From Family Meals: 100 Easy Everyday Recipes by Michael Smith. Copyright Michael Smith, 2014. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada Books Inc. Photography credit: Ryan Szulc.

Cracking the spine of Michael Smith Family Meals immediately made me ponder one of life’s biggest questions; is it wrong to be jealous of children? Because I’m genuinely envious of the fact that his three kids get to have one of Canada’s most-beloved chefs cook for them every single day, and that it’s completely normal. You know, because he’s their dad. But that’s my issue and I’m prepared to deal with it.

The very next thing I thought was: he gets it. You’re busy. You’re tired. And you want ideas for family meals that you’ll actually make, instead of just posting on your Pinterest and daydreaming about. #nailedit

Michael Smith Family Meals is filled with doable recipes designed to cut the family cook some serious slack. It’s not a snooty book written in hard-to-follow chef-speak; it’s filled with wholesome recipes that busy families can tap into when they find cooking every… single… day, starts to become a little draining. Because anyone who regularly cooks for kids knows, it can. And fast.

Take the Bacon Salad with Crispy Onions and Pizza Soup. Come on. What kid wouldn’t be thrilled to have this on the menu? Meanwhile, Stovetop Chicken With Dumplings is exactly the type of one-pot meal you can cozy up to on a fall day, and his version can be whipped up in a snap thanks to fast-cooking chicken breasts. And for breakfast, his Overnight Oatmeal Jars with Last-Minute Stir-ins is one of those make-ahead, grab-and-go items you can feel really good about.

Bacon Salad 2

Bacon Salad with Crispy Onions

Overall Impression:

The recipes in Michael Smith Family Meals don’t require a ton of ingredients or hard-to-find items with no business in the average family’s pantry (sorry, you won’t find any love for black truffles or Himalayan pink salt here). Divided into easy-to-digest sections like ‘Cook Ahead’, ‘Meatless Mondays’ and ‘Family Meals in Minutes’, almost every recipe has an accompanying glamour shot—which in my humble opinion is an essential factor in any good cookbook.

Overnight Oatmeal Jar

Overnight Oatmeal Jars with Last-Minute Stir-ins

What You Can Expect:

  • Classic favourites with a twist
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Fast, doable recipes
  • Lots of pictures
Gingersnap Tiramisu2

Gingersnap Tiramisu

Sample Recipes Inside:Bacon Salad with Crispy Onions, Pizza Soup, Stovetop Chicken With Dumplings, Overnight Oatmeal Jars with Last-Minute Stir-ins, Gingersnap Tiramisu, Tortilla Lasagna, Weeknight or Weekend Beef Stew, Rosemary Apple Braised Chicken, Chili Cornmeal Crusted Salmon with Avocado Salsa, Fallen Chocolate Cake Stuffed With Whipped Cream, Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Tortilla Lasagna2

Tortilla Lasagna

Photo to Recipe Ratio: 1:2

Buy The Book: Family Meals

Photo credits: Ryan Szulc

GIVEAWAY: We’ve got a copy of Michael Smith Family Meals and it could be yours. Simply follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and send the answer to the following question: Where is Michael Smith from? Don’t forget to use the hashtag #michaelsmithfamilymeals along with your answer!

Giveaway Rules

The following are the giveaway rules (“Rules”) for the Michael Smith’s Family Meals Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) being administered by Shaw Media (“Shaw”).


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, entrants must answer the question posted above correctly, as determined by a Shaw representative. The Giveaway shall run until August 13, 2014 at 5 pm, after which time no answers will be considered.


Upon completion of the Giveaway, a Shaw representative shall review the answers submitted by each entrant to determine which entrant answered the question correctly. From the entrants that correctly answered the question, Shaw will randomly select the prize winner (“Winner”) and provide the prize to the winner. For the purposes of this Giveaway and the awarding of prize, these Rules shall govern in all respects and the decision of any Shaw representatives shall be final.


There is one prize available to be won, which consists of (“Prize”).


By participating in this Giveaway, you agree to abide by these Rules and the decisions of Shaw in awarding the Prize, which decisions shall be final and binding upon all entrants. Entrants who have not complied with these Rules are subject to disqualification. Shaw reserves the right to modify the Rules, before or during the Giveaway, in its sole discretion, in any way at any time it deems necessary or appropriate without materially affecting the terms and conditions of this Giveaway. Interpretation of these Giveaway rules by Shaw shall be final.
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The Prize is not transferable and not redeemable for cash, will not be extended under any circumstances and must be accepted as offered without substitution.
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Notwithstanding the defined Contest Period, Shaw reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the Giveaway, in whole or part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the Giveaway, and/or these Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason without prior notice. Interpretation of these Giveaway Rules by Shaw shall be final.

The Giveaway is subject to all applicable laws of the province of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at