Friday Favorites: Cookie+Kate; 40 Fingers Play Vivaldi

Even though I have been a home cook for over forty years, there are times when I want to add new tricks to my repertoire, especially now that my husband and I are eating both low carb and vegetarian. (Not an easy combination, that’s for sure.)Β  One of the blessings of the Internet is that it is easy to find new recipes and techniques.

Got a head of cauliflower you want to do something with? Go on the Internet. Want to learn how to bake tofu? Ditto. How about roasting frozen vegetables? Ditto, ditto.

One site that I kept returning to is called Cookie + Kate, with Cookie being a dog who patiently waits for bits and pieces to drop her way and Kate being one heck of a cook who comes up with delicious, healthy vegetarian fare. I tried several of her recipes, and Clif and I thought they were all very tasty.

I like getting free information as much as the next person, but only to a point. Even though our budget is as big as a minute, I try to support as many creatives as I can—those who create must pay their bills, too. Therefore, after getting so many good recipes free from Cookie + Kate, I decided the time had come to buy her cookbook, Love real Food. And so I did.

At $16.69, this beautiful, hard-cover book is a bargain. It is well laid out, and the photos are gorgeous. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the ingredients are neither exotic nor expensive, a real bonus for a frugal cook. My only criticism is that nutritional information is not provided. Because the recipes comprise such healthy ingredients, it’s not a huge problem, but it would be nice to know the carb and sodium count.

After looking through the book, I made the Moroccan Butternut, Chickpea, and Couscous Stew. The verdict? Utterly delicious with its warm, spicy flavor and variety of textures. Definitely a make again. On this cold January day in Maine, I could have a bowl right now.

Next on the list? Classic Tomato Soup, thickened and made creamy with white beans rather than heavy cream. (Clif is lactose intolerant. I’m sure you can picture how much fun it is to plan meals.)

I’ll keep you posted.

Now, onto music! Here is something a little different, courtesy of my blogging friend Frank from Beach Walk Reflections, who featured this video on a recent post. (Do check out his lovely blog if you get a chance.) Along with being keen on alternative rock, soul, and R & B, I’m an absolute fool for Vivaldi, whose music captures both the joy and the tenderness of life. Those 40 fingers in the video below do a fabulous job with Vivaldi’s music. And, holy cats, what a setting!


Here are some favorites from other blogging friends:

In All Things Bright and Beautiful, Ju-Lyn features art from a wonderful exhibit her family recently went to.

Among other delights, Thistle & Kiwis shares pictures of a beautiful evening walk through Wellington’s lovely Botanic Gardens.

Dawn, of Change Is Hard, goes to Detroit’s Belle Island and finds an oh-so-special image.

67 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Cookie+Kate; 40 Fingers Play Vivaldi”

  1. Since my husband has had to adopt an almost no carb diet a year ago, he is developing an appreciation of the variety of vegetable dishes I conjure up. It is amazing what a little bit of imagination can produce. The food you describe sounds mouthwatering!

  2. Wow … I love unexpected surprises. Many thanks for the plug, and I welcome your readers to visit and comment – plus, I promise – I don’t bite.

    Cheers to the joys in a new cookbook. Have you ever tried the Claire’s Corner Copia recipes?

  3. Do you know the Moosewood cookbooks? I have two — one is their dessert cookbook! — and could spend the rest of my life working my way through all their great recipes. They’re good cookbooks for healthy/vegetarian cooks, and the food is delicious.

    1. I own two Moosewood Cookbooks, and their lentil soup is a staple in our house. But I was in a culinary rut, and I needed further inspiration. We have lot of dietary restrictions—low carb, no dairy, vegetarian. (The last one is our own, but we are committed.) The new cookbook was exactly what I needed. I highly recommend it.

  4. Wow. I must visit cookie and Kate, as I am in a culinary rut. I’m glad things are well with you and you’re cooking away healthily in the Maine winter!

  5. Again, fabulous links to exciting food and music:

    I popped into Cookie+Kate – love love love it! I have been trying to live by Michael Pollan’s mantra: “Eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants.” And on her main page is a lentil soup – something which I have not made before. I usually have lentils in a dahl, or in a vegetarian meatloaf. Loving husband just bought me a bag of red lentils, so guess what I am going to try?!!

    Watched the 40 FIngers video – stunning scenery & incredible rendition of one of my favourite Vivaldi rifts.

      1. Isn’t it interesting how we use the same ingredient so differently. I can’t wait to try her recipe – it looks like she has magic ingredients: green things & lemon juice. Do you use either of these in your family version?

  6. 40 fingers are phenomenal!!! Also, will have to check that cookbook out. Cooking at your house would be tough, low carb, vegiterian, no!

  7. Vivaldi by 40 fingers in that beautiful wild landscape was wonderful.
    I also like the look of Cookie and Kate, as one of our daughters is vegetarian and the other is Coeliac…so I’m always looking for some new recipes.

  8. I am glad you find a good book. It is not easy to spend time on internet either. At some point one gets tired of even searching πŸ™‚

    Happy cooking and food habits.

  9. The soup looks absolutely delicious and loved the music!! Between missing restaurants and drooling over food photos on Instagram I keep thinking I should start cooking, maybe one of these days.

  10. Low carb, vegetarian AND lactose free is quite a challenge! I too love trying new recipes and new twists on old favourites so I will look out for Kate’s books. Now I buy canned beans in bulk I often use them to thicken soups and add protein and one time made tomato soup using my home- bottled tomatoes and white beans as that was what was available and it was delicious. The Vivaldi was glorious too!

  11. Beautiful music, Laurie. What a find! And thanks for introducing me to Cookie and Kate. We’re always looking for good vegetarian recipes to add to our low carb diet. πŸ™‚ I’m heading over to check out their blog. Your soup looks perfect for this winter weather. Stay warm and safe!

  12. I’m very late in commenting on this–I’ve saved it till I had time to read it properly. First, the Vivaldi! Amazing how they sync the audio with the *obviously* unrecordable mountain-top performance. But my question is about your diet: I would like to eat vegetarian, and I don’t have your carb and lactose limitations, but I have pretty serious IBS, and too much fiber, which a vegetarian diet basically is, would have me never getting out of the bathroom. Plus three different people (including a 14-year-old granddaughter) with very different tastes; and not a lot of time/energy to cook complex meals. You are a font of inspiration: ideas?

    1. Yes, yes about syncing the audio!

      Oh, gosh! Eating a low-fiber vegetarian diet is a huge challenge. There’s pasta, of course, if lactose and carbs are not a problem. Lots of delicious pasta dishes that don’t involve meat. Tofu? Rice? Egg dishes with bread, milk, and cheese? Have you heard of Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”? An excellent book! Also, there are lots of very good meat substitutes out there, ranging from sausage to Impossible Burger to Crumbles. Not sure how they would do with your IBS, though. But they are worth considering.

      1. I do like Mark Bittman; I may try that. One problem with so much pasta, eggs and cheese is maintaining desired weight! My husband *needs* a lot of calories, I *don’t* and my granddaughter likes them but doesn’t need them. Talk about challenges! Thanks for the tips.

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