Recipes for Inspiration: My New Cookbook Review Column for the Book Club Restaurant Blog

various types of spices for healthy food food preparation

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at their most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present and the wisdom of cookbook writers”. ~ Laurie Colwin

I am thrilled to introduce an exciting new project that I’ve taken on. I am authoring the recently launched cookbook blog for Book Club Restaurant. Here’s how it works: I will feature two cookbooks for each article, read them cover to cover and will share details including number of pages, whether photos accompany recipes, writing style of the authors, how the books are organized and more. As part of this process, I will prepare one or more recipes from each book and I will post photos of the completed dishes. I look forward to imparting the wisdom and skills that I glean from these culinary explorations with readers. I hope these reviews bestow a generous dollop of palate broadening inspiration to home cooks, locally and globally. My goal is that they will stir the desire to delve into a plethora of delicious and intriguing kitchen adventures via cookbooks, new or old. We are never alone on this appetizing odyssey.

This project will not replace my Empty Nesters Kitchen blog. It will be an enticing addition to it and I will notify ENK blog followers here when new reviews are posted on the Book Club website.

How the Book Club Cookbook Blog came to be: Cookbooks and restaurants are similar in that at one time they are both brand new, and the opening of each is often highly anticipated. When a reader cracks the binding of a cookbook for the first time, it kickstarts a fresh journey to gain knowledge within the broader realm of cuisine.  A restaurant owner strives to create a unique “table of contents” that ultimately makes up the foundation of their food business.  A building is chosen, a menu is written, staff need to be hired and eventually the cooking commences. This takes effort, time, and patience. The analogy between the two makes delicious sense. Restaurants and the writing of cookbooks are two enormous labors of love.  They both excite our palates while guiding us on the curation of culinary memories and in the process, they capture our hearts and enliven us.  So, it is no surprise that numerous magnificent and influential cookbooks have been the impetus for the formation of new restaurants, as it was for Kim Bartmann and her Book Club Restaurant, which opened in 2017. The outcome is beautiful, West-coast inspired fare cooked on a woodfire grill that give diners their own stories to share long after the feasts end. We hope you enjoy following this new cookbook blog. ~ Lisa Patrin

See below for an excerpt from the first blog post and click here to view the full article along with my thoughts about the recipes I chose to prepare.

There are cookbooks, and there are story books. It is a gift to the reader when the two genres effortlessly intersect.  The books become well told histories of life, sustenance, and revelations regarding how the authors acquire their well-deserved spots in the world of food. 

The first two books I chose to review were written by chefs and restaurateurs who did a marvelous job of facilitating the connection between cooking and culture for diners.  As a home cooking enthusiast, I am grateful to them for sharing their well-seasoned stories and enticing recipes.  Danny Bowien and Judy Rodgers have distinct voices and culinary points of view.  Captivating narratives give us a front row seat to their compelling experiences and winding forays into and within the restaurant industry. The resulting recipes are crave-worthy, restaurant style dishes that can be made at home or enjoyed at Book Club over the next couple months”. ~ Lisa Patrin

The dishes I chose to prepare were:

Ramen Noodles with Pressure-Cooked Lamb in Numbing Broth from The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook authored by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying, with forewords by David Chang and Anthony Bourdain

The Zuni Chicken from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook authored by Judy Rodgers

Thank you for following along, and as always, savor the journey!

Shop the Blog for items I used to make the dishes featured above

[Disclosure: I may earn a commission from the Amazon affiliate links provided below. I only recommend products that I have personally purchased and believe in. Pricing and availability are subject to change]

Items shown: Epicurean All-In-One Cutting Board with Slip Feet and Juice Groove, 17.5-Inch × 13-Inch, Nutmeg/Brown, Utopia Kitchen 12 Inch Pre-Seasoned Chef’s Pan – Frying Pan – Safe Grill Cookware for indoor & Outdoor Use – Cast Iron Pan, Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker, Warmer & Sterilizer, Includes Free App with over 1900 Recipes, Stainless Steel, 8 Quart

Eat Your Words: 125 Food & Beverage Themed Puzzles for Hungry Minds: I wrote this book for food and beverage enthusiast who are looking for an entertaining way to acquire more education about global cuisine, kitchen tools, unique ingredients and more.

Recent Posts:

“Farm to Table…Ocean to Fork…and Vineyard to Glass.  We cast our votes in favor of the planet one bite, one sip at a time” ~ Lisa Patrin

You can also follow The Empty Nesters Kitchen on InstagramFacebook and Twitter! My new Empty Nesters Kitchen Travel Instagram account in now active as well. Check it out here.

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