Thank you for buying this book; I’m thrilled for you to discover and cook your way through some of my favorite recipes. My promise to you is that the effort of making these dishes will be more than worth it, because the 100 plus recipes in this book are easy to follow and delicious to eat.
When I set out to write this book, I was inspired by what food has become in our modern world. We eat with our eyes. We all love to look at food that makes us stop in our tracks when we see it—food that oozes style and texture and, most of all, makes us want to dive right in.
Unfortunately, often when trying to create the perfect picture-worthy dish, we focus on style at the expense of taste. We all love gorgeous food, but let’s make gorgeous food that is easy to create with ingredients that are simple to source and taste as amazing as they look. Let’s create food that is nourishing and delicious enough to share with friends and family.
In this cookbook you will find recipes that are uncomplicated. All of the recipes were developed for taste, ease of use, and how gorgeous they will look when plated. I promise that you will never have to go to five different grocery stores to source the ingredients in this book; they can be found at your local grocery. If something is super seasonal or might not be found at your grocery store, I will always give easy alternatives.
I have included a chapter at the end of the book called Flavor Gold. These recipes are easy ways to take your dish from great to amazing. Flavor Gold includes my pickled red onions, which add just the right amount of tanginess to a dish, and my preserved lemons, which add a salty citrus flavor. Check out the chapter and feel free to mix and match. Flavor Gold recipes all store easily in your fridge so you can always add a sprinkle, dollop, or spoonful and take your dish to the next level.
I pared down these recipes so they would appear in their simplest form. There are no headnotes, and I included the ingredient type and amounts in the method (bolded
) to make them simple and straightforward. I’m hoping an image will catch your eye and that you can quickly read through the recipe and decide to commit. The methods are also simplified to save you time reading and get you cooking as soon as possible. Scattered throughout the book are tips and tricks for becoming a better cook, as well as a riffs on one ingredient that is taken through many different ways of preparing it. These sections will allow you to explore recipes and ingredients to come up with your own simple beautiful food.
In case you are new to my food world, here is my food and cooking philosophy: I believe in simple, straightforward cooking. I try to use as few pots and pans as possible because we all have better things to do than spend hours washing dishes. These recipes will empower you to cook more often while spending time enjoying the food you make with friends, family, or just yourself. I believe that half of cooking is having the confidence to get in the kitchen and get started. You can see this philosophy in my Fridge Foraging series on Instagram, where I make simple meals from what I have on hand.
My philosophy is judgment-free. We all feel the pressure to buy everything organic, free range, local, sustainable, and non-GMO. I agree with all of those things, and I would love to be able to say that I cook only with organic, free-range, local, sustainable, and non-GMO ingredients, but that would be a lie. Like many people, I can’t realistically afford to buy everything organic and sometimes I don’t have access to only local ingredients. Times are changing, and I hope one day this type of food is available to everyone, but until then I pick and choose my battles. My onions may not always be organic, but any sort of meat or animal product that I buy is always organic and free range because I am passionate about animal welfare. So start with one part of the equation that resonates with you (non-GMO, organic, animal welfare) and don’t feel judged if you can’t do it all. Start small and do what you can.
In my opinion, getting into the kitchen is half the battle of a healthy lifestyle. If you are making your family a fresh homemade meal that doesn’t have a ton of processed ingredients, then you are halfway there.
All of this is to say: Keep it simple. This should be fun, creative, and stress-free. So let’s dig on in, get a little messy, and get cooking.
Copyright © 2020 by Amanda Frederickson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.