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Food – Wine – cowboy spirit

Brigit Binns


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Brigit Binns

Brigit Binns lives and works in the wine country of Central California, thirty minutes from the Pacific and equidistant between Los Angeles and San Francisco. She has been lucky enough to turn her passion for food and the great outdoors into a career: Brigit is the author or co-author of twenty-nine cookbooks and editor of many more. Along with her husband actor Casey Biggs (aka “Paso Wine Man“), she owns and runs the stunning culinary learning center and vacation rental retreat, Refugio Paso Robles.

My Cookbooks

Cooking in Season

More than 90 recipes highlight the best of each season’s bounty. With four chapters – one for each season – recipes feature ingredients at the height of their flavor and freshness, inspiring light and flavorful cooking throughout the year. Lush, full-color photography beautifully illustrates the vibrancy of fresh, ripe ingredients. Special features explore seasonal approaches to easy classics such as toasts, bowls, puff pastry tarts, and cocktails.

Cooking in Season is the ultimate handbook for utilizing the best of each season’s ingredients in a collection of simple, yet sublimely flavorful, recipes. From starters, soups, and salads through main courses and desserts, freshness in flavor and preparation is effortlessly attained.

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Kissed by Fire: Wood Oven Recipes from Wine Country

Like most cookbook authors, I’m very detail-oriented—some might say obsessive. I love nothing more than to describe the process of cooking for readers and cooks—I’ve done so in thirty-one cookbooks. But cooking in a wood oven is personal and intuitive rather than scientific, and involves a steep but fairly fast learning curve. Those who are new to the practice should first understand a few basic principles. Once you begin to experiment, you’ll quickly develop an instinct for the heat, and the primitive, living force of the fire itself. And you’ll learn to cook by sight and sound. These two senses must become your guides, rather than a clock or a timer.




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Eating up the West Coast

Sunset Magazine and cookbook author and Road Foodie blogger Brigit Binns team up to take readers on a mouthwatering tour along scenic highways and picturesque back roads of the Pacific coast. Brigit and her trusty canine companion, Stella, make their way up the region in four bites–Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, and Washington–discovering local eateries, dives, and cafes that showcase the true flavors of each region. 


The New Wine Country Cookbook

This gorgeous book whisks readers back to a lyrical time when California was a simpler place—before it overflowed with too many people seeking Paradise—to a fertile region nestled between Monterey and Santa Barbara.

The New Wine Country Cookbook provides an evocative view of the dynamic food and wine culture of California’s fastest growing wine region. The Central Coast should be on every food and wine lover’s radar.”

—Rajat Parr, wine director of the michael mina group and author of the James Beard award–winning Secrets of the Sommeliers

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The Relaxed Kitchen

Did you ever have a dinner party disaster? Yes, I’m afraid so. Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew by cooking a complex main course? Well, yes.  Did you ever find yourself barbecuing a large pig in your swimsuit and sarong when uninvited porn stars show up for dinner? Uh…now wait just a minute…

This intensely personal book begins “I fell in love with food before I got my first bra,” and covers three marriages on two continents, plus the dinner party disasters caused by a hyper-perfect cook with just enough training to be very, very dangerous. 


The Cook and the Butcher

I’ve been on a mission to master meat cookery ever since I served a raw standing rib roast to my new British in-laws. That dinner happened long before I authored my first cookbook, and it played a big role in my decision to both learn about and write about food. I never wanted anything like that to happen again. 

Geared towards meat-loving home cooks looking for expert advice and inspiration, here are 100 delicious recipes for using the most popular cuts of meat, plus loads of practice tips from America’s favorite butchers.

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How to Roast a Lamb

A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today.

In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook. Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes. Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout.Psilakis’s cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine.

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The Low Carb Gourmet

When Ten Speed Press approached me to write this book, the brief was “Charlie Trotter meets low-carb.” I took it and ran. The low-carb phenom tanked just after this book was released, and it never did very well, but everyone I know over thirty still eats this way. One day, I’ll add some starches and re-release the book with a brilliant new title. Still some of my very favorite recipes—out of, literally, thousands. My husband says “the Deep-Fried Poached Egg Salad is better than sex!”



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Let’s do Brunch

Whether you have a special occasion to celebrate or just want to share a relaxed midday meal with friends or family, hosting brunch is an enjoyable, no-fuss way to entertain. In these pages, you’ll find over 100 memorable recipes for inspiration, from classics like cinnamon rolls, eggs Benedict, and huevos rancheros to such modern plates as polenta with poached eggs and prosciutto, cardamom-scented almond buns, and a creamy ricotta tart with fresh peas and mint.

The recipes are organized into five chapters—sweet, savory, salads, sides, and drinks—that reflect a brunch sensibility and simplify menu planning.

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The New Slow Cooker

Awaken your tastebuds with a whole new approach to slow-cooking. Over 100 classic slow-cooked recipes are updated for today’s cook, and are bursting with fresh, bright flavors and crunchy textures. From succulent beef to melt-in-your-mouth chicken to hearty legumes, this book contains an irresistible array of recipes your family will love.

In this book, you will discover a whole new way to use your slow cooker to make more than 100 succulent dishes by enhancing them with bright fresh flavors: Tender short ribs in a sweet and spicy sauce are elevated with crunchy daikon, carrot, and fresh herb salad; zesty chicken-tortilla soup is layered with sweet corn, creamy avocado, and earthy cilantro; and sliced brisket is perked up with a verdant, herb-laden chimichurri strewn with sweet cherry tomatoes.

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Pizza and Other Savory Pies

If you love pizza, consider the delicious satisfaction of making it at home using fresh, wholesome ingredients and according to your own exacting specifications. Thick, chewy crust or thin, crackery crust. Tomato sauce or sliced fresh tomatoes. Generous with the cheese or light on the toppings.

With this book in your kitchen, you can bake up Italian classics like Pizza Margherita; American favorites like Classic Pepperoni; inspired appetizers like Pizzette with Garlic, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese; and even pizza cousins like calzone and stromboli. Fire up the oven and invite your friends and family over for an array of delectable homemade and handcrafted pizzas.

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The Palm Restaurant Cookbook

It’s a classic steakhouse, a superb Italian-American restaurant, a power-lunch mainstay, and the oldest family-owned, white-tablecloth restaurant group in the country, with 28 locations in 24 cities–each one administered by third-generation descendants of the original owners. Now, finally, everyone can learn the cooking technique that makes Palm steaks and chops so delectably juicy.

In more than 125 recipes, the secrets behind some of the Palm’s most requested dishes are revealed by executive chef Tony Tammero, with recipes for Steak à la Stone, Monday Night Salad, Veal Martini, Clams Oreganato, Spaghetti Carbonara, Gigi Salad, and quite possibly the best creamed spinach on the planet.


The Tavern on the Green Cookbook

You’d be hard-pressed to find my name on this book (it’s buried on the Acknowledgements page), but with the restaurant gone I can now reveal the truth: I developed 149 out of the 150 recipes with no help from anyone associated with TOTG. The editor said: “Create simple, spectacular dishes you’d serve on your twentieth wedding anniversary if you couldn’t go to TOTG.” These are some of my top crowd-pleasers of all time…with plenty of cocktails. * Mini Rare Steak Sandwiches with Horseradish Cream, Truffled Cauliflower Soup, Steamers in Pernod-Butter Broth, Five-Spice, Fig Balsamic-Glazed Duck with Plum Mojo.

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Williams-Sonoma Sauce

From a barbeque sauce that imbues pork ribs with smoky flavor to a creamy hollandaise contrasting with crisp asparagus or refreshing pineapple salsa that sets off a single grilled fish, a delicious sauce can improve every dish. This is especially true when it comes to desserts—think of an almond pound cake drizzled with orange sauce, or a banana split topped with hot fudge.

William-Sonoma Collection Sauce offers more than 40 terrific recipes from familiar favorites to fresh ideas. Each versatile sauce is presented as a part of an inspired dish, and you will find tempting fare to suit every course and every occasion. This beautifully photographed, full-color receipe collection is certain to become an essential addition to your kitchen library.

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Williams-Sonoma Breakfast

Buttermilk waffles drizzled with melted butter and maple syrup, a warm omelet filled with melted cheese and seasonal vegetables, or a helping of perfectly crisp hash browns. These classic breakfast dishes are always delicious and provide plenty of energy for the day ahead.

Williams-Sonoma Collection Breakfast offers more than 40 recipes, ranging from old favorites to fresh new ideas. Whether you are looking for a dish to prepare in advance and eat on a busy weekday, such as almond-currant scones or homemade granola, or a special treat to enjoy on a more leisurely weekend morning, such as blueberry pancakes or a savory frittata, this book has recipes to suit all tastes. 


Williams-Sonoma Salad

A collection of illustrated cookbooks for the busy home cook utilizes a straightforward approach to preparing tasty, healthful, and time-saving dishes for every night of the week, with easy-to-follow recipes and tips on keeping a well-stocked pantry, planning ahead, and using fresh ingredients.

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Williams-Sonoma Small Plates

A collection of illustrated cookbooks for the busy home cook utilizes a straightforward approach to preparing tasty, healthful, and time-saving dishes for every night of the week, with easy-to-follow recipes and tips on keeping a well-stocked pantry, planning ahead, and using fresh ingredients.

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Hors D’Oeuvre

Eye-catching and irresistible, hors d’oeuvres never fail to entice, whether they’re juicy skewered shrimp with spicy dipping sauce, Mediterranean olives dressed with fresh herbs and zesty citrus, or tender new potatoes topped with caviar and crème fraîche.

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Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Entertaining

Designed to help newlyweds entertain happily ever after, this inspiring book makes an ideal wedding or bridal shower gift. It’s organized in three parts – parties, outdoor entertaining, and special occasions – and lavishly photographed. The 60 recipes are geared toward young newlyweds, and each of the 12 menus features a detailed work plan accompanied by wine-pairing suggestions and advice on party organization and table decorations. Informative introductory sections cover all the basics, from event planning and invitations to the fundamentals of table setting. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.

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Originally a peasant dish, polenta is now showing up on the best restaurant menus in the country — and plenty of home cooks are following the lead. Easy to prepare and marvelously versatile, polenta can be enjoyed plain and simple or embellished with a wide range of tasty fillings, spreads, and toppings. This beautifully photographed and wonderfully inspirational volume includes 40 tempting recipes for breakfast treats, appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. Complete with tips on preparing the golden grain, Polenta is a glorious celebration of one of Italy’s most popular dishes.

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Sausage Cookbook

Over the past fifteen years, Jody Maroni’s sausage stand in Venice Beach, California has become legendary for high-quality, reduced-fat, gourmet sausages created by a man who genuinely loves to feed people. Jody offers haute cuisine in a casing and passionately strives to prove that sausage is gourmet food for the common man.

Every creation from this book, whether it’s a simple grilled “haut dog” or an elegant Salad Niçoise with All-Chicken Bistro Sausage, is irresistible, emphasizing freshness, flavor, and above all a healthier approach to cooking. His sausages are long on flavor and short on fat– and so are the recipes. The results, as confirmed by the book’s mouth-watering photographs, are fantastic.

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My Favorite Recipes

Food brings people together to share love, pain, and their spirit. I hope some of these recipes can help bring people closer to you.

“The recipes reflect this feeling of blending the old and the new. They are made with fresh ingredients local to the Central Coast (which, admittedly, could fill a Whole Foods) and feel on par with the inspired dishes we’d find in any hip and trendy restaurant. But they also draw on Mediterranean culinary traditions, making them feel familiar, slightly careworn, and deeply comforting.” —

Leave it to her to find the sanctity in yeast, flour, and fire. In the church of Binns, this flawless, crisp dough would make a fine communion. Consider me converted.

--Haley Thomas, New Times

It’s Tuscany, with cowboys. That’s how Paso Robles author Brigit Binns describes the Central Coast in her newest cookbook.” The Tribune

“Filled with lush photographs of dishes, vineyards and sun-drenched landscapes, Binns' cookbook, like any good dinner party, starts with light appetizers, in a chapter called ‘Magic-Hour Grazing,’ and then moves through dishes based on the main ingredients, such as ‘From the Ranch,’ and ‘From Garden and Orchard.’ …This is armchair wine travel at its most mouthwatering, and even if you get no farther than your own kitchen the trip will have been worth it.” —Huffington Post

Thank you so much for making our Zenaida Holiday Class & Dinner something special! Not only was the food delicious, but we are also all discussing our efforts at recreating the dishes. We all cannot wait to do it again and I will be in touch to schedule a wood-burning oven class and maybe a winemaker dinner!"

Cheers, Jill Ogorsolka

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