The Cookbook Club

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a book club, but have never been real successful in starting one nor finding a group to join. Maybe it’s because I stick to one genre, murder! However, one day I was scrolling through social media and noticed Williams Sonoma was hosting a Cookbook Club. LIGHT BULB! I know I could find people who would participate in a Cookbook Club. I get it, murder isn’t for everyone, but everyone has to cook whether for survival or for the joy of it.


I took the idea to social media. I started a Facebook group and invited random folks. I simply asked who would be interested in such an idea. After some very positive feedback, I chose a book I knew not everyone has, but should most definitely be in their kitchen. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F&*%.


If you didn’t already know, this is a VEGAN cookbook. My aunt wasn’t clued in on that tidbit until she arrived to the party. She bought the book. She made food from the book. We told her it was vegan. Her response, “I bought a vegan cookbook?” She’s very pretty!

Vegan is not a dirty word, folks. Although, there are a lot of curse words and snarky comments throughout the book, I love it. A marketing ploy that could be seen as kitchy if the food wasn’t so delicious. I see why they choose to introduce a vegan cookbook with such banter. It gets people to notice. The recipes kept my interest. All of them extremely easy, I recognized all the ingredients, and even if you don’t recognize an ingredient, they authors will educate you in their own fabulous way.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a carnivore. I am not a fan of raw vegetables and I will choke down cooked vegetables only because the doctors tell me I need to. However, after last nights dinner, the proof was in the empty plates, vegetables can be made amazing. This book will show you how!


Once everyone obtained a copy of the book, either by the library, purchased or a friend, everyone was asked to post which recipe they wanted to bring to the party. This ensured a variety of dishes. Folks attending the party were instructed NOT to double the recipe. Each recipe will provide your party goers with plenty of food to taste, no matter if you invite 5 or 25.


I opened up my kitchen to everyone in case someone had to travel and do some last minute reheating or baking. I wanted people to pick a recipe that really spoke to them and didn’t want to hinder their decision making. The party goers were asked to do as much prep at home as possible.

There were 5 people in attendance. It really was a perfect number of people and the next time I host a Cookbook Club I would stick with no more than 8 guests. I enjoyed having everyone sitting around the same dinner table.


Here is what was on the menu:

  1. Page 155: Sweet Potato, Squash, Black Bean Enchiladas

  2. Page 166: Roasted Beer & Lime Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw

  3. Page 97: Pumpkin Chili

  4. Page 39: Almond Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

  5. Page 202: Banana Cream Pie (Recipe Below)


I gave each guest a pamphlet to take notes while they ate. I wanted everyone to put their thoughts on paper before a discussion to provide as much honest feedback as possible.


This turned out to be a pretty useless because everyone loved everything. There wasn’t a dish we consumed that wasn’t devoured. People went back for seconds! Everyone just talked about how good everything was and it was hard to critique something you really enjoy. Non the less, I did manage to get feedback on paper and will share with you everyone’s thoughts on each dish.

  1. Page 155: Sweet Potato, Squash, Black Bean Enchiladas.

    “I had no idea this was made with sweet potatoes.” “I don’t even like sweet potatoes and I would eat this every week.””I’m a huge fan. I could be a vegetarian, except I love bacon. I would make these.” “I really liked this. Meaty texture, sweet, salty, creamy, delicious.”

  2. Page 166: Roasted Beer & Lime Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw

    “Delicious. I can’t wait to make this recipe.” “The salsa was killer. I could drink it. Hard to believe this was made with cauliflower. Just the right amount of spice.” “Delish. Never thought this was made with cauliflower.” “Spicy. Good. I would use flour tortillas next time.”

  3. Page 97: Pumpkin Chili

    “Really, really like. You would never know this was vegan.” “Much better the second day. It tasted grainy from the spices the first day I made it.” “Very good.” “You don’t miss the meat. Crisp veggies and yummy.” “I would try to make the pumpkin chili next.”

  4. Page 39: Almond Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

    “Thick, yummy dressing and crunchy croutons.” “I always make this salad and will continue to do so. The dressing is just like Caesar dressing.” “Delicious! Love that it was made with almonds.”

  5. Page 202: Banana Cream Pie (Recipe Below)

    “Get to the middle…’s the F*%@ing Bomb. Whipped cream is good.” “Not too sweet. The crust could use a little more flavor. Looks like jello.” “Looks are deceiving. It tastes good. Whipped cream was good. Not too sweet.” “The whipped cream would be delicious in a cup of coffee.”

Ok. So not everything was great. The pie brought on a lot of discussion. The dinner outshined the dessert for certain. However, I hope that doesn’t deter you from trying to make it yourself. Even the authors of the book poke a little fun at this sweet treat.


Before I knew the pie would be the hot topic of the night, I chose this recipe to document for the blog. Go on and give it a try or go out and buy the book and make everything they have to offer. The authors give you suggestions on replacement ingredients. I have documented what I used to make the pie.



1 1/2 cups of flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 cup of refined coconut oil (the stuff you buy that is solidified)

2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil

2-3 tablespoons of plain almond milk


1/4 cup of cornstarch

1/4 cup of sugar

Pinch of salt

1-13.5 ounce can of coconut milk

1 cup of plain almond milk

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

3 large ripe bananas


1-13.5 ounce can of coconut milk, chilled

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Let’s start with the crust. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil and use your fingers or a fork to break up the pieces of oil to make the flour look like coarse sand.


Pour in the grapeseed oil and 2 tablespoons of almond milk and stir it up with a fork. The dough should look shaggy. I had to add a few more tablespoons of almond milk because the dough looked a little too dry. I think I added 5 tablespoons of almond milk total.


Press the dough into a pie pan.


Cover the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 12 minutes and remove the beans. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.


Once the crust has come out of the oven, start making the filling. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Slowly pour in a little bit of coconut milk and whisk constantly until the mixture no longer looks lumpy. Then add the rest of the coconut milk, almond milk and vanilla.


Put the pot over medium-high heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is bubbling and you can feel it start to thicken like gravy, about 5 minutes. Pull out the rubber spatula and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Continue to scrape the bottom of the pot to avoid burning or to avoid a pudding skin from forming. In about 5 minutes, flick some custard across the top and if it holds its shape for a bit, then the custard is done. Remove it from the heat.


Cut up the bananas and line the bottom of the pie crust.


Pour the custard over top of the bananas.


Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Prepare the whipped cream right before you serve the pie.

Stick the bowl and the beaters of a hand mixer or stand mixer in the freezer for 15 minutes. Take the can out of the fridge and do not shake. Put the thick white cream on the surface in the bowl. Leave out the clear liquid. Use it in a smoothie. Sift the powdered sugar and add the vanilla to the bowl. Beat the cream for1-2 minutes or until it looks fluffy and whipped. Serve right away.


Thank you to all the participants! Thank you Thug Kitchen!

Stay tuned, January is our next club. Which book will we pick? Who will be in attendance?