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Canal House Cooking Volume N°. 7: La Dolce Vita by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton {cookbook review}

cookbook: Canal House Cooking Volume N°. 7: La Dolce Vita

authors: Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton
publisher: Andrews McMeel
flexibound : 124 pages
photos: yes

chapters/sections: Tempus Fugit - Working Up an Appetito - A Good Day for a Big Bowl of Zuppa - Pasta - Riso - Pesce - Big Birds & Little Rabbit - Carne - Eat Your Verdure - Why Buy it When You Can Make it? - Dolci

my favorite feature: Gorgeous photographs and well thought out recipes with introductions based on their "research time" in Italy.

(a few of the many) recipes destined for my kitchen: Ricotta Gnocchi, Chestnuts Prunes & Breadcrumbs, Speck Fontina & Lemon Panino, Fonduta, Christmas Soup, Green Lasagne w/ Tomato Sauce & Fresh Ricotta, Warm Salad of Radicchio & White Beans, Gelato di Gianduia

my thoughts/review: "Recipes have a spirit, they are born of a place and a culture, and to cook well you have to be sensitive to and honor that spirit."

Hamilton and Hirsheimer rented a farmhouse with a kitchen in Tuscany in order to immerse themselves in Italian home cooking.  They observed local cooks and used local ingredients.  This book is the result of their trip.  They came home and cooked that food their way.

I really enjoyed this little book and its beautiful photographs and food.  Recommended!

recipe(s) I have already tried:
Jam Tart
Risotto Bianco
about the authors:  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.

further info: website |  facebook | twitter

*I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.


  1. These ladies sound very cluey in the food department. I think we should listen :) I'll get this book!

  2. On my list - their photographs and classic with a twist recipes just make cooking a pleasure.

  3. Heather - I just added this to my cookbook wish list. I used to go to Hamilton's Grill Room ALL THE TIME when I lived in Philly. It was unbelievable!

  4. I've heard such wonderful things about the Canal House cookbooks, I'll need to pick one up.

  5. How cool! I think you'd love this book...I want to get some more from the Canal House series - these ladies rock.

  6. I LOVE the Canal House Cooks Lunch blog. Every day it's a new light, fresh lunch that really has the ingredients as the star of the plate. I would LOVE this book!

  7. Marina@Picnic at MarinaApril 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I need that book, I am all into Italian cooking myself at this time. Thanks for the review! Tart is fabulous!

  8. Great post; will have to look up this book. Wouldn't that be the perfect dream to be with Hamilton and Hirsheimer and discover Italy?

  9. I'll bet your neighbors go wild when they see and smell some of the great meals coming out of your kitchen. God lord, woman!

  10. Great post...
    I have to look out for this book now, I love italian food and cooking, I am sure this will be an wonderful addition to m y cookbooks collection..