Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Three Book Ideas for The Entertainer On Your Holiday List

With Christmas comes new releases - games, dvds, cds and books. Perfectly timed to make gift giving that much easier. Every year, I especially look forward to the cookbooks that emerge and these three are definitely on my list.

Nigella Lawson, England's vivacious chef, entertainer and hostess releases her first Christmas themed book. Packed full of traditional recipes and modern twists on old classics, this book is described as minimizing stress around holiday entertaining and maximizing entertainment. I'm sold.

West: The Cookbook by Warren Geraghty

For anyone who has had the opportunity to dine in Vancouver at this South Granville gem, you will appreciate the opportunity to recreate the food at home with one hundred of their best recipes. There is an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients, so this book is good for those interested in sustainable cooking.

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook by Martha Stewart

Good for all levels of home cooks, this book is sorted by cooking technique and features over 500 step-by-step color pictures. The book has over 200 new recipes and goes beyond the basics by discussing equipment and ingredients in detail. It is a beautiful book and should make every budding Martha Stewart in your family very, very, happy.

All three books may be purchased online through http://www.amazon.ca/ and range between $30 and $35 each with amazon's discounted pricing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A winter dinner party for cheese lovers

As November draws to a close, Christmas decor and entertaining moves in full swing. For many of us, the holiday season is one of the busiest when it comes to entertaining. Instead of throwing your usual open house, why not try hosting a couple smaller dinner parties and spend quality time with your guests.

To ensure you don't spend all your time in the kitchen, prepare a meal where everyone can participate. One of my favs for the winter season is a fondue party. For those of you who don't own a fondue pot and live in the Vancouver area, visit Les Amis Du Fromage in Vancouver (http://www.buycheese.com/). If you purchase cheese from their shop, they will loan you a fondue pot for the evening. Excellent cheese fondue recipes can also be found on their site and the staff are incredibly helpful. Looking for a twist on the fondue party, have everyone over for raclette. Les Amis Du fromage will lend raclette machines too.

Cut up some crusty bread, toss a side salad, offer a selection of sliced meats with a crisp white wine and enjoy!