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Cooking and Baking the Winter Blues Away

Finding new cookbooks is a real hobby of mine. Food transports you to a different, time, and lifestyle. Cracking open a cookbook and using my hands to make something delicious just really fills me up. So, this week I thought I would share a few of my favorite cookbooks that I am baking and cooking through now.

1. Plant Over Processed by Andrea Hannemann

This book is based on a plant-based diet, but it is not just for people who do not eat meat. My favorite recipes in this book are the smoothie mixes. Andrea is the queen of smoothies. I found her page on Instagram and love watching her family thrive in Hawaii. She posts videos and pictures of the most epic smoothies and bowls. She explains how it really does pay off to invest in a high-powered blender that can mix everything to a creamy goodness. I make a smoothie everyday for breakfast and find it to be super filling and hydrating. At first I thought I would get sick of having the same meal, but I actually look forward to my morning smoothies now.

2. The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking by Linda Collister

Ever since I was a little girl I have been obsessed with English culture. When I first watched The Great British Bake Off, I knew I was going to be hooked. There are amateur bakers selected from all over Britain and they bake three items each week based on a theme (etc. bread, pastry). Everything is from scratch and I just find that in the US we do not have anything like it. This book combines all the recipes from one of the seasons of the show. My friend Emma’s mom, Lynda, is also a fan of the show and has made the Kouign Amann and they are AMAZING. It is a combination of flaky pastry and crunchy sugar. The ultimate treat to pair with the perfect cup of tea.

3. Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook by Mary Heffernan

Mary is just an all-around inspiration to me and my business. She does SO MUCH and her business is so dynamic. In this book she takes her ranch raised meats and shows you how to cook them and make the ultimate ranch recipes. She even has a separate Instagram page just for her recipes called @fivemaryrecipes. Mary has a classic Sidecar drink (where she even makes her own Bourbon!) that she frequently shares on her page. I had never had a sidecar before trying Mary’s recipe, and it is the perfect citrus mix for a hot summer day! I am looking forward to making her breakfast sandwiches this weekend.

4. Sababa by Adeena Sussman

Middle Eastern foods were something I had never experienced until I was an adult. Boy was I missing out. The flavors and combinations are like no other food I have tried. One of my favorite recipes from this book is the Zucchini, Dill, and Feta Shakshuka. This is saucy dish, with eggs and vegetables, and pairs so well with fresh bread. I would have never thought to put eggs on tomato sauce, but it is honestly so tasty. This book has tons of great recipes and really will makes you feel like you are traveling to a different country in your own kitchen.

5. Cabot Creamery Cookbook

Another odd flavor combination to try is apples and cheddar. I may be partial, because I am dating an apple farmer, but apple pie must be the most quintessential fall baked good out there. Picking fresh apples and baking with them is a highlight of the fall season for me. Adding sharp cheddar cheese to the pie is the perfect flavor contrast. It might sound crazy but try it out next time I do not think you will be disappointed! This book is extra special because of the roots in farming. Cabot is a dairy cooperative, and this book is a compilation of recipes from the dairy farms that make up the cooperative. It is inspirational to read their stories and make the recipes that have been shared in their families for years.

6. Ruffage by Abra Berens

This is a great guide to follow if you are interested in buying seasonal vegetables. Abra describes multiple ways to prepare loads of different vegetables. It is a way to try and eat more seasonally and locally with the produce that is being harvested in your area. I am a lover of tomatoes and really like the Tomato Panzanella w/corn, cucumbers, and herb salad. It is fresh and just screams summertime goodness. I can also pair this with sourdough croutons and a grilled steak. I usually am not a huge fan of salads, but this combines all the best textures and flavors of peak summertime cooking.

7. The Salmon Sisters by Emma Laukitis and Claire Neaton

I have followed the Salmon Sisters on Instagram for a few years and have eyed up their cookbook since it was released. In the summertime my boyfriend, Kyle, fishes on Lake Ontario for King Salmon. We always found ourselves cooking the fish the same way, but with this book we have endless options. Not only is this a cookbook, but this is a story of the two sisters who grew up in a remote Alaskan town and fished on their family’s boat in the summers. It is so exciting and just pushes me to live a more grounded, nature centered life. My favorite recipe in this book is the Crispy Beer-Battered Halibut. I love a good Friday Fish Fry, but it is nice to make your own dishes at home and enjoy them at the dinner table. This makes a perfectly crispy, crunchy fish perfect for the upcoming Lent season.

 I hope you enjoyed reading about these books as much as I enjoyed writing about them. Cooking and baking is a true passion of mine and really brings me so much joy. I hope you find a few recipes that also bring you joy within the pages of these books.