As I would expect from a book that is written by a food blogger (the food blog Seven Spoons, written by Tara O’Brady), there are lots of gorgeous photos in the newly released cookbook of the same name, Seven Spoons. I mean, just look at the book cover.
So gorgeous that even though I may not have thought much of a recipe title (such as Savory Steel-Cut Oats with Cheese and Spinach), the recipe was immediately bookmarked when I saw the picture. I mean, Oats… normally I would have paged by as I skimmed through the book the first time, were it not for this drool-worthy photo that suddenly changed my perspective on oats.
Yes, many photos alone made me want to make the recipes included in this book. I wish there could have been photographs included with all the recipes. The way she writes the recipes is very conversational and chatty as if you are friends with her and cooking together in the kitchen. This is wonderful in how personal each recipe is. But it does also mean a lot of reading of the intro sometimes to get to the heart of why she loves this recipe or why you should make it – something each of her photos just cuts to the chase to in it’s stunning beauty.
The recipes Tara lists are diverse and take cues from lots of different cuisines – Roasted Carrots with Harissa Aïoli and Dukkah, Indian with Chaat Tostadas, Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, Bee-Stung Fried Chicken, Huevos a la Plaza de Mercado and more which I really appreciate.
There is a whole section at the beginning just on bread! I would have never considered making my own bread that doesn’t involve my breadmaker, but the photo was really trying to convince me otherwise.
The variety in Seven Spoons means the recipes are both new takes on the familiar, but also offer things completely foreign to explore (such as below Coconut Kheer with Bronzed Pineapple and Halloumi in Chermoula (a Greek cheese enjoyed fried golden with Northern African dressing).
However, then some of the recipes call for specialty ingredients that I’m not sure I would use very often, and there are some recipes that sound amazing but then have a recipe list of 30 some items (such as Vietnamese-Inspired Sausage Rolls) and several pages worth of steps. Other recipes are only a page and a handful of ingredients – so it is a mix of levels. You have to really read each recipe through, and with no numbered steps you have to mentally break it up yourself.
Something like her recipe Mushrooms and Greens with Toast she explains that the measurements don’t have to be exact and can use a variety of possible vegetables from greens to squash, and can be any cheese. In homey fashion, she even advocates tearing the mushrooms by hand rather than slicing it. Very easy.
Others, like her Burger Treated Like A Steak she goes into the detail of the percent fat of the beef and thickness and width of the patty down to a divot in the center to compensate for swelling as the burger cooks and temperature before resting.
Then there is a recipe like Chia Pudding with Fruit and Golden Honey Elixir seems simple, but involves making Golden Honey Elixir (a recipe on another page) and after mixing the Chia Pudding letting it chill overnight.
Still, I think this is a great book to have in the kitchen to get a bit more variety of food to create in the kitchen, and there are several that I think will become staples for me thanks to her great taste of adding a bit more flavors or textures to make an otherwise normal dish extraordinary (such as the tip about using mayo for Cheese-Fried Toast Soldiers, and variations of peanut butter like Vanilla Espresso Walnut Butter). It seems that all of these recipes have been tested to be truly tasty, and so it’s up to you as the cook to decide what you want to invest in.
Disclosure: This book was provided to me as part of the Blogging for Books program, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.