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Mylène Bergeron Francoeur "Mongol Chef" (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
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Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats
Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats
by Shelly Kaldunski
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.24
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than store bought, Feb. 24 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have gotten this book along with a popsicle maker last summer. I really do not regret my purchase !

I didn't have time to experiment that much, but it really came as a relief, for us from the heat, and for my wallet, cause buying those at the store is damn pricy !

Making pops is easy, and costs next to pennies most of the time. You can decide to go healthy or extra decadent. I liked that there was a good balance between classic recipes and more experimental ones. My favorite recipe up to now is the strawberry-lemonade one, which I find not too sugary, and oh so refreshing.

The book is a little small, but you can easily adapt and make new combinations after you get the hang of it. It starts with a little explanation on ingredients, and ways you can personalise your pops. Also, all recipes comes with it's full color picture, for your viewing pleasure.

Interesting, useful, good. Would also make a great gift (hostess gift for summer party ?).

WILLIAMS - SONOMA ESSENTIALS OF SLOW COOKING
WILLIAMS - SONOMA ESSENTIALS OF SLOW COOKING
by MELANIE BARNARD
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 18.53

5.0 out of 5 stars A good all around book on slow cooking, Feb. 24 2014
I'm quite satisfied with my purchase of this book, which I found in a local store before I ordered it on Amazon.

The book is well balanced, it has a lot of recipes (I would dare say over 200) and it covers many ethnic cuisines. The table of contents and the index are well made, which makes it easy to look for recipes. The first part of the book is dedicated to showing you what is slow cooking, why you should do it, accessories you might need, some menu ideas and staples you might want to keep around for that type of cooking.

Chapters covers vegetables, fish and sea food, poultry, pork, beef and lamb, and a few pages are dedicated to simple fare to go with your slow cooked meal. Each chapter starts with a little introduction to the subject, with some tips and advice on the slow cooking. Each recipe will also give you regular stove top slow cooking instructions, along with slow cooker instructions, which has been really helpful for me.

There are some more elaborate dishes, but there are lots of very simple ones. The first one I tried was the garlic braised chicken. It's only 6 ingredients, but it was a total hit. My husband kept asking me to eat the leftovers, and when there were none left, asked me when I would re-do some.

The book is rounded up by a few infos, like showing the cuts of meat and explaining them, which I found a nice touch. Also has a glossary, and one or two techniques at the end. If you like to see what your dish is supposed to look like, all recipes have a page's worth color picture to illustrate the result.

In the end, it was worth every buck I spent on this. Easy and tasty !

Cooking
Cooking
by James Peterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 32.60
35 used & new from CDN$ 25.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One kitchen education, June 17 2013
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This review is from: Cooking (Hardcover)
I have ordered this book when I was trying to get myself a series of expert / professional material to widen my culinary horizons and learn more about classic cooking. It's really aimed for people who have a higher calling, than someone looking for a quick and easy 20 minutes meal.

As with Mr James Peterson's sister book, Baking, it's well divided into comprehensive and logical sections starting with, well, starters, working through a classic meal order, going from the well known meats, up to the more exotic ingredients, and ending with dessert.

One of the aspects I like the most, is that each subject brings the author to a healthy discussion about his choices and why he made them. He will steer you in the direction of what he thinks is best, but will leave other doors open as well, as not everyone have the same possibilities open to them. There are countless little pictures to illustrate the processes, and little memos and tool tips are scattered everywhere along this book to make your life easier.

I find there is a good balance in the more classic recipes and the modern recipes. It covers an extensive range of subjects and essential techniques, like how truss and roast a chicken, how to clean and fillet your fish, how to bone a half lamb shoulder, etc. that you must know if you're aiming for that next level in fresh cooking. I also enjoy that most by products created have clever suggestions on how to use them up later, so nothing's wasted.

If you own Baking, you will find the end of the book a bit redundant, since it covers breads, tarts and cakes, which are extensively seen in this other book. However, it is a very good thing to have in this book as well, cause someone who would like to buy only one of these books can still get this one and have a solid base on baking.

I love this book and refer myself to it often, when planning culinary experiences for me and my family. It was a great investment.

Baking
Baking
by James Peterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 30.72
30 used & new from CDN$ 24.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A baking education, June 17 2013
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This review is from: Baking (Hardcover)
I bought this book while I was getting myself more professional material to play with. I must say I am very pleased with it.
While it does shows you the steps of a recipe independently, the book is build around "one recipe, one technique" and the teachings you get while doing one recipe will apply to many more in the future. Which also means, you can easily combine your favorite cake with your preferred glaze, without fuss. It's well organized and can easily be navigated through.

I don't get the people complaining about the lack of "troubleshooting" in this book. It is literally FILLED with all kinds of little notes and tool tips memos with all sorts of guidance. Plus, there are many pictures to show you all those tricky steps. Surely, those people must have quickly flicked the pages of this book. Also, it is important to realize as well, this book was not written for beginners, or even good home bakers. It's written for people aspiring to expert / professional level baking. How do I know ? The bad comments are what I used to complain about when my mother-in-law (a chef) would dictate a recipe to me; add enough of this ingredient, cook 'till texture is right, don't beat too much, etc. So, yes, not everything is illustrated, and yes, they are expecting a high level in their readers. But that is how professionals roll.

I have used this book for now a few years and successfully whipped out many recipes, like the crème d'or, the chocolate sponge cake, the rolled pistachio buttercream cake, and they all came out perfectly. My favorite features are all the pictures explaining more complicated techniques, all the inspiration provided, and it also helped me lots with pastries, which requires more doigté and finesse than cakes. It's an impressive book, covering a wide range of subjects, but I believe it stands strong to it's name, and provides one hell of a baking education.

Progressive International PLP-1 Freezer Pop Maker
Progressive International PLP-1 Freezer Pop Maker
Offered by US-Kitchen Company
Price: CDN$ 37.65
2 used & new from CDN$ 22.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your frozen treats needs, June 17 2013
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I used the pop maker on the week following it's reception at home. It was easy to use, the pieces are sturdy, and the pops unmold beautifully. I have produced healthy treats at home for those hot summer days, much better and cheaper than store bought pops.

Cups goes into the dishwasher, the aluminium 2 pieces doesn't. They are however easily wiped clean.

Only downside, unless the sticks are all perfectly aligned and straight, there is a bit of wiggling to get the top off, but this was not enough for me to deter it from 5 stars.

Artisan Breads at Home
Artisan Breads at Home
by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from CDN$ 32.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Covers everything you need to know about bread, April 17 2013
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This review is from: Artisan Breads at Home (Hardcover)
This book is a real gem ! I got it in the expectation to fill the gap in my kitchen library about bread, and it fulfills it's role very well. I loved that this book covers a very wide range of different breads, so you can pretty much find something in there to please about anyone. The level of skills required varies quite a bit for some recipes, but even if I consider that the book is going from the easiest to the hardest, I didn't feel like there were some recipes I couldn't tackle. Also, it's written with all of the rigor that could be expected of the CIA. This means every recipe shows the ingredients with ounces, grams, volume or baker's percentage, which I had never seen in a bread book before.

The first chapter covers the basics of equipment, ingredients and basic bread making. You'll learn why we knead, what is a good or bad dough, how fermentation works, etc. Then, you're ready to go on to basic lean dough, for breads and rolls. You then have basic enriched dough for breads and rolls, which involves slightly more ingredients. This part involves soft rolls made of heaven. This was an absolute hit when I served them at Christmas. It also covers the classic sticky buns and raisin and cinnamon bread. But fear not, all the recipes are not sweet. Ham and provolone loaves or even herb, pepper and cheese buns also await in those pages.

Next, basic flatbreads. There is an amazing recipe for pizza dough in there, which is the first recipe I tried out in this book. It came out fantastic, and I had only ever made bread once before. It also shows you the secret behind naan and grissini ! Then, on to advanced breads and their preferment. There are a lot of breads I didn't know existed in this section, like bialys, but oh my do they look tempting. If you haven't had your share yet, you can even go on to advanced enriched dough. I have not yet taken on the recipes needing a preferment, if that scares you, there are plenty of things to try before you get there.

In conclusion, there is something for everyone in this book. The pictures (or illustrations) clearly show the techniques for beginners, while advanced recipes allow more advanced bakers to tackle another level of difficulty. This book is part of the series "at home", but it could be used for someone who wish to start a small local production. I would definitively recommend to anyone with an interest in baking. It's a credible and sure source of info.

The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes
The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes
by Connie Green
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.35
34 used & new from CDN$ 22.36

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reconnecting with nature, April 15 2013
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I got this book cause I was interested in having information on just not foraging for food, but also on what to do with it. Since we're not very much accustomed to seeing a good part of what is included in this book, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what to do with them, either because we are unsure on what techniques works better for each type of food, but also in fear of wasting our preciously gathered resources.

Since this is a book based on wild foraging, it just seems right that the chapters are based on the four seasons, starting with spring, ending with winter. There's even a section dedicated to the indian summer ! You'll learn to forage for, and cook with morels, ramps, spruce and douglas fir tips, sea beans, wild fennel, rose hips, black walnuts, juniper berries and even prickly pear fruit, just to name a few. Most of the recipes proposed are completely decadent looking, like the hedgehog mushroom and caramelized onion tart, or twice-baked ramp and goat cheese souffles.

The concept of the book is of a sustainable and natural way to feed yourself. Proper gathering practices will be indicated everywhere needed, along with techniques for preparation of the food. Even if the book is at times a bit technical, the author keeps everything naturally flowing, easy and interesting with fun comments and stories.

The last food chapter is the "pantry" one. How do you keep and preserve things for use later in the year ? Rubs, vinegars, syrups and condiments await to be discovered. The end of the book contains a very helpful and well arranged list of vegetarian recipes. A comprehensive calendar is also provided, showing the availability of the foods discussed in the book over the year. And none, but the last, a list of cookbooks and sources for all things wild foods is provided.

The book is honest about what it is and gives great value for your buck. It gets me excited about having land each time I look at it. Great buy !

The Secret History of the Mongols and Other Pieces
The Secret History of the Mongols and Other Pieces
by Arthur Waley
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.07
11 used & new from CDN$ 22.07

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History is so secret it spans only for 1/4 of the book, April 15 2013
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I bought this book in hopes to have a written references to the secret history of the mongols (before noticing there were some reviews on amazon.com), that I could refer myself to. I wanted something not too expensive, and that I could afford to work with and understand. As a medievalist, especially interested in recreation (in my case, of mongol culture), it has been a disappointment. As another reviewer said, The secret History is just one of the works that the author worked on for this book, and I honestly feel misguided by the title of this book. To me, it should have been named "Arthur Waley's works on asian legends and epics".

If what you are looking for is an easy reference to get a feel of what was going on in the secret history, this book will fit the bill. But anything more than that, I'd say avoid this book.

The River Cottage Preserves Handbook
The River Cottage Preserves Handbook
38 used & new from CDN$ 12.66

5.0 out of 5 stars How to preserve the seasonal bounty, April 15 2013
I found this book while traveling to the US. It's backside promises you an encouraging and adventurous approach to preserving your bounty of seasonal sustainable food, and that is EXACTLY what I got.

First advantage, it's compact; which makes it easy for you to tote it over to your friend's, where that canning party is to happen. The first part of the book tantalizes you with the concept of seasonality. Most of us forgot what is the natural cycle of life, and it's a nice little introduction to the book and it's proposed philosophy. Even if it's small, the following part of it is a chapter on what is going on with your preserves; what may spoil them, what to use to store them, proper filling and temperatures to keep everything safe, the most common ingredients used in preserving and how they work, plus a list of equipment you need to make your canning safe. This part may look boring, but it is the most important of all of the book. READ IT. There can be invisible harmful bacteria growing inside a badly made preserve, and being "mold-free" doesn't mean it's safe to eat.

On to the fun now ! The biggest plus of this book, in my opinion, if the diversity of the recipes proposed to you. You won't find 10 recipes for strawberry jam in this book. They're also presented with their seasonality (remember the intro !) written right on top of the page, so you can easily spot what's available when. There is an healthy mix of classics and innovative material brought to you, like green gooseberry jam with elder flower, or chestnut jam. But preserves are not all jam, and it also covers cordials, syrups and pickling, which we are not all very well acknowledged with.

This book was originally written for the British, but it was adapted for the US with all conversions already made for us, the reader. In the end, it covers the safety aspect of canning and preserving, it was fun to read (many recipes have a little story about them), and it was informative. I felt empowered to take control of the contents of my plate (or my jars and bottles, in this case). Very nice buy.

Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen
Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen
by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 57.02
36 used & new from CDN$ 57.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Professionally oriented, with the student in mind, April 15 2013
I have absolutely loved this book. I didn't get it from amazon, but caught it for even less at my local Costco. Since it had been on my wishlist for a long time, I picked it up and never regretted it.

This book is aimed for the professional, but keeping in mind that the target audience are still students. You WILL need a solid base in cooking to fully benefit from the book, even thought some parts may look "easy" to you, like sandwiches or salads. For me, the appeal is to be closer to what is going on in a restaurant kitchen setting. You have to view this as an investment in yourself, as something to learn techniques and grow from, instead of something to learn and copy, like most cookbooks propose you to do. Cause this book is much more than just a gathering of recipes. You're getting yourself an education.

So, this books covers pretty much any food served cold. When I first opened it and read the table of contents, I got all excited over the fact there were chapters dedicated to sausage, cheese, terrines, pâtés, galantines and roulades, which are all not too commonly the object of much attention. And we're not talking here about selecting them, we're talking about making them. The sausage part even interested my mother-in-law, which is a professional chef ! Of course, since it is aimed at professionals to be, you may lack some fancy equipment, but the principles are there, and often you can substitute for something else.

I was very pleased that all the chapters will provide you with a good number of recipes, including classics and more modern recipes. Of course not all the recipes have pictures, but those who do have quite beautiful photography to accompany them. I am also very relieved that this book, although written in the US, covers a wide range of flavors and exotic cuisine. While some of the recipes may seem out of range, due to lack of equipment or rarer ingredients, like the soft shell crab sandwich, some others are very accessible like the excellent chapter on condiments, crackers and pickles, featuring many kinds of mustard and infused oils. The chapters at the end covering presentation, even if short, gives you great basic concepts to stick with when creating your buffet of cold food. A great addition to the book, in my opinion.

So, my recommendation would be, get it if you're involved in the kitchen business or plan to be soon. Also, if you're a dedicated experienced cook who would like to explore new horizons, indulge yourself. This book will meet your expectations, and maybe more.

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