Wednesday, May 17, 2023

At the Table

This post includes absolutely nothing about quilts, but rather another focus of mine - cooking and baking. Specifically, about joining in in the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club this year with hostess Deborah Balint @rainydaybites. Please feel free to ignore today's ramblings about new recipes I've tried if it doesn't interest you. I promise I'll be back with quilt-related content very soon!

But I couldn't totally ignore something that I've really enjoyed this year, and something that has drawn me into the kitchen week after week. In a nutshell, the cookbook club is arranged so there is a new, featured cookbook each month. Then there is a baking book for every two months. I've been focusing on participating in the challenges from those books, but not necessarily from the third category, a year-long dessert book. A few of the books have actually been in my cookbook library, or purchased; but a lot have also been from my local library or an ebook. It's definitely easier to have the actual book, while at the same time acknowledging that I don't want or need to purchase them all. So it's been a balance.

Occasionally the challenge is very specific, but it could also be maker's choice from a certain category, and occasionally any recipe by a specific author. Lots of possibilities. Anyway, here's all the new-to-me recipes I've tried so far with Rainy Day Bites!

Featured book: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by 
Noor Murad @noorishbynoor & Yotam Ottolenghi @ottolenghi

Baked Polenta with Feta, Bechamel and Za’atar Tomatoes

Double Lemon Chicken with Cheats Preserved Lemon

Featured book: Smitten Kitchen Keepers by Deb Perelman @debperelman @smittenkitchen

Turkey Meatloaf for Skeptics

Simple Black Bean Chili

Breakfast Potato Chips & Sheet Pan Eggs

Caramelized Cinnamon & Sugar French Toast

Skillet White Beans "Caesar"

Chicken with Rice, Chorizo & Tomato

My Bodega-Style Egg-and-Cheese

Winter Squash Soup with Red Onion Crisp

January & February Baking Book: Savory Baking by 
Erin Jeanne McDowell @emcdowell

Bacon-and-Eggs Dutch Baby

Weeknight Focaccia

Enchilada Pie 

Featured book: The Woks of Life by Bill, Judy, and Kaitlin Leung of 

Chicken Curry Puffs

"Mongolian" Beef

Mini Char Siu Bao

Chicken Chow Fun

Featured book: The Lemon Apron Cookbook by Jennifer Emilson of 

Brown Butter Maple Bacon Butter Tarts

Pappardelle with Fennel-Italian Sausage Bolognese & Ricotta

Rosti with Bacon Scrambled Eggs

Mum's Chicken and Rice

Broccolini Amandine

Chicken and Yellow Zucchini Avgolemono-Style Soup

March & April Baking Book: Tava, Eastern European Bakes and Desserts from Romania and Beyond 
by Irina Georgescu @irina.r.georgescu

Crepes with Toffee Apple and Rosemary Sauce

Hungarian Fried Breads with Stewed Plums and Sour Cream

Folded Curd Cheese Pies

Finally, the year long end of month baking book is What’s for Dessert by 
Claire Saffitz @csaffitz, but I have yet to participate in those challenges, finding the others to be enough.

Though I'm a relative newcomer, the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club has actually been around for nine years! To celebrate their anniversary, we could choose to make any recipe from any of the featured books from across the years. I chose one before my time but that is in my collection, Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan @doriegreenspan, trying Sweet and Smoky Roasted Carrots.

So that's A LOT! Thanks for letting me record a written memory of my time with the cookbook club so far. It's been a fun challenge, encouraging us to try new cuisines and spending creative time in another way. Plus it's been so delicious!


  1. What a mouth-watering blog entry you gave us today! Can't wait to try some of these recipes.

    1. Terrific! I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

  2. So when are you going to open your restaurant?
    I'm hungry now.

  3. I've been following your stories on Instagram and enjoy seeing what you have been cooking - all of these look so good! What a fun idea for a club!