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Personal Trainer: Cooking on Nintendo DS

personal trainer cooking on ds

Last Spring I told you that French people could learn How to Cook on their DS. After Japan and Europe, the interactive cookbook comes to The United States.

Personal Trainer: Cooking will be released on November 24, 2008. The interface lacks style but it is the concept and the functions that make this product interesting.

personal trainer cooking on ds

There is approximately 245 recipes plus the demonstration videos of techniques. You specify the number of portions and maneuver within a recipe with voice commands. You create your shopping list while you build your menu.


Selecting a recipe is a breeze. You can search for recipes by cuisine origins, ingredients, calorie count, cooking time, difficulty and more.

You can put a stamp on the calendar, marking when and what you have made. A fun and practical gift idea of Christmas for new cooks or for someone who wishes to get back into the habit of home cooking.

+ Personal Trainer: Cooking – $19.99 USD
+ Nintendo DS Lite – price: $129.99 USD


The Main: Recipes by Anthony Sedlak

the main: recipes cookbook by anthony sedlak

After the Food Network’s TV series that debuted in 2007 comes the cookbook. You can recreate 45 of Anthony’s best recipes at home. Like he does in the show, the 192-page cookbook provides useful tips on the art of cooking the main ingredients.

What I like about Anthony Sedlak’s cooking is that his dish looks elegant yet his recipes are simple to execute. It shows again that you do not need lots of time and kitchen helpers to impress your guests or your family.

I am trying to inspire all of us to cook at home by presenting exciting meals. We sometimes need to be recalled that cooking is supposed to be fun.  It does not matter if you did not prepare the recipe exactly like the Chef. As long as your dish tasted good, you should be happy.

anthony sedlak's recipes from the main TV show at Food network

If you are not familiar with the show, click here to read my review of The Main TV series. You will get the links to these 4 recipes.

+ The Main: Recipes by Anthony Sedlak – $19.76 CAD at


In the Kitchen with Anna

in the kitchen with anna: new ways with the classics by anna olson

In her latest cookbook published by Whitecap, Anna Olson updates the classic dishes. It feels good to revisit recipes that have stood the test of time.

In the Kitchen with Anna, you will discover new techniques, surprising flavor combinations, and special preparation methods adapted for home cooking. You learn new tricks about 125 tasty dishes in a 224-page cookbook. I am curious about this book; I will have to check it out.

If you are a regular of Food TV Canada, chances are that you already know who is Anna Olson. For the rest, Anna joined Food Network Canada in 2002 to host Sugar, a dessert cooking show.  Before that, she worked for seven years as a pastry chef at Inn on the Twenty in Jordan, Ontario. This is where she met her husband Michael Olson, who is also a Chef.

Her latest project on Food Network Canada is a 26-part half-hour cooking show called Fresh with Anna Olson about eating fresh, eating local.

For my fellow Canadians, I am glad to report that the book costs less in Canada. In the Kitchen with Anna is published by the same publisher of another Canadian cookbook I like, Whitewater Cooks.

+ In the Kitchen with Anna: New Ways with the Classics – $22.76 USD at
+ In the Kitchen with Anna by Anna Olson – $18.87 CAD at
+ Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams – price: $19.77 USD at Amazon


Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Baked New Frontiers in Baking cookbook

Since a copy of this book does not sit yet in my cookbook library, I will tell what it is all about from the own words of the writers, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Baked: New Frontiers in Baking was released October 1st, 2008. If you are already a patron of Baked, you will be thrilled to won that you get access to the recipes on which Baked NYC built their reputation.

You will be able to recreate at home bakery favorites like The Sweet & Salty Cake, the Peanut Butter Crispy Bar, the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf, and our very own Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits.

In total, you get 80 detailed Baked recipes. The book is divided in sections: Breakfast, Cakes and Cupcakes, Pies and Tarts, Brownies and Bars, Cookies, Confections and Chocolates, and Drinks.

Not every recipe has a picture since the book only contains 40 color photos from New-York photographer Tina Rupp.

Where to Buy

If you wish to send this book as a gift, pay the suggested price and order it directly from Baked. You will receive an autographed copy wrapped in brown butcher paper for $29.95. Otherwise, Amazon sells the book for sell.

+ Baked Autographed and Gift Wrapped Copy – $29.95 USD
+ For Americans: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking – $19.95 USD
+ For Canadians: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking – $20.76 CAD


Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day | Book Review

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe FrancoisThe blogger behind Zoe Bakes, Zoe Francois is a professional baker who wrote a book about Artisan bread making. She wrote this book with Jeff Hertzberg.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day contains nearly 100 no-knead bread recipes including French loaves, ciabbata, pita, and peasant bread. An imposing majority of the 158 reviewers on Amazon really enjoy this book.

Take the time to fully read the first chapters that explain key principles in bread baking. Then, you can start to make your own bread. One of the appeals of homemade bread is how good your house will smell. It is a good idea to bake your bread when you have guests over.

One Weakness

Unfortunately, the book does not indicate the weights for flour in recipes. The two authors decided against writing both weights and cup measures because they think most people do not use scale. Even if it is true, it would have been great to serve the minority who uses a scale.

You will be surprised on the difference you can get if you do not use the proper technique for measuring flour in a cup. Keeping the right proportions between the ingredients is crucial when you make bread and prepare pastry. Having all the facts can help you if a recipe does not turn right.

The Art of Measuring Flour

Sifting influences the weight of a cup of flour. So pay attention to the words used in a recipe. 1 cup of flour, sifted is different than 1 cup of sifted flour.

If you experience problems, know that there are many opinions on the subject. But I found a general consensus around these facts:

  • a cup of all-purpose sifted flour weigh 4 ounces (113 grams)
  • a cup of sifted cake flour = 3.5 ounces (100 gr)
  • a cup of whole wheat flour = 4.25 flour (120 gr)
  • a cup of bread flour = 4.5 flour (128 gr)

In a reader question, Zoe said that she evaluates the weight is about 5 ounces per cup of all-purpose flour. You can watch an instructional video on Star Tribune about how Jeff and Zoe make the bread on the cover of their book.

For more read making advices and recipes, consult the blog of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

+ For Americans: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois – $18.45 USD
+ For Canadians: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois – $19.50 CAD


What’s Cooking with Jamie Oliver soon on Nintendo DS

What's Cooking with Jamie Oliver on nintendo ds

Last May, I talked about how the Nintendo DS handheld could be a cool tool in the kitchen.

Basically, I explained why I think it makes more sense than the computer. At the time, I introduced a French digital cookbook called Leçons de cuisine.

Preview at E3

Now it is the turn of 100 recipes by Jamie Oliver to go on the Nintendo DS handheld. What’s Cooking with Jamie Oliver will roll out starting October 2008.

It is more than a cooking game with several levels and competitions. Players can store 100 of their own recipes into the cookbook. The only draw back is that you are limited to hundreds of handpicked ingredients to record your own dishes.

The coolest thing is the shopping list. You build your shopping list from the list of ingredients of the selected recipes. The shopping list supports both Jamie’s recipes and your own recipes. You can easily bring your DS when you go grocery shopping and save on paper.

Until them, I am leaving you with a preview of some screenshots. All Jamie Oliver’s photos on the game were photographed by his long time collaborator David Loftus. Until the release of What’s Cooking with Jamie Olive on the DS, rely on his vast collection of cookbooks.

>>> Sourcing:
Via: Atari serves up Jamie Oliver deal []
Via: Jamie Oliver Gets His Own Video Game [Food for Thought]
Via: E308: The Jamie Oliver game is … really cool? [DS fanboy]


Follow up on Whitewater Cooks

whitewater cooks by shelly adamsI received my copy at the beginning of the week. I think Whitewater Cooks is a wonderful cookbook.

It is unusual to crave for the food at a ski resort cafeteria. But Fresh Tracks Café is not your typical ski resort cafeteria. Before acquiring Whitewater Winter Resort with her husband Mike in 1997, Shelley Adams spent 15 years as a popular caterer to the west coast film industry.

Shelley Adams finally gave in to the incessant requests of patrons who wanted her kept-secret recipes. In Whitewater Cooks, Shelley shares 80 gourmet recipes that she cooked over her career at Fresh Tracks Café and also as a caterer.

Whitewater Cooks is divided in 5 recipe sections: soups and bowls, salads and greens, savouries, salsas, chutneys and sauces, and finally sweet things.

Trusting Her Guts

Her cookbook is a national bestseller. The current edition is at the fourth printing. This is an impressive achievement for an author who self published the first 5,300 copies of her cookbook in 2005. The first edition sold quickly. With a proof of success under her belts, Shelley Adams got a deal with Whitecap Books, a Canadian publisher.

Her cookbook is also praised on the other side of the border. The travel section of the New York Times wrote a fantastic review about the staff and the menu. You can read that “the Fresh Tracks Cafe’s burgers are not just burgers. There are eight varieties on the menu, including the big-selling Fancy Pants Burger, which is piled with chèvre, caramelized onions, roasted garlic aioli, tomatoes, bacon and spring greens.”

Apparently, Shelly Adams is working on a second cookbook. I cannot wait to get my hand on it. In the meantime, I will cook several of her recipes.

+ Fresh Tracks Café at Whitewater Winter Resort
+ Unusually Good Food at an Unusual Hill [New York Times]
+ Whitewater Cooks: Pure, Simple and Real Creations from the Fresh Tracks Cafe by Shelley Adams – price: $21.86 USD at Amazon


Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food

gordon ramsay's fast food cookbook

When I entertain at home, I prefer to cook easy to make but tasty recipes. The hostess should plan her event so she can enjoy the presence of her guests. This is why I like the latest book by Gordon Ramsay.

Entertaining Philosophy

“However amazing a dish looks, it is always the taste that lingers in your memory.”

The stylish hostess makes an effort on food presentation. But we must accept that we are not Chefs either. My priority for easy entertaining is to design a stunning tabletop, cook a delicious meal and after, try to plate the food more beautifully.

About The Book

I do not really follow Gordon Ramsay on TV. I bought Fast Food because his cookbook provides tasty recipes built around menus and types of food plus some essential cooking tips.

You get recipes for fast soups, appetizers, antipasti, salads, sandwiches, eggs, working lunches, pasta, shellfish, fish, meat, vegetarian, side dishes, fruity desserts and creamy desserts.

The pan-fried hake with tomato relish sounds delicious. In fact, they are plenty of tempting fish and shellfish recipes. I prefer eating fish instead of meat in the summer time.

Half the menus are for everyday meal while the second half is filled with menus for casual entertaining. Be creative with your décor and you can throw memorable parties around these mainstream themes:

  • A taste of Morocco
  • Viva Italia!
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Tapas Spread
  • Summer Special – I really want to taste the avocado and cucumber soup followed by the Salmon with Mediterranean flavors (stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaf, an olive and a sliver of garlic)
  • Thai Feast
  • Fast Drinks Party – nibbling food and large serving drink recipes

My only complaint about this book relates to the poor choice of fonts on certain sections. The extra-bold font used for the ingredient list makes them harder to read. Graphically, Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food felt short of being a beautiful cookbook. Nonetheless, due to the recipes and good advices, Fast Food makes a nice addition to my cookbook collection.

+ For Americans: Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food – price: $23.10 USD at
+ For Canadians: Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food – price: $22.05 CAD at


Entertaining Book Finalists of the James Beard Cookbook Awards

james beard cookbook awards :: dish entertains :: great bar food at home :: welcome to michael's :: big book of outdoor cooking entertaining

I love cookbooks. It seems I never have enough. With so many books, which one to choose.

Save time and start with the 2008 finalists of the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards? After all, they examined the latest publications for us.

James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards is said to be the highest honors for food and beverage professionals working in America. The awards reward excellence in 13 book categories.

I am showing you four books from the Entertaining category. These inexpensive books will each be appreciated as an hostess gift.

Canadian Nominee

A Canadian is nominated this year in the Entertaining cookbook category. I introduced Dish Entertains last year.

The author of Dish Entertains is Trish Magwood, the owner of dish cooking studio located in Toronto. Trish is completing against two cookbooks:

You can also grab a copy of the 2007 entertaining book winner by a talented couple. The Jamisons won last year with The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining. That would make a great gift for Father’s Day.

About the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards Ceremony

The Awards Ceremony and Gala reception will take place at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on June 8, 2008.

This 2008 black tie event will be hosted by the Sex and the City actress Kim Cattrall and the award-winning chef, restaurateur, television personality, and cookbook author Bobby Flay. If you would like to assist to this party, tickets for the general public are $450 each.

+ 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception – price: $450 USD per ticket
+ Dish Entertains by Trish Magwood – price: $28.32 CAD
+ Great Bar Food at Home by Kate Heyhoe– price: $12.21 USD
+ Welcome to Michael’s: Great Food, Great People, Great Party! by Michael McCarthy– price: $26.40 USD
+ The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining by Cheryl and Bill Jamison– price: $16.47 USD


Whimsical Cakes by LovinSullivanCakes

lovinsullivancakes :: baby shower :: kid birthday :: graduation cakes

A superbly decorated cake makes a statement at any party. Here are some adorable and fun cakes for a graduation party, a baby shower or a kid birthday party.

On LovinSullivanCake Web site, we can read that the owner Kate Sullivan learned baking and cake decorating from books, and many trial and error. She has more than learned it, she mastered it. Her designs are cutely refined.

If you always dream of creating your own fabulous birthday cakes, do not be shy to try a simpler version. Kate Sullivan is not only a cake decorator, she is also an author of a cook book. Grab a copy of her book Fun & Fancy Cake Decorating: Tips and Techniques for Decorating Unique Cakes for any Occasion to discover her tricks.

+ LovinSullivanCakes
+ Fun & Fancy Cake Decorating – price: $12.23 USD at Amazon
+ Motherwell Cake photographed by Jeff McNamara – rights reserved
+ Baby Wants To Roll Cake photographed by Kate Sullivan – rights reserved
+ Ark Cake photographed by David Levinthal – rights reserved
Via Bröllopstårtor att drömma om [ROOM & serve]


The Cookbook Goes Digital on Nintendo DS


The computer entered the kitchen a while ago. Unfortunately, what is on the market is not really practical nor innovative.

The solutions so far are either small retractable under the counter screens, a computer integrated in an odd place like the fridge (who wants to stand up while browsing the Net) or use too much counter space.

Keep it Simple

The ultimate solution must be small, movable and support voice commands. And to gain mass appeal, it must be cheap. Enter Nintendo DS.

I am huge fan of the DS. After my surgery, my husband gave me a crimson DS Lite to occupy my mind. I am so happy with his gift. The DS Lite screen is easier to read than my old DS.

Nintendo DS already attracts the non gamer crowd with games like Brain Age. The other day I was at Future Shop looking at DS games and a woman in her fifties was buying a DS for herself. With the Wii and the DS, Nintendo is committed to serve a broader audience. I think they will bring exciting stuff in the future.

Learning How to Cook on a DS

The time where you get your recipes on a DS is not far away. Last week, the PR firm of Nintendo in France La Boite Com Concept invited journalists for a tour of the upcoming Leçons de cuisine. In the kitchen of a rented loft in Paris, they greet one or two journalists at a time. Each journalist prepared a recipe in order to experience the digital cookbook.

From what I have read, Leçons de cuisine targets the beginner cook. Leçons de cuisine explains culinary terms. The recipe adjusts automatically to the number of servings you need. A truly handy feature! There is no need to type any command while you are cooking; everything is voice activated.

Popular in Japan

The cookbook also comes with a few mini games. The French cookbook/game is an adaptation of a Japanese version. The recipes and techniques have been adapted to the European market. No words if or when the title will hit the stores in North America.

I would wait for a more advanced cookbook in terms of recipes. But I think the concept shows great potential. It certainly proves that you do not need a fancy computer in the kitchen. You simply need some interactivity. As far as making grocery lists, the old pen and paper work the best.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Nintendo DS Lite Crimson & Black at – price: $129 USD
Buy online: Nintendo DS Lite – Crimson Black at FutureShop – price: $139.99 CAD
Pre-launch Ad: La Boite Com Concept
Kitchen photo: Video on Elle TV France – Rights reserved
Via: Marianna [Tastespotting] + Leçons de cuisine [INpact Virtuel]