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Baby Food in an Instant Pot

Baby Food in an Instant Pot

125 Quick, Simple and Nutritious Recipes for Babies and Toddlers
edition:Paperback
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Baking With Bruno

A French Baker's North American Love Story
edition:Hardcover
tagged : baking
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Excerpt

A blast of fiery heat transforms batter — an embryonic mess — into something completely different, something that gives pleasure and joy. That is the magic of baking. It's like the story of pastry chef Bruno Feldeisen's life and livelihood. Raised by a drug—addicted mother, his childhood in France was a baptism of fire. And yet here he is, a celebrated pastry chef who believes in the sweet, healing power of baking, his stretchy smile broadcasting a happy place in life. At 16, he endured the hard knocks of being a chocolatier's apprentice like his life depended on it. In retrospect, it did. It transformed him. I once interviewed him for a story for the Vancouver Sun and he shared how that apprenticeship was his salvation. "I was part of a family...That kitchen helped me become a man. The kitchen is a little society. It's life. The table is designed to bring people together. There is something primal, emotional and raw about it. Kitchens became an escape for me and when I was younger, the chefs I worked for were like father figures." Maybe you'll find that magic, going on this baking journey with him. Most people bake in anticipation of sharing or giving, and the process itself is therapeutic. There's nothing like pulling out the mixer to soothe the soul. For Bruno, this cookbook honours the kitchen and the craft that gave him a notable life, and he shares that "little society" that nurtured him as a 16—year—old.

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The 30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook

The 30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook

100 Healthy, Delicious Meals for Busy People
edition:Paperback
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The Buddhist Chef

The Buddhist Chef

100 Simple, Feel-Good Vegan Recipes
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Introduction

The tastes, textures, and aromas of food have fascinated me since I was little. As I was growing up, I found myself wanting to experiment with these elements, so I made sure to be in the kitchen as often as I could. Later, I studied culinary arts, and then spent years working in restaurants of all kinds, where I learned how to perfect my skills. I then set off to Asia in search of adventure, new flavors, and cooking techniques.

There, I discovered the Buddhist philosophy and its principles of nonviolence. I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a monk and never coming back home, but the woman whom I would later marry was waiting for me in Canada. When I returned, my interest in Buddhism kept growing. I took part in meditation retreats where I would meditate and work as a chef. Since the meditation centers served food that used no animal products, I found these retreats to be the perfect opportunity to learn how to cook with plants and grains and test out new vegan recipes with a focused yet very willing clientele.

As time went on, it became more and more difficult for me to continue cooking with meat as part of my job as a chef. My values had changed, and I was miserable working in a system that promoted principles that contradicted my own. One evening, after cooking lamb for 400 guests at a banquet, I realized I could no longer be a part of an industry that took advantage of the weakest beings. I could not go on like this.

I knew I had to do something—but what? Interest in vegan cooking was growing at the time, which was wonderful news for our health, the environment, and the animals, but many people did not know where to begin. My wife then gave me the idea of gathering all the knowledge I had acquired during my culinary career and using it to promote vegan eating. A blog seemed like the perfect venue because readers from all walks of life would be able to find simple, delicious recipes that use no animal products. And that is how The Buddhist Chef was born!

To this day, I love sharing my recipes with anyone and everyone who wishes to learn how to cook vegan. I try to make veganism accessible and show how simple it is to make a delicious meal using plant-based ingredients you can easily find at your grocery store.

This cookbook, my first, is my way of helping you to cook vegan simply and flavorfully.

It contains my “classic” recipes, the ones my virtual community members appreciate the most. It also features brand-new, fun, and mouthwatering recipes that everyone at your table will love. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to decrease your meat consumption, I hope you’ll enjoy these easy-to-follow and, above all, delicious recipes!

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Sous Vide
Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

I have been cooking professionally since I was sixteen years old. The past rewarding yet arduous thirty-one years of learning the nuances of food and watching over countless braises, reductions, roasts, and poaches were anchored in teachings that have been culinary bible verse for hundreds of years. Apart from some useful gadgets that have come along, and, I guess, gas and electricity, my cooking techniques are much the same as one would have found in a professional kitchen in France 150 years ago. That timeless foundation has served me well, and changes in food developed at a tectonic pace, at least until fifteen years or so ago. 

One of the biggest changes was that “sous vide” became a productive and popular technique for cooking. I remember seeing the cooks in my kitchens starting to use the technology, immersing themselves in the parameters and advantages of cooking food, sealed in bags, in a precisely temperaturecontrolled water bath. That has never sounded romantic. But the results were impressive, and I was equally impressed with these younger chefs, maybe five to ten years my junior, the first phalanx of a generation who have completely changed the world of food. Watching them learn new techniques has been a wonder; I still look in admiration, and sometimes I feel like the old curmudgeon: “We used to have to cook hundreds of steaks to finally know how to get it medium-rare every single time! Kids these days can just put it in a bag? Oh, and I had to walk miles in the snow to get to my fifteen-hour work shift!”

I jest, but some of that is true, save for the walk to work. I usually took the bus. I guess I am just trying to show you how much cooking really has changed in recent years. Technology has completely altered the way we move and act in the kitchen, re-choreographing the dance of line cooking, with the new moves allowing us to precisely achieve temperatures that were a guessing game before. Steam ovens, tilt skillets, induction burners, Cryovac machines and immersion circulators have us culinarily dancing to a different tune. 

When sous vide cooking equipment became available to restaurants through a company called PolyScience, the circulators looked like they had been pulled from a steampunk science lab, and, well, they pretty much had been. They initially cost $1,000, and fine dining bought in—hook, line, and sinker—because chefs have a universal yearning to find new ways to produce dishes. 

What sous vide did for restaurants was speed up the final execution of food by having much of the food cooked and ready for reheating or a quick sear before service. It guaranteed consistency through accurate cooking temperatures, and reduced food waste through shrinkage during the cooking process. But the sous vide method also had a huge impact on taste. When you learn how to cook a piece of meat or fish (or anything else) in a water bath, understanding the perfect temperature at which the flesh will set up and be cooked but still retain moisture and flavor, you really change how customers eat and how chefs work. For those chefs taking notes on times and temps and homing in on the exact doneness and texture and flavor of the food they were cooking, sous vide was a game changer. 

The technology is actually pretty basic when it comes to sous vide, and many thermal circulators have come onto the market. These are essentially thermostat-controlled heating devices with a motor that moves the water around at the precise desired temperature. That’s it. But, as with many advances in technology, it takes a while for each new gadget to become commonly available, and I can say this with good experience: My dear father was one of the first people to buy the first IBM home computer, which boasted the processing power of today’s toasters for about $20,000. Simple economics shows that more competition drives down prices, and when combined with advances partly in production and partly in technology—well, the price of the circulators is now pretty universally around the $100 to $200 range, and lots of models are available for under $100. You can spend more for commercially robust versions, but the inexpensive ones will get the job done, with aplomb, in a home kitchen. 

With so many gadgets, electric pots, fancy ovens, and fridges with Wi-Fi connections, why do you need a sous vide setup in today’s world? Well, that is a good question. Although ostensibly a tech gadget, the sous vide circulator is truly a great way to nail old-school cooking. It is a way to efficiently and cleanly make you a better cook, and the often long cook times give you the same freedom that the slow cooker does: the power to walk away from the kitchen and return hours later to a nourishing from-scratch meal. 

In fact, sous vide takes that convenience even further: A steak at 129°F is a medium-rare steak, so it can sit in a 129°F water bath for hours and stay a medium-rare steak. You can go run some errands, come back, take a shower, and get that dinner on the table whenever you feel like it. (Okay, okay, technically the steak can’t last forever at that temperature—it will continue to keep cooking and get mushy-soft if you leave it in there all day—but for most intents and purposes, sous vide will serve to hold your food hot for as long as you need it to.) 

And it’s not just convenience and precision. There are so many things that you can make—or make better—with sous vide cooking. It opens up new doors for culinary pursuits. 

In this book, I share recipes that show some of my favorite characteristics of this method of cooking. I walk you through the basic techniques, and the recipes highlight a whole host of ways sous vide can make your cooking easier, more convenient, and more delicious. It might seem that it’s from the future, but really, it’s part of the lineage that connects us to the days when humans first discovered cooking. It’s a way to get us cooking more, at home, for the people around us.

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Duchess at Home

Duchess at Home

Sweet & Savoury Recipes from My Home to Yours
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

Introduction

If somebody had told me 25 years ago that my life would be what it is now, I wouldn’t have believed them. Baking has always been with me, but never would I have imagined that it would become my career and life’s work.

As a teenager, I didn’t excel at anything specific and my grades at school weren’t great, but I did know what made me happy—it was the time I spent at home, baking. I cherished my mother’s copy of Company’s Coming Desserts and looked forward to the holidays when I would be helping her make treats. I thought of becoming a pastry chef, but was encouraged to go to university instead. Yet even after several years of study, I was still really only thinking about pastries—and slowly but surely, my skills and confidence in the kitchen were improving.

At 24, I decided that I was going to open a pastry shop. It took six more years for Duchess Bake Shop to finally come into being and nothing could really have prepared me for what it would be like. Overnight, I went from being a home baker to a small-business owner, with all the stresses and responsibilities that come with it. At first we worked 20-hour days, seven days a week. Doing payroll, paying bills, and bookkeeping were all skills I had to learn on the fly. Those first three years were the most exciting and the most difficult of my life.

With the flurry of the Bake Shop, I completely stopped baking at home. It was when Jacob and I had our children, Benoît and Rose, that I realized how much I missed it. I’m at my happiest when I’m in my home kitchen baking for my family.

It’s been five years since Duchess Bake Shop was published. In that cookbook I shared the recipes for our most popular pastries at the bakery and tried to bring what we do in a professional kitchen within reach of the home baker. But when I bake at home, the things I tend to make are more often a reflection of me as a person. My French-Canadian heritage, my passion for France, the traditions passed down in my family, and the things I grow in my garden all influence what I like to bake at home.

All of the recipes in this book are truly ‘me,’ each chapter representing an important part of my life. From old family recipes to new creations, this collection is my heart in a book. I hope these recipes will become your family favourites as well.

Bon appétit!

—Giselle

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Adventures in Bubbles and Brine

Adventures in Bubbles and Brine

East coast practitioners of fermentation-based food and drink — from beer and wine to cheese and sauerkraut
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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