Monday, November 02, 2009

Another new cookbook

Coleslaw with Caraway and Raisins
Real Simple Best Recipes Easy, Delicious Meals Copyright 2009

¾ cup sour cream I used lite
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 cup golden raisins

(I used a bagged mix in place of the cabbage and carrots)

In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, caraway seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Add the cabbage, scallions, carrots and raisins and toss to coat.

This recipe is from a brand new cookbook from Real Simple, Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals. The title really says it all.

There's a Real Simple style that I'm not talented enough to convey with words but it's very inviting. I've been feeling particularly overwhelmed lately. I keep trying to clear out the house and streamline my life as much as I can. Yet, my son brings home several trees worth of work home from kindergarten everyday. My mother-in-law has a little hobby collecting holiday decorations for my house. I've never been one to decorate for anything but Christmas but just this year I acquired at least five new fall/Halloween decorative items (some of which are taller than my children). It takes all my effort to keep a clear path through our house lately.

So a cookbook like this transports me to a 'simpler' place instantly (although not permanently unfortunately). I love the photographs and the uncomplicated, concise recipes. They don't just throw a couple of convenience foods together and call it a recipe. This is real food, real cooking, just not overly fussy. They're supposed to be 30 minutes or under but more realistically than Rachael Ray's take on that (I love RR's recipes but sometimes you have to be a professional speed cooker to finish her recipes in 30 minutes or under.)

They don't stress the healthy aspect of these recipes but they are healthy too. This is not extreme low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb or low-sugar cooking but it's balanced and uses mainly fresh ingredients. Flipping through this book I can't help but feel like this is how we should be eating all of the time.

This book has a little bit of everything - appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, desserts. It's not the kind of food my mama served but that doesn't mean that the recipes use expensive or hard-to-find ingredients. They're just a bit more modern and fresh than what I was raised on. Check out the 'Look inside' option on Amazon to get a better idea of what this cookbook is all about. I like to hit the 'surprise me' button over and over. I think even if this isn't the kind of food you eat now, it's the kind of food you'll want to be eating soon.

I've been a bit obsessed with using raisins in salads lately so this recipe grabbed my attention right away. I did take a shortcut here and used a coleslaw mix since the cabbage heads I found in the store were just way too large. This was the first time I used sour cream for a coleslaw (without mayonnaise) and I really liked the result. The cabbage didn't wilt even after the slaw sat overnight. It looked as fresh as it did when I made it. The raisins are really key in this recipe. This was a great way for me to get more vegetables in my diet, something I've been working on lately.

Question of the Day: Do you use the 'Look inside' option on Amazon? I love it. If I'm shopping for cookbooks online, I always use that feature if I can (even if I'm not buying from Amazon).

1 comment:

Lisa said...

absolutely! I love it and sometimes browse cookbooks online just for fun.