Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Review: My Top Ten Favorite Recipes
I am a collector of cookbooks… I love to touch them, too look at them, to read them, and to follow their recipes. I have a number of them… a decent sized collection. This is my favorite. (I especially love her desserts and sweets.) I’m going to share my favorite recipes from this book, in no particular order, so that you can decide for yourself if this cookbook should become part of your own collection. In my opinion, this one is worth owning!
Before I share my favorites, I’ve got to add that beyond the wonderful recipes in this cookbook, it is a delight to read! The author, Deb Perelman (find her at her blog: www.smittenkitchen.com) is witty, likable, and an excellent writer! I love reading her blurbs and backstories before each of her recipes… they always bring a smile to my face. :)
1. Whole-Wheat Raspberry Scones (page 15)
These scones were simple to put together, they were moist and delicious, and they reheat well! I made these the night before to have on Easter morning, and everyone loved them! I recommend serving them warm with plenty of good butter, of course! Hmmm.
2. Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah (page 45)
I also made this recipe for Easter. I’d never made Challah bread, or anything like it, so I was a bit nervous about it. Mine turned out a bit lop-sided, as the twisting was a bit confusing for this novice, but it was still very enjoyable! I like to think that it’s rustic and has character. ;) The family really liked it as well! This recipe does take a bit more effort, but it’s so worth it. I think this will become a regular addition to many of our holiday feasts.
3. Broccoli Slaw (page 72)
YUM, yum, yum! I LOVE this recipe… it’s very addicting… so you won’t have leftovers around for long. This is a perfect summer salad to make as a side dish or bring to a picnic or a barbecue. It’s served cold and doesn’t require any cooking. This kind of salad recipe doesn’t generally appeal to me, because it reminds me of church potlucks. But this salad is different. It’s special.
4. Mushroom Bourguignon (page 151)
I really like mushrooms, and I also like to occasionally cook meatless dishes. This dish is good! It seems so fancy and high-maintenance, but it’s actually pretty simple. It has wonderful flavor and rich texture. Plus, it includes pearl onions… and those little guys are too cute! I will certainly make this again and again for dinner. Meanwhile, I need to find more recipes that call for pear onions!
5. Sesame-Spiced Turkey Meatballs and Smashed Chickpea Salad (page 167)
I was delightfully surprised by this recipe! The flavor of the meatballs was fantastic! These meatballs and the chickpea salad really do compliment each other well, so I definitely recommend serving them together. In fact, I recommend doubling the chickpea salad. I had to make mine without the ground sumac, which was unfortunate, but it wasn’t meant to be because I couldn’t find it in my area. I also skipped the green olives. Hubby and I don’t eat olives because… ew. ;) All that to say… this recipe is GREAT!
6. Buttered Popcorn Cookies (page 195)
How unique and fun are these cookies?! Never before have I considered that popped corn could be added to cookies… but it is a brilliant idea. The popcorn is buttery and salty and the cookie is sweet, oh, it’s just really a very good combination. Make these cookies for your next movie night!
7. Whole Lemon Bars (page 217)
Now this recipe is a wow. Yes, this recipe has my heart. It’s become my personal go-to recipe. I’ve made it many times for many different events… and will continue to do so. Everyone loves them… the texture, the flavor, the ease in which they’re made. These lemon bars are WINNERS! You’ll see in the photo I took above that I’ve added dried lavender to the bars. This isn’t part of the original recipe, I’ve just been obsessed with culinary lavender lately, so it couldn’t be helped. This cookbook is worth owning for this beautiful lemon bar recipe alone. Seriously. I’ll make them for you.
8. Chocolate Silk Pie (page 222)
Well, hello beautiful. This pie is RICH, creamy chocolate silk. Have a small slice with a giant glass of milk or a steamy cup of coffee. This pie is really very simple to make, but feels extravagant. I’m a big fan of recipes like that. Any chocolate lover will deeply enjoy this recipe. I guarantee it.
9. Red Wine Velvet Cake with Whipped Mascarpone (page 267)
I’ve been a big fan of red velvet for quite some time now, and this cake did not disappoint. In fact, I think it strengthened my love for the velvety goodness. The frosting is an amazing addition… and I highly recommend you double it! I will make this again, no doubt, as soon as I can possibly justify it.
10. Blue Cheese and Black Pepper Gougeres (page 292)
Does anyone know how to correctly pronounce “gougeres”? These are perfect for your next cocktail or dinner party. Wow your guests with this super fancy appetizer. ;) The texture is soft, like bread, and it has a wonderful, light cheesy flavor. Black pepper adds the perfect oomph. It’d be every so easy to sit and eat the whole batch of these delicious little treats.
-Everyday Margarita Pizza (page 106)
-Gnocchi in Tomato Broth (page 117)
-Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Concord Grape Coulis (page 247)
I still have quite a few recipes from this book to try, and I look forward to each of them, because I know they will be great!