Bought from: Booktopia. I preorder this one, as I had met Molly at a Local is Lovely Workshop in 2016 (not too long before the book was due to be released), and knew it would be a good addition to my cookbook shelf!
Recipes Made: Shakshuka Couscous p.25-27, Quinoa Carbonara p.110, Pistachio Loaf Cake p.220-21 and Brown Sugar Cookies p.229-30
For the Shakshuka Couscous I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter, but it gave me (along with seeing Molly make shakshuka at the Local is Lovely Workshop) the idea to add quinoa to shakshuka. I cooked the quinoa separately, and added it in before I added the eggs. It was great, and exactly what I wanted as at the time I wanted to take the leftovers to work for lunch the next day, and the criteria for leftovers for work lunches are that it needs to be tasty and something I will look forward to eating, and also something that is filling enough (no one likes being hungry at work do they?!). This recipe ticked both of those boxes, and I am happy to report that even the egg from the shakshuka was really nice reheated the next day!
Continuing with the quinoa theme, I decided to try the Quinoa Carbonara recipe. Again wanting leftovers for work lunch the next day, I made it and felt the flavour left me a little disappointed. It wasn’t as tasty as I had hoped, but took it for lunch the next day anyway. Well, that extra time seemed to do something as it was significantly more tasty the next day! So I can highly recommend this one to make ahead!
The Pistachio Loaf Cake is definitely my favourite recipe from the whole book! I have never tried the cake Molly is recreating in this recipe, but I feel I probably don’t have to as this one is so good. I wrote a blog post a while back about this cake, and I have continued to make it since. I have also made it with a rosewater icing and decorated with freeze dried raspberries which was also realllllyyy nice.
Brown Sugar Cookies (aka Chocolate Chip Cookies without the Chocolate Chips) - I definitely feel Molly on this recipe! I was always the kid who wanted a Chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips (thanks Mum for obliging on this for so many years!). I now know I can’t eat chocolate, but even as a kid I just didn’t really like it that much (controversial!!!). At friends birthday parties we would play that game where you had to cut the block of chocolate with a plastic knife and eat it (there was some time pressure to this whole thing but I really can’t remember the whole premise of the game now!), and I would always get another friend to eat the chocolate while I frantically tried to cut bits of a chocolate bar with a pathetic plastic knife. Same goes for cookies, I always appreciated them sans chocolate chips, or maybe with white chocolate.
When I made Molly’s recipe I didn’t refrigerate the dough - mostly because as far as I was concerned baking cookies should be a fairly instantly gratifying process and leaving the dough to rest for at least a day was just to much to handle. I probably would have had a better cookie if I had done so, but the instant gratification of a warm cookie was too hard to pass up.
Favourite Things About the Book: The variety of recipes, and their uniqueness to Molly! Molly has such great and diverse recipes that really are a reflection of her Chinese and Jewish heritage and her life on the farm in the Upper Mid West of America. You really won’t find some of these recipes in other cookbooks, and it makes owning this book all the more special.
I really like the snippets of Molly’s life and context around certain recipes or chapters as well. Through reading and cooking through this book, you really get to know Molly, how these recipes came about and why her style of cooking is so unique to her. Molly’s fun and bright personality shines through in her writing and recipes, and it’s like having a friend there with you in the kitchen.
Bookmarked Recipes (to make later!): Mum’s Matzo Brei p.13, Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese p.99, Pizza Dough p.120, Cardamom Cupcakes with Lingonberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting p.262-3, Party Trick Peanut Butter Cake (thinking I could use another type of nut butter for this one!) and Funfetti Cake p.271-3.