Monday, December 24, 2018


Christmas Camp  
Christmas Camp 

From the screenwriter of the Netflix Original viral hit, A Christmas Prince, comes another heartwarming holiday story about a beautiful Grinch who’s determined to get her dream job even if it means spending a week at a Christmas Camp where she discovers an unexpected love.

Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss, Larry, thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment, so he ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.

Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark, but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

At first Haley struggles with all the traditional Christmas Camp activities. It’s not until she finally allows herself to slow down, live in the moment, and let Christmas back into her heart, that she begins to grow closer to Jeff. But when he finds out Haley’s come up with a plan to help his dad save the struggling inn while he’s been trying to convince his dad to sell it, their relationship takes a serious holiday hit.  Now it will take the magic of the season to bring these two hearts together.

Mistletoe Miracles 

Mistletoe Miracles 

 A small-town Texas Christmas story, where hearts are lost, love is found, and family always brings you back home.

Griffin Holloway is desperate: the Maverick Ranch has been in his family for generations, but lately, it’s a money pit. He’d sooner marry one of his horses than sell the ranch. Marriage, though, could be a solution. If he can woo a wealthy bride, he might save the ranch—just in time for Christmas.

Jaxon O’Grady likes his solitude just fine, thank you very much. But when a car accident brings the unexpected to his door, he realizes just how much one person can need another.

Crossroads is the perfect place for Jamie Johnson: avoiding nosy questions about why she’s single, she’s happy to keep to her lakeside home. So she’s baffled when she gets the strangest Christmas present of all, in the form of a Mr. Johnson, asleep on her sofa. Who is he, and why does everyone think he’s her husband?

In this uplifting novel, three unlikely couples discover just what Crossroads, Texas, can offer: romance, belonging, and plenty of Christmas spirit.

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10) 

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

A Christmas by the Sea 

A Christmas by the Sea

When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beach-side cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. But before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. She and her 12-year-old son Jackson move in--temporarily, she reminds him--in order to do the work themselves, even though Christmas is coming. The charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on both Wendy and Jackson, who even registers himself for school in a bid to get his mom to move them there permanently. Wendy knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea is hard to resist.

Join award-winning author Melody Carlson for a Christmas story that will warm your heart and have you dreaming of your own enchanted seaside holiday.

Sugarplum Way (Harmony Harbor, #4) 

Sugarplum Way (Harmony Harbor, #4)

"Heartfelt and delightful!" -RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author

Romance writer Julia Landon knows how to write a happily-ever-after. Creating one for herself is a whole different story. But after a surprising--and surprisingly passionate--kiss under the mistletoe at Harmony Harbor's holiday party last year, Julia thought she might have finally found her very own chance at true love. Until she learns her Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broodingly Handsome has sworn off relationships. Well, if she can't have him in real life, Julia knows just how to get the next best thing....

Aidan's only priority is to be the best single dad ever. And this year, he plans to make the holidays magical for his little girl, Ella Rose. But visions of stolen kisses under the mistletoe keep dancing in his head, and when he finds out Julia has written him into her latest novel, he can't help imagining the possibilities of a future together. Little does he know, though, Julia has been keeping a secret that threatens all their dreams. Luckily, 'tis the season for a little Christmas magic.

The Harmony Harbor series: Mistletoe Cottage
Christmas with an Angel (short story)Starlight BridgePrimrose LaneSugarplum WayDriftwood CoveSandpiper Shore

The Winter Wedding Plan (Misty Point #2) 

The Winter Wedding Plan (Misty Point #2)

All she wants for Christmas is a second chance . . .

Charlotte Daniels has made her share of mistakes, but now that she's a single mom, she vows to do better--and that starts with a new career. Working at her sister's event-planning company is just the fresh start she needs.

Kate Daniels has finally forgiven Charlotte for her betrayal, but forgetting it is harder. But as the holidays approach and Kate has her own wedding to plan, she has no choice but to turn to Charlotte for help to throw a high-profile client the holiday party of the season.

Charlotte leaps at the chance to redeem herself . . . until this irresistible client asks her to pretend to be his fiancée for the party. She knows their charade won't come without consequences--not just for her fresh start with Kate, but also for her own daughter.

As Kate's wedding draws near and Charlotte's fake romance starts to feel more and more real, will she fall back into the mistakes of her past, or finally prove herself to Kate once and for all?

In the vein of New York Times bestselling authors Susan Mallery, Robyn Carr, and Elin Hilderbrand, comes the second in a women's fiction series about the complicated ties of sisterhood that bind us together and sometimes tear us apart.

The Gift Of Christmas Past 

The Gift Of Christmas Past 

Lies spoken.Promises shattered.She went to juvenile lockup.He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialitst in the field of speech therapy. They meet again . . . thrown together to help a four-year-old-girl rendered mute after a suspected arson.Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family.Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?  

Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms 

Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms 

Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales of the Wild West! This Western Christmas anthology features bestselling authors including: Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Anna Schmidt, Margaret Brownley, and Amy Sandas. Each story features rugged cowboys, the women who've lassoed their hearts...and the Christmas miracles that bring them together. 

Silver Bells 

Silver Bells 

New York Times-bestselling author Fern Michaels headlines this quartet of seasonal tales.

In the air, there's a feeling of Christmas... so settle into your coziest armchair and enjoy four captivating tales that will make your holidays merry and bright...

"Silver Bells" by Fern Michaels

For years, movie star Amy Lee wondered what it would be like to leave her shallow Hollywood life and go back home to Apple Valley, Pennsylvania. This Christmas, she plans to find out. And Hank Anders, her high-school boyfriend, is now ready to give her a welcome she'll never forget...

"Dear Santa..." by JoAnn Ross

Mystery author Holly Berry's SUV has broken down in the little hamlet of Santa's Village, Washington. Holly hates the holidays--that is until lodge owner Gabriel O'Halloran and his five-year-old daughter rekindle her belief in passion, magic, and Christmas wishes...

"Christmas Past" by Mary Burton

Photographer Nicole Piper just received a very unwelcome Christmas gift--a letter that holds clues to an elusive killer's identity. Uncovering the truth means enlisting homicide detective David Ayden's help, and embarking on a road trip that will take them both into the heart of danger and desire...

"A Mulberry Park Christmas" by Judy Duarte

Every Christmas, the folks living on Sugar Plum Lane pull out all the stops when decorating. After a bitter breakup, Alyssa Ridgeway's heart just isn't in it this year. But running into her first love, James "Mac" MacGregor, fills her with memories of the tender Christmas kiss they once shared...

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Trisha Yearwood, host of Food Network’s Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, is adored by fans as one of country music’s top stars, but among family and friends, Trisha Yearwood is best known for another talent: cooking.

Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes from My Family to Yours

Trisha Yearwood, host of Food Network’s Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, is adored by fans as one of country music’s top stars, but among family and friends, Trisha Yearwood is best known for another talent: cooking.

Throughout her life–from her humble roots in Georgia to her triumphant recording years in Nashville and a fulfilling married life with husband Garth Brooks in Oklahoma–Trisha has always enjoyed feeding those she loves. Now she dishes up a collection of more than 120 of her go-to recipes in a tribute to both home-grown cooking and family traditions.

Trisha believes a recipe always tastes better when it has a memory attached to it. Here, she teams up with her mother and sister to share their family’s best-loved recipes. This is the kind of classic comfort food you’ll want at the heart of your own family’s mealtime memories. Inside is a full menu of Southern fare with a contemporary twist. But you don’t have to be a Southerner to enjoy Yearwood family favorites such as:

Trisha’ s Chicken Tortilla Soup
Gwen’s Fried Chicken with Milk Gravy
Stuffed Pork Chops
Breakfast Sausage Casserole
Blackberry Cobbler
Banana Pudding

Along with the recipes for inviting soups, textural salads, home-style family entrées, colorful side dishes, and irresistible desserts, Trisha shares everything from charming personal anecdotes to practical advice, time-saving tips, and creative ingredient substitutions to accommodate all tastes.

With full-color photographs taken in and around Trisha’s homes and a foreword by Garth Brooks, this soul-warming slice of Southern life will delight country music fans and home cooks alike. Best of all, this is un-pretentious food that is easy to put together, satisfies even big country appetites, and tastes like home. Trisha’ s warm evocations of pre-paring food for loved ones will transport you back to your own childhood. These are recipes you’ll enjoy with your family for years to come.

MY REVIEW:  Trisha Yearwood is one of my very favorite entertainers. Such an appealing personality, and a voice that just won't quit! This book is written in a warm, personal style, and it offers great recipes and cooking advice and an up-close look at this talented and likeable country music superstar. Family, friends, food, and an interesting life all come together for a very satisfying read. The recipes range from familiar favorites like Meatloaf, Banana Pudding, Blackberry Cobbler, and Fried Chicken with Milk Gravy, to dishes with a different spin like Chicken Tortilla Soup, Sweet & Crunchy Garden Salad, and Pecan Pie Muffins. Making good food and good family memories is what this book is all about, and it will resonate with many of us whose happiest times involve cooking with family and friends.

Trisha's Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life 


Country music superstar, Food Network standout, and bestselling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood shows how delicious foods and wholesome dishes are part of the same balanced lifestyle.  

Trisha Yearwood is as much a force in the kitchen as she is on stage. But after years of enjoying decadent Southern comfort food, her culinary philosophy is evolving. As Trisha says, “I have adopted an 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time I make good choices; 20 percent of the time I let myself splurge a little.”

Whether surprisingly virtuous or just a little bit sinful, the recipes in Trisha’s Table all bring that unmistakable authenticity you’ve come to love from Trisha. You’ll find brand-new dishes emblematic of the variety and balance Trisha champions. They skimp on anything but flavor, including dairy-free Angel Hair Pasta with Avocado Pesto, low-calorie Billie’s Houdini Chicken Salad, vegetarian Smashed Sweet Pea Burgers, and tasty, high-protein Edamame Parmesan, alongside too-good-to-give-up family favorites, such as Slow Cooker Georgia Pulled-Pork Barbecue, Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Snappy Pear-Cranberry Crumble, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.

Trisha wants to feed her loved ones—and yours, too—food that tastes good and food that’s good for you. So pull up a seat at Trisha’s Table and dig in!

MY REVIEW:   A cookbook from entertainer and Food Network star Trisha Yearwood is always a treat. Like most of her readers and viewers, Trisha is a cook, not a trained chef. Her childhood experiences blended with her career highlights and the camaraderie of her family and friends blend well with a love of cooking and sharing good food with good people. I am a longtime fan of Trisha's music, and I also greatly enjoy watching "Trisha's Southern Kitchen" on TV. Her latest cookbook, "Trisha's Table" reflects her traditional Southern cooking roots along with her new "80/20" food philosophy: 80 percent sensible & 20 percent splurge. While keeping with her Georgia born & raised food favorites, she has reinvented and reimagined many recipes--this book has a very fresh look and feeling to it. Trisha is married to singing star Garth Brooks, whom she says is also a very good cook. Her sister, Beth, along with other family members, frequently guests on the show. I really like the sisters in the kitchen together--they make great food and have a great time. As well as working on a healthier approach to eating, Trisha has been working out, and she looks fabulous! While Trisha is not a dietitian, and there are no nutritional breakdowns for the recipes, "Trisha's Table" may just kick-start your own new approach to a healthier lifestyle. Here are some wonderful recipes that offer "food for thought": "Cran-Apple Crisp"; "Spinach Frittata"; "Power Balls"; "Black Bean Chili and Rice"; "Tortellini Soup"; "Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup"; "Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Glaze"; "Tofu Ricotta Lasagna"; "Spinach Stuffed Shells"; "Chickless Pot Pie"; "Grits-and-Greens Casserole"; "Chocolate Orange Cake"; "Hawaiian Cake"; "Key Lime Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce"; and "No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares". Look for her helpful "Trisha Tip" cooking hints throughout the book.

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books

Trisha Yearwood

Image result for Trisha Yearwood

Whether on stage, television, or as the CEO of her own lifestyle empire, Trisha Yearwood has a habit of exceeding expectations. She’s a platinum-selling, multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award winning vocalist with one of the most powerful voices in country music. From the moment her very first single debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart (“She’s In Love With The Boy” in 1991), she has charmed audiences with her warmth, wit and honesty. From selecting the songs that move her, to determining how she was “packaged” by the music industry, she has graciously but firmly stood her ground. Therefore, it’s really no surprise Trisha’s PrizeFighter album cover features the superstar wearing an evening gown, tiara…and boxing gloves!

As a singer, Trisha is a world-class interpreter of emotion. Her many hit songs confirm that. Take for example her version of the song “Broken,” which she performed during The Passion, a live television event that aired in April 2016. Portraying Mary, the Mother of Jesus, she poured her heart out in song. Although it was one of the few times Trisha admitted to nerves before a performance, her riveting delivery stole the show and the song became her highest-charting Adult Contemporary single of her diverse career. The diversity stems from Trisha’s patient pursuit of her passions. Her first cookbook, Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen, began as a family project to honor her father. When the book debuted on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2008, the amazing reception opened doors that allowed the cookbook to come to life as her own Food Network show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. It premiered in 2012, then earned an Emmy Award the following year. It quickly became clear that Trisha was a hit with country AND culinary audiences. No one was more surprised than Trisha, but in looking back, it’s easy to see how everything is related.

Yearwood’s upbringing was one that valued Southern hospitality and kindness over cynicism. Her childhood in Monticello, GA, was classically All-American and she shared a close bond with her parents and sister, Beth. Even when it was time to spread her wings, Trisha always believed that “home is where the heart is.” That guiding principle is apparent in all she does.. “It’s funny. If you asked me when I was five years old, I was so focused on being a singer that I would never have said ‘I want to grow up and have a cooking show, and cookbooks, and furniture, and cookware, and home accessories’” she says with a laugh. “It really just happened when I began doing the things I love. Most of the things in my life that have been successful have been because I had a passion and let it guide me.”

To date, each of her Bestselling cookbooks found the same warm reception as the first (Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood in 2010; Trisha’s Table in 2015) and Food Network is now airing the eighth season of her show. As if that weren’t enough, her Trisha Yearwood Home Collection encompasses her line of furniture for the whole home, a cookware line called Trisha’s Precious Metals, rugs, four different collections of home accessories, and even her own signature Trisha Yearwood fragrance. Fans can rest assured that if Trisha’s name is attached, she’s at the helm. In fact, the now-common format of cooking with guests wasn’t so common before Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.

“All of the cooking shows I was watching, you would see the chef in the kitchen by themselves. I thought it would be fun to have guests and conversation. I’m less about fancy techniques and more about empowering everyone to ignore the pressure to be perfect. Our show was one of the first to have guests like that, be it my sister, my band members, my girlfriends, or my husband. I know the success of our show has sparked others like that, and I’m proud of that.”

The informal feel has proven to be one of the show’s strengths. “The biggest compliment I get is ‘It doesn’t feel like a cooking show, it’s like you’re just hanging out in the kitchen with a friend.’ Which is true…except there’s good hair and make-up,” she says with a smile.

While fans can tune-in each Saturday for new episodes of her cooking show, hundreds of thousands get to see her onstage on The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood nearly every weekend. She says the tour has given her more confidence than ever before and is looking forward to tackling a new studio record, a live album, and even a disc of standards in the coming years.

“I look back at the first year of my career, and there are so many things I don’t remember. At some point, I realized that if you don’t live in the moment and enjoy all the things you’re doing, you won’t keep those moments as memories.”
But as millions of fans can attest, whether it’s a song, her family stories and recipes, or her array of items that make the home a more beautiful place, capturing a moment is her specialty.

“Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City” is a wonderfully-told history of the cuisine and culture of a timeless city—a city which holds an endless appeal and fascination to the world at large

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City

A love letter from two Americans to their adopted city, showcasing modern dishes influenced by tradition, as well as the rich culture of their surroundings. 

Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine-- mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome's unique character and truly evolved food culture-- a culimation of two thousand years of history.

The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today: cacio e pepe is not only a peppery condiment for pasta, but also a filling for suppli, fried rice balls; pollo alla romana is served as a summer platter of peppers stewed with chicken, but also deboned and on hearty sandwiches. Parla and Gill focus, too, on cucina ebraica to highlight the role Rome's Jewish communities have had, bringing dishes such as hraimi con couscous, which incorporates spicy amberjack, and matzoh fritters, pizzarelle, with honey and pine nuts; celebrate the authentic quinto quarto ("the fifth quarter") offal, and luscious verdure, which grow all over; acknowledge the baked pizzas and breads that anchor everyday eating; and explore the ever-changing culture of sweets and cocktails.

With its forgotten recipes, beloved favorites, and street food innovations, the book transports all the flavors of Rome into your kitchen. Narrative features revealing bits of history and gorgeous photography that highlight both the food and its hidden city will immediately inspire you to start Tasting Rome.

MY REVIEW:  Long-time residents of Rome, Italy, Katie Parla and Kristina Gill are also seasoned wine and food experts and bloggers. Their culinary collaboration, “Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City” is a wonderfully-told history of the cuisine and culture of a timeless city—a city which holds an endless appeal and fascination to the world at large. The recipes “don’t just vary from region; they also vary from cook to cook”, and, indeed, this is a book of great variety. A foreword from renowned chef, Mario Batali, begins your tasting tour of Rome, and you will enjoy the recipes and rustic, warm-toned photographs tinted by the Roman sun. Along your journey, you will find many delicious dishes such as these: “Tortica Rustica”(Savory Pie)”; “Leonardo Vignoli’s Cacio E Pepe” (Pasta with Cheese & Black Pepper); “Picchiapo” (Simmered Beef with Tomato & Onion—sandwich filling); “Pollo Alla Romana” (Chicken with Tomatoes & Bell Peppers); “Brodo Di Pesce” (Fish Soup); “Pomodori Con Riso” (Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice”; “Insalata Di Finocchio, Radicchis, E Pera” (Fennel, Radicchio, and Pear Salad); “Pizza Romana (Thin Crust Roman-Style Pizza); “Castagnole” (Fried Dough Balls with Sugar); “Sorbetto Di Pesche E Vino (Peach and Wine Sorbet”; “Granita Di Caffe” (Coffee Granita); “Maritozzi Con La Panna” (Sweet Buns with Whipped Cream); and “Brutti Ma Buoni” (Hazelnut Meringues). After reading “Tasting Rome”, you may just be tempted to experience the unequaled history, beauty, and feast for all the senses that is the incomparable city of Rome. KATIE PARLA moved to Rome in 2003 after graduating from Yale. She holds a sommelier certificate and a master's degree in Italian gastronomic culture. She writes about Roman food and beverage culture, and has contributed to and edited many travel guides. She often appears as a Rome expert on the History Channel and the university lecture circuit. She has created two mobile dining apps and blogs at KRISTINA GILL is the food and drinks editor at, a home and lifestyle site with over 1.2 million readers per month. Her original recipes, and those she hand-selects from celebrated authors, chefs, and readers have appeared weekly as the "In the Kitchen With" column since 2007. She is also a food and travel photographer. Kristina transferred to Rome in 1999 after earning her BA from Stanford and her MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books


“VICTUALS: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes”--Author Ronni Lundy and photographer Johnny Autry have wonderfully captured the essence and timelessness of the Appalachian region of America and the amazing spirit of its people (see my review)

Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes

Victuals is an exploration of the foodways, people, and places of Appalachia. Written by Ronni Lundy, regarded as the most engaging authority on the region, the book guides us through the surprisingly diverse history--and vibrant present--of food in the Mountain South.

Victuals explores the diverse and complex food scene of the Mountain South through recipes, stories, traditions, and innovations. Each chapter explores a specific defining food or tradition of the region--such as salt, beans, corn (and corn liquor). The essays introduce readers to their rich histories and the farmers, curers, hunters, and chefs who define the region's contemporary landscape. Sitting at a diverse intersection of cuisines, Appalachia offers a wide range of ingredients and products that can be transformed using traditional methods and contemporary applications. Through 80 recipes and stories gathered on her travels in the region, Lundy shares dishes that distill the story and flavors of the Mountain South.

MY REVIEW:  While reading “VICTUALS: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes”, I was humming, tapping my feet, grinning, and “itchin’ to get to the kitchen”. Author Ronni Lundy and photographer Johnny Autry have wonderfully captured the essence and timelessness of the Appalachian region of America and the amazing spirit of its people. I was born and raised in the beautiful mountains of Virginia, where I still reside. This is the land of my mother and her family. My father and his family were from the hills of East Tennessee. I laughingly and proudly call myself a “Mountain-Billy”. I have many friends and acquaintances from the proud state of Kentucky, and I long ago embraced, and was embraced in return, by the people of the marvelous mountain state of West Virginia. “VICTUALS” (the term is also plainly called “vittles”) offers an inside look at an area of our country which is frequently stereotyped. It’s a way of life where great poverty often exists alongside great pride. Traditions that will never die out are buffeted by the encroachments of modern society. Appalachia is a country within a country where a violin became a fiddle, and the music and dance of Scottish-Irish heritage became known as “Blue Grass”. It’s where you fix up a “mess of kress”, make apple butter outdoors in a big copper kettle over a wood fire, and you cook a pot of beans or a pan of greens with a ham hock or a hunk of fatback or side meat. You make perfectly delicious and golden-crusted cornbread in a well-seasoned and blackened old cast iron skillet, and you wait, impatiently for hand-cranked vanilla ice cream served with fresh peaches or strawberries. Author Ronni Lundy and photographer bring to vivid life the fine food and fine folks of the Appalachias. This is a journey you don’t want to miss. Along the way, enjoy these scrumptious vittles: “Karl Worley’s Roasted Chicken & Dumplings”; “Mama’s Mashed Potatoes”; “Killed Lettuce”; “Country Ham, Ramps, and Taters”; “Old-Style Vanilla Ice Cream”; “Real Cornbread”; “Buttermilk Brown Sugar Pie”; “Mountain Green Beans & Taters”; “Pork & Kraut in Cider Gravy with Noodles”; “Old-School Tomato Gravy”; and many, many more equally memorable recipes. Born in Corbin, Kentucky, RONNI LUNDY has long chronicled the people of the hillbilly diaspora as a journalist and cookbook author. She is the former restaurant reviewer and music critic for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, former editor of Louisville Magazine, and has contributed to many national magazines. Her book Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken was recognized by Gourmet magazine as one of six essential books on Southern cooking. In 2009, Lundy received the Southern Foodways Alliance Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award. She has contributed to Eating Well, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Esquire, and other magazines.

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books

Ronni Lundy

“Victuals is a testament to the power and the beauty of a web society, a society of connections, not tribalism. What is best about the region and what has sustained us in the region are those webs of connection. What I would hope for this humble little cookbook to just be one more voice in that conversation. ~ Ronni Lundy 

Born in Corbin, Kentucky, Ronni Lundy grew up in Louisville well aware that her mountain roots made for a distinctive upbringing. After graduating from college and living for a spell out West, Lundy returned home and worked as a journalist for the Louisville Times, covering the new American and international roots music scenes. That led to her first cookbook, Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken (1991), a compendium of Southern recipes with contributions from country musicians. Her second book, Butter Beans to Blackberries (1999), captures the bountiful Southern garden. These first two books celebrated Appalachian life, according to Lundy. For her most recent, Victuals (2016), she wanted to understand the region’s “darkness.” Honest and insightful—not to mention the winner of two James Beard Awards—Victuals quickly joined the pantheon of American cookbooks. Ronni Lundy’s work uncovers not just the contradictions inherent in the Appalachian regions but of the South and the entire nation.

"MY IRISH TABLE"--noted chef and restaurateur Cathal Armstrong invites you to feast from his kitchen--combining traditional Irish fare with French cuisine and his own creative blend of cultures and cooking trends (see my review)

My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve

My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve 

The debut cookbook from Cathal Armstrong featuring 130 recipes showcasing modern Irish fare, along with stories about Armstrong's journey from Dublin to Washington, DC, and becoming an internationally recognized four-star chef, the owner of seven successful food and drink establishments, and a leader in the sustainable-food movement.

With its moderate climate and amazing natural resources, Ireland is a modern-day Eden, boasting lush, bountiful produce, world-renowned dairy, plentiful seafood, and grass-fed meats. In My Irish Table, sustainable food movement leader and four-star chef Cathal Armstrong celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his culinary journey from Dublin to Washington DC, where he runs seven beloved and critically lauded restaurants.

Featuring 130 delicious recipes—from Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster with Parsnips to Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and Mam’s Apple Pie—My Irish Table draws on Armstrong’s Irish upbringing as well as his professional experience and French culinary training. In his hands, Irish food is comforting yet elegant, rustic yet skillful, and My Irish Table invites you into his kitchen to explore the vibrant traditions and rich culinary landscape of the Emerald Isle.

MY REVIEW:   Combining traditional Irish fare with French cuisine and his own creative blend of cultures and cooking trends, noted chef and restaurateur Cathal Armstrong invites all to feast from "My Irish Table". Along with contributor David Hagedorn, a recognized chef, restaurateur and food writer, Armstrong offers a compelling memoir and a fabulous, flavorful cookbook. At the heart of Armstrong's food life is his early childhood in Dublin with his family. His "Mam" was the baker supreme, and his "Da" was the avid gardener and cook. His father's love of gardening would literally plant the seed for Armstrong's involvement in the sustainable food movement and lead him to grow his own restaurant garden. Armstrong's lively recollection of his journey from cooking novice to acclaimed chef is quite entertaining. The side notes and stories accompanying each recipe add much to the enjoyment of this delightful book. Among the recollections and recipes: "Irish Breakfast"; "Potato and Leek Soup"; "Shepherd's Pie"; "Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce"; "Spiced Beef Sandwiches"; "Irish Caesar Salad"; "Irish Coffee"; "Brussels Sprouts with Bacon"; "Cauliflower with Toasted Garlic and Black Pepper"; "Potato Rolls"; "Irish Soda Bread"; "Scones"; "Mam's Apple Pie"; "Lemon Cake"; "Mincemeat" and "Mince Pies"; and so much more. The descriptions of Ireland and its natural wonders which make it an internationally renowned producer of cheese, butter, meats, produce and many other consumables are indeed enticing. Potatoes are my favorite food since childhood, and the recipes and notes involving potatoes and Kerrygold butter put me in a little "potato paradise" all my own.

Book Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

Cathal Armstrong


Irish chef Cathal Armstrong’s cuisine and philosophy reflect ideas planted in the atypical Dublin household of his childhood, where garlic was used fearlessly and fruits and vegetables were grown in the garden. The family’s travel business launched Armstrong into a myriad of different countries, cultures and cuisines where he began to develop an appreciation for gastronomy in the differing landscapes of Europe. As the family traveled, Armstrong was educated in the languages he now speaks fluently: English, French, Spanish, German and Irish. For those not versed in the Dubliner’s native language, the “t” in Cathal is silent.

At the age of seven, Armstrong began his annual student exchange in France with the Boudain family. His food curriculum involved visiting truffle-farms and vineyards, eating peasant-style food and picking fruits and vegetables on the farm. These early culinary experiences inspired Armstrong’s philosophy. He is committed to sourcing locally, valuing animals and respecting the land, so much so that Armstrong cites innovative farmer David Lankford of Davon Crest Farms in Maryland as one of his biggest inspirations. Armstrong is now an active member of The American Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the nation’s agricultural resources.

At the age of 20, Armstrong opened a fine dining restaurant in the Dublin suburbs with two partners. After a two-year tenure atThe Baytree, Armstrong decided to move to Washington DC where for the next 11 years he moved his way through various top kitchens learning the fundamentals from mentors including Greg Mitchell of New Heights and Jeffrey Buben of Bistro Bis. It was during his time spent at Gabriel under Gregory Hill that Armstrong met his future wife and business partner Meshelle Armstrong. Together, they dreamed of a place where they could balance a commitment to farmers with their vision of fine dining.

The Armstrongs found it in Alexandria, where in April 2004, 13 years after first arriving in DC, they opened Restaurant Eve. The modern American restaurant (with French, Spanish and Irish influences) showcased Armstrong’s playful personal style and deep-rooted commitment to purveyors. In the summer of 2006, Armstrong opened Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper and PX, or The PX, a cocktail-driven speakeasy lounge five blocks from Restaurant Eve. Both venues are named for Armstrong’s children, Eve and Eamonn. Armstrong has since been inducted into the Share Our Strength Leadership Council, a group of culinary notables from around the country who advise this non-profit dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger in the U.S. Armstrong’s self-described “pork fetish” and the Irish roots at the base of his culinary experience are showcased in decadent but playful dishes like “Bacon, Egg, and Cheese.” The dish makes full use of the versatility of pork fat with a cured and braised pork belly, seared to order, a tender crepe with ham and leeks, and a rich golden cheddar foam.

Friday, December 21, 2018

"Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light"--by Amy Thomas--Part love letter to Paris, part love letter to New York, and total devotion to all things sweet!

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

"From the New York cupcake wars to the perfect Parisian macaron, Thomas's passion is palpable, her sweet tooth, unstoppable."—Elizabeth Bard, bestselling author of Lunch in Paris

Forever a girl obsessed with all things French, sweet freak Amy Thomas landed a gig as rich as the purest dark chocolate: leave Manhattan for Paris to write ad copy for Louis Vuitton. Working on the Champs-Élysées, strolling the charming streets, and exploring the best patisseries and boulangeries, Amy marveled at the magnificence of the City of Light.
But does falling in love with one city mean turning your back on another? As much as Amy adored Paris, there was part of her that felt like a humble chocolate chip cookie in a sea of pristine macarons. PARIS, MY SWEET explores how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a salted caramel souffle's rise, as intensely satisfying as molten chocolate cake, and about how the life you're meant to live doesn't always taste like the one you envisioned.

Part love letter to Paris, part love letter to New York, and total devotion to all things sweet, PARIS, MY SWEET is a treasure map for anyone with a hunger for life.

"Like a tasty Parisian bonbon, this book is filled with sweet surprises."—David Lebovitz, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweet Life in Paris

"Amy Thomas seduces us in the same manner that Paris seduced her —one exquisite morsel at a time."—Nichole Robertson, author of Paris in Color

"Follow Amy Thomas's quest in Paris to find the tastiest chocolates, towering gâteaux, and most sublime macarons while crisscrossing the Atlantic. Like a tasty Parisian bonbon, this book is filled with sweet surprises." - David Lebovitz, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweet Life in Paris

"A sweet and charming tale of Paris through the eyes of a cake-lover. Willie Wonka for grown ups -- and a guide to some of the sweetest destinations in the City of Light." - Karen Wheeler, author of Tout Sweet

"Such a charming, heartfelt book. Paris, My Sweet is as dainty and decadent as a box of pastel macarons, a bewitching tale of a young woman's love affair with two iconic cities and the confections found in each one." - Ann Mah, author of Kitchen Chinese

"Amy Thomas's descriptions of the delicious delights in Paris and New York had me almost licking the pages." - Rachel Khoo, author of Little Paris Kitchen

Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas is a New York-–based writer who, for two lucky years, got to call Paris home. In addition to working as a copywriter in advertising, she writes about food, travel, design, and fashion for various publications such as the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Town & Country, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. She is slightly obsessed with sweets.

Amy Thomas is the author of Brooklyn In Love: A Delicious Memoir of Food, Family and Finding Yourself, a follow-up to the best-selling Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate).

She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter, writes about food and travel for publications such as The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler, and remains devoted to all things sweet.

"French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way"--this is not just a cookbook--it is also the love story of two people who love food and all its elements

French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way

French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way 

A narratively rich cookbook of French and Californian recipes from longtime Chez Panisse executive chef Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Moulle.
 Jean-Pierre and Denise Moullé met on a street corner in Berkeley, California, in 1980; six months later they were married. French Roots is the story of their lives told through the food they cook—beginning with the dishes of old-world France, the couple’s birthplace, and focusing on the simple, pared-down preparations of French food common in the postwar period. The story then travels to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, where Jean-Pierre was appointed executive chef at Chez Panisse when California cuisine was just emerging as a distinctive and important style, and where Denise began importing French wine. Finally, the journey follows the couple to their homes in Sonoma, California, and Bordeaux to revisit the classic dishes of the Moullés’ native country and hone the forgotten skills of foraging, hunting, and preserving.

Exquisitely written, with recipes that are innovative and timeless, insights on cooking and thinking like a chef, and an insider’s guide to the wines of Bordeaux, French Roots is much more than a cookbook—it’s a guide to living the good life.

NY REVIEW:  With its elegant, subtly beautiful pewter and black patterned cover, "French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way", offers a soulfully sophisticated treat for readers. The storytelling is as appealing and taste-tempting as the food. . The chance meeting on a Berkeley, California street would lead to a lasting partnership and marriage between Jean-Pierre Moulle' and Denise Lurton. Their journey of a lifetime would give birth to a blending of cultures and cuisines of Old-World France and Contemporary-Chic California--and the wine--ah, the wine! Jean-Pierre's almost thirty years as executive chef at the renowned Chez Panisse combines with Denise's heritage and business acumen as a member of the Lurton family Bordeaux wine empire for an amazing volume of recipes and reminiscences. The beautiful, deeper-toned color photographs throughout the book add even more richness to the reading experience. For your culinary consideration, here are some of the recipes to be found in "French Roots": "Cream of Chestnut Soup"; "Poached Halibut with Hollandaise Sauce"; "Baked Pink Lady Apples with Jellied Red Currants"; "Creamy Rice Pudding with Cognac"; "Stuffed Pork Loin with Prunes and Roasted Apples"; "Baked Sea Bass in the Oven with Salt Crust"; "Fig Tart"; "Apricot Crisp"; "Onion Tart"; "Fresh Corn Soup with Roasted Green and Red Bell Peppers"; and "Chocolate Soufflé'". There are many delightful extras along with stories and recipes. A lifetime of working with food, plus an inherent, intuitive knowledge provides illuminating advice on seasoning, cooking methods, shopping, and fresh, fresh food. Of course, the reader is also treated to a wonderful chapter all about wine. You will greatly enjoy this fabulous, food-filled journey to California by way of France.  

Book Copy Gratis 10 Speed Press via Blogging for Books

Jean-Pierre and Denise Moullé

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Traveling TV foodie frontman Adam Richman serves up an eclectic culinary collection in "Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels"

Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels

The much anticipated first cookbook from Adam Richman, the irrepressible host of Man vs Food and NBC’s Food Fighters, delivers what his fans have been waiting for: a heaping helping of over-the-top flavors with a side order of the erudite humor that is his trademark.

Having eaten his way from coast to coast and around the globe, Adam Richman has learned more than a little bit about what makes food taste good. He draws on all that knowledge and his lifelong dedication to seeking out memorable flavors and eating experiences in this high octane collection of dishes that are, quite simply, straight up tasty.

The more than 100 diverse, dazzling, and downright delectable recipes reflect the flavor combinations, techniques, and ingredients Adam has encountered in his nonstop travels, all translated into easy-to-use recipes perfect for the home cook, and all given a distinctive Richman spin. But Straight Up Tasty is much more than a scrapbook of Adam’s culinary expeditions; it offers the perfect foodie flavor bomb for every occasion from a crowd-pleasing spread for game day to a turbocharged holiday feast.

Along the way he holds forth on topics as diverse as where to encounter the nation’s best burgers and why the best thing on a restaurant menu isn’t always what you might think; delivers helpful advice on kitchen prep in haiku form; and recounts the history of chocolate in rhyming couplets.  And did we mention Candied Bourbon Bacon? You’ll find those delectable tidbits and oh so much more in Straight Up Tasty, a cookbook that could only have come from the passionate palate and irrepressible enthusiasm of America’s ambassador of flavor, Adam Richman.

MY REVIEW:  Traveling TV foodie frontman Adam Richman serves up an eclectic culinary collection in "Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels". With over 100 unique recipes, this cookbook is bold, brash, and bemusing--just like the author himself. He combines the food from his family and friends with the "flavor combinations, techniques, and ingredients" gleaned from his travels and taste-filled experiences from around the world. Richman advises that "Straight Up Tasty" is a "road map to great eating", loaded with food, facts, and fun. Here are some of the recipes that will fuel you up for own tasty travels: "Bacon and Cheddar Frittata"; "Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Dumplings"; "Chili-Frito Sloppy Jose with Sliced Avocado and Crunch Pickled Onions"; "Smoked Salmon Dill Dip"; "Homemade Pizza"; "KFJ Casserole Pie"; "Grandma's Home-Style Brisket"; "French Farmhouse-Style Simple Roasted Chicken"; "Easy Lemon-Butter Salmon"; "Spaghetti Pie"; "Edamame-Roasted Corn Succotash"; "Mom's Spinach Pie"; "Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes"; "Southwest Relish"; "Salted Caramel Candy Apple Tarts"; and "Win-the-Bake-Sale Chocolate Cake". While "Straight-Up Tasty" definitely has a casual, "guy-food", feeling, there is something there for everyone.

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishing via Blogging for Books


ADAM RICHMAN grew up in the food Mecca of New York City and began his love affair with food early on, sampling all of the diverse culinary specialties The Big Apple had to offer. From samosas to sushi, even at a young age, Adam had a desire to taste it all.
Years later, as an undergraduate at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Adam began a food journal to document the standout food establishments he was discovering throughout the Southeastern U.S. Though he majored in International Studies, his love of all things edible naturally drew him into the culinary world after graduation. Subsequently, he built a solid resume working in nearly every echelon of the restaurant world, from coast-to-coast and from the counter to the kitchen. Though he never trained professionally, Adam was able to gain invaluable on-the-job experience in the various restaurants he worked in.
After earning a master’s degree in Fine Art from Yale University’s School of Drama, Adam traveled the United States acting in many regional theaters. The nature of his work allowed him to feed his appetite for the best local dishes across America – all of which found their way into his food journal. In 2008, Adam began hosting “Man v Food” for the Travel Channel, which quickly became their highest rated show. With “Man v Food Nation”, “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” and “Fandemonium” Adam not only hosted but co-Executive Produced.  His next show on Travel Channel, Man Finds Food, in which he stars and produces, will premiere April 1, 2015.
In 2014 he hosted NBC’s new food competition show “Food Fighters,” which delivered the biggest regularly scheduled week-one to week-two gain in it’s demographic for any new series on the Big 4 networks in several years. The second season will premiere in 2015. 

Adam’s first book, “America the Edible” (Rodale Publishing), hit stands November 9, 2010 and his second book “Straight-Up Tasty” (Clarkson Potter), will be on stands May 12, 2015. Adam is a board member of the Armed Services Foundation and in 2009 and 2012 he won the CableFax award for Best Host. Aside from TV, Adam has acted in numerous theater productions in NY and a variety of TV shows.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. 

"Michael Symon's 5 in 5 for Every Season: 165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and More"--delivers 165 quick, easy, fresh recipes organized by season with an entire section devoted to making the holidays simpler than ever

Michael Symon's 5 in 5 365: 150 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and Brunches for Every Season

Michael Symon's 5 in 5 for Every Season: 165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and More

5 fresh ingredients + 5 minutes of heat = 165 recipes
Ridiculously easy from-scratch recipes to get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash every day of the week—now with sides and holiday dishes, too

The follow-up to the bestselling Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, this new book delivers 165 quick, easy, fresh recipes organized by season with an entire section devoted to making the holidays simpler than ever. Each chapter features inspired main courses as well as recipes for sides and 5 fun ways to celebrate the season, including no-bake summer fruit desserts and spiked drinks to warm up with in winter.

MY REVIEW:   Celebrated chef, restaurateur, cookbook author Michael Symon always seems to be having such a good time. With the lift of an eyebrow, and a mile-wide smile, he lets you know that he's got something terrific and tasty to share with you--lucky you. "Michael Symon's 5 in 5 for Every Season: 165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and More" is the author's follow up to his bestselling "Michael Symon's 5 in 5". This new book expands on the "5 in 5" premise--5 fresh ingredients + 5 minutes of heat = fabulous food--with recipes organized by season and a fifth chapter for holidays. Symon explains that seasonal cooking is "enjoying food at its freshest, healthiest, and most affordable". He also encourages readers to shop locally, support local growers, and join a CSA--community supported agriculture association. He theorizes that with five fresh ingredients and a well-stocked pantry, it's possible to provide quick, healthy, affordable meals that will help to gather the family back together around the home table. He provides a helpful list of the basics to set up your own well-fortified home pantry. The food is fantastic, the photos are fabulous, and Symon's infectious grin appears here and there throughout the book. Here's a recipe sampler: "Grilled Skirt Steak with Mushroom Gravy"; "Sweet Onion-Smothered Pork Chops"; "Shrimp with Snow Peas, Garlic & Red-Pepper Flakes"; "Spinach Salad with Ham Steak and Fried Egg"; "Sweet Corn Fritters"; "Grilled Chicken Tenders Buffalo Style"; "Pork Schnitzel with Peach Salad"; "Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Red Onion, and Feta"; "Parmesan Zucchini Fries"; "Spaghetti Puttanesca"; "Vegetable Stir Fry"; "Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Fresh Cranberry Sauce"; "Kielbasa with Apples & Onions"; "Thai-Style Shrimp Salad"; "Kale & Apple Salad with Maple Cider Dressing"; "Salmon with Kale, White Wine & Lemon"; "Glazed Carrots with Pecans & Nutmeg"; "Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon"; and "Mashed Potato Cakes with Parmesan". MICHAEL SYMON is a cohost of ABC’s The Chew and, on Food Network, an Iron Chef on Iron Chef America and a host of All-Star Academy. He is the chef and co-owner of Lola and Lolita in Cleveland, Roast in Detroit, and numerous locations of B Spot Burgers and Bar Symon. He is the author of Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, Michael Symon’s Carnivore, and Michael Symon’s 5 in 5. DOUGLAS TRATTNER is also the co-author of "Michael Symon's Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers" and "Michael Symon's 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners".

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books


Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants in America’s heartland: Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, Roast, Bar Symon and B Spot Burgers. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network, host of Burgers, Brew & ‘Que on Cooking Channel and formerly as co-host on ABC’s The Chew. Michael has appeared on several Food Network shows and is the author of four best-selling cookbooks. When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle through Cleveland, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, and their Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.” 

"The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes, and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City"--an insider’s look at the most delicious eateries in the fabulous world city of London, England!

The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes, and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City

From an award-winning food writer comes this intimate portrait of London--the global epicenter of cuisine--with 100 recipes from the city's best restaurants, dessert boutiques, tea and coffee houses, cocktail lounges, and hole-in-the-wall gems--all lovingly adapted for the home kitchen.

Once known for its watery potatoes, stringy mutton, and grayed vegetables, London is now considered to be the most vibrant city on the global food map. The London Cookbook  reflects the contemporary energy and culinary rebirth of this lively, hip, sophisticated, and very international city. It is a love letter to the city and an insider's guide to its most delicious haunts, as well as a highly curated and tested collection of the city's best recipes. This timeless book explores London's incredibly diverse cuisine through an eclectic mix of dishes, from The Cinnamon Club's Seared Aubergine Steaks with Sesame and Tamarind to the River Cafe's Tagliatelle with Lemon, and from Tramshed's Indian Rock Chicken Curry to Nopi's Sage and Cardamom Gin. Striking the perfect balance between armchair travel and approachable home cooking, The London Cookbook is both a resource and keepsake, a book as much for the well-travelled cook as for the dreaming novice.

MY REVIEW:   How delightful to receive an insider’s look at the most delicious eateries in the fabulous world city of London, England! Author Aleksandra Crapanzano offers this and much, much more in “The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes, and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City”. Dishes such as “Orange, Mint, and Rose Petal Cake” (pg 203), “Fish and Chips” (pg 111), “Filet of Beef Stroganoff” (pg 164), “Eton Mess” (pg 237), “The Avenue” (pg 277), “Alpine Fondue” (pg 97), “Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Savoy Cabbage Soup” (pg 42), “Welsh Rarebit” (pg 22), “Potted Shrimp” (pg 6), “Chicken Scaloppine with Mushrooms and Marsala” (pg 132), and “Chocolate Nemesis” (pg 190), are just a sampling of the wide variety of recipes included in this fascinating food and culture study. More than just a cookbook, this is a travelogue and history lesson which showcases the modern amenities and unequaled legacy of the ultimate cosmopolitan city—London. Beautiful color photos and helpful tips, along with some juicy tidbits, make for a very entertaining and appetizing read. ALEKSANDRA CRAPANZANO is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation M.F.K. Fisher Award for distinguished writing, and her work has appeared in several anthologies including Best Food Writing 2013. She writes the "A Little Something Sweet" dessert column for the Wall Street Journal and frequently writes their lengthy "Mega Meal" page. She has written about food for the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Travel & Leisure. Now in New York, Crapanzano spent much of her childhood living in London, and continues to visit many times a year.

Book Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

Aleksandra Crapanzano

Photo of Aleksandra Crapanzano 

Aleksandra Crapanzano is a screenwriter and food writer. A recipient of The M.F.K. Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing from The James Beard Foundation, she has been widely published in The New York Times Magazine, Food & Wine, Saveur, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet, Elle, Departures and The Wall Street Journal, where for the last 8 years she’s served as a food columnist.  Her essays have been anthologized, most notably in Best American Food Writing, and she is the author of The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafés and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City.  Aleksandra is married to the novelist John Burnham Schwartz.  They live in New York with their son, Garrick, and dog, Griffin. 

“One to Five: One Shortcut Recipe Transformed into Five Easy Dishes” by chef Ryan Scott (with a foreword by star chef Rachael Ray) is written with enjoyment and love of subject (see my review)

One to Five: One Shortcut Recipe Transformed Into Five Easy Dishes

One to Five: One Shortcut Recipe Transformed Into Five Easy Dishes 

If you can't prep it, cook it, and sit down to eat it in less than an hour, chef and television personality Ryan Scott doesn't want to do it. It's just that simple.

One to Five is cooking for real life: master one basic recipe and learn to spin it into five quick, affordable, and crowd-pleasing dishes. Discover how Ryan's killer marinade, a simple rotisserie chicken, or an easy slow-cooker roast can turn into soul-satisfying meals like carnitas, stuffed egg rolls, sliders, a Vietnamese salad, and a hearty stew.

From taco night to breakfast as dinner, this book is all about flexibility as Ryan invites home cooks to think creatively about cooking while using supermarket staples. He offers ingenious strategies, tricks, and guidance on stocking the freezer and pantry so that great-tasting meals are always ready at the drop of a hat.

One to Five makes cooking so simple that readers can eat a delicious home-cooked meal without the hassle - and have fun while making it.

MY REVIEW:  Cooking provides sustenance, but it also provides pleasure. Food for family and friends should always be fun—especially for the cook. “One to Five: One Shortcut Recipe Transformed into Five Easy Dishes” by chef Ryan Scott (with a foreword by star chef Rachael Ray) is written with enjoyment and love of subject. With the motto for cooking at home of “prep it, cook it, and sit down to eat it in an hour or less”, the author shows how he does just that with more than 100 quick and tasty recipes that are a blend of scratch-made dishes, precooked ingredients, and ready-made foods. The “Staples: Stocking your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry” and “Essential Kitchen Tools” sections offer very helpful, detailed information that will be appreciated by both beginners and seasoned cooks. Ryan Scott has an interesting inside note for each recipe, and the love and influence of family and friends is felt throughout the book. The chapters are designated by the main ingredient like Eggs, Biscuit Dough, Ground Beef, and more. Here’s a sampler of the recipes you’ll find: “Ryan’s Deviled Eggs”; “Garlic-Basil Biscuit Bombs”; “Broccoli-Kale Slaw”; “Sweet ‘N’ Hot Pickled Cauliflower”; “Carrot, Cranberry, and Zucchini Muffins”; “Kale Caesar”; “Mozzarella-Stuffed Crispy Portobello Burgers”; “Lesley’s Biscuit Chicken Turnovers”; “Elvis Pancakes”; “Many Onions Pork Shoulder”; “Mama Pat’s Meat Sauce”; “Rogue Pot Pie”; “Pot Roast Breakfast Hash”; “Green Chile Hush Puppies”; “Danny’s Lemon-Pepper Scampi”; “Brown Rice-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls”; “Cream Cheese Custard French Toast Casserole”; “Mama Pat’s Chocolate Brownie Pie”; and “Kitchen Sink Cookies”. Ryan Scott is a chef, restaurateur, and an Emmy-Award winning food host. He appears regularly on national television, including Today and Rachael Ray, and is the host of The Ryan Scott Show, a weekly radio show. Ryan is chef and owner of Finn Town in San Francisco. One to Five is his first cookbook.

Book Copy Gratis Oxmoor House via Shelf Awareness

Ryan Scott

Chef Scott, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, has cooked and learned in the kitchens of many of the country’s best chefs including Gary Danko. You may recognize him from his appearances as the Emmy award winning host on Food Rush, HSN, on Top Chefspecial guest appearances on NBC's Today Show, Bar Rescue, The Rachel Ray Show, and The Talk. You can hear him weekly on his highly rated radio show, The Ryan Scott Show, on KGO 810, San Francisco Bay Area. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails" offers up tasty tidbits and tempting treats--a fabulous feast for foodies

Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails  



Snacks, Starters, Small Plates, Stylish Bites, and Sips

Hors d’oeuvres made modern: Today’s style of entertaining calls for fuss-free party foods that are easy to make and just as delicious as ever. With more than 200 recipes for tasty pre-dinner bites, substantial small plates, special-occasion finger foods, and quick snacks to enjoy with drinks, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the new go-to guide for any type of get-together. 

MY REVIEW:  An "appetizer" is defined as "a small portion of tasty food to stimulate the appetite". Yes, indeed. An "hors d'oeuvre" is noted as an appetizer served before a meal. Why, thank you--I will accept a nice sampler plate. "Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails" offers up tasty tidbits and tempting treats accompanied by lovely libations. This is a glorious graze-fest, done in "Martha Style", and it truly is a fabulous feast for foodies. It also introduced me to one of my new favorite food phrases: "substantial small plates". Oh, goodness! While the traditional image for appetizers and hors d'oeuvres is associated with cocktail parties and social gatherings, I will say that the foods and drinks featured in this book are also mighty appealing for times when you want something really good, but you don't want to cook a full meal. I am writing this review in the sultry days of late August here in the South, and a cold plate of assorted goodies with a nice cool drink seems like the perfect after-work supper. Divided into five sections of recipes--Snacks, Starters, Small Plates, Stylish Bites, and Sips--the book also offers rules and tips for party planning and hosting. Organization plus inspiration makes things easier for you and goes a long way to ensure a houseful of happy guests. You can't go wrong serving them delicious delights like these: "Summer Crudites with Green Goddess Dip"; "Cranberry Sparkler"; "Horseradish Deviled Eggs"; "Rosemary Cheese Straws"; "Plum Blossom"; "Mini Cheese Biscuits"; "Salty-Sweet Party Mix"; "Honey-Roasted Salted Figs"; "Gin and Grapefruit Fizzes"; "Turkey and Avocado Sliders"; "Sour Cherry Mojitos"; "Papaya, Mango, and Pineapple with Spiced Salt"; "Seasoned Potato Chips"; "Spiced Nuts"; "Seasoned Popcorn"; "Apple Cider Sangria"; and so much more. Contemporary cuisine has its own casual chic, and eclectic style can be an intriguing ice-breaker.

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart 

Martha Stewart is the author of dozens of bestselling books on cooking, entertaining, homekeeping, gardening, weddings, and decorating. She is the host of The Martha Stewart Show, the Emmy-winning daily syndicated television program, and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which publishes several magazines, including Martha Stewart Living; produces Martha Stewart Living Radio; and provides a wealth of ideas and information on her website.

"The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours"--featuring more than 125 recipes for wonderfully comforting, ingredient-driven Lone Star classics that the whole family will love (see my review)

The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours

From beloved food blogger Lisa Fain, aka the Homesick Texan, comes this follow-up to her wildly popular debut cookbook, featuring more than 125 recipes for wonderfully comforting, ingredient-driven Lone Star classics that the whole family will love.

There are few things finer than a delicious, homemade meal shared with family and friends. Take it from Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan who loves to cook and serve up the best dishes her home state has to offer—even though she now lives half a country away.

The Homesick Texan’s Family Table showcases more than 100 of Lisa’s best and most-loved recipes, ranging from down-home standards (think cheesy nachos, comforting chicken and dumplings, and fiery wings) to contemporary riffs on the classics (who knew adding Mexican spices to a German chocolate cake would taste so good?).

All of Lisa’s recipes are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, yet still packed with real Texas flavor that will make your grandmother smile. Whether you’re looking for a party-friendly snack like Pigs in Jalapeño Blankets, a Mustard Coleslaw to bring as a side to your next potluck, a weeknight- and family-friendly meal like Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy, or a mouthwatering dessert like Ruby Red Grapefruit and Pecan Sheet Cake, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table has you covered. After all, with some mighty fine food and mighty fine people to enjoy it, any meal can be cause for celebration.

MY REVIEW:  Popular food writer and blogger Lisa Fain is known as "The Homesick Texan"--a seventh-generation Texan who now lives in New York City. Her self-titled blog and debut cookbook have been a great success, and she further delights and entertains readers and cooks with "The Homesick Texan's Family Table". Filled with beautiful color photos of fabulous food, pretty pastoral scenes of the Texas landscape and other subjects, and recipes that rock the house, this cookbook is also a memoir of why each recipe was included in the book. Beginning with an illuminating section on chile peppers--a Texas cooking essential--the chapters then lead us from "Breakfast and Breads" all the way through to "Sweets" and "Accompaniments". The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and tradition is often given a tasty tweak with a new spin on an old favorite. Good food just naturally goes with good company and good times. Here are some of the recipes that tempt and tantalize my taste buds: "Bacon-Molasses Breakfast Sausage"; "Bacon-Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits"; "Pico De Gallo Deviled Eggs"; "Apple-Walnut Salad"; "Chipotle-Blue Cheese Wedge Salad"; "Cowboy Beans"; "Balsamic-Tarragon Glazed Ham"; "Southeast Texas Gumbo"; "Coffee-Chipotle Pork Chops"; "Butterscotch Brownies"; "Mexican Chocolate Cake"; and "Cranberry-Green Chile Salsa". You will greatly enjoy sharing the many delicious recipes offered by Lisa Fain at your own family table.

Book Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

Lisa Fain

Lisa Fain | Homesick Texan

Lisa Fain is the James Beard Award-winning writer behind the regional food blog Homesick Texan. She is also the author of The Homesick Texan Cookbook, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table, and Queso: Regional Recipes for the World’s Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip. Her work has been featured in many publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Parade, Southern Living, and Texas Monthly, and she also has photos in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Library of Congress. A seventh-generation Texan, Lisa currently lives in New York City.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Author Jeff Guinn's charming "Christmas Chronicles" series continues with "Santa's North Pole Cookbook: Classic Christmas Recipes from Saint Nicholas Himself"

Santa's North Pole Cookbook: Classic Christmas Recipes from Saint Nicholas Himself

In this one-of-a-kind Christmas cookbook, Saint Nicholas himself invites readers to pull up their chairs to his dining table at the North Pole and enjoy a bounty of his most cherished holiday recipes. Featuring classic American holiday dishes as well as mouthwatering Christmas fare from all over the world-Santa's favorite finds from his extensive travels-Santa's North Pole Cookbook offers an abundance of holiday meals that are as delicious as they are rich in Christmas tradition.

With more than seventy classic Christmas recipes from German Christmas Goose with Cabbage and Potato Dumplings and Santa's Favorite Rosemary Turkey to Christopsomo (the traditional Greek holiday bread that children decorate with dough designs before baking) and English Christmas Plum Pudding, Santa's North Pole Cookbook is a must-have for anyone who delights in preparing delectable, yet easy-to-make holiday food for their family. Santa also tells the fascinating lore of the celebration of the winter solstice and the festivities of Christmas, sharing with readers the wonderful stories about how and where he personally encountered these toothsome delicacies in his yuletide travels.

Full of appetizers, side dishes, main courses, beverages-and, of course, desserts!-Santa's North Pole Cookbook guides readers in creating special holiday meals for their loved ones at Christmastime.

MY REVIEW:   Author Jeff Guinn's charming "Christmas Chronicles" series continues with "Santa's North Pole Cookbook: Classic Christmas Recipes from Saint Nicholas Himself". Truly a "man of the world", Santa offers recipes from every corner of the earth, and he also illuminates his readers on holiday customs from cultures that span the globe. Santa shares his personal philosophy that there are four essential elements required to create the timeless magic of the holiday season: worship, family, friends, and food. While some of the recipes are fairly simple, and use easily-obtained ingredients, others are more complex and regionally specific. Here are some of the recipes Santa has collected in his travels: "Pecan Waffles from Sweden"; "Atilla's Stuffed Mushrooms from Germany"; "Flaming Gingered Prawns from Australia"; "Leonardo's Pasta Fra Diavolo from Italy"; "Theodore Roosevelt's Pan-Fried Christmas Potatoes from the USA"; "Christmas Mulled Wine from Finland"; "Holiday Black Walnut Cake from Germany"; and "Cinnamon-Sugar Sticks from Mexico". The official chef of the North Pole, Lars, created these recipes for Santa & Co: "Santa's Breakfast Souffle"; "North Pole Bread Dressing"; "Lars' Savory Poached Salmon"; "Holiday Plum Pie Cookies"; and "Candy Cane Creme Brulee". No wonder Santa is a "right jolly old elf"! Other books in Jeff Guinn's "Christmas Chronicles" series include: "The Autobiography of Santa Claus"; "How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas"; and "The Great Santa Search".

Book Copy Gratis Tarcher Books

The Autobiography of Santa Claus