I’m really excited to share a new book, Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures. To describe the book, it is most important to describe the author herself – Cornelia Guest. She is an animal activist, philanthropist, and quite savvy business woman who resides in New York.
Guest, whose mother was one of New York’s great hostesses, C.Z. Guest, founded Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies in 2009, but is spreading her message of straightforward but elegant recipes and ideas to everyone. Her honest emphasis on a vegan, cruelty-free menu is inspiring and (you know I love this) beautiful!
Organized by season, each part begins with a terrific meal — a light spring lunch of chilled asparagus soup and quinoa salad; an alfresco summer dinner of veggie carpaccio and stuffed squash blossoms; a fall breakfast buffet of pecan waffles, faux buttermilk pancakes, and raspberry muffins; and a cozy winter’s dinner of shepherd’s pie with a chocolate tart for dessert. Each seasonal section contains recipes for beverages, soups, salads, pastas, side dishes, main courses, and an abundance of desserts that everyone will love. Special sections feature recipes for grains, greens, and beans. I haven’t tried any recipes yet, but am super excited to do so!
She has some real Silver Lined, accessible beliefs about cooking and eating. For beginners, Guest has two simple tips: take it easy, and laugh. She suggests that you “avoid complicated dishes. If you see something that looks delicious but the recipe is 10-pages long, Google it and you’ll find something similar that’s much simpler. The simpler something is the less likely it is something will go wrong.” That being said, she suggests preparing yourself for something to go wrong anyway. “Laugh at your mistakes and know you’ll probably make them anyways,” she says.
Additionally, she believes (as do I) that “people open up around good food.” And while she’s dedicated to her mission of presenting organic, healthy food to her visitors, she’s never pedantic in her message. “Even Walmart has organic food,” she says, without a hint of snobbery. “We speak with our pockets. As a consumer, we have to constantly demand,” she says of the misconception that organic, locally sourced foods must come with a hefty price tag attached. “Look around online, and you’ll be surprised at what you find. You have to educate yourself.”
In “Notes from My Friends,” which appear throughout the opening chapters, chefs, doctors (including one of my own!), Cornelia’s favorite veterinarian, and other health and food experts have contributed tips, advice, and eye-opening information.
The images are colorful and inspiring, which is just what I love when looking at recipes. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes!
Hope that you enjoy this book as much as I am (Silver Lining)!