Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Heidi Swanson

Things happen in interesting ways, don't you think.  I had a meeting at Barnes and Noble just a few days before we left town for DC.  I called my husband to tell him the meeting was over and we were on our way to see him and he said...

"There was a cookbook I heard about on NPR and I thought it would be great to bring to my mom."  Really.  My ears perked.  My interest piqued.

"What's the name of the book, honey, I'd be happy to take a quick peek."
"Super Natural Every Day, I think-something like that by someone Swanson...[he stops a minute and looks at his note] Heidi Swanson-yes, that's it."

And just like that Heidi Swanson came into my life.  Many of you probably already know of her-this is her second cookbook and she runs the blog, 101 cookbooks

I've perused the cookbook a bit (lie) and am now suffering from cookbook envy.  I want my own.

In her introduction (19 pages long) she talks about her neighborhood, her love of cooking, pantry staples and why she chooses the ingredients she does.  I liked this paragraph in particular because it takes back that word "natural" to what it should mean, not what it's become (a fake word for not really natural).

"Some of you might be confused by the term "natural foods."  It is used in many different contexts, and it means different thiings to different people.  By "natural foods," I mean ingredients that are straight from the plant or animal.  Or that are made with as little processing and as few added flavorings, stabilizers, and preservatives as possible, keeping nutrients and original flavors intact." (3)

Natual Cooking Every Day is divided into 7 sections after the introduction; Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, Treats, and Accompaniments.  Easily I found several in each category that I would like to try and while I'm still "with the book" I may copy a few down into my google docs cookbook. 

Top Ten Recipes:

1.Baked Oatmeal (oats, huckleberries, walnuts)
2. Ravioli Salad (Black olives and pepitas)
3. White Bean Spread (rosemary and toasted almonds)
4. Little Quinoa Patties (goat cheese, herbs)
5. Chickpea Stew (saffron, yogurt, garlic)
6. Weeknight Curry (Tofu, coconut milk, seasonal vegetables)
7. Cauliflower Soup (aged cheddar and mustard croutons)
8. Cucumber Cooler (honey, fresh lime, cucumber)
9. Macaroon Tart (white whole wheat flour, blackberries, coconut pistachios)
10.Whole Grain Mustard (using a mortar and pestle)

Oh, so many more to share but this is it for today.  I'm hungry-how 'bout you?
This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads; Weekend Cooking meme.  Click to her to play along or just read what she has to write about.