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As Quoted Cookbook Club - May Recap

May was the official start of The As Quoted Cookbook Club! I've had this idea for years but never felt like it was the right time to pull the trigger.  A friend of mine was complaining that she was having trouble in the kitchen and never felt like she could venture out and cook outside of her normal routine of recipes.  This was the catalyst that pushed me to start Cookbook Club!  

Cookbook club is a once a month gathering of friends to celebrate the many beautiful cookbooks available to us as well as the art of home-cooking.  One of the first steps of taking charge of your own health is learning to cook and knowing exactly what is going into your food.  Many times there are tons of hidden sugars and fillers that restaurants (not As Quoted ;) of course!) add in that bring out certain flavors that you may not add in for yourself.  For instance, adding in sugar to pasta sauce instead of using the naturally sweet vine ripened tomatoes that are in season.  

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I invited a diverse group of friends: one from cooking school and our former sous chef at As Quoted, a friend from nutrition school, my husband's best friend's wife (also a natural chef), a friend from high school, a friend from the neighborhood, a blogger friend I've met through As Quoted and another natural chef that I had never met before.  I couldn't be happier with how our group has come together, bonding over our love for food, nutrition, cooking and of course, cookbooks!  It really meant a lot to me how everyone took this so seriously but also with so much positivity and excitement!  It was really a dream come true.

Every month, I choose 3-4 cookbooks and bring them with me to the meeting.  We then vote and choose the next month's cookbook.  Everyone is able to feel the book in person, flip through and choose their recipe.  The book is also available to browse at the restaurant for the duration of the month.  Our first cookbook chosen was an oldie but definitely a goodie: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  It was great to hear everyone's experiences on what it was like cooking their dish, whether they'd make it again or what they would change.  

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The dishes made this month were: hummus and ful, broiled vegetable soup, winter salad, castelluccio lentils with tomatoes and gorgonzola, soba noodles with eggplant and mango, mixed beans with many spices and lovage.