Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Wish List and Then Some

So as I am starting to pull Christmas together around here, I figured most of you may be doing the same thing. I thought that I might share some suggestions for gifts for anyone trying, starting or succeeding at living the dos of the word of wisdom.

Kitchen Gear
Cuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed ChromeCuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender, I try not to remember pureeing soups before my immersion blender, it was just too much of a hassle and mess. My life got so much better when I got this beauty. I actually have a high powered Braun model with some extra attachments, but my sister has this one and likes it just fine. It makes this soup, quick tomato basil bisque about as easy as opening, reconstituting and heating the canned variety.
DIY- Pastry Cloth. I've had and loved many a pastry cloth, but I really love the one my mother-in-law made for me a while back. You can make them yourself, all you need is some heavy cotton or light canvas cloth. 24" x 20" is standard, but if you are making your own you can add a few extra inches to you liking if you wish. This so much easier than rolling out dough on the counter top since the flour sinks into the fibers and create as less sticky surface, and you can get nice an cold by storing it in the freezer to further prevent sticking.
Cuisinart DFP-7BC 7 Cup Food ProcessorCuisinart Food Processor. This is a spendy one, but the Christmas I was surprised with a food processor was my favorite Christmas to this day, even better than anything I got as a child. I was so surprised and so excited. My model is even more spartan than this one, but I adore it. We do everything together: dough, pesto, apple slicing, you name it. In my dream life I will be getting the fourteen cup model with all the attachments.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. If you haven't read it yet it is well worth the read. I really enjoyed this book and learned so much. I have even gifted it to people who wanted to know more about the way I felt about food, who have also enjoyed it.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. I read this a few weeks ago and plan to review in here within the week. It was so well written, poignant and even humorous at times.  A great read.
The Word of Wisdom - A Modern Interpretation The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation written by Apostle John A. Widtsoe together with his wife Leah Widtsoe, is a rare book indeed. It is no longer in print but Deseret Book has made it available in digital format to purchase through amazon. I haven't read it yet, but Likely, the other contributer here has it and recommends it. This is on my Christmas list.

The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better LivingThe Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. My lovely parents sent me this one for my birthday this year. You already know I liked the book that preceded the cookbook. The cookbook is really great for a wide audience because it isn't a vegetarian cookbook, it is about cooking with less meat, not no meat. And the recipes are great. I loved the chocolate pudding made with tofu, but alas I discovered my soy intolerance and that fun was over. I swear, you could not tell the secret ingredient at all. So good, but not for me anymore.
Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' MarketsLocal Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets I adore Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, so I immediately fell in love with this book as well. I was gifted this book for Christmas last year and it has been the source of so many good meals and ideas. Some the things I've shared with you have included: bright lights and chard gratin and pasta with golden fennel.
The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking) Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking) Any thing by Mollie Katzen is delightful. Here are my two most recent additions: Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe and The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I even cooked the title recipe from the latter I'll share with you in a moment. But first I would like the offer the The Enchanted Broccoli Forest as my gift to one of you.
A giveaway! 
Yes, I love doing that.
To enter to win a copy of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest
just tell me what your favorite cookbook is.

The entirely edible enchanted broccoli forest in too deep of a pan to really
appreciate the tree factor of the vertical broccoli.

I added the cheese and used whole wheat couscous, since I had some to use up and it was awesome. And my kids loved the presentation.
The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest
Mollie Katzen
serves 6

1 lb. bunch of broccoli
2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Generous pinch of salt
½ tsp dill weed
Lots of black pepper
Chilli flakes, to taste
2 eggs
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 cup swiss cheese, or cheddar
Juice from one lemon

Place rice and water in small to medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower heat and cover. Cook til just done – about 20-30 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Cut broccoli into little trees with a couple of centimetres of stalk still on (as you will need this length to plant the broccoli). Steam broccoli til just done (I suspect I overdid it by microwaving on high for about 5-6 minutes).

Meanwhile prepare other ingredients. In a medium to large saucepan sauté onion and garlic in butter over medium heat, stirring til onions are soft and translucent (8-10 minutes). Add remaining ingredients (except lemon juice) and rice and stir well.

Spread rice mixture into a greased 10 x 6 inch pan and smooth out. Use a skewer or end of a fork to make holes at regular intervals. Place broccoli in the holes. I don’t know I did this quite right as my broccoli was quite floppy – maybe it was too well cooked or the stems were too long but it still looked fine. Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli. The recipe suggested using mixed lemon juice and butter but I decided to leave out the butter.

Cover with foil (Mollie says gently but firmly) and bake at 325 for 30 minutes.

Don't forget to tell me your favorite cookbook and enter the giveaway!


  1. I love Mollie Katzen too! Thanks for this recipe, I have had Broccoli Forest on my wishlist for a long time. My favorite and most used cookbook is Moosewood Restaurant's lowfat favorites. The sweet potato and black bean burritos, and the chili burgers are two of our most loved recipes. Thanks for the giveaway and a great blog!

  2. I have the very rare Widtsoe Word of Wisdom book! You can borrow it if I can find it -- ha ha. it's not on our normal bookshelf.

    great list! I need an immersion blender.....

  3. My favorite cookbook is one my aunt compiled of my Grandmother's recipes. I love it.

  4. I don't use a recipe book :(, but I would love to try! I hope that counts.

  5. Oh, and two of my favorite cookbooks are family meals, put out by Williams Sonoma and Apples for Jam. And I love a purely pizza cookbook I have as well. It is too hard to decide.

    To be completely honest though, my very favorite is my drawer full of recipe cards that I need to organize. badly.

  6. Oooh, I love Mollie Katzen too! I think I first got turned on to her with the FamilyFun Cookbook (where she contributed some recipes). Now I own the Moosewood Cookbook, Still Life With Menu, Pretend Soup, and Honest Pretzels. I want to own more of them!

    I love the Moosewood Cookbook best because she hand-writes all of the recipes complete with drawings, and she's so chatty that you feel like she's in your kitchen with you. My favorite phrase from that book is when she's giving tips for the salad bowl you use for your green salads:

    "Make it your special salad bowl—it will acquire more depth and soul with each use, and this will enhance something nameless (I don't know what) about the experience."

    See what I mean about chatty? I think of what she says every time I take down my "special" wooden salad bowl to make a salad.

  7. It's hard to pick just one.

    I absolutely love my "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day" by Hertzberg and Francois. It has transformed our meal times with fresh bread at almost every dinner and makes absolutely wonderful pizza crust.Our family loves bread and these recipes will have everyone raving about your bread.

    I also love Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone" but a little treasure my family would say we have is "Simple Vegetarian Pleasures" by Jeanne Lemlin. Quick easy meals that are delicious! Little kids and big kids go crazy over her stove top mac and Cheese, my husband loves her smoke Gouda pasta, and I'm crazy for her almond and cranberry cold cereal. It's a nice cookbook when you have less than 1 hour to whip up a delicious meal.

  8. My treasured, most used cookbook is one my mother complied when she was YW president when I was a youth. It seems to have every "go-to" recipe I need. Other then that, my "Taste of Home" cookbook is the next fav. As you can see... I need to branch out :)

  9. I just discovered your blog -sooo great! I'll be back often!

    I own about 400 cookbooks. No, I am NOT making that up. I do two food blogs, so I use cookbooks every single day. I read cookbooks like most people read novels - from cover to cover!

    My go-to cookbook is Best Recipes by the Cook's Illustrated folks. It not only tells you what to do, but why you're doing it. If you want to know how to boil an egg, there are 5 pages on that topic. That book has made me a better cook!

    Donna Kelly

  10. Oooh! I adore my Quick and Easy Thai cookbook. It is because of this book that I have coconut milk, fish sauce, rice noodles, and curry paste in my pantry at all times and making paht Thai or red curry are viable options for a fast, delicious meal.

  11. School Is Bad
    Reason number 13:
    I missed this entirely until now.

    My favorite cookbook is Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
    Do I really need to give a reason?

    Okay, either that or The Twinkie Cookbook.

  12. My new favorite cookbook is really a baking book entitled the Modern Baker. I got it out of the library....mmmmm yummy stuff. The most amazing pie crust every!


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