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Food With Friends The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd is a cookbook with beautiful pictures, tempting recipes, and great writing. Leela has been cooking since she was young, feeding others and enjoying life with her loved ones has always been at the center of her life. She has traveled the world and this book is a collection of the recipes she has learned from people all over the world. Organized in a way that she enjoys gathering with friends, using fresh and seasonal ingredients whenever possible.
There are six chapters: Breakfast and Brunch, Teatime, Happy Hour, Potlucks and Picnics, Desserts, and Tiny Takeaways. Each with recipes that incorporate flavors from all over and that inspire you to enjoy the moment and celebrate your food. Accompanying each recipe is a beautifully done and well-styled picture. I am working on my photography and I could sit and study just the pictures for hours to see how she did them. Cyd uses unique ingredients such as flowers, rose water and much more.
Leela also includes her secret ingredients that she keeps on hand at all times. In addition to the staples that you may need to throw a quick dish together, she talks about flavor boosters that will take your dish to the next level without much extra work. A couple of the ones that I thought sounded the most interesting were; nut oils for salads and soups, and assorted salts that can help a variety of dishes.
One of my favorite things about this book is that she includes a Style File. Four pages of what she uses to decorate her plates and tables, and where she finds them. She also shares her methods for setting up her table and styling a plate.
Leela is all about being inspired and adding joy into everyday tasks. Her dishes are inspiring and have encouraged many people to try new things in the kitchen. She also talks about celebrating anything in life and not waiting for a perfect moment to throw a little party or get together, do it just because, or to celebrate something small. Enjoy the time with your friends and family and if you love to feed them then this book is for you.
My Rating: 5 all the way around a wonderfully done book.