My Favourite Canadian Cookbooks of 2015

Here and there around the web, folks are sharing gift guides of their favourite things from the year gone by. I love these lists, especially those geared toward foodies or travel lovers; it’s always interesting to see which books, kitchen tools or trinkets others are currently crushing on.

For example, popular home preserving site Punk Domestics shared their picks for the Best DIY Books of 2015, Tsh over at The Art of Simple wrote a thoughtful gift guide, and friends over at Eat North listed their 10 Best Canadian Cookbooks. There is plenty of inspiration to be found for the book-lovers on your list.

I’m here to add my suggestions to the mix! I’ve already shared my favourite international cookbooks of the year and promised I’d be back with the Canadian edition. It’s been a fantastic year for cookbooks from coast to coast so let’s get right to the 2015 line-up.

My Favourite Canadian Cookbooks of 2015

Homegrown by Mairlyn Smith.

Homegrown is a broad collection of recipes from popular media personality Mairlyn Smith and her fellow professional home economists that focus on Canadian-grown ingredients. This author is on a mission to get Canadian eating better from coast to coast, and Homegrown is the book to get the ball rolling. Recipes are wholesome and approachable, such as Overnight Blueberry Irish Oatmeal, Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry, and Saskatoon Maple Bread Pudding (I picked saskatoon berries every summer when I was a kid!). Photos are few in this cookbook, so those who love visuals may want to flip through it in a bookstore first to see if the recipes are enough to get you in the kitchen. Read a great interview with Mairlyn over on Eat North, and definitely check out Homegrown.

Find Homegrown: Celebrating the Canadian Foods We Grow, Raise and Produce on Amazon.com.


Make Ahead Meals by Michael Smith.

I adore Chef Michael Smith’s cookbooks.  They are guaranteed page-turners, with a beautiful photo for every recipe and clear, concise directions. Make Ahead Meals definitely resonated with me during this busy stage of life, where I prepare three square meals a day for 5 people, seven days a week. I think most everyone could use more recipes that are easy and save time too!

Find Make Ahead Meals: Over 100 Easy Time-Saving Recipes on Amazon.com.


Made In Quebec by Julian Armstrong.

I don’t need any convincing when it comes to the merits of Quebec food. Every day I work with local ingredients such as maple syrup, honey, root vegetables, blueberries, mushrooms, cheese, ramps and much more and consider myself blessed beyond measure. Now we finally have a cookbook that celebrates the cuisine of this vast province and pays homage to the famers, fishmongers, foragers, artisans and chefs who provide the bounty of ingredients. Made in Quebec is a cookbook that locals should have on their kitchen counter permanently and consult anew every season.

Find Made In Quebec on Amazon.com.


Montreal Cooks by Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer.

Montreal Cooks is a prime example of a perfectly executed collaboration between individuals who are all passionate about a subject. In this case, the subject is good Montreal eats – a study on forty of the city’s leading chefs, bakers and preserve-makers. It’s more love-letter than restaurant guide (you won’t find addresses or phone numbers) and feels like you have a friendly local letting you in on the best kept secrets in town. With gorgeous photography by Fabrice Gaetan, a forward by Gail Simmons and a hefty collection of recipes from participating chefs, this book has a place both on the coffee table and the kitchen counter.

Find Montreal Cooks: A Tasting Menu from the City’s Leading Chefs on Amazon.com. Or pick up a signed copy at Appetite for Books here in town.


The Canning Kitchen by Amy Bronee.

Both nostalgic favourites and new creations shine in this warm and helpful guide to canning at home from Victoria food writer, Amy of Family Feedbag. Amy wanted to create recipes that home cooks would not just spread on toast but actually use in their cooking. With recipes for condiments like mustard, cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce, the book goes well beyond jams and jellies to stock the pantry with a variety of other useful preserves. Through Amy’s careful tutelage and vibrant photography, novice and experienced canners alike will find inspiration for every season in this cookbook.

Find The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes on Amazon.com.


Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady.

Tara’s much-anticipated cookbook certainly did not disappoint, with its lyrical prose and wildly creative recipes. It landed on my doorstep and immediately make its way to the kitchen where I was swept away by recipes like Rhubarb Raspberry Rye Crumble and Savory Steel-Cut Oats with Cheese and Spinach. Tara’s Sunrise Smoothie changed our mornings as did her method for avocado toast (genius). We’ve made the chocolate chip cookies and have flagged many more recipes for the near future. This was a debut cookbook from her blog of the same name. One can only hope there is another in the plans.

Find Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day on Amazon.com.


The Sweetapolita Bakebook by Rosie Alyea.

I’d been reading Rosie’s blog Sweetapolita for ages, so it was a treat to finally hold her book in my hands. She’s been a big inspiration to me for everything from making my own homemade sprinkles to this fun ‘Doodle Cake‘ I made for my Mateo a few years back. Another gorgeous cookbook from Appetite, The Sweetapolita Bakebook features 75 very smart, very creative ideas for cakes, cookies and sweet treats. Prepare to be transported into a bright and colourful land of magical confections.

Find The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate on Amazon.com.


True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns.

As someone who has lived in four Canadian provinces and eaten my way through most of the rest, I’d consider myself a champion of Canadian cuisine, which is why I was so excited to flip through Derek’s cookbook, True North, and see a stunningly beautiful representation of our country’s diverse food culture. The book is co-authored by two deeply passionate fellows and their enthusiasm shines through on every page (as it does in the forward written by our mutual friend, Jamie Oliver). Johns is a deeply engrossing writer and it is a treat to virtually traverse from coast to coast through his storytelling. Home cooks may not be whipping up Seal Mortadella or Caribou Carpaccio anytime soon, but this is a book that will further propel a global appreciation for Canadian cuisine. It’s an important cookbook for this country, and one I strongly believe you should take notice of.

Find True North on Amazon.com.


I’m so blessed to have had the experience of contributing to the Canadian cookbook line-up this year with Brown Eggs and Jam Jars! What a crazy ride that was, from the pre-launch jitters to the coast-to-coast book tour. I can’t wait to do it all over again.

Find the US Edition of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes From The Kitchen Of Simple Bites on Amazon.com.

Find the Canadian edition of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars at Chapters Indigo.

Did you fall in love with a Canadian author this year?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. What a list! Thanks for including my book and for all your friendship along the way. What a big year for the both of us. Sending you warm wishes for a cozy holiday season!

  2. These all look so nice!! I do have yours and it is so good!

  3. Yes, your book! I love your cookbook, it is the kind I like with good recipes and stories. It is much like my mother’s generation when they chatted and shared recipes over the back fence.

  4. I have fallen for Canadian cookbook authors this year, because of finding your blog while researching for a recipe. I absolutely love how so many of you use fresh products. I too prepare three full meals for eight everyday. So, finding great cookbooks are so wonderful. I’m always trying to find new ways to prepare food and new recipes to try. Your cookbook along with Amy Bronee and Michael Smith are among my favorites, and I’ve checked out as many as I can at my local library. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and techinques along with other authors, it’s been most helpful.
    Have a magical season with your family!

  5. What a great list! I haven’t seen a few of these and will have to check them out for sure. Thanks! 🙂

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