Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all enjoying your day as much as I am. While you all know that I am not a morning person in the slightest, I have been up since 5:30am. I’ve staffed a work thing, had breakfast at one of my favorite places (Le Pain Quotidien), and now I’m sitting in a coffee shop working on the computer to pass time until someone meets me for coffee. Normally my Saturdays consist of dozing till 9am, catching up on the Food Network until Noon and casually going through the rest of my day. Not a bad life but I have to admit that I’m enjoying the early start I got to today. Strolling through Chicago in the early hours on the weekend is an experience I don’t enjoy often but savor when I do. It’s a brief period of time when the city is at its most peaceful and everything feels so fresh. Now, as I sit here ready to introduce you to a new cookbook series for this month listening to the Beatles on vinyl, I can’t help but be grateful for being able to live in this gorgeous city. But enough about my morning...let’s get to the good stuff.
Gilmore Girls was one of those coming of age shows that I grew up with. I saw Rory through high school, college and the beginning of her career. I watched her go through heartbreak in three serious relationships and I couldn’t help but notice each one was with a completely different type of guy. There are hardly any similarities between Dean, Jess, and Logan except for the fact that every single one is H.O.T. Am I right or what? When I heard about Eat Like A Gilmore, I knew without any certainty that I had to have that cookbook. Kristi Carlson brought a little piece of Stars Hollow to all of us by sharing recipes that are attached to a memory from the show. I’ve been working my way through this cookbook (along with the million others I have), and I haven’t found a recipe that I’ve been disappointed with yet! That’s why I wanted to premier this cookbook series for March with Carlson’s book. Last month, I shared cookbooks that featured recipes from different cultures around the world. This month, to celebrate some kick ass women, I’m sharing my experience cooking through books by ladies-only. So let’s get started.
Meal #1: The Classic Cheeseburger from Luke’s Diner and Rocky Road Cookies
If you don’t know about Luke’s Cheeseburger, get out from whatever rock you’re living under. The cheeseburger from Luke’s Diner is basically a food group when it comes to Gilmore Girls. That and his pancakes...blueberries or chocolate chips optional. Gilmore Girls has successfully made a diner burger look so fantastic that any burger I have at real life diners doesn’t add up and I don’t even have anything to compare it to! Do you know what the trick is?? Absolutely nothing. The recipe for Luke’s Cheeseburger is a giant meat patty seasoned with salt and pepper then either grilled or cooked over the stove. That’s all. There are no secret ingredients, no hacks. It’s just ground beef and a stove. And let me tell you, it’s a damn good burger. Add a slice of cheddar cheese on top, whatever fixings you like and that’s all she wrote! There’s also an option to caramelize some onions to include on top. I did that the first time I made these burgers and it was fantastic. The second time, I kept it simple and it was just as good. My biggest tip, don’t skimp on the meat. This recipe calls for ½ lb. burgers. Use a ½ lb, of beef per patty or you will have sliders, not burgers.
The Rocky Road Cookies might not ring a bell for you as much as the burger. I know they didn’t for me. When Rory and Dean started going out, she had Sookie make him his favorite cookies and she took a container to wait for him at the bus. It was a sweet moment for Rory and Dean and one of annoyance for Lane. And really, I feel like I relate to Lane on so many levels...sometimes more so than Rory. These Rocky Road Cookies are GOLD. Normally, I don’t like marshmallows at all. They work really well with these cookies though. They were a hit with my family too. I made them for Christmas and then my cousin’s birthday and they went quick. You might notice that my cookies look a lot darker than the ones in the photo. There’s a perfectly good reason for this. I didn’t realize that the cocoa powder we had was dark cocoa instead of the typical semi-sweet. So we ended up with extra dark chocolate rocky road cookies. Still tasty, I might add. I also omit the pecans because of our nut allergy so they can be nut-free.
Meal #2: Warm Potato & Chorizo Salad with Cornbread
Nothing is better than cornbread. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory all in the form of bread. It’s even better when made from scratch and paired with something that complements it well. Kind of like the Warm Potato & Chorizo Salad which sounds healthy because it’s a salad but doesn’t taste healthy. Is it healthy? We’ll never know! It sure is tasty though. It’s also really simple. Chorizo is browned and tossed with blanched asparagus, boiled potatoes and spinach before dressed with this Creamy Avocado dressing. It’s hearty enough to serve as a main course with a side of the cornbread. If I haven’t sold you on the cornbread yet, will you believe me that it’s amazing if I told you it’s made with cheese? Yes, you read that right! A little cheese gets mixed into the batter before baking and it is divine.
If you haven’t picked up Eat Like a Gilmore yet, do so. Even if you’re not a Gilmore Girls fanatic like me, it has a ton of great recipes from muffins to wedding cakes. There’s even a recipe for deep fried turkey...the whole thing! I don’t have the confidence, or equipment, to try that one out but I’ll eventually work my way through quite a few of the recipes. I’ve even featured the pancakes from Luke’s Diner in a recent #FoodieFriday post!