Longing to travel again? Looking for new recipe inspiration? You’re in the right place! One of our team’s favorite ways to learn about new cuisines and flavors is through travel, and since we’re limited this year, we thought we’d try exploring in a new way.
You’re officially invited to join us for our first ever summer cookbook club, where we’ll learn about a new global cuisine each month.
The Official Lineup
- June: Vietnamese Food Any Day, by Andrea Nguyen (buy a signed copy from us and get a travel postcard and a playlist compiled by Andrea herself!)
- July: Sababa by Adeena Sussman (buy a signed copy from us and The Spice House will send you a package of Middle Eastern spices to inspire your cooking. Plus, that playlist!)
- August: My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Camara (buy a signed copy from us and The Spice House will send you a package of Mexican spices to inspire your cooking. Plus, that playlist!))
Live Cooking Demos
Every Thursday at 11am PST, a different member from our team will be doing a live cooking demo on Instagram. Mark your calendar so you don’t forget, and join us there! If you’d like to cook along with us, great, or you may just want to pop in and see how it’s done!
Thursday 8/6: Shredded Steak Salad
Thursday 8/13: Sopa de Flore de Calabaza
Thursday 8/20: Sopes Playeros
Thursday 8/27: Mussels in Chipotle Cream Sauce
Thursday 7/9: Tahini Blondies
Thursday 7/16: Moroccan Fish Cakes
Thursday 7/23: Za’atar Chili Bread
Thursday 7/30: Shawarma Pargiyot
Author Interviews, Ingredient Spotlights and More!
Each week you can expect a new email ranging from an introduction to the month’s cuisine, a great author interview, spice profile, product profile and more!
Cookbook Club Posts You May Have Missed
- Beginners Guide to Cooking Vietnamese Food at Home
- Kitchen Essentials for Cooking Vietnamese Food at Home
- Q&A with Cookbook Author Andrea Nguyen
- Ingredient Spotlight: Fish Sauce
- Beginner’s Guide to Israeli Cooking
- Q&A with Cookbook Author Adeena Sussman
- 5 Specialty Kitchen Tools to Cook Israeli Food at Home
Cook On Your Own & Share With the Club!
Even if you can’t make the live events, we’d love it if you try the week’s recipe on your own time and share (OR any other recipe from the book you’re excited about). If you’re comfortable sharing a photo on social media (Instagram or Facebook), show us what you’re cooking and be sure to tag #summercookbookclub so we can all follow along.
I’m In! Where Should I Buy My Books?
We’re partnering with Beach Books, an independent bookstore in Seaside OR, to ship SIGNED copies right to your door. With your book purchase, you’ll also receive:
- Charming travel postcard designed in-house
- Collection of each author’s favorite music to play in the kitchen
- Free shipping
- The chance to support an independent bookstore
Let’s Learn Together!
We can’t wait to learn more about new flavors and approaches to food this summer, and we’re really excited to cook right along with you!
Mary Kay Andrews’s Hello, Summer Lemon Bars
Hello, Summer is set in a small, sleepy Florida town. When people think of Florida, they think of bright, sunny skies, and delicious citrus and these lemon bars are the perfect way to celebrate that! As a native Floridian, my lust for lemons—indeed any citrus, is, excuse the pun, deep-rooted. Growing up in St. Petersburg, nearly every yard in our neighborhood could boast of at least one citrus tree—tangerines, lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits were plentiful.
For years I was on the hunt for the perfect lemon bar, one that balanced a buttery shortbread cookie base with a puckeringly tart lemon custard layer. My quest ended when I was a features writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I sat directly adjacent to the department’s food writers, which meant I was occasionally the recipient of one of the dozens of cookbooks those writers received weekly.
These bars—my riff on those from Kathleen King’s Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southhampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads—are both sweet and tart. Do make sure and let them cool completely before cutting otherwise, you’ll have a gooey (but delicious) mess.
What is a cookbook club?
A cookbook club is like a dinner club or a potluck. Instead of everyone marching to their own beat like the typical potluck, all the recipes at the table are from the same cookbook. What makes this experience unique is that instead of a mismatched patchwork of dishes, all the recipes come from the same author, making them into a cohesive meal. Each person who attends the dinner brings one dish from the cookbook. So in the time it takes to make only one dish, you get a beautiful meal that would take one dinner party host countless hours to prepare.
All photos below by the talented Lauren McDuffie of My Kitchen Little.
Great British Chefs Cookbook Club recipes
Every month, thousands of members of our cookbook club leaf through the pages of a new cookbook and cook as many recipes as they can from it. We've had everything from authentic Vietnamese dishes and an exploration of Burmese cuisine to vegan desserts and homely recipes from some of the UK's best chefs. If you want to get involved, take a look at how you can join the club on Facebook.
We publish three recipes from each book for everyone to take a look at before deciding whether they want to buy it. You'll find all of them in this collection, which we update each month. The result is an eclectic mix of dishes from some of the best chefs, authors and food writers in the UK today. Whether you're a cookbook club member looking to revisit a past book, or just want to see what sort of recipes we feature each month, the recipes below offer plenty of inspiration.
Dishes to Wow Your Book Club
Italian-American cookbook author Lidia Bastianich, who's accustomed to cooking for a crowd, says a bubbling casserole of shell-shaped pasta stuffed with ricotta is something everyone in her family, from kids to grandmothers, loves. So we're willing to bet that would extend to your group, regardless of how it feels about this month's read. You can prepare this dish in advance—even eight weeks ahead. Just place four to six shells in each container, ladle sauce over them and seal. They'll keep in the freezer for up to two months.
Chances are you have everything you need to make this savory tart in your kitchen already. you'll just have to fend off any family members who are lured to the kitchen by the smell of sizzling bacon and caramelizing onions. Serve it with a salad and some crusty bread, and your guests will be perfectly full. but not in such a food coma that they can't offer their two cents on how implausible the book's ending was.
Tacos are great, but the fillings rarely stay inside the tortilla when you're eating them. These enchiladas, however, are not nearly as messy—and your guests can help themselves to one, two or more guilt-free. Ground turkey breast, low-carb tortillas, fat-free black bean dip and reduced-fat cheeses keep this usually calorie-laden, one-dish meal healthy.
We're huge fans of the classic taverna dinner of grilled or roasted meat wrapped up in a pita, but we've fallen hard for this vegetarian dish you can make in your slow cooker. Just simmer a big pot of white beans in a savory tomato sauce and then sprinkle it with tangy feta cheese. It takes about eight hours to cook, so you can start it in the morning and forget about it until dinnertime (leaving you a full day to finish the book).
Preparing dinner for a group can get expensive—but not if you throw together a few homemade (wink, wink) pizzas. This uncomplicated recipe calls for simply a package of prepared pizza dough, a ball of smoked mozzarella and a lemon (plus olive oil, salt and pepper) and the results are bold and bright. Serve the pizza with a salad and you're all set.
Like the interactive novels from the '80s that had dozens of possible endings, some dishes can go in multiple directions. One we love is chili you cook up a nicely seasoned pot of ground meat and beans, and then let everyone top it with their choice of fixings, from shredded cheddar, sour cream and sliced scallions, to Ritz crackers and—we know this sounds weird but trust us on this—thinly shaved bittersweet chocolate (some chili recipes actually include chocolate because it adds body—and at the very least, it'll pique people's curiosity).
Summer Cookbook Club - Recipes
Well, with the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order looking like it’s going to be in place for awhile, we’ve had to come up with new ways to enjoy the company of others who love cooking and eating. How do you share a meal while social distancing?… with a virtual Cookbook Club! People chose from 3 recipe options selected from Bon Appetit recommendations for “when there’s nothing in the fridge”:
Our February cookbook was Milk Street: Tuesday Nights by Christopher Kimball. Winner of the James Beard Award for best general cookbook, every recipe is meant to be quick and easy enough for cooking in the middle of the week. Some dishes are categorized into Fast (under an hour), Faster (45 minutes or less), or Fastest (25 minutes or less), and others fall into themes like Supper Salads or Easy Additions. (more&hellip)
Saturday, February 22 – 7:00pm
For February’s cookbook, we used The Silver Spoon. We’d previously done the Joy of Cooking, and now we’ve done Italy’s version with this bible of Italian home cooking that includes over 2,000 recipes. Originally published in Italy in 1950 by Italian design and architectural magazine Domus, a select group of cooking experts were commissioned to collect hundreds of traditional Italian recipes and make them available to a wider modern audience. (more&hellip)
Our first cookbook for 2020 was Casablanca: My Moroccan Food by Nargisse Benkabbou. In it, Benkabbou shares 100 recipes for Moroccan meals. She also has a popular blog, http://www.mymoroccanfood.com/, which includes her family’s recipes and her cross-cultural creations. We made a combination of dishes from her cookbook and blog. (more&hellip)
Sunday, December 15 – 6:00pm
As has now become tradition, we wrapped up 2019 with a year-in-review event – people could choose a recipe from any of the cookbooks we have used in the past year. It could be a recipe that had been previously cooked and loved, or one that had been on the list to try. Such a fun way to look back at our 2019 cookbooks and remember all the good eats! (more&hellip)
Saturday, November 2 – 6:00pm In what has now I think become our Thanksgiving tradition, we skip the cookbook and instead use our November cookbook club event to celebrate Friendsgiving. Each person brings a dish they have been wanting to test out, or one that is their Thanksgiving specialty. I am especially thankful for the truly wonderful things that Cookbook Club has brought to my life – tons of great food and more lasting friendships than I could have imagined. (more&hellip)
Creamy and rich with just the right amount of saltiness and “funk”, Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad is a big hit with everyone.
Let’s keep in touch!
Appetizers and Party Recipes
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3 Cookbooks Guaranteed to Get You Excited for Summer
Ketchup and mustard are just the beginning! Haute Dogs ($18.95 Quirk) celebrates 50 transformative topping combinations&mdashlike the Texas BBQ Dog piled high with pulled pork and baked beans. The cookout staple also gets a global spin, courtesy of recipes such as El Completo (above), a Chilean take loaded with tangy sauerkraut, mashed avocado, and a squiggle of mayo.
One surefire way to infuse your food with that smoky, charred taste: Prepare it over an open flame. Paula Marcoux's Cooking with Fire ($19.95 Storey) boasts 125 recipes that make use of spits, ashes, coals, griddles, and more. The key to the Maine-style lobster bake shown? An au naturel "oven" built down into the sand. So give your propane tank the night off, and dig in.
As owners of the retro-cool Brooklyn Farmacy, siblings Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman sling egg creams, floats, and sundaes lavished with toppings like whoopee pies and potato chips. The Soda Fountain ($19.99 Ten Speed Press) features 135 tasty (and kooky) confections, including The Elvis, which combines candied bacon bits, vanilla ice cream, and a pickle&mdashto delicious results.
The best new cookbooks for summer meals
Each year’s crush of Very Important Cookbooks starts in the fall and heads into the holidays. But I prefer summer’s leaner crop, which comes with a bonus: the gift of time. These are the cookbooks meant to be pored over, and chances are good that smoldering briquettes and warm vacation days will allow for just that. Plus, with so many fresh ingredients at their peak, the cookin’ is easy.
In order of delightfulness, here’s a pile worth building on your bedside table:
Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant
By Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli
This sequel to the 30-year-old restaurant’s first cookbook is practically perfect in every way. It is artistic. It has a story to tell. It recognizes the contributions of its late co-founder Rose Gray. It doesn’t gussy up any of its food, which is a hallmark of the famous cafe on the Thames. About the only nit I have to pick is with its introductory statement that “Everyone is a chef,” which I chalk up to British politesse. The rest of us are cooks, happy to follow the lead of these chefs . Their Italian recipes are simple yet empowering.
Understanding how to build a meal that fits the occasion can vex all manner of kitchen hands, but that’s not the only reason you’ll revisit this cookbook again and again. “How to Eat a Peach,” by the popular British author, merits special attention because it delivers timeless and thoughtful food writing, accompanied by handsome visual vignettes. Americans might not be moved to attempt Henry’s recipe for roast partridge, but they will surely enjoy the remembrance that goes with it: her father’s well-traveled appetites that helped her learn “to taste the world.”
Get on Amazon Summer of Sangria: In Search of the Best Secret Sangria Recipes
Sangria is an alcoholic beverage of Spanish origin. Essentially an alcoholic fruit punch, Sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy. With over 60 unique Sangria recipes, Summer of Sangria gives you a large number of choices for summer fun, even a few of non-alcoholic choices.
From classic Spanish sangria to the tasty Cold Brew Coffee Sangria, Sangria offers pitcher-perfect recipes for fruity wine and champagne drinks and a less traditional choices. With recipes for red, white, sparkling and beer-based Sangrias, these concoctions will turn any party into a full-blown fiesta. Here is a sampling of Sangria recipes you will find in Summer of Sangria:
Apple Cider Sangria
Blood Orange Lemongrass Sangria
Blueberry Lavender Sangria
Classic Red Spanish Sangria
Classic White Spanish Sangria
Chocolate Covered Cherry Sangria
Cold Brew Coffee Sangria
Cucumber Melon Sangria
Frozen Margarita Sangria
Ginger Peach Sangria
Hard Cider Sangria
Kiwi Mango Sangria
Lazy Lady Sangria
Lemon, Pear & Beer Sangria
Mango & Lemongrass Sangria
Mock Red Sangria (Non-Alcoholic)
Mock White Sangria (Non-Alcoholic)
Mock Sparkling Sangria (Non-Alcoholic)
Olive Garden Sangria
Peach & Mango Sangria
Pina Colada Sangria
Passion Fruit Sangria
Port Wine Sangria
Single Lady Sangria
Sparkling Wine Sangria
Sparkling Apple Sangria
Spicy Pomegranate Sangria
Strawberry Lemonade Sangria
Strawberry Basil Sangria
Sweet Tea Sangria
Thai Basil Sangria
Watermelon & Pineapple Sangria