the kitchn cookbook

This is a fairly new addition to my collection. I picked it up in November 2014 as we were planning our kitchen remodel. If you haven’t already read the renovation story, you should check it out. Big changes! Anyway, I wasn’t familiar with http://www.thekitchn.com until I started reading the book – which I grabbed because it had some great pictures of kitchens in it. And if it had a few recipes – great! I had a lot of fun reading through the first half of the book – it’s actually a pretty innovative cookbook, depending on what you’re looking for – but didn’t really get fired up about cooking out of it until it recently won the 2015 James Beard award for best general cookbook. Congrats! Of course, I immediately decided it was my book of the week.

The Recipes
Fig and Almond Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes
Coconut Banana Bread
Overnight (No-Knead) Bread
Quick Sweet and Spicy Pickles
The Essential Kale Chip
Skillet Roasted Whole Chicken
Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles with Pan Seared Chicken
Quick Sauteed Greens with Ginger
Citrusy Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Cucumber, and Almonds
Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies
Magic One-Ingredient Ice Cream
(I know, I did a lot this week. Maybe a bit overboard. But you’ll find out why.)

The Good
Let’s start with how the book is set up. Part I is dedicated to “The Kitchen”  – setting it up, tools, and it features a lot of different people talking about a lot of different kitchens. My favorite part – they are REAL kitchens. There are a few that look like a magazine, but they are all actual, working kitchens. Apartment kitchens. Professional chef kitchens. Home kitchens. It was actually quite instructive – and inspiring – to see how other people are connecting with their kitchens. Part II is all about “How to Cook Well” with planning, cooking school, and the recipes. Not a ton of recipes – just enough to cover the essentials for meals, snacks, cocktails, desserts, and parties. But they are GOOD. The food was delicious. The skillet chicken may be my new go-to simply for the skin. It may not look pretty, but you’d have to pry it out of my hands. Cold noodles? C was in heaven. I think he said I was the best mom ever. H declared the overnight bread “AWESOME” and promptly ate three pieces….making one look like Minnesota. She’s 5. My friend asked for the greens with ginger recipe. And there were enough new tricks for a fairly experienced home cook to get excited. No knead bread? Tasty pancakes without whipping the egg whites? One ingredient ice cream? Yes please.

The Bad
Not much. Mostly cooks error. Making the kale chips with coconut oil was a revelation; oversalting them was a problem. Go easy on the salt. H didn’t like the cold noodles, but scooped the peanut sauce out of the bowl. Kids hated the sauteed greens, I loved them. Quinoa wasn’t a hit with the kids (H – it’s weird, C – can I have Kix?) and the Sweet and Spicy Pickles were too spicy for these rookies – but I would push back on that. The porridge and quinoa salads were good, but probably not make agains.

The Ugly
Hmmm…..probably me snacking on the chicken skin as I was putting away leftovers. But it was soooo good! It had both salt and dark brown sugar in the rub….oh my. And some people may think it’s gross to let your kids bite their bread into state shapes, but since I like geography, I thought it was kind of fun. Until C tried to copy his sister and claim that his shape – more along the lines of Kentucky – was Wisconsin. Then we had to shut it down. (Not really.)

the kitchn Cookbook. Recipes, Kitchens, and Tips to Inspire Your Cooking
Overall Cookbook Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I loved this cookbook. I am actually three days late posting because I wanted to do a few more things. The first half of the book is all about lifestyle – and if you love to cook and are thinking about what to make for dinner when you are washing breakfast dishes, then get the book. You can definitely go to thekitchn website for even more content – but I like the book better. It’s a little more elegant, a little more “have a drink and enjoy this” rather than speedy website reads. If this isn’t your first time at the rodeo – and you know your way around the kitchen – the book has some pretty fun tricks to relight your fire. And there is a great mix of kid friendly dishes along with tasty bites for the adults. Out of the books I’ve rated so far, this has been our favorite yet. I won’t say it’s the best book of the bunch yet, but it’s moving to my “prime time” shelf with my besties. We’ll see how the next week goes!

This week – Happy Cinco de Mayo! I’m celebrating with Rick Bayless. Follow the daily update at 1cookbook-1week.

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