Book Review : Lidia Bastianich's 'Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking' and Rosie Daykin's 'Butter Baked Goods'

My version of Grandma Rosa's Apple Cake from Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking.

I was so excited when not one, but TWO new titles arrived from Random House this month. Although both beautiful, they are completely different in design, mood and theme, which makes for some really great October reading, curled up with a cup of tea.

First up, Lidia Bastianich's new book 'Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking'

Lidia Bastinaich is a STAPLE in my house on Saturday afternoons. There's really nothing worse than being ripped away from her PBS show to go to work. She seems so genuine on TV, an attribute that cannot be said of many major-network food personalities, and I have always felt like she would give really great hugs! Her new book is said to '...lay(s) out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips from the cutting board to the kitchen table'. The dark blue cover and a photo of Lidia's hands holding farm-fresh eggs sets the tone for what's inside - simple, honest recipes with personal anecdotes and observations sprinkled throughout. The book focuses on the importance of engaging your senses, making decisions based on commonsense (as we all know - not so common) and rediscovering what Lidia calls the 'wisdom of the table'.

As some of you may have gathered, I have a passionate love of Italy and all of it's food diversity. I also LOVE the work of Marcus Nilsson, who, I think, so beautifully captured the spirit of Lidia and her Italian recipes in the photographs. I chose to make 'Grandma Rosa's Apple Cake' - p245 because it's apple season here in Nova Scotia and also, because there wasn't a photograph of it in the book so I could do as I pleased! Sean and I loved it - dense lemon cake topped with Honeycrisp apples, toasted walnuts and brown sugar. How could you not like that?!? If you'd like the recipe, please check out the links at the bottom of the post to buy either the hardcover book or the ebook, both being released today, October 15th. For a similar recipe from Lidia, please click here.

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking is a really nice, no-messing-around, addition to my Italian collection and I'm stoked to try more recipes this winter like Pappardelle with Turkey Rolls, Filet Mignon Italian Style with Balsamic Reduction and Yellow Squash Pie.

Next up is Rosie Daykin's 'Butter Baked Goods'.

I have a motto (well, I actually have more than one but I really love this one) - The more butter the better. And so I knew, Butter Baked Goods, the first book written by Rosie Daykin, was right up my alley. Delicate shades of pale pink and pistachio green + vintage cake stands and plates + beautiful baked goods adorn the cover - I couldn't wait to look inside! Filled with recipes for, and charming photographs of, assorted pies, cakes, cupcakes, bars and cookies from Rosie's Butter Baked Goods Bakery in Vancouver, it is one of the prettiest books I own. Sadly, I did not have time to actually make any of Rosie's recipes, however, when I do, there is one, that for me, stands out. Rosie writes how Butter's homemade marshmallows were such a runaway hit that they are now sold in over 300 stores across Canada, the US and Japan. I've always wanted to try my hand at making marshmallows so Rosie's recipe will be a perfect fit!

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking and Butter Baked Goods are available for sale in both hardcover and ebook formats today, October 15.

Pin It!