Welcome to the latest installment of Cookbook of the Month here on Everyday Annie! I have been delayed in sharing it because I spent the first several days of this month traveling in Mexico (more on that later). Throughout the month of October, I cooked from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman. I feel relatively certain that Deb needs no introduction to anyone reading my blog, as she is undoubtedly the OG food blogger with the mostest. Her food writing is the best of the best and truly a joy to read. I always love the way she honors old wisdom, methods, and dishes, but also infuses them with her trademark mix of creativity and practicality. Alright, enough gushing. Onto the book itself!
My kids are very into this cookbook of the month idea and Caroline couldn’t wait to make the selection for October. It was no surprise to me when she chose Smitten Kitchen Every Day, because she was the one who added little bookmarks to nearly every single page of the book when we first bought it. I don’t blame her!
The tagline of the book is “triumphant and unfussy new favorites” and I can’t think of a better description of the recipes it contains, or Deb’s approach as a whole. I love this excerpt from her introduction: “I like that when you cook at home, you don’t actually have to compromise a thing; you get to make exactly what you want, exactly the way you want it, and then you get to invite all your favorite people over to pass the dish around.” This is absolutely what it’s all about. It’s why I love cooking, particularly with and for my best friends and family.
The book is organized into categories that fit nicely with our every day cooking needs:
- Soups and stews
- Sandwiches, tarts, and flatbreads
- Vegetable mains
- Meat mains
- Tarts and Pies
- Puddings, frozen things, etc.
- Apps, snacks, and party food
While I love cookbooks of unique and/or elaborate recipes, what I actually want and need is one that I can rely on for hits my family is going to love every time. That has been Deb’s gift for years with her blog, and that’s what the book is simply full of. When Caroline chose this book, my initial thought was, “Oh good, I haven’t made too many recipes from that yet,” but upon flipping through it I realized we actually have several family favorites from this book so engrained in my repertoire that it didn’t occur to me. We really loved everything we made from the book this month, and I’m still excited to try many of the recipes we didn’t get to this time around.
My one small gripe is that I am not a fan of the page layout. I prefer the ingredient list and recipe instructions on the same page or at least the same flat lay so that I don’t have to read instructions on one page and then flip back to the page before to find how much of that ingredient I needed, and then flip back to the instructions and remind myself where I was, etc etc.
What I love most about this book is that it has something for everyone, and something for every occasion. Deb has a brilliant intuition about what people really want to eat. I hope there will be more books like this from her in the future because her triumphant and unfussy approach is indeed what I think most of us want in our every day.
Scroll down to see the dishes I made from Smitten Kitchen Every Day last month, as well as a list of all the recipes I have made since owning it and the list of those I’m most anxious to try next!