Who loves Michael Smith? I sure do. And I’m proud that he’s Canadian. The season when his Chef At Home series was on television I made a point of watching it. And I’m not really a TV Watcher. His success has grown internationally in a big way since those days.
So every fall, I do require some inspiration…or flat-out instruction…on getting the household manageable again. As part of that I always treat myself to a new cookbook. Sometimes two. This is the one I picked up this year. It’s his latest of many cookbooks but the first one I’ve bought. It’s a beautiful balance of equal parts inspiration and instruction.
Inspiration. Seriously, he had me at the chalkboard labeling and salad dressings in mason jars. He speaks my language. Not to mention that the photography is scrumptious. I do have a thing for beautiful photography in a cookbook.
Even the writing is inspirational. If I had time and space I would quote the entire cookbook to you. But here are some examples. From the introduction: Success is defined by…whether you and your table are enjoying yourselves. And …the cook matters more than the recipe… He uses words like aromatic a lot, just like he did on TV. And his instructions include phrases like craft the dressing and devour as is or top with cheese. Ummm, I choose top with cheese please.
Also he instructs that salads be served in a festive salad bowl. Party! As an aside, if you are in need of festive salad bowls please leave a comment below, or on my facebook page here. I happen to be the daughter of a very talented festive salad bowl maker. We’d be happy to ship you one.
Instruction. Well he explains things like a basic Sear, Sauce, and Simmer that can be used for almost any kind of meat. There are multiple variations on parts of the recipes to make them flexible for your kitchen. And elements like a table that shows at a glance the instructions for cooking any kind of grain. So helpful!
So here are some of the recipes that have been tested and approved in this kitchen. Even Mr. Personally browsed through the meat sections and decided to cook up the Honey Mustard Ribs.
There are also some decadent recipes for when you’re looking to be really adventurous, take something fancy to a party, and get tons of compliments. And if you are one to give gifts homemade from your kitchen, how about Bacon Whiskey Jam for those hard-to–buy-for guys on your list? Bacon. Whiskey. Seriously.
The kids have not been forgotten either. Check this out. Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. Ya gotta like how this man thinks.
And a recipe for flourless Sparkle Cookies will definitely be part of this year’s Christmas baking. Even the name says Celebrate.
Two thumbs up for this book. A great one for your own kitchen for everything from basic dishes to party food, with lots of helpful writing to generally improve your skills in the kitchen. Can’t beat that.
As another small aside, I just bought a second lens for my camera which arrived by courier this week. Woohoo! It’s been on my wishlist for a while and I found it on sale on amazon.ca. It’s the Nikon 18-105mm and so far I’m loving it. Some of the photos in this post are with the new lens. Can you tell the difference in the look?