The combined genius of two sisters, Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat (also known as the Bite Me sisters) has provided a culinary platform for everyone stepping into the kitchen arena.
Albert and Gnat are set to launch their third cookbook, Lick Your Plate, published by Random House, on March 29.
Lick Your Plate offers 160 original recipes, several 30-minute dinner ideas, tips, tricks, mouthwatering visuals, funny anecdotes, drool-worthy descriptions of every recipe, and is perfect for everyone from the beginner to the well-seasoned home cook.
“Our goal is to get people across the country licking their plate. It’s going to be the go-to cookbook for easy week- night meals, entertaining ideas, and for bringing friends and family together in a stress-free way,” said Albert.
Albert, armed with a masters of journalism from Ryerson University, and Gnat having earned her pastry papers at George Brown, have co-authored bestselling cookbooks Bite Me and Bite Me Too. Several of their recipes are available at their website, Bite Me More.
“Our cookbooks are our babies, and we have the stretch marks to prove it,” laughed Albert. “When we write our books, we really aim to create accessible recipes that set people up for success.
“We have put so much love and thought into creating a resource for people who really just want to get into the kitchen, or who are spending a lot of time in the kitchen looking for fun and answers to what’s for dinner,” said Albert.
Lick Your Plate is eye candy with a fresh aesthetic that aims to inspire people, thanks to the sisters’ skills. It is all about fresh ingredients to bring out flavours without adding fat.
“Everything is real food. All the soups are creamy – but there is no cream in them. With our world-famous candy-topped challah bread, our brisket, our sour cream coffee cake, and our falafel salad, there are many recipes that speak to our Jewish roots,” said Albert.
“There are many books out there telling you how to eat. We serve up the recipes, and they can each be adapted accordingly to your own personal lifestyle,” added Gnat.
Gnat’s passion for cooking began when she was a child.
“I would be with my mom in the kitchen all the time,” Gnat said. “She showed me the love of creating, cooking, and bringing family together.”
Albert added, “Lisa was a killer with her Easy-Bake oven. She had all the neighbourhood lined up. She was ruthless, selling cakes at 10 cents for one, and two for 25 cents.”
Cooking doesn’t need to be intimidating, and nothing needs to be perfect.
“I just sat and watched. Lisa has fed me from the beginning. When I had a family of my own, noodles with butter weren’t really going to cut it anymore. I turned to Lisa, and she really taught me how to cook. Her recipes work. I feel extremely lucky to get to work with my best friend.
“I really admire what Lisa does and Lisa tolerates what I do,” said Albert.
Asked what is it that sets Lick Your Plate apart from other cookbooks. Albert said that it is, “The mash up: the combination of fool-proof recipes with the fun factor.”
Lick Your Plate has attracted a broad and diverse range of endorsements from people such as chef Michael Smith; musician Jon Bon Jovi; food critic Gail Simmons; astronaut Chris Hadfield; founder, chair and CEO of Indigo Heather Reisman, and actor Jason Alexander.
“Jason Alexander – aka George Costanza from the TV series Seinfeld – wrote something ‘menschy’ and quite hilarious,” said Albert.
“I’ve always had a fantasy about sisters….cooking for me. Lisa and Julie make it come true. I love to eat. I love great food. I love these girls. I ate this book,” wrote Alexander.
Lick Your Plate will be available for purchase online, at Amazon, Indigo and other bookstores.
FALAFEL SALAD WITH LEMON TAHINI DRESSING by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat (from Lick Your Plate)