What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food + Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart + Win a copy!

What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food + Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart + Win a copy!

Abrams Books sent me a copy of What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Ottawa summers are like Zac Ephron: short and hot. California hot. Too hot to think about what to have for dinner, but too short not to make the most of all of the fresh fruits and veggies in season. Luckily people like Gaby Dalkin have done the thinking for us. The LA recipe blogger from What’s Gaby Cooking just released a cookbook with the same name, and it’s full of everyday dishes designed to be made and enjoyed in an easy, carefree, Cali state of mind. The 125+ recipes use fresh seasonal produce and readily available pantry staples for dishes for any occasion, from a day at the beach or a picnic at the park, to a Mexi-Cali fiesta and outdoor pizza party. Nourishing smoothies and salads and veg-and-grain-packed bowls are balanced with indulgent treats like Strawberry Shortcakes, Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares (sooooo deelish!) and a Summer Fruit Galette. Here’s a look inside the book and a recipe to try (we did!), the Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart.  Continue reading “What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food + Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart + Win a copy!”

Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way + Fish Tacos + Win a copy!

Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way + Fish Tacos + Win a copy!

Abrams Books sent me a copy of Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Although Nathan Turner didn’t get as much air time as the other stars of Million Dollar Decorators (probably because he stayed pretty clear of the drama), I always wished we’d seen more of his California Casual style. “To me, it means a laid-back room, a friendly host, and a beautiful table with simple recipes and fresh ingredients,” the decorator/author/entertainer and California native says in the introduction to his new book (and my wish come true), Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat and Entertain the West Coast Way Continue reading “Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way + Fish Tacos + Win a copy!”

The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor by Olwen Woodier

The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor by Olwen Woodier

Thomas Allen & Son sent me The Pesto Cookbook in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart.

Although I’m rather pitiful with houseplants, we’ve had a few times when our herb garden has done so well that we didn’t know what to do with it all. But now I’ve got all kinds of ideas, thanks to The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor by Olwen Woodier. Her new book (she also wrote The Apple Cookbook) combines herbs, oils, garlic and other ingredients in a wide variety of pestos, pastes and purées, plus an additional 75 recipes to incorporate pestos in dishes both savoury and sweet. Today I’ve got a peek inside and one of Olwen’s recipes we really enjoyed, the Olive, Thyme and Parsley Pesto.  Continue reading “The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor by Olwen Woodier”

Green Sangria for St. Patty’s Day 🍀

Green Sangria for St. Patty’s Day 🍀

Two Oceans sent me some wine to facilitate this post, but all opinions are mine and from the heart. 

St. Patrick’s Day is usually a slap-dash affair over here with a last-minute run to the dollar store for green hats and sunglasses and whatever else we can find because for some reason not one of us has a single green tee in our closets. The overall effect is as tacky as it gets, but it doesn’t have to be. With this easy Green Sangria you can be quick like a leprechaun and classy too, with layers of jewelled green fruits like the rolling hills of Ireland. Invite your lads and lasses and raise a glass to the emerald isle (and St. Patrick too). May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door. Continue reading “Green Sangria for St. Patty’s Day 🍀”

DIY marbled eggs and entertaining tips + A giveaway!

DIY marbled eggs and entertaining tips + A giveaway!

Two Oceans sent me some wine and craft supplies to facilitate this post. All opinions are mine and from the heart. 

With Easter just around the corner I’ve got a fun craft for you today that would make a cheap and cheerful addition to any Easter table and a quick and easy activity to do with family and friends. Let’s make some DIY marbled eggs! Handmade Jungle‘s Victoria Stacey developed this clever craft for Two Oceans Wines and I’ll show you eggs-actly how to do it, plus share some of Victoria’s entertaining tips and a giveaway to get you started. Let’s hop to it!  Continue reading “DIY marbled eggs and entertaining tips + A giveaway!”

Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr

Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr

Penguin Random House Canada sent me a copy of Tanya Bakes in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart.

It’s a grey and drizzly day here in Ottawa, much like I imagine it to be in UK lifestyle blogger and YouTube star Tanya Burr’s corner of the world, only hers probably smells like fresh-baked cinnamon buns or lemon drizzle loaf or any of the other homey puddings, pastries, cookies and cakes in her lovely book, Tanya Bakes. It’s her first cookbook and her second book (Love, Tanya was released in 2015) and she’s got a third coming this September called Tanya’s Christmas: Make, Bake and Celebrate (which I’ve already got, thanks to my magical unicorn friend Maria). Inside this one are page after page of comfort foods — mostly desserts, but also some breakfast dishes and a pizza — accompanied by a brief bit about where or when they were first enjoyed or a tip on how to serve them. Many are family favourites, some a tribute to friends, and a few borrowed from the kitchens of beloved Brits Nigella Lawson, Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver.  Continue reading “Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr”