Friday Favorites: Cookbook Club & Handmaid’s Tale

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone is staying safe. Indiana is getting pelted by snow and ice today. It’s so bad that many schools and offices are closed. I’m hoping the roads will be better by tomorrow, because we are supposed to drive to Florida for a week of vacation. It will be so nice to get out of the cold and spend some time outside!

I’ve been MIA from the blog for the past couple of weeks because I’ve been insanely busy. I honestly just haven’t felt inspired to develop recipes lately — I’ve been cooking easy standbys because of how busy we’ve been. I started this blog as a creative outlet, and I want to keep it that way. I never want to post something just to meet an arbitrary quota. That means, sometimes, I may be silent for a few days. With that said, I’m hoping to get back into the routine of posting more regularly now that the holidays are over. My goal is to step outside of my comfort zone more when it comes to cooking this year.

Now, let’s get to some of my favorite things from this week! Tell me what you’re loving in the comments section.

Cookbook Club

I’ve mentioned before that I’m part of a cookbook club, and getting together with the group is something I always look forward to. We select a different cookbook to cook from each month, then get together for a potluck using recipes from the book. Our most recent selection was Smitten Kitchen Every Day. I think the title says it all — this is a good cookbook for everyday meals. The recipes are simple, but delicious. Many of the dishes are things I’ve made before, but with surprising twists or ingredients that take the flavor to the next level. I made the marbled bundt cake from the book, which was a dense, rich cake. My favorite dish from our potluck was the sweet potato steaks. They were seasoned with smokey spices and roasted to perfection. I can’t wait to make them!

Under Your Skin

This book took me a while to get into, but now I can’t put it down. It follows Gaby Mortimer, who finds the body of a woman in the woods and quickly finds herself at the center of the criminal investigation. Once you get through the first couple of chapters, this is a real page turner. I’m about 75 percent through the book, and I have no idea how it will end. I need to pickup a couple of other books for our upcoming trip, and I would love recommendations!

The Handmaid’s Tale

I’d been wanting to watch The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu for a while, and I finally got around to it over the weekend. It’s based on the Margaret Atwood book, which I read years ago. If you aren’t familiar with the story, here’s a description from Goodreads:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Like with the book, I immediately got hooked on the series. I finished all ten episodes over a period of about 48 hours. I don’t know if that’s a new high or a new low! The series is very dark, but so good. I can’t wait for season two.

Korean-style Pork and Rice Bowls

This is one of my all-time favorite Cooking Light recipes. It features gochujang, which is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with. It’s a red chili past, which gives the pork a spicy, but sweet, flavor. I like to make these pork bowls when we are craving takeout. I served them with a side of broccoli and some store-bought cream cheese wontons. The leftovers are even better!

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