Westerly Cookbook Club is officially a year old!
For our first meeting, in October 2017, we made recipes from Deb Perelman’s cookbook The Smitten Kitchen, which was absolutely fantastic. We decided to revisit Perelman this month, and share recipes from her newest book: Smitten Kitchen Every Day!
Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman
Deb Perelman is a well-known food blogger whose recipes and experience come from her own tiny apartment Manhattan apartment kitchen, which is part of what makes her so appealing and relatable to readers. Perelman believes that there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes, and her cookbooks aim to introduce you to delicious, approachable, and “unfussy” recipes that anyone can prepare. Because who has time to fight with food in the kitchen?!
Our Cookbook Club
We had a great turnout this month, with 14 people in attendance, and a fantastic variety of dishes to share. We had about a 2:1 ratio of main dishes to desserts, which is pretty ideal, in my book. It’s safe to say that Perelman – once again – did NOT disappoint.
The cookbook’s overall rating (by group members): 4.5/5 stars. Not too shabby!
Some of the comments from group members, about what they liked:
Instructions were detailed and easy to follow
Every recipe seemed like it would be delicious
I liked the stories that introduced each recipe
Photographs were beautiful!
The recipes don’t have a lot of ingredients
She shared helpful tips and shortcuts for the recipes
Quite a few members also commented on the beautiful photographs, which are found on just about every page of the book. Perelman actually takes all of the photos herself, which is pretty impressive. And it’s great to have a visual to go along with all of the recipes.
Some of the highlights, according to club members, were the Cheesecake Semifreddo with Gingersnaps and Cranberries, the Meatballs Marsala with Egg Noodles and Chives, the Cacio e Pepe Potatoes, the Caramelized Cabbage Risotto, and the Brussels Sprouts and Three Cheese Pasta Bake. While these were favorites, the group agreed that absolutely everything was delicious!
One of the great things about the Smitten Kitchen recipes is that they are easy to modify, depending on your personal taste, dietary restrictions, and what ingredients you happen to have on hand at the time. Perelman also encourages you to make adjustments (and often offers suggestions), which is part of the reason we love her! While most of us followed the recipes pretty accurately, there were a few substitutions here and there, and we talked quite a bit about things we would do slightly differently next time.
And for me, at least, there WILL be a next time! I plan to try out the majority of the recipes in the book…and, hopefully, I can get my husband to prepare a few of them as well.
Our next meeting will be held on Monday November 19th. Yes, this is the week of Thanksgiving…but we hope you can still make it! Since it’s a busy time for many of us, we have a nice and easy book for the month: One pot: 120+ Easy Meals from your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart.
Copies will be available in the 2nd floor Reference Department, so make sure to check one out and sign up for the meeting.
Please remember: you MUST sign up each and every month for the Cookbook Club. This can be done by contacting the Reference department at (401) 596-2877 x308, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Prior to the meeting, you must also let us know which recipe you will be bringing, so we can reserve it for you! Check out the “This Month’s Recipe” tab (above) to see which recipes have already been taken.