The world works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?
You never know where you are going to go, what you are going to see, or who you are going to meet. That’s life. Mysterious, amazing, tricky, and sometimes wildly unexpected! A few years ago, I wrote on this very blog that as a pre-teen my sisters and I cooked our way through the Looneyspoons cookbook. Why Looneyspoons? Well, I vividly remember my mom having a collection of cookbooks that consisted of a well-used 1978 Betty Crocker Cookbook, several of the Company’s Coming books, and Looneyspoons. As you’d expect, Looneyspoons won the draw because of the fun comic book-style characters and the pun-y recipe titles (if you’ve read the book you know what I mean!). It was one of the first books that ignited my passion for food and convinced me that I wanted to pursue a career as a chef (cough, cough… don’t tell my 12 year-old-self this did not actually happen).
Twenty years later, you cannot imagine my utter shock when a message from Greta Podleski found it’s way into my Twitter inbox. I think my exact words to “J” were, “you’ll never guess who just f***ing messaged me!!!!!!!!” He couldn’t. And for those who are wondering, his guess was Bryan Baeumler.
Admittedly, I had a major fan-girl moment… I even took a picture of the Looneyspoons cookbook that sat on my shelf for years and sent it back to Greta with a reply that likely made me sound a little wack-a-do. Oh well, you only live once, right? Before I knew it, Greta was sitting in my office with the rest of the REES + STAGER team sharing her vision for her newest cookbook, Yum & Yummer, and asking if we could help bring it to life!
Ten months later… Yum & Yummer was born. The first cookbook of its kind, Yum & Yummer features a 1-minute, fast-paced cooking video, and photo with EVERY recipe. Yes, that’s correct, all 125 recipes have a video and a photo! Best of all, there is something for everyone! Whether you are gluten-free, vegan, or looking for a splurge, this cookbook is packed with ridiculously tasty recipes that’ll blow your mind… and a few puns for good measure!
One of my favourite recipes from the book has to be the 15-Minute Mediterranean Fish Dish. It’s fast, fresh, and comes together using minimal ingredients! It’s what I would call an “anytime recipe,” meaning you could literally serve it anytime; during a fancy family meal or on a fast-paced weeknight, the incredible flavours of this dish will surely please!
15-Minute Mediterranean Fish Dish
4 5-oz fish fillets, such as cod or haddock (about ½ inch thick)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup minced red onions
2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups quartered grape tomatoes or diced plum tomatoes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (1 oz/28 g)
12 basil leaves, thinly sliced or chopped
Pat fish dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tsp oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until edges start to look caramelized. Carefully flip fish and cook about 2 more minutes or until cooked through. Remove fish to a serving plate, drizzle with lemon juice and keep warm.
Wipe skillet clean and heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften and garlic turns golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar and few grinds of salt and pepper. Mix well and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in feta and basil.
Spoon warm bruschetta over fish fillets and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
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Check Out These Delicious Recipes!
Having personally prepared, cooked and eaten every recipe in this book, I can with confidence say that every single recipe is fantastic! That said, I do have some more favourites (I mean, the Mediterranean Fish is excellent… but it’s not easy to pick just one)…. and these are just a few!
Homemade Almond Milk
“J” and I made the switch from cow’s milk to almond milk a few years ago, but making it from scratch at home was never something I tried. Let me tell you, Greta’s recipe will make you second guess putting those cartons of almond milk in your cart! This recipe is incredibly easy to make and the flavour is soooo much better than the store-bought stuff! You can find this recipe on page 260 of Yum & Yummer and you can watch the how-to video here.
Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I prefer my Brussels Sprout roasted just until they are tender, caramelized, and fragrant… so this recipe really hits the spot! The maple-balsamic glaze is the perfect amount of tangy and sweet, and the crunchy pomegranate seeds and sliced almonds are a wonderful garnish. Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts used to be my go-to recipe until this one came along… yes, I dare say it’s better than bacon! You can find this recipe on page 204 of Yum & Yummer and you can watch the how-to video here.
Roasted Sweet Potato & White Bean Dip
Since shooting this recipe video, I’ve made this dip almost weekly! It’s so easy to wiz up in the food processor and pop in the fridge for lunches or snacks. I always add an over-flowing tsp of maple syrup to this dip because it complements the sweetness of the potatoes so nicely! Perfect with toasted Greek pita wedges! You can find this recipe on page 36 of Yum & Yummer and you can watch the how-to video here.
I’m so thankful Twitter connected us all those months ago… it was truly an honour to work with Greta on this project! From the book & website design to shooting all 125 cooking videos, it was a BIG undertaking and my team & I are thrilled with the results! #NationalBestseller
Have you picked up a copy of Yum & Yummer? What are your favourite recipes?