Get Your Eat On with Summer Cookbooks

With each season comes a new menu. Whether it’s a barbecue, picnic or sunset dinner, these books have great recipes for summer dining.

The Book of Burger

Are burgers not the official food of summer? Food Network chef Rachel Ray has created the ultimate burger book, including tips on what ingredients to include in your patty, how to grill it perfectly, and what to top it with. But it’s more than burgers; it also features recipes for hot dogs, sliders, sides, sloppies, fries, sauces and more.

Good Food to Share (Williams-Sonoma)

Summer is a great time of year to share food with friends and family. This book features recipes that are perfect for just that, from starters to dessert and everything in between. Mouthwatering recipes include brined pork loin with apricot-onion mostarda, maple-glazed sweet potato wedges and grilled peaches with cardamom cream, to name a few.

Adventures in Grilling

The start of summer means firing up the grill again. Whether you’re a novice or grilling enthusiast, this book offers an adventurous approach to the craft. In addition to telling you what to grill, from veggies to meats to seafood, this book also teaches you how to grill using the right tools and techniques.

Ice Pops

Who wants chocolate or vanilla when you can have bright watermelon and lime, rich chocolate layered with raspberries, green tea with pomegranate, or champagne-infused mimosa? This book is the guide to homemade ice pops, with everything you need to know about ingredients and freezing and unmoulding techniques. With over 40 recipes, there’s something for everyone.

Post-holiday recipes to get you eating healthy again

Looking to recover from a month of overindulging? Feeling a little heavier than usual after the holidays? I certainly am. Luckily, we have a new cookbook that can get help us get our pre-holiday body back!

The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook has over 200 recipes that will help you take the extra pounds off and keep it off. But, of course, you need to stick to the Atkins program in order to see results. Fortunately, sticking to the program is easy, especially when you can indulge in comfort food like cheesecake! The recipes in this cookbook are low in carbs, easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. To start you off, here are two recipes straight from The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: the savoury Chili-Cheese Crisps and the zingy and fresh-tasting Speedy Spinach Dip. They go great together!

If you want to read more about the Atkins program, you can read an excerpt here. Happy eating everyone!

Check out our January Wellness sweeps on our Facebook page and enter to win a library of wellness books, including The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook!

Overindulged a little (read: a lot) this holiday season?

We can help! And miracle of all miracles it doesn’t mean giving up your favorite snack foods….just, modifying them slightly.

Meet Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks.

Let’s face it. Snacking is a way of life. In a given year 97% of us buy candy and chocolate; 96% buy pop and chips and 89% eat ice cream! That’s why the founders of NaturallySavvy.com, Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer with Lisa Tsakos, have written Unjunk Your Junk Food, a fun, full color reference guide to eating ‘healthier’ snacks–natural foods free from artificial ingredients, preservatives, food colorings, and trans-fats. This book is for readers (like me!) that aren’t willing to give up junk food but don’t want to expose themselves and their families to toxic food additives.

Each chapter focuses on a different type of junk food such as ice cream or cookies, making it easy for you to quickly reference the foods you’re craving. The book offers a side by side comparison of natural/organic recommendations against popular conventional brands, complete with pictures of the products so you know exactly what to look for as you navigate the aisles at the supermarket.

At the beginning of every chapter, you’ll find a list of specific ingredients to be avoided in each junk food category. The book contains the latest research, advice, tips, and trivia about junk food and info on healthy ingredients and dangerous additives. The authors also reveal some of the most crafty and misleading marketing tricks behind certain food products, including confusing serving sizes, advertised health benefits and deceptive wording on ingredient labels.

Unjunk Your Junk Food uses icons to easily identify products that suit different lifestyles. The book identifies foods that match certain dietary restrictions (such as food allergies, including gluten intolerance); medical alerts to specific health conditions (such as heart disease and trans-fats); and production values (such as organic and fair trade).

Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer have a combined 35 years of experience in the natural health arena. Andrea is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Randy has been a natural health and wellness advocate to the public for over ten years, and Lisa is a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and Chief Nutrition Expert for Naturally Savvy.

Check out their website NaturallySavvy.com and follow them on Twitter @NaturallySavvy.

Don’t feel bad about eating junk, just eat informed!

Check out these sample pages from the Chip, Dips & Party Food chapter:

Ten Reasons Why Books Make the Best Gifts (well, after puppies and private islands)

1)      Because other than those sparkly pencils and key chains with peoples’ names on them, books are one of the best gifts that you can find a uniquely suited one for every person on your list

2)      Because you don’t need to poke holes in the box so the book can breathe

3)      Because they are easier to wrap than a football or bicycle

4)      Because you can do all of your shopping in one spot

5)      Because you don’t have to feed them, plug them in, or put batteries in them

6)      Because “They have whole worlds inside them, and it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” –Neil Gaiman

7)      Because you can even find one for the person who has everything

8)      Because they never come in the wrong colour, size or style

9)      Because they don’t need to be assembled

10)   Because it shows the recipient that you took the time to think about who they are and what they are interested in

So what’s the trick? Picking the right book. Luckily for you, I have some suggestions for everyone on your holiday gift list.

For the Hockey Lover

Double Overtime

Double Overtime by Stephen Cole

Full of fun facts, crazy yet true stories, and chalk full pictures, this book is for every hockey fan of every team (even if you the gift-buyer don’t know anything about hockey!)

For the (New) Baker

 Baking with the Cake Boss

Baking with the Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro

Buddy, from TLC’s smash hit Cake Boss, is back with another book. For the novice baker, this book starts with the basics of baking – the simple yet noble sugar cookie – and advances to fantastically intricate themed cakes for home-baking pros.  This is one gift that both the recipient and the giver are bound to benefit from!

For the Extraordinary Women in Your Life

 The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Strong, brave, resourceful, sensuous, caring, and giving – these are just some of the used words to describe the women of The Dovekeepers. A masterpiece that was five years in the making, the author of Practical Magic tells the beautiful and harrowing tale of four Jewish women in 70 C.E. Masada, Israel.

For Lovers of  iAnything

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs – the man who changed the world, whether we like it or not. Walter Isaacson’s biography, the only authorized biography of the Apple co-founder and innovator, tells the story of this intense personality whose drive for perfection can be seen in every one of his products and serves as a rollercoaster tale of ambition, obsessions, compulsion, creativity and innovation.

For Your Daughter, Niece or Little Sister

Dork Diaries Box Set

Dork Diaries Box Set by Rachel Renee Russell

This super popular series chronicles the oh-so-fabulous life of Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the halls of middle school, mean girls, BFF drama and first crushes. These spunky, funny, and relatable books are perfect for tween girl readers (and best of all, they are PG-rated so you don’t have to worry about your 11-year old niece reading vampire/immortal love scenes!).

For Almost Anyone (really, who doesn’t read Stephen King?)

11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King

The incredible Stephen King is back in a brand new way. In 11/22/63, King tells the ultimate “What If?” story. What if you could go back in time and change history? King’s suspenseful and riveting tale of time travel to one of America’s most epic periods in history will have readers on the edge of their seats until the last page is turned.

The New YA Must-Have

 Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

With so many YA vampire/werewolf/warlock/immortal, etc, etc, etc books out there, it’s hard for the discerning gift-giver to know which one to choose for the teen on their list. Well look no further – Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series left young women begging for another adventure to go on, bad-boy to drool over, and smart, brave girl to read about, and with the second of the Infernal Devices series, Clare delivers.

For the 20-something Student

5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)

 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) by Matthew Inman

Perfect for the quirky-humored, google-searching  20-something, 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) offers up 4 Reasons to Carry a Shovel at All Times, 6 Types of Crappy Hugs, 8 Ways to Tell if Your Loved One Plans to Eat You, 17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat, and 20 Things Worth Knowing About Beer.

Literary Non-Fiction

Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean

If you can’t get someone a puppy for Christmas, get this book instead. Rin Tin Tin has been getting rave reviews and for good reason. Whether you love dogs, old Hollywood, the entrepreneurs behind entertainment, biographies, history, or just a wonderfully written story, Rin Tin Tin delivers.

For the Book Club Lover

The Lady of the Rivers

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Witchcraft, royalty, betrayal and passion, The Lady of the Rivers delivers it all. This book, to be enjoyed in front of a fireplace and with a cup of tea, is sure to keep your favorite aunt, sister or friend company this holiday season.

Brain Food

Grand Pursuit

Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasar

In this epic yet readable narrative modern economics, Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, tells the of how activist thinkers like Marx, Sydney Fisher, Irving Fisher, and Milton Friedman transformed not just the Western world, but the entire planet.

The New Children’s Classic

The Man in the Moon

 The Man in the Moon by William Joyce

“Meet the very first guardian of childhood, MiM, the Man in the Moon.” A beautiful and tender story of love, adventure, and enchantment, The Man in the Moon, will capture hearts both young and old.

Wreck the Halls

When I was given the task of writing on the S&S blog (I’ve never blogged before, apparently I live under a rock), I was a little worried about what I would write about as the new marketing intern. That is, until I got my “assignment” – Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets Festive. So, in the name of research, I spent the afternoon flipping through the book, almost peeing my pants laughing in the process.

What is a Cake Wreck, you ask? According to the hilarious Jen Yates and her equally inappropriately funny husband, John, “a Cake Wreck is any professionally made cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, [or] inappropriate….”

In her first book, Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, (which just so happened to become a New York Times Bestseller), we saw creepy baby cakes, cakes with questionable spelling, anti-sexual harassment cakes, and, my favorite, divorce cakes (nothing says it better than a cake with “I Didn’t Like You That Much Anyway” written on it…except maybe the “Go Die in a Car Fire” cake).

Cake Wrecks

And now, Yates is back with a second helping of Cake Wrecks. With Santa being eaten by an alligator and vampire pilgrim cakes, who needs a Hallmark card?

Watch the trailer

Both Cake Wrecks and Wreck the Halls are actually books, with over two hundred pages of cake wreck photos accompanied by Yates’ special blend of wit and sarcasm. And somehow, they don’t stop being funny, but actually become even funnier because, as you flip through it with friends, you know what is coming. Wreck the Halls is the perfect Christmas gift and offers sweet relief from holiday shopping madness, whether you give it as a gift or, if you are like me, you keep it for yourself.

To win a copy of Wreck the Halls, share your own cake wreck photo and submit it to the Simon & Schuster Facebook page where you can also check out the recent Simon & Schuster Cake Wrecks event with Jen Yates at Indigo in Yorkdale.

For more Cake Wrecks, check out CakeWrecks.com. Be sure to follow @CakeWrecks on Twitter and like Cake Wrecks on Facebook!