“From ricotta gnocchi to stewed eel, even a section called, “Why Buy It When You Can Make It,” this practical book gives you 67 diverse recipes, and even step-by-step instructions, with nine accompanying photographs, about how to make spinach pasta. The beauty of Italian food is that it is simple, straightforward and doesn’t take a lot of your time; so you’ll be living La Vida Loca with La Dolce Vita in no time.” ––Cervin It Straighthttp://bit.ly/gAOSjr
“Let’s get the most important information out of the way first: Christopher is a woman. She was food and design editor of Metropolitan Home magazine for years and she was a founding editor of Saveur magazine, where she met her co-writer, Melissa Hamilton, a chef and restaurateur. Melissa’s sister, Gabrielle Hamilton, is the chef-owner of Manhattan’s Prune restaurant and a well-known food writer. Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton formed Canal House in 2006 when the two women grew tired of commuting into New York City. Originally it was a food styling and photography studio, but their love of gourmet-level home cooking prompted them to create their own cooking guides, published three times a year. Canal House Cooking, Vol. 7, is the first of the new series for 2012.” ––Milwaukee Journal Sentinalhttp://bit.ly/xV5t5P
“Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton‘s exquisite book series, Canal House Cooking are all about sharing home cooking and the pleasures of the table. The latest volume, No. 7, is La Dolce Vita (Andrews McMeel 2012) that is focused not on their Canal House but on a rustic farmhouse in Tuscany. … Many of the recipes are inspired by Italy – capturing what makes a dish Italian, rather then recreating exactly a dish they ate. Read this pretty book to follow in their footsteps and get inspired to head out to make your path to a canal house.” ––Super Chefhttp://bit.ly/xuFTnC
Welcome to the savory world of Canal House, the kitchen studio where Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton cook simply and deliciously, lovingly creating and beautifully photographing dishes to share in the Canal House Cooking series of seasonal cookbooks. Readers who loved Volumes 1-6 now will shout “Viva Italia!” with the introduction of Canal House Cooking, Volume No. 7: La Dolce Vita.
Fans know well the story behind Canal House: Christopher and Melissa, former magazine editors, gave up life in New York for a simpler existence, living on opposite sides of the Delaware River and cooking together each weekday in their New Jersey studio. Canal House Cooking became known as home cooking by home cooks for home cooks, with fresh ingredients and recipes all made easy for cooks of every experience level.
Then one cold spring day, Melissa and Christopher decided over a lunch of cannelloni that although they had been to Italy many times, there still was much they wanted to know about Italian home cooking. A plan was hatched. They rented a rustic old farmhouse in Tuscany with a long table for dinners outside, a grape arbor, apple and fig trees, and a spare kitchen with a classic waist-high fireplace with a grill. As the authors say in the introduction, “It was all we had hoped for. It was our Casa Canale for a month.”
La Dolce Vita is the wonderful culmination of that month spent absorbing the spirit of Italian cooking and the authors’ years of extensive travels and culinary experiences throughout Italy. A celebration of delicious Italian dishes, some classic, some reinterpreted Canal House style, the book provides recipes for soups, seafood, pasta, meats, vegetables, desserts and more including Braised Rabbit with Capers & Pancetta, Gnocchi Verde, Salt Cod with Tomatoes & Green Olives, Cabbage in Agrodolce, Risotto Bianco, and Chocolate Chestnut Torte. A chapter titled Why Buy It When You Can Make It? is not to be missed, with recipes for essentials from Fresh Whole Milk Ricotta to Simple Tomato Sauce and Balsamella.
Add in glorious photos of food and settings, recipe notes that provide just the right amount of guidance, and fun culinary anecdotes, and you have the best of two worlds: Canal House in Italia.
Christopher Hirsheimer (right) served as food and design editor for Metropolitan Home magazine and was one of the founders of Saveur magazine, where she was executive editor. She is a writer and a photographer.
Melissa Hamilton co-founded the restaurant Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville, NJ, where she served as executive chef. She worked at Martha Stewart Living, Cook’s Illustrated, and at Saveur as the food editor.