Thursday, September 17, 2015

Seven Spoons by Tara O'Brady

Yay for new cookbooks! I got two fabulous new cookbooks for my birthday just a little while back and I got this brand new gem for review as well. Needless to say, the kitchen adventures in our house continue with zeal!

Seriously, I've realized that even when things are seeming not so great, heading into the kitchen to create a meal is still something I very much look forward to. Some people see it as a chore while I see it as a reward. I enjoy trying new things and I very much enjoy when those new things are things that I can make and then eat. Reward!

Tara O'Brady's Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day (titled after O'Brady's food blog) is a book I'd been looking forward to getting my hands on for some time. Just look at that enticing cover for one, don't you want to take a bit out of that?! That's the Fig Toasts with Buttered Honey, by the way, we tried it and it's awesome! I also have plans to tweak it and try it with local Palisade peaches.

But Becky, you might say, that's just the result of great photography. Well, yes. It is. And a good cookbook does kind of have to have good photography to go along with it. We do eat with our eyes first and a delectable looking picture draws me to try a dish over one that maybe doesn't have a pic. Seven Spoons has amazing photography. Really amazing.

It helps that the recipes are very produce focused in general - fresh fruits and veggies galore, which is something I crave and seek out regularly at our local farmers market. Recipes like the Soused Tomatoes, for example, are a great way for me to use up the abundance of tomatoes coming out of my garden at the moment. (Holy cow this recipe! The tomatoes bake at a low temperature for HOURS, soaked in herbs and oil, and come out so amazingly melty with crisp little bits around the edges! This was an immediate favorite here.) O'Brady's very simply titled Avocado Toast is another new favorite. Don't worry, it is simple to make but it tastes amazing thanks to a blend of lemon, garlic, and seven spice.

Which brings me to the flavors. Tara O'Brady has a quite unique blend of food cultures going on in this book thanks in part to her own family and influences. Indian spices make their way into drinks (Paloma with Chaat Masala), Labneh (a middle Eastern yogurt cheese) is used in dishes like Blitzed Ricotta and Peas, there's a Za'atar Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Salad with honey and hummus, and even pub favorites get a new twist with dishes like the Vietnamese-Inspired Sausage Rolls. And that's just a tiny taste - if you were to look at my copy right now you'd see page after page flagged to try and a flip through would reveal notes reading "YUM! Make again!" or "Great way to use up X" and "Make for company!"

Seven Spoons is perfect for anyone looking to try new twists on classic dishes (Chicken and Couscous with a Punchy Relish), dishes they may have only had in restaurants (Specialty Restaurant Lentil Kofta Curry), and favorites from O'Brady's own family (Soft-Set Scrambled Eggs based on her grandmother's own soft scrambled eggs - I'm dying to try the shrimp curry recipe if and when O'Brady decides to share that one, too).

For more on Tara O'Brady and a look at the kinds of recipes you can find inside, I definitely encourage you to head over to the blog that started it all!

Per Blogging for Books requirements: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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