While most of the dishes I tackled were knock-outs, a couple of them were good, but not great. As I said in those posts, it could be due to substitutions or errors. And personal taste comes into play, too. At the risk of being repetitive, for me, it’s the techniques that make these books stand-out. The methods are wonderfully versatile and can be catered to your own tastes. The recipes also have big flavor profiles, which I love. These home-cooked versions taste like the food did at Horizons! In my experience, restaurant cookbooks don’t always deliver.
Besides wonderful food, Horizons also had an amazing vegan wine list. Thanks to Kate for her efforts to bring more vegan wines to the table. We’ve shared some emails and I’ve benefited from her experience. Determining if wines are vegan can be like pulling teeth, only to have to start over with the next vintage. Thank you for for keeping compassionate wine drinkers in mind. We’re excited to check out the menu and wine list at Vedge when the time comes.
I look forward to continuing this project with Liz and expanding my own cooking horizons more.
The reason I like cookbook testing so much is that it makes me try recipes I wouldn’t necessarily attempt if I just bought the book. It’s too easy to only make dishes where you know you love the flavours/techniques already. That usually means guaranteed success but doesn’t give you the excitement of unexpected combinations, or loving something more than you thought you would.
Cooking through the Horizons books has been just like that. Before this blog, we’d eaten the immediate stand out dishes, but we’ve now been forced to try new things. We’ve got to know the philosophies and techniques behind the cooking, and how we can apply them to other dishes. If I have one tip, it’s to make the spice blends! (I did think of putting them into beautiful matching jars for the photo, but you get to see how I really work here!). They’re easy to make but having them ready to go turns some of the recipes into easy work night dishes and makes them more approachable.
It’s also been great to see which recipes we both chose to make for October. Tami and I have similar tastebuds in many ways but although we both had some of the same dishes on our initial lists, it was surprising to see some of her choices. We’ve kept to making different dishes for October, but there’s a good chance we’ll be repeating each others favourites as we progress.
I don’t like to play favourites, but if I had to pick mine from the Horizons books, I’d choose the Seitan French Dip. Matthew had to be forced to choose one and he actually went with one we used for Vine and Dine, the Cuban Pan Seared Tofu.
Talking about yourself in the third person feels awkward, but here goes: Liz and Tami are going to keep blogging their Horizons cooking, but it will be more sporadic rather than scheduled as VeganMoFo posting is. October isn’t generally salad weather, so they are hoping to explore those chapters more fully when it starts to warm up a little. To make this blog as complete as possible, if you’ve prepared a dish from one of the Horizons cookbooks, we’d love to link to your post. Just let us know.
In the meantime, we’ve got more surprises in store for you, including an amazing guest post for tomorrow!