Friday, May 27, 2016

It's All Easy at William Sonoma Cookbook Club

It's All Easy Cookbook
Say what you want about Gwyneth Paltrow — she makes a mean cookbook. I have her past two cookbooks (My Father's Daughter and It's All Good) and have really enjoyed the recipes in them. When I saw that It's All Easy was coming out, I was excited to get my hands on a copy. Before I ordered it, I noticed that William Sonoma was featuring it as part of their Cookbook Club. 

For $75 you receive a copy of the cookbook, cooking demonstrations and tastings of three of the recipes. At first, I was wary — if I was going to pay that much, I might as well do a cooking class where I could learn the recipes by doing. And how big was the demonstration? Would it be me looking over the shoulders of everyone else and only getting to try a small sampling? 

The demonstration took place while I was visiting my parents, so my mom and I both bought tickets and headed to her local William Sonoma store. When we got there, a table was set for six people, each with a copy of the cookbook. One of the William Sonoma employees, a chef, was there to talk about the cookbook and show us how to prepare three recipes — the Zuni Chicken, Cacio e Pepe Zoodles and Chocolate Mousse. 

She started with the chicken since that had to cook for about 40 minutes in the oven. It was a pretty simple recipe for roast chicken with herbs and lemon. Once that was in the oven, she made us a bonus appetizer— a yummy avocado toast featuring arugula, sriracha mayo and topped with olive oil and Maldon salt. It was salty, spicy, crunchy so obviously, it was delicious. 

avocado toast
After eating the appetizer, she showed us how to use a spiralizer and made spiral noodles out of zucchini for the Cacio e pepe. By the time that was done, she finished off the chicken, including adding bread and making a salad dressing out of the drippings in the pan. We plated the food and enjoyed it all together at the table. 

I loved how small it was. I actually got to talk to the people at the table and look through the cookbook with the chef. The food was delicious and like the title, fairly easy to make. 

For dessert, she prepared ahead a recipe for chocolate mousse (dairy-free, made with avocado) and made a cashew cream to put on top. I liked it — it was sweetened with brown rice syrup which I've never used before. I've had mousse similar to this, but I may like the other recipe more. 

avocado chocolate mousse
So far, I've made a few of the recipes from the cookbook and I really like it. And it turns out after a long day at work, a cooking demonstration involving having someone else cook for you is pretty darn relaxing. I'll be sure to keep my eye on the Cookbook Club calendar for more William Sonoma events!

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