I think I’m with the majority of people in feeling relief that 2017 is over. I don’t know what sort of cosmic forces were at play, but it seems like it was just a crappy year for everyone. Well, maybe not so crappy for my taste buds. This year I set for myself a cookbook challenge to make 3 recipes from my cookbooks each month – and I’m happy to say I completed it!
It may have just been a silly challenge, but I’m so grateful I decided to take it on. It was actually the first long term “project” I’ve ever taken on and completed. So it was pretty cool to actually follow through with something. Not to mention, I discovered a few new favourite recipes that I know I will remake often (Barefoot Contessa’s buttermilk cheddar biscuits, greens and fontina baked eggs from Seriously Delish, and Ellie Krieger’s zucchini bread to name a few). I had my first Indian food experience… ever. And I maybe got over my hatred of radicchio?
I may continue my cookbook challenge informally going forward – and try to post about it if I can! But before that, let me recap my December recipes (minus actual pictures of my cooking this month since it was too hard to catch the natural light):
On the first day of the month I made Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce from Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte, the author behind the blog Sprouted Kitchen. I avoid making traditional meatballs made from ground poultry because they never compare to the real thing. If I want spaghetti and meatballs, my go-to recipe is from the Polpo cookbook, which is made from a blend of beef and pork (actually I think the original recipe calls for veal too, but I leave that out). But these turkey meatballs are probably as close to the real thing as you’re going to get. There’s a bit of ricotta in them to give moisture and texture – such a good idea! I also loved the flavour of fennel seed in them.
I got together with my friends Andrea and Shannon the day after making these meatballs. We’ve been cooking together since our university days, and we actually spent a bit of our time together reminiscing about our cooking nights back then, when we would spend them practising for our dietetic internship interviews. Thankfully we’re all happily working now, with that stress well behind us!
Anyways, we decided we wanted to cook our meal entirely from Made with Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie, the people behind a local vegan cafe that we used to frequent. So we did three recipes: Baked Mac n’ Cheese, Caesar Salad, and Pumpkin Pie. We made a few substitutions based on what we had on hand, i.e. using real butter instead of vegan butter and regular pasta instead of gluten-free rice pasta. We also used an oat & seed crust for the pumpkin pie instead of making the gluten-free pie pastry recipe in the cookbook. And of course we subbed out the cashews for sunflower seeds in the Caesar dressing to make it safe for my allergies. Okay, so I guess we made a lot of substitutions. But hey, that’s what cooking is all about. And everything turned out pretty delicious!
I guess that wraps up this series. Thanks for following along! I’ll be back in a few weeks with a new post – I’ve got a cozy drink recipe that I can’t wait to share.