I have a confession to make. I'm a kitchen gadget & cookbook junkie. I can't pass up a good deal on a kitchen gadget and my extremely full kitchen cupboards are proof of that. I don't feel so bad about my collection of gadgets because I use all of them (even the mandoline that cuts me almost every time I use it!). The cookbooks are another story. I get lost in the pretty pictures and the recipes that look soooo interesting, unlike anything I've made before, and I think 'I must have this book'. (I'm not the only one who got excited every time the latest Food & Drink Magazine came out, right?). I buy these books fully intending to use them...and then I don't. Sometimes it's because of the obscure or unusual ingredients, sometimes it's because the recipe is fairly complex (I don't want to make the sauce from page 12 before I can make the dish on page 44 using the spice blend from page 20), and sometimes I'm just too lazy or hungry to spend 4 hours in the kitchen on one dish. I'll happily spend a couple of hours prepping meals for the week but not on one dish.
There's one book on my shelf that I use often, take inspiration from and sometimes just flip through for the heck of it. New York Times bestseller by Michelle Tam & Henry Fong.
Michelle & Henry have created a fun to read, simple to understand cookbook chock full of delicious recipes, stories and kitchen tips. This book is beautifully shot, has fun illustrations and even features their 2 kids Owen and Ollie.
You may be thinking "Yeah, but I'm not paleo". You don't need to be paleo to love this book. You just need to love food. Real whole food.
I've made a bunch of recipes from this book and every single one was delicious. DELICIOUS! I admit there were a few times when I was skeptical, thinking 'Michelle, I'm not sure about this'. I was sure the Slow Cooker Kalua Pig was going to be bland and boring - but I went ahead with it anyway with fantastic results. If I could spend a week just making and eating every single recipe in this book I would....but I'd need someone to wash the dishes. Ugh, I do not like washing dishes!
Not convinced? Go check out their website. You'll find tons of recipes that you can try out now. Some of my favourites are:
- Cracklin' Chicken. With just 4 ingredients (1 is optional) you simply can't go wrong. I make this all the time. All. The. Time. And when I do I just want to sit and eat every last bit.
- Magic Mushroom Powder. Okay, so this isn't a dish but it's a seasoning blend that you can use in all sorts of ways! No, it's not that kind of magic mushroom....
- Big-O Bacon Burgers. I've used this recipe to make burgers and also just chucked the mix into a loaf pan to make meatloaf. It's so damn delicious and uses ingredients that I often have on hand.
Update: I purchased their second cookbook when it came out and got to meet Michelle when she came to Toronto on the book tour. This cookbook is another one I highly recommend for easy pantry staples, sauces and cooking tips for any eating style. I've used the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce so many times, most recently for a quick marinade on shrimp and it was delicious!