Tagged: Cookbooks


Mouth-Watering Weekend Reading

What a better way to spend part of a sunny weekend than with a couple of good books.  After a couple of hectic weeks of work and travel, I'm looking forward to sitting down and flipping through the gorgeous, inspiring pages of two new cookbooks...blogger and food photographer Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day and farm-to-plate chef Andrea Reusing's Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes.  An interesting mix of healthful ingredients pop on the pages of Swanson's second book, it's a great pick if you're looking to expand your pantry's repertoire of grains and produce and wholesome alternatives for bake goods.  Reusing's book is set up by season and is full of approachable, excitable recipes.  Both are great additions to any bookshelf, particularly if you're looking to up the health ante of your meals given that beach season's just around the corner.  Here's to relaxing weekend of delectable reading!

farro and millet risotto

warm mozzarella with grits, grilled radicchio and balsamic

images & recipe courtesy of :: 101Cookbooks | Scribd

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TAGS: spring, cookbooks

posted: 04.30.11


A Few Good Reads :: Filling My Bookshelves

There's few things I like more than devoting a couple of hours on a lazy weekend to sifting through a stack of cookbooks, allowing myself to get sucked into a world of culinary inspiration from great chefs, cooks and writers.  So finally, this past weekend, I was able to tackle a bunch of recently published books.  And they definitely did not disappoint.  Here's a few to feast on just in time for cold-weather and the holiday season.  I'll be back with my wishlist of books for the winter and my next round of reading. 

Super Natural Everyday (by Heidi Swanson).  I highlighted this book last spring, but it's well-worth doing twice.  Heidi Swanson knows a thing or two in the kitchen.  One might even her call the queen of natural foods cooking.  She also happens to be an incredible photographer, always a bonus when featuring gorgeous, gorgeous dishes.  Her latest book is filled with recipes to nourish the soul and inspire you to experiment with new/different flavors and wholesome, natural ingredients - definitely healthy staples to add to your repertoire.  Recipe sampling: Lemon-Zested Bulgur Wheat with Coconut Milk, Toasted Almonds and Poppy Seeds; Yellow Split Peas and Greens with Serrano Chili and Lemon Juice; Pazanella with Grilled Tofu, Sunflower Sprouts, Peanut Butter and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes; Little Quinoa Patties with Goat Cheese, Garlic and Herbs; Macaroon Tart with White Whole Wheat Flour, Blackberries, Coconut and Pistachios.  *You'll find more of Heidi's recipes and photography on her addictive blog 101 Cookbooks.

Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue through China with Recipes (by Mary Kate and Nate Tate).  I am bit taken with this book.  It mixes culture, history and food and reads like an amazing culinary travel journal that's categorized by brother and sister duo Nate and Mary Kate's itinerary.  Recipes span from across China--Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet, Xingiang and more.  Recipe sampling: Char Su Pork Buns, Black Bean Spareribs, Cool Cucumber Pear Salad, Macanese Crab Curry.  

Cook this Now (by Melissa Clark).  I admit, I have a major crush on Melissa Clark.  From what her cookbooks and NY Times articles tell me, she and I cook in very similar styles, focusing on local, seasonal ingredients and super fresh dishes.  Her newest book is geniusly organized, making streamlined family-style cooking that much easier and realistic for just about anyone.  The book's split by season...and then by month.  Recipe sampling for November: Farro Pasta with Spicy Salami Tomato Sauce and Fresh Mint, Gralicky Broccoli Rabe, Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Caraway, Spiced Maple Pecan Pie with Star Anise.  

Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean (by Silvena Rowe).  Take me back to Turkey asap please!  I am head over heels fascinated with Mediterranean cooking and I adore how Rowe weaves in not only the rich flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon), but stories from her childhood and old-world Ottoman-Turkish culture. Recipe sampling:  Jerusalem Artichoke Hummus Topped with Lamb and Sumac, Eggplant, Aleppo Pepper and Pomegranate Spread, Mahluta - Lentil, Rice and Lamb Soup, Artichoke, Goat Cheese and Dried Cherry Salad; Lavender and Honey Glazed Chicken with Pine Nut, Chervil and Honey Sauce; Cod in PIstachio and Za'atar Crumbs.  Pistachio, Rose Water and Honey Ma'amoul Cookies.  

Essential Pepin (by Jacques Pepin).  From the famed French chef himself, this book is filled with over 700 classic recipes, Pepin's "short list" of favorites.  I love how he provides intermittent tips -- your random kitchen queries answered, like how to choose a good fish or refashion leftovers.   Saving shrimp shells and freezing them for later use in a soup or stock, so smart.  (He goes on to note his wife's Thai soup with shrimp shell stock with lime juice and lemongrass).  Recipe sampling:  Warm Oyster with Spinach, Garlic and Ginger.  Wild Mushroom Toasts, Stuffed Butternut Squash, Banana Bread Pudding, Chicken Liver Mousse, Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port.

The Family Meal (by Ferran Adria).  This book comes from legendary talent, Ferran Adria, whose restaurant, El Bulli, was recognized as best in the world five times over.   Adria might be known for his ingenius molecular gastronomy techniques and 40-some dish dinners at El Bulli, but this book showcases the simpler family meals that the staff might eat before the start of an evening's service.  The book is broken into family meal "menus"  with tips and tricks woven in as well as a sneak peek into the world of the El Bulli system and day to day routine.  Recipe sampling: Meal 16 -- Noodles with Shiitake and Ginger, Duck with Chimichurri Sauce, Pistachio Custard.  Meal 7 -- Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms, Catalan-Style Turkey, Yogurt Foam with Strawberries.   *El Bulli closed this past July and will reopen as the El Bulli Foundation in 2014, a new creativity center and think tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy.  

Ferran’s Family Meal | Spiced Maple Pecan Pie with Star Anise from Cook This Now | Roasted Lemon Chutney on toast from Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks

TAGS: cookbooks, autumn

posted: 11.07.11


Fall Cookbook Series :: What Katie Ate

With much delight, it's indeed that time of year again.  It's like the holidays hit a few months early.  I've been lucky enough to have received some phenomenal fall cookbooks, a little elf just happened to sprinkle them in my mailbox.  Thus, I'm devoting this week, and likely most of next, to sharing some splendid, mouth-watering books with you...these babies are definitely worth adding to your holiday wishlist.

First up, What Katie Ate.  I don't even know where to begin with this one (which just hit bookshelves last Thursday).  I've been following Katie Quinn Davies's Aussie food blog, What Katie Ate, for a few years - inevitably drooling over the gorgeously photographed and styled recipes.  Katie's like a creative bandit let loose in a kitchen full of impeccably fresh ingredients and the best vintagey cookware and tableware you could ever dream of.  The book is chock full of inviting, homey, cozy, crisp, vibrant dishes and will make you want to host an impromptu dinner party in a flash...no matter how big or teeny your kitchen is.  Not so easy to choose just one recipe to feature here, but someone had to do it.  For all you salad skeptics out there, this one's for you.  Perfect for fall and winter...

Many thanks to Katie and Viking Books for sharing!

Red Cabbage and Fennel Salad :: with Tarragon and Lemon Yogurt

Serves :: 4


*recipe from What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies, pictured above

1 cup pecans
4 blood oranges
1 large bulb fennel
¼ red cabbage, cored, leaves very finely sliced
7oz soft goat cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

tarragon and lemon yogurt
small handful tarragon leaves, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400F.  Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and roast for 7-10 minutes, then roughly chop and set aside.
To make the yogurt dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and chill in the fridge until needed.
Cut the top and bottom from each orange. Place on a chopping board and, working from top to bottom, use a small, sharp knife to cut away all the skin and pita.  Take the fruit in your hand and, holding it over a large serving bowl to catch the juices, carefully cut each inner segment away from the membrane, letting the segments fall into the bowl – they should be free of any white pith or seeds.
Add the fennel, cabbage and pecans to the bowl and toss to combine.  Crumble over the goat cheese, then drizzle over the yogurt dressing, season and serve. 

Photos via What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies and DesignInspiration.net

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TAGS: salad, cookbooks, fall

posted: 10.16.12

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