"Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures" Review and Recipe

"Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures"
by Cornelia Guest
Publisher: Weinstein
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Partial Summary from goodreads.com:
Daughter of fashion icon C. Z. Guest and Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, polo champion and heir to the Phipps steel fortune, Cornelia Guest resisted eating animal products from childhood because of her passion for critters.” When her mother became ill, her research compelled her to take the leap to eat cruelty-free. In Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures, she reveals the secrets of understated elegance she learned from her parents and the family’s extraordinary friends. Her favorite simple recipes are so delicious, even the most fervent carnivores do not miss the meat, and her tips on entertaining take the stress out of any event. Her ulterior motive is to inspire readers to have fun experimenting with healthy alternatives and to change the way they think about food.

My Review:

This cookbook, and entertaining guide, is really so nicely done. It is a beautiful book, with a gorgeous teal hardcover and beautiful photos and drawings inside. The photos are really inspiring and lovely to look at. The recipes themselves are vegan, so they may not be for everyone but I think anyone could find at least a side dish or breakfast item that they would enjoy making and eating.

The first half of the book is devoted to entertaining, something I don't do that often, so I really enjoyed the cooking portion of the book more. The author's style of entertaining is on the frou frou side so take that into consideration before reading the book. Even if her tastes for entertaining may be fussy, the photos are still beautiful to look at, and she shares the history of her family's home and it's nice to read about all of that history as well.

I loved the tiny sketches of little animals throughout the book, they are just too cute. I also loved that the author let her adorable pets model with the food for some of the photos. The book really is beautiful, and it would make a lovely and lasting gift for a vegan friend.

I want to try a lot of the recipes, they don't look too difficult and they are all made with fresh seasonal ingredients. The recipe portion of the book is split into the four seasons and consists of recipes and foods that pertain to that time of year. One of my favorite parts was the fall breakfast section. There are a lot of new things I want to try!

I liked that the author added basic instructions for cooking some vegan staples like grains and beans. It's helpful to have a list of cooking times and instructions for many grains and beans at a glance.

Bottom Line: A beautifully made book with lots of inspiration for cooking, entertaining, and even decorating.

 Bonus Recipe from the Book!

The publicist has given me permission to post two recipes from the book on my blog to celebrate the release of the book! I shared the Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad a few weeks back and today I'll feature Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth! Enjoy!!

Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth 
By Cornelia Guest,

Author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining
Serves 4
Total time: 45 minutes
Zucchini blossoms are so beautiful. This is so easy to make, and your friends will be very impressed. You can make the stuffing the day before so you can enjoy your friends, stuff the blossoms and have a great lunch. Amaranth is a gooey grain that works well as a stuffing. I serve this dish with iced tea with mint or a crisp white wine. Fresh tomatoes go well with the squash blossoms.
3 cups amaranth
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 zucchini
1 small eggplant (you want to end up with 1-1/2 cups after its is cooked)
1 garlic clove
4 large blossoms per serving
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add amaranth. Simmer and cook until water is absorbed, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Quarter the onion and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 minutes over medium heat until caramelized.
3. Dice zucchini and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Dice eggplant and garlic and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes.
5. Mix the cooked vegetables with the amaranth and add parsley. Fill the squash blossoms with the mixture. Serve at room temperature.
The above is an excerpt from the book Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining by Cornelia Guest. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

© 2012 Cornelia Guest, author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining

I'm sharing with Weekend Cooking over at Beth Fish Reads!    


  1. Wow. Those blossoms sound and look amazing! *drool* This sounds like a lovely book.

  2. I wish I tried more recipes, but I keep sticking to the old ones

  3. My 15 yr old son has become a vegetarian. It makes dinner time difficult. He doesn't eat healthy, he just doesn't eat meat. I worry about him getting enough protein as he's still growing. I'd love to read over the recipes and I'm especially intrigued by the Fall breakfast items. If they are make ahead, they'd be perfect. I hate buying the fake food in the grocery store for him.


  4. The book sounds good and the doggie on the cover is pretty!
    but I'm not into Vegan.

    I'm intrigued about the entertaining part of it though.

    Thanks for the review :D

  5. That looks so yummy!
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  6. I've been looking for a good zucchini blossom recipe; thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow so sophisticated a dish.

    Have a good week. I linked in a salmon pizza to Weekend Cooking.

  8. This book sounds very intriguing! The author has quite a background which would have influenced her style! I do have a vegan friend that would love a new cookbook. Then I can browse through it first!

  9. I think it's a great idea for people to add mmore vegetarian and vegan dishes to their meals. we certainly don't need meat every day and definitely not twice or three times a day. Thanks for your comments on this book.

  10. I've never made zucchini blossoms, even though I've eaten them. As I said before, I just love the cover of this book. I think I'd like her style.

  11. My teenaged son has been vegetarian for about 6 months, and we're always looking to add to his non-meat repertoire. Thanks for sharing SIMPLE PLEASURES.

  12. How did I miss this review? Thanks for introducing me to another vegan cookbook! I love that it includes some tips on entertaining as well as photos of animals (love that!) and the recipes, yummo!

  13. Pictures are really important to me when it comes to cookbooks. I also prefer cookbooks that give me something more than just the recipes... kind of like teaching me something. I would love the cook times of the beans and grains. Sometimes it is the simple things that I need the most.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!