Cookbook Corner – Food Swap

Lots of you have been asking for more of my “Cookbook Corner” reviews, so here we go…


“Food Swap” By: Emily Paster

I can’t think of anything better than a “food swap” with your family, friends and community. And what a perfect time with the local Farmer’s Markets popping up everywhere. Fun fun fun! This cookbook is fabulous! It gives food swap ideas – packaging, labels, tips and tricks of the trade, recipes, georgeous photos and more! I can’t talk highly enough about this book – which is so much more than a cookbook I can’t find myself in honesty to call it just a “cookbook”. 

Emily Paster has done a great job with this book and I’m recommending it to all of my friends and family members – especially those who are in the Farmer’s Market communities. Emily is the creator of the popular website “West of the Loop”, co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap, teacher, writer and recipe developer. In all – she’s a genius.

This book even contains tags, labels and cursors that you can use in your next food swap! The book even helps you organize a food swap in your own community! 

I recently had my own version of a food swap. What happened was I was testing and developing recipes, so I was sharing with my friends and family. They decided to bake some goodies as well, and we all ended up having our own food swap party and it was great! 

This book contains recipes for such delicious goodies as, “Vanilla Rum Caramels” (page 92), “Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles” (page 98), “Lavender Shortbread” (page 105 and my personal favorite), “Chocolate-Zucchini Mini Bundt Cakes with Chocolate Ganache” (page 110), “Whoopie Pies” (page 114), “Focaccia” (page 122), “Butternut Squash and Apple Soup” (page 133), “Cold Pea Soup with Mint” (page 140), “Sweet and Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce” (page 148), “Roasted Cashew Butter” (page 164), “Sour Cherry Syrup” (page 171), “Flavored Salts” (page 192) and “Preserved Lemons” (page 202). 

Plus a ton of other recipes that are just as equally delicious. 

I highly recommend this book to those in the foodie world who would love to have a book on not just delicious recipes, but fun and fabulous gift ideas.

As I mentioned earlier the “Lavender Shortbread” (page 105) is one of my favorite recipes – and guess what!? With special permission, I got the ok to publish it here – and share it with all of you! Check out this cookie for a fun and “calming” twist on the original. Highly recommend these – 

“Lavender Shortbread”
(page 105)


This elegant cookie appeals to sophisticated palates. Shortbread makes a great swap item, because it keeps for several days without going stale. The rice flour gives the shortbread a melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

Be restrained when baking with lavender, or you will feel like you are eating soap. Here, dried lavender is mixed with sugar to add a subtle floral note to the dough; then the cookies are garnished with a few blossoms for visual appeal. The lavender sugar, by the way, makes a charming, easy-to-prepare swap item in its own right. 

2 cups (4 sticks) butter at room temperature
3/4 cup lavender sugar (see recipe, page 195)
3/4 cup caster or powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup turbinado or other course sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoon dried lavender

1. Cream the butter, lavender sugar, and caster/powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer just until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt. 

2. Combine the all-purpose and rice flours and gradually add in batches, mixing until just combined. The dough will be still and crumbly. 

3. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a log approximately 12 inches long, and wrap the logs in parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate dough overnight or for at least 2 hours. 

4. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350-degrees F (175 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper of silicone baking liners. Spread the turbinado sugar on a piece of waxed paper. Paint the outside of each log of dough with egg white and roll in the sugar until well coated. 

5. Slice the log into cookies 1/4 inch thick and place them on the baking sheet, leaving ample room between them, for they will spread. (You should get a dozen a sheet). Poke each cookie with the tines of a fork several times to create holes. Sprinkle 5 or 6 lavender blossoms on each cookie and gently press in. (If you have trouble getting your lavender blossoms to stay on, try baking the cookies for 2 minutes before adding them). 

6. Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes until the center is firm to the touch and the outside is browned. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. 

Packaging – Pacakge the cookies by the dozen in a cellophane bag or small box. A decorative sprig of dried lavender tied to the label is a nice touch. 

Excerpted from Food Swap (c) Emily Paster. Photograph by (c) Michael Piazza Photography. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

To buy this book, click here –

Food Swap

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. Shout out and special thanks to Storey Publishing for this opportunity. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise 

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2 thoughts on “Cookbook Corner – Food Swap

  1. I love this book review with a great recipe too! Cannot wait to try the Lavender shortbread Blaise! I love you book reviews you do because you bring the reader in. 😊👍🏻📚

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