I love cookbooks and I hoard them pretty obsessively. Although, I’ll admit, I have a hard time following recipes from start to finish. Which is why I love the premise of Kate Payne’s new book, The Hip Girls Guide to the Kitchen. It’s a “hit the ground running approach, seeing as you need to eat three times daily whether you’ve mastered your kitchen or not.”
It’s full of, really, everything you need to know to be pretty successful in your kitchen – from how to set up your pantry to how to put meals together intuitively and economically. (Also she’s gluten free, so she includes tons of dietary options). She offers suggestions for what to buy in bulk, (and what not to), tips for buying kitchen tools from second hand stores, plus tons of clever “hip tricks” along the way. (For example: did you know you can buy a refurbished Vitamix blender for a fraction of the cost? …me neither).
She’s truly your friend in the kitchen and her writing is charming, witty, and just fun to read. Some of my favorite sections are:
Equip your Ship: Setting up your kitchen without winning the lottery
Methodology & Madd Skills: Learning how to cook without books or your laptop
Kitchen Kick-Ass: Tapping into your inner depression-era granny
Using Stuff Up: Preserving projects any beginner can handle
Since I’m clearly a beginner at preserving projects, I instantly gravitated to her recipe for Any Vegetable Vinegar Pickles. Any recipe that has “any vegetable” in the title, is my kind of recipe. I chose cauliflower, broccoli, red onions, radishes, and cucumbers along with a few various spices. Her brine recipe was quick and easy to make. The hardest part is the waiting – she suggest stashing them in the back of your fridge and not touching them for at least a week, although she says 2-3 is the best. (We’ll see if I can hold out that long!)
Also, be sure to check out Kate’s blog, as well as these fine fellow bloggers who have also written posts about the book: Food in Jars, Healthy Green Kitchen, Local Kitchen Blog, Autumn Makes and Does, Punk Domestics, Spinach Tiger, and Local Savour.
the giveaway is now closed, a winner has been notified
- any vegetables you like (I used cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and radishes)
- fresh or dried spices (I used peppercorns, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, & caraway)
- 1 cup any kind of vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tablespoon kosher or any non-iodized salt
- optional: 1 teaspoon sugar
- Wash and cut up your vegetables and pack them into a clean jar.
- Add between ¼ - ½ teaspoon of whole dried spices.
- Combine vinegar, filtered water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Put your just boiled brine over the vegetables in the jar.
- Wipe any vinegar spills from the rim with a clean towel and put on the lid.
- Hide the jar in the back of the friedge for at least a week. Two weeks is better, three is best.
- Keep them in the fridge for up to 6 months.
recipe published with permission from Harper Collins.