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!

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