My name is Lisa. Welcome to One Cook, Two Kitchens.
How the blog started
Like all food writers, I have a passion for food and anything food related. This includes cookbooks, kitchen gadgets and appliances. In fact, it’s probably more appropriate (and honest) to call it an addiction. It started in grade three with a Winnie the Pooh cookbook that I borrowed from the school library. After going home and making a batch of peanut butter cookies from the book, a passion was born.
In 2011, I retired from a successful career with a Toronto advertising agency, and simultaneously, my husband and I sold our suburban home, and moved into not one, but two new homes: a condo in downtown Toronto, and a lake house in Northern Ontario.
As a person who has always been innately curious about food, and who loves talking about it, I decided to start a food blog. Try starting a new blog with the name ‘Cook’ in it (also my last name). Not easy. And then, with our two new homes (and kitchens), One Cook, Two Kitchens sprung to mind: A cute play on my name, my love of cooking, and our new lifestyle.
Where the blog is going
My husband and I are now able to work and live from our lake house full time.
So this means that I don’t really have two kitchens any longer, but now the blog is part of me, and I don’t want to let go of the name or the cute logo with the CN Tower in it. So I won’t.
This gave me the opportunity to think about other elements of the blog, and the bottom line is that my favourite part of this blog is trying new things, particularly new cookbooks.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I do receive free cookbooks and products. When these items are sent to me, it is explicitly understood that I do not have to write positive reviews in exchange for these items. And I am never paid in exchange for my opinion. Publishers and manufacturers/retailers send these to me with the hope that I will review them on the blog. And often in these cases, they offer giveaways for readers.
My review policy
My policy still stands that I will not publish negative reviews because I prefer to talk about what I like, and not what I don’t like.
So, if you see a recommendation/review from me, it’s because I really like it. And if I don’t like it, the publisher/manufacturer/retailer will hear about it directly.
Many reviewers believe that it is better to give a balanced review, and offer critique. By all means, I respect these reviews. Personally, I think there are enough great books and products for me to talk about that I don’t have to go to any that I would recommend with reservations, or not recommend at all.
How I review cookbooks
I try at least four recipes from the book before publishing a review. Considerations for a recommended cookbook include how the book is organized, whether the book has met its objective, and most importantly, the quality of the recipes. Additional things that I look for are creativity, accessibility, the level of difficulty, and who this book is really directed to. While I am an improvisational cook, reviews tested in cookbooks are always followed to the letter. And recipes that are published are those that I have tried myself – and love.
I work with a few publishers on a regular basis, and over time, I get a sense of the types of books they publish, and we collaborate on the books that are best suited for this blog, which are basically books that I would be interested in buying, and therefore I feel I should review for my readers.
Contacting me for reviews
If you have a book or product that you would like me to review, please feel free to contact me at lisa(at)onecooktwokitchens(dot)com.