Unlike the Dowager Countess of Downtown Abbey, we all know exactly what a weekend is! From it’s first blush on Saturday morning with a coffee and the newspaper to it’s late-night frenzy on Sunday when things are being organized for the week ahead. Weekends often mean we have time — more than what we have during the busy work week. I know it can feel like you’re stuck in this continuous loop just trying to get ahead before the weekly cycle starts again. Wouldn’t it be nice to make the weekdays feel a little more extra? A little more like the weekend? The answer is surely “Yes!” Sarah Copeland‘s newest cookbook, Every Day is Saturday, is a guide on how to approach every day like it’s the weekend.
Every Day is Saturday is organized in to nine chapters: Breakfast + Brunch, Toast + Bread, Midday Meals, Grazing Platters, Mains, Cooking for Friends, Sweets, Drinks +Tonics, and Projects. One of my husband’s favourite meals is a phyllo, feta, and spinach pie and I was happy to find a simpler version than the one I’ve been making here in Copeland’s book. Her Save-the-Day Spinach Pie uses pre-made sheets of phyllo pastry, feta and frozen spinach and within 25 minutes dinner will be cooking in the oven. This is a great recipe for leftovers too! I often talk about feeding my vegetarian family and I found I made good use of the Special Diets Index at the back of the book which lists recipes for anyone who’s specifically looking for Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, or Vegetarian recipes. She also offers useful strategies or tips throughout the book in little notes — Get Ahead or Good To Know for example — that accompany each recipe. I find Copeland’s approach is useful and not prescriptive.
At the beginning of the book she provides a quick rundown on how to organize your kitchen pantry and what to stock it with. I really appreciate how the ingredients she mentions find their way into recipes throughout the cookbook. While the cornmeal was simply lovely in the Johnny cakes, it was also excellent in the recipe for Hot Oats and Polenta with Raisins and Bananas. The buttermilk used in the Chocolate Snacking Loaf was also deliciously present in her Nostalgia-Wins Blueberry Muffin recipe. Every Day is Saturday is all about finding enjoyment in home cooking by making good use of flavourful ingredients.
Delicious food. Copeland’s book is full of it (I should know! I’m over a dozen recipes in!). Some of her recipes are as simple as a dolled-up piece of toast and others take a bit more effort. What Every Day is Saturday does is to show home cooks that cooking need not be precious or difficult. It’s all about embracing joy and living with intention. Since many of the recipes are easy to pull together using pantry staples, I found myself looking forward to trying recipes I knew we’d enjoy; not just for one meal but at different times over the week. These are the recipes that pay dividends — take the recipes for Toasted Many-Seed Muesli or the Homemade Oat-Almond Milk (the addition of oats makes it much creamier) for example. When you make these recipes then you’ll have something to fall back on because it’s ready-made waiting for you. I really appreciated that her muesli is not a granola in disguise. Copeland’s version is lightly sweetened with maple syrup, but the real flavour comes from being toasted golden brown — oats, nuts, and seeds alike! You can soak it as you would with a traditional muesli, but you can also enjoy it in many other ways. Since making it, I’ve enjoyed it with the Homemade Oat-Almond Milk or yogurt with whatever fruit I’ve had on hand. In my experience it’s a great breakfast or snack. My 5-year-old daughter prefers her muesli dry so as she can dip, and coat sliced fruit with it. These recipes you make once and then you’re able to enjoy it throughout the week no matter how busy you get!
Speaking of recipes that pull double duty, Copeland’s Chocolate Snacking Loaf is delightful and the recipe yields two gorgeously chocolatey loafs (or, one Bundt cake because the genius that Copeland is has already figured this out and left directions on how to bake the recipe this way should you so desire). The indulgence of a cake in the everyday treat of a loaf! When I made this recipe, I did so with the express purpose to bake and share. I was meeting up with my friend and I knew she’d appreciate a little surprise. A small abundance shared makes everything a little better! Over the week, my family enjoyed this loaf à la Julia Turshen (with strawberries and cocoa-laced whipped cream) and it was delightful! My daughter also didn’t object when I cubed up a small piece to add to her lunch.
My daughter and I are alike in that we both love breakfast and, those times when my husband works late means we’re enjoying breakfast for dinner! So, it goes without saying that my favourite chapter in the whole book is her Breakfast + Brunch chapter, which is full of delicious recipes to enjoy solo or as a family. One Saturday I made up a batch of Copeland’s Johnny Cakes with Rhubarb and Sour Cherries and the leftover Johnny cakes were frozen so that my daughter could enjoy them for breakfast throughout the week (while she loves the jarred sour cherries — a new ingredient to us — she enjoys her pancakes with a good swath of peanut butter and jam). I found the cornmeal in this recipe really gave the Johnny cakes such a hearty texture which I really enjoyed topped with the yogurt, rhubarb and cherries. It feels rewarding to cook recipes that we can enjoy together throughout the week.
The more I read and cook from Copeland’s book, the more I find myself looking forward to each day — weekend or not. This book is about how to cherish time together and make the most of the time we have in the kitchen. This is not a cookbook focused on aspirational recipes that we might cook one day. Every Day is Saturday is all about rediscovering the simple pleasures of home cooking using delicious and straightforward recipes. Copeland’s guide on how to get those weekend “feels” any day of the week is so beautifully photographed by Gentl + Hyers. If you’re curious to see what we’ve been enjoying, then click on my custom Instagram hashtag #everydayiseatworthy or my dedicated Facebook post.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Raincoast Books and Chronicle Books for providing me with a free, review copy of this book. I did not receive monetary compensation for my post, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.