My Favourite International Cookbooks of 2015

Today felt like the first normal morning in our home in over a month.

I served up oatmeal porridge with maple syrup and cream while Danny pulled espresso shots and steamed milk for our coffees. The thermometer showed minus 8 degrees and boys scrambled to turn up matching mitts and a toque each before tumbling out the door to school.

Then Danny packed up his computer, kissed Clara and I – and left for work for the first time since the surgery. It’s been exactly a month since he woke up with one less kidney and he’s feeling well enough to return to the office. And so it is back to work for me too.

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My 2014 Cookbook Gift Guide

On the rare occasion I ever find myself out and about on my own, I inevitably end up at a bookstore, and within that store, in the cookbook section.

It’s thrilling to be around old friends and new, seeing what’s hot and what’s not (discount). At a glance one can pick up on photography trends, fad diets and styling shifts. And then there is the excitement of knowing your book will be joining the party soon. Yes, the cookbook corner of a book shop is my favourite place to wind up.

If you are not immersed in the ever-changing, multiplying world of cookbooks, however, how to know which ones to buy? Who will vouch for their quality of recipes, reliability and readability?

Well, my annual holiday gift guide is a good place to start.

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Aimée’s 2013 Cookbook Gift Guide

This isn’t going to be a ‘Best of 2013’ cookbook list. The simple reason being that I haven’t cooked from, read through or lapped up every new cookbook that came out this year.

My particular list is compiled with books that have inspired me in the kitchen and homestead and motivated me to learn more about cooking, baking, canning, and more. They have sparked research, initiated conversations on everything from pudding to preserving, and made. me. hungry!

In some cases, they’ve picked me up when I’ve been completely uninspired to make dinner (oh, it happens) and coaxed me back to the stove. Although they are new to my shelves, many of these cookbooks are already old friends.

I was a judge for this year’s Taste Canada Cookbook Awards and that experience really taught me how to scrutinize a cookbook. Before my involvement, I could intuitively separate the solid cookbooks from the weaker ones, but now I’m also aware of how important elements such as the author’s voice, research, organization, originality and food safety play into my choices.

2013 was an epic year for cookbooks. For the home preserving enthusiast to the vegetarian on your holiday gift list, here is my inspired cookbook gift guide for 2013. Happy browsing. Happy cooking.

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