It is a very rare thing that I get super-excited about a cookbook. Maybe it’s the age of the internet where I can type in a few words and find hundreds of recipes to try. I know there are people out there who get very excited about cookbooks, I’m just not one of those people. That being said, I truly love this new cookbook by Kathie Lapcevic, Gift it From Scratch.
Not only are the recipes I tried delicious recipes (I’ll get into that in just a bit), but it is more than a cookbook. With each recipe, Kathie gives ideas on how to package it and what to put with it to make it a gift someone will love. How wonderful is that?
A Cookbook Like No Other
In the past, people use to be, for lack of a better word, neighborly and we seem to have lost that. I mean, how many of your neighbors and community members do you really know?
I don’t want to sound cliche, but Gift it From Scratch has made me want to be that neighbor and community member. Since reading the book I’ve been looking around my neighborhood for real estate signs saying homes are pending and women who look like they could have a baby any day, just so I can bring by one of these gift baskets. I want to be that neighbor who thinks of others and is there when needed. I want to be able to say “Oh, hi there Susie, how is your grandmother doing?” and know who Susie is.
Honestly, Kathie’s book has wanted me to better myself.
Now, no cookbook is complete without fabulous recipes. Well, Gift it From Scratch has a bit of everything. Kathie provides recipes for bread, our favorite comfort foods, cakes and cookies, snacks and even some beverages. I’ll be reviewing one of my favorites and Kathie has been kind enough to let me share the recipe.
Garlic-Black Olive Bread
- 1 tablespoon dry, active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110-115°)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2-3 cups unbleached white flour
Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Stir in the olive oil, salt, sugar, garlic, and olives. Mix in the flours until a stiff dough begins to form. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until you have an elastic, smooth dough.
Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with a towel, let sit for one hour until doubled.
Punch down dough and divide into two small loaves. Form round loaves and place in bowls or baskets lined with a floured towel to rise. Let rise 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Slash the loaves gently with a razor blade or sharp knife, 2 to 3 slashes per loaf. Place loaves on baking sheet or stone and bake in preheated over 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Gift Giving Idea: Give this bread alongside a pot of Minestrone or Rigatoni and a green salad for a complete family meal, perfect for a family experiencing loss or illness, giving them a break from meal worries. To complete the meal, include a dessert of the Easiest Chocolate Cake.
Baskets Full of Ideas
And Kathie provides recipes for the Minestrone, Rigatoni and Easiest Chocolate Cake as well! I made it along with the Minestrone (I admit, I haven’t tried the chocolate cake… yet) and it was fabulous. The bread was moist with that great crust on the outside. Perfect for cleaning the last bit of soup from the bowl.
This Oatmeal Lover’s Gift Basket (shown on the right) offers oatmeal bread, oatmeal cookies, and granola. How delicious does that sound?!
Homemade edible gifts are truly a gift from the heart. Who would you make a gift basket for?
Whether you get excited about cookbooks or not, Gift It From Scratch is one I highly recommend you add to your library. Since it’s an ebook, it requires no shelf space. You can get your copy here.