It’s high time I introduce you to a good friend of mine: The Recession Cookbook. One of my favorite foodie blogs, The Recession Cookbook comes from a tiny New York City kitchen and offers up easy, affordable, company-worthy meal inspiration. As the tag line so succinctly proclaims, it’s about “Living well in lean times.” The fact that the author just so happens to be my good friend and college roommate, well, let’s just say I consider myself blessed in this life.
I follow a number of great food blogs. Just ask my Google Reader that’s feeling rather neglected these days and is trying to grab my attention by flagging quadruple digit “must read” counts at me. I’ll get to it. After Thanksgiving. After Little Friend’s birthday. After Christmas. After I kick my butt into high New Years resolution gear. It takes a special blog to make me pause in the middle of what I’m doing to scroll through my iPhone in anticipation. The Recession Cookbook is worthy of a life interruption.
This afternoon, Little Friend was busy pulling the wings off of a felt ladybug. She was occupying herself by collecting various stuffed animals and inviting them to sup off of the orange Christmas light bulb on the miniature tree balanced on her bookshelf. (Is it weird that my child is pretending that food comes from a light bulb? What does she see me do in the kitchen all day?!) “Sitzzz” she commanded me, drilling a definitive finger into the carpet beside her. “Hmmmm” I consented with all the commitment of a politician who accidentally bumps into a rabid activist. I couldn’t be bothered with mutilated ladybugs or produce-laden Christmas trees right at that moment. No. I had just discovered a brand new post alert from The Recession Cookbook.
Author Anna Watson is the kind of girl who commands attention. Not in the Devil Wears Prada psycho-boss way. Anna’s the rare person who, on your very first chance meeting, makes you want to kick off your shoes, tuck up your stocking feet, and spill your life story, including all the desperate parts about some guy who just dumped you or about the life dream that has perpetually eluded you. One conversation with Anna and you feel ready to make tea and cookies at her table a weekly occurence. She’s the girl next door and the friend you wished you always had and the shoulder you need to cry on. Instantly, you have a best friend. Then you pry a bit into Anna’s life and discover that in addition to being the humblest yet coolest, most interesting person you’ve ever met, she has had a myriad of life experiences that leave the rest of us peons drooling with envy.
This is a girl who knows cooking.
She’s been a food writer. A restaurant reviewer. A magazine editor. A travel writer. A test kitchen chef. She’s started her own catering company. She’s spent a year at La Varenne cooking school in France. She’s pulled stints at boutique wine shops in Nashville and New York City. Through it all, Anna Watson has amassed a vast practical yet scrumptious culinary knowledge. She takes everyday home cooking and marries it with fine dining finesse.
While my life path will never carry me to French cooking schools or oenophile training, I can pretend. I can pretend that I’ve been there, done that, because Anna makes her knowledge available to us all through her blog, The Recession Cookbook. I’m telling you, this girl has a generous soul. Reading The Recession Cookbook is kind of like a long distance chat at Anna’s table. She manages to convey the warmth of her personality, the encouragement of her smile, and the positive success of her cooking through menu plans that fit into any grocery budget. I have yet to find a flop amongst her recipe recommendations. As soon as the new post alert pops into my inbox, I like to tie on an apron, pull up The Recession Cookbook’s latest offering, and for a brief hour or so out of my day, cook with Anna.
Pause in your day (I KNOW, but trust me, it’s worth it) to peruse Anna’s latest update to The Recession Cookbook: The Yellow Table (and a warm loaf of cranberry bread). You won’t be disappointed by trolling her archives either. Visit her very first post with a divine recipe for Chimichurri Sauce.