Cookbooks make great gifts!

As I was enjoying my weekend I decided to flip through some cookbooks that might interest a variety of people on your Christmas list. I had to make a relaxing and quick dinner to eat while I was flipping through the books and my standby is always eggs for dinner. So I whipped up a skillet frittata with a few leftovers and almost empty jars of favourite flavours to create dinner with a mixed salad to enjoy while I got even hungrier looking at tasty recipes and fun photos of food and more!

I wanted to give you a few not so obvious but fun choices for cookbooks this holiday season but include a couple of favourites of mine that are a must as far as I’m concerned when it comes to delicious food and fabulous recipes! I’ve put them into categories so you can complete a gift by including the cookbook, which I think is always a fabulous and fun gift not just during this holiday season but anytime of the year! 

For the Dog Lover: For big and small dogs, good nutrition is important so while you are getting fun squeaky toys, clothes and special treats, why not pick up a copy of “Better Food for Dogs” A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide by David Bastin, Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Grant Nixon, D.V.M. With tasty recipes that you would want to eat your adult dogs will be enjoying dishes such as Lamb Souvlaki or Tomato and Chicken Rotini. The meals are laid out by the weight of your dog and the beginning of the book is filled with great reference information and I loved reading the Toxic Foods List include. Not being a pet owner but having many family members that are, I think I enjoyed learning so much about dogs and their health needs and they too love great food!

Canadian Necessity: As a Canadian I love what our country has to offer! Two of my favourite authors and friends, Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray have a stunning collection “Canada’s Favourite Recipes” that you need to put on your Christmas list. If you are going to give it as a gift, be sure to buy some tasty Maple Syrup and perhaps make a loaf of Down East Oatmeal Bread and put them all in a basket to bring as a wonderful gift for friends. This cookbook includes recipes from across Canada with tastes and personalities that represent Canada’s rich culture and history. Some recipes were contributed to the cookbook by great Canadian cooks, chefs and personalities which clearly showcase just how awesome Canada’s food tradtions really are!

Slow and Comfortable: Grab a pair of cozy slippers, blanket and a slow cooker! Yes a slow cooker for this book, “Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook” will surely be a big hit this Christmas season. The Best of Bridge Ladies have been around for a long time and they are still delivering simple, easy recipes that families across Canada enjoy. Easy to read this recipes will get you through the next few chilly months but will bring you right into spring, from breakfasts to dessert you will keep your slow cooker busy this upcoming year!

French Love Affair: With some good cheese and delectable wine you can set off to make this gift a foodie favourite packaged with Dorie Greenspan’s “Around my French Table more than 300 recipes from my home to yours”. This is not a new cookbook this year but one that I keep pulling out and wanted to recommend. These recipes are great for that person who loves to cook and enjoys delicious yet simple French food with flare. I recently made the orange-scented lentil soup and everyone raved about it. I was happy to enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day too! Don’t be overwhelmed by it’s size, this book is an easy read and wonderful to cook from. Many will enjoy it and you might need a copy for yourself.

Roast Potato and Cheese Skillet Frittata

In a small nonstick skillet some eggs and leftover potatoes can create a warm and easy meal to enjoy with a simple glass of wine while you peruse through your favourite cookbooks, getting more inspiration to continue your food love affair.

2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) chopped cooked or roasted potatoes
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried basil leaves
2 tbsp (30 mL) julienned sundried tomatoes in oil (optional)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh ground black pepper
6 eggs
1 tbsp (15 mL) basil or sundried tomato basil
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded cheddar or gouda cheese

In a small oven proof nonstick skillet, about 8 or 9 inches (20 or 23 cm), heat oil over medium high heat and brown potatoes and green onions for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in basil, sundried tomatoes, if using and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together eggs, pesto and salt. Pour evenly over potatoes and cook lifting edge with rubber spatula letting runny egg go to the bottom for about 4 minutes or until bottom is light golden and sides are starting to set. Sprinkle top with cheese and place about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) away from broiler and broil for about 4 minutes or until golden and bubbly and egg is set in centre.

Slide onto platter or cutting board and cut into 4 pieces to serve.

Makes 4 servings.


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