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Cookbook Critiques

Italian dinner for seven awaitsAfter trying out recipes from a Tagine cookbook and a Cake cookbook , the next supper adventure for the SASSY Supper club was to try the recipes from Italian SENSATION! (cucina). This is a coffee table-perfect work of love for all things Italian, written by a Vancouverite, who has cooked Italian family dinners most of her life.

Seven members of the SASSY Supper Club picked a range of recipes from the book, encompassing seafood, chicken, vegetables, pasta,...

Bookcover: Italian SENSATION! (cucina)Italian SENSATION! (cucina),
by Anna Maria McClenaghan
256 pages filled with colour photographs
Publisher: Christoforo Publishing
ISBN No. 978-0-9867598-0-2
Can $39.99

Anna Maria, Mama Magaret and Matthew, Anna's son at the book launch party.The first aspect that struck me about "Italian SENSATION! (cucina)" was that this is not your conventional recipe book. This book is as much about...

a medium and large tagine on the stovetopFor the first of what I hope will be many Cookbook Critiques on this website, I enlisted the help of my fellow foodies of our SASSY Supper Club to try out a range of recipes from Pat Crocker's "150 Best Tagine Recipes."

Since we were simultaneously trying out recipes from Camilla Saulsbury's  "Piece of Cake!" cookbook,  we enlisted 5 additional...

Raspberry Sour Cream CakeThe desserts designated for the first Cookbook Critique event were cakes from the second cookbook that I have for review. It's called Piece of Cake! by Camilla V. Saulsbury, and the recipes are all designed to be "one bowl, no fuss , from scratch cakes." In other words not to belabor the point, theoretically the recipes should be "a piece of cake" to make. But could they also satisfy the discerning palates of the SASSY foodies and cake-baking friends?


150 Best Tagine Recipes

When I first examined the brightly coloured cover of this paperback cookbook, my attention was caught by the description of the author as a culinary herbalist. I assume that the herbs and spies that are so widely used in the cuisines of the North African countries of the Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) must make these foods particularly interesting to a writer with a strong interest in culinary herbs.

Le Creuset medium tagineBefore you read any further, it is necessary that I explain that I am not renowned for my prowess in the kitchen. My qualification for food-writing lies in the fact that I am a dedicated foodie  who loves eating "not wisely but too well".

My cooking skills have definitely improved since the time that my Bolognese sauce imploded showering the  walls of our kitchen and our avocado green appliances (that dates this event!)  with a burst of red speckled sauce that...

Piece of Cake

I confess that from sheer metabolic necessity  ( I put on weight just thinking about food) I rarely eat cakes or desserts but the picture of a luscious Cream Cheese Frosted Red Velvet Cake on the cover of Piece of Cake! was not to be denied. I paged through the book looking at more mouth watering pictures and reading recipes. Who can resist the thought of Mocha Cake with Coffee Buttercream or Butterscotch Blondie Bundt? I just had to try some of these cakes.

Cookbooks old and new -see upcoming storiesFrom time to time I receive offers of new books to review. Recently my attention was captured by the titles of two new cookbooks from Ontario publisher Robert Rose Inc., and I thought that as a natural expansion of our SASSY Suppers, undertaking practical evaluations of recipe books would be a useful new feature in the Sipping and Supping food-writing section of ReviewFromTheHouse.

Our SASSY (Serious  About Sharing Suppers, Yeah) group's supper themes have included Moroccan  and...

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