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New Year’s Eve and a Cookbook Review

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Ahhh, New Year’s Eve. Parties, glittery nails, sparkly dresses, glasses of champagne….basically, not at all what my NYE looked like. Mine was more along the lines of staying in, cooking a massive feast, drinking wine, and getting into bed by 12:45. Jelly? You should be.

Instead of going out this year, we decided to stay in and do what we never ever do – spend too much money at Whole Foods, and too much time in the kitchen prepping and cooking a totally decadent meal. We hadn’t really decided on what to make, when I got an Amazon package yesterday from my mom with a new cookbook in it, Plenty. PERFECT timing, Mom! The book is INCREDIBLE, and I’ll get into more details later, but all there is to know now is that it’s filled with amazing vegetarian recipes that are both simple yet unbelievably tasty. We picked three recipes from the book, then set off to Whole Foods to stock up on supplies.

It took us about three hours to prepare and eat (inhale) everything but it was so, so worth it. Our menu consisted of:

– Fig, goat cheese and arugula salad

– Marinated bufala mozzarella and sliced tomatoes (photo below)

– Stuffed portobello mushrooms (with melted tallegio cheese, parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes. Photo below)

– A MASSIVE cajun rubbed steak (for Brian, obv.)

– Hazelnut S’Mores for dessert (photo below)

We also finaaaally opened a bottle of wine we picked up during our trip to Italy. It was delicious.

Now. Back to the cookbook. THE COOKBOOK. It was as if this book was MADE for me. It revolves entirely around vegetables, with a touch of dairy thrown in here and there. The book is split into chapters by family of vegetable – mushrooms, root veggies, beans, peppers, squashes, etc.  The photos are beautiful, instructions easy and (my favorite part) the recipes aren’t complicated. They each contain ingredients you have in your kitchen (garlic, salt, onion, oil, pepper), and all focus on the taste of the vegetable itself versus hiding it behind complicated sauces and spices. I can’t recommend it enough. GET IT!


S’Mores + Brownies = YES.

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Warning: these are bad, bad, BAD (for you, of course.) They are filled with butter, sugar, and eggs. They are not light. They are not even remotely healthy. But, guys, they are SO ridiculously ridiculous. 

A few weeks ago I had a random craving for s’mores. (I swear! Ask any of my co workers. I had chocolate on my MIND.) Summer = s’smores? Or something? Who knows. The point is I had the itch. Normally, I would tend to this craving by making my own s’mores. What’s that you say? S’mores? In your apartment? Yep. It’s called a gas stove, a marshmallow, and a fork. Done and done. But I wanted something MORE. I wanted a baked good with s’mores somehow…in… So I got to browsing and decided on the New York Times Brownie + graham cracker crust + toasted marshmallows on top, from this recipe. The results were incredible. These were definitely best RIGHT out of the oven when the marshmallows were still oozing and burnt, but they were also preeeetty good (albeit messy) the next day.

Not something I’ll make often, but DEFINITELY a keeper!