Two yummy cookbooks with endless possibilities

Growing up I can remember my mom, grandma and other family members sharing cookbooks. They would exchange recipes and bookmark their faves. I also remember seeing notes in the margins of substitutes or additions to each recipe. Some cookbooks would be big, some small. One thing that stands out for all was the pictures. Big, glossy bright pictures. Not always knowing what I wanted to make I would flip through as I got older and look at the photos. Once I saw the pic I liked I would try to create the recipe.

Then came the internet. I stopped using cookbooks and Googled everything.

Bad thing is I only Googled recipes I had an idea about or ones containing products I knew I had. Nothing much, new and no inspiration. So I started using cookbooks again Two I received recently are really fantastic. Full of pictures and really easy recipes. Most of the ingredients I already have and the others are easy to find. My kind of cookbook.



I have so much canned fish in my pantry I knew this book would be for me. Tuna, Salmon and even shrimp. I am the only one who eats this stuff so it was great to find recipes that were perfect for smaller meals. I found a great tuna melt recipe that is perfect for when I need a quick bite at lunch.

This book includes traditional and updated recipes, new creations and canned twists on classic fish dishes. The recipes feature canned seafood that can found in virtually any supermarket across North America: tuna, crab, salmon, mackerel, cod, sardines, sprats, kippers, anchovies, roe, shrimp, clams, oysters, mussels, squid and octopus. The key to cooking with canned seafood is that it has to be treated as a different species from fresh fish — its flavors and textures are different. These delicious and creative recipes work with these differences and elevate canned seafood to something sublime.

There’s also a wealth of special features among the fantastic recipes. Susan has included interesting product, historical, consumer and nutritional information on each ingredient, making the shopping choices less confusing.

Susan Sampson is an award-winning newspaper columnist and former food editor of the Toronto Star, the largest daily newspaper in Canada. Besides keeping on top of food news, she tests and develops recipes, tests kitchen products and reviews cookbooks.


Busy days do not need to mean sacrificing meals. I discovered my slow cookers just after my second child was born. Now with soccer practice, play dates, birthday parties and Track and Field I do not always have time to cook big meals for my family. Using a slow cooker makes meal time tasty and easy. I do not know how I ever managed before without it.

This fantastic collection features recipes for everything from elegant appetizer, breakfast and brunch ideas to delectable desserts. And many of your favorite classic Bridge recipes have been adapted to work in the slow cooker.

The Best of Bridge motto remains the same: “Simple recipes with gourmet results.” The recipes work, and the one-liners will keep you smiling in the kitchen.

Sally Vaughan-Johnston is a professional chef, food writer and food stylist. this is her third collaboration with the ladies of Bridge — a stellar collection of recipes that will be treasured for years to come.

Both of these cook books are less than $30 and would be a fantastic addition to your collection or make a great gift for someone you know looking to add variety to their meals. You can pick these books up at your local book store (USA, CAN and UK) or buy online. See more info at Robert Rose

Do you use cookbooks? What inspires your meal ideas?

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