Thursday, November 05, 2009

Get Your Seasoned On

I like it hot.

Whether I'm dining on Indian, Thai or Italian, I tend to veer toward something with a little zip.

Garam masala, a #9 Pad Thai or puttanesca - I like to dine on something with some kick.

Thankfully, the Junior League of Cincinnati's latest cookbook is nothing short of flavorful.

Confession: I developed and designed Cincinnati Seasoned for the JLC. The development was a 18 month labor of love that required much of my time and attention to detail. From the title to the concept, the book has my fingerprints all over it.

No wonder I'm so fond of it, huh?

The fact of the matter is, if I hadn't designed this cookbook, I would still want to buy a copy. Junior League cookbooks have a long tradition of beautifully representing a community's best and most current culinary trends. Some people (Julie's boyfriend, e.g.) are cult JL cookbook collectors, savoring the flavors of Birmingham, High Point, San Diego and every place in between.

To some, Junior League gives rise to thoughts of a lady in pearls and an apron, trooping around a kitchen in heels while rolling out homemade pie crust. Budding chefs snap up these cookbooks in the hopes they can aspire to some Donna Reed era when everyone knew a killer cheese ball recipe and how to prepare a roast.

That's all well and good, but this ain't your Mama's Junior League cookbook.

Forget cheese balls and Spinach and Artichoke Dip and recipes made with cream of mushroom soup. Average Joe and Jane have cultivated a bit of a sophisticated palate (hello, sushi and Brie are pretty mainstream), and I wanted to assemble a collection of dishes that anyone can prepare.

I also wanted to showcase a city I love.

And I. adore. Cincinnati.

Anyone who's spent any time in the Queen City knows ours is a city chock full of stunning landmarks. We treasure our past and culture by revering such spectacular places as Union Terminal, Fountain Square and Krohn Conservatory. I worked with photographer Shad Ramsey to capture some of those favorite places and spaces - because even if you can't cook, you will want this book as a sort of anthology of the city we love.

We're launching this cookbook with a special evening tonight at FB's on 6th Street in Downtown Cincinnati. I invite you to come, check out the cookbook and support an organization that is committed to helping the area's women and children.

And bring the wasabi.

Like I said, I like it hot.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


The Better Half said...

It's a beautiful cookbook, Katy. The photography, design, and layout are spectacular. I've already marked several recipes for sampling.

I own a lot of cookbooks, and yours already occupies an honored place on my shelf.

You should be very proud.

Tina L. Hook said...

That is fantastic! I am a member of the Dayton Junior League and I totally understand what you mean about the whole "Donna Reed" complex. LOVE that you gals came out with something fresh.