About the Author

Anna Olson

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Anna Olson moved to Ontario as a child and grew up in Toronto. She studied politics and sociology at Queen's University in Kingston and pursued a brief career in banking before realizing that cooking was her true passion. Anna followed her dream of becoming a chef by enrolling in the renowned culinary program at Johnson & Wales University in Vail, Colorado. She has never looked back. After finishing her studies in 1995, Anna found her way to Niagara. She started working as a line cook at distinguished restaurant Inn on the Twenty, where she was soon promoted to pastry chef. It was here that she met her husband and business partner, head chef Michael Olson. Anna joined the Food Network in 2002 as the host of Sugar. The show's success prompted two companion cookbooks, Sugar and Another Cup Of Sugar. In 2008, Anna’s second series premiered, Fresh with Anna Olson, which was filmed in her own kitchen. The show currently airs daily on Food Network Canada. In 2011, Anna published her seventh cookbook, Back to Baking.

Books by this Author
Another Cup Of Sugar

Another Cup Of Sugar

More Simple Sweets and Decadent Desserts
edition:Paperback
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Back to Baking

Back to Baking

200 Timeless Recipes to Bake, Share, and Enjoy
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
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Excerpt

Those of us who bake understand that baking is about a sense of satisfaction, a sense of sharing. Especially these days, when time is our most valuable commodity, taking the time to make something that doesn’t just feed the family but is meant as a reward is a gift that can be as gratifying for the giver as it is for the receiver. If you’re ready to feel that sense of satisfaction and sharing, then it’s time to get back to baking.

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Back To Baking

Back To Baking

200 Timeless Recipes To Bake, Share And Enjoy
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
More Info
Excerpt

Those of us who bake understand that baking is about a sense of satisfaction, a sense of sharing. Especially these days, when time is our most valuable commodity, taking the time to make something that doesn't just feed the family but is meant as a reward is a gift that can be as gratifying for the giver as it is for the receiver. If you're ready to feel that sense of satisfaction and sharing, then it's time to get back to baking.

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Bake with Anna Olson

Bake with Anna Olson

More than 125 Simple, Scrumptious and Sensational Recipes to Make You a Better Baker
edition:Hardcover
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Baking Day with Anna Olson

Baking Day with Anna Olson

Recipes to Bake Together: 120 Sweet and Savory Recipes to Bake with Family and Friends
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

From the Introduction
“BAKING DAY” IS A phrase you may have heard in casual conversation and, like me, never really stopped to think about. It pops up in situations like:

“I’m having a baking day with my son on Saturday. We’re making a birthday cake for his brother.”

“I’m spending a baking day with my grandma, and she’s showing me how to make her babka.”

“My sisters and I always get together at this time of year for a baking day, to make holiday cookies.”

“I am obsessing over making French baguette for my fiancée—it’s her favourite— so I’m going to spend a baking day mastering it.”

“Summer’s here, so I’m spending my baking day making popsicles with the kids!”

Quite simply, a baking day is time set aside to bake with or for people you want to spend time with. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full day—even an hour spent making a batch of cookies counts as a baking day. We tend to bake more on week- ends, because that’s when we usually have a little more time and, as with most hobbies and interests, we fit baking in when we can.
No matter when the baking day, its value is more than the treats, breads or cakes that we pull from the oven. It is the memories created by spending time in the kitchen with someone you love, or devoting time to baking as a form of self-expression, that are worth so much.

This book was inspired by looking back on my baking day memories and asking my family and friends about their own favourite baking moments and recipes. For some, making weekend breakfast with their kids was a special time, or baking cookies as a family became a regular routine. For others, baking a cake for a special occa- sion was as much fun as the birthday party itself. Baking treasured family recipes or learning about baking from grandparents also holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts.

This collection of recipes is meant to inspire you to take a little time in the kitchen and embrace baking time for the gift that it is. You can’t force memories to be created, but by making a batch of simple Fudgiest Frosted Brownies (page 181) or spending an afternoon baking cupcakes and matching frostings (pages 212-219) with some friends, you are setting the stage for the good times to happen.

In the following pages, you’ll find recipes for all levels of bakers, from novice to expert, and for all types of baking, from quick and easy to more elaborate. I have included quite a few breakfast recipes that aren’t actually “baked,” because a relaxed weekend morning spent making a family breakfast together has the potential to inspire further kitchen activities.

I have especially kept young bakers top of mind as I’ve developed and played with these recipes. Kids are always observing and learning, and they continue to remind me of the joy and surprise that baking brings. Think about it—you combine butter, sugar, eggs, flour and cocoa in a bowl and whisk them together. That gooey mess is poured into a pan, and after just 30 minutes in the oven . . . cake! Watching a child pull up a stool in front of the oven to watch that cake bake reminds me of my own childhood and always gives me great pleasure.

Kids should be supervised in the kitchen even when they are baking “on their own.” I have steered clear of recipes that involve candying or caramelizing sugar, since those techniques can be tricky. But I have included recipes for doughnuts that are cooked in a deep fryer (or in a pot of hot oil). Kids can do the mixing and kneading, but an adult should do the actual frying (my grandmother was in charge of frying the doughnuts we made together).

To make baking days as inclusive as possible, I have offered many vegan, gluten- free, dairy-free and egg-free recipes. No recipes use peanuts (except for the Cereal Killer Squares, page 185, and pet treats, pages 300 to 307, but you can use school- safe soy nut butters instead). Just a few recipes contain nuts at all, and they can easily be replaced by other crunchy items if need be.
So, pull out a stick of butter to soften, preheat the oven and get ready to make some delicious memories. Enjoy your baking day!

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Fresh with Anna Olson

Fresh with Anna Olson

Seasonally Inspired Recipes To Share With Family And Friends
edition:eBook
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Excerpt

I am often asked, “What is your favorite dish to make?” And my answer is always the same: “It depends what time of year it is.” I am a seasonally motivated cook. It is the foods available at their peak, the cooking techniques of the season, and my own personal cravings that dictate what I make to satisfy myself and others. And the things I make shape my culinary identity. Everyone who cooks has one. It is something that constantly changes and grows just as a person changes and grows. A long list of things influences the food we end up making, hence shaping our culinary identity. Some of the most basic influences are

•?our cultural heritage •?the time and place in which we live •?our access to ingredients •?how much time we have •? our personal tastes and dietary needs

Like our personalities, or even dna, a culi- nary identity is unique to each one of us. But we are undeniably linked to and bonded with one another, and food forges that bond. When we come together to eat with family and friends, we share not just conversation over the table but also an enjoyment of what we are eating. How many of our fond memories are tied to occasions where food is involved, and are of helping to put together a meal? If you’ve watched my show of the same name, Fresh with Anna Olson, you know that I often share some of the “meal memories” I have enjoyed with family and friends. What has always made eating together even more special to me is the journey from idea to reality—the process of getting delicious creations to the table. I get so excited about planning a meal, finding the ingredients that I know my guests will like, and spending time in the kitchen cooking and creating. A valuable aspect of creating these meals has been thinking about how to best capture the season. And it’s always about cooking with fresh, local ingredients—which is not just a trend. It is the way we used to cook and eat in the days before our modern food industry made it common for food to be transported long distances. To cook with the seasons makes menu building simple, since food that grows together, goes together makes flavor pairings logical. And shopping for locally grown or locally produced ingredients means buying food at its best, meant to be eaten right away. Wherever you may live, there are opportunities to source out local and seasonal ingredients. It’s not just limited to shopping at farmgate stands. Many towns and cities now offer farmers’ markets, and the number of inde- pendent producers of cheeses, meats, preserves, and even ice cream continues to grow. I hope you enjoy this cookbook. I will take it as a personal compliment if even just a few of these recipes work themselves into becoming part of your culinary identity.

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In The Kitchen with Anna

In The Kitchen with Anna

A Culinary Journey
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Excerpt

Classic dishes are those that have stood the test of time: steak with Béarnaise, chicken Cordon Bleu, French onion soup are the first that pop into my mind. There’s a reason these dishes have outlived others—they’re delicious. A classic recipe has a distinct combination of flavors and/or features a certain cooking technique. I have great respect for the classics, which is why I have worked on this compilation with such fervor. But sometimes the classics get lost in our daily shuffle of menu choices. Often the method is too time-intensive for our “I have 20 minutes to get supper ready” schedules, or the grocery list is longer than our to-do list for the week, or perhaps the “old school” recipe is just too rich for our nutritionally sensitive palates. All good things worth preserving can be improved upon, however. Those classic techniques and classic flavor combinations can be updated, while at the same time still respecting how they came about.

New Ways with the Classics Oh, I like the “old ways” too. In a professional restaurant kitchen, I’m more than happy to make lobster or shrimp bisque the old-fashioned way, by crushing the shells (which can be done in a giant industrial mixer!) to extract their flavor and proceed to make a giant mess. But in my home kitchen, my thinking and way of cooking changes. How can I make the same bisque without compromising flavor? (Check out the recipe on page 16 to find out how.) The “new ways” involve looking for efficiencies within the recipe or within the contemporary kitchen itself. I am looking to simplify techniques, but only if it makes sense and does not compromise flavor. Often, I am sticking to classic flavor combinations but presenting it in a different, sometimes healthier format—my Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini (page 39) is a particular favorite. At the same time, there are a number of recipes I wish to share with you that are simply classics in my own repertoire. They may not have a history on fine dining restaurant menus, but they may be staples of mine, consistently made over the years. respect for the craft I have learned so much from others as I write and share, and I recognize that discourse is vital to growing and finding “new ways” to cook. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that cooking is essentially a trade. We have glamorized cooking to some extent, on television and in beautiful cookbooks, and I am happy with that since it has allowed me to share what I do with the world. But cooking is a craft, a trade—it can takes years of practice, and when you write the exam for chef’s papers, you do it alongside other tradespeople like electricians and plumbers, who are required to fulfill an apprenticeship period before they can qualify themselves. I remind myself of this, and it keeps me humble. This business is not about self, it’s about hospitality—in other words, serving and catering to others. To be qualified means to respect techniques that work, and to practice them. Once I made the switch from savory cooking to baking, I found that my cooking improved because I had gained a deeper understanding of the science of what happens in the kitchen and the importance of technique. And getting to know the rules has also allowed me to bend and stretch them a bit, and understand when and where I can make changes and explain the “why” behind it. Enjoy In the end, what counts is that you enjoy the process of cooking as much as the end result. Regardless of whether you decide to master a new technique, try a new taste or read one of my tales geared toward showing you my reason for loving the recipe, what I wish most is that you build your own culinary memory, making some of the dishes in this book your own new classics.

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In The Kitchen With Anna

In The Kitchen With Anna

New Ways With The Classics
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson

Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson

Recipes to Bring Comfort and Joy: From Starters to Sweets, for the Festive Season and Almost Every Day
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

THE MAIN EVENT

You get the call . . . this year it’s YOUR turn to host the big family dinner. No pressure, just make the best meal your family has ever had! I still remember the very first big family holiday dinner I hosted. It was my first Thanksgiving out of university, years before I studied to become a chef, and I was proud to have an apartment with a decent kitchen (even then, it was a priority for me!). I can’t recall the turkey and stuffing, although I’m sure there were phone calls home to Mom to guide me through it, but I do remember being immensely proud of the pumpkin pie—my first ever attempt. It was only as I was bringing it to the table that I realized I had completely forgotten to add any sugar to the filling! I made a 180 back to the kitchen, poked holes into the filling with a skewer and poured maple syrup overtop, hoping it would seep in. It didn’t.

On that note, I now share with you the wisdom accumulated over the years that have followed that very first festive meal. I’ve included three menus, one of them a vegetarian option, that will help you tailor the dinner to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I offer traditional preparations and some more unconventional ones, or combine a couple if you have both vegetarians and meat eaters in your group. This is your year!

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Sugar

Sugar

Simple Sweets and Decadent Desserts
edition:Paperback
tagged : desserts, baking
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Anna and Michael Olson Cook at Home

Anna and Michael Olson Cook at Home

Recipes for Everyday and Every Occasion
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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