Cover to Cover

When I read a cookbook I often find myself imagining scenes of either myself or the author cooking the recipe, envisioning who I might make it for or for what occasion.  I find I am just as easily absorbed as if I was reading a novel.  Reading recipes is also very good for culinary inspiration.  The other day I read something about fig jam with sesame seeds.  I don’t have a use for jam but, I may want to put fig ice cream with sesame cookies on my menu,  or create a fig newton style cookie with sesame seeds in the dough. Cookbooks open the door to so many food possibilities.

On Christmas morning I happily opened Martha Stewart’s Cookie Book and Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson from my mother.  From Bryan, I received Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Barbara Lynch’s Stir. I gave Bryan Tom Colicchio’s Witchcraft in hopes of getting him into the kitchen more often.  Then when we headed down to Birmingham, Bryan’s mom generously bought me an autographed copy of Frank Stitt’s Southern Table. Finally, I took a look at my grandmother’s cookbook shelf and found two that she said I could take with me.  The first being The Christian Gourmet – A cookbook by Winchester Christian School. I am excited about this recipe collection for a few reasons, one it reminds me of my dad, he taught at the school when I was born and it contains pretty much every “go to” recipe my mother ever makes.  So now instead of calling her when I want to make something from my childhood it is all right in one book!!!! The other book that I snagged from Grandma is Women’s Home Companion Cook Book which spells the word syrup like this SIRUP?!!!! Through the whole book?!! Very strange, I have yet to spend time with it but I will let you know what else I find.

Tonight I made a sweet potato spoon bread from Super Natural Cooking, not a bread, more like a casserole,  but delicious with a spinach and blood orange salad.  I look forward to sharing new recipes inspired from my growing cookbook collection with you in the coming year!!!

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

3 medium sweet potatoesroasted, peeled and mashed

3 T butter

2 large shallots, sliced thinly

5 oz goat cheese, mixed and fluffed with 2T of water to make it smooth

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 t salt

1/2 t fresh ground pepper

1 cup boiling water

2 eggs

grated Parmesan

Preheat oven for 425.  Mix flour, salt and paper in a bowl.  Melt better in a small pan and add sliced shallots.  Cook over med, low heat till beginning to brown and soft. Boil water and once hot, add to flour mixture a little at a time to create a batter, it is OK if it is lumpy.  Add sweet potato purée, stir in shallots and finally stir in eggs one at a time.  Spray a 8×8 baking dish and spread 2/3 of sweet potato mixture in the dish, dot with goat cheese and then finish dollops of the rest of the sweet potatoes.  Bake till goat cheese begins to get a little brown and potatoes are set.  Serve with salad and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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  1. “A cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake.” « HT Baking

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