I always wanted to write a cookbook — ever since I started cooking when I was 7 years old. My mom always joked, that the skill to cook skips one generation and since my grandmother was a very good cook (see Oma’s Lentil Soup recipe from last week), it was mostly up to me as a young teenager to cook family meals.
This wish became stronger over the past few years, as I have been cooking for my children. It is important to me to serve my family nutritious, healthy, and diverse meals to my family. My 2 girls have started to enjoy critiquing the food my husband and I put on the table. As a family, we mainly cook vegetable-based Italian food — with some German meat dishes mixed in for Shabbat and Yom Tovim.
I tell you all this because I recently had the opportunity to review Renee Muller’s new book “Our Table — Time-Tested Recipes, Memorable Meals” and after reading it, I have no desire to write one of my own. I simply couldn’t do better than Renee has already done.
And here is why:
The first thing that you notice about this cookbook is that it is beautiful. No, actually, it is stunning. From cover to cover, the food in the photos is styled so elegant, but yet simplistic and approachable – just like the recipes that emphasize the characteristics of North Italian cuisine with is fresh, flavorful and homely approach.
I recently gave away most of my kosher cookbooks and kept only three special ones because they were wedding gifts. I did this because I could not stand how the recipes mostly relied on processed food. I try to feed my family on whole foods (preferably grown locally or even at home), so that was not an option. I was so excited to see that I have only discovered one recipe that calls for duck sauce!
Over the past few weeks, I picked it up and read the stories that are included in many recipes. If you are new to some techniques used in this cookbook (e.g., how to shape, cut and cook gnocchi), you can follow along with 11 video tutorials that come with the book.
Since we are a bit crazy about goat cheese, this Rosh Hashanah, I am looking forward to integrating the following recipes into our Yom Tov menu:
- Creamy Mozzarella Balls
- Butternut Squash Cream Soup
- Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Tart
- Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
- Sea Salt Caramels
- Apple & Honey Rosh Hashanah Muffins
The last recipe I am especially excited about since I was allowed to share it with you today:
- For the apples
- 2 Tablespoons butter OR margarine
- 4 Granny Smith apples, diced
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- For the muffins
- 2 cups prepared tea, lukewarm
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups oil
- 2 cups honey
- 12 eggs
- 6 cups flour
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 heaping Tablespoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Prepare the apples: In a saucepan, melt butter over a medium-low flame. Add apples, sugar, and cinnamon; cook until apples are fragrant and soften a bit, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the muffins: In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed, combine tea, sugar, oil, honey, and eggs. Mix until smooth. Reduce speed; gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. (I like to use a cupcake
for this; I find it very helpful.) Top with a teaspoon of prepared apples. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out almost dry with some moist crumbs attached. pen
If you are looking for beautiful, simplistic and fresh food made at home with love rather than in a factory, you should buy this book.
Image Credits: Renee Muller Our Table & Artscroll 2016