Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Salon: Weekend Cooking: Book Club Favorites

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. To see who else is participating go to Beth Fish Reads, Weekend Cooking, here.

My book club meets monthly and we always have wine, appetizers and dessert. You can tell that we like to read, have great discussions about books and eat good food. One book club member had a wonderful idea to share our favorite recipes that we make for book club and for our families. She created individual cookbooks for each of us in three ring binders where we could add recipes. She prints out our new recipes for us and we add to the cookbook once a year. I'm going to share a few of my favorite recipes that I've served at book club and have added to our  book club cookbook.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

8 servings
Makes about 3 1/2 cups

2 cups drained and rinsed black beans
1 16 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced green onion
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead: keep refrigerated) Mix tomatoes into salsa and serve with tortilla chips.


May add 1 chopped avocado just before serving.

You can also omit the oil if you prefer.

If you like it hot, you can add 1 Tablespoon Minced Jalapeno Pepper.

You can add one red bell pepper, chopped instead of the green onion.

Great on grilled beef, fish or chicken.
I like the leftovers rolled up in a tortilla for a simple lunch.



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

*I served this with blackberries and raspberries on the side.

Do you have any favorite recipes that you serve at your book club or great recipes that would be good to serve at a book club? I'd love to hear about your favorite recipes.


  1. This is my favorite lemon cake! And I'm going to copy your salsa recipe - yum : )

  2. I have everything to make that salsa (yummy!) except the chips :( Maye I could use it with chicken?

  3. The first one looks so amazingly easy and perfect for August on the deck with drinks. Wow.

    I love the Barefoot Contessa's recipes and I love lemon. I'll definitely be giving this one a try.

    I'll have to consider good recipes for a book club. The only book club I'm in is a Skype one, so no one has to serve anything!

  4. Thanks for sharing these, they look amazing. I am a huge fan of black beans so I might have to try out that salsa sooner rather than later.

    I usually end up cooking for my books club. I have made pasta and baked chicken before along with a few app. It's very hard for me to just make finger food. make a mean sangria and pomegranate margarita.

  5. Those look fabulous - especially the black bean corn salsa! Thanks for the recipes.

  6. Both of those look delicious. I'm a bit jealous of you and your book club!!!

  7. That Lemon Yogurt Cake Recipe has been put in my recipe box already!! It looks yummy!

  8. Appetizers and Desserts --- I could live off those two courses alone!

    Both recipes sound wonderful and I am anxious to try them myself.

  9. You are so tempting me with these recipes! The black bean corn salsa looks especially fantastic! I'm completely addicted to Mexican food.

  10. Mmmm, those look amazing! I don't have a book group right now, so I'll have to find another excuse to try those recipes.

  11. These recipes look yummy. My husband would love the lemon loaf. Thanks

  12. I love the idea of the cookbook! Ours wouldn't be quite as fun, though, since there are really only 5 of us out of 15 that ever host. I'm going to have to try these recipes!

  13. That lemon yogurt cake looks so good. I love lemon recipes.. will have to give that one a try.. my mouth is watering!!


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