Browsing Category



Free Printables: Holiday Recipe Cards

holiday recipe card printables with an handwritten recipe

holiday recipe card printables with an handwritten recipe

I am excited to share my first free printables of the holiday season. This year, I decided to design my own. I am starting with a printable project for foodies.

From cookie exchange parties to the office pot luck, the holiday season provides many occasions to share and exchange recipes. This is why it is a good idea to keep a fresh supply of ready-to-fill recipe cards. You will never be short on supply if you print your own. My holiday recipe cards are available in three patterns. Later this week, I will share the matching holiday gift tag printables.

capons and gremolata

I already found use for my batch. Last Saturday night, I attended a dinner at a friend’s home. She made a delicious squash and pear soup that she served in shooters with bacon chips. This was a hit! Several people asked her the soup recipe. She also made a delicious gremolata that she served with the capons. The next day, I wrote down her recipes into my recipe cards.

Instead of simply printing your menu for your holiday party, why not share all your recipes? The recipe cards can become a part of your tabletop. Tie them with a ribbon or a twine topped with a holiday ornament and display a pack on each guest plate. Your gourmet friends will appreciate this extra step.
holiday recipe card printables

Printing Considerations

If the recipe cards are for a gift, I recommend a cardboard paper because they look the best. You want a paper on which it will be easy to write. For that reason, it is better to select a matte paper.

On the other end, laminated recipe cards are easy to wipe off. Since I prefer to protect my own recipe cards with self-laminating sheets, I print the recipe cards that are for my own use on standard printing paper with a higher brillance level.

Feel free to print my holiday recipe cards. If you like them, share my link with your friends and family. The size of my recipe cards is 3×5 inches.

Click here to download my holiday recipe card printables.

If you are interested in the complete recipe, click here for the pineapple marmelade recipe.



On A Stick! by Matt Armendariz | Book Preview

matt bites on a stick book cover

matt bites on a stick book cover

I love spending time in the cookbook section of the bookstore, ogling creative food styling and searching for dinner inspiration – but it takes some serious salivating to get me to actually purchase a cookbook to take home. I’ve often judged a cookbook by it’s photography, only to discover same-old recipes that fall flat on the plate and the palate.

Something tells me that won’t be the case with On A Stick!, the first book by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites, a fave foodie blog of both Kim and I.

matt bites book panzanella salad on a stick

For some reason, food just seems to taste better when it’s on a stick (cake pops, anyone?). Matt’s book goes beyond popsicles and kebabs, skewering culinary classics like spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese, and fish and chips. Don’t worry, sweet tooths: the book isn’t without its share of desserts. Smores, chocolate-dipped waffles, caramel popcorn balls and plenty of others make an appearance.

matt bites book shrimp on a stick

matt bites book spaghetti on a stick

And, since food on a stick is just asking to be dipped and dunked in a sauce, the book includes recipes for a few of those too, as well as an overview of skewer suggestions. I, for one, can’t wait create to create an entire skewer-based meal: no cutlery required!


+ For Americans: On A Stick! from $10.93 USD at [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: On A Stick! from $13.68 CAD at [affiliate link]
+ All photos by Matt Armendariz


The Homesteader’s Kitchen | Book review

the homesteader's kitchen by robin burnside

the homesteader's kitchen by robin burnside

Robin Burnside wrote a cookbook that promotes a lifestyle from the farm to your table. One aspect of The Homesteader’s Kitchen that I enjoy is her desire to teach people how to make your salad dressings and sauces from scratch. Making your own sauce or dressing is healthier, tastier, and it often only takes a few extra minutes to make your own. You will also learn how to make your own yogurt, crème fraîche, corn tortillas, ghee and ponzu sauce.

You also get recipes for beverages, breakfast, breads, soups, vegetarian entrees, fish, poultry and meat entrees, plus desserts. The Chicken Dijon with fresh dill is a quick and easy recipe to prepare on a weekday. On average, a dozen recipes are presented per category.

The tone of the book is comforting. For example, when she talked about pie making, Robin suggested to start with an open-faced pie. She mentioned where we should be careful when making our piecrust. Her writing style might inspire novice cooks to cook and bake more often for their family.

Robin Burnside was co-owner, chef and baker of Carmel Café in Carmel and Café Amphora at Nepenthe in Big Sur.

+ For Americans: The Homesteader’s Kitchen by Robin Burnside $14.39 USD at [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: The Homesteader’s Kitchen by Robin Burnside $23.99 CAD at [affiliate link]
+ The Homesteader’s Kitchen Web site

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publicist of Gibbs-Smith (the publisher), with no commitments from my part. I featured this cookbook because I like it.


The Art of Preserving | Book review

the art of preserving cookbook written by Rick Field and Rebecca Courchesne for williams-sonoma

the art of preserving cookbook written by Rick Field and  Rebecca Courchesne for williams-sonoma

We all want to preserve the goodness and fabulous taste of the summer fruits and vegetables. If you are like me and need help to spruce your skills, I suggest that you take a look at The Art of Preserving written by Rick Field and Rebecca Courchesne for Williams-Sonoma.

What I like about The Art of Preserving is that you get one recipe that integrates each jam, jelly, preserve, conserve, marmalade, sweet butter, curd, pickled fruit and vegetable, salsa, relish, chutney, condiment and sauce featured on this cookbook. They are plenty of beautiful photos but you should know that not every recipe has a photo. A ball park estimate would be that close to 70% of the 130 recipes have styled photos.

Most importantly, I feel inclined to serve these recipes to my family and friends. The advices are sound and they make it look easy to follow. I can’t wait to serve my own French crepes with Meyer lemon and ginger marmalade or to cook the chicken-lime soup with pickled jalapeños.

+ The Art of Preserving $19.95 USD at [affiliate link]

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publicist more than a month ago, with no strings attached. I talked about it because I like it.


The new Moleskine Recipe and Wine Journals Won My Heart

moleskine recipe journal

moleskine recipe journal

My friend Harry Wakefield of MoCo Loco featured the brand new Moleskine’s wine journal and the recipe journal on his blog. Until the moment I began to examine how practical the page templates were built, I thought I could resist. But the guys at Moleskine did a too good job that I could not resist and ordered both journals on Amazon.

moleskine recipe journal page template

I watched earlier the session where Jamie Oliver announced his wish as the recipient of the 2010 TED prize. This convinced even more than I need a book to write down my recipes. I own a book right now that I rarely used because it is too basic. And although I love my computer, it remains that nothing beats the ease of use of a recipe journal when it comes to cooking. I will welcome it in my kitchen.

template recipe page for cocktails :: moleskine recipe journal

You can download and test the page layouts before you buy the journal, if you like. There is a template  for food and another one for cocktail recipe. The recipe journal is made of 6 themed sections to be filled, 6 blank sections, food calendars, food facts, measures and conversions, blank pages for additional notes and 202 adhesive labels to put your stamp on your recipes.

Wine Journal by Moleskine

I suspect the Wine journal will become a must-give hostess gift. It covers all aspects, including wine and food pairing and the best occasions to serve the wine. I bought it for my husband since he is in charge of the wine most of the time.

moleskine wine journal

You could use any of the journals as a scrapbook. Therefore, do not be afraid to draw and glue content. Besides recipes and wine, the new Moleskine collection covers books, music, films and wellness.

+ For Americans: Moleskine Passions Recipe Journal $13.57 USD at
+ For Americans: Moleskine Passions Wine Journal $13.57 USD
+ For Canadians: Moleskine Passions Recipe Journal $22.43 CAD at
+ For Canadians: Moleskine Passions Wine Journal $21.89 CAD
+ via MoCo Loco


Whitewater Cooks at Home | Book Review

Whitewater Cooks at Home by shelley adams

Whitewater Cooks at Home by shelley adams

If you bought the first cookbook of Shelley Adams, you are here for a treat. Her second cookbook is even better. What I like about it is that it is made for home cooking and entertaining.

grilled vegetable stacks :: Whitewater Cooks at Home

It follows my cooking philosophy. Complicated food techniques or passing all day in the kitchen is not necessary to impress your friends and family. You simply need tasty recipes. This is what Whitewater Cooks at Home is all about.

oven-cooked halibut from the Whitewater Cooks at Home cookbook

Shelley gathered recipes for friends, family, local celebrities and favorites from Fresh Tracks Café. The cookbook is divided in 5 sections: starters, salads, soups and sides, dinners and desserts. Each recipe is well documented with easy to follow step by step instructions. Each step starts with a verb written in bold.

You will not have any problems to reproduce the beautiful way she plated her dishes. The recipes rely on easy to find, often inexpensive, ingredients. This cookbook fits within our time. The culinary world is experiencing a resurgence of using every day ingredients over luxurious ingredients.

goat cheese and sun-dried tomato terrine from the Whitewater Cooks at Home cookbook

It is early to tell but Whitewater Cooks at Home has what it takes to become one of my favorite cookbooks of 2010. One thing for sure, I will use their recipes a lot for potlucks.

+ her latest cookbook: Whitewater Cooks at Home $23.06 CAD
+ her first cookbook: Whitewater Cooks $19.76 CAD

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of  Whitewater Cooks at Home for review.


Food Network and HGTV is off the air of Cablevision

cablevision stopped airing hgtv and food network

cablevision stopped airing hgtv and food network

If I was living in New York City, Long Island and the Tri-State Region, I would be an angry customer of Cablevision right now. I would not have access to my favorite TV channels since January 1st, 2010. The Canadian version of these networks are what I watched the most on TV.

The cable operator failed to negotiate acceptable rates for programming distribution rights. I read on that Food Network and HGTV combined receive less than 25 cents per subscriber. It is way too low. I understand that they want an increase.

You can demand that Food Network and HGTV be put back on the air of Cablevision by calling 866-695-BEST. It is worth a try!

+ Cablevision’s announcement


Discover Pasta History in the Encyclopedia of Pasta

vintage wooden stamp was used to mint pasta like coins

What a pretty sight! These are pasta made by food historian and food teacher Oretta Zanini De Vita. As you can see, making pasta has so secret for her. She owns vintage pasta tools including a wooden stamp that mints pasta like coins. It is splendid.

Encyclopedia of Pasta

encyclopedia of pasta by Oretta Zanini De Vita

Oretta Zanini De Vita wrote a 300-page encyclopedia about the history of Italian pasta. The english version of her book will hit the store in a few days. This is not a recipe book. It is a book that explores all shapes and types of pasta. You will learn about their origins, the primary ingredients, the different names that it is called, and how you typically served them. It is a good gift idea for a foodie who likes to know more about food history.

In the interview on The New York Times, Mona Talbott said that the range of pasta shapes shows that cooking “was a way of self-expression for women to show their creativity and imagination with little or no resources”. When you see how beautiful these pasta are, I agree with her.

If you wish to know about Oretta Zanini De Vita’s quest to discover the history of pasta or you wish to admire more delightful pasta pictures, head to The New York Times.

+ For Americans: Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini De Vita $19.77 USD
+ For Canadians: Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini De Vita $21.74 CAD
+ top photo: Chris Warde-Jones for The New York Times


Salty Sweets by Christie Matheson

salty sweets by christie matheson

Balancing salt and sweet is popular with chefs. Simply think of caramels with fleur de sel or molten chocolate cake served with olive oil. I am in the middle of organizing my husband’s birthday party. This year, I decided to try to make a dessert table à la Amy Atlas. Since there will be lot of sweets, I wish to balance it off with salty treats. The balancing act is more impressive when it happens in one dish.

On Salty Sweets you get the recipe for a peanut butter cupcake with chocolate frosting. For my husband’s birthday, I would prefer cupcakes with earl grey tea or ginger. Both flavors while complement better my theme. Do not worry, I will share details on the food and decor after his party.

In the meantime, if you are looking for recipes, check out this cookbook by Christie Matheson. Salty Sweets presents 75 delectable ways to play with sweet and savory flavors. Her book revolves around delectable desserts and tempting treats with a sublime kiss of salt. This trend does not stop at desserts. Lots of chefs experiment with this concept. I am sure that we will see more cookbooks on that food trend.

+ USA: Salty Sweets by Christie Matheson $13.57 USD
+ Canada: Salty Sweets by Christie Matheson $17.48 CAD


Gourmet Magazine To Fold

gourmet to fold

I read on the New Times this morning that Condé Nast plans to announce that it will close 4 magazines: Gourmet, Cooking, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride.

I told you last January about the fact that Condé Nast will need to consolidate its cooking magazines into one. With the current status of the magazine industry, Condé Nast could not afford to support both Gourmet and Bon Appétit. At the time, speculations were that Bon Appétit will survive. Lately, a lot of people speculated that Gourmet, with his richer history, would stay.

Honestly, there are many cooking magazines than are more inspiring than Gourmet. My faves of the moment are Delicious, Donna Hay, and the French Saveurs. The biggest problem for Condé Nast was that I typically did not feel buying their 2 cooking magazines was worth it. Plus some months, Gourmet and Bon Appétit talked about similar topics. Which one between Gourmet and Bon Appétit did you buy on a regular basis? For me, it is Bon Appétit. Therefore, I am glad and sad at the same time.

+ Bon Appétit
+ Gourmet
+ via New York Times