October 29, 2012

At MyRecipes, we’re excited that our friend Tasia’s cookbook is finally outTasia’s Table is a beautiful book that is, in Tasia’s words, “the sum total of all my parts—Greek, Southern,  cheesemaker.”    I had the chance to chat with Tasia the week the book launched and asked her a few questions about the book and the experience of writing a cookbook.

What was the hardest part of creating the recipes for this book? Following myself around the kitchen to get exact measurements, precise cooking times, and descriptors about different stages of recipes.  Like a lot of people who love to cook, I like to play in the kitchen and do a lot of improvising.  But when you’re writing recipes for a cookbook, you need to be very specific so that the recipes will work for the person at home. 

Why did you even want to do a cookbook?  You’re already kind of busy running Belle Chevre creamery!  The idea for the book came about several years ago when I started doing my “Sunday Suppers.”  I don’t have a lot of family in town and love the idea of sitting down together for a meal on Sundays, so I started cooking and inviting people to come over and eat.  It was a fun way to explore a lot of different recipes: Greek recipes, Southern recipes from my grandmother, and, of course, a lot of recipes using goat cheese!

But this cookbook is more than just a goat cheese cookbook, right?  Oh, yes.    There are a lot of my favorite recipes that use goat cheese, but there are some new takes on Southern recipes like Hoppin’ John, Corn Pudding, Cornbread Stuffing, and Grit Cakes.    I also included some of my favorite Greek recipes:   Rosemary Roast Lamb, Greek Salad, Moussaka, Greek Meatballs, and Saganaki.

Do you have a favorite recipe in the book, or is that like asking you to pick your favorite child?   Well, I do love them all, but I guess if I had to pick a few favorites I would say the Moussaka (a labor of love but totally worth it!), the Goat Cheese Queso (like that Velveeta cheese dip that everyone loves!) and maybe the Spring Pea and Goat Cheese Frittata.  I love to make frittatas and make them all the time for my son for breakfast.  I just start with the egg part and add whatever ingredients I happen to have on hand.  So easy and so good!

Tasia and I talked a lot about cooking and that she sees a lot of people who have a fear of cooking because they’re afraid they’ll mess up.  With this book, Tasia hopes to assure people that cooking is really fun, encourage them to get in the kitchen and “play with their food”, and inspire them to try new things and to improvise with new ingredients and different combinations.  “You really can’t mess up”, she claims.    Tasia wants her recipes to be easy, approachable and relaxed.

Easy, approachable and relaxed are also good words to describe the author.   This incredibly busy, smart and successful business woman is always available for good conversation, sage advice and, of course, a nice glass of wine (or bourbon) and a bite of goat cheese.

If you’re looking for a great gift or a new cookbook to add to your collection, I highly recommend that you have a seat at Tasia’s Table.  It might be a while before you leave!

Click here to order the book.

For more cooking inspiration from Tasia and a tour of Belle Chevre creamery, check out these videos on MyRecipes:

5 to Try: Goat Cheese Classics5 to Try: Goat Cheese Surprises 5 to Try: Goat Cheese AppetizersHow to Make Goat Cheese GratinBelle Chevre Creamery  

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