So, I have to admit, I enjoy collecting cookbooks.
There are cookbooks in my collection that I absolutely love.
There are cookbooks in my collection that have been gifts.
There are cookbooks that I have saved up for and treated myself to, as a reward.
And some of these cookbooks (to be honest) just sit on the shelf because they haven’t been opened in a while and are just collecting dust.
Once in a while, I take a cookbook to bed with me. (I’m not joking.)
I look to these books for inspiration, colorful photos, or to see if I actually have the ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry so that I can prepare them for my family during my weekly menu planning.
BUT THIS ONE.
I LOVE THIS COOKBOOK.
I have been following Ellen on Instagram. (actually stalking would probably be the more appropriate word.) Taking screen shots of her dishes that she posts, perhaps altering them just a bit, to fit my family’s flavor palate, and adjusting to ingredients found locally, here in Manila.
Her take on fresh flavors, the colors in her dishes, and the variety with which she puts the textures (that I love) all together are just up my alley.
But don’t take my word for it. Follow her on IG. Get the cookbook.
You’ll love it for the same reasons that I do.
Here are MY FIVE REASONS why I love it so…
THE PHOTOS-I am a visual learner.
I love photos not just for the feeling it evokes, but for what I learn by looking at them.
When it comes to recipes, I NEED a photo of the finished product. I want to know what the recipe COULD look like. It’s not that I want the recipe to look EXACTLY like what Erin prepared it to be, I like to look at how I COULD present it to my family, on my own dining room table.
I am always looking for fresh and simple flavors for side dishes or (GASP) even MAIN dishes, to serve my family.
I always go back to this desire to keep at least ONE meal a week MEATLESS. Here’s three cheers for more Erin providing me more inspiration towards unlocking achievement level for “Meatless Mondays.”
SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS-Typewriter font?
These simple instructions are not only cute, they are how many of my recipes have been adjusted. Notes on the side of the cookbook, pages dirty with flour, or remnants of ingredients left behind, all exemplify a cookbook that is WELL-LOVED.
But this cookbook, gives you a photo of the raw ingredients on one side, and the finished product on the other.
I don’t think there is a simpler way to present recipes. This is not only informative, it’s uber CUTE!
SEASONAL INGREDIENTS-Never mind that I am in the Philippines and have limited access to many of the seasonal ingredients in her book.
I am a “Native New Yorker.”
This means I can just appreciate the four seasons and the bounty of fruits and vegetables that is harvested at each of these times.
This also means that her recipes are COLORFUL.
And I LOVE COLOR. (Don’t we all?)
I can adapt the recipes to ingredients that are fresh and easy to find here.
But I love the rich, bold, and earthy flavors that the four seasons offer our palates through the different vegetables that are readily available through out autumn, and the roots that can be coaxed into rich warm flavors during winter.
I love these just as much as the stone fruit and berries that are available when the summer sun stays with us longer, and fireflies can be seen fluttering around the bushes and the trees of the forest.
MAKES ME FEEL HOME-Even if Erin lives in a cabin in California, her photos of her home evoke memories of my childhood.
They bring me back to the summers I spent in the Catskills, and the flavors and scents of fall growing up in The Hudson Valley.
I may be a “Native New Yorker,” but the neighborhood where I grew up was nestled quietly in the suburbs, a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, a safe place where I rode my bike on the streets. As I grew older, and came home from college on semestral breaks, my small town \ offered me comfort because it was small enough where people knew my name.
Plus, this photo right here? With the fire pit? and the trees hidden away in the forest?
This could have been my home in the mountains if we stayed in New York.
A girl can dream can’t she?
I identify with this cookbook and the author in so many ways. It makes me feel good to peruse the pages and photos of the healthy dishes that I can prepare for my family with the author’s help and inspiration.
Erin brings all things good to the table, with this one.
But don’t just take my word for it. Go out and buy it for yourself.
If you are gonna go out and buy it now?
Skip on over to Crate and Barrel in Makati and pick it up in the sale section. And while you’re at it, follow Erin on Instagram. You can look for inspiration in preparing meals for your family there too.