GIFT GUIDE - Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories by Susie Middleton

Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories (Taunton Press), part cookbook, part memoir... chronicles a fresh and invigorating year in the life of author Susie Middleton (who used to be the Editor in Chief of Fine Cooking magazine) while she transition from a hectic life in New York City to life on the farm. She decided to go back to more humble beginnings and a more simple life and moved to a rural farm where she started working the land and growing her own vegetables. What started as a simple farm, growing her own vegetables and sharing the bounty with neighbors and friends, quickly turned in to a roadside farm stand which grew in popularity almost quicker than her farm could produce. She also started cooking from her garden on a daily basis and came up with this collection of 125 flavorful and fresh recipes. Very exciting!

The book is great because it is broken down by 'farmers seasons': Late Spring & Early Summer, High Summer, and Indian Summer & Early Fall. The recipes are also very vegetable-centric, about 95% of the books recipes are vegetarian (that's my personal best guess). 

The pages are brought to life through colorful, clean photography of food paired with 'life on the farm' photos of the Author and her farm animals. Refreshingly very unlike some cookbooks that can be cold, lifeless, still images of just food. It visually and tastefully takes the reader on a journey from the field to the farmhouse kitchen.

The dishes are as lively and beautiful as the vegetables and animals on the farm. The 125 recipes are fresh and vibrant. Some may seem a little complex but none are too daunting or unapproachable for an eager to learn home cook.

Some of the amazing dishes include: grilled salad pizzettes, a simple yet amazing deviled egg recipe, different quiches, Farmhouse French Toast with Backyard Berry Syrup, Tomato Party Sandwiches on Fresh Corn Biscuits with Basil Mayo, and more. Over all this book should be inspiring to home cooks who aspire to also grown their own vegetables in their own back yard gardens (so of like me). It's a fresh addition to any cookbook collection and one from this year we loved!

You can order Fresh from the Farm: a Year of Recipes and Stories by Susie Middleton HERE.

by Craig Chapman