Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd is the perfect example of how food should be celebrated and shared among friends and family. The unusual flavor combinations and ingredients used truly makes this book one of a kind and unlike any other cookbook. Leela Cyd blogs at LeelaCyd.com where she chronicles her travels and adventures in food and she’s a frequent photographer for Food & Wine, Sweet Paul, the New York Times, and more.  Her photography is stunning and every single photo in this cookbook portrays her eclectic style with many vintage elements added in. Leela believes its the experience and laughter that matter most and she shows that by turning the simplest recipes into fun and innovative creations. Not only is this cookbook full of beautiful photos and recipes but it also includes some of her tips and tricks for styling food.

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Food with Friends is broken up into 6 different categories: Breakfast and Brunch, Teatime, Happy Hour, Potlucks and Picnics, Desserts, and Tiny Takeaways. All the recipes are vegetarian and fresh in season ingredients are used as much as possible. The recipe for Chocolate-Tahini Butter really stood out to me with its simple, yet unique flavor combination, so I decided to make a batch to bring along on our trip to the mountains.  We brought it out last weekend when we had friends visiting and it was a hit all around. It became everyone’s chosen spread for toast and rice cakes and it would also make the perfect dip for fruit. I thought it was a very clever use for tahini, and combined with the cocoa the butter had a nice balance of sweet and salty.

 

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Other recipes on my radar to try out are the The Salty Everything Cookies, Beet- Pickled Deviled Eggs, and the Sweet Potato Tortilla. If your looking to completely wow your guest you can make dessert the star of the show by serving the Chocolate Sandwiches with Caramel and Peanut Butter for an indulgent after dinner treat. As for me, I want to wake up to the Anything Goes Breakfast Board all day everyday.

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This cookbook was provided by Blogging For Books for the purpose of a review but the opinions are my own.

The recipe for Chocolate-Tahini Butter comes from page 190 in the Food With Friends Cookbook.

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Food With Friends: Cookbook Review
 
Author:
Serves: 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roasted tahini
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl mix together the cocoa powder and ½ cup very hot water, stirring until it makes a smooth paste. Add the honey, sea salt and vanilla and stir to combine. When the honey is well incorporated stir in the tahini paste until completely combined. (You may need to add a few more tablespoons of hot water to thin the mixture to the right consistency. Add 1 tablespoon at a time and stir to check consistency. You shouldn't have to add more than 3 tablespoons to get the right texture). Let the butter rest at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to mingle.
  2. The butter will keep at room temperature for 3 days or up to 1 month in the fridge, but you should bring it to room temperature before serving.
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