Sunday, January 25, 2015

Check It Out: The Dream Of The Nineties Is Alive In Your Kitchen

One of my New Year's resolutions is to read more cookbooks. Like, really read them cover to cover. I've always enjoyed cookbooks but I'd mostly flip around, pull a scrumptious-looking recipe and kinda-sorta follow it without actually reading it first. This half-cocked method of mine has not been ideal. In fact, more than once I've found myself staring into a bowl of half-combined ingredients and realizing I was one or two key ingredients short. 

When I discovered that the stars of Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, were releasing a cookbook, I thought it would be the perfect starting point. I figured I'd be more likely to stick to my resolution with a little comedy tossed in. Boy, was I ever right. 

The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like A Local does not disappoint. And if you're as big a fan of the show and its stars as I am, it will definitely make you chuckle. 

While there are funny anecdotes and bits of advice from the show's characters peppered (or artisanal salted) throughout the book, they do not distract from the very real and mouth-watering recipes. 

Recipes like 'Baked Manchego-Filled Dates' and 'Brussels Sprouts with Bacon' look even more delicious than they sound. I cannot wait to try the 'Tagliata with Artichoke Salad' recipe. And the 'Slamburger' is sure to be the death of me. While there are some silly recipes thrown in for funsies- Candace's Khappu Jiu Jiu Jiu Jiu Tea, for example- none of the legitimate recipes in the book are boring and I'll likely try them all. Yes, even the "Borscht with Pickled Eggs and Horseradish Cream' looks too delicious to pass over. 

The "Lay An Egg On It" recommendation found throughout the book is exactly (hopefully) what it sounds like and is sure to become a standard in our home. 

The book is well organized by category. You have your small plates, main courses, desserts, drinks, and brunch. Best of all, most of the ingredients required are easy to find no matter where you live. Just make sure you have on hand various waters sourced from Yucatan and Oaxaca. Otherwise, don't even bother.

Queue up a copy of the book on your Mind-Fi, whip up some nacho cheese popcorn, and then call into work for the next week or so because you'll want to rewatch all of Portlandia while trying out at least a few of these. Just don't blame me if you end up in pasta rehab. 

Full disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinions. Can I blame them if I find myself relegated to the fart patio?

This review is dedicated to Colin the chicken. May heaven be cage-free and all your meals be organic. 


Ps. Because no post of mine would be complete without at least a cursory cat reference, I present to you Catnap with Whisker Patrol. Oh, Kevin, how I love you.  

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