I love cookbooks! And for Christmas my sister usually comes through with making sure I get a couple off of my wish list. That was true this year when she got me the cookbook Laura in the Kitchen by Laura Vitale. This is a book my sister has spoken really highly of and I was excited to get it. As we were chatting Christmas morning my sister said, "you have to make everything in that book" and I thought, why not! Why not make everything in this book! So since Christmas I have been working my way through this AMAZING cookbook, trying new recipes, having fun in the kitchen and documenting it using a Traveler's Notebook. Here is part one of this series that I will update in batches as I add pages in my book.
I have made nine recipes out of this book already, seven of them have already been added to the book and so far they have all received 5 stars. I know that sounds hokey but they have all been that good, no exaggeration and I gain nothing by saying so, other than really delicious food! I document each recipe with a photo and with any changes I made or would make in the future. The pancetta and fontina quiche was outstanding but I used a store bought crust and the wrong size pan so I would change that in the future. The Cannellini beans are likely the best bean dish - no scratch that, the best dish I have ever made, so easy, so flavorful, just amazing! This will go into regular rotation for sure!
The One Pan Chicken with Potatoes, Wine and Olives was another easy dish and so so flavorful. The note that I will add more garlic next time is a personal choice and not an indication that the recipe didn't have enough. The Pasta with No Cook Tuna Sauce I made for myself. I made a big batch of it and ate it every day for lunch and it was so yummy, it will be a perfect dish for the Summer months and the note to add more olives is because I added what I had on hand and it was less than the recipe called for. Old Bay fries that were baked, oh my gosh we loved these. There are a few extra steps that I hadn't used for baked fries in the past and those steps are all well worth it.
I have spent a lot of time avoiding stuffed shells, the reason is simple they are labor intensive and I claim to never have the time. I certainly have the time now so I dove into these Spinach and Artichoke stuffed shells. They weren't so much labor intensive as there are a lot of steps and a lot of pots and pans needed but there is plenty of time to clean while these bad boys are cooking and one bite it's all worth it! Sometimes you have a hankering for blondies and half a bag of butterscotch chips and Laura to the rescue with this recipe. Wow! They were a breeze to make and so delicious.
Tamy refers to Laura in the Kitchen as my new magic book; "did this come from that magic book" her favorites based on this blog post are the quiche, the fries and the blondies, though every time she looked at a picture she was like "maybe this is my favorite." I also struggled with my favorites, I'd have to say the beans and the shells rank pretty high. Stay tuned as I cook more and update my book. I have linked the cookbook a few times above, I don't share recipes from cookbooks that aren't published online out of respect for the author. If you pick up this book and start cooking along please let me know!
I haven't decided whether this traveler's notebook will only house recipes from this specific book or any new recipe I try. I'm leaning towards any new recipe, what do you think? I look forward to sharing this adventure with you!