Easy Homemade Harissa Recipe || Simple Bites

Quick Homemade Harissa from ‘Whole Bowls’

Step into any book shop these days and you will be greeted by a fresh array of new spring cookbooks. It’s hard to know which ones are keepers amid the wide selection.

A large percentage of these books come across my desk, and I spend many evenings reading them cover to cover. In spring and in fall, the busiest times for publication, cookbooks are my novels. I binge on them like a cult Nexflix show. A few make it to my kitchen, a handful more remain on my shelf, and the rest go on a pile to give away.

Fellow Canadian food blogger Allison Day has a new cookbook, Whole Bowls, and it landed in my hands a few short days before my Noah was diagnosed with pneumonia. This was a few weeks ago, when I was sufficiently ‘done’ with winter produce, yet I became excited to cook while reading Whole Bowls – the first sign of a great cookbook.

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Pear Gingerbread || Simple Bites #cake #recipe

Pear Gingerbread {The Homemade Kitchen giveaway}

There is a new cookbook on my shelf, a recent arrival from the Berkshire kitchen of my friend, Alana. Actually, it hasn’t rested on the bookshelf yet; I’ve been keeping it with me in the kitchen for daily cooking, baking and tea-time reading.

The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure is the second cookbook from Alana, and a long awaited companion to The Homemade Pantry. It’s a personal and passionate ode to home cooking without an ounce of pressure. Alana encourages aspiring cooks with memorable lessons such as Do Your Best and Then Let Go, Be a Beginner, and Do the Work. In fact, these guiding principles form the outline of her book, and she explains and expands on them in thoughtful essays that undoubtedly come from a place of learning.

I’ve been cooking plenty from The Homemade Kitchen already, so read on for more thoughts on the cookbook and a splendid giveaway, too.

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Triple Red Pickle

Bite this Book: The Canning Kitchen

My preserves pantry is beginning to look a little sparse as we’ve been finishing up all the pickles, jams and canned tomatoes from last summer.

It’s time for another exciting season of canning, and there’s a brand new cookbook from PRH Canada to motivate us all to get our act together.

The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes is newly released by my friend and fellow food blogger Amy Bronee. She’s a West Coast mother of two who has long been addicted to preserving the harvest and shares over one hundred of her favourite recipes in a beautiful debut cookbook.

Both nostalgic favourites and new creations shine in this warm and helpful guide to canning at home. Through Amy’s careful tutelage and vibrant photography, novice and experience canners alike will find inspiration for every season in this cookbook.

Read on for a fun interview with Amy and a chance to win one of two copies of The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes!

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Gatherings

Bite this Book: Gatherings

Folks, I have one more cookbook giveaway for you to wrap up my Bite this Book series in 2014. It couldn’t come at a better time, as we are preparing for the holiday season and some of you might be quaking at the thought of hosting.

Canadian food writers and my friends Jan Scott & Julie Van Rosendaal have joined forces to bring us guide to making casual entertaining simple and accessible. Gatherings: Bringing People Together With Food is a beautiful cookbook full of helpful tips for real get-together from cocktail parties to potlucks, equipping you to go fourth and entertain with confidence.

I can’t wait to put Gatherings to good use over the holiday season. I’ll be hosting a handful of events and will be counting on this beautiful book to help me survive and thrive. Bookmarked already are the chapters: Weekend Brunch, Snow Day, Holiday Open House and Cocktail Party.

Read on for an exclusive interview with both Julie and Jan, plus a chance to win a copy of Gatherings: Bringing People Together With Food!

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header_brussel_sprouts

5 Cheap Ways to Spruce Up Your Gathering & The Kitchn Cookbook giveaway

The brand new cookbook from the creators of the beloved The Kitchn blog was waiting for me when I returned home earlier this week. Oh joy!

I had met Sara Kate at Big Summer Potluck two years ago and I had the pleasure of hosting Faith here on the homestead last fall. These two kitchen geniuses teamed up to author The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking, a warm, inspiring cookbook that offers much more than just recipes (although the recipes are great, too).

If you like peeking into other peoples kitchens, you’ll love how this cookbook opens, with snapshots and stories of real kitchens around the country. Tucked in and around the features are solid, practical tips for setting up and caring for your kitchen. There is so much to learn here, whether your kitchen is tiny or too-large (is that really a thing?).

The next section is close to my heart: Stocking the Pantry and Planning Meals. This is the backbone of really cooking well. The authors guide you through the best set up so you can be prepared for my favourite part of the book: The Kitchn’s Cooking School! These 50 essential skills are so darn practical and well-written, I wanted to reach out and give both Faith and Sara Kate a virtual high-five.

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