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Articles by Danielle

Joanne Chang, author of Flour, Too in Toronto!

by Danielle
Events + Food & Drink / July 12, 2013

Please join us in welcoming Joanne Chang, author of FLOUR, TOO, to Toronto. She'll be showing off her culinary skills at Teatro Verde Cucina in the Bayview Shopping Centre next Saturday!


Saturday July 20th
Bayview Villiage Shopping Centre
2901 Bayview Avenue
3-5 PM




Here is a recipe from this marvellous book! Please let me know how it turns out.

Seared Flank Steak Salad with Crumbled Blue Cheese, Glazed Onions, and Worcestershire Vinaigrette



Rachel Khoo, author The Little Paris Kitchen in Toronto!

by Danielle
Events + Excerpts + Food & Drink / July 08, 2013

Join restaurateur, tv host, and food writer Rachel Khoo as she shares her newest cookbook, THE LITTLE KITCHEN, and shows us how to take as much pleasure in preparing food as in eating it.

Indigo Bay & Bloor
Tuesday, July 16th

A few months back I tried my hand at making Croque madame muffins which are cheese, ham, and egg sandwich muffins, which is one of the recipes from her book. They were delish. Take a look at my blog post here: http://www.raincoast.com/blog/details/breakfast-for-dinner/


~ Dani

Raincoast Cookbook Bookclub ~ Salmon and Noodle Salad

by Danielle
Excerpts + Food & Drink / April 17, 2013

So it seems blogging each week has become a bit of a challenge. So that said, these posts will be in your inbox every couple of weeks. Keep an eye out! And if you want to win a copy just a simple comment below will do the trick. I'll do a random draw smile ~ Dani

In my house we love salmon. Hence making it a key part in two of my three posts! It's so healthy so when I found this recipe from 50 BEST PLANTS ON THE PLANET by Cathy Thomas (on behalf of Melissa's/World Variety Produce), I had to give it a try. And was I super glad I did. It was so quick and easy to make and so yummy and fresh to eat! I'd suggest blanching the asparagus a bit before making the salad but entirely up to you. I wasn't quite sure how they would taste raw so I took them for a swim, a HOT swim!


This book is great! Another Chronicle Books hit! Each chapter lists key 'best plants' with nutritional information for each recipe. Super great for anyone wanting to really know what they're eating. I love it because I'm not too jazzed about eating certain veggies but if I know how good they are for me, I'd be more inclined to give them a shot.

Salmon and “Noodle” Salad

The noodle shapes in this colorful salad are actually ribbons of thinly shaved
zucchini. They are combined with diagonally sliced raw asparagus dressed with a citrusy vinaigrette and garnished with slivers of assertive cheese. The salad teams winningly with broiled salmon but is certainly flavorful enough to serve on its own.

Yields 6 servings


One 1½-pound skinless salmon fillet (center cut preferred, about 1 to
1¼ inch thick)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 pound green or purple asparagus, trimmed
2 medium zucchini, trimmed


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or dill

Garnishes 1 ounce pecorino cheese, peeled into shavings; 1 lemon (preferably Meyer), sliced

1. Adjust an oven rack to 6 to 8 inches below the broiler. Arrange a second
rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking
sheet with aluminum foil.

2. To make the salmon: Pat the fillet dry with a paper towel. Place it on the
prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with the salt and
pepper. Broil on the top rack until lightly browned on top, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Turn off the broiler and set the oven to 350 degrees F. Move the salmon to
the middle rack and roast until it is cooked to the desired degree of doneness, 3 to 7 minutes. Remove it from the oven and separate the salmon flesh with a fork or knife in the thickest part to take a peek; it should be just barely opaque throughout. Set aside to cool while you prepare the salad. (Note that the salmon can be served warm, but shouldn’t be piping hot for this dish.)

3. To make the salad: Cut the asparagus into thin diagonal slices (leaving tips whole); place them in a bowl. Working from end to end, peel the zucchini into long, thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandoline; add them to the asparagus.

4. To make the dressing: In a small bowl or glass measuring cup with a handle, combine the oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and stir in the basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the dressing to the vegetables and gently toss with wooden spoons or silicone spatulas.

5. Divide the cooled salmon between six plates. Surround each portion with salad. Garnish the salad with the cheese and the salmon with the lemon. Serve.

Meatless alternative Prepare the salad without the salmon, starting with step 3. If desired, add a pinch of dried red pepper flakes to the dressing.

Nutritional information

(per serving)

fat calories....................230
total fat (g).....................25
sat fat (g).......................4.5
cholesterol (mg)..............75
sodium (mg).................230
total carbohydrates (g)......6
fiber (g)............................2
sugars (g).........................3
protein (g)......................27
vitamin A IUs...............25%
vitamin C.....................35%

Week 2 ~ Raincoast Books’ Cookbook Bookclub

by Danielle
Excerpts + Food & Drink / March 28, 2013

Who doesn't like breakfast for dinner? The other night I pulled out Rachel Khoo's THE LITTLE PARIS KITCHEN and tried my hand at the little egg cup things (aka: Croque Madame muffins or Cheese, ham, and egg sandwich muffins). They were so easy  to make and so good! I made simple smashed potatoes to go with. Perfect pair! I found that you can add whatever you like to this recipe. It calls for ham but a colleague of mine suggested using sun-dried tomatoes or even vegan bacon. YUMMERS!

My Egg Muffin

Rachel's Egg Muffins

Can't even tell the difference right?!?

Give it a shot. Here's the downloadable page. Remember to post your pic for your chance to win a copy. No one submitted last week so maybe this time I'll give away both books!!

Croque Madame muffins
Cheese, ham, and egg sandwich muffins

Makes 4

Croque Monsieuris essentially a toasted cheese and ham sandwich. Put a fried egg on top and you’ve got a Croque Madame (the egg is supposed to resemble a lady’s hat). What makes the dif­ference between a toasted cheese and ham sandwich and a Croque Monsieur is the cheese—in a Croque Monsieur it comes in the form of a creamy cheese sauce. And boy, does this make a difference!

My version of Croque Madame uses the bread as a muffin cup to contain the delicious cheese sauce and egg. Great as a snack, or have it with a green salad and fries, as they serve it in French cafés.

For the Mornay (cheese) sauce: 1 tbsp butter • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour • ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp milk, lukewarm • ½ tsp Dijon mustard • ½ tsp nutmeg • ¼ cup grated Gruyère or mature Comté cheese (or a strong hard cheese like Parmesan or mature Cheddar) • salt and pepper

• 6 large slices of white bread, no crusts • 3 tbsp butter, melted • 2½ oz ham, cut into cubes or thin strips • 6 small eggs

TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and beat hard until you have a smooth paste. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back over a medium heat, add the mustard and nutmeg, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to stop the sauce burning on the bottom of the pan. Once the sauce thickens and has the consistency of a thick tomato sauce, take it off the heat. Add the cheese (keep a little for the garnish) and taste for seasoning. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. If it’s lumpy, pass it through a sieve.

To assemble, preheat the oven to 350°F. Flatten the slices of bread with a rolling pin, then brush each slice on both sides with melted butter. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with the slices of bread, press­ing them in with the bottom of a small glass. Divide the ham between the muffin cups followed by the eggs (if the egg seems too big, pour a little of the white away before using). Put 2 table­spoons cheese sauce on top of each egg, then sprinkle with a little cheese and pepper. Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Serve immediately.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 15–20 minutes

Happy cooking!



Raincoast Books’ Cookbook Bookclub every Wednesday!

by Danielle
Excerpts + Food & Drink / March 20, 2013

That's right!

Starting today and each Wednesday from now on, I'll be posting recipes from one of our awesome cookbooks. I plan on cooking up this recipe and posting here, on our blog, as well as on our Facebook page.

If you're interested in winning a copy, follow the recipe below, (printable page here) and post a picture of your finished dish on our page. I'll make a random draw and announce the winner the following Wednesday. Good luck and happy cooking! ~ Danielle

This week I made Thyme-Rubbed Salmon with Shallots and Caramelized Cauliflower "Risotto" from Chronicle Books' ONE PAN, TWO PLATES I realized after all the cauliflower was in the pan I should have chopped them into smaller bits but the end result was super yummy anyways which resulted in no leftovers for todays lunch! The recipe was easy to follow and quick to make.

25 minutes
20 minutes
serves 2

Two 6-oz/170-g salmon fillets, skin removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (see “It’s that easy”),
plus a few small sprigs for garnish
3 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1/2 head cauliflower, finely chopped
1/2 cup/120 ml heavy cream

1. Pat the fillets dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the minced thyme over the fish and pat it lightly with your fingers so that it

2. Heat a 12-in/30.5-cm skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the salmon to the pan and cook until browned on the first side, about
2 minutes. Flip the fish with a thin-edged spatula and cook the other side until browned, another minute or so. Transfer the fish to a plate. (It will not be fully cooked at this point.)

3. Add the shallots to the hot pan and sauté until they begin to soften, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower, 1/4 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper, and
the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and toss to coat the cauliflower with the oil. Allow the cauliflower to cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about
3 minutes. Flip the cauliflower over, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spatula, and cook, undisturbed, until the other side browns, another 3 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the cauliflower is still a little too crunchy for your taste, don’t worry. Pour in the cream and give it a stir. It will boil almost immediately.  Top the vegetables with the fish. Cover and cook over low heat until the fish flakes easily, about 2 minutes longer.

4. Mound the cauliflower “risotto” into two warmed shallow bowls and top it with the fish. (If you’re wondering where the cream went, the cauliflower
absorbed most of it up deliciously.) Garnish the plate with the thyme sprigs and serve hot.

extra hungry? How about a salad of red leaf lettuce and halved grape tomatoes with a splash of balsamic and a glug of olive oil?

it’s that easy: Thyme has woody stems, so it’s best to strip the leaves from the stems before chopping them up into a fine mince. To do this, hold the thyme sprig on the tender end and strip the leaves against the grain (that is, in the opposite direction they are pointing) with your other hand. No worries if the tender tip pulls off; those can be minced up with the str ipped leaves.

My Favourite Books of 2012, Danielle Johnson

by Danielle
Excerpts + Food & Drink / December 12, 2012

Being a publicist here at Raincoast I feel blessed (and sometimes overwhelmed) to have so many books cross my desk throughout the year. But when asked to choose my faves I had to really sit here and think about it. I could have come up with plenty, but here's just a couple.  

by chef/author Diane Morgan.

I had the pleasure to tour with Diane while she was in Vancouver this Fall. She's an extremely knowlegable chef who had taught me and others that we can make pesto out of the tops of carrots. Who knew?!? Also, you can get almost every root listed at your local grocer. This book is filled with awesome recipes and beautiful photos. Perfect for anyone who wants to.....um, well just perfect for anyone!


I almost always buy fresh carrots with their feathery green tops attached. In the past, I would invariably cut the tops off and send them to the compost bin. Honestly, it never occurred to me that they were edible. But the tops of other root vegetables are edible, so why wouldn’t carrot tops be edible, too? One day I blanched the leaves, puréed them with a little olive oil, and then used the purée as a gorgeous green accent sauce for fish, much in the same way I use basil oil. My next idea was to make pesto, trading out the basil for carrot tops, which proved an amazing alternative. This recipe is an absolute keeper, and it’s satisfying to make use of the whole plant. I serve this as a dip with crudités, and often add a dollop on top of bruschetta that has been smeared with fresh goat cheese. It’s also perfect simply tossed with pasta.

1 cup/20 g lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed)
6 tbsp/90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
1/4 cup/30 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, oil, garlic, and salt and process until finely minced. Add the pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add the Parmesan and pulse just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Toasting pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds brings out their flavor. Spread the nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in a preheated 350˚F/180˚C/gas 4 oven and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the nut or seed. Alternatively, nuts and seeds can be browned in a microwave. Spread in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high power, stopping to stir once or twice, until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.

Inside HBO's Game of Thrones

I'm a geek when it comes to this show. When Chronicle Books came out with the companion this fall I was super-stoked. I initially got involved with the show when a colleague of mine lent us the DVD's. One episode after the next we were sitting at the edge of our seats waiting to see what was about to happen. I'm not going to talk about it too much for fear of spoiling the plot, but I would recommend watching it and getting the book so you can get a better understanding of who everyone is and how the show was made. I can admit it gets a tiny bit confusing figuring what character belongs to which house so this book is the perfect companion. Can't wait till season 4 in the Spring!

 I only wish the pages came perforated so I can take them out and
hang them on my walls just like a giddy schoolgirl.

Danielle Johnson, Senior Publicist

Diane Morgan’s new cookbook Roots

by Danielle
Events + Food & Drink + Vancouver / October 03, 2012

Diane Morgan (incredibly awesome Chronicle Books author) is in Vancouver for the next few days and will be hosting a few events at Barbara Jo's Books to Cooks.

North by Northwest Cooking Club Taping
Friday, October 5, 12:00 p.m.
Pop by the shop for a live taping with CBC's NXNW host, Sheryl MacKay. Diane will chat about her new book Roots and will demonstrate a recipe.

Thanksgiving Primer for Root Vegetables
Friday, October 5, 6:00 to 9:00pm
Demonstration/Book signing, $45 (includes book)
Digging into Asian Root Vegetables
Saturday, October 6, 10:30am to noon
Cooking Class/book signing, $95


Catch Diane Morgan tomorrow morning at 8:30 on BT (Vancouver) making this recipe from her new book Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes

Beet Hash with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Soft-Cooked Eggs

Consider this as a main course for weekend brunch or even Sunday supper—it’s all about comfort food. Adding beets puts a spin on classic potato hash, bringing a shock of color and an earthy sweetness to an otherwise traditional dish. Bring out the hot sauce if your guests want some spice--that’s traditional, too.

Serves 6 as a main course

4 tbsp/60 ml olive oil
8 oz/225 g spicy Italian chicken sausages (about 2 links)
2 lb/910 g red-skinned, Yukon Gold, or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 lb/455 g red beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 large eggs

In a 12-in/30.5-cm frying pan, preferably cast iron, heat 2 tbsp of the oil over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sausages and brown on all sides until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside to cool.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining 2 tbsp oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Add the potatoes, beets, and salt and sauté just until coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, stirring once. Add the onion and stir to incorporate, then re-cover cook, stirring once or twice, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, cut the sausages into rounds 1/4 in/6 mm thick. Set aside.

Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and add the thyme and pepper. Stir to dislodge any bits stuck to the pan bottom, then continue to sauté the potatoes and beets until tender, about 10 minutes longer. Gently fold in the sliced sausages and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Using a large spoon, make 6 shallow depressions in the hash, spacing them evenly around the pan and putting one in the center. Carefully crack an egg into each depression. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topping each egg with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.


Tubers Event at the W2 Media Café, June 14

by Danielle
Art & Photography + Events + Fiction + Music + Vancouver / June 06, 2012

While writing the stories, I also took a lot of the found sounds I had started to record over the years of riding the subways and being entranced by “subway sonics”, began to write songs around them.  Whether this was turning the rhythm of train wheels turning on tracks into insatiable grooves, or whether it was using conversations that had a musical lilt, I tried to write music around this sonic bric-a-brac, and then align each piece of music with one of the 9 stories.  Each piece essentially became a mini-soundtrack to one of the subway stories and has formed the Tuber album.

Mark Jowett, author and a founding partner in the Nettwerk Music Group.

Tubers Cover

Tubers is a collection of nine tales set in the subways of Paris, London and New York. Written by Mark Jowett, co-founder of Nettwerk, and accompanied by 7” vinyl record and amazing full-colour art by acclaimed animator Matthias Lechner, it's the perfect book for the subway, bus or streetcar, especially if you have portable record-player in your pocket! (NB: Tubers actually comes with a download code for a nine-track album created for the book so you can, in fact, listen to it on the skytrain or the bus on your way to work. Pocket turntable not required!)

Tubers illustration by Matthias Lechner

We're celebrating the launch of Tubers next week with a multimedia spectacular on Thursday June 14th at the W2 Media Café in Vancouver, starting at 8pm. The event will feature Kevan Ellis (Cinderpop/SK Robot), Téa Petrovic, Hamish Thompson (The Hermit), Robb Mitchell, and Mark Jowett himself (Cinderpop/Moev). Actors Mercedes Baines and Louis J Chirillo will read from the book. Entry is $8, with $2 going to the World Wildlife Fund. 

In the meantime, take a listen to Mark Jowett's track Tweety Bird from the book:

And you can download download the Pacha Massive remix here.

London Tubers illustration by Matthias Lechner

8pm Thursday June 14 W2 Media Café
#250-111 W Hastings Street,
Vancouver, BC

Tubers Poster Event W2 Cafe

For more updates, please take a look at the following social media sites for Tubers:



Pure Vegan Book Trailer

by Danielle
Food & Drink / May 16, 2012

Pure Vegan
70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living

Mom, Inc. Book Trailer

by Danielle
Business & Careers + Craft / May 16, 2012

Mom, Inc.
The Essential Guide to Running a Successful Business Close to Home

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