Make a Memorable Meal with Seasons in the Wine Country

For the last couple of decades, I have been cooking for friends and family as much as time allows, using recipes as inspiration more than something to follow.

Now that I am finally following recipes, I've learned - the hard way - that not all recipes turn out.

Of course this was a complete shock to me. The person writing this book is an expert in their field so why didn't my porcini risotto turn out? Why is my pork tenderloin dry and bland?

After some failed recipes, I have accepted the fact that you have to go with trusted sources as well as learn the quirks of your own oven (come on, girl, keep up!).

The new cookbook, Seasons in the Wine Country by Cate Conniff-Dobrich, includes recipes from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, so it comes with a guarantee, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, the CIA ensures that these recipes work.

And yet, the recipes are manageable for those of us who don't like to spend 6 hours at the stove, with results that are high-end restaurant worthy. These dishes will certainly impress your guests, but they'll never know that they were actually not too hard to make.

And with over 100 seasonal recipes, there is something for everyone here. This is a chance to pick your recipes per season and head off to your nearest farmer's market to get fresh and local ingredients.

I am really excited about:

- Crab Ravioli in ginger broth with carrots and fava beans
- Fish Tacos with citrus-cucumber relish and pico de gallo
- Chilaquiles - a traditional Mexican soup/stew/casserole
- White Bean Soup with chanterelles and sage
- Grilled Beef Tenderloin with plum and soy
- Cabernet-braised short ribs with swiss chard and orecchiette

And that's just the beginning!

With rich photos of the food and the Valley (taken by Annabelle Breakey and Faith Echtermeyer) and a seasonal guide of produce paired with great wine suggestions for dinner, you are set to serve up some delicious, memorable meals that honour the seasons, farmers and the land that this bounty comes from.

And don't be surprised if the recipes from Seasons in the Wine Country lead people to believe you cook like a chef.

You do now, thanks to this book.

Stephanie Dickison

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