You know when you meet people and you just instantly get along with them? I’ve been crazy fortunate to experience this with a few different food bloggers and people over the past couple of months. Two of whom have been life changing. Back in September I got an invite to dinner with two of the Three Many Cooks women, Pam and Maggy Anderson and my good friend and fellow San Diegan, Lori of RecipeGirl. At dinner we shared drinks and tasty grub; laughed about life and chatted about the industry of not only food blogging but also cookbook writing and recipe development. I walked out of that dinner knowing that not only did I have a couple of new dear friends but I also had a mentor and inspirational role models in both Pam and Maggy.
Party pics! From left to right: Lori, Pam, Maggy and Me
You will not meet a more loving, genuine family than the ladies of Three Many Cooks. Each of them brings something different to the table (and their blog!) but its the fact that they do what they do in order to have an activity to share with one another and a way to bond that really moves me. I don’t have that with either my mother or my sister and think it’s pretty freakin’ special what they’re doing. (And btw, Dianne & Todd of White on Rice did an amazing cookbook trailer that you must watch. So moving.)
The concept behind Pam’s newest book, Perfect One Dish Dinners is great dishes that you can make effortlessly in one single dish so that you are able to spend time with your family and friends instead of slaving away in the kitchen. If you know me as a cook, you are probably thinking – “Amanda, there is no effing way you can make a meal with just one dish!” and you know what? You’re normally right. BUT…. I did! I made Pam’s Festive Roasted Chicken and Stuffing (pg.194) and because I was already in a festive mood I also made the appetizer she suggests to go with the meal – Baked Camembert with Cranberry-Orange Relish. (Recipe below!)
I made just a couple of changes to the chicken recipes in order to use up items I had on hand – Pam calls for italian or french bread but I had some seedy sourdough on hand so I subbed that as well as subbing dried tart cherries for the golden raisins and fennel for the celery (my roommate can’t stand celery and I didn’t want to eat alone!). The chicken and stuffing came out perfectly so did the baked Camembert, and seriously – it was far and away the most effortless meal I made all week! The book does exactly what it’s supposed to: feeds a group great food and frees up your time to spend with those you love.
Wow, dude – apparently I’m in some kind of weird Kumbaya place in my posts lately where all I feel like doing is gushing about the awesomeness of those around me. I guess there are worse places to be. Just don’t think it’s only going to be rainbows and unicorns on this site all the damn time. I’ll return to my normal off-colored quirky self eventually but for now, go pick up a copy of Perfect One Dish Dinners and join me in gushing over the awesomeness of that is Pam Anderson! Love you, Pam!
Note: Don’t even think this is a sponsored post for one minute! If you know this site – you know I don’t do sponsored posts. Period. All opinions are mine and mine alone.
This post is part of a group on Sunday Suppers. (yeah – I know, I didn’t really talk about Sunday Suppers – shut up.) Check what everyone else in the group made from the book!
1 bag (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest and juice from 1 large orange
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3 oz box), thawed
1 wheel Camembert cheese (about 4 inches in diameter), top rind sliced off
Bring cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to a full simmer in a medium skillet or a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Simmer for 1 minute. Cover, turn off heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in orange zest, cool to room temperature, and refridgerate.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll puff pastry on a lightly floured surface along the fold lines to 12 inches long. Cut out two 6-inch rounds. Lay one pastry round on a baking sheet and set cheese wheel on it, cut side up. Top with remaining puff pastry and crimp around perimeter of cheese to seal.
Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes and serve, letting each person slice a wedge of the pastry encased cheese and top with cranberry sauce.