Cookbook Review: Rao’s Classics

Rao’s is the legendary, tiny corner restaurant in East Harlem where it’s impossible to book a table: each of the red-checked, cloth-covered four-, six-, and two-tops is reserved for a titan of New York industry, a celebrity, or a major politician. Permanently. Now Frank Pellegrino, the third generation of his family to operate the impossible-to-get-into Rao’s restaurant in East Harlem and founder of Rao’s food products line, goes deep into the history of his family, the restaurant, and America’s love affair with Southern Italian cooking to create Rao’s Classics cookbook.
(more…)

Cookbook Review: Dorie’s Cookies

Over the course of her baking career, Dorie Greenspan has created more than 300 cookie recipes. Yet she has never written a book about them—until now. To merit her “three purple stars of approval,” every cookie had to be so special that it begged to be made again and again. Cookies for every taste and occasion are here. Ms. Greenspan pays great attention to detail. There are over 500 pages filled with recipes, tips, techniques and notes on gear and ingredients.

The author offers up treats like Portofignos, with chocolate dough and port-soaked figs, and lunch-box Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars. They Might Be Breakfast Cookies are packed with raisins, dried apples, dried cranberries, and oats, while Almond Crackle Cookies have just three ingredients. (more…)

Cookbook Review: Sicily: Recipes from an Italian Island

Italy’s most seductive island, Sicily, is located in the heart of the Mediterranean. Thanks to its rich history, Sicilian food has Italian as well as Greek, Spanish, French, and Arab influences. Now Italian aficionados, Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, head to the island to immerse themselves in its diverse food scene. (more…)

Cookbook Review: How to Bake Everything

I adore Mark Bittman. Having followed his New York Times food column for years, I have always found his evocative view of the world of food quite refreshing. Bittman has written more than 20 cookbooks, including this new one, “How to Bake Everything.” For an occasional and frightened baker like myself, his witty, caustic and opinionated banter provides a compelling counter to the usual staid baking books. (more…)

Cookbook Review: Small Victories

Becoming a confident cook means mastering one delicious thing at a time, taking pleasure in each small victory. That’s the gift Julia Turshen shares here, and it’s one she has learned from her rich life in food. After preparing thousands of meals for bestselling cookbooks and as a private chef all over the world, she knows that celebrating the small achievements is the sure way to become a comfortable, intuitive, and inventive cook. Small Victories puts all of those years of learning into your hands, no matter how new to cooking or how practiced you are.

(more…)

CookBook Review: The Pie Project

I love this book! Two women, one mission: to share their ultimate collection of decadent sweet pies in all their bubbling, fruity, caramelized, and buttery glory.

The Pie Project is a collection of 60 delicious sweet pie recipes. Pies are very forgiving desserts for bakers: spillages are, really just an opportunity for more caramelisation and a mis-shapen pie just adds to the rustic feel! Readers are encouraged to use imperfect fruit, play around with lattice, design their own pastry top and bake the pies in whatever they have handy (some are cooked in skillets, or even enamel bowls). (more…)

Cookbook review: Alimentari: Salads + Other Classics from a Little Deli that Grew

‘Alimentari’ literally means ‘good food and camaraderie’ – and that is just what this celebrated Melbourne-based café/deli stands by. They present delicious, attainable Italian, modern European, and Middle Eastern food (with some cheffy touches) alongside a compelling story of success of the little deli that became a beloved cornerstone of the thriving and unparalleled cafe culture that Melbourne fosters.

(more…)

Cookbook Review: Basque: Spanish recipes from San Sebastian & Beyond

Cover art by Jenny Bowers

Spanish natives are fiercely proud of their heritage, language, and their food and drink. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Basque country, an area in the north of Spain, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and France.

A major city within the region is San Sebastián, known for its rich mix of traditions which are deep-rooted in food and cooking. From its obsession with the perfect ‘pintxos’ (small tapas snacks), to holding the most Michelin stars per head than anywhere else in the world, there’s plenty here for food-lovers. (more…)

Family Recipes: Dairy-free Corn Chowder

corn chowder

I’ve come to realize that many of us have been bequeathed a cherished family recipe. Be it simple or elaborate to prepare, it’s a dish so fiendishly delicious that it is the unmistakable star of the family meal, whether celebrating triumphs, comforting woes, or keeping family traditions alive. Withholding such heirloom recipes from the world seems almost cruel. Hence, I am championing the family recipe. I will entice the people in my universe to share favourite, nostalgia-infused family recipes, and I will give one of them centre stage in this very space on a monthly basis. In the end, we are all family, and these recipes represent the legacies of our shared passions. This month’s post is written by Patricia Maloney. Enjoy!

This week we had a feed of corn on Tuesday night. Maude was home and I wanted her to have some corn before she went back to school to attend her fourth year at Queen’s. She bought a dozen ears for me, and unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the two feeds Fred and I already had this summer. They were very tender and sweet.

When we were growing up, my mother made the funniest noises when she ate corn. We used to laugh at her. Now that I’ve turned into my mother, I make funny sounds when I eat corn. (more…)

Family Recipe: Grandma’s Rhubarb Cake

rhubarb cake

I’ve come to realize that many of us have been bequeathed a cherished family recipe. Be it simple or elaborate to prepare, it’s a dish so fiendishly delicious that it is the unmistakable star of the family meal, whether celebrating triumphs, comforting woes, or keeping family traditions alive. Withholding such heirloom recipes from the world seems almost cruel. Hence, I am championing the family recipe. I will entice the people in my universe to share favourite, nostalgia-infused family recipes, and I will give one of them centre stage in this very space on a monthly basis. In the end, we are all family, and these recipes represent the legacies of our shared passions. This month’s post is written by my buddy Truds. Enjoy!

I remember as kids raiding the garden for stalks of rhubarb. For this cake, I cut the rhubarb up really small so you get a sour taste in each bite.  A lot of people don’t like the sourness of rhubarb—but I really do.  The cake has just the right amount of sugar to make it completely perfect (although, I do admit that in some instances, I will reduce the amount of sugar in both the cake and in the topping.) I think the next time I get my hands on someone’s rhubarb stash, I’ll try making this recipe as a rhubarb/strawberry cake.  A divine combination! Hope you enjoy!

(more…)