Food with Friends

49 Comments

“It’s experiences and laughs that matter most, not the most perfectly executed food, so relax a little, embrace the imperfect…”
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When I read these words in the introduction of “Food with Friends” – the art of simple gatherings, I knew I had a new friend of sorts, author Leela Cyd.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, I was gifted this book, of my choosing, for review. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I initially was attracted to the book because of its title. Food with my friends is my favorite kind of food, after all. And with family, too, of course.

And it’s embarrassing to admit how often I use the word “party.” A daughter comes to town – we have a party. A girlfriend comes over – another party. Another couple come over – PARTY!!! I concur that food is about experiences and especially laughter. I only hang out with people who laugh.

The introduction in “Food with Friends” is quite impressive. Leela has traveled the world, living abroad for months at a time, and her passion for international cuisines are reflected in this collection of recipes.

Her love of cooking and sharing her food with friends is obvious in the inspirational photos. She claims that “The best gatherings are simple, yet somehow special.” I couldn’t agree more!

I’ve already bookmarked many recipes in this beautiful and fun cookbook. The recipe I chose to make from it is her Lemon-Poppy-Seed Dutch Baby.

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Lemon-Poppy-Seed Dutch Baby
serves 4

Dutch Baby
3 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond meal
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Topping
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Lemon wedges, for squeezing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put a 10-inch pie pan (glass or metal) or cast-iron skillet on a baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven.

In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, almond meal, nutmeg, salt, poppy seeds, and vanilla. Whizz on high speed for about 30 seconds, until everything is combined in a runny batter. (It will be looser than traditional American pancake batter, more similar to crepe batter.)

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Remove the heated pie pan or skillet from the oven and add the butter, swirling a little, until it has melted completely and the sides and bottom are completely coated.
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Pour in the batter and return the pan to the oven.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed and golden brown.

Dust with sifted powdered sugar, then top with lemon zest and 1 teaspoon poppyseeds.

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Invite each guest to squeeze lemon juice onto their slices.

Note: I personally don’t understand squeezing lemon juice on a Dutch baby because that would make it “wet.” I chose to include the lemon zest in the batter.

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Another note: Even without any sugar added, this Dutch Baby is sweet and light. You can eat it with a fork or just grab a slice and chomp away!

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

49 thoughts on “Food with Friends

    • Thank you Kay! The author’s food styling is much fancier than mine, or at least it was for the book’s photos, but I certainly love her attitude.

  1. I’ve never come across the term Dutch Baby before, perhaps it’s one of the many good things immigrants brought to America? It sounds delicious. And I’m with you on laughter and parties. I don’t much enjoy formal dinners. I’d much rather sit around the kitchen table with good friends, good food and bad jokes.

  2. Great review Mimi, I have that same book and it’s a keeper for sure. Your pictures are styling are perfect, the Dutch baby looks delicious!

  3. Wow your food styling for this post is just awesome! I’m with you, it’s a PARTY if we are going to have drinks and food with friends (even if only one)! The Dutch Baby sounds just delicious.

  4. If there’s more than the two of sitting down to dinner it’s always a party I think :) Good company, laughter and good food is the key – it doesn’t have to be Michelin star food, just great ingredients cooked with care and love. Just like this Dutch Baby – I think yours looks better than the one in the book!

  5. Hmmm, sounds like I may be adding another amazing cookbook to my growing collection! Great review, Mimi, and I love the look of your your Dutch Baby. I haven’t made one in a very long time, but I will make yours for sure! :D

  6. Hey, go ahead and party all the time!!!!! I almost requested this book because of the cover. (Alas, there seems to be nothing request-worthy at BfB right now.) Beautiful pictures as always, Mimi.

  7. What a gorgeous looking taste explosion. Think I would add zest to the mixture too and I don’t enjoy overly sweet goodies either.
    Have a wonderful day Mimi,
    :-) Mandy xo

    • I’m sorry Mandy, I missed your comment. Yes, I don’t understand zest as a topping, or squeezing lemon juice over a Dutch baby/Crespella. Oh well!

  8. I love the addition of poppy seeds to your Dutch Baby – that is brilliant! Cooking for friends and enjoying time with family is the best. I always enjoy sharing too. Have a lovely week Mimi!

  9. Most of my most memorable meals have been with friends. Just something about cooking for them and then sharing that’s fun. Love the combo of poppy seeds and lemon. Haven’t tried that in a Dutch Baby — really fun idea. Thanks so much.

    • It’s the best life has to offer! The Dutch baby was fun with the lemon and poppy seeds! I’d never used that combination either. In fact, I think I tend to forget about poppy seeds. But then, I’m not a baker!

  10. This book looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing! And lemon poppyseed anything is delicious. Can’t wait to try this!

  11. I’ve heard of a dutch baby but have never had one. Yours looks especially nice the way you served it…perfect for a party. :)

  12. I’m not at all familiar with Dutch babies — or most others, for that matter — but yours looks delicious. I’d be willing to bet it’s tasty, too.

  13. Love the opening quotation – and always love a Dutch baby or puff pancake or whatever you like to call it. This version is beautiful – especially with the flowers – such a gorgeous photograph Mimi.

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