Cookbooks: Who Wants Seconds?

Who Wants Seconds? Cover

I do the bulk of my day to day cooking without recipes. Over the years, I’ve developed a fairly reliable set of dishes and cooking techniques that I call on and adapt on the fly. However, the one problem with cooking in this manner is that no matter what I make, much of what I eat on a regular basis tastes very much the same. I regularly find myself deeply weary of my own food.

Who Wants Seconds?

Once of the reasons I love going to potlucks so much is that it’s a chance to get a break from my food and eat something prepared by home cooks working in other kitchens. And when there’s no potluck on the horizon, I turn to cookbooks that feel friendly, familiar, and like the author might well bring a dish to share at my table someday.

Who Wants Seconds?

Who Wants Seconds? by Jennie Cook appeared in my mailbox, it immediately felt like the kind of book I’d turn to for a home cooking palate cleanser. It’s bright and feels more like Jennie’s personal kitchen notebook than the highly designed cookbooks we see so much these days. Obviously, both book styles have their places, but it’s refreshing to see something that feels like a modern Moosewood in a world of perfectly styled images.

Who Wants Seconds?

Jennie is lifelong cook, former restaurant owner, and currently runs a plant-based catering company in the Los Angeles area. This book is imbued with her personality and character, and I want to eat everything she writes about.

I’ve only had the opportunity to try out a single recipe from the book, but it did everything I want from a friendly potluck-style cookbook. I made the Sunshine Ginger Soup (the recipe follows) and it was a happy change from my regular versions of carrot and squash soups. I will be employing the combination of coconut milk and citrus again in future soups, as it tastes fabulously alive.

Sunshine Ginger Soup

If you’re located in or around Portland, OR, Jennie is going to be in your area in about a week, offering cooking classes. She’ll be at In Good Taste on, talking about Holiday Appetizers on November 5 (click here for more info) and at the Whole Foods Market at Bridgeport Village on November 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm (sign up by calling 503-639-6500. For even more of her events, click here.

Cookbooks: Who Wants Seconds?

Prep Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 quarts

Serving Size: 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound winter squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, or any combination thereof
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups stock or water
  • 1 15.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon light-colored vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel squash with a vegetable peeler, remove seeds, and slice into large chunks, as if you’re making mashed potatoes, and set aside.
  2. Place large stockpot over medium heat, add oil, and sauté onions, garlic, fresh ginger, dried ginger, cinnamon stick, thyme, cumin and cayenne until translucent, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add squash and stock or water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until vegetables are super soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk, lemon juice, orange juice, zest, maple syrup, and vinegar. Stir and mash the squash and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Add more stock or water if necessary to achieve the consistency you prefer.
  6. Allow to cool slightly, remove the cinnamon stick, and purée in a blender or with emulsion blender. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Variation: Add a tablespoon of curry powder when sautéing the onion.
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11 Responses to Cookbooks: Who Wants Seconds?

  1. 1
    Nicole says:

    That is one of the reasons I love the holidays so much, I too get bored with my own cooking. There was a point when we were having pizza every Friday night and I couldn’t even eat it anymore. If we went out to eat I could scarf down half a pizza no problem. This cookbook looks like fun, I’m going to have to check it out….(like I need another cookbook). Thanks. :)

  2. 2
    Barbara says:

    My Hubs and I are both over 70 now, and the kids long gone from the nest, so we have no one to please but ourselves. For a few years now I have become far more interested in food blogs and new cookbooks, and usually at least once or twice a week we try a new recipe. My Hubs is a wonderful tester of new recipes and doesn’t mind any change at all. Some are staying in my collection, and others are “never again” meals, but we enjoy awakening our palettes to new flavors and ideas. I introduced a Mexican dish to an Asian sweet chili sauce a couple of days ago, and they got married and will live happily ever after in my kitchen! I love trying anything new. Well, almost anything. There are certain things I’m squeamish about!

  3. 3
    mick says:

    I recently made spiced apple preserve recipe times 3, for holiday gift giving. I probably had more apples than planned due to measuring error approx.10 lbs.I yielded 16 half pints, besides squeezing most of the juice out instead of some, I only measured spices and retained juice for 12 half pints, also l got distracted and only added 1/4 C. suger instead of the required 1 C. for 16 half pints.I also used Fruit Fresh instead of citric acid, I used combination of McIntosh & Gala apples from my trees. Do you think my batch of preserves will turn out favorably? I would appreciate your feedback.I’m new to canning and a first time canner. Thank you, sincerely, Mick.

  4. 4
    Savanarola says:

    Ugh – I cook exactly the same way. And man, do I get bored of my own cooking! We hardly ever eat out – exciting to me is a frozen dinner I take to lunch when the kids have decimated the leftovers. I might just have to put this book on my Christmas list. . . .I have a couple of others on there, because I find that now and then it comes time for some serious inspiration!

  5. 5

    Those old Moosewood cookbooks are among my favorites, consider them old friends and you’ve brought them to mind again, thank you. Oh, and Anne Thomas The Vegeterian Epicure, etc. and the “Monk” cookbooks – From a Monastery Kitchen, The Tassajara Bread Book, etc. All those cookbooks feed body AND soul while perusing them and, after making or baking and serving, in turn, I “cast my bread upon the waters”. It’s a never ending cycle of love and in this, too frequently, frosty ole world, that’s near the top of the list of Very Good Things.
    Who Wants Seconds? looks like it’s going to be in very good company in my kitchen.

  6. 6

    Oh, I definitely need this book – adding it to my list! And the soup sounds simple and perfect for this cold, gray day – this will be on the “to cook” list tomorrow! Thanks for another great recommendation, Marisa – I think we all get tired of our own cooking from time to time!

  7. 7
    phoebe says:

    a modern day Moosewood…think i’m in love. that first Moosewood book is etched in beauty and flavor so this book may need to go on a christmas wish list! thank you for sharing your mailed gift! potlucks are magic too…

  8. 8
    sande says:

    sounds delicious but not sure what a light colored vinegar would be? balsamic, wine?

  9. 9

    I have a verson of ginger and carrot soup I love!

  10. 10
    Jill says:

    Is there a possible substitute for the coconut milk that isn’t coconut? My husband and I both VERY strongly dislike coconut. Would half and half or evaporated milk work? Thanks!!

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