So I finally know why people love the blog smittenkitchen.com and more recently, Deb Perelman’s first cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen. If you want to hear from a home cook (not a professionally-trained chef) who loves cooking and captures the finished product in beautiful photographs, she’s the one for you. She’s also not a bad writer and it is her honest, fresh style that I think resonates with the rest of us home cooks.

I checked out her cookbook from the library for a “test-preview” to see if it was as good as all the chatter. I didn’t even make it past the Breakfast section before I found Brad and told him, “I want this cookbook for Christmas.” He heard me. Actually, it was Jacob and Anna that gave me the cookbook. Thank you, guys!

I love to read cookbooks as much as I love to cook from them and that is one of the reasons why I like The Smitten Kitchen so much. It’s fun to read! She weaves her own stories of life and cooking into the presentation of each recipe. I have only made her Big Cluster Granola so far (one of the downsides of eating meals in the dining hall), but I look forward to Spring Break where I plan to try multiple recipes such as Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels, Sweet Peas and Shells Alfredo, and Slow-Cooker Black Bean Ragout. Then there is the Dessert section to work my way through! Yum!

Another favorite resource is my yearly purchase of Saveur’s 100 travel edition. This issue takes the reader all over the world to discover what dishes, restaurants, cooks/cookbooks, and tools makes the top 100 list for the editors of the magazine. You may remember that last year during Spring Break our family visited Itgen’s Ice Cream Parlour (#26, Saveur, Jan/Feb 2012) to try their fabulous ice cream sundaes with wet nuts. I will be forever grateful to Saveur because it was on this trip that we also discovered the neighborhood Salvation Army and purchased our beautiful farm table and chairs. The magazine is on newsstands now so grab your copy and plan to be transported all over the world!

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