Best of Bridge Home Cooking is the latest cookbook of the Best of Bridge series. It’s a collection of 250 easy delicious recipes that focuses on preparing meals for all occasions.
The Best of Bridge is a trusted presence in North American kitchens and has sold almost four million books. None of the books are part of my cookbook collection, so when I received Best of Bridge Home Cooking to review, I was curious to learn why they’re so successful.
The 250 recipes are spread throughout 13 chapters: Breakfast, Bread & Muffins; Snacks, Spreads & Dips; Soups; Salads; Sandwiches, Lunches & Light Suppers; One-Pot Dinners; Pizza, Pasta & Noodles; Meatless Mains; Fish & Seafood; Chicken & Turkey; Pork, Lamb & Beef; Side Dishes; and Desserts & Sweet Treats.
There’s a mini table of contents at the beginning of each chapter listing the recipes with their page numbers. The cookbook has a hard cover with spiral bound pages that makes it easy to lay flat while preparing a recipe.
Each recipe starts with a short introduction and includes tips, variations and measurement conversions. The recipe ingredients are used in the same order in which they are listed. There are fast and easy recipes as well as slow cooker recipes. Many of the ingredients are accessible at supermarkets.
What I didn’t like was the font used in capital letters throughout the recipes. Also, the instructions are lumped into one paragraph which makes it makes it difficult to refer back to them.
There are only 24 colour photo inserts throughout the cookbook. I would have liked to see more. At least, they should have been matched up with the accompanying recipe. For example on page 54 where the Red Lentil and Carrot Soup with Coconut recipe is listed, there is the photo for Hot Multigrain Cereal on the accompanying page.
Carrot Raisin Muffins, page 22
These muffins are nutritious, filled with carrots, apples, coconut and raisins. I didn’t like the coconut taste in the muffins but overall they tasted good enough for me to make them again without adding the coconut.
Spanish Vegetable Paella, page, page 150
I really like this dish. It’s quick to put together and versatile as you can use any vegetables you have on hand. I used broccoli, onions, red peppers and carrots. The recipe calls for saffron and arborio rice, two ingredients that aren't in everyone’s pantry. You'll have to plan ahead if you don’t have these ingredients on hand. I made it in my braiser and served it as a side dish.
If you’re a busy cook who’s pressed for time and doesn’t object to using the canned or pre-packaged foods that are called for in some recipes, then Best of Bridge Home Cooking is for you.
Thanks to Robert Rose Inc., I'm sharing the recipes for Carrot Raisin Muffins and Spanish Vegetable Paella.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 500 ml
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar 175 ml
- 11⁄2 TSP ground cinnamon 7 ml
- 1 TSP baking powder 5 ml
- 1 TSP baking soda 5 ml
- 1⁄2 TSP freshly grated nutmeg 2 ml
- 1⁄4 TSP salt 1 ml
- 11⁄2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium) 375 ml
- 1 cup grated peeled apples 250 ml
- 1⁄2 cup raisins 125 ml
- 1⁄2 cup sweetened shredded coconut 125 ml
- 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 125 ml
- 2 large eggs 2
- 2⁄3 cup plain yogurt 150 ml
- 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil 75 ml
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Grease 8 cups in each of two 12-cup muffin pans or line the cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
- Stir in carrots, apples, raisins, coconut and walnuts (if using).
- In another bowl, beat eggs; add yogurt and oil. Stir into flour mixture just until combined. (Batter will be very thick.) Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool.
- 4 cups assorted prepared vegetables 1 L
- 3 1⁄2 cups Chicken Stock (page 42) or ready-to-use chicken or vegetable broth 875 ml
- 1⁄4 TSP saffron threads, crushed 1 ml
- Pinch hot pepper flakes Pinch
- 2 TBSP olive oil 30 ml
- 4 green onions, chopped 4
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped 3
- 1 1⁄2 cups short-grain white rice, such as Arborio 375 ml
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook vegetables (except peppers and zucchini) in a saucepan of boiling, lightly salted water for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water to chill; drain well.
- In the same saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Add saffron and hot pepper flakes; season to taste with salt. Keep warm.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add green onions and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add vegetables to skillet; cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Stir in rice and hot stock mixture. Reduce heat so rice cooks at a gentle boil: cook, uncovered, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Cover skillet with lid or foil. (If skillet handle is not ovenproof, wrap in double layer of foil.) Bake for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Remove; let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
About the Best of Bridge
Forty years ago at a weekend getaway, eight friends discovered that the highlight of their bridge games was the food they prepared and enjoyed together, and began thinking of writing a cookbook. That’s when the Best of Bridge brand was founded and became one the most successful brands in Canadian publishing.
Forty years later they're passing the reins to a younger generation in the kitchen in order to carry on their legacy: Julie Van Rosendaal (food writer and cookbook author), Sue Duncan and Elizabeth Chorney-Booth.
Best of Bridge Home Cooking
Publisher: Robet Rose Inc.
Hardcover: Concealed Wire-O binding
$29.95 CA / $29.95 US
Recipes and photos: Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Cooking by The Best of Bridge © 2015 www.bestofbridge.com. Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.
Best of Bridge Home Cooking was sent to me to review for the Food Bloggers of Canada website. The opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links — if you purchase an item via our affiliate link, FBC receives a small commission which helps us keep this site full of great content!
If you love cooking, be sure to check out some of our other Cookbook Corner Reviews:
Best of Bridge Home Cooking Giveaway
We've got one copy of Best of Bridge Home Cooking to give away to one lucky reader. The giveaway is open to residents of Canada. The winner will be asked to answer a skill testing question to claim their prize.
The Best of Bridge Home Cooking review was written by Liliana Tommasini, author of the aptly named blog My Cookbook Addiction. Her passion for baking and cooking began at an early age. Liliana grew up in an Italian household where each meal was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and Sunday family lunches were always a celebration. She has a passion for collecting cookbooks and is improving her photography skills. Now, Sunday lunches are celebrated in her family. You connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.