A Cookbook Review by Guest Author Bobbie Kitto
Edited by Linda Kissam

At least that is the way Lauren Thomas author of The Modern Hippie Table sees it.  You may have picked up on Lauren’s philosophy while reading her blog The Modern Hippie in which she writes about food, fashion, travel and entertaining.

To help you achieve ideals of beautiful living and eating well, Lauren has created a book that can lead you step by step. The book covers such topics as setting the scene, appetizers, charcuterie boards, salads, and main dishes. In addition she covers side dishes, desserts, and even drinks. Be sure to read Girls Can Grill, a chapter on the feminine side of the grill.

Lauren Thomas


A YouTube video demonstrates how make a charcuterie board out of last night’s Turkey dinner using her PEAR GORGONZOLA SALAD (pg 89). This a simple meal made into an elegant presentation that illustrates her modern Hippie philosophy of simple and beautiful is perfection. The recipe can be found below!

Other recipes I found intriguing were CILANTRO TACOS (pg.100) and VEGAN CHOCOLATE DONUTS WITH STRAWBERRY ICING (pg181). Those with a gluten­­-free diet will appreciate Lauren’s GLUTEN-FREE PEANUTBUTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (pg 178).

One of the ideas from this book that really struck home with me was if you aren’t relaxed and enjoying your party, neither are your guests. How many parties or family gatherings have you gone to where you never see the hosts because they are too busy with the last minute details that drag on through the whole party? Try some of Lauren’s pre-planning tips and see how much you enjoy your next party. After the menu and guests have been established, Lauren suggests planning for your guests comfort. Start out by creating a comfortable and a welcoming space for your guests. Such a simple act as having a space set aside for coats and purses shows you are thinking about your guests’ comfort – no having to ask “Where do I put this?”  Another suggestion is to welcome each guest as they come in the door.  Having something for them to drink and snack on while other guests arrive is a thoughtful gesture on your part.

This is really not a cookbook per se. Yes, it has recipes and tips for making the cooking easier, but it is really one of the best books I have found for entertaining in general. The first six chapters walk you thru the whole idea of entertaining with ease, elegance, and learning how to enjoy your own party. I give this book a 5 Plus OUT OF 5 rating. It is out just in time to help you plan how you are going to enjoy entertaining this holiday season.

Try this yummy recipe as part of getting a taste for this book.

Pear, Pomegranate & Turkey Gorgonzola Salad Board

If you find yourself wondering what to do with all those turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving, this delicious salad board makes a beautiful presentation to impress your family (who’s still in town) when you don’t feel like cooking. Whether you serve this salad for lunch or dinner, I can assure you that you’ll inspire a new leftovers tradition! Serves 4-6.

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoon sherry or white wine vinegar

4 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

2 heads butter lettuce, torn into small pieces

1 head Green leaf lettuce, torn into small pieces

Approximately one pound of leftover white turkey meat, sliced or chopped

1 small head radicchio lettuce, chopped

4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 large ripe pears, preferably Bartlett or Comice, cored and cut into ½- inch cubes

1 cup pomegranate arils, or the seeds of one pomegranate

Black pepper

*Extra pears and pomegranates to help decorate your board

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, combine the butter lettuce and Green leaf lettuce and toss to combine. On a large platter or wooden board with raised edges, arrange the lettuce to cover. On top of the lettuce, start by arranging the turkey in the center, followed by the radicchio, cheese, pears, and pomegranate arils on either side of the turkey in parallel lines. Drizzle the salad dressing evenly and toss gently just before serving. Season with black pepper to taste.

Pear Gorgonzola Salad

 ½ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp sherry or white wine vinegar

4 tsp honey

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 small head radicchio, chopped

2 heads bibb or butter lettuce

2 large ripe pears, cored and cut into ½ inch cubes

½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Black pepper & salt, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and Salt, set aside.

In a medium salad bowl, combine the radicchio, bibb lettuce, pears, cheese, and dressing and toss gently.  Season with black pepper to taste and serve.  Serves 6

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Bobbie Kitto

Note: Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto is a freelance writer based out of Laughlin, NV. Her interests include travel, culinary pursuits and gardening. No fee was paid for this article, but she did receive a copy of the book to review. Her opinions are her own.

To make the best of each recipe, use quality ingredients! Bobbie  highly recommends products from Melissa’s Produce, available at many markets.

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