If you're like me, you're looking forward to all of the fabulous food that accompanies the holiday season.
Our province is full of great things to eat, and fortunately for all of us, we have a good number of talented local chefs and authors who have published cookbooks.
Here is a collection of my favourites - they're great for holiday feasts but they also make lovely Christmas gifts.
If you're from the Lower Mainland, chances are you've visited the Granville Island Public Market. This neighbourhood haven is full of fresh local produce, seafood, and mouth-watering desserts.
Long-time market owner-operators Judie Glick and Carol Jensson have recently released a new edition of their popular book, The New Granville Island Market Cookbook - a beautiful collection of creative recipes inspired by the market's own produce and featuring full-colour photographs of their tasty creations. Recipes like mushroom-stuffed pastry and penne with spot prawns will inspire you in the kitchen and impress your holiday guests.
Another local favourite is the White Water Cooks series by Shelley Adams. Adams is the former owner of Nelson's Fresh Tracks Cafe, and she has gathered her best-loved recipes into her popular and critically acclaimed cookbooks - most recently, White Water Cooks with Friends.
The recipes - like pulled-pork enchiladas and whiskey-smoked salmon chowder - are unusual and delicious, but still quick, simple and casual. The latest, like all books in the series, couples great colour photographs with mouth-watering recipes - a great addition to any kitchen.
For higher adventure, try Vancouver Cooks 2, by the Chef's Table Society.
The society is a non-profit group that includes many of B.C.'s best chefs and culinary professionals - people who are passionate about regional food, local produce, and great cuisine.
Their most recent collection includes recipes from notable local chefs like Rob Feenie, Melissa Craig of Barefoot Bistro in Whistler, and Tojo Hidekazu of Tojo's Restaurant on Broadway.
The book is divided into four separate sections: local food, international flavours, emerging talents, and pioneering chefs, giving aspiring home chefs a wide assortment of recipes to try.
With family on Gabriola Island, I have learned firsthand about the thriving foodie culture of the Gulf Islands. In Seasonings: Flavours of the Southern Gulf Islands, Andrea and David Spalding have crafted a pleasing collection of yummy island-style dishes using local contributors and regional ingredients.
They make good use of Island specialties like cheeses, wine, and lamb, and their recipes - like brie and squash pizza, rosemary-crusted rack of lamb and chocolate lavender cake - truly embody today's island tastes and lifestyle.
Now that your mouth is watering, come to the library and find a huge selection of cookbooks from all over the world on our shelves. Library staff are here to help, so feel free to ask us for more suggestions. Happy holidays and happy feasting.
Program guides for the new year are now available at the library.
Watch for a fresh series of world films starting on Jan. 22, our popular Facebook workshop on Jan. 23, and next year's Family Literacy Day Fair on Jan. 26, along with a busy schedule of fun and informative programs for every age and taste.
the Maple Ridge and Port Coquitlam branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Library