Cooking the Books: Eating Local by Sur La Table

Cooking the Books

There’s something quite magical about a cookbook that speaks right to your soul, particularly when it’s gifted.

Enter: Sur La Table’s Eating Local. I love this cookbook for many reasons, but mainly because my mom gave it to me when I needed it most in college. I was (very) new to the kitchen, surviving off of eggs, sandwiches, cookies, and coffee. Convenience tipped the scale since time was short. As it happened, I discovered the farmer’s market shortly after the book arrived, and the rest is history.

While I’ve made a handful of delicious recipes from Eating Local, I mostly pull it out for inspiration. If you’re like me, and you’re big on sustainability, supporting your local farmers, and eating seasonally, then this cookbook is for you. I shop at the farmer’s market during the summer months, and subscribe to our local CSA in the winter. Sometimes, though, I draw a blank when our box arrives. Soup? Chili? Gratin? Thankfully, this cookbook never disappoints.

Eating Local also provides year-round tips for storing, preparing, and preserving the best of each season, motivating me to waste as little food as possible. I’m focused on the book’s root veggie dishes right now. Bring it on, fall.

What’s Cooking: October

It’s hard to let go of the Summer season but we’re trying to embrace it with some delicious summer-into-fall dishes. Here’s a few recipes we’ll be cooking up this month.

tomato salad

Since I’m representing the West Coast side of the #cookitcrew, I’m still all about tomatoes. That said, I know the end is near. This is one heck of a way to celebrate that hard fact. Laurie, CEO + Founder

cinnamon rolls

As soon as the weather changes from Summer to Fall, I start craving warm spices like cinnamon and oh, lots of butter. And when I think about those two things, I instantly think of these sweet and fluffy cinnamon rollsNetanya, Social Media Manager

Now that it’s officially October, I’m welcoming all-things pumpkin spice with open arms. This pumpkin pie cookie dough looks insanely delicious, but I’m also eyeing a slice of Natalie’s vegan pumpkin cake. One can never have too many pumpkin desserts, right? Edie, Account Manager

I’ve never met a squash I didn’t like, but I’m particularly fond of delicata squash (you don’t have to peel it!!). Now that it’s at the market, I’ll be making this recipe from Athena Calderone’s Eye Swoon. It’s simple, but the flavor combination packs a punch. Renae, Senior Brand Strategist

With the cooler weather sweeping through Denver, we’ve been craving a good ol’ bowl of chili! I found a recipe from one of our very own influencers— Oh, Sweet Basil — and it was delicious! The bacon is everything. Jackie, Senior Account Manager

Lately, I’ve been incorporating meatless meals into our weekly rotation, and I’ve honestly felt a lot more energized. I feel like my body is a fan. I try to vary up the recipes, but I’m really fond of this Caramelized Onion Mushroom and Spinach Pizza recipe, even if it is pizza!  Anna, Brand Strategist

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…

Our #CookItCrew is made up of some amazing and talented brands & influencers, and today we’re chatting with Yumna of Feel Good Foodie. Her passion for the food industry and clean eating inspired her journey into blogging, and we’re so glad to learn five things we didn’t know about her today!

  1. I was born in Zaire (now the Republic of Congo) and grew up in Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa until I was 11 years old. We left in 1993 when a civil war broke out, and we came to Dearborn, Michigan, where some of my dad’s relatives lived. 
  2. I’m obsessed with dark chocolate and have a piece every single day after dinner.
  3. My brother and I have the same name, but his name (Aiman) is the masculine version of my name (Yumna). My name means the right side, and I tell my husband it means I’m right and he’s wrong haha!
  4. I broke my left arm when I was 2 years old and became double jointed because of it.
  5. I was the Female Athlete of the Year in my graduating class of 400. I think it was mostly because all the best athletes just didn’t have the minimum 2.5 GPA to qualify for the award 😉

What’s Cooking: September

corn salad

We’re making use of all the leftover summer produce we have laying around in our kitchens before we start dreaming of soups, stews and braised dishes. Here are our last-of-the-summer dishes we’ve been loving the last couple weeks.

I swear corn tastes sweeter when you know it’s signing off for the season soon. It’s also one of those ingredients that everyone (including the vegans, the vegetarians, the picky eaters and the meat eaters) in my family loves. So I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect raw corn salad. To date, this is the winner. Tonight, I’m trying this one. I’d love it if you sent me yours! Laurie, CEO + Founder

lemon curd

It’s not lemon season right now, but I do love a good lemon curd. I made this one and added it to yogurt, granola, and fresh berries. It’s the best breakfast treat! Netanya, Social Media Manager

pesto

By some miracle, my basil plant is still thriving indoor herbs and filtered sunlight for the win! Until I start craving all-things pumpkin spice, you can bet I’ll be adding basil to most of our dishes. Recently, I’ve been using our organic basil in this pesto spaghetti squash. As far as weeknight dinners are concerned, it’s a winner. Plus, I swear the ‘pasta’ tastes even better the next day. Edie, Account Manager

I’ve just learned the trick to a perfectly-seared salmon fillet—don’t take it out of the pan too early! If you can trust that it’s not burning and allow it to get that deep, golden-brown color, then you can look forward to a truly great meal. I’m obsessed. Obviously, we’ve been eating a lot of salmon lately, mostly paired with roasted cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of basil oil. It feels just right for the end of summer. Renae, Senior Brand Strategist

frittat
This past month has been a whirlwind with loads of travel. Which means I’m constantly cleaning out the fridge and throwing things together for meals. Something easy that I like to do is just throw together a frittata using up random ingredients. They’re also delish for any meal. It’s a win-win. Anna, Brand Strategist

Cooking the Books: Alison Roman’s Dining In

chocolate chip cookies

Confession: We’ve got some cookbook hoarders over here on #teamcookit. We love to curl up with our cookbooks on the weekends and cook from them during the week. We have a Slack channel devoted to them, and we’re always talking about the latest cookbook we can’t wait to get our hands on.

Over the past couple weeks, Alison Roman’s Dining In has been the topic of choice. Laurie, our CEO & Founder was the first to cook from it, making-roasted pork shoulder with garlic, oranges, chilies and cilantro. Then Netanya, our Social Media Manager, got her hands on it, making everything from crunchy chili oil to cumin-roasted cauliflower with dates and tahini.

At that point, I knew I had to buy myself a copy. Although I’m not one to call myself a baker, the folks at my boyfriend’s office had no complaints about the Instagram-famous Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies along with the Buttered Raspberry Hand Pies I made (even though I used blackberries instead of raspberries, since they were a better buy and I like them better!).

And just to test out whether this cookbook was really a winner, I made Alison’s Sour Cream Flatbread with Oil-Roasted Mushrooms for dinner one night.

One bite and the verdict was clear. Dining In is truly an incredible cookbook, with easy, delicious and approachable recipes you’ll keep coming back to time and again. So we hope you grab a copy for yourself and “Dine in.”

What’s Cooking: August

chocolate chunk shortbread cookies

 

In the summertime, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven. That said, there are some recipes we’ll gladly suffer for. These are some of our team’s favorites from the past few sultry weeks.

dining in cookbook

Well, currently my head and heart have been dedicated and devoted to Alison Roman’s Dining In. This week, I made two batches of the Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, one because everyone was talking about them, and the second because…I get it, I get it, they are delicious! Jackie, Senior Account Manager

strawberry balsamic pie

There is something so quintessential about pie and summertime. Every year, I pull out Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ recipe for strawberry balsamic pie. It’s a perfect crowd pleaser! Netanya, Social Media Manager

fruit salad

I’ve been obsessed for a bit now with salads that combine fruit, tomatoes, cheese and avocado. And I have no intention of stopping. This excellent version from our girl Haley of Brewing Happiness knocked the idea out of the park by adding chunks of country bread for a new take on panzanella. Laurie, CEO + Founder

almond pesto

This time of year, basil grows like a weed in my backyard (how lucky am I?). So I’m making all sorts of pesto variations. I love Deliciously Ella’s take on pesto, made with almonds instead of pine nuts. It has a more delicate flavor than the traditional version—all the better for a light summer meal. Renae, Senior Brand Strategist

Poached Eggs

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to learn and attempt to make poached eggs. This post and video by Lisa of Downshiftology is the perfect guide: It breaks down all the problems you could have and all the tips you’ll need. Now I can master brunch (in my pajamas)! Anna, Brand Strategist

mediterranean salmon

Salmon en papillote is a year-round staple (so easy and delicious), but we’ve been loving the Roasted Root’s Mediterranean twist. It’s incredibly flavorful and pairs well with leftover grains and leafy greens. Edie, Account Manager

 

 

5 Things You Don’t Know About…

Edie

Edie Horstman

Our #CookItCrew comprises staff, influencers, brands, agencies, designers, photographers – all the amazing people we work with. Today we’re checking in with our talented Account Manager, Edie Horstman. We asked what we don’t know about her!

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I’m Mexican-food obsessed, and I credit my mom. In 2005, she opened a small taqueria in the Bay Area. Fast forward 13 years later, and she has five Mexican restaurants called LuLu’s. Talk about inspiring!
  2. My favorite late-night snack is a scoop (or two) of So Delicious ice cream. Any flavor.
  3. The one cookbook I’d save in a fire (God forbid!) is Oh She Glows Every Day — Angela’s recipes are delicious, satisfying, and encourage me to get creative with veggies!
  4. I love live video (weird, I know)! My secret is practicing beforehand. Notes are also key.
  5. The strangest thing in my pantry is Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. What can I say? I’m a little kid at heart.

What’s Cooking: June 2018

tomatoes

Our favorite past time? Talking about food, of course! Our team is always discussing the latest recipe, restaurant or cookbook we’re into. Here’s our list for June…

What We’re Cooking:

  • Anything and everything that involves heirloom tomatoes.
  • Everything from Alison Roman’s “Dining In” Cookbook. Can’t get over her recipe for Crunchy Chili Oil. I put it on everything now!
  • Currently making the basil vinaigrette from What’s Gaby Cooking every week!
  • Peaches with burrata, heirloom tomatoes and basil… anything that doesn’t require the stove!
  • Soba noodles! I’m a lover of all noodles, but in the summer I prefer cold broths over hot. I love keeping it simple or adding edamame, chicken, and nori.

What We’re Into:

  • Summer herbs. For our wedding, we were gifted an herb garden seed kit from Williams Sonoma. Thankfully, my basil is flourishing. And I’ve recently potted chives, parsley, mint, and cilantro. Wish me luck!
  • Making pies! Love using all the beautiful market bounty like juicy peaches, perfectly tart cherries and plump berries.
  • Car picnics, especially before a concert at Red Rocks

Where We’re Eating:

  • Denver’s Barcelona Wine Bar. I’ve been an embarrassing number of times since they opened a few months ago — as in, the manager knows me by first and last name. Everything is amazing, including their white wine sangria and roasted cauliflower with romesco sauce.  
  • The LGBT sandwich (a Pride Month special) at The Walrus and the Hedgehog, a pop up in the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, and one of L.A.’s best caterers!

 

What’s Cooking: May 2018

 

focaccia
Salted Focaccia. Photo by Alex Lau.

We can’t help it, we’re so food crazy! Here are the CookIt Crew’s most recent recipe/restaurant/cookbook/cookware obsessions.

What We’re Cooking:

  • This unbelievably delicious, crispy, salty focaccia (photo above) from Bon Appétit (twice in the past month!).
  • This go-to appetizer from The Modern Proper is always a crowd-pleaser.
  • For mornings when we don’t want a caffeine rush, we keep My New Roots’ golden milk spice blend ready to go. It’s surprisingly energizing. (This coming from a bunch of coffee addicts!)
  • All the spring dishes from the Love and Lemons cookbook! We swoon over Jeanine and Jack’s photography.

What We’re Into:

  • Herriot Grace has some of the most beautiful kitchen goods and homeware. We’re obsessed, and can’t wait to pick up a few of their beautiful stoneware plates for summer dinner parties!
  • Atmosphere mists (room sprays) from Fig + Yarrow. We could spend hours in that store. If you aren’t already following their Instagram, you can do that here. You’re welcome.
  • The 2-qt. non-stick ceramic Green Pan saucepan. It’s the perfect size for rice or scrambled eggs, and cleans up so easily. We’ll always love our All-Clad babies, but….
  • The Forest Feast’s cookbook— Gatherings. It has us so ready for outdoor entertaining!

Where We’re Eating:

  • The Bombay Bread Bar, a new restaurant in New York serving Indian cuisine in a Wes Anderson designed space.
  • Just Be Kitchen, a haven for health gurus and paleo-eating Denverites, is now open for dinner! And, they have a new spring-summer menu.
  • Saturday morning at Din Tai Fung is becoming a favorite new brunch tradition.
  • Rosaliné in West Hollywood. One word: ceviche!

What’s Cooking: April 2018

Toast

Fun fact about the CookIt Crew. By day, we’re a bunch of brand consultants, social media pros and account managers. By night, we’re cooks, the kind that think chopping an onion is meditative. So, in every issue, we’ll share some of our cooking/chef/restaurant/recipe obsessions – thinking you might be a lot like us!

What we’re cooking:

  • Zuni Cafe ChickenOn our way out the door recently, the hostess at Zuni in San Francisco handed us type-written copies of the original recipe, bread salad and all. Best way to roast chicken ever.
  • Haven’t met aSmitten Kitchen recipe we didn’t like, especially her recipe for these chocolate peanut butter cookies!
  • We’re obsessed with Athena Calderone’s Cook Beautiful. The photographs are gorgeous, and they’re making us jazzed to eat our veggies.
  • Paleo Gluten Free Eatsis a great resource for creamy and savory Whole 30 recipes!

What we’re into:

  • The Joule sous vide–omg, sous vide carrots and beets, who knew?
  • The Hazy Jane cocktail atTusk in Portland. Reyka vodka, almond, lemon, yogurt, cinnamon, black cardamom and rose water. We’ve been known to have more than two
  • The Joyfull Bakery Parmesan Cheese Crisps, which we first tried at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last month. One word: dangerous!

Where we’re eating:

  • Kismet, a cozy corner of a restaurant in East Hollywood serving an eye-opening take on modern Middle Eastern Cuisine
  • Our favorite little spot in the West Village calledBar Sardine. Great cocktails, atmosphere, and small plates.
  • Highland Park’s Côté Est: an up-and-coming LA neighborhood, and one of the most beautiful patios in town. Don’t miss the steak frites.