Julias Child, Sarah Pinneo

A Story With Recipes: The Perfect Moms’ Book Club!

Book Club for Moms

I just found the perfect cookbook to Julia’s Child, should you wish to make your own baby and toddler food and want more recipes. The Wholesome Baby Food Guide by Maggie Meade


I met author Sarah Pinneo about a year ago when she offered to guest post for me and through our email exchanges, I found that we have a lot in common like extreme love of KidLit. She had published a gorgeous Ski House Cookbook and when I found out that she was working on a novel, I was all over it. Finally, it’s here and it’s a wonderful read.

If you are middle-aged like me, you might remember that movie Baby Boom starring Diane Keaton and Sam Sheppard? A few decades ago, women didn’t feel like they had the choice to have a career and a family. Keaton’s character happens to have a toddler land in her lap and she ends up giving up her career only to recreate a mommy friendly one making organic baby food from a farm she impulse buys.

Julia’s Child is a modern version of this same story of mom-trying-to-have-it-all set in Park Slope, Brooklyn. As an entrepreneur myself, her story as a mompreneur making healthy baby food and struggling to get distribution rings true and is also hilariously funny. Thank goodness she also has a wonderful evolved husband who supports her dreams! Perfect for foodie and all-natural mamas, Julia’s Child examines motherhood’s choices: organic vs. local, paper vs. plastic, staying at home vs. risking it all. I run my Mom Book Club in my neighborhood and we always struggle to find a book that everyone will actually read. It turns out my ladies though not literary slouches by any means tend to finish books that are lighter and funny. I happened to be reading another book by Mompreneur Amander Hesser, a former food critic for the New York Times that is a memoir-cum-cookbook on her courtship with now-husband Tad Friend, a writer for the New Yorker, called Cooking for Mr. Latte. And what do you know? They also live in Park Slope, Brooklyn!

It strikes me: a good story mixed with recipes. This is a mom’s dream book. Useful, amusing, and a fast read. A recipe made in heaven. For an actual recipe, however, Sarah Pinneo has supplied me with one to share with my readers!

Peas on Earth Bulgur Wheat Risotto
By Sarah Pinneo
One of the most fun things about writing Julia’s Child was naming all of the fictional products. There was Gentle Lentil, Rome-Wasn’t-Built-In-a-Day Rice Pilaf, and this dish: Peas on Earth Bulgar Wheat Risotto. Peas especially offered me many tempting recipe names. Peas and Thank You? Peased to Meet You? Pretty Peas? I could go on all day.
This risotto recipe—using bulgur wheat—is a bit more nutritious than the standard rice version. Bacon and parmesan pump up the flavor. What could be tastier?
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup coarse (No. 3) bulgur
2 cups chicken broth
1½ cups water
¼ pound sliced bacon, chopped
2 cups frozen peas
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
  • In a 2-quart heavy saucepan cook onion in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened.
  • Add bulgur, broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until bulgur is
  • tender and creamy like risotto (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  • While bulgur is simmering, cook bacon in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, then drain on
  • paper towels.
  • Stir peas into bulgur, then stir in Parmesan, half of the bacon, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve sprinkled with the remaining bacon.

Author Sarah Pinneo, like her character Julia, understands the work vs. stay at home decision.  Sarah was a Wall Street dealmaker for ten years before making the transition from breadwinner to bread baker.  Now a food journalist, and co-author of The Ski House Cookbook, Sarah blogs on her home page at sarahpinneo.com, and at Blurb is a Verb on SheWrites.com. She lives with her family in Ludlow Vermont, and Hanover, New Hampshire.  She welcomes connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. love your idea of reading something you can cook for bookclub!
    Melissa recently posted…Best Beginning Chapter Books Books – Winter 2012My Profile

  2. Dee

    I loved the movie Baby Boom! I remember seeing it on a date (not the best first date movie, though).
    Dee recently posted…DisappointmentMy Profile

  3. Ann

    Thanks for the book recommendations. Books with recipes are a nice trend. I think my family will like this recipe! I love Baby Boom and will have to check out these books – Thanks!!!

  4. Thank you, Mia! I love it. I’m so flattered to appear on Pragmatic Mom!
    S. Pinneo recently posted…My Book Tour!My Profile

  5. Capability

    Loved this book – one review called it I Don’t Know How She Does It for foodies. It is better,
    Capability recently posted…Happy Valentine’s Day!My Profile

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