Husbands That Cook caught my attention first with the title, and then with the notice that it was a vegetarian cookbook. The husbands of the title are Ryan and Matt (apparently they have a blog but that’s outside my pop culture knowledge) who pre-pandemic seem to have been big into trying out all the various local (LA-ish) restaurants; a lot of the recipes are international, but not always the same old, which is nice. Yes, there’s the expected shakshuka, bibimbap, samosas, ramen, and a tagine, but there’s also things like locro de papa which is basically cheesy potato soup based on something experienced during a 2015 trip to the Galapagos, and breakfast enchiladas which strikes me as novel tweak on a classic.
I definitely appreciate the amount of apple in the breakfast options (there’s apple spice granola and spiced apple blintzes), and the orange-pecan overnight French toast (baked) and peach dutch baby with raspberry sauce both sound pretty good, although a bit effort intensive in some cases. I also like the variety of deserts, ranging from traditional flan to trifle with kiwi and strawberries (never thought of that combo for a trifle, but the recipe looks pretty good) a coffee cake recipe based on a newspaper clipping, no-bake cheesecake parfaits, thai iced tea popsicles (how has no one thought of this before?), and margarita caramels. There’s also a pretty nice cocktail section, which you don’t always get in the standard veggie cookbook. Admittedly, some of the recipes go beyond my personal cabinet (chartreuse is not something I feel is all that common, and I don’t see the need personally to have 2-3 different variations of rum, not counting bourbon), but still, the Bee’s Knees and Love Potion No. 10 (I’d need to invest in the peach schnapps, but that’s not too hard to find) both sound good.
One thing that I don’t quite understand though is the randomness of the ‘make it vegan’; nearly every time, the option is ‘leave off the cheese’ or ‘use the vegan version (sour cream etc)’; this is fine in itself, but why is it noted for something like the “Sentimental Citrus Salad” (leave off the feta) or “Romantic Picnic Salad with Arugula, Hearts of Palm, Artichoke Hearts, and Watermelon Radish Hearts’ (omit pecorino romano) but not for “Classic Italian Pasta Salad” (why not leave off or veganize the parmesan?).
Quite a few recipes do involve some labor, but it’s nothing impossibly complicated. My personal favorite example, in spite of the terrible pun (seriously, I hope the husband who thought this one up got a poke in the ribs for how bad it is), is the Ratafruitie. Basically, you slice a bunch of fruits thin (you could go with year-round, spring/summer, fall/winter options, and make a graham cracker crust (recipe provided) and the vanilla custard cream (recipe also present). There are also instructions, but not very detailed, for the fruit rose garnish. I might try this one first, although I’m probably not doing the fancy garnish.