Our Family Slow Cooker Book Tour!

Our newest book (and the first with the new trio of ladies), The Family Slow Cooker hit stores at the beginning of October and to celebrate, we hit the road to preach the virtues of slow cooking. A couple dozen TV appearances (in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto), radio interviews, and print media stories later, we’re back at home (in Calgary for Elizabeth and Julie – and Vernon for Sue) looking back at pictures of our book tour adventures. Here are some photos of highlights we hit along the way:

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Sue and Julie kicked off the tour making some pulled beef at BT Vancouver – they’re SO much fun here! Always a blast.

 

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Pulled Pork

 

 

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Whether you’re cooking for two or serving a busy family, slow cookers make easy work of creating delicious and soul-satisfying meals. We love being able to switch on the slow cooker in the morning, head out the door and then arrive home to a house filled with the mouthwatering aromas of dinner. 

 Shredded, or “pulled,” pork is the perfect slow cooker food and we think the BBQ flavours taste extra special in January when we all need a reminder of warm summer days. Enjoy!Read More

Christmas in November

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We’re coming up on the last day of this year’s Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, and are sad to see it end! This year the three of us (Julie, Sue and Elizabeth) were invited to present together for the first time. I’ve been a presenter here for the past 14 (!!) years, and both Sue and Elizabeth have attended as guests, but this was the first time we were all together, chatting about food and demoing some Best of Bridge recipes to a crowd that’s mostly from Alberta, and who grew up eating and cooking from Best of Bridge.

CIN 2015It’s a gorgeous place, if you’ve never been – 200+ cabins including the main lodge, on a 700 acre property wrapping around the stunning Lac Beauvert. The charming village of cedar chalets are connected by picturesque paths, populated by friendly wildlife and the occasional and when a little snow falls, it’s even more picturesque.

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And of course, the guests are fantastic. We do sessions every day, along with seasoned presenters like Michael and Anna Olson and Elizabeth Baird and Emily Richards, along with new faces including Massimo Capra, Christine Cushing and Roger Mooking. We even had a kitchen party (or three), where Michael grilled a mountain of pork chops and Anna made a bacon-heavy Caesar salad and sticky toffee pudding.

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Of course the food is amazing, the champagne and cocktails always flowing, and the stone fireplaces always lit. We’ve become far too accustomed to cocktail hour by the fire – which is even more of a blast when we get to catch up with our food writer friends from Toronto, or meet and get to know guests who return from year to year.

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(Iconic food writer, past Canadian Living food editor and Order of Canada recipient – and all around amazing lady – Elizabeth Baird came up to congratulate Elizabeth on her new Best of Bridge gig, and it was the best moment of her life.)

CIN treats

We’ve learned plenty of great new recipes for the upcoming holiday season – and are heading home inspired! Keep an eye here and on our Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter feeds for some Christmas yumminess. ‘Tis the season!

– Julie

NEWS!

Thanks to Gwendolyn Richards of The Calgary Herald  for sharing this news with everyone!

The conversation is lively and punctuated with laughter, just as it should be when friends gather over food. Though it is more than sharing stories happening between the six women. Over that coffee table, a legacy is being passed as the original ladies who formed the Best of Bridge welcome the women who are set to breathe new life into the iconic brand.

Down to just four from the original eight who came up with the Best of Bridge cookbooks some 40 years ago that would become a publishing phenomenon with millions of books sold, the ladies are ready to fully retire and hand over the brand they so carefully built — publishing, touring and selling those books themselves — to the next generation of families. Now, a new group of food writer friends will pick up the mantle as Calgary’s Julie Van Rosendaal and Elizabeth Chorney-Booth and Vernon’s Sue Duncan have been named to carry on writing and creating cookbooks in the Best of Bridge name.

“The essence of Bridge is a group of friends,” says Van Rosendaal.

It’s a move Mary Halpen, Val Robinson, Helen Miles and Joan Wilson have been working toward for several years now, starting in 2008 when publisher Robert Rose licensed the Best of Bridge name and asked if the group knew anyone who might be interested in carrying it on.

Their first thought was Van Rosendaal.

“Julie is the best new idea we’ve had since 2008,” says Miles. “She will breathe new life into the brands. It’ll be good for it.”

They’d met the food writer and CBC columnist years earlier when she asked to meet them to learn more about the world of book publishing. She showed up at the appointment with cookies.

“My mother brought me up on Best of Bridge,” Van Rosendaal says. “It is what people grew up with.”

But, she says, the brand needs new faces to connect Best of Bridge to a new generation of home cooks. “It couldn’t be one person taking over the brand; the whole essence is a group of friends cooking together.”

Through conversations with Robert Rose, Chorney-Booth and Duncan were added to the fold.

For Chorney-Booth, the chance to carry on the Best of Bridge name is an honour. She also grew up on the recipes those eight women created and still enjoys them when her mother and mother-in-law pull out their worn, original versions of the cookbooks.

“I still, no word of a lie, use a lot of their recipes, a lot of the time,” she says.

Since Robert Rose licensed it, a few books have been published under the Best of Bridge name — mostly compilations of recipes from their other books with a few new recipes thrown in. The missing ingredient in those, though, was they lacked a connection between the women and the name they created.

“The pull of Best of Bridge is the ladies. It’s a well-known story among the original generation,” says Chorney-Booth. “In the last few books, there hasn’t been that group of friends behind it. Bringing together new recipe developers who are friends and enjoy cooking, the brand needs that for it to be true to what the original women put together.”

There will be a transition book that comes out this fall, but the one set to be released in the fall of 2016 will be by the new trio under the Best of Bridge name. Their focus will be to build on the name the Best of Bridge ladies created and write books and recipes that are more reflective of the books from days gone by.

“It’s a chance to rebuild a recognizable brand,” says Van Rosendaal.

Which elf was the best singer? ELFis Presley!

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2014!  Your continued support and enthusiasm for our cookbooks means more than you’ll ever know and our goal in 2014 will be be to come out with topics that we think (and hope) you’ll all enjoy.

Have a very  Merry from everyone at Best of Bridge!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

We couldn’t agree more with our beloved  Ms. Montgomery !  What a wonderful month – the delights of freshly picked apples, cool crisp nights, absolutely glorious fall colours, the  family gathering for Thanksgiving and  the excitement surrounding Halloween. We could go on and on ( we only wish October did !).

Hoping that wherever you are in the world, you’re enjoying a magnificent Fall season.

Warmest Regards!

Best of Bridge

Q: What did one autumn leaf say to another?
A: I’m falling for you.