This episode of Cookbook Crush is especially special, as not only have I purchased this cookbook after my usual pre-reading via the local library, but I made three recipes from it within my first week of purchase. Cha-Ching! As such, it is definitely crush-worthy, and worth a look!
Date Night In is the brainchild of Seattle chef/baker Ashley Rodriguez, author of the popular food blog, Not Without Salt. This cookbook reads as a smattering of heartfelt anecdotes, describing how amidst their hectic lives, both working full-time, and raising three kids, she and her husband Gabe felt the need to reconnect weekly in order to sustain their relationship. However, not being able to afford pricy date nights out every week, they were forced to improvise. Hence, "date night in" was born. They began having date nights every Thursday - meaning dinner for just the two of them - no kids allowed, enjoyed after their children were tucked away in bed.
The cookbook is organized in a series of complete meals portioned for two people, in addition to timelines for prep in the days ahead, handy lists of ingredients needed to complete the meal, and notations relaying the significance of the recipes chosen. Now often, I skip the little blurbs in cookbooks, after all I'm here for the recipes, right? But no, not with this one. Ashley's cookbook reads like a love letter to both her craft and her family, and it's emotion is palpable and inspiring.
So far, I've made maple-coriander carrots, apple radicchio slaw, and strawberry shortcake trifle, with about a dozen other recipes bookmarked for future endeavors. All were superb and I find myself actually excited to read and reread this cookbook again and again, it's truly that good!
So...I have some news to share! We are expecting our 2nd child in mid-October. I realize that's not too far off and I'm a little behind in getting this news up on the blog, but I'm attributing my delays in posting to traveling and chasing my darling toddler around.
We are waiting to find out whether the baby is a boy or girl - different than we did the first time around. As such, deciding on a name is slightly more challenging, and we have yet to officially select names, but we do have a short list for both boy and girl names that we agree upon - most days.
We are very excited and happy to give Riley a little brother or sister!
Now that I'm feeling increasingly confident with my pie making skills, I want to add another basic to my baking skill set - bread making. Have you seen all the sugar and processed ingredients in bread these days?! Seriously, look at the ingredient label on your bread! It's crazy how many ingredients are in there that shouldn't be - should soy really be in bread? Half of them I can hardly pronounce!
I want to be able to know what's truly in the food I'm feeding my family. Bread seems daunting but so did pie crust, and really it's flour, water, salt, yeast, and a little time, right? At least, that's what I'm hoping. To jumpstart my journey into bread making, I added a few staples from the experts to my queue at the library, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, Flour Salt Water Yeast, and The New Artisan Bread.
So...who's with me? Anyone else make bread at home?