It's August in Los Angeles, which means that it is hot out. When it gets this hot, most people's food cravings tend to sway to fare that is light, cool, and refreshing– and going out in this heat is just not worth it; so why not turn to cookbooks? For you we have the perfect cookbooks (and cocktails) for summer, and don't worry– for blogging purposes I have tested these recipes and can guarantee they are just as delicious as they sound, not to mention super easy to make!
On our cookbook taste-test journey we, of course, started with drinks! Our Tarot of Cocktails book contains 45 different cocktail recipes, so it was hard to choose just one in the beginning. After much debate, we ultimately swayed toward gin (not to be confused with swaying after gin, another common occurrence), and ended up making the "New Beginning". The "New Beginning" is a blueberry and basil gin drink which was ice-cold and aromatic, with just a hint of fruity sweetness from the blueberries and simple syrup.
The tonic completed this cocktail perfectly, giving the basil and blueberries an extra effervescent boost, super refreshing. The tarot themed recipes made making these cocktails all the more magical. This recipe book would be so fun for dinner parties, small get-togethers, or simply flipping through for a fun and fancy weekend cocktail!
With our drinks in hand we opened up Salad Party, a mix and match cookbook for light and tasty salad combos, which also include a lot of yummy grains and proteins. You can choose your base, topping, and dressing from a wide variety of options, or flip to the back to see the recommended combinations. We decided on a base of Quinoa, Mushrooms w/ Shallots and Thyme topping, and a Hazelnut and Herb Pesto dressing! Because I live in a household heavily reliant on fats and protein (the keto diet you guys, it's real and thriving), I also added a simple baked chicken breast, but you can include any add-ons that you like. I also think this recipe is perfect the way it is, or with an added bed of arugula or spinach for a satisfying (and completely vegan) summer evening meal!
With items that made me feel like a professional chef at the grocery store (hazelnuts and sage? c'mon), this recipe was surprisingly easy to make, and took less time than pretty much all of our trusted weeknight dinners. The pesto was nutty and creamy without a single dairy component, the mushrooms earthy and savory, and the quinoa light and hearty to make a meal which was filling without being greasy or heavy. Salad Party made it easy to decide what we wanted for dinner, which made making this cookbook a staple in our kitchen a no-brainer.
We finished our cookbook extravaganza with Ice Cream Party– the mix and match cookbook for no-fuss homemade ice-cream, plus drool-worthy treats and toppings. This cookbook has artisanal ice creams you can make at home plus the most delicious baked goods and indulgent toppings like spiced hot fudge sauce, black and white sesame brittle, and espresso ganache bites.
For our decadent dessert we first chose our base which was a Buckwheat Brownie, our ice cream– a non-traditional but highly delicious Olive Oil Ice Cream, and our topping, a Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream to lighten up the party and add a little bit of tang to all the rich chocolate and heavy cream. Our brownie/ice-cream/crème fraîche combo was sweet, cold, and absolutely delicious. Ice Cream Party cookbook? Highly recommend.