For: Food Network Canada

 At Home with Lynn Crawford CookbookTitle: At Home with Lynn Crawford: 200 of My Favourite Easy Recipes
Price: $32.00
Pages: 320
Availability: Major book retailers

The Goods

Lynn Crawford is a Celebrity Chef, a Food Network Star (Pitchin In, Restaurant Makeover, Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters), and a celebrated restaurateur. Known for her penchant for fresh ingredients and adventure, Chef Lynn is as comfortable in the kitchen at her popular Toronto eatery Ruby Watchco, as she is fishing for chinook salmon off the coast of Vancouver or preparing mussels with locals in PEI.

Chef Lynn is a veteran in the industry, with over 25 years experience cooking professionally. At Ruby Watchco, all meals are served Table d’hôte – a fixed price gives you the offerings of the evening, served family style. Each week, the menu is posted outside the restaurant (and on the website) allowing diners to choose an evening that best suits their taste. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients from local purveyors, non-fussy preparations and a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

At Home with Lynn Crawford: 200 of My Favourite Easy Recipes emulates the feeling of the restaurant and the laid-back personality of Chef Lynn. Perfect for at-home entertaining, the recipes are fun, no pressure, and easy to follow. The book’s jacket speaks to Chef Lynn’s inspiration behind the book. She takes influence from people that she has known, places she has visited and the food she enjoys with those she loves – her friends and family, at home. Inside the recipes range from smoothies to cocktails, brunch favourites, salads, leisurely lunch dishes, party nibbles and one-pot comfort foods. This book is all about crowd-pleasing home cooking.

Selected Recipes / Chapters Include

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes with Caramel Sauce.
  • Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna
  • Rib Roast with Horseradish Salt Crust
  • Heirloom Carrots with Honey Thyme Butter
  • Sparkling Pineapple Orange Sangria
  • Blueberry Buckle
  • Hazelnut Pear Tart

What I learned about myself.

It seems as if planning a dinner party is becoming more and more difficult. Finding an evening that suits everyone is just about impossible. Lately, we have really been embracing brunch. No fuss, no dressing up, nothing complicated in terms of cocktails, and no babysitters required. My guests are delighted at the prospects of having their evenings open. For this reason, this book is perfect. My friends can come over and I can entertain casually, over coffee we can cook and eat together and share a really wonderful meal.

The last recipe in the book is “Ninja Dog Treats” which is exactly as it sounds. What is worse, I have seriously considered making them. My spoiled pup.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this book is a really good buy. I have a LARGE collection of cookbooks, many which I wouldn’t even consider using for casual entertaining. This book has a good range of recipes, all which are fairly simple and that use ingredients that you can find easily at your local market. There is nothing worse than scrambling to find and exotic ingredient the day of your dinner party.

What I liked best about this book, were the recipes for brunch. Fresh juices and smoothies, homemade granolas, jams, jellies, spreads, infused honeys and butters are all simple additions to breakfast standards and they add a special touch. There are a number of straightforward enough baked goods to entice even the most novice of baker (like myself) and some fun and inventive ways to prepare eggs.

At Home with Lynn Crawford: 200 of My Favourite Easy Recipes has basic recipes to appease just about any dinner guests tastes, with just enough ethnic influence to provide a little interest (the book features a couple curried dishes and tandoori chicken legs for example). A chapter on one pot comfort foods takes the stress out of preparation, and for the party uninitiated – classics like devilled eggs and dips. The desserts are uncomplicated as well (I am making the Cheesecake in a Jar tonight!)

Bonus: Besides the infused honeys and preserves, Chef Lynn shares some of her recipes for rubs and flavoured salts, all of which make fun hostess gifts or party favours.

This Book is For

  • People that love to entertain at home, and prefer un-fussy family style fare.
  • Anyone who wants a really well rounded cookbook that they will actually use.
  • Fan’s of Chef Lynn or Ruby Watchco (this book will not disappoint)