Spotlight: Cookbook Club Featuring Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie at Home”

This year, some of our friends started a Cookbook Club, in which we all make recipes from the same cookbook and have a potluck to feast on the delicious recipes. Our first book? Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home.

The cookbook is divided into the four seasons, so this meeting we mostly chose recipes from spring. (I missed the January meeting, where all recipes were from winter; Nate made the winter veg coleslaw.) In the cookbook, the main ingredients unique to spring are eggs, asparagus, lamb, and rhubarb.

Now, there are two important things to note:

  1. All of our friends/family who we hang out with are awesome cooks.
  2. I am not as much. 🙂

Knowing that I’m a little nervous about my talents in the kitchen, I opted for Nate and I to bring an easier option: Rhubarb and Sticky Ginger Crumble. I shopped for all of the ingredients on the Wednesday before last Sunday’s event, just needed to pick up the rhubarb. Or so I thought…

My mother-in-law grows rhubarb, so I should have realized that rhubarb is only available in late spring, right? Wrong! I went to/called/stalked about seven different grocery stores looking for rhubarb. Jewel almost had it; a produce employee at Trader Joe’s in the burbs didn’t even know what rhubarb was. Needless to say, I needed to act fast. 

 Our backup? We decided to make one apple crumble and one strawberry crumble, which meant I had to adapt the recipe…and fast. My plan was to use Jamie’s crumble recipe (which Nate was in charge of making), and this Strawberry Crisp recipe for the strawberry part, and this Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp recipe for the apple part. And I thought it turned out okay! The crumble part of Jamie’s recipe was so delicious. When we arrived at my brother and sister-in-law’s apartment (our hosts for this month), there were so many beautiful dishes—my pictures do not do it justice! (I couldn’t try all of the recipes because of my pregnancy diet, so some of the great recipes are missing from my plate photo.) Some of the dishes included:

After everyone ate their salad, soup, and main dishes, we warmed up the crisps and served them with vanilla bean ice cream. Both crisps went completely, but the consensus was the strawberry one was a hit! It was so easy to make—we’ll definitely do that one again! 

 I highly recommend starting your own Cookbook Club. It’s not only a way to challenge yourself, but also to try new recipes that you can make again at home, and to spend time hanging out with friends and family. Can’t wait for the next meeting!

   

   

The Curragh

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

While I’m neither Irish or a Guinness drinker (especially now!), I had to tag along as my friends met up for lunch at The Curragh in our old stomping grounds of Edison Park.

We met up on a Sunday afternoon and enjoyed some traditional Irish fare (think corned beef and fish and chips), as well as tasty bar food staples like cheeseburgers and spinach artichoke dip. Their fries are out of this world!

It was quite crowded, which made for a lively atmosphere, perfect for our big group. The Curragh is a great place to bring anyone, from babies to grandparents. There’s a little something for everyone!

I have to mention that we had a great table in the back corner, too, right next to the fire place. Bonus points for having hooks to hang coats and jackets (yes, I am a dork and enjoy the little conveniences in life!).

Stop by for a pint soon!

The Curragh 

6705 North Northwest Highway 

Edison Park