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I must confess, I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Kate’s other books… yet. Trust me, they are now pretty high up on my list of books-yet-to-be-read. She sent me a copy of her newest creation, Wholesome Comfort, to review and I was delighted. As I scanned through page after page of recipes, I had to run and get my husband. A man who doesn’t believe in vegetables, surely he could appreciate this book for what it was!
As he scrolled through the pages, I could hear him saying, “I like gravy! I like mashed potatoes! I like beef stew! Hey, this is pretty much the way you cook already!” Bonus. Why? Because this means that I can make almost anything in this cookbook — a healthier, more real food variety of an old favorite — and he’ll love it!
The first thing that wowed me about the book was it’s actual look. Seriously, it’s gorgeous. Not in that glossy, looks-like-a-magazine sort of way. It’s so beautiful in that it actually looks like a book you’d find dusted with flour in your grandmother’s kitchen. It has such a warm, loving look about it.
To be honest, I wish I could show you the table of contents — that’s where I really started to feel wowed. It’s clear, clean and has a great dietary guide that really gives you an idea of what will and will not work for you. Nothing makes me more irritated than finding a recipe that sounds delicious, and then reviewing the ingredients only to find it contains fish or milk, something that isn’t often consumed in our household. Because there is no seafood anywhere in the book, and several recipes are indeed dairy-free, I feel confident about choosing Kate’s recipes for my family. The pictures actually look warm, inviting and delicious, without being perfect. I love that!!! It really does feel like they came right out of the oven and on to the dinner table.
And Kate writes with simple, clear instructions that make you feel like you’ve been doing this forever. You try one recipe and your mind is already practically memorized the entire process. All of these recipes are designed to be traditional dishes you’ll serve to your family again and again. And the cute little stories about how the dish came to be make it feel so relaxed and real. Brilliant!
Another thing I love about this book? White whole wheat flour. Hurrah!!! Ever since discovering this hidden gem in my grocery shelves, I have not baked anything without it. It has become the foundation upon which all my other recipes are created. But even if you can’t tolerate wheat, there are lots of gluten-free recipes in this book to delight you as well!
Like Kate’s family, we too consume pasturized, grass-fed, local and/or organic meats and poultry. It felt good to know that what the instructions I was receiving from Kate were being based off of the same meats as I use. If you’ve ever made a hamburger with commercially grown beef as compared to one of locally grown beef, you’ll immediately see — and taste — the difference. The commercial meat is dyed bright red, plump with water and tastes like the styrofoam container it came in. Whereas the locally grown patty will be darker, fuller, and taste like a little piece of heaven. Kate is writing about that kind of pleasure — the delight in enjoying a product that, while slightly smaller, gives you more than it’s fair share of joy.
Something that Kate really portrayed to me was her dedication in writing her recipe books. Not only does she focus on writing for everyone else, but she writes, and cooks, for herself. She works and works at a recipe, or an idea, until she has created something that, in her opinion, cannot be better.
“When I choose a recipe as my go-to recipe, you can be sure I’ve tested it carefully – and probably thrown out dozens of versions prior. Recipes don’t earn a place in my permanent file unless they’re top quality, my true “ideal” for whatever dish I’m making.”
Wholesome Comforts, pg 13-14
That says a lot about Kate as a person. She’s actually doing this — cooking, tasting, rewriting, shopping, menu planning, asking for reviewers, etc. — because she wants to excel! This really appeals to me, as this is the same type of mentality I use in writing and crafting. The difference between myself and Kate? She doesn’t let her perfectionism get in the way of offering what she’s created to the world.
So, now you want to know about the recipes, right? Well, as I was flipping through this cookbook, trying to decide which one to sample, I started to get overwhelmed. Seriously, I’d need a month to make everything. The onion soup looks so warm and savory. Oh wait, the italian sausage — what a great alternative for breakfast. Oooh, we just gave up on our favorite packaged gravy, I bet her gravy recipe is to die for! But finally, I settled on the simplest, easiest recipe in the book. Hot chocolate. It could have been because it was later in the evening. It could have been because it was cool and I wanted something warm to keep me company. But I decided to make the hot chocolate because of one simple reason — I. Love. Chocolate.
So I went to my cupboard and discovered that I had juuuuuuust enough honey. Out came my favorite old cast iron saucepan, and in went the honey, vanilla and the cocoa. Now, as I said earlier, our family doesn’t drink milk a whole lot because neither myself nor Naomi tolerate it well. So instead, I used a cup of unsweetened almond milk. It took no longer to mix it up and heat it on the stove than it would to boil some water and mix it with a pack of powder. And it was just divine. I never would have thought to use honey instead of sugar in my hot chocolate, but it was a brilliant idea and one I can see myself relying on in the future.
|Kate’s Wholesome Comfort Hot Chocolate||
- 2 tbsp honey (preferably raw)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk (raw) — I used unsweetened almond milk
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk all ingredients together over medium heat. Continue to do so until all cocoa has been stirred into the milk. Pour into mug and serve.
Next on the menu? Meatloaf!
BUY IT! Kate has generously offered up a great discount for Wholesome Comforts.
By using the code MINI25 before February 27th 29th, you’ll be able to purchase it at 25% off!
WIN IT! This week, we’re giving away a copy of Wholesome Comforts! I like to keep our giveaways simple and easy, so here’s all you have to do. Go over to Modern Alternative Mama, scroll to the bottom, select Wholesome Comforts and check out the table of contents. Now here’s the real challenge — if you had to choose, what would you make from the selection of recipes? Post your comment below and let me know which recipe tickles your tastebuds!
Contest closes February 27th! Due to an error made earlier in the giveaway, we’ve extended the date to Feb. 29th. So you have a couple more days to get in on it! The contest is now closed!
Our winner is comment #11!
Congradulations Marilyn! I hope you enjoy
that pumpkin spice ice cream. It sounds divine!
No purchase necessary. Winner will be randomly selected by random.org. All opinions are my own.