Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sweet Paul, Eat & Make by Paul Lowe

A chorus of oohs and aahs filled the workroom over new books that arrived at the library. Being tempted by my co-workers crooning admiration, I found even at a glance that this book was indeed praise worthy.  What was all the fuss about? Norwegian born author, Paul Lowe's cookbook, Sweet Paul: Eat and Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love. The dishes included within are exactly as Paul promises.  A few ingredients, easy steps and amazing results! Paul pays homage to the beauty of simplicity and imperfection with the recipes and craft projects offered here.

All projects, food or craft, are beautifully photographed (which I always find a huge bonus) and begging to be tried. Each recipe is prefaced with a sweet family story or additional hints that give a nod as to why Sweet Paul has chosen to include them in this book.  Having had the loving support of his family, especially grandmother, Mormor and Great Aunt Gunnver, has fostered his love of cooking from an very early age.  It is apparent that he gained the confidence and skills early in life to be prepared for doing what he loves best.

Armed with plenty of creative talents when he came to the US, he was definitely on a roll.  He moved to NYC in 2007 - working as a food stylist, next he began chronicling his talents as a food blogger, then he started Sweet Paul Magazine in 2010 which went global in 2011.  On his website Paul says he wanted to make the magazine something you'd come to anticipate; "to sweeten your everyday life."  Lowe's first cookbook is the next feat in a natural progression.

His cookbook contains recipes and craft projects to get you through each day from Morning, Brunch, Noon to Night! From chapter to chapter, he alternates the Eat & Make projects.  The "eat" projects are mouthwateringly  (is that a word? ... it should be) stunning, the crafts are clever ways to re-purpose everyday items, upcycling the simplest objects to an elegant new use.  Bits of lace and wool, antique pie tins, jam jars, clothespins, forks, and oyster shells are some of the ordinary objects that become extraordinary with a few tweaks by Sweet Paul. The instructions included will inspire you to try these at home.  I am particularly fond of the vintage photograph transfer napkins.

This book will also certainly appeal to anyone cooking for a small family.  As an empty-nester, I especially love that most all the recipes serve 4-6 people.  While it is most often easy to increase a recipe by doubling it, it is sometimes more difficult to reduce a recipe and still get consistent results.  Because of the smaller serving yields they make, they also offer a great way to try something new without making a recipe for the first time that is meant to serve the masses, only to find out upon completion it is something that it was not to your taste.

It was difficult to choose which of the recipes I would try first, they all look so good.  There is something for every pallet, for man or beast. See the Woof Balls Paul makes for his beloved pug, Lestat on page 164.  The ones I made are pictured above. This was an easy recipe to make. I often cook for my dogs and I thought the recipe sounded like a new treat for my boys. I prepared extra rice and broccoli when making a meal for myself and decided to include about a quarter cup of finely chopped steamed carrot that is not part of the original recipe.  Then I added the turkey and chopped parsley and assembled the meat balls.  All that was left to do was fry them up. The recipe calls for using vegetable oil for this purpose but I used olive oil for it's health benefits. Yes, even for dogs.  Our boys, Dill and Truman agree that Lestat is a lucky dog! Truman loved the Woof Balls, but donning his bow tie to have his photo taken...not so much.

If you  enjoyed this book, try Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties by Ashley English.  It won't disappoint!

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