, Bunny Buns for Easter, and Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts at Halloween, you’ll likely want to bake many of these delicacies out of season.

There’s also a well written section on tips for entertaining, a list of necessities for baking and some ‘gentle reminders’, a list of tips to keep in mind when baking.

Butter Celebrates

For more on Rosie Daykin and Butter Celebrates, check out this interview on CBC’s North by Northwest with Sheryl Mackay.

We recently enjoyed these Brownies and I think they’ll be another batch on the go soon!

Butter Celebrateses

Irish Whiskey Brownies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup dark cocoa
2 1⁄2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
4 large eggs
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
MAKES:  16 bars

YOU WILL NEED:  1 (9- x 9-inch) baking pan, buttered and lined with parchment paper

STORAGE:  These brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. On a large piece of parchment paper, sift the flour and cocoa. Set aside.
3. In a double boiler, or a small heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt 2 cups of the chocolate chips and the but- ter, and whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before whisking in the whiskey (that’s fun to say!). Set aside.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and salt until very pale yellow.
5. With the mixer running on low speed, add the melted chocolate and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat again until well combined.
6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the remaining cup chocolate chips.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until the brownies are firm to the touch.
8. Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool completely in the pan before cutting.

Cookbook – Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Recipes to the Rescue

I try to have something in the fridge or freezer that can be reheated for the nights where I get home later or don’t feel like cooking, but if I am really orgainzed I can plan ahead and have my slow cooker do most of the work. Hence I seek out new slow cooker recipes.
Last year I switched to a new slow cooker, one that is also a pressure cooker, rice cooker and yogurt maker! I’ve yet to get through all the functions.
The Lux Electric Multi-Cooker from Fagor is my new favourite cooking appliance, check out the LUX  Quick Guide to preparing delicious meals.
I have managed to make a few meals now out of a book I picked up last year, Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, a reprint, in paperback this time, with 120 simple kosher dishes.

For those who observe the Sabbath, and are not able to cook on Shabbat, the slow cooker is the perfect answer to a good meal. For others, it’s a great way to plan ahead and arrive home to a clean kitchen.

The book is divided by course and each recipe clearly indicates seasonal ingredients and if it is a meat, dairy, or pareve dish, but the book is a great resource for those no matter what their background or menu needs.

Slow Cooker Recipes
For New Year’s Eve we were out for the day so I cooked up the

LAMB TAGINE. I loved roasting up the spices so they were super fresh and having some fruit and veggies in the main course means a healthy meal is easy.


This dish is perfect for a special Friday night dinner, a Sunday feast, or for any festive meal. The tagine is also economical. The vegetables and dried fruit “grow” the inexpensive cut of lamb into an exotic concoction. Using the slow cooker to prepare it helps make it a dish even the cook can enjoy. Lamb tagine can be made and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. To reheat gently, preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the tagine in a casserole and cover. Reheat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.


3 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 large Spanish onions, diced
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and diced (reserve the fronds for garnish)
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup halved pitted dates
½ cup halved dried figs
½ cup halved dried apricots
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons Moroccan Spice Mix (page 201)
2 tablespoons charnushka (optional; see Note, page 109)
3 to 4 cups Essential Chicken Stock (page 207) or water

Preserved Lemons (page 213), rind only, rinsed and sliced into thin strips; Harissa (page 181); chopped cilantro; Charmoula (page 187)

Steamed couscous

  1. Preheat a 6½-quart slow cooker to Low.
  2. Place the lamb chunks on a sheet pan or cutting board. Pat the meat dry with paper towels; this will ensure even browning. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Brown the lamb pieces on all sides, in batches, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the lamb to the slow cooker insert.
  3. Brown the onions in batches in the sauté pan, scraping up any browned bits (sucs; see page 7) left behind from the lamb. Transfer the onions to the insert.
  4. Sauté the carrots and fennel until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Be careful not to let the garlic brown. Transfer the vegetables to the insert.
  5. Add the dates, figs, apricots, tomato paste, spice mix, and charnushka (if using) to the insert. Add stock to cover. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours, until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve as is or with your choice of garnishes.


Making Lamb Tagine is more than making dinner. The exotic fragrances and rich texture of the tagine juices make this dish more than a meal—it is indeed a feast. With the slow cooker helping to make the tagine easy to “throw together,” I like to round out the meal by pairing the sensuous concoction with some simple side dishes. Of course, you can serve the Lamb Tagine with some easy couscous and still impress your family and friends. But why stop there? I like to serve my tagine with a variety of salads and garnishes including Sweet Potato Salad with Preserved Lemons and Olives (page 145). The bright orange potatoes and tangy olives are the perfect foil for the rich tagine. I also like to offer Carrots with Dried Currants (page 148) and small bowls of garlicky-hot Harissa (page 181) and citrusy Charmoula (page 187). These simple do-ahead condiments allow diners to customize their meal. The flavors of these dishes harmonize with the lamb and add textural interest. My idea for this feast is to dress your table with your brightest linens, scatter bowls of sauces, couscous, sweet potato salad, and, of course, the tagine on the table, and let your friends and family truly feast on an abundant and well-prepared meal. With your slow cooker by your side, you will hardly break a sweat.

Reprinted with permission from Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes by Laura Frankel, Agate Surrey, 2015.

Cookbook – Grilling with House of Q

BBQ season is all year round in Vancouver, so pick up Grilling with House of Q and continue on grilling!

The secret to good barbecue is a the proper grilling temperature, some great meat and Brian Misko’s new book “Grilling With House of Q”. For good measure a set of his sauces and rubs doesn’t hurt either.

Misko is a competitive BBQ’er, and this book is geared for the home BBQ’er who is looking  to replicate those award winning flavours. It’s full of grilling tips, stores from his travels, and lots of amazingly simple recipes with endless flavour.

The book has everything from appetizers to vegetables and desserts, and is a step by step guide to getting more comfortable with your grill. While there’s lots of classics like ribs and burgers, there’s plenty of innovative dishes such as the Thai-style shrimp stuffed chicken breasts and cedar-planked brie too.  There’s also a section on brines, sauces and spreads, desserts and lots of great grilling and prepping tips along the way. Sit down with this one and have a good read before heating up that grill and making many of these memorable dishes.

Here’s one of our favs!

baconwrappedturkey8292 print cmyk (671x1024)


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The books….and ours….still looked pretty damn edible!

Bacon-wrapped Turkey Skewers

Start these turkey skewers early in the day so the meat has time to marinate before you grill it. Have ready some wooden or metal skewers, or look for more decorative, creative options such as sticks of rosemary.

Serves 4 to 6

2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 2 Tbsp minced fresh tarragon or savory, leaves only
1/4 to 1/3 cup House of Q Slow Smoke Gold BBQ Sauce or your favourite prepared mustard
1 to 2 lbs skinless, boneless turkey thighs, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 lb bacon, cut in thin slices

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the garlic, tarragon (or savory) and BBQ sauce (or mustard). Shake until well mixed, and then add the turkey cubes. Mix well to ensure the meat is well coated, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Cut the bacon in half widthwise, and arrange the slices on a clean work surface. Place a turkey cube at one end of each piece of bacon. Roll the bacon around the turkey, and thread 2 or 3 pieces of wrapped turkey on each skewer for a small portion, or 5 to 6 pieces for a larger portion. Before discarding the marinade, make sure each skewer is well coated with the mustard sauce.

Prepare your grill for direct cooking, low to medium heat. Brush or wipe the grates with oil, if necessary. Place the skewers on the grill, close the lid and cook until the bacon has rendered and crisped. Turn the skewers over a couple of times to cook them evenly and give the meat some colour. The turkey is done when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, place the skewers on a platter, or plate them individually for your guests.

Brian Misko House of Q

About Brian Misko

BBQ Brian is as an award winning competition cook and now a cookbook author. At the 2014 World Food Championships his team placed first in the rib category as well as being awarded the 2014 Team of the Year by the Canadian BBQ Society. When he is not on the competition circuit, BBQ Brian can be seen providing grilling tips on television, giving demos at national and international trade shows, and developing new products for his House of Q line of BBQ sauces and rubs.

Nigella in Vancouver with Books to Cooks


NIGELLA is coming!

  • The Vancouver Club

Nigella Lawson has a new book out and Barbara Jo and her store, Books to Cooks, is hosting her in Vancouver to celebrate; “Simply Nigella”.

The event will be held at the Vancouver Club.  It will begin at 6:00 p.m. with an interview where guests will be seated in the ballroom.  After, guests will be served a glass of wine and a few nibbles while they queue for a personalized copy of Nigella’s book.

Cost of this event which includes the book: $75.00.

There is a dinner for 30 guests after the event in the Georgian Room.   Nigella will not be able to join this festive table.   These guests will have reserved seats for the interview, be first in line to have their books personalized, then retire to the Georgian Room for a sumptuous meal, cooked from “Simply Nigella”.

Cost of this special repast will be $150.00 and will include the interview, reception, book and meal paired with wine.

CBC’s Sheryl Mackay interviews NIGELLA LAWSON

  • Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks Inc.

Please join us in shop this afternoon for tea with Nigella.   Sheryl MacKay will interview Nigella about her new book, “Simply Nigella”.

Cost of this event is $50.00 and includes a cuppa and a signed copy of “Simply Nigella”.

Whitewater Cooks with Passion

As an addict of cookbooks, and an owner of many, I was eager to get my hands on the newest Whitewater Cooks with Passion Cookbook, the fourth in the serious. This book is indeed filled with passionate recipes, and just flipping through the pages reignited my own cooking passion. I’ve whipped up many of the easy to follow and extremely tasty recipes.

Shelley Adams, the author, is the owner of Whitewater Ski Resort and the director of the Fresh Tracks Cafe in Nelson. She’s sharing the innovative recipes she’s become known for at the cafe, a collection of multicultural recipes that span from Indonesian Chicken to the all-Canadian Tourtiere with Homemade Ketchup.

From breakfast to dessert the book guides you with  recipes accompanied by gorgeous photos and serving suggestions. You could cook from this book year-round and your family would never have feasted better.

Be sure to try the Tuscan Beef Involtini with Pancetta and Pamigiano. The result was far tastier than the picture reflects!

Breakfast is easy with the Spanish Frittata. Mix up the veggies for endless combinations.

AND you’ll never want to cook with butter again once you’ve tried this olive oil cake! Well maybe not quite, but it’s certainly shows how moist olive oil is to bake with! I can’t wait to dive further into the book. Really need more nights at home!

Luscious Olive oil cake, marsala blood oranges, mascarpone cream

Luscious Olive Oil Cake

(Whitewater Cooks with Passion, 2014) Serves 8


2 cups all purpose flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups whole milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ tbsp orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup Grand Marnier or sherry


Preheat oven to 350F

Prepare a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray on sides and bottom and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a mixing bowl
Whisk together the olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier in another bowl
Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and skewer comes out clean when inserted
Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes
Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack, remove pan and let cool completely for 2 hours.

Garnish with any type of edible flowers or kumquats and sliced oranges.


Lesley Stowe’s Desserts from My Kitchen Book Launch

  •   Equinox Gallery Books to Cooks celebrates the the launch of Lesley Stowe’s new book, Desserts from My Kitchen.

The net proceeds for this evening will be donated to Project CHEF, a hands-on, curriculum-based school program that teaches children and families about healthy cooking and eating. This delectably social evening will include live music and an auction of the “Cake Walk” desserts – the perfect opportunity to pick up a sumptuous creation for your weekend dinner party.

Cost: $75, includes a personalised copy of Desserts from My Kitchen and refreshments.

CONTEST CLOSED #Giveaway 2 Signed Copies The White Spot Cookbook


Contest closed and yah for Sandra!

To win:

1) Follow @White_Spot and @GoodLifeVan AND

2) Tweet “#Win 2 copies #WhiteSpotCookbook via @goodlifevan @White_Spot http://ow.ly/r1wFH

Produced in celebration of White Spot’s 85th anniversary, The White Spot Cookbook is a visually-rich collection of memories and recipes conveying the spirit of the legendary restaurant, and its evolution from a single drive-in location in 1928 to a modern family restaurant with more than 65 locations in B.C and Alberta.

Fully illustrated with beautiful food photography, the book features recipes for classic dishes like Chicken Pot Pie and Fish & Chips, as well as contemporary feature entrées like Salmon Prawn & Scallop Risotto – all tailored for the home cook. Experience White Spot’s rich heritage through historical photos and testimonials from long-time staff and celebrities, such as Michael Bublé, Red Robinson, Pat Quinn, and Wayne Cox.

Until December 31st, partial proceeds from every book sold at White Spot Restaurants will benefit Variety – The Children’s Charity.

Decades of Decadence

decadesWhile the Best of Bridge has always been my go to for old-school recipes, I now have another cookbook on the shelf which is a treat to both read and cook from.  Rebecca Klemke has managed to pen a memoir to her grandmother and a recipe book all in one.  Take more than a few moments to enjoy her writing and anecdotes of her food memories throughout the past few decades in her family kitchen.  There certainly aren’t  any molecular gastronomy techniques or fancy foams between these covers, but experienced and beginner cooks will enjoy her recipes and stellar cooking tips.

Randomly flipping open a page I am taught how to roast poultry, step by step.  Another flip gives me a superb recipe for pizza dough, tips and topping suggestions.  One more flip and I’m making a chilled asparagus and almond soup and another a proper cheese sauce for veggies or a veal wiener schnitzel

These are recipes not to be forgotten and building blocks from which to start or expand your recipe repertoire.  Now get out those saucepans and make a big mess cooking up some love in your kitchen for your very own family, or perhaps some especially deserving friends.


A Special Night with Canada’s Favourite Recipes, Rose Murray Elizabeth Baird

Edible Canada is proud to welcome Canadian Culinary icons Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird for a special evening to celebrate their new cookbook, Canada’s Favourite Recipes.
Murray is a bestselling cookbook author. You may have noticed a poster of her latest book, A Taste of Canada, gracing the walls of our bistro. Baird was the host of the long running Food Network show Canadian Living Cooks, and is a well known food and recipe author.

During this incredible evening, Rose and Elizabeth with entertain with tales from their many travels across this incredible country, which you’ll enjoy over the three course dinner. The dinner items, complete with Canadian wine pairings, showcase recipes from the book and highlights from Canada’s culinary heritage.

The evening will begin at 7pm in the private dining room at Edible Canada on Granville Island. Tickets for this evening are only $60 and include all food, wine pairings and gratuity.

Copies of their new book will be available for sale, and the authors are available to sign it for you. It would also make a great gift for the special foodie in your life.

Thursday, November 15

Three course dinner with wine pairings
$60, including gratuity
Book easily online here.







The Soup Sisters Cookbook now available across North America

With 100 recipes arranged by season, The Soup Sisters Cookbook is a truly unique way to enjoy heartwarming soups throughout the year. The Soup Sisters Cookbook showcases scrumptious recipes from the “souper volunteers” of the Soup Sisters and recipes from many of Canada’s top celebrity chefs–including Michael Stadtlander, Bonnie Stern, Lucy Waverman, Massimo Capra, Anna Olson, Michael Bonacini and Elizabeth Baird.

There is advice on making and storing stock; the equipment and techniques you need for successful soup making; and full list of essential pantry ingredients. It is certain to appeal to soup-lovers everywhere!

The pages are filled with an abundance
of ‘souper’ beautiful photographs styled
and photographed by Julie Van Rosendaahl,
and illustrations by Pierre A. Lamielle.

 With every sale of this book, a much-needed bowl of soup will find its way to 

someone in need.