Spring cookbooks preview: the Canadian edition

It is going to be an incredible year for Canadian cookbooks.

Not only will my new cookbook drop in October (details coming very soon) but there is an every growing list of exciting titles being released from many unique Canadian writers.

An out-of-the-box vegan cookbook, a coast-to-coast ode to Canadian cuisine, a collection of 100 spirited/boozy recipes, a charming baking book from the Prairies and heavy ‘dose of awesome’ from Canada’s most famous food photographer and Instagram celebrity: these are the five cookbooks I am most excited about so far in 2017 and I’m sharing a peek at them here today.

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Pesto & Ricotta-filled Asparagus and Radish Tarts

Spring is very much in the air. I can feel it, even if the garden still sleeps under a foot of snow.

The ice on the river near our place is breaking up and the tops of the trees in the yard have started to bud. Soon the sap will be flowing in the maples and we can tap their trunks for a new sugaring off season.

I’m anticipating the spring thaw as eagerly as my children awaiting their first batch of maple taffy on snow. It can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, Clara built another snowman on the first day of spring.

I warmed one of these tarts for my lunch while watching her play – they are like a promise of good things to come: our own baby radishes, local asparagus and the warm winds of spring.
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Kids who Cook: an update from our kitchen

The whole idea of “spring break” is rather laughable when it’s too cold to go outside and winter storms batter the house from all angles.

Still, the children had five days off of school last week, so we had the “break” – just without any of the spring. Regrettably, all three of the kids were suffering from coughs and colds, so we laid low, watched movies, built pillow forts and ate a lot of homemade soup.

We also cooked up plenty of fun in the kitchen, with each child taking a turn to prepare various meals and snacks for the family. It was really lovely to have ample time to cook – and teach – instead of the frequent rush that is our daily life with 3 kids and 2 jobs.

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Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake with Candied Lemons

At the prompting of a few friends and one sister, we’re watching The Kindness Diaries on Netflix as a family right now. One of our family ‘mottos’ is “Above all, be kind.” so the series dovetails nicely with how we are endeavoring to live out our lives.

For me, showing kindness nearly always translates into food for others, whether it be a meal delivered, dinner around my table or, more recently, hunger relief. Today’s recipe for Meyer lemon bundt cake is exactly the type of cake to bake for a friend and leave it, wrapped in a tea towel, on their front porch.

Equally worthwhile is to invite a friend over to join you for afternoon tea and cake. As long as cake is shared  – between friends or strangers – the world will continue to become a better place. I’m pretty sure I read that on a t-shirt somewhere.

I was going to save this recipe for Easter, but Meyer lemons are available right now and this cake needs to be on your baking list long before April.

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How to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking (recipe round-up)

I get asked so often how to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking, that I decided to expand my usual response into a post.

From what I have noticed, home cooks tend to purchase a jar of preserved lemons for a specific recipe – and then stuff the remainder in the back of the fridge for a year or two. Others get fired up over a DIY recipe, like my Spiced Preserved Lemons, but then don’t know what on earth to do with them afterward.

I use preserved lemons in practically everything. I should state from the beginning that I am a longtime devotee to preserved lemons and always have a jar or two in my refrigerator. Hopefully by the end of this post you are both inspired to stock your pantry permanently with preserved lemons and feel confident adding them to your cooking and baking.

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