Fresh & Seasonal

brendabookI always think one of the nicest things to bring home from vacation is a souvenir cookbook from a spot you love. Miz Wilkes’ Boarding House in Savannah comes to mind and on the other end of the spectrum, Nobu or Suzanne Goin’s pick one (AOC, The Tavern, The Larder...).

But I was particularly charmed by Life One Tablespoon at a Time by Brenda Athanus, owner with her sister Tanya of the secret gourmet shop in Lake Country in Oakland, Maine.

It’s part memoir, part recipe, part an homage to other great food writers like MFK Fisher, Amanda Hessler and Calvin Trillen.

Make your own truffles. Celebrate Fiddle Head Ferns, assuming you can find them. The most perfect lobster roll ever! New Year’s Chinese noodles (not sure if that’s for Chinese New Years’ or the regular one) but delicious nonetheless.

It also includes a wonderful tribute to her cooking teacher Madeline Kalman and is sprinkled with stories about their travels, their local “walnut man” (wish I had one of those), their friends, and Brenda’s total love and understanding of excellent food, fresh ingredients, entertaining, laughter, and love.

Read more ...

ImageIt doesn’t seem that long ago that I visited with Janice Cole at an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference when she told me she was working on a cookbook. She explained that this book would not be  just a collection of recipes. It would also tell the story about her experiences during her first year of raising her own hens. I was intrigued. I had no idea Janice Cole had chickens. She lived in the city, for heaven’s sake, in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. Yet she was raising chickens in her back yard.

Now, I have the just-published book, Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes,” by Janice Cole. It’s like a good novel that you just can’t put down once you start reading. Cole’s book holds nine chapters, following the seasons of the year, broken down by early spring, mid-spring, summer, late summer all the way through late winter.

Read more ...

MrSundaySuppers“Chris loves Pork Chops anyway they are prepared.”

My friend, Lorraine Wallace, seems utterly dedicated to making her husband happy on Sundays! Chris anchors Fox News Sunday live each week, and Lorraine has taken that as her cue to make the evening meal especially welcoming.

I love comfort food and I love pork chops, so when I got my copy of Mr. and Mrs. Sunday's Suppers, the first recipes I checked out were for Pork Chops. I wasn’t disappointed: Pork Chops with Glazed Sweet Onions (perfect – Vidalia onions are coming into season) and Pizza Pork Chops!!! HUH?? Don’t expect pizza dough, but do count on all the delicious flavors that go into pizza sauce enhancing the chops.

(And, surprise! Next to the newly discovered recipe for Pizza Pork Chops, I see another fabulous recipe: “Linguini Con Vongole From the kitchen of Nancy Ellison.” That’s me!)

Lorraine’s cookbooks - besides MR & MRS SUNDAY’S SUPPPERS - include Mr. Sunday’s Soups, and Mr. Sunday’s Saturday Night Chicken. All of them emphasize fresh ingredients, simple recipes that compliment our busy, contemporary life style, and a sense of wellbeing.

Read more ...

generoustableWhen Heather Christo asked me if I would be interested in checking out her new book, Generous Table, my answer was an exuberant, YES! Heather and I have been reading each other’s blog for years and witnessing the birth of her new “baby” was a wonderful journey to watch her go on.

After drooling over her recipes, it was a toss up as to what I was going to make first. It was between the Chocolate Caramel Mousse, Blackberry Jalapeno Margarita, and this caramel sauce.

Anyone who knows me, knows that caramel “anything” is my drug of choice. On the dessert menu it is the dessert with the word caramel in it that I gravitate toward and a Sees Scotch-Mallow is all I really need to take me to that happy place.

With some homemade ice cream in the freezer and a batch of freshly made dark chocolate almond bark, caramel sauce seemed like the perfect accessory. And the perfect accessory it was, especially with that little bit of a tequila kick!

I am so in love with Heather’s book, which is filled with stories, rich recipes, and super easy entertaining ideas.

Read more ...

From the LA Times

vegetablesIn a world overstuffed with weighty, glossy celebrity chef cookbooks, it would be easy to overlook Alain Passard's newly translated "The Art of Cooking With Vegetables." But it would be a mistake.

Granted, it's a slim book — 100 pages even. There are no tricky Space Age twists — not a gel, juicer or immersion circulator in sight. And perhaps most damning for some, there isn't even a single food photograph.

But take it into your kitchen — and leave it there. This is one of those rare books that might actually change the way you cook.

Passard has always been one to go his own way — several years ago, he famously decided to stop serving meat at his Michelin three-star restaurant l'Arpège, instead emphasizing produce he grew on his own farm.

Meat was simple, he explained. Vegetables are complex. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're complicated. Indeed, what's so shocking about "Art" is just how much Passard gets from simple techniques and ingredients. Again and again, you'll find that by employing a simple twist, he reveals a wholly unexpected side of an ingredient.

Read more...

Page 1 of 5