Monday, August 15, 2011

Foodie Tootle

Summer Foodie Tootle, Saturday, August 20th, 9:30AM-9:30PM

Karen Anderson hosts the 13th annual Summer Foodie Tootle to three amazing Southern Alberta Foodie Destinations. We’ll shop for perennials and check out the Pullman dining car at Aspen Crossing in Mossleigh and also have coffee and a fresh fruit muffin. We’ll drive to Coalhurst to root around Broek Pork Acres and meet the Vanden Broek family and their naturally pastured Berkshire Pork and enjoy cold Wild Rose beer and pulled pork sandwiches. We’ll then venture on to Lethbridge to the acclaimed gardens and café of Broxburn Vegetables. Owner Paul de Jonge and his staff will guide us through the acres of vegetables before we enjoy a perfect summer evening BBQ feast of bountiful vegetables and succulent smoked pork ribs in the Broxburn Café.

Book your seats at: The Cookbook Co. Cooks, PH 403-265-6066
Ticket price: $120 per person. Pre-registration is mandatory.
Departing from: The Cookbook Co. Cooks, 722 – 11Ave. SW
Departure time for all the tours is 10AM Sharp! Absolutely no exceptions. The bus will be available for boarding at 9:30AM This is a rain or shine event.
Shop local: Bring your cash (for making farm direct purchases), coolers, hat, sunscreen, water bottle and farm appropriate footwear and layered clothing to ensure maximum comfort.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Canadian Women's Foundation Event

This month The Cookbook Co. Cooks was proud to host a fund raising event for the Canadian Women’s Foundation. This incredible group of women have been raising money for years to help women in need achieve their goals and gain careers and financial independence, and so for all their amazing and selfless efforts we wanted to do something really special!
The theme of the evening was pink- pink food- pink martinis- pink wine (well, rose of course! Sommelier Al Drinkle of Metrovino put together a lovely selection for our guests.) … and even pink lighting! Our friends at Calgary Sound Rentals were kind enough to set up an amazing light display so that even our walls had a soft pink glow. We can’t thank them enough for really adding that extra special finishing touch.
Among other items, we served the beautiful marinated beet crostinis shown below, with our house made goat milk ricotta, with fine herbs, and Hotchkiss microgreens. Guests also enjoyed lobster gougeres, house made flax seed crackers with a smoked trout pate, lamb flat bread with mint and pomegranate, and last but certainly not least, rose scented macarons. Delicious!
We thoroughly enjoyed hosting this event, and we were thrilled to treat these amazing women to a pink feast and support an outstanding cause.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

All-Day BBQ Workshop

This past weekend The Cookbook Co. Cooks was proud to present our annual All-Day BBQ Workshop with Chef Rockin' Ronnie Shewchuk at The Big Rock Brewery. What a great day! Guests enjoyed learning anything and everything about grilling and smoking- from creating a signature rub, to preparing a beef brisket- we did it all!

Rockin' Ronnie is a veritable BBQ whisperer, and even has his own line of cookbooks as well as sauces and rubs. (*Special note: The Bone Sucking Sauce is gluten free*)

Since the workshop has become so popular, The Cookbook Co. Cooks is going to be putting on another one June 12th 2011. Guests will be working with chicken, St.Loui ribs, pork butts, beef briskets, planked salmon, and more. This is a full day of fun, and makes a great Father's Day gift! Space is limited so register quickly!

Italian with Allan!

Last week at The Cookbook Co. Cooks we hosted “Italian with Allan”. Allan Shewchuk is a chef who has been working with us for years, and his recipes are simply amazing (which explains why his classes fill up so quickly!). So for those of you who were not able to attend his last class, Allan has been kind enough to share a recipe from that evening… We hope you love it as much as we do!


The Italians love asparagus, especially in the North where they make risotto
with it. But, I like this soup because of the mix of flavours, particularly
the tarragon. In fact, with the addition of the tarragon, this dish is so
far “North” that you can see France. You can make this as thick or thin as
you like, but I prefer it thicker so that the asparagus tips can float on
top. I also like to add ciabatta croutons just crisped with a bit of
butter, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano. Very pretty! It cries out
“Primavera!” in Italiano (that is Spring to you!).

Serves 4

Note: Cut off the asparagus tips, saving them for the truffle infused
garnish. Use the stems for the soup. You can do the tips in advance if you

2 T. butter
½ c. chopped shallots or sweet onion
1 t. Chopped garlic
2 medium yellow fleshed potatoes peeled and diced
1 lb. Asparagus trimmed and chopped into 2" lengths (remember to save the
1 t. fresh tarragon or ½ tsp dried (or to taste)
5 c. chicken stock (you can make this vegetarian with veggie stock)


Asparagus tips from the stalks for the soup, blanched so as to be al dente
2 T. truffle oil

Note: if making croutons, cube into small squares some ciabatta bread and
then toast in a sauté pan in a little salted butter. If you want to use the
parmigiano on the croutons, as opposed to a sprinkle over the top, do so
right as you finish toasting them.

Heat the butter in the soup pot on medium heat. All the shallots and garlic
and sauté one minute. Add the potatoes and sauté two minutes or until
covered in butter. Stir in the asparagus stems and the tarragon. Pour in
the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for
12-15 minutes or until the potatoes and asparagus are tender. Using a hand
mixer or putting the soup in batches in a food processor, puree until
smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat the soup and place in bowls.
Toss the asparagus tips with truffle oil and use them to garnish the soup.
If using croutons, place around the tips and dust with parmigiano.

Note: It is a big trend these days to make a little “stack” of garnish, like
the tips or the croutons, in the middle of the bowl, and then pour the soup
around the stack so it protrudes above the soup. This can also be done with
great fanfare at the table if you want to place the bowl with the stack of
your garnish in front of your guest, and then decant the soup from a pitcher
into the bowl. I love drama....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A little hot and cold...

Not quite sure what to make of this crazy Calgary weather? Neither are we. So we decided to make a soup that would be perfect for those lingering chilly days of snow and wind, and just as great for a hot sunny day on your patio with friends. This Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup is just as delicious chilled as when it is served piping hot. Today we had some for our lunch meeting, and decided to go with the chilled version. We topped it off with some fresh corn shaved straight from the cob, a dollop of chevre, a few seared scallops, and a garnish of finely chopped chives. Amazing! Serve hot with a nice crunchy crostini on its own, or if you are feeling adventurous add some halibut or prawn as well. Which ever way you decide to enjoy this soup, just be sure to share with a lucky someone! Available here at the Cookbook Co. Cooks as of today, so hurry down for a visit.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A twist on cheesecake

We love our cheese here at the Cookbook Co. Cooks, be it manchego, gruyere, epoisses, you name it- we’re game! So you can imagine our delight when we recently had the opportunity to put our own spin on “cheesecake” for a catering event. Our clients were throwing a fabulous and intimate party for friends and family to celebrate their daughter’s wedding. The happy new couple said their vows abroad and wanted to celebrate their nuptials here upon their return. Being cheese lovers themselves, we agreed upon a somewhat untraditional version of a wedding cake- a cheesecake! This however was no ordinary cheesecake, but a three tiered “cake” consisting of a wheel of goat’s milk brie, and two more wheels of triple and double cream brie, adorned with some beautiful edible flowers. Our ‘cake’ certainly looked the part, and guests were thrilled with our delicious little tromp l’oeil! This was a fun and playful way to serve and present this wonderful array of brie.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tiny Bubbles-Big Fun!

We are so excited here at the Cookbook Co. because this Monday, May 2nd, we will be lucky enough to host the class "Tiny Bubbles, Huge Flavors!". Seasoned chef Xavier Lacaze will be instructing this class in tandem with sommelier Shannon Jules of Metrovino, our very favorite neighbours. Xavier has created a gorgeous menu which includes fresh oysters, smoked salmon and edive canapes, seared scallops with grapefruit and white asparagus followed by a wild mushroom tart with garlic cream and truffle oil, a main dish of confit veal breast with mustard vin and red pepper, and last but certainly not least a lemon zest financier with fresh strawberries. Hungry yet? Xavier comes to us from Muse restaurant in Kesignton, which if you have ever had the pleasure of visiting, is sure to impress. Our friend and wine guru Shannon Jules will be introducing us to bubbles form around the world. Her selections will include rose, champagne, jura, and of course everything sparkling! If you are considering hosting a soiree of your own this spring, this class will have you prepared with a light and delicious menu perfect for the season and it's soulmate pairings...and you can take all the credit, lucky you! Space is limited so please book your registrations quickly as this is sure to be a fun and bubbly evening!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Culinary Bootcamp Highlights!

First thing first let us send a big thanks to the fine men who attended this weekend's Culinary Bootcamp Just For Men! This weekend's bootcamp was a wonderful success filled with great food and a lot of laughs. Chef Judy Wood of "Meez: Fast Home Cuisine" instructed this all day event and the results were enough to make our staff salivate. On the menu we had a spicy roast chicken soup with jalapeno corn bread, braised beef & barley soup, sage stuffed pork chops, chicken & roasted butternut squash stew, seared halibut with corn salsa, and last but certainly not least a strawberry frangipane tart. After this amazing feast paired with some beautiful wines from our friends at Metrovino, we were all ready for a good nap! What a fantastic way to spend a Sunday! One of the highlights for this Cookbooker was the jalapeno corn bread. Not only was this recipe delicious, but also easy to make. Infact, I gave it a go myself the next day for 3 hungry men and it turned out exceptionally well. I especially like this recipe because it tastes great when served hot or cold, and in light of picnic season quickly approaching, I thought I should share it with all of you! We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Jalapeno Cornbread

1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1⁄4 c. butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. sour cream or yogurt
2 c. corn
1 c. cream
1 fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped or 1 (4-ounce) can green
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix the cornmeal, baking powder, salt together.
In a blender place the corn and cream and blend until smooth. Place it into another bowl and mix in the melted butter, eggs, sour cream, chiles, and 1 1/4 cups of the cheese.
Add the dry and mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Generously butter a casserole or, 9 by 9-inch baking dish, or 10-inch heavy skillet. Spoon in the cornbread batter.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the cornbread turns golden and smells wonderful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

We're painting the roses red...!

We wanted to share with you a few pictures of a recent catering event we put on at the Alberta Ballet! This was a brunch put on for the media with a sneek peek at this year's productions, and the theme was an "Alice in Wonderland" inspired tea party. We could not have been more pleased to have the chance to put together such a creative event and of course we always love the opportunity to support the arts.
The tea-party brunch was complete with tea-pot bouquets with playing card accents, whimsical place settings that the Mad-Hatter would have been most proud of, as well as little "Eat Me" displays (to the best of our knowledge none of our guests grew any taller or smaller as a result!).
Our guests enjoyed mini-white chocolate scones with our amazing house-made rhubarb butter. The tartness of this creamy butter is an incredible compliment to the sweetness of the white chocolate, and was one of our favorites! We also served mini vegetable frittatas, assorted jams with clotted cream, as well as rose and pistachio puff pastry twists, just to name a few.
The event was a great success and a lot of fun. We can't wait to see what other exciting and creative catering events will pop up this spring! For now though, we must go, as we are late, we're late, for a very important date....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Vosges" Love Goddess Chocolate Cake

Last night proved to be quite the treat in this Cookbooker's kitchen! Recently we have acquired some new "Vosges" products at The Cookbook Co. and I was the lucky one to test the "Love Goddess Chocolate Cake Mix". Vosges is a chocolate company based out of Chicago which is owned by the chocolatier Katrina Markoff.Thier products are based on an 'east meets west' theme which infuses rare spices and exciting, exotic combinations. Don't believe us? Check out the 'Amalfi bar' (just to name one) which is a mouthwatering mix of lemon zest, pink peppercorn, and 36% cocao butter white chocolate, and you will be a convert! Not only are Vosges products delicious but they are also manufactured in a facility that uses 100% renewable energy and is also approved as an organic facility... making this chocolate practically guilt free.
The cake mix required minimal effort, with just a few additional ingredients required to complete this beautiful dessert. Vosges directions provided insight into how to make your own ganache frosting, as well as a whipped cream frosting for the top. We opted to do both! Vosges also suggests you try using some of their many gourmet candy bars as your ganache base, however in our case we used Valrhona chocolate that we carry in the store. The box suggests organic rose petals for decorating which would be beautiful for a special or romantic occasion, we used fresh blackberries and raspberries for a little extra tartness.
The cake turned out perfectly! It was as simple as a mix should be, but no one would be any wiser as the texture and flavor have the sophistication of a professional bakery. Our guinea pigs were five hungry boys who are typically more biased to salty rather than sweet, that being said, when asked for their opinion, we got a big round of "Om nom nom", which I believe speaks for itself! We highly recommend this product for chocolate lovers anywhere and everywhere searching for that little extra something special for an incredible dessert!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tagines, Grilling and Thanks!

First of all, a big thanks to all of you who were able to brave the zillion feet of snow and come to our Tagines class, as well as Ron Shewchuk's Grilling class and the Couples Classes! The weekend was a huge success despite the snow blindness!

I thought I would share with you a delicious recipe from Matthew's Tagines class. It's pretty darn easy and very yummy!

Beet Salad with Pistachio Dressing

Serves 4

1/2 lb beets, peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have one)
1 small handful flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup pistachios
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tsp finely chopped mint
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
7 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 Tbsp water
1/2tsp orange blossom water

Finely chop the pistachios or grind them in a food processor. Mix with other dressing ingredients and season to taste.

Dress the beets with parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Spread the beets out onto a serving platter and spoon the pistachio mixture overtop.


This salad is a marvelous way to serve beets raw-and eat them of course!

You can find parsley, mint, olive oil and orange blossom water at the Cookbook Company!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dee Hobsbawn-Smith

As many of you know, our beloved Dee moved to Saskatchewan for a different pace. Luckily for us, she still comes back to teach some classes every season. She will be here in the month of April teaching some of the most popular classes and some new ones.

APRIL 6 6:30-9PM $90
APRIL 9 9:30-12:30PM $90
APRIL 10 10:30-1:30PM $90
APRIL 9 2-5PM $90
APRIL 10 2:30-5:30PM $90
APRIL 11 6:30-9PM $90

Call 265.6066 to register today! Don't miss out on one of Calgary's favs!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I've been adventuring lately in the cookbook "Quinoa 365," which whenever we get it in the shop, we seem to sell out right away!
As someone who loves Quinoa but was desperate to find different ways to eat it, this cookbook seemed perfect to me.
I know some of you may be adverse to using a lot of quinoa, due to the difference in price between it and rice. However, did you know that quinoa triples in volume when cooked, whereas rice only doubles? That right there makes a huge difference in purchase power.
Secondly, if you didn't know that quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooked, then you were probably eating a lot of really bitter and yucky tasting quinoa. Dump quinoa in a sieve and give it a good rinse before you cook it.
Thirdly, quinoa is a great alternative for gluten free or alkaline diets. It is a versatile product that can be used in baking quite easily and has a lovely, nutty flavour. It is also more nutritious than using only rice flour as it carries a protein punch!
You can use the quinoa flour in recipes that call for regular flour-you may have to experiment a bit, but that's what cooking is all about!

You will want to try some of these recipes, as I have added them to my repertoire and my daughter loves them all!

Quinoa Pancakes
Pumpkin Quinoa pancakes
Moist Chocolate Cake (made with cooked quinoa!)
Berry Smoothies with Quinoa
Carrot Spice Quinoa Muffins

Check out their website for more ideas and information!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Same Classes, New Dates

A few of our classes this season have played musical chairs, so if the original dates didn't fit in your schedule, take a second look -

Sunday, March 6th finds Alex Good teaching On Your Game where guests will prepare recipes from Seared Golden Trout with Agria Potato Blini, Microgreens and a Crispy Caper Beurre Blanc; Wild Chukar Partridge and Bitter Green Salad with Wild Boar Lardons, Sourdough Croutons, Sylvan Star “Grizzly” Extra Aged Gouda, Brassica Mustard Vinaigrette, and a Poached Egg; Dry-Aged Bison Flatiron Steak with Matchstick Frites and Parsley Butter, Duo of Venison Chop and Handmade Elk Kefta Sausage with Roasted Sunchoke, Wilted Swiss Chard and Port Game Jus and, for dessert, Saskatoon Berry Sorbet.

Wednesday, March 9th is now host to Digging Deep: The Best of Roots & Tubers with Chef Pierre Lamielle who will serve - to start - beet ravioli with orange and fennel ricotta and a mixed carrot salad with “carrot caviar” and almond cumin crunchies. For the main event - mixed latkes benedict with hollandaise & crispy prosciutto, and a turnip and rutabaga pave with pork tenderloin in a dried plum & armagnac sauce. And to finish – batatatin with rough puff and a coconut tapioca pudding with candied galangal and red hot chile syrup.

Wednesday, March 30th you can Eat Raw with Valerie Andrews whose flavourful menu features Kale chips, Heirloom Tomato Soup, Sea Vegetable Salad with Sweet Miso Dressing, Flatbread Pizza with Hummus, Green Olives, Cherry Tomatoes and Za’atar, Black Mission Fig Tart with Walnut Cream, Date Almond Mylk.

Wednesday, April 20th Chef Chris Halpin is your guide through Hands-On Contemporary Antipasto where you will learn how to make (and enjoy!) Chipponi with Lemon Garlic Dip [battered white anchovies or Alici], Oyster and Zucchini Fritter with Herb Mayonnaise, Porcini and Truffle Salad with Arugula, Lemon Ricotta in Kataifi, Morels stewed with Fresh Walnuts and Cream, Bruschetta of Bresaola and Taleggio and Zabaglione Shooters with Gold Leaf.

Call 403-265-6066 to register today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Contemporary Antipasto

Chef Chris Halpin loves antipasto - it is his favourite part of any meal when he is Italy. And on Saturday, February 19th, he is planning on sharing his passion for the traditional first course in the hands-on Contemporary Antipasto.

With a menu that includes chipponi with lemon garlic dip [battered white anchovies or Alici], oyster and zucchini fitter with herbed mayonnaise, porcini and truffle salad with arugula, celeriac and black olive salad, lemon ricotta in kataifi, morels stewed with fresh walnuts and cream, bruschetta of bresaola and taleggio, and zabaglione shooters with gold leaf, these delicious "before-the-meal" tasters become the main event.

Call The Cookbook Co. Cooks at 403-265-6066 to register.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Veggie Pot Pies

Delicious, hearty & robust - vegetables have what it takes to make some of the most flavourful and satisfying pot pies. And if you have your doubts, remember that most everything tastes even more amazing topped with some form of pastry.

Let Chef-instructor Val Andrews take you through the steps of creating these one-dish wonders: Wild Rice and Mushroom Ragout Pot Pie with Flaky Pastry, Smokey Black Bean Stew with Corn Biscuit Topping, Wine-Braised Root Vegetable & Lentil Pot Pie with Potato Topping, Dilly Artichoke Potato and Green Bean Pot Pie in Phyllo.

Vegetarian Pot Pies is a hands-on class - for herbivores & omnivores alike - this Saturday, January 29 at 2 pm. Call us at 403-265-6066 to register.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunday Supper on Monday Night

Sunday Suppers at Lucques has long been one of our favourite books here at The Cookbook Co. and we're very excited to be featuring it in our next installment of the Monday Night Book Club. Susan Goin is a product of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, her restaurant in L.A. has quickly become one of the most beloved American restaurants. Filled with seasonal recipes using the best quality ingredients in unusual ways, this book will have you craving Sunday Suppers every night of the week.

Roasted Beet Salad with Fried Chickpeas, Nyons Olives, and Ricotta Salata

Mussels and Clams with Vermouth, Canellini Beans, and Cavolo Nero

Grilled Duck Breasts with Creme Fraiche, Roasted Grapes and Potato-Bacon Gratin

Jessica's Favorite Meyer Lemon Tart with a layer of Chocolate

Join Gail Norton and Matthew Altizer on Monday January 24th, for an exciting evening of food, conversation, and a couple glasses of wine. Tickets $65.00 per person and space is limited so give us a call 403-265-6066 and sign up!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is one of those ingredients which can be used in almost any application. It can add a burst of flavour when rubbed over a leg of lamb, it's delicious drizzled over fresh summer strawberries, and can provide a deep, almost mysterious flavour in a stew. In Turkey and parts of the middle east, there are many different varieties of pomegranate molasses, some of which are more sweet and used as cordials, and others with more of a savoury flavour for tagines and salads. One of my favourite ways to enjoy pomegranate molasses is to make it from fresh pomegranates, it has a much more complex fruity flavour, and a gorgeously bright ruby colour.

Making pomegranate molasses is dead simple once you've managed to get the juice out of the fruit, it doesn't really require much more than an ability to boil water, so all you have to do is master the art of seeing a pomegranate. The easiest way to juice a pomegranate is to cut it into quarters and tap the outside of the fruit with a wooden spoon, letting the seeds rain down into your waiting bowl. Make sure to remove all of the white bitter membrane before you push the seeds through a potato ricer into a non reactive saucepan. One pomegranate will make about 1 tablespoon of molasses. Taste the juice for acidity and sweetness, and add lemon juice and/or sugar if necessary. At this point you can add any number of ingredients to make an infused pomegranate syrup. lemon zest, a cardamon pod, saffron threads or even dried rose petals. Cook the mixture over medium high and reduce until the bubbles start to get smaller as the mixture thickens. Pour the mixture into a glass jar or a ramekin, and let it cool completely before covering and storing it in the fridge.

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