Our latest Cook the Books Club pick is Molly Wizenberg's delicious little memoir-cookbook, A Homemade Life. Molly writes a popular blog, Orangette as well as contributing food related articles to newspapers and magazines, such as Bon Appetit. In this, her first book, she carries off a fine, well-integrated balance of personal reminiscence and culinary writing.
Something about this book just got me trying things. Often I can have a cookbook on my shelf for years, without actually making anything from it. However, for the past few months I have been enjoying an unprecedented number of recipes from A Homemade Life.
For instance, normally, I'm with Brandon on the cabbage question. I love raw cabbage and rarely cook it, so of course, I first had to make his Cabbage Salad with Lemon and Black Pepper, which was excellent of course, but then I wanted to try the cabbage cooked in cream method. It just sounded so decadent. And, since the recipe made enough for four, it gave me two meals' worth.
On night number one, I served the creamy, tender cabbage with seared ahi and a salad of fresh tomatoes and basil. Sweet, and slightly caramelized, the cabbage was wonderful.
Afterwords, just looking at all that lovely cream sauce lapping the remainder of our cabbage, I thought maybe, when Bob's not looking, I'll just slurp it all up. It was that good. But, adding chicken, and serving over egg noodles would also be wonderful for night number two. And, guess what? It was. I removed the meat from two baked chicken breasts, added it to the cabbage in cream sauce, and gently warmed both together before serving over the hot noodles.
More also rans from Wizenberg's book were the Bouchons au Thon (a kind of tuna muffin), were tasty both hot and cold; the delicious Turkey Meatballs with Lemon Yogurt Sauce (which as it turned out, I liked better with the sauce cooked); and a most excellent Butternut Squash Soup with Pear and Vanilla. Also her Ratatouille, a dish I've made for years (though still prefer my simpler method), inspired me to add Scampi, bringing about a wonderful new combination of two old standards.
The lovely thing about all this is that there are still more recipes to try. I have bookmarked her Little Corn Cakes with Bacon, Tomato and Avocado for my next brunch or dinner appetizer. Be watching out for the Cook the Books Club Round-up to see what everyone else whipped up from our enticing little selection.