At the beginning of January, we started a new feature that has been a lot of fun. It is called “Cookbook Cookery”.

What is Cookbook Cookery?

  • Every month, I choose a new cookbook to focus on over the next 4 weeks
  • Each Tuesday, I cook one or more recipes from the chosen cookbook
  • I do not test the recipes prior to streaming. They are all new to me and I do this so that we can test the ease of the recipe
  • At the end of the 4 weeks, I decide whether I would recommend the cookbook

I decided to focus 4 weeks on one cookbook because I think it takes more than one recipe to decide if a cookbook is worth having on the bookshelf.

I still love having actual cookbooks on the shelf – as opposed to digital copies. Thumbing through them is my favourite way to decide what to make. But, cookbooks can be quite expensive. Cookbook Cookery allows me and my followers to dive deeper into each cookbook and then decide if it is worth purchasing.

January’s Focus Cookbook

Michael Smith Real Food Real Good
Michael Smith Real Food Real Good

The first book I chose was Michael Smith’s “Real Food Real Good”. I chose this book for a few reasons:

  • The dishes appeared simple while using flavourful ingredients.
  • The recipes are laid out very cleanly, without a lot of clutter.
  • Every recipe has a lovely image showing what the finished dish should look like.

Here is What We Made

Michael Smith Real Food Real Good
Michael Smith Real Food Real Good
  1. Homemade Marshmallows and Hot Hot Cocoa
  2. Chicken Stew Mashed Potato Casserole
  3. Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto
  4. Chili Roast Chicken Wings
  5. Cheddar Bacon Polenta with Leomony Arugula
  6. Roast Beef with Mushroom Gravy
  7. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  8. Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo
Michael Smith Real Food Real Good
Michael Smith Real Food Real Good
  1. Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup
  2. Curried Chickpea Salad with Apples, Cucumber and Raisins
  3. Homemade Nutmeg Ketchup
  4. Canadian Mustard

My Thoughts

This cookbook is definitely one to have on the shelf. The recipes were indeed simple, yet flavourful.

There are a couple of techniques I was doubtful about. Case in point – adding potatoes to a pot of boiling water instead of starting potatoes in cold water.

But, after using this technique in two separate recipes, I was convinced that it actually does work.

I can honestly say that we love every recipe we made, even the brussel sprouts!


The things that made this cookbook stand out for me:

  • The pictures are huge and beautiful.
  • The beginning of the books spends some time explaining “real foods”. Which are real and which are NOT real.
  • It gives some wonderful strategies about how to incorporate real foods into everyday life.
  • I like the way he gives advice and strategies without presenting them in an overwhelming way.
  • Michael also dives into very fun options of making homemade staples like mustard, ketchup and yogurt.

My only criticism is that the instructions would be even easier to follow if they were itemized and numbered instead of being in paragraph form.

My Favourites

This is actually a hard one. The recipes I will definitely incorporate into my regular rotation will include:

  • Chicken wings
  • Curry Sweet Potato Soup
  • Marshmallows
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Ketchup and Mustard
  • Chicken Stew Mashed Potato Casserole

The Verdict

Cookery Nation Approved
Cookery Nation Approved


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