Posts in Cookbook
A Surprising Twist on Chili for the Warmer Months

Once spring shows up even a little bit I try to lean into it as much as possible - picnics outside (even if it’s a touch too cold), as many snap peas and asparagus as I can find, and light jackets that might require an extra few layers underneath.

But some dishes can help bridge that seasonal gap, and who better to help than Jenni Kayne. You may be more familiar with Jenni as a designer but her new book, Pacific Natural, also lets you into her chic California world. The book is divided by seasons and includes recipes but also a wider look at entertaining. Jenni makes everything look gorgeous while still being effortless, and in the book she shares how as a mom and business owner she gets it all done without a lot of fuss.

So Jenni suggested a chili that is perfect for spring or summer - packed with veggies and beans, it is actually vegan but also includes optional toppings that could satisfy anyone who needs a bit of dairy in their life.

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This Elevated Salad Flips the Script

Sometimes I get a cookbook that just sings right from the first page. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Carla Lalli Music’s book had that je ne sais quoi quality - she is, after all, the food director at Bon Appetit.

But her new book, Where Cooking Begins, is a true delight. It starts with methodology rather than recipe and seems to aim to get people to be more spontaneous with their cooking. It is a book that will help people need recipes less. If you want to be a more confident cook you’ll love having Carla along to guide you and if you already are confident then Carla will help you get new ideas and brush up on some classic techniques.

It was a delight to have Carla come to the Potluck kitchen and showcase a recipe that seems to embody the book - super simple and bright but with just enough twist to feel brilliant.

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Drown Yourself in Bread Balls

This time of year I start to get antsy for spring. February is over and it should be warm.- except it never actually is.

But the good news is that we can enjoy all the incredibly warming recipes of winter for a little longer. Luckily, we have just the recipe, from a book I am particularly excited about: Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South. If you aren’t familiar with Katie’s work then you just aren’t reading enough about Italy. The Rome-based journalist has written some of the best food and travel guides for the region. Her first book, Tasting Rome, is an engrossing love letter to the food of one of the world’s greatest food cities. And now her upcoming book explores the cuisine of Italy’s Southern regions.

I am so excited for this book (since my love of Italy is basically unsurpassed) and loved having Katie in the kitchen to showcase one of the book’s recipes. She shared her Polpette Casce e Ovo - essentially bread ‘meatballs’. They are doughy delights and perfect for staying inside and eating to your heart’s content.

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Jamie Oliver Has a Secret For Making Dinner Quick

I spent my college years in the UK so I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Jamie Oliver. I was living there right as he was growing in popularity in the British consciousness (I might date myself here) and he was really my first introduction to British cooking, well before I knew I would have a career in food. And as years went on I loved watching him transform into an advocate healthy school lunches. He has always seemed to hold a sensible middle ground that advocated for healthy options while also not veering into total health fanatic category.

So the chance to sit down with him and chat about his newest book, 5 Ingredients, was a delight. We touched on everything from rock star ingredients that can transform a dish to getting kids cooking. Watch the video below to hear Jamie’s take and perhaps you might have a bit more confidence in your weeknight cooking!

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You Need Carla Hall's Brilliant Shrimp Technique

Any time spent with Carla Hall is just pure delight, due to her being among the most genuine and charming people around. But it is extra fun getting to cook from her newest book - Carla Hall’s Soul Food - because it is such a beautiful personal exploration. The book takes a unique perspective on her own background and includes a lot of vignettes via a road trip.

But of course the recipes are what really draw us all in and I couldn’t wait to get her unique take on shrimp. Her Cracked Shrimp recipe is a twist on the cracked conch she saw when she worked in the Caribbean and it has completely shifted my view on cooking shrimp. Watch the video below to see her technique and get the recipe to try it yourself!

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Dorie Greenspan Has a Salad To Save You

When I met Dorie Greenspan many years ago I was so delighted to learn that the voice I relate to so much on the page of her cookbooks is the exact person you get if you are lucky enough to have her standing in front of you. For so many of us she is our helpful and enthusiastic guide, coaxing us along to make recipes that bring out our best selves without feeling a lot of stress.

For her newest book, Everyday Dorie, she really brings us into her home and I wanted to tackle a recipe from it with her that really spoke to her demeanor. This salad we made together doesn’t have an artfully done photograph in the book nor was it one of the ones she suggested. But I love it because it reminded me of the quintessential way all of Dorie’s books make me feel - like I can do anything with whatever I have on hand and it will still turn out fabulously.

So watch me gush over one of my favorite people (sorry, I just have to every time I see her) and then get inspiration for a salad that will have you reaching into your pantry in no time.

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Martina McBride Is a Country AND Cooking Sensation

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. You’re not supposed to be able to sell 14 million albums AND be a great cook. But alas, that’s what you get with Martina McBride. The country music superstar just happens to also be an accomplished cookbook author and her second book, Martina’s Kitchen Mix, was recently released.

Martina came by the kitchen to share a little bit about her book as well as one of her recipes. She was so sweet we might even forgive her for being good at everything.

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The Lighter, Brighter Take on Egg Salad

Certain concepts seem to be stuck in another time. Egg salad always feels that way - a bit heavy and a bit basic with the tweaks in herbs or spices never feeling quite large enough to shift the genre. But that’s where Cal Peternell comes in. His recipes always have the feel of something you should have been making forever but are actually his own special spin. His newest book, Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta, is a delight and is full of semi-vegetarian recipes that all fit that bill. I fell in love with his Salsa Rustica because it feels like a breath of fresh air to the egg salad mold. It serves the same purpose but without any mayo and ingredients to give depth and new life.

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