Soup in the summertime

Things have been hot in the northern hemisphere as much of the US and the UK are in the throes of a heatwave. When it is sweltering outside, the thought of soup for dinner is not particularly attractive - that is, unless it's a refreshing chilled version. I've been seeing many mouthwatering chilled soup recipes on my social media feeds in recent days, and they are a welcome reminder that you can enjoy soup in the summertime. 

cantaloupe gazpacho

The Guardian starts us off with six of their favorites, ranging from a creamy carrot soup to a bold beet gazpacho. Featuring common ingredients and dazzling colors, the soups featured here are perfect for energizing palates worn down by the heat. The website Plated also offers its favorite cold soups. Although I had not thought of  avgolemono (the Greek lemon-egg chicken soup) as a cold soup, it can be served either hot or chilled. If you aren't a fan of gazpacho due to textural issues, you may want to consider  salmorejo, which Plated calls "gazpacho's silkier, thicker, blended cousin."  

Indexed magazine Saveur also has a list of delicious chilled soup recipes. The wide variety at Saveur includes avocado soup, okroshka (a kefir/buttermilk soup with herbs that sounds intriguing), and Claudia Roden's ajo blanco, a chilled almond and garlic soup. Cooking Light magazine (also indexed on EYB) offers three fruit- and vegetable-focused recipes as well, featuring cucumbers, honeydew, and watermelon.

One of my favorite chilled soups is cantaloupe gazpacho (pictured above). I have used this Serious Eats recipe, and the one from Bon Appetit also sounds wonderful and has the bonus of being vegan. What's your favorite chilled soup recipe? 

June 2018 Eat Your Books Cookbook Club Summary and August - October Annoucements

Last month we topped 5,000 members in the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club, come join us. I find myself cooking more recipes from my books than normally because the photos are so inspiring. One of the many great benefits of EYB is our recipe notes (as you will see below in our first entry regarding the Rhubarb cake in the Sweet section. Due to notes from other cooks/bakers, mistakes can be avoided and success is almost guaranteed. 

This month we've been working through: 


Main selection: At My Table by Nigella Lawson

Alternative selection: Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining  by Ali Rosen (added for our summer entertaining!)

Flashback option: Any recipe from Jacques Pépin's books

Online option: Any recipe from Nigella or Jacques online

Baking: Any recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum books

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group working through Ottolenghi's Sweet.

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.

Our July selections are re-shared at the end of this post and all club posts are tagged #EYBCookbookClub if you are looking for a particular post. And we have polled our members for their input for future selections.

You will note for the next three months, we are offering additional options so that even more members can participate. From August through October, our vegan option will be Vegan 100: Over 100 Incredible Recipes from Avant-Garde Vegan (see our giveaway and review here) or any online vegan recipe. Now, here are the results of the voting: 


August

Main selection: Vegetarian Viet Nam (look for another special promotion that will include a Swiss Diamond wok with this book) or Shaya (you can find my review of these books here and here. I have been adding my reviews to our library record where you will find other reviews as well).

Alternative Title: Appetites or Les Halles by Anthony Bourdain 

Online:  Any Annabel Langbein recipe (I love Annabel's recipes - her Essential volumes are amazing  and  - see reviews Vol 1 and Vol 2.

Baking: The Artful Baker (see my review)

Vintage for Summer: The Victory Garden  or any Barbara Kafka cookbook

September

Main selections: How to Eat a Peach or Secrets of the Southern Table 

Alternative:  Anything from Alton Brown's books or Onions Etc. (this book is spectacular, see my review)

Online: Any Alton Brown recipe or Diana Henry recipe 

Baking: Bake for Syria 

October 

Main Selection: A Table in Venice or Just Cook It! 

Alternative: Anything from Craig Claiborne's books

Online option: Anything from Food52 or Serious Eats 

Baking: Food52 Genius Desserts  

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A few announcements before we share some highlights from this month's options:      

Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways. We have loads of cookbooks and cookware up for grabs. 

Every week new   and  books are being added. Find out more here

Every Sunday, I compile a post of Kindle cookbook deals so be sure to check those out for bargains! 

Please note, Eat Your Books has been sharing your photos on our Instagram feed. If you would like to be tagged in your lovely photos, update your bio here at EYB to include your social media handles. You can edit your bio on your Profile page, accessed from the menu under your username at top right.  When we choose photos, we can then check your bio for your Instagram handle. Other members have expressed an interest in following the members that make such beautiful food! Also, if you would like your EYB username shown when we post your photos in this monthly roundup, please add your username to your Facebook posts.

Lisa's gorgeous Cherry tomato tart which she made twice from Bring It!  Lisa raves about the crust!

Alicia's Catalan toast and Chilli mint lamb cutlets with a preserved lemon and mint sauce from At My Table 

There are many other wonderful photos in the group.

 Eat Your Books Sweet Cookbook Club
 Sweet - Ottolenghi

 

Sharifah posted her thoughts on Eat Your Books when she shared the Rhubarb and strawberry crumble cake: "This is where EYB absolutely excels in its purpose - I read Jane's, Astrid's and Trisha's comments first before I made this. I reduced the sugar by 20g in the crumble and cake mixes, I pulled it out at 40 mins and covered it with foil, and I checked every 10 mins. - total cooking time 60 mins. Absolutely deelicious....and perfection, me thinks."

Ching Y's Chocolate and peanut butter s'mores are perfection 

Again, here is a reminder for next month!

 

JULY


Main selection: Favorite Recipes from Melissa Clark's Kitchen

Alternative selection: Homegrown by Matt Jennings

Flashback option: Any recipe from Claudia Roden's books (or online)

Online option: Any recipe from Melissa Clark online

Baking: The Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

Eat Your Books Cookbook Club - May 2018

This month we topped 5,000 members in the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club and we have been working from the following options: 


Main selection: Dining In by Alison Roman

Flashback and Online option: Any recipe from Madhur Jaffrey books or her recipes online
|
Baking: The Fearless Baker by Erin Jeanne McDowell

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group working through Ottolenghi's Sweet.

******

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.

Our June through July selections are re-shared at the end of this post and all club posts are tagged #EYBCookbookClub if you are looking for a particular post. I will be putting up a poll for August through October early next month so everyone can vote for our next round of cookbooks. 

A few announcements:     

Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways. We have loads of cookbooks and cookware up for grabs. 

We are moving full steam ahead with our   and . Find out more here

Every Sunday, I compile a post of Kindle cookbook deals so be sure to check those out for bargains! 

Please note, Eat Your Books has been sharing your photos on our Instagram feed. If you would like to be tagged in your lovely photos, update your bio here at EYB to include your social media handles. You can edit your bio on your Profile page, accessed from the menu under your username at top right.  When we choose photos, we can then check your bio for your Instagram handle. Other members have expressed an interest in following the members that make such beautiful food! Also, if you would like your EYB username shown when we post your photos in this monthly roundup, please add your username to your Facebook posts.

 

Member: Monique
Recipe: First photo: Imposter Al Pastor
Recipe: Second photo: Raw and roasted carrots and Fennel with feta and pistachios



Member: Maree
Recipe: Crispy chicken leg with potato.

Member: Lisa 
Recipe: Paprika rubbed sheet pan chicken with lemon

 



Member: Joan
Recipe: Perfect Roasted Asparagus

 



Member: Jessica
Recipe: Vinegar Roasted Beets

 


Member: Diane
From: Madhur's World Vegetarian
Recipe: Asparagus with Chinese Mushrooms

 

Member: Gabi
From: The Fearless Baker
Recipe: Banana cake with cocoa nibs and nutella swirl

 Eat Your Books Sweet Cookbook Club
 Sweet - Ottolenghi

Member: Mami
Recipe: Roma's Doughnuts

 

Member: Rachel
Recipe: Persian Love Cakes

 

A reminder for June and July's selections:

JUNE


Main selection: At My Table by Nigella Lawson

Alternative selection: Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining by Ali Rosen (added for our summer entertaining!)

Flashback option: Any recipe from Jacques Pépin's books

Online option: Any recipe from Nigella or Jacques online

Baking: Any recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum books

JULY


Main selection: Favorite Recipes from Melissa Clark's Kitchen

Alternative selection: Homegrown by Matt Jennings

Flashback option: Any recipe from Claudia Roden's books (or online)

Online option: Any recipe from Melissa Clark online

Baking: The Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

Thanks for following along - come join us!

Pasta Grannies

Meet Vicky Bennison, the founder of the Pasta Grannies. While Vicky was researching Italian food for a project, she discovered beautiful nonnas, ranging from the age of 49 through 95 and beyond, who were still creating beautiful hand-made pasta.

She made it her mission to preserve this dying art with a website and a Youtube channel devoted to teaching these unique dishes with videos. Their introduction video came across my timeline and I had to learn more.

While I'm buried in May's monthly cookbook roundup, I wanted to take a moment and share Vicky's work with you. I've subscribed to the channel and, of course, have already written Vicky in the hopes that she is working on a step-by-step cookbook devoted to these ladies and their unique pasta. While waiting for a response, I came across a post that confirmed a book is in the works. Praise the flour and pass the pasta! Take a look at the incredible blog posts that introduce the dishes demonstrated in the videos. 

Subscribe to the YouTube channel and follow these beautiful women who know more about Italian cooking than some of the finest chefs. 

Vicky, thank you for bringing these wonderful women and their pasta into our kitchens. I am, for one, am grateful that their stories and dishes will be preserved for generations to come. 

 

Eat Your Books Cookbook Club - April 2018

April has been a busy month with members enjoying all the dishes they have been making from Chinese Soul Food. The author, Hsiao-Ching Chou, has been popping in the group sharing tips and instructional videos such as a stir-fry demo, a video on making dumplings, and another on reducing the sauce in her Sweet and Sour spare ribs in our Eat Your Books Cookbook Club

Main selection Chinese Soul Food by Hsiao-Ching Chou

Other selections for April included the following:

Flashback and Online option: Any recipe from Grace Young books or online

Baking: Any bundt cake recipes from books or online (see our special Bundt promotion).

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group working through Ottolenghi's Sweet (please see our errata sheet for the Americanized version of this book and information on the reprint).

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.

Our May through July selections are re-shared at the end of this post and all club posts are tagged #EYBCookbookClub if you are looking for a particular post.

A few announcements:  Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways, there are some exciting promotions coming up for great cookbooks and products including:  Emile Henry, Mauviel, Le Creuset, Anolon and many more. What is better than a cookbook giveaway - a cookbook with cookware and bakeware giveaway.

We are moving full steam ahead with our   and . Find out more here

Every Sunday, I compile a post of Kindle cookbook deals so be sure to check those out for bargains! 

Please note, Eat Your Books has been sharing your photos on our Instagram feed. If you would like to be tagged in your lovely photos, update your bio here at EYB to include your social media handles. You can edit your bio on your Profile page, accessed from the menu under your username at top right.  When we choose photos, we can then check your bio for your Instagram handle. Other members have expressed an interest in following the members that make such beautiful food! Also, if you would like your EYB username shown when we post your photos in this monthly roundup, please add your username to your Facebook posts.

Lastly, since so many of were able to obtain Matt Jennings' Homegrown (at the incredible price of around 4.00 as of today still on sale) I added that book as a possible selection for July as well. 

Chinese Soul Food 

Gary made the Stir-fried noodles with shrimp and vegetables 

Lisa S made the General Tso's chicken as did many others including myself so good!

 

 

Christine M made Shrimp and pork noodles in broth (Dan zi mian)

Ellie Mae made the Wonton soup

 

Jessica made the Wontons with Chili sauce for wontons

Kara H made the Pork, shrimp, and Chinese chives dumplings 

Kathleen made the Beef with broccoli

Lisa M made the Baby bok choy with chicken

Maree made the Red-braised pork belly pot stickers 

Sweet - Ottolenghi

Annalies made from Sweet Apricot and thyme galettes with polenta pastry 

Rachel B made Lemon and poppy seed cake (National Trust version)

Stanca made Chocolate Guinness cake with Baileys Irish cream

Lastly, here is a reminder of our upcoming months' selections:

MAY


Main selection: Dining In by Alison Roman

Flashback and Online option: Any recipe from Madhur Jaffrey books or her recipes online

Baking: The Fearless Baker by Erin Jeanne McDowell

JUNE


Main selection: At My Table by Nigella Lawson

Alternative selection: Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining by Ali Rosen (added for our summer entertaining!)

Flashback option: Any recipe from Jacques Pépin's books

Online option: Any recipe from Nigella or Jacques online

Baking: Any recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum books

JULY


Main selection: Favorite Recipes from Melissa Clark's Kitchen

Alternative selection: Homegrown by Matt Jennings

Flashback option: Any recipe from Claudia Roden's books (or online)

Online option: Any recipe from Melissa Clark online

Baking: The Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

Thanks for following along - come join us!

 

Edible flowers add a pop of color and flavor

 quinoa with kohlrabi and borage

From where I'm sitting in the northern US, spring seems like only a distant possibility even though it is mid-April. We're being socked with a blizzard, and the cold and snow makes one dream about the first pops of color that signal the start of the growing season. Many of the first plants to bloom happen to be edible, and you can find additional edible flowers from spring all the way through fall. 

These flowers make a beautiful garnish to many dishes, but that's only scratching the surface of how they can enhance your cooking and baking. Indexed website Great British Chefs provides us with more ideas along with an illustrated guide to the best edible flowers. In addition to providing bursts of color in a salad or atop a dessert, flowers can be made into tea, rolled into  pasta dough, added to jams and jellies, and much more. 

Starting off the list is borage, a five-pointed flower that has a mild  cucumber flavor with hints of honey. Borage can be infused into simple syrup to be used in cocktails, and it can also be candied and sprinkled atop cakes and other desserts as a gorgeous garnish. 

Another flower that caught my attention was the marigold, aka calendula. While I knew it was useful in the garden to repel pests, I did not know that marigold petals were once used to color butter and cheese, often called 'poor man's saffron'. Only the petals are edible, with a spicy, citrusy flavor. Other flowers detailed in the guide include violas, nasturtium, and rose. 

It's important to mention that if you plan to forage for wild edibles, you should make sure that you have properly identified the plant you want to consume and know whether it is safe to eat. Several books can aid in the identification of flowers, or you can play it safe and purchase them from reputable vendors at farmers' markets. Growing your own plants is a fun way to have a steady supply of edible flowers throughout the growing season. 

Photo of Quinoa with kohlrabi and pearl onions (Quinua con colinabo y cebolla perla) from Lima: The Cookbook by Virgilio Martinez

The cookbook from France's 'Jam Fairy' is still in print

Mes ConfituresHave you ever read a story about a chef, restaurant, or tiny shop, enamored by descriptions of dazzling foods, and gleefully discover at the end of the article that you can buy a cookbook by the chef or artisan? Knowing this crowd, I'd bet the answer to that question is 'of course!' Nevertheless, it's always exciting when it happens, and it occurred for me today when I read the story on NUVO about Christine Ferber, known in France - and beyond - as 'The Jam Fairy'.

Ferber operates a small patisserie, Au Relais des Trois Épis, in a picturesque Alsatian village. For over 40 years, she has worked 12 to 16 hours a day, six days a week, mainly making jams and jellies from the area's abundant fruits. Featuring playful flavor combinations like cherry thyme, apricot vanilla bean, and raspberry violet, the jams have garnered fans worldwide (including Brad Pitt). 

Trained as a pastry chef, Ferber inherited her father's shop and for a time was the only employee. Now she oversees a staff of about 30, although she still personally inspects each pint of the approximately 180,000 jars the shop produces each year. Ferber says the keys to being successful at making jam are passion and patience. "If you rush things, it will not work," she said. "It's the passion, the beauty, and the love of this profession. The time you allow and the patience to wait-that's what's most important."

Several publications have written about Ferber's work, and nearly 20 years ago she published a cookbook called Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber. The cookbook wasn't her idea, she says, but she wrote all of the recipes for it. The book is highly rated in the EYB Library, and, to my delight, the paperbound version is still in print (although now with one less copy available to purchase). 

Eat Your Books Cookbook Club - March 2018

March has us cooking up recipes in the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club from the following cookbooks/recipes:

Main selection: David Tanis' Market Cooking by David Tanis.

Online option: David's online recipes which are indexed from his City Kitchen column.

Baking title: BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts for more information on Stella's remarkable book see our promotion post.

Flashback option: any recipe from any Moosewood title

And, desserts are still be churned out in our second group working through Ottolenghi's Sweet (please see our errata sheet for the Americanized version of this book and information on the reprint).

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit the groups for more inspiration. Do not forget to upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.

Our April through July selections have been announced and all club posts are tagged #EYBCookbookClub if you are looking for a particular post.

A few announcements:  Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways, there are some exciting promotions coming up for great cookbooks and products including:  Stargazer cast iron, Ruffoni, Emile Henry, Mauviel, Le Creuset, Anolon and Nordic Ware and I'm working on many more. What is better than a cookbook giveaway - a cookbook with cookware and bakeware giveaway.

We launched our EYB Book Preview and EYB Recipe Preview on Friday. Find out more here

Every Sunday, I compile a post of Kindle cookbook deals be sure to check those out for bargains! 

 

David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes 
and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient by David Tanis
Review here.

Maree R made the Roasted snapper with lemon and fennel

 

Kimberly P made the Southern greens with ham hocks "This was a big hit! The broth was flavorful (addictive) and the greens tender as the notes promised. Looking forward to leftovers! I made two changes: used only 2 lbs of greens -it's a lot! -keeping all other ingredients the same, and cooked for three hours for extra deliciousness."

Jessica J made the French chicken tarragon "Served with buttered egg noodles and Melted spinach. This was delicious. Tarragon and creme fraiche are two of my favorite flavors so this was at the top of my list to try. I did put the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin a bit. This was a relatively simple dinner that I will make again."

Susan H made the Red onion soup with cheese toast. "We thought this was just ok. The combined bite of cheese toast and soup was good. But, the soup itself was flat."

David Tanis Online

Jane Kelly made the Chicken with apricots, lemon and saffron by David Tanis from the New York Times. She states "I didn't love this. I thought I would as it had ingredients I like but it was overly sweet from the apricots (and I didn't use the full amount in the recipe). The lemon slices balanced the sweetness some but not enough. Though the side I made, Spinach and preserved lemon freekeh from On the Side by Ed Smith was fabulous!" (Review of On the Side)

 

Lisa S made the Homemade Oreo Cookies. "Gave these a test run for St. Patrick's Day and filled them with mint cream. The cookies are nice and crisp and they taste like you're hoping they will. I was glad I read the instruction not to make the filling in advance, it needs to be used right away."

 

Darcie made the Lemon Meringue pie. "I used my own crust, and made two small pies instead of one big one. I bruised a few frozen Kaffir lime leaves and added it to the filling. It only took 7 eggs to get 5 oz of yolks and 8 oz of whites. I torched the meringue on one pie and did the other in the oven, and I prefer the look of the torched one."

Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

 

StancaD Passionfruit cheescake with spiced pineapple. The flavours complement each other so well. It's a creamy dreamy cheesecake

SharleneM Pineapple tartlets with star anise and pandan. So delicious!

LilyG Pistachio and white choc roulade; absolutely delicious cake, have made it 6 times and it's always a hit

Mami S baked the White chocolate cheese cake with cranberry compote. I used home grown blueberry instead of cranberry.it worked very well. Very rich cake with slightly sour refreshing berry compote, just delicious!

 

 

Be sure to join and visit the groups for more photos and recipe notes. 

A can and a plan

 soup

While cooks eschew most canned vegetables and fruits, there is one canned item that should always have space in your pantry. Canned beans (aka pulses) like chickpeas, butterbeans, and pintos are versatile items that can help you get dinner on the table in no time flat. Even esteemed chef Yotam Ottolenghi is a fan of canned beans, and has provided several recipes to make the most of them

In the preface to his recipes, Ottolenghi sings the praises of canned beans. "A can of pulses is the best pantry friend you can have," he says. "Yes, there are other serious contenders for that title, but, for me, there is no other bagged, jarred or tinned food that offers such a headstart in creating a quick meal that tastes as if it has been cooked slowly, carefully and thoughtfully from 100% raw ingredients."

While he doesn't mention it in this article, there is one recipe in which Ottolenghi says you should never, ever use canned chickpeas: hummus. In a tweet, the chef says it would be "sacreligious" to do so. That tweet had some pushback, with many people declaring they thought the practice was fine. If you're among the latter group, don't worry - your secret is safe with me. 

Photo of The speedy soup: Chickpeas and cabbage soup (Zuppa di verza e ceci) from The Guardian Cook supplement

The case for white chocolate

white chocolate parfaits

It's not difficult to find diehard dark or milk chocolate fans. People swoon over decadent brownies, wax poetic about rich, dense fudge, and fawn over a molten chocolate cake. Mention white chocolate, however, and you'll probably encounter entirely different reactions ranging from indifference to outright disdain. That's just not fair, says Annabel Crabb. She provides a stirring defense of white chocolate

Crabb opines that the reasons most people don't like white chocolate have to do with using it improperly and consuming low-cost versions that have been adulterated with additives like palm oil and copious quantities of sugar. When handled properly, she explains, white chocolate can shine and elevate a dish. 

Pairing white chocolate with anything sweet is a recipe for disaster, Crabb says. To get the most out of its delicate flavors, you should instead pair it with tart foods like sour cherries, passionfruit, or dried apricot. Another way to tame the sweetness of white chocolate is to roast it. Crabb opines that "its rich, buttery brown hue and toasty flavour are ample rewards for a quiet declaration of faith in this much-reviled ingredient."

Photo of White chocolate and crème fraîche mousse with passionfruit syrup from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine

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