Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cookbook Review - Whitewater Cooks with Friends by Shelley Adams

I love cookbooks! I've lost count on just how many I own. My favorite ones are dogged-eared, written in (I like to add in my own little changes, when I made the recipe, for who etc), and stained with various ingredients (a cookbook protector is on my wish list). But what does it take to earn favorite status? Well, obviously the recipe has to peak my interest, be easy to follow, not too time consuming (with 2 young kids interruptions are guaranteed), and I prefer cookbooks with mouthwatering photos to MAKE me want to recreate the dish. The other thing that I love are cookbooks with little stories or why the recipes are important to the author.

Shelley Adams is a Canadian cookbook author and former owner of a successful cafe in Nelson, B.C. known as the Fresh Tracks CafĂ© at the Whitewater Ski Resort. She has written three "Whitewater Cooks" cook books. The third book in this wildly successful series is titled Whitewater Cooks With Friends and features recipes to share with friends and family. It's first run sold out and a new production run has just been released.

To be honest, I somehow missed the first two books, but am beyond happy that the latest book was brought to my attention! The first thing that caught my attention was the opening sentence - "Food is all about sharing." I am in complete agreement! There are few things more fun than sharing good food with good friends! But in order to do this, I need easy recipes like these that allow me to cook, talk and hold a glass of wine at the same time.

The second thing that drew me to this book is the photography. David Gluns took the photos for Shelley's book and knows how to work a camera. Every image brings the food to delicious, mouth-watering life.

The cookbook itself is a compilation of recipes from Shelley and her friends which I find really appealing - recipes that have been shared amongst friends and family are usually the best ones since they have been tried and tested again and again. I think the book offers a small town feel with a big world appeal. The recipes look and taste quite sophisticated but are explained in simple terms and offer easy to follow instructions.

I also like the little tips and notes provided with each recipe - where to find ingredients, food prep tips etc they add to the fun and relaxing feel of the book.

I have a list of recipes I will be trying including:
  • pacific sashimi towers
  • paella chowder
  • tuscan bread salad
  • asian spiced braised short ribs
My sweet tooth dictated that the first recipes to try were two desserts: "fabulous molasses and 3 ginger cookies" and" lisa p's orange sour cream bundt cake".

The cookies were the best tasting ginger cookies I've ever had (this was seconded by my husband!). The dried, fresh, and candied ginger provided a sensory explosion of taste and smell. The recipe was easy to follow and almost healthy thanks to the addition of oats (yes, oats). The only negative thing I could say about it is mine came out much flatter than the ones shown in the book and they were crispier than expected so dipping in tea or milk is almost mandatory. I will be making them again.

The bundt cake was also a winner. So moist and delicious. And the glaze produces something akin to a sugary crust that makes that gives this bundt cake another layer of flavour. My five-year old son asked me to make 10 more and he isn't normally a big cake-eater! It's a recipe your friends will be asking you to share. It's one of the few recipes without a picture but as you can see from mine, it's truly yummy. I asked if I could reproduce the recipe and was kindly given the go ahead. 

This week I have a prosciutto wrapped pork loin and a spinach gomae recipe from the book on my list for dinner. I'll let you know how they turn out too.

I definitely recommend adding this book to your cookbook fact I will be picking up the first two in the series soon too! Check out Whitewater's website here.

lisa p's orange sour cream bundt cake
from Whitewater Cooks with Friends by Shelley Adams

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 orange, zest of
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 oranges, juice of
3/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, zest of

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add sour cream and orange zest and combine.
Sift together four, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients to the creamed butter and beat until well mixed.
Spoon into well-greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Combine orange juice, sugar and lemon zest in small saucepan.
Heat to a low boil, allow liquid to reduce by one third, about 10 minutes and keep warm.
Remove cake from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Invert cake onto serving plate.
Poke lots of holes into cake with a skewer and pour glaze over cake while both are still warm.

My notes: I added a white pre-made cookie icing as an extra drizzle for the photo but absolutely not necessary.

Also, in the interests of full disclosure please note that I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own.


  1. That cake looks divine. If you love cookbooks - you should join our fun Facebook group - The Cookbook Junkies - we are having a LeCreuset stock pot giveaway.

  2. I love magazines..and it's pretty dangerous to keep buying them, the pile in my home just keeps growing.. :)

    Very nice cake with a lovely orange flavor! Yummy!

  3. A great review and a divine cake - I just want a huge piece :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Tropical Caramelised German Pancakes

  4. Beautiful cake and congratulations on Top 9!

  5. Mmmm, this looks like such a perfect cake to nibble on with tea :) Gorgeous!

  6. Your Orange Bundt cake looks delicious. You did a beautiful job of presentation in your photos. Congratulations on Foodbuzz Top 9:)

  7. The cake looks delicious! I would love the recipe for "fabulous molasses and 3 ginger cookies" as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great post and review :) I love orange cakes ~ This is wonderful! SO SO SO pretty :D thanks for sharing! Congratulations for making Top 9 on Foodbuzz ~

  9. This looks delicious, can't wait to try this recipe!

  10. Hi!

    The sugar used for ingredients is it fine sugar?
    The sugar used for glaze is it icing sugar?

    1. Hi. I used fine or berry sugar for both the cake and glaze but regular granulated will be fine. Not icing sugar.