Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures
You’ve probably figured out by now that I enjoy simple, country living. I’m really not fond of big cities, huge crowds or formal events. I’m a small town, country girl at heart and that’s what makes me happy. Just because I enjoy a simpler lifestyle, doesn’t mean that I don’t love entertaining. I just prefer to do it to a smaller scale and in a more casual atmosphere. I would rather have a vase of fresh cut wildflowers than fussy hot house flowers to deal with. A huge garden salad with micro greens and local produce is much more appealing to me than foods shipped in from the other side of the country with names I cannot pronounce.
If you feel the same way, I want to share with you a book I’ve recently discovered. Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining was released in June of 2012. Cornelia Guest is an activist, philanthropist, and business woman who has entertaining in her blood. Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures will show you how to include affordable, cruelty-free eating into your daily diet. She also shows you how to turn simple, wholesome food into elegant dishes you can serve to your friends.
This book is more than a simple cookbook, it’s a philosophy. The book begins with the author’s beliefs on simple pleasures including easy elegance, wholesome eating, and effortless entertaining. Her suggestions are easy on the earth but are just as gorgeous as some of the more ornate settings I’ve seen before. The recipes are broken down by season and in the beginning of each season is a list of flowers that are in season at that time. Scattered throughout each chapter are *notes from my friends* blocks that offer helpful tips on everything from caring for our pets to understanding meat substitutes. The book contains no recipes that use animal products at all and instead focus on vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits. There are so many gorgeous color photographs and illustrations that it’s really a joy just to sit and flip through the book.
The recipes are very easy to follow. There are many types of dishes including breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages and desserts. You’ll find simple summer salads along with more complicated pasta dishes. Some take only a few steps to create from start to finish and others take a little more time. None are dishes that could not easily be put together by your average cook. I love that this book focuses on using fresh, in season produce. You won’t find any requests for canned or processed foods included and the recipes in each season’s chapter should use produce that you have in your garden or can get from your local farmer’s market. We made the Templeton Iced Tea recipe using spearmint from our herb garden and it was delicious! If seasonal cooking is something that interests you, I highly recommend Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining
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