Monthly Archives: March 2010

Bon Appétit Magazine: February Cover Recipe

Grilled Cheese & Short Rib Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

RATING: 4.5 out of 5

Initial Thoughts: Wow. Grilled Cheese & Short Rib Sandwich? Obviously Mr. Spock is in cahoots with Barbra Fairchild (Editor-in-Chief) because this is his kind of meal!

The Test: I can honestly say that this is the most involved grilled cheese sandwich I have ever made. The recipe is time consuming, either resulting in an all day cooking extravaganza or a two-day kitchen affair. We opted for the latter route, and decided to stretch the short ribs into more than one meal (as the recipe suggests). Searing and braising the beef was straightforward, with most of the work being done by the oven as it slowly simmers away for hours until all that’s left is a pot of tender yumminess. The caramelized onions also came together easily, and it was great to be able to make them ahead of time.

The Results: The first night we enjoyed the short ribs simply served with a green salad. The meat was incredibly tender and practically melted in your mouth. Initially I was afraid the beef would be overpowered by the sauce which basically consisted of a splash of beef stock and a whole lotta vino and Sherry, but it held its flavour beautifully and ended up being some of the most delicious pot roast I’ve had to date.

The next night was grilled cheese night and we were all a little excited! When I first saw the February cover I was concerned the sandwich would be little ‘much’, but this was not the case. In no way did it feel overindulgent. Instead, we found it to be a very tasty sandwich whose flavours all paired nicely making it a well rounded dish. Mr. Spock and I would have preferred to have the pickled caramelized onions a little more on the tangy side, as we found them rather bland. With more punch they would have given the sandwich a nice sharp contrast which was definitely missing. The peppery taste of the arugula was a great addition, and imparted a welcome crispness.

For a copy of February’s cover recipe, please click here

As part of my culinary new years resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine. Inspired by a New York restaurant owner who has been making the magazine’s cover recipes each month for the last 25 years, I decided to attempt to do the same while blogging about my monthly experiences along the way.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Bon Appétit and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

Bon Appétit celebrates the world of great food and the pleasure of sharing it with others. Every issue invites readers into a hands-on experience, engaging them in all aspects of the epicurean lifestyle—cooking, dining, travel, entertaining, shopping and design. For more information please visit

Flower Power

Today I feel like the best Mom in the world.

My eldest daughter just turned four, and instead of the usual gong show birthday party madness we packed up the kids and headed to the Okanagan for a few days. It was the first time we celebrated her birthday without dozens of our nearest and dearest, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about her potential disappointment at not having a big party. So in order to circumvent any feelings of regret (hers and mine both) I went nuts on her cake.

Now my daughter has this pair of flower jammies that are her favourite sleepwear item in the world. Despite the fact she has a drawer full of equally lovely nighttime attire, nothing else will do except the ones with the crazy sixties flower print. She wears them every day, and if I dare throw them in the wash they better be ready come bedtime because this kid has no qualms when it comes to wearing them dirty or still damp from the wash.

Knowing her adoration for these jammies, I decided to make her birthday cake a sort of homage to this favoured item of clothing. I made a basic chocolate cake (two round layers), following a recipe from Ina Garten which turned out fabulous. The cake was rich and moist and so full of chocolaty goodness! For the icing I opted for a plain buttercream, whipped till frothy. (Click here for Ina Garten’s cake recipe and click here for my buttercream icing recipe)

Mr. Spock and I divided the icing and played with food colouring until our hands were stained all colours of the rainbow. Our efforts were worth it in the end because boy did we nail the colours of her jammies! It took a few hours to fully decorate the cake, as numerous trips into the fridge were necessary in order to firm up the icing before continuing with the multi-layered design.

At the end of the day I am pleased to say that the cake turned out absolutely amazing, tasted even better than it looked, and the birthday girl was giddy with excitement!

Today I feel like the best Mom in the world.

See Creative Design

I am excited to announce that CookThatBook now has an official logo! Thanks to the creative geniuses over at See Creative Design, we now have a visual identity that I feel truly captures the essence of the website and what we’re all about: cookbooks.

See Creative Design is a small design studio that specializes in branding, print and exhibit design, as well as website development.  Their passion and dedication to their clients allows them to continually produce results that exceed expectations.

Thank you for giving us such a wonderful identity!

For more information please visit