Bobbette & Belle’s Apple Galettes: Like Cupcakes, but in Pie Form

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What’s not to love about a personal apple pie?

After baking Bobbette & Belle’s blueberry hand pies, I fell in love with the idea of individually sized pastries. I don’t like making cakes because I find it’s too much of a good thing – I far prefer cupcakes, which are easier to share. Same goes with pies: making an entire pie seems like such a commitment (who wants pie for dessert… again… for the fifth night in a row), but mini pies? Sign me up.

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To be fair, these aren’t mini apple pies – they’re galettes, which are basically a flat pie. (Cedric called them toaster strudels.) They consist of two components: the galette pastry and the apple filling.

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The galette uses a standard pastry recipe and, as I’ve come to love with Bobbette & Belle’s recipes, the ingredients can easily be found in any generic store. In fact, you probably have most of them on hand already – this recipe uses all purpose flour rather than pastry flour, for instance.

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Though the recipe calls for cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter, I used my hands (as I always do with pastry). The butter cutting is pretty short and sweet, so the damage from the heat of my hand is pretty minimal.

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Crumble City, USA

When it comes to handling pastry, less is more. The recipe states, “Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form a disc by pushing it together a few times.” My disc was awfully crumbly (see photo), so I sprinkled an extra tablespoon of ice water (in addition to the 1/4 cup used in the recipe) and it did just the trick to make everything come together in a slightly more solid form. The dough was still a little shaggy as I folded the pastry into thirds, but I used my bench scraper to keep the dough more or less gathered and it seems to have worked out alright.

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I don’t own a six-inch round cutter (or a six-inch plate, as the book suggests as an alternate), but I printed out a six-inch round template and used the cut-out as a stencil. It worked just fine.

Though the recipe indicates it makes 5 individual galettes, I had enough dough to cut 8 rounds of pastry – and I didn’t even roll it out all that thin. I had extra scraps, so I freestyled a few festive leaves (viva la fall!)

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As for the filling, I stuck with the suggested Granny Smith apples, which aren’t terribly exciting but they do the trick. If I were to make these again, I’d probably mix up a few different varieties of pie-friendly apples. I used five apples instead of four, but I kept the rest of the ingredients the same.

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The recipe calls for heating some butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. This forms a caramel-like sauce, in which the apples are cooked for just a few minutes. The smell and texture are phenomenal – think caramel apples in a pan. Yum.

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apple-galette-9Even with 8 galettes, I had plenty of apple filling to go around. I probably overstuffed them a little, which made it slightly finicky to fold the sides up, but galettes kind of have a rustic, imperfect look that is very forgiving. I was slightly concerned that the apple filling would ooze out and create a smoky mess in my oven, but that didn’t happen.

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I sprinkled each galette with some chopped pecans, topped each with a couple of my pastry leaves, and gave the crusts a little egg wash, then into the oven they went. As I now do with all of my B&B recipes, I gave the galettes extra time in the oven – the book recommends 25-30 minutes, whereas I kept mine in for 45 minutes. (I checked in on them every 5 or so minutes after the first 30 minutes had elapsed. Truth be told, I probably could have kept them in a minute or two longer, but ah well.)

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(This is before they were baked, lest you be concerned about the paleness of the pastry.)

After sampling a galette to ensure it was edible (it was), I stacked them in a tupperware with parchment paper between each layer and stored them overnight. We had a couple of friends over the next day, and I heated them up in the oven and served them with my favourite vanilla gelato, the Whistler-made KO Vanilla by Lucia Gelato.

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The final product was delicious and perfectly presentable (not pictured: a scoop of gelato melting on top of the galette – YUM). The galettes make for a great autumn dessert. They’re a nice twist on traditional apple pie. Thanks, Bobbette & Belle, for another Magee-approved recipe!


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Thanksgiving Week Continued: Bread Illustrated’s Butter Fan Rolls

Earlier this week, I blogged about one Thanksgiving baking project: Bobbette & Belle’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie. Today, we keep with the Thanksgiving baking theme, but we move to a different course.

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We attended a huge Thanksgiving potluck dinner over the weekend, and I volunteered to bring a seriously underrated food item: dinner rolls. In my experience, dinner rolls usually suck. In a buffet, if there are dinner rolls, I will usually skip over them – there are simply too many better options to fill my plate with.

However, every now and then, a roll will blow my mind. My friend Charlotte’s grandmother makes the most divine butter rolls (we call them grandma buns). I knew that if the butter fan rolls in the Bread Illustrated cookbook were even a fraction as good as the grandma buns, they’d be a hit.

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The recipe for the butter fan rolls is oddly placed in the “starting from scratch” chapter. This is first chapter in the book. Most of the recipes here are introductory and easy; however, I’d say the butter fan rolls are a little more labour intensive than others in this chapter.

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The good news is that the buns can be baked in a single day. The first step is to combine the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, yeast, salt), then the wet ingredients (whole milk, melted unsalted butter, eggs, and sugar – okay, sugar isn’t a wet ingredient, but it dissolves), then you mix the dry with the wet.

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IT’S ALIVE

I’ve baked a few enriched doughs lately, which I find tend to have a little difficulty “catching” in the stand mixer. I scraped the bowl often, but still – after the first step, my dough looked an awful lot like BRAINS.

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Cool? Yes, but wrong holiday – this is Thanksgiving, not Halloween. For what it’s worth, I made this recipe twice in the same day because I had many mouths to feed. The second time around, it still looked like brains.

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The dough looked less brain-like after some kneading by hand. I then left it to rise. It didn’t puff up as much as I had hoped. I left it about half an hour longer for my second batch, which did make a difference. I guess that’s the effect of the weather getting cooler – now I have to proof just a little longer.

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Here’s where the dough requires a little extra love. First, you split the dough in two. You roll each half out into a large rectangle, which you trim to ensure your ends are nice and tidy.

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The rectangle is divided into six strips of dough, which are brushed with melted butter and stacked atop one another. The stacked dough is once again divided into six mini stacks. The process is repeated for the other dough half, yielding 12 mini stacks.

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The stacks are then placed in a muffin tin. The first batch (pictured) were a little flimsy looking – the second, longer-rise batch were a little sturdier in the muffin tins. I also rolled the second batch a little more evenly so the taper effect in the photo above was a little less pronounced.

The dough is given time to rise in the muffin tins before going into the oven.

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In theory, the dough pieces should fan out nicely in the oven. I mostly achieved this, although I did learn to really pinch the bottom of the stacks together in my second batch. I had a few split buns that fell into two pieces in the first batch.

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I have to admit, the buns had quite a wow-factor – they’re definitely showier than your average dinner roll.

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As for the taste – well, they aren’t quite the caliber of the grandma buns – but they’re very good. They have a nice buttery flavour and the inside is nice and soft. They’re perfect for mopping up extra gravy and cranberry sauce.

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Beginner buns, they are not – but they’re also far better than your average dinner roll.


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Post-Thanksgiving Week: Bobbette & Belle’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie

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Aaaaand that’s a wrap on another successful Thanksgiving. Get excited: this week’s blog posts are all themed around the Thanksgiving weekend. I managed to stretch my festivities across three days – if that’s not a successful Thanksgiving, then I don’t know what is.

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Today’s post is all about pumpkin pie – specifically, Bobbette & Belle’s recipe for the so-called “Perfect Pumpkin Pie”. I’ve mentioned before that I’m so-so on pumpkin pie. I enjoy a particularly well-made pumpkin pie, but I’ll usually reach for another dessert over pumpkin pie if given the option. However, Cedric loves pumpkin pie, so I’m happy to whip one up once a year.

Last year, I had great success with the recipe from The Pie and Pastry Bible. This year, it felt natural to borrow Bobbette & Belle’s recipe, as I’ve been baking my way through their cookbook since the beginning of the year.

The pastry used by B&B is the same sweet pastry used in the mixed berry tart and the mini blueberry hand pies. A few thoughts about this:

  • It definitely seems unconventional to use a sweet tart crust for a traditional pie.
  • As I’ve learned in the past, this dough is finicky as heck to work with. It’s virtually impossible to roll out and lift up in one piece.
  • Luckily, it’s also very forgiving. A patchwork approach is most definitely acceptable here.

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The pastry recipe made enough for a full tart, and I had enough leftovers to bake five mini pie shells, too.

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First up: the blind bake. This was a little tricky since we had the turkey sitting in the oven at 325 degrees, whereas the blind bake calls for 350 degrees. I just left the pie shells in extra long – as in, double the recommended time. This is standard for B&B recipes, in my experience – even if the oven had been at the right temperature, I would have given it plenty of extra time to bake.

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Once the light golden crust had been achieved, I let the pies shells cool completely before pouring in the filling. The filling is comprised of pumpkin puree (the book says canned, but I made my own), sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, nutmeg, and egg, and some vanilla. Although this is a semi-long list of ingredients, the actual assembly is easy: just whisk it all together in one bowl (the egg and the vanilla are added after the first several ingredients are combined).

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I poured the filling in, and it was the perfect amount for a single pie. The book recommends half an hour in the oven, but I think I had mine in there for 55 minutes. It came out looking pretty darned good: the crust was not burnt, the middle was not wiggly, and it was a lovely colour.

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The Bobbette & Belle cookbook recommends a Chantilly cream to go with the pumpkin pie, but I took some creative liberties here. I don’t love Chantilly cream, but I do love vanilla gelato (especially if it’s Lucia Gelato’s KO Vanilla). Since I already don’t love pumpkin pie, I decided to go with the gelato to make it a little more exciting for me.

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Excellent gelato to pie ratio, right?

For what it’s worth, Cedric believes that whipped cream is a more suitable side for pumpkin pie than gelato. We’ll have to agree to disagree here.

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I deem this pumpkin pie a decent success, though I’m not sure I’d call it perfect. First, I would argue it’s more of a pumpkin tart. Second, I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away by it – I remember loving The Pie & Pastry Bible recipe a lot more. However, Cedric – who is clearly the pumpkin pie purist in our family – thought it was incredible. Out of our entire Thanksgiving meal, the pumpkin pie earned more enthusiasm than any other dish.

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Final thoughts? It’s a finicky dough, an easy filling, and a quality pie if you’re a fan of pumpkin.


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Bobbette & Belle’s Apple Crumble – YUM.

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We celebrated Cedric’s birthday in the Yukon. It occurred on the one evening that I glossed over in my recap – and I glossed over it because it was pretty bad. We had a good enough time, but the major elements (accommodations, dinner) were both easily the worst of their respective categories of the entire trip. Suffice to say, don’t order the on-special beef ribs at a trucker restaurant.

I wanted to make up for it with a post-birthday celebration dinner at home. Cedric didn’t get to blow out candles on his birthday – which is sacrilegious, in my opinion. I hoped to recreate the experience at this make-up dinner. One caveat: Cedric isn’t a big fan of cake. I know.

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Searching for a cake substitute, I landed on the Apple Crumble recipe in my Bobbette & Belle cookbook. For years, I have known that Cedric adores apple crumble – and yet, it’s the one dessert I’ve never wanted to bake for him. The reason is simple: it won’t ever measure up to his mom’s apple crumble. This is the stuff he grew up on – it’s not just about the apples or the crispy crumbly topping – it’s about the memories and the nostalgia. We all have that thing that our moms make better than anyone in the world. Even the world’s most talented chefs can’t hold a flame to mom’s cooking.

(By the way, I’ve had the opportunity to try his mom’s apple crumble. It really is that good.)

I tentatively proposed to Cedric that, for this special occasion, I would attempt to make an apple crumble, but to be aware that it would like be very different (read: not as good) as his mom’s. That didn’t seem to bother him.

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The B&B apple crumble serves 10 to 14 people. We are but two, so I decided to halve the recipe. (I also don’t haveĀ  9 x 13 inch baking pan, which is required for this recipe – that may have played a role in this decision.)

I used seven apples: five from the farmer’s market (I can’t remember the variety, but the seller said they were good for pies) and two Granny Smith’s (as recommended) to fill in the extras I needed.

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I immediately – and I mean immediately – forgot that I had halved the recipe. Aside from only having half the apples, I made the rest of the apple filling as written in the book. While my sliced apples cooked away in a bath of butter on the stove top, I started away on the crumble topping. The recipe calls for 2 and a 1/4 cup of pecans – but the little bag I’d gotten from the bulk section at Save on Foods (i.e., the best bulk section in Squamish) didn’t have nearly enough. That’s when it dawned on me: I was only baking half the recipe. D’oh.

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I was able to split the dry ingredients I’d measured so far for the crumble topping, and I poured out a bunch of the butter-sauce from the apples. There was nothing I could do about the amount of lemon juice, flour, sugar, and apple pie spice I’d used for the apples – oh well.

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Aside from the doubling hiccup, the rest of the baking process went smoothly. Despite having halved the recipe, it still made a lot. I filled the baking pan to the very top and still had extras, so I filled a couple of little ramekins as bonus dessert.

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The recipe suggests 30 to 40 minutes in the oven. I always err on the side of too long with B&B recipes (often going over the suggested time). At 40 minutes, most of the crumble looked good, but some of the topping wasn’t quite as golden brown as I’d hoped. I tried broiling it for a couple of minutes, but I realized that it wasn’t browning because that particular section was mostly dust from the oats – it didn’t have enough butter to brown.

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I served a couple of hot, gooey slices with some vanilla Lucia Gelato (the finest, in my opinion, and locally made in Whistler. You can get it at Nesters in Whistler or Squamish.) Cedric finally got to make his birthday wish, and then we tucked in.

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I only need one word to describe this crumble: delicious.

The ratio of filling to topping is perfect, and the pecans really take the crumble to the next level. The ice cream is a must to cut the sweetness a little (because nothing balances sweetness like more sweetness, I guess).

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When the spoons had been licked clean and the leftovers had been covered and stashed in the fridge, I had a moment of food-coma-induced introspection. No, it wasn’t his mom’s crumble – but it was darned good. It’s like comparing one delicious pizza to another – different but equally fantastic. Apple crumble, I’m sorry I waited so long to bake you – but I’m glad I picked the Bobbette & Belle recipe because it was top notch.


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Baking Fail: Bread Illustrated’s Portugese Sweet Bread

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve got bread all figured out. I pump out a massive loaf of sourdough weekly (note: the taste has improved since I originally blogged about it – gotta love a maturing starter) and I usually whip up some variation of a sandwich bread, too. Predictable, reliable, and always delicious.

But every now and again, a bread recipe comes along and totally humbles me. In this case, it was the Portuguese Sweet Bread.

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Pictured: what it’s supposed to look like.

This bread looked simple enough – a big round loaf made in a cake tin – and it sounded like the perfect slightly sweet bread to enjoy lightly toasted with some blueberry jam. It’s a single day baking affair and I had all the ingredients on hand (flour, yeast, salt, water, eggs, sugar, vanilla, butter) – what could go wrong?

Plenty, as it turns out.

It started out just like any other bread. I whisked the dry together, I whisked the wet together, then I kneaded it all together in the stand mixer. Things started to go a little sour in step 2: adding the butter. As I added the butter bit by bit, the dough started to get really wet. The mixer was having trouble getting a “grip” on the dough – it was just kind of making a slapping sound and spinning the dough around without kneading it. I knew it would be a finicky dough (as evidenced by this caution in the recipe intro: “We do not recommend mixing this dough by hand”), so I kept stopping it and moving it around with my spatula to get the hook to catch the dough a little better. It worked – sort of – but the dough didn’t quite look like it was coming together. I left it in the mixer a little longer than recommended (about 4 minutes, rather than 3), but then I got worried I was over mixing it.

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You can see how greasy the dough looks here. A buttery mess!

The next step was to knead it by hand for 30 seconds. I gave it a go, but the butter was getting everywhere. I know I used the right amount of butter – I even went by weight, not by volume – but I had to add a little flour so that I could actually get a hold of the bread and knead it. If I’m being perfectly honest, I added quite a bit of flour – maybe an extra quarter cup.

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This is not what a smooth ball looks like.

Finally, the dough was workable and resembled the texture of the dough in the photograph. The problem now was that I couldn’t get a perfect smooth ball of dough. The dough tore as I tried to form the ball and the seam on the bottom gaped open, no matter how much I pressed it together. I even tried wetting it a little, but no dice.

I decided to ignore it and hope everything would sort itself out. I left the ball of dough to rise.

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As it turns out, the tears didn’t magically seal themselves while rising. Huh.

When it came time to flatten the dough and make it into another ball, I had the same issue. The dough just wasn’t cooperating with me, and I think it’s because of the extra flour. At this point, you’re supposed to be place the ball – [gaping] seam side down – into a greased nine inch cake pan. This is what it says: “Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan. Cover loosely with greased plastic…”. It does NOT say (as it usually does) to gently press the dough down so that it fits snugly in the pan. My ball of dough did not touch the edges of the pan, but I hoped leaving it to rise for a second time might just make it naturally puff outward as well as upward.

It did – a little – but not enough to fill the pan entirely. I just let it be.

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Before popping it into the oven, you’re supposed to score the circumference of the dough 1/4 inch deep. I think I scored mine a little too aggressively – more like half an inch.

These are all little mistakes, but they’re starting to add up.

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This is what it looked like when I rotated the pan only halfway through baking.

The directions are to bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the loaf registers 190 to 195 degrees. A check at 30 minutes yielded a temperature of like, 110. I left the bread in for another 10 minutes, but the top was starting to look very dark – minutes away from being burnt. I took it out of the oven.

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Suddenly, I heard Paul Hollywood’s voice in my head, warning Martha (one of my favourite contestants of the Great British Bake Off) that using egg wash on a loaf can make it appear done before it really is. Yup – I fell victim to the too dark loaf exterior. The middle was RAW.

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The loaf also looked like a disaster, but that was the least of my problems. My score had resulted in a muffin top of sorts. I sliced an outside piece of the bread. It was a little ugly, but pretty tasty – a little sweet, but not over the top. As I approached the centre of the loaf, the raw interior became exposed. Again – visions of Paul Hollywood shaking his head with disapproval.

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Okay…

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Not okay.

Cedric and I nibbled at the outer perimeter of the loaf, but I accidentally left it out overnight (partly butchered) and it was dried out by morning. Into the bin it went.

Better luck next time.

My Take on Bobbette & Belle’s Mini Blueberry Hand Pies

I’ve mentioned before that my aunt recently sent me two glorious boxes of her old baking pans and tins. Actually, “old” may not be the right word – everything is in top notch condition, including a set of eight adorable little tart pans. These teeny tiny discs were begging to be used, so I set out to find a recipe that could accommodate them.

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Behold!

Bobbette & Belle’s cookbook doesn’t have any recipe that expressly uses them, but I thought their Mini Blueberry Hand Pies recipe could be adapted pretty easily. As written, the recipe doesn’t require any type of pan – these hand pies are, well, made by hand and nothing else. However, I would argue that using the mini pans is even easier (for handling the delicate dough) and tastier (more blueberry goodness!)

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The pies use a sweet pastry dough – the same one used in the Mixed Berry Tart recipe. I remember this dough being a little finicky to work with – as I recall, it is very temperature sensitive. I made it as directed, leaving it in the fridge to set for a good two hours. This time, rather than rolling it out, I kind of bashed it with a rolling pin to get it flat. I only rolled it towards the end. This still caused a little tearing, but the dough stayed together much better than it did the first time, when I had rolled it out straight of the fridge.

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While the dough was in the fridge, I whipped up two batches of the blueberry filling. Initially, I only made one batch, but it looked awfully small to fill eight tart pans. If you make the recipe as hand pies, each pie only calls for 1.5 teaspoons of filling. I knew I’d need more than that, so I went ahead and made another batch. The only snafu is that I had used up all my lemons, and the recipe requires a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. After consulting my pal Google, I subbed in half a tablespoon of vinegar. It did the trick, and a taste test revealed no major flavour difference (although I’d stick with the lemon in the future to be safe). Other than the minor lemon juice hiccup, the filling was super easy to make. I let it cool in bowls while I rolled out my pastry (as described above).

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The hand pie directions call for using a 3-inch round cookie cutter to get your shapes – something that’s not yet in my baking supply repertoire – but it didn’t matter to me, since I was going the tart route. I cut the dough into squares, which I draped over the tins and pressed in by hand. The first couple went okay, but then the dough started to tear as I lifted it from the counter. I think it was probably getting too warm. Luckily, it made absolutely no difference – I was able to patch the dough into place in the tins, so it didn’t all have to be neat and tidy.

Once the bases were assembled, it was time to fill – no blind baking required for these little guys. I split the two batches of filling among the eight pies. Easy peasy.

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Don’t worry, I added more to the middle ones.

I had ambitions of topping the pies with a lovely lattice, but there was no way that was happening – the dough was breaking apart like there was no tomorrow. If I’d been hellbent on the lattice, I could have popped the dough back in the fridge and tried my luck again later on, but I wasn’t that dedicated to the idea. Instead, I freestyled a few hearts. CUTE.

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Pre oven…

The pies are supposed to take 25 to 30 minutes in the oven, but in the past, I’ve found that recipes in this book usually take longer than directed. Of course, that could just be my oven. After 35 minutes, my pies had a lovely gorgeous golden colour, so out they came.

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… post oven!

The baby pies were absolutely scrumptious! Despite its finickiness, I adore the sweet pastry. It has a solid, biscuit like quality – I honestly think you could just bake discs of it and it was make for a tasty little cookie with some coffee or tea. The blueberry filling was almost jammy (in a good way) and didn’t seep, leak, or otherwise destroy the pastry. I sampled one (and a half, if I’m being honest) on the day I baked them, and another (and the remaining half) the next day. The integrity of the pie wasn’t compromised at all the next day. (Now there’s a sentence I don’t get to write nearly often enough!)

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I transported these little guys to some friends and they held up just fine. They may be tiny and adorable, but they’re sturdy, too. This recipe is a keeper: easy to pull together, appealing to look at, and even better to eat!


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The Dude Diet: Weird Name, Solid Cookbook

I developed the habit this year of borrowing cookbooks from the library. It’s a win-win: it’s economical, provides for plenty of culinary inspiration, and allows the opportunity for boosting kitchen skills.

Most of the cookbooks I’ve borrowed have been a success (and if they’re not, no big deal – I just return them and choose another), but I want to highlight my latest find because it checks off all of my boxes:

  • Ingredients are available in Squamish;
  • Ingredients are relatively inexpensive;
  • Meals are healthy;
  • There are a wide variety of recipes; and
  • Recipes are straightforward.

I like cooking, and I’m willing to devote a fair bit of time (an hour, maybe) towards making dinners – but I don’t like overly rich foods or meals that require the use of every pot, pan, and utensil in the kitchen. This cookbook accommodates these needs.

I happen to think The Dude Diet is not the best name. I get it – the girl who wrote it (she attended Harvard and Le Cordon Bleu Paris) wrote it to show guys (like her boyfriend) who generally ate horribly that healthy food can be delicious and easy to put together – but the aggressive dude-isms peppered throughout the recipes are a little cheesy.

If you can get over the dude factor (and I did), you’ll be rewarded with a wide variety of recipes split into ten sections:

  1. Badass Breakfasts: Self explanatory.
  2. The Classics: With a twist, like the Dude Diet Shepherd’s pie with ground turkey and cauliflower (instead of beef and potatoes).
  3. Game Day Eats: Quintessential dude snacks and appetizers made healthier.
  4. On the Grill: Kicking the basics up a notch – Grilled Mahi Mahi with citrus-jalapeno salsa; grilled chicken paillard with avocado, corn, and cherry tomato relish, and the like.
  5. Serious Salads: My favourite chapter – salads that are entree-worthy.
  6. Take-Out Favourites: DIY versions made a little lighter (Pork un-fried rice; smarter sausage pizza)
  7. Sexy Sides: What it sounds like.
  8. Back-Pocket Recipes: Easy and delicious quick meals.
  9. Chronic Cocktails: With disclaimers in the preamble such as, “Moderation, moderation, moderation” and “Slowwww down”.
  10. Sweetness: Desserts made simple.

I didn’t cook recipes from all of these chapters, but I spent a bit of time on the salad, take-out, and back-pocket sections. A few of my favourites:

  • Arugula Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Parmesan, and Fried Eggs: Okay, maybe not the healthiest, but this was a delicious combination. We ate it with some avocado toast (of course we did).
  • Sesame-Orange Chicken: Lots of flavour and super filling, and surprisingly easily to put together – with broccoli, a few bell peppers, and rice.
  • Coconut Green Curry Chicken: Soooo delicious. I don’t make curries very often, but when I do, they’re usually pretty boring compared to the stuff you get at restaurants. This recipe delivered.
  • Smoky Black Bean Chicken Stew: Smoky indeed – a few recipes in this cookbook call for chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, which I found at Nesters (they don’t have it at Craig’s). I did the smoky spiciness it added to this stew.
  • Dude Diet Shepherd’s Pie: I mentioned this one above – it uses cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes and it completely blew my mind. I feel like this crafty swap changes everything.

I recommend this book for quick(ish) weeknight dinners, people looking for some healthy inspiration, or those that are a little new to the kitchen and seek some inspiration (i.e., people living on their own for the first time).

The Dude Diet = it’s a winner.


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