It’s one of my favourite posts of each month – time for another instalment of the Cookbook Book Club! In case you are new to the blog, the Cookbook Book Club is my once a month “cooking from the same cookbook” meal with Jan from Family Bites and Jenn from Chocolate Shavings. We’ve already had dinner with Marcella, dinner with Nigella, dinner with Ottolenghi, dinner with Maria Speck, dinner with Naomi Duguid’s book, Burma, lunch with Jamie Oliver, in June we had a dessert party with Butter Baked Goods and last month we had dinner with Jacques Pépin (well… you know!).
This month we went with recipes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by popular food blogger, Deb Perelman. I’ve cooked from the SK Cookbook before, a few times – I made mini meatloaves with the Petits Chefs and the gorgeous plum-poppyseed muffins amongst other recipes and I like that these are uncomplicated, easy-to-prepare dishes that taste much more sophisticated than their preparation suggests!
Jan started us off with an apple cider, cranberry and ginger punch…
The recipe made a huge amount and I’ve been enjoying it all week! It’s basically thinly sliced broccoli with a buttermilk/mayonnaise/ apple cider vinegar dressing. A little bit of red onion. Some toasted almonds. Some dried cranberries. It’s pretty darned awesome. I’ll be making it again this weekend.
Jan was in charge of the main course and brought her A-game with these white bean, Swiss chard and pancetta pot pies.
These pot pies were so tasty – though the serving size was huge (recipe says it makes 4, we thought more like 6, none of us could finish them!) and a lovely change from a chicken pot pie. One of my followers on Instagram said she sometimes just makes the filling and eats that on its own. I can see why. It’s a hearty soup/stew that stands alone even without its little pastry cap…
Jan served this with a kale, goat cheese, pecan and cherry salad (also from the book).
Jen brought the dessert and went with this seasonal marbled pumpkin ginger snap tart.
Basically a swirled pumpkin cheesecake (with less cream cheese than pumpkin), it’s a perfect dessert for someone like me – who likes the pumpkin flavour but who doesn’t like the texture of pumpkin pie. We all agreed this had a nice ratio of pumpkin to cream cheese (although it could have used just a smidge more, in my opinion) and we loved the gingersnap crust (although decided it needed blind baking before you bake the pie – it was a tiny bit soggy on the bottom). But a winner nonetheless.
We’ve been meeting for Cookbook Book Club for a year now and no matter how our individual dishes come out, we definitely cook and bake in sync with each other (though we never discuss the menu items before the evening itself) because our meals and flavours are always really well balanced. It’s a really interesting exercise every month: 1. Following recipes (mostly!) to a T, 2. Making an entire meal from one book (some books do this better than others) and 3. Seeing if our dishes work together.
Next month, we’re heading back to France, Paris to be exact. Tune in after November 22nd to see which book we cook from!
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Win a copy of Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Comfort Food” (worldwide). Closes Wednesday October 22nd 6pm EST. Details here.
Open to Canadians – win a $50 Kraft Canada gift basket. Closes Wednesday October 22nd 2014 at 6pm EST. Details here.