Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Caesars: The Essential Guide to Your Favourite Cocktail

Caesars
The Essential Guide to Your Favourite Cocktail
By Clint Pattemore
Trade Paperback, 208 pages

Hail Caesar! Easily a favourite cocktail, the Caesar can be enjoyed any time of day as a classic brunch drink, afternoon pick me up or as accompaniment to a great dinner.

The Caesar is also infinitely adaptable. I like going to my favourite pub for $3 Caesar Sundays, in which you can design your own drink at the bar.

But you don't have to leave home to enjoy this fabulous cocktail, Mott's Clamato's brand ambassador and chief mixing officer, Clint Pattemore, has put together this delicious book of Caesar inspirations. Also included are some wonderful recipes that go perfectly with the drinks. It's time to throw some Caesar parties. Don't forget to invite me!

Contents include:
  • Hello Caesar fans!
  • Hail Caesar! The Story of Canada's Cocktail
  • Entertaining with Caesars
  • Anatomy of a Caesar
  • Caesar-Making Equipment and Techniques
  • The Classic Caesar
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Food Recipes

From the Back Flap:

The Caesar is the iconic Canadian cocktail, shared on backyard patios and cocktail menus from coast to coast. Caesars is the ultimate guide to this Canadian classic, containing more than 50 unique recipes for Caesar variations, and 20 delicious food recipes to pair with them.
     

Mounties, maple syrup, hockey… few things are as distinctly and proudly Canadian as the Caesar cocktail. First mixed nearly fifty years ago in Calgary, Alberta, the Caesar has grown to become one of the most popular cocktails across our great nation. With Canada Day just around the corner, what better way to enjoy the day than mixing Canada’s top drink in celebration with your family and friends?
     

For this colourful cookbook, Clint Pattemore, Chief Mixing Officer for Mott’s Clamato, has teamed up with Top Chef alum Chef Connie De Sousa and Charcut Roast House co-owner Chef John Jackson. Together they have created a book for year round enjoyment, with recipes organised by season. From Caesar innovations like the Clamdigger, Gin & Ginger or Don Cherry, to the mouthwatering appetizers to accompany them, like Stuffed Meatballs, Sausage Sliders or Warm Pretzel Bites, you’ll want to try every recipe in this vibrant, accessible collection.

CLINT PATTEMORE is the CMO (Chief Mixing Officer) at Mott's. He has been the Mott's brand ambassador since 2012.



CONNIE DE SOUSA began her culinary career at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she then worked in restaurants in the US and Canada, including Jean Georges in NYC, Quince in San Francisco, and Chez Panisse in Berkeley. She is now co-owner of Charcut Roast House in Calgary.

JOHN JACKSON is began his culinary career at Calgary's award-winning Owl's Nest Dining Room, he then worked in restaurants in NYC and across Europe. He is now co-owner of Charcut Roast House in Calgary.

RESPONSIBLE PARTY HOSTING TIPS

If you're hosting a party, you're responsible for your guests' alcohol consumption. Below are some responsible hosting tips you can implement at your next get-together:

  •     As the host, drink moderately so you are better able to think clearly and act quickly to avoid any problems.
  •     Have plenty of mixers and ice on-hand so guests can refresh their drinks without needing to add alcohol.
  •     Make sure you have food on-hand throughout the party to avoid your guests drinking on empty stomachs.
  •     Make sure you have food on-hand throughout the party to avoid your guests drinking on empty stomachs.
  •     Promote the use of designated drivers or encourage guests to take public transportation, a taxi or walk rather than driving.
  •     Have a plan to deal with any guests who drink too much. Ask someone responsible to help you monitor the situation.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Good Suicides: by Antonio Hill

The Good Suicides
By Antonio Hill

Trade Paperback, 352 pages

As a lifetime mystery and detective novel lover, some of my favourite books in this genre are the ones that take place in foreign (to me) countries. Sure I love my Nordic Noir, who doesn't? It got me beyond the Great Britain and North American fare. (Not that I don't still love me some British and local sleuthing, but it is great to explore another land and culture within the mystery) But setting is as interesting and important as character and I love being transported to a new land while reading.

Antonio Hill introduced me to Barcelona and his Inspector Salgado, an Argentine who is as deeply complicated as you would expect from a novelist who studied psychology.

The Good Suicides has Inspector Salgado investigating a number of suicides all stemming from one high powered company. Something does not add up. He finds himself deeper and deeper into the machinations of the company all while he himself is being investigated.

Suitably dark for noir lovers, add this book to your summer reading list. 


From the back flap:

The author of The Summer of Dead Toys returns with the next intense and harrowing thriller in his Inspector Salgado series.
     

Young, free and … dead.

     Senior staff at Alemany Cosmetics company come home with a secret after a team-building course in a remote country house. Now, they are committing suicide, one by one. Soon, they may all be dead. Each has received a photo from an anonymous source of three dogs hanging dead from a tree near the house.
     

Deciphering the personalities of these high-earning executives and their power structure, Inspector Salgado has his own way of making them speak. But Barcelona is now freezing cold and the city is hunkering against an unusually cold spell. Can Salgado break the ice before it’s too late?

ANTONIO HILL was born in Barcelona in 1966 and is a psychology graduate. He has spent over ten years as a literary translator and editor in various fields. Among others, he has translated David Sedaris, Jonathan Safran Foer, Glenway Wescott, Rosie Alison, Peter May, Rabih Alameddine and A.L. Kennedy. In July 2011 his first novel, The Summer of Dead Toys, was published, a commercial and critical success translated into fifteen languages.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Best of Bridge Home Preserving

Best of Bridge Home Preserving
120 Recipes for Jams, Jellies, 
Marmalades, Pickles and More
Spiral-bound, 306 pages

For me as a self-taught cook - there are a few banner moments that I have had in my life. 

One is growing ingredients. From simple chives to tomatoes to anything that starts in my yard or in a pot on my deck and ends up on my plate. 

The second is preserving food. Taking what is available that season and preserving it for another. Not even just that, but making a flavour explosion with the techniques of pickling, jamming, making chutneys and homemade sauces.

These are the next steps in the home cook's journey and they are wonderful. Such a great feeling of accomplishment, so wonderful to be able to offer a jar of special goodness that you have made as a gift. 

You don't have to cringe at a label when you make your own preserves. You know exactly what went into your food and you are proud. Heck, I get a little choked up when I see the jars lined up like little jewels in my pantry. 

Best of Bridge Home Preserving has a great variety of recipes as well as a full chapter on how to preserve easily and safely.


 The outstanding variety of recipes includes jams and spreads, conserves, fruit butters, marmalades, chutneys, pickles, relishes, ketchups, sauces and salsas. Depending on the time available or the home cook's comfort, the recipes range from a simple no-cook Strawberry Jam to Seville Orange Marmalade, Sweet and Tangy Gherkins, Rhubarb Relish to Grilled Corn and Tomato Salsa.



Here are just a few of the delicious recipes included:

Jams and Jellies

    Peach, Plum, Raspberry, Blueberry, Red Currant and Orange

Conserves and Fruit Butter

    Coronation Grape and Orange, Cranberry and Pear Conserve, Pear Butter

Marmalades

    Blood Orange, Lemon, Zucchini Orange, Orange and Pink Grapefruit, Lime

Chutneys

    Red Onion and Raisin, Classic Peach, Pineapple, Mint, Sweet and Spicy Tomato

Pickles

    Classic Icicle Pickles, Classic Spiced Pickled Apples, Easy Sweet Pickles

Relishes and Ketchups

    Spicy Tomato Ketchup, Sweet Green Dill Cucumber, 3-Onion

Sauces and Salsas

    Fiery Pepper Salsa, Classic Tomato Sauce, Chili Sauce, Classic BBQ Sauce.

These recipes cover the gamut in flavors from simple to spectacular -- something for every region and climate nationwide.

Pineapple Mint Chutney, page 178
Pineapple and mint are two flavors that just seem natural together.

6 cups    chopped fresh pineapple    1.5 L
11⁄2 cups    finely chopped sweet onion    375 mL
1 cup    finely chopped red bell pepper    250 mL
2    cloves garlic, minced    2
13⁄4 cups    granulated sugar    425 mL
11⁄2 tsp    pickling or canning salt    7 mL
1⁄4 tsp    hot pepper flakes    1 mL
1 cup    white vinegar    250 mL
1⁄2 cup    rice vinegar    125 mL
2 tbsp    chopped fresh mint    30 mL

In a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine pineapple, onion, red pepper, garlic, sugar, salt, hot pepper flakes, white vinegar and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until pineapple is translucent and mixture is just thick enough to mound on a spoon. Stir in mint.
  
Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of rim. Remove any air pockets and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot chutney; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (see page 27). Turn off canner and remove lid. Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until cooled. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about six 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.

Tip: There are many varieties of sweet onions available, such as Vidalia, Oso Sweet, Maui, Walla Walla or Spanish.

Tip: The rice vinegar adds a pleasant sweet tang, but you can use all white vinegar if you prefer.

Variation: Replace up to half of the granulated sugar with brown sugar to vary the taste.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.


Bread and Butter Pickles, page 218
Homemade are the best!! Try these on sliders (page 268).

10 cups    thinly sliced pickling cucumbers    2.5 L
2    green bell peppers, diced    2
2    cloves garlic, minced    2
3    large onions, thinly sliced    3
1⁄3 cup    pickling or canning salt    75 mL
12 cups    ice cubes    3 L
3 cups    white vinegar    750 mL
4 cups    granulated sugar    1 L
11⁄2 tsp    ground turmeric    7 mL
11⁄2 tsp    celery seeds    7 mL
11⁄2 tsp    mustard seeds    7 mL

In a large pot or bowl, combine cucumbers, peppers, garlic and onions. Mix in salt and ice cubes. Cover and let stand in a cool place for at least 4 hours or for up to 12 hours. Drain and discard any leftover ice. Set vegetables aside. In a large pot, combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seeds and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in vegetables and return to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  
Using a slotted spoon, pack vegetables into sterilized jars to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of rim. Pour in hot pickling liquid to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of rim. Remove any air pockets and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding liquid; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (see page 27). Turn off canner and remove lid. Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until cooled. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes ten 8-ounce (250 mL) jars or five pint (500 mL) jars.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.


Sour Cherry Jam, page 44
Sour cherries make a delicious, slightly tart jam.

4 cups    finely chopped pitted sour (tart)     1 L
    cherries
1 tbsp    lemon juice    15 mL
1    package (1.75 oz/49 or 57 g)     1
    powdered pectin
41⁄2 cups    granulated sugar                                       1.125 L

In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine cherries and lemon juice. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Return to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating fruit.
  
Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (see page 27). Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about five 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.

Tip: You can use a food processor to chop cherries; just make sure all of the pits are removed, then pulse a few times, scrape down the sides and pulse again. Do not purée.

Note: Most sour (tart) cherries grown in North America are the Montmorency variety, named after a valley in France where they originated. They are grown in Michigan and Wisconsin, and in the Niagara region of Ontario, canada.

Recipe suggestion: Use to fill small baked tart shells and add a dollop of whipped cream. Or spread on crêpes and roll up.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.
 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Summer House with Swimming Pool: A Novel By Herman Koch

Summer House with Swimming Pool
A Novel
By Herman Koch

Hardcover, 400 pages

I once heard that writers should not aim to tell people what they want them to know. That they should tell what they don't want to tell. What they don't want people to know. I was reminded of that again and again when I read this novel.

Koch is the master of making us fully engaged and squirming on our seat at the same time. The inner dialogue is much like ours, in that it is messy and human and often far from charitable.

Dr. Marc Schlosser is at once arrogant and self loathing. The death of his patient and subsequent inquiry bring him back to the summer they had spent together. A vacation complete with wives, children, and other friends. A vacation that turns dark and which reveals the darker side of humanity.

Herman Koch brings us along as witness to both the fun in the sun and sordid underlying motives.

Like a slow moving car crash you can't look away. He is brilliant in how he pieces it all together. And leaves just a little mystery in every interaction.

This book is not for the squeamish. But it is a brilliant read.


From the back flap:

The blistering, compulsively readable new novel from Herman Koch, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Dinner.

When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can’t hide from the truth forever.

It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.


HERMAN KOCH is the author of eight novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in twenty-five countries, and was an international bestseller. He currently lives in Amsterdam.