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 Review – No Such Creature

No Such CreatureNo Such Creature
Written By: Giles Blunt
Published By: Random House Canada
Date: October 14th, 2008
Pages: 270
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0679314318

No Such Creature takes you on a wild ride rampant with perilous exploits, camaraderie and greed.”

Product Description – From
“Tooling across the American southwest in their giant Winnebago, Max and his nephew, Owen, seem harmless enough, the actorly old fellow spouting Shakespeare like a faucet while his young charge trots him through select tourist destinations along the road. But appearances, as you might imagine, can be deceiving.
Old Max is actually a master thief, and young Owen’s summer vacation is his careful apprenticeship in a life of crime. Pulling heists is scary enough, but ominous signs point to the alarming fact that The Subtractors are on their tail, criminal bogeymen who stop at nothing to steal from other thieves. The road trip soon turns into a chase, by turns comic and horrifying. The most disturbing twist: Owen’s slow realization that the person he loves most in the world is the one who can do him the most harm.”

No Such Creature is a fast-paced mystery/crime drama that engages the read and is very hard to put down. With some clever plot twists, a great storyline and well developed characters; this book grabs your attention and hangs on tight. Owen and Max have a wonderful relationship even if it’s a little out of the ordinary; their familial love for one another keeps them strong through tough times and makes the good times that much more enjoyable. The banter between these two men is witty and very entertaining! When risky heists, speedy getaways and opposing factions threaten their livelihood, Max and Owen do their best to keep things running smoothly. Then Owen meets a beautiful young woman and his life changes forever. The 3-some travels together as meals are shared and Max’s “Achilles heel” becomes more evident and threatens to endanger them all. There was a small amount of swearing, but it wasn’t out of context. The one problem I had with this book was the ending; it felt forced and prematurely shortened.

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

Read more about No Such Creature.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:

Link to the Publisher’s Website:

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy