You guys, how is it already the end of September?
At the beginning of this month, I found out that I would be getting Danielle's book, Celebrations, early to share some recipe photos before the book's release and I was clearly psyched. If it's possible, making Danielle's recipes from Celebrations has made me so much more excited about her book. You know, it's always hard to know how good gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free recipes are going to be but everything I made was fantastically good and total crowd pleasers--as you'll see!
First up was the Labor Day celebration with my parents eating ribs, "corn"bread, tomato and watermelon salad, and lemon bars. Everything was great and my dad swore he was only ever eating this as corn bread again!
Next, we made the salmon and it was SO GOOD. David was blown away by the blackened rub and we've used it on chicken and in burgers since and it makes everything so delicious. Plus, we all know that I'm up for anything salmon or stone fruit so the combo made me very happy!
Then we had our weekend of hosting three couples in three days. First up was chicken dinner with peach cobbler for dinner. I can't say enough good things about it-- juicy, sweet, spiced peaches plus a nutty, rich topping--so amazing. I want some right now.
The next night we had the cabernet braised short ribs with vegetable puree. The ribs were so perfect. Our friends asked for seconds which is always the best compliment.
For dessert I made these chocolate salted caramel panna cottas and didn't even give them the full time to set up and they were still amazing. The nuts on top were the perfect compliment and the panna cotta was rich but not overwhelming--blissfully well balanced.
If I had to pick a favorite recipe ( which would be really unfair! ) I would probably pick this chocolate cake we had for my friend who is gluten and dairy free. First, it was an amazing cake and second she was able to have great birthday cake, which doesn't always happen when you're gluten and dairy free. Danielle has said this was her goal for the book--to give people with dietary restrictions the ability to enjoy delicious foods. This cake -- goal accomplished!
Finally, this past weekend we celebrated my mom's birthday ( happy birthday, mom! ) with a fun backyard party and since she loves whoopie pies, I knew I had to make the ones from Celebrations. They didn't turn out as pretty as Danielle's but there was only one left at the end of the night and one party guest ( not gluten or dairy free! ) said they were the best whoopie pies he's ever had and many other agreed.
I've had rave reviews on everything I've made from Celebrations and it's made me SO excited to make so many more things from the rest of the cookbook. First up, I can't even wait to have a halloween party and make everything from that chapter -- spider cookies, caramel apples, mummy dogs; I'm dying. I also NEED to make literally everything from the autumn dinner party section--cider cocktails, harvest salad, butternut noodle carbonara, and chia poached pairs--yes please! Obviously I can't wait to make everything from the Thanksgiving and Christmas sections too. If it's possible for me to be more excited about the holidays than I usually am then it's totally happening this year because I'm even more excited to bake and cook.
Even if I hadn't gotten an early copy of this book, I would totally recommend Danielle's book. It is SO GORGEOUS.
It's seriously a coffee table cookbook--I'm a very visual person so this is really important to me, but of course the recipes have been amazing too and people can't even tell they're gluten or dairy free. This book has brought me so much joy and I know if you decide to get one for yourself that it will for you too. I can't wait to hear what you make if you get a copy too! Her book comes out tomorrow, Sept. 27th and you can get it on Amazon or Target or lots of other retailers. Enjoy!