Saturday, February 2, 2013

IS #9: For Your Cookbook Library

Apparently, when it comes to inspiration, I'm largely inspired by books. I've talked about a sock knitting book and a spinning book and now I'm going to totally change it up and gush about a cookbook. (Warning: this post will have nothing to do with knitting or yarn. It will also make you very, very hungry.)

Deb Perelman is the delightfully down-to-earth cook and blogger behind my hands-down-favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen.  Anything delicious I've ever made has come from her blog. Can you even try to resist roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and goat cheese? Thick and hearty oatmeal pancakes? Lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce? Whole wheat pasta with cauliflower, walnuts, and feta? No, you can't. Alright, what about salted brown butter crispy treats? Yeah, I got you with that one, didn't I?!
She cooks such a wonderful mix of fancy and simple, sweet and savory, and throughout it all her goal is to minimize effort and the number of dishes the meal creates without compromising the recipe. I can totally get behind cooking like that. And now, she has a book, and it is wonderful.

Each recipe is beautifully photographed and makes you want to practically eat the page. I don't know about you, but cooking can feel like a real chore to me sometimes, especially when I'm hungry, so tantalizing photos really help to make me look forward to cooking instead of dreading it. The Fiasco and I have made variations of her vegetable fritters (zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, leek) over and over and they never fail to please, especially with her garlic-lemon-yogurt sauce.

She covers all sorts of food groups but her desserts really shine. Look at those peach dumplings! I don't think I've ever eaten fruit dumplings before and now I feel like I've been really, really deprived. Besides the recipes, Deb is a very entertaining writer, she has a lovely, friendly, witty voice and begins each of her recipes with a little story behind it -- you can read it like a book, it's not just a list of ingredients and techniques.

I, obviously, am in love with this cookbook and highly recommend it (personal opinion, not endorsed in any way). If you don't want to spring for the book just yet but want to get a feel for her general style, be sure to check out the super helpful recipe index on her blog. You can search for anything you'd like to make by ingredient, season, style, or meal type.

Have you got a favorite food blogger or cookbook? I'd love to hear about it or anything else that has been inspiring you lately, please link your blog or leave a comment below!



  1. Oh I love her recipes, they are always so yummy. She also has such a unique writing style! Those peach dumplings are definitely making me hungry!

  2. So hungry now! It's hard to choose a favorite food blogger, I follow so many to collect ideas for baking every week. But if you haven't tried Vanilla Sugar, she's got some tasty treats there. And Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

  3. That cookbook definitely looks like one I need to add to my collection! :) Thanks for the great review!


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