I don’t know where to start…First of all, how is it the end of February and I’m amazed I packed in so many yummy recipes this month. Recall, I chose Rebar-modern food cookbook for this month’s challenge. I was able to complete 25 recipes and I don’t feel like I even scratched the surface of this awesome book. I barely touched brunch and didn’t even make 1 soup recipe. Not feeling failure though because the recipes are more involved than most. E.g. for the Buckwheat Crepes you need to make the crepes, the marinated portobello mushrooms from p. 23 and the caramelized onions from p. 36; yikes right! Take a look at these babies though…they were probably my fav recipe…
You should know that I do NOT think this is a book for complete rookie cooks. E.g. the gorgeous Shiitake Tofu Potstickers on P. 63 have you soak the dried mushrooms, drain, cool, finely chop and set aside but no where does it say to add them to the filling mixture. I figured it out but “poor John” was stumped more than once with the recipes in Rebar. I ended up frying the potstickers because I didn’t really understand the cooking instructions but man were they good anyways…
I also don’t think it’s a book for those that want to drool over the gorgeous food photography; there isn’t any! I’d love to see a reprint of this book with updated pics. It would be to die for…that said…
We sure had fun with this book…We had one extremely funny event that I like to call the Great Tart Malfunction. John decided to tackle his first tart which should have been the first red flag but whatever…First, while he was making the Apple and Spinach Tart P. 72 I heard him whining from the kitchen “grrrrrr, so how do you just “wilt” spinach!” Me: Oh John…thank goodness for the internet! Then this happened…
Me: That’s the oven timer…oh, the tart is really wobbly still. Let’s leave it in a bit longer.
Me: (After almost double the baking time…) Hmmmmm, John this really is liquidy. What’s going on? Surely there is enough eggs in there.
John: Oh ya?
Me: ya eggs, John. Did you put all three in? (I was thinking it looked awfully white from the double cream instead of more yellow.)
John: Huh, what do you mean all three. It said 1. It also said 3. I did ask you why it had eggs twice but you didn’t answer.
Me: OMG, eggs are pretty important, JOHN. Why didn’t you keep asking until I answered. The 1 egg is just the egg white that you brush on top of the apples before baking but the 3 whole eggs are to puff up the tart and hold it together. HAVEN’T YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT EGGS ARE FOR IN A RECIPE! (Now I’m upset because I’m starving and it’s been cooking for ages now.)
John: No, I don’t know what eggs are for.
Me: UGH, just go sit down and I’ll try to salvage it. (Then I felt bad because he’d tried really hard and tarts are advanced and I should have gone over the recipe more with him). Ok, sorry John but this is pretty funny right. Love you!
Don’t stress everyone, I was able to whip up 2 more eggs, remove the apples and mix it up again. It didn’t look as pretty but you know what, it tasted awesome…who doesn’t love apple and blue cheese…”Poor, John”
Below are some pics of the other recipes we tried. All were spectacularly tasty, except the banana bread (it was totally fine just not out of this world). I still maintain that The Best of Bridge “Going Bananas” is the best (in the green book).
Apple Pecan Bars P.206 were a huge hit.
Szechuan Noodle Salad P. 11 so worth it! The dressing flavour is too tasty.
Thai 3 Cabbage Slaw was also too good. You could easily make a double batch of veg for a left over salad bag, there was enough dressing.
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes. Not too sweet. They were a bit too “cakey” for me but the White Chocolate, Cream Cheese icing was gorgeous and I’d use it again on other bakes.
Oops! Could have got a better pic of these Mushroom Pecan Burgers P. 114 but they looked too good to waste time taking photos. The Horseradish Mayonnaise recipe on the same page goes amazingly well. It’s just mayo and horseradish but I could have eaten it with a spoon. Not fattening at all.
Rustic Bread Salad P. 21 with Basil Vinaigrette. It was a winner with John and Mom. I found it a bit too garlicky, but that’s just me.
Pumpkin Millet Muffins P. 222, a total go-to muffin now; Peanut butter Squares P. 214
A huge thank you to the friends who recommended recipes from Rebar for us to try. I didn’t make them all but I have them marked for the future. When January was finished I felt ready to move on from Skinny Bitch but I wish I could do Rebar for 2 months. There are still so many things I want to try. March calls though. I was really torn for which book to do next. In the end I decided to go with a true vegetarian classic Moosewood Cookbook.
Mollie Katzen is hailed as one of the first real cooks to champion the veg recipe! I have made many recipes from her other cookbooks but for some reason have not made anything from the original Moosewood. I feel kind of embarrassed by that and intend to rectify the situation this month. Also, this book is having it’s 40th anniversary this year. It was written in 1977 and I truly believe that that was the BEST YEAR ON RECORD! (Not that I want to admit it’s my year…eekk…yikes…how did this happen…)