It’s Family Day here in Ontario today – the perfect time to catch up on cookbook reading, right? Today, I’m excited to share Christine Tizzard’s debut cookbook, Honest to Goodness: Everyday Recipes for the Home Cook.
Chef and TV Host Christine Tizzard knows that for all the things you can’t control in this world, what you put on the table is entirely up to you. In Honest to Goodness she showcases […] 100 nutritious, stress-free and flavourful recipes that will have your family savouring every bite.
It can be hard to keep up with food trends, and Honest to Goodness surveys the endless fads and fixations to discover what’s best for you and your family. With an emphasis on raw ingredients and whole foods, Christine shows you how to prepare accessible meals from scratch, utilizing the healthiest and most beneficial properties of everything you touch without skimping on taste or getting lost in culinary crazes.
Christine hails from Newfoundland and is a mother of two who’s been passionate about food, film, fashion and television for as long as she can remember. A model and actor from a young age, her obsession with food and healthy eating eventually led her to the Chef training program at George Brown College in Toronto. Since then, she has made regular appearances on daytime TV shows including Cityline, CTV’s Marilyn Dennis and Best Recipes Ever. She is a spokesperson and brand ambassador and works as a food stylist, food writer and recipe developer, and has been a culinary producer for shows such as Masterchef Canada.
I’m always interested to check out books that help make getting dinner on the table a little easier everyday, the struggle is real, right? Many of us set out with good intentions to cook (more) from scratch during the week but by Wednesday we’re reaching for the takeout menu or the food delivery app. In Honest to Goodness, Christine pledges to provide simple recipes that leave you feeling more confident in your ability to get a meal (more or less) from scratch on the table even during busy weeks. She’s included a lot of dishes that cater to those with allergies or food sensitivities (gluten free, low sugar, nut free and vegan) and those dishes are clearly labelled.
Speaking of labels, there’s a really helpful Anatomy of a Recipe page which talks you through the recipe layout, explaining what certain commonly-used terms mean to save the need for repeating this information in each separate recipe. There’s a brief Notes about the Ingredients where she explains the ingredients she’s written the recipes for (i.e. unsalted vs salted butter). There’s also a Basics chapter with recipes for spice mixes, condiments, ready to use gluten free flour mix, yoghurt, stocks, jam vinaigrette etc.. that I’d argue might not be the first thing you think of when you think of “everyday” (i.e. am I going to make my own yoghurt for weekday breakfasts?) but Christine’s whole idea is to showcase how easy some everyday foods are to make completely from scratch to encourage even the most novice cook to have a go. Some of the recipes double as ingredients in other recipes in the book so you’re actually being super efficient if you master these! Bonus? You’ll have a “foundation of flavours that are always within arm’s reach”!
The rest of the chapters cover Breakfast, Packed Lunches, Soups and Salads, Easy Sides, Mains, Theme Nights, Snacks, Bake Sale goodies and Desserts. Throughout the book, in most recipes, there’s a “Saved my Life” tip from Christine where she shares tools and techniques that can same you time and money in the kitchen as well as tips and tricks pertaining to each recipe and sometimes she includes some Cool Facts (i.e. “What is a roux?”) too. The book contains a really nice selection of recipes for anytime of the day and uses a lot of grains, pulses, lean proteins and leafy greens. I’d say a few of the recipes would appeal to more adventurous younger eaters (Heirloom Carrot and Spicy Sauerkraut Quinoa salad for example) but on the whole, these are meals you can cook for the family even in busy weeknights. Looking through the recipes, you can tell Christine has a well-stocked pantry so it’s a good idea (always) to read the recipe thoroughly before starting to check you have all the required ingredients as some of the spices (for example) might not be commonplace in your pantry.
I baked the Insanely Good Banana Oat Squares with my boys’ cooking club recently and the recipe was a huge hit with everyone and a few of the boys’ mums have since made this (as have I) again and again. I know that I, for one, was really pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to turn oat flakes into oat flour in the food processor – something I’d never have thought of myself (so silly, really but since you can buy pre-ground, I figured why bother. In fact, the home-ground oat flour is much nicer for baking these treats as it yields a lighter product).
Honest to Goodness is a book to help demystify weekday dinner craziness. It’s a book to help you plan ahead (those school lunches!) and a book to help you eat more healthfully. Sounds like three things we could all use at the end of February when some of our resolutions from earlier in the year have faded to the back of our minds, right?
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Honest to Goodness from the publisher. I was not asked to write about this book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions my own.
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MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids releases July 31, 2018! Click here for pre-order details!