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While I would argue that every season is cookbook season, I don’t think there’s any question that that the lead-up to Christmas is probably one of the most intense times for cookbook authors and publishers.

After all, cookbooks make great gifts.

Ahem. Hint. Hint.

Anyway, it’s usually around this time that friends will begin asking me, “So, if you had to buy someone a cookbook for Christmas, which one would it be?”

This year, there will be a number of cookbooks that I’ll be recommending and the first is today’s feature: à la di stasio by Josée di Stasio.

A television personality from Québec, Josée di Stasio’s book was previously released in French and has now been released in English.

In the cookbook’s opening pages, di Stasio writes that “enjoyment is the key word of this book” and to be honest, I don’t think there’s any better way to state my impression of this cookbook.

I could go into detail about layout and pictures (gorgeous and more gorgeous, respectively). I could go on and on about variety and quality of recipes (extensive and very good, respectively), but truth be told, I’d just be wasting your time.

Here’s what you need to know: this is a book for the entertainer in you. You know the one that wants to spend weekends just hanging around the house preparing really laid-back yet delicious meals. The one that wants to have those dinner parties that are totally effortless and stress-free (yes … those do exist). The one that just wants to be happy in the kitchen. If you recognize any one of those people, then you’ll love this cookbook.

As for the recipes, while I only tried two of them, I loved them both.

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One was so easy and and turned out so well that we all just shook our heads and thought, “Why didn’t we think of this?” Pictured above are Ham and Egg Ramekins with the “ramekin” being a slice of bread. Seriously. It took about 10 minutes to pull this breakfast dish together and everyone loved it.

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The second recipe I tried was pure indulgence for me: Caramel Spread. After tasting this spread for the first time on toast, we just started eating it by the spoonful. It’s a keeper, for sure.

Well I’ve wasted enough of your time. Go buy the book and start having some fun!

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Ciao!

Ham and Egg RamekinsFrom à la di stasio by Josée di Stasio.

Serves 4.

4 slices of whole wheat bread (trim off crusts)
1 tablespoon softened butter
4 slices Black Forest ham
4 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a rolling pin, think out your slices of bread as much as possible (don’t go too thin or they’ll rip).

Divide the butter equally among the four slices and spread it on side of each slice.

On the unbuttered side of bread, lay a slice of Black Forest ham.

Carefully transfer the bread and ham to a muffin tin, making sure that the buttered side of the bread is the side that goes into the muffin cup.

Once all your bread and ham slices are in, crack open an egg and carefully drop one egg into each ham and bread cup.

Bake for 20 minutes and check the bread cups. If the egg is cooked, then remove otherwise keep it in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Once out of the oven, let rest for a few minutes before carefully popping out the bread ramekins. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Enjoy!