Book Review – A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen

A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen,
Seasonal Recipes and Memorable Meals
Written by: Lucy Waverman
Published by: Random House Canada
Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 304
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-0679314585

A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen is a lovely cookbook with easy to follow recipes, carefully organized by the months of the year. You can pick any month and find mouth-watering recipes — from appetizers and main course dishes to delicious desserts! Lucy incorporates seasonal ingredients into her traditional recipes and also includes them in a bunch of fresh, newly inspired dishes. Flavourful and unique, you’ll be the toast of the evening when you prepare these dishes for your guests.

A sample of the recipes inside:

Leek and Chicken Soup
Spiced Fruit Salad
Aromatic Mediterranean Shortribs
Apple Caramel Tarts
Chive Potato Cakes
White Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Asian Pear and Cabbage Slaw
Pumpkin Squares
Apple Strudel
Chicken Burger Stuffed with Portobello Mushrooms
Traditional Fried Fish
Triple Chocolate Attack
…and a whole lot more!

Lucy Waverman is a Cordon Bleu–trained food columnist with the Globe and Mail and Food Editor of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s Food & Drink. She is the author of eight cookbooks, including the James Beard–nominated and Cuisine Canada Gold Medal–winner A Matter of Taste (with James Chatto).

This softcover cookbook is well-bound and sure to put up with a lot of usage in the kitchen. There are some beautiful, full colour photographs that accompany some of the recipes. I would like to have seen more recipes that had pictures to accent them; as a visual learner, images help me to decide upon a particular dish. There is a table of contents at the beginning of the book and a detailed index at the back of the cookbook — both very helpful. All in all, a really great cookbook for someone who is looking to expand upon their basic cooking repertoire; you’ll find many distinctive, unique dishes from this cookbook! Many of the recipes remind me of some very tasteful, expensive restaurants and their signature creations!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Earth to Table

Earth to Table,Earth to Table
Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm
Written by: Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann
Published by: Random House Canada
Date: September 15th, 2009
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0307356840

Earth to Table is much more than a cookbook; it covers a wide range of organic, “slow food” topics, delicious and unique recipes that use all-organic ingredients and features several Chief profiles.

A sample of the recipes inside:

Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Caviar
Saffron Rice
Rhubarb Fool
Maple Shoofly Pie
New Potatoes Salad with Green Beans and Shallots
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chilies and Cheese
French Vanilla Ice Cream
Shortcakes with Chantilly Cream and Macerated Strawberries
Plum Tarts
French Onion Soup
Pizza Dough
Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel
Braised Short Ribs
Apple Tarts
Double Crispy Onion Rings
Herbed Dumplings
Sticky Toffee Pudding
…and a whole lot more!

Jeff Crump is an Excutive Canadian Chef who has worked in a number of the world’s top restruants; Lumiere in Vancouver B.C., The Fat Duck, Bray, England and at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Jeff is a Canadian Slow Food pioneer and he promotes the use of seasonal food that is grown locally.

Bettina Schormann is a Pastry Chief who began her career in culinary arts after receiving a degree at the University of Windsor. She has worked in every section of the restaurant, including service. Pastry has since become her passion. Bettina has won numerous awards including the Lindt Chocolate Competition and the OHI Professional Pastry Chef Award. She has studied the pastry arts in Paris, New York and Toronto. Bettina has been pivotal in the unique relationship between the Ancaster Old Mill Restaurant and ManoRun Organic Farm.

This securely bound, hardcover cookbook is just the thing for cooks who are very selective and prefer to use organic foods; it is also a very functional cookbook for those of us who are non-organic cooks and food consumers. Each of the seasonal recipe sections is prefaced with an introduction that talks about the foods available during that particular season; the flavorful and imaginative recipes are easy to understand and easy to follow with a clear layout that makes this a great cookbook for beginners, right on up to experienced cooks. There are several enlightening profiles that feature Chiefs from around the world; they add some of their feelings and explain some of their personal ideas about food and the restaurant business. There are lots of gorgeous, full-colour photographs that enhance an already enjoyable cookbook. There is a concluding section at the back of the cookbook that includes 18 extra, basic recipes that every cook needs to know, followed by an appendix and an index. Some of the recipes are a little too trendy and modern for my tastes, but I’m really old fashioned when it comes to food so don’t let it stop YOU from picking up a copy of Earth to Table.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about Earth to Table.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Reviews – Modern Classics, Book 1 & 2

Modern Classics, Book 1modern classics book 1
Written by: Donna Hay
Published by: Ecco
Date: 2002
Pages: 192
Format: Trade Paperback
(Trimsize: 8×12)
ISBN: 978-0060095246

Top Pick

Modern Classics, Book 1 includes recipes in the following categories: soup, salads, vegetables, roasts & simmers, pasta, noodles & rice, savoury pies & savoury tarts.

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 1:

Potato, Bacon & Leak Soup
Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Thai Beef Salad
Spinach and Cheddar Soufflé
Basic Gravy
Roast Pork Loin
Roast Leg of Lamb
Bacon & Egg Pies
Fettuccine Carbonara
And so much more…


Modern Classics, Book 2modern classics book 2
Written by: Donna Hay
Published by: Ecco
Date: 2003
Pages: 192
Format: Trade Paperback
(Trimsize: 8×12)
ISBN: 978-0060525897

Top Pick

Modern Classics, Book 2 includes recipes in the following categories: cookies, biscuits, small cakes, cakes, desserts, hot puddings, pies & tarts.

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 2:

Shortbread Biscuits
Chocolate Brownie
Melting Moments
Lemon Slice
Mango Cakes
Apple and Cinnamon Tea Cake
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Summer Trifle
Poached Summer Fruits
Lemon Soufflé
Christmas Pudding
Berry Tartlets
And so much more…

Donna Hay has written more then 17, award-winning cookbooks and she is the editor of the donna hay magazine; it has more than 300,000 Australian readers, has subscribers in 82 countries around the world and it is a top-selling international food magazine. Donna’s cookbooks are beautifully presented with many, large, full-colour, elegant photographs of the respective dishes; the photographs really motivate the reader to get out there and start cooking! Both of these cookbooks have a wonderful variety of mouth-watering recipes inside; theres something for everyone. The cooking instructions for each recipe are very concise and this is perfect for the experienced cook. At the same time, these succinct instructions might cause a few problems for the beginner cook who might prefer more step-by-step instructions until they can get the hang of things. I still recommend that cooks with all levels of expertise, buy these cookbooks, but the less-experienced cooks may want to save these fine books for a few weeks, until they’ve become a little more comfortable in and around the kitchen. For experienced cooks, these books are the answer! I firmly believe that you can never have too many cookbooks; if you don’t have the space to store a vast cookbook collection, I highly recommend that you add these modern classics to your small list of must-haves…you won’t be disappointed. At the back of each of the cookbooks there is a list of tools that you will need (and pictures of the tools), a detailed glossary and a helpful index. These classic, but fresh recipes are sure to please the most discerning guests and keep your guests coming back for more .
I very highly recommend these cookbooks to anyone who loves to cook!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

Read more about Modern Classics, Book 1 or Modern Classics, Book 2.
Find out where to buy: Book 1 or Book 2.

Link to the Author’s Website:

Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of each of these cookbooks to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Creating Empty Bottle Moments

Creating Empty Bottle Moments: Cooking With Clive Creating Empty Bottle Moments
Written By: Clive Berkman
Published By: Baxter Press, 2009, 259 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-1888237719Top Pick

Creating Empty Bottle Moments is a fantastic cookbook with delicious recipes, photos, tips and an interesting history of Clive Berkman as he “cooked and created” his way through his career; superbly bound in hardcover and vividly presented, make sure you pick up your copy today!”

Creating Empty Bottle Moments: Cooking With Clive is Top-Notch! From the front cover forward I was captivated by the beautiful layout, full-colour photographs, mouth-watering recipes and the friendly, down-to-earth tone. More then just a cookbook, this hardcover masterpiece gives us a genuine feel for Clive Berkman, the man as well as World Class Chief. As an Award-Winner in the Cookbook/Food category of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards and the Winner of the 2009 New York Book Festival’s award in the Cookbook category, Creating Empty Bottle Moments gives the reader everything they were hoping for and a whole lot more! I am now a big fan of Clive’s work; the diversity and quality of each recipe takes some old favourites and adds a new twist while presenting very unique and delectable selections of entrees, appetizers, desserts, breads, sides, soups, salads and more. Easy to understand and even easier to follow; I guarantee that your mouth will be watering before you’re done.

A random selection of recipe titles are:

Blackened Shrimp Quesadillas
Curried Chicken Salad
Red Beans and Rice
Shrimp Fritters
Spinach and Watercress Soup
Baked Alaska
Apple Strudel
Yorkshire Puddings
Almond Tartlets
Cajun Barbecued Shrimp and so much more!

There is a table of contents, an index of recipes and 15 pages (at the back of the cook book) of absolutely indispensable tips for every cook regardless of skill level.
I very highly recommend this cookbook to beginning cooks right on up to gourmet chefs!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

Link to the Author’s website:

Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to PR By The Book for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – The Flavor Bible

The Flavor Bibletheflavorbible
Written By: Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
Photographs By: Barry Salzman
Published By: Little, Brown and Company an Imprint of Hachette Book Group, 2008, First Edition, 392 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0316118408

The Flavor Bible is a comprehensive guide to flavors and how to blend them with food; a must-have for anyone who cooks!”

This reverence guide is versatile, detailed and it has been exhaustively researched. With many basic ingredients, basic cooking ideas and simple dishes listed alphabetically, this guide is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to cook regardless of experience or lack there of.

Chapter 1: a brief chapter on “Learning to Recognize the Language of Food”

Chapter 2: a brief chapter on “Communicating VIA the Language of Food”

Chapter 3: takes up the majority of this book; it is includes “Flavor Matchmaking” charts that describe Taste, Weight, Volume, Techniques, Flavor Affinities, Suggested Dishes, Quotes from Chiefs and cooks from across Canada and the US and more…

Because of the sheer volume of flavours and flavor combinations that are included in this guide, sadly there wasn’t any extra room for recipes; instead this book is used as a handy reference guide for anyone who wants to plan an elaborate meal or simply throw leftovers together for a quick meal. The real beauty of The Flavor Bible is its universal usability for the experienced chief right down to someone who is about to cook for the very first time. There are detailed explanations that make sense and the terms and definitions are easy to understand. With countless, delectable colour photographs, this hefty book will take the guesswork out of creative cooking and inspired recipe planning, giving the cook confidence in their work, knowing that their food will taste great every time; no matter how many different ways they mix things up.

A note to those, who like myself, usually jump right in to reference books at a random page; you do NEED to read chapter 1 and 2 before you move on to chapter 3. If you skip the first two chapters, you are going to wind up confused and frustrated because you won’t know how everything fits together, trust me on this.

I very highly recommend The Flavor Bible to anyone who has the willingness to cook and the desire to experiment with flavors!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!

Link to the Author’s Website:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – I Like You

I Like You,i-like-you
Hospitality Under the Influence
Written By: Amy Sedaris
Published By: Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group USA Inc., 2008, First Edition, 304 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-0446696777

I Like You is an outlandish cookbook with lots of recipes, zany entertaining ideas and heaps of unique pictures.”

I Like You is NOT an everyday, run-of-the-mill cookbook and entertaining guide. This book contains more then 200 interesting recipes and some very unique thoughts and ideas on how to amuse guests of all kinds. I was a little overwhelmed with the scrapbook-type layout and I was hoping for something a little easier on the eyes. This cookbook is full of old-fashioned photographs, but I found that the photographs overpowered the typed recipes and craft ideas. This book is geared towards women, though some men might enjoy the recipes and other parts of this book. I feel that this cookbook will likely spend more time as an entertaining coffee-table book, rather then being in the kitchen with the rest of the cookbooks; this is probably what the author has intended, all along. I will admit to laughing out loud at some of the crazy pictures and the little conversations that the Author has with the reader, but over all I would say that this book is not what I was hoping for.

♦♦♦♦♦♦ (6 out of 10 Diamonds) – I enjoyed it

Link to the Author’s website:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Katie Brown Celebrates

Katie Brown Celebrates,katie-brown-celebrates
Simple and Spectacular Parties All Year Round
Written By: Katie Brown
Published By: Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc., 2008, First Edition, 192 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0316118187
Top Pick

Katie Brown Celebrates is a beautiful cookbook and party planning guide for year-round entertainment.”

Katie Brown Celebrates has over 100 tasty recipes that make your mouth water with anticipation. With an introduction from the author, this wonderful book has month-by-month recipes, though they could be used any time of the year. With an innovative and delightful 6 page picture index at the back, I have to tell you, this book has tempted my taste buds and inspired my own creative party-hosting abilities.  There are countless, vibrant and beautiful photographs, with each recipe photo showing you exactly what you’re version should look like.

Some recipe titles include:
♦ Parmesan Soup with Swiss Chard-Stuffed Dumplings
♦ Gorgonzola-Stuffed Potatoes
♦ White Bean-Lamb Stew
♦ Herbed Feta Puffs
♦ Pizza Stick Roll-Ups
♦ Green Garden Soup
♦ Lemon-Rhubarb Trifle
♦ Moroccan Braised Chicken
♦ Apple Brownies
♦ Pear Salad With Jicama Radish, and Celery

With unique and creative party planning and menu ideas, many of which I have never seen before, you are sure to find everything you will need to delight even the most discerning of guests.
I very highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

Link to the Author’s website:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy