Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Kitchen in France

Mimi Thorisson's beautiful life and food is chronicled in A Kitchen in France

A jealous me wants to hate her gorgeousness -- but as I stroll through the pages, I find myself being a little envious but also marveling at how simple and stunning her life and food seems to be. 
The photographs are gorgeous and taken by her husband.  I'm more of a let's see the photos of food and not so many of the stunning family and author --- but if you got it flaunt it.

The recipes run the gamut of simple French fare and will be easy to recreate here in the middle of the United States. 

The book is broken down by seasons and the recipes that intrigued me the most were the onion tart, roast chicken with crème fraiche and herbs, bugnes with orange flower water, sugar almond tart, mustard roasted poussins, Lyonnaise sausage roll, her Lyonnaise potatoes and pork cheek ravioli with cepes.

The garden cake looks gorgeous -- as well as the Caneles de Bordeux and Kouign Amann. 

Truthfully, this is one stunning book that can keep us cooking as if we too lived in a small French town. 

Thank you Blogging for Books for this opportunity.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Baking Bible -- Rose's Perfect Pie Plate & Book -- Giveaway

Rose Levy Beranbaum is a baking rock star.  I believe I have all of her books.  Her newest book, The Baking Bible, launches October 28th, and will also be available soon in fine kitchen shops and bookstores nationwide. 

This book is not only 560 plus pages of beauty -- the measurements are in weights and volumes and the attention to detail is wonderful.  I'm an accomplished baker and this book makes me excited to get into the kitchen and start baking --- but a novice can pick up this book and use Rose's details and instructions to create baking masterpieces. 

I'm partnering with Rose's publisher HMH as well as Harold Import Co. to celebrate the launch of The Baking Bible and to share my experience making Mud Turtle Pie from the book and using Rose's Perfect Pie Plate. 

Harold Import Co. is the company that makes Rose Levy Beranbaum's specialty baking tools which are available in kitchen shops nationwide, and on line.  Rose's Perfect Pie Plate is a beautiful and quality piece that comes in this adorable pie/hat box -- perfect for gift giving (if you order the one with the recipe booklet).  I love the red one -- but I'm thinking another color would be great at Christmas hint, hint...wheat or sage, please.


I made the pie crust for the Mud Turtle Pie and while it was resting in the fridge, I  threw together the ingredients for the pecan filling.  As usual, Rose's instructions and details are impeccable.

The pecan filling came together quickly and smelled incredible baking.  The chocolate ganache is a blending of different chocolates and is rich and creamy.

Rose gave instructions for a chocolate turtle but I made a pie crust turtle.  I thought it looked cute - I hope it looks like a turtle.  Someone tell me it looks like a turtle. 

Andrew could not wait for me to cut this pie.  We all had a taste and it was delicious --- the crust is amazing and the pecan filling and ganache - so good.  It will be better once the ganache sets but someone couldn't wait!  Rose's crust recipe is on line here

The recipe for the Mud Turtle Pie can be found here.

For more about Rose's nationwide book signing tour, go here.

For more about Rose Levy Beranbaum's specialty baking tools made by Harold Import Co., go here.

Now for the giveaway details:

Thanks to Harold Imports Co. and HMH -- for offering my readers a chance to win an autographed copy of The Baking Bible as well as one of Rose's Perfect Pie Plates.  Please leave a comment on this post and Random Number Generator will pick a winner on November 14th.  The giveaway is for US addresses only. 

Good luck and thanks for reading. I'd appreciate your sharing this post and giveaway with your friends. 

I have to go wash chocolate off a little boy's face now.

Thanks again to HMH and Harold Imports for this amazing opportunity as well as Donna Currie, author of Make Ahead Breads.

*****************More giveaways ----

Cookistry has A Baking Bible and a Silicone Bowl giveaway here.
Cindy's Writings and Recipes has A Baking Bible and pie plate giveaway here.
Food Hunter's Guide has A Baking Bible and Silicone Bowl giveaway here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Perfect Pantry

I'm a fan of Geoffrey Zakarian.  I love his first book Town /Country and have an autographed copy. 

His newest release My Perfect Pantry is the perfect book for a new bride or someone who is just getting the cooking bug.

Zakarian starts off with a section on foundation items that you need in your pantry.  He then proceeds to write about the 50 Essential Pantry Ingredients and Recipes --- almonds, anchovies -- all the way through to recipes including Worcestershire sauce and yeast.  I am especially excited to make the chicken vinegar with cinnamon candy.  I make a chicken vinegar dish that is so delicious - and I'm excited to make Zakarian's version.

This book is packed with great recipes and information -- grilled salmon with almond tarragon romesco, almond crusted pork chops -- Park's ham and biscuits, all purpose fritter recipe, ricotta gnudi, jams, apple cider doughtnuts -- the whole spectrum of cooking from pantry ingredients.

I tried the apple cider doughnuts and they were delicious - but how can a doughnut not be? I didn't make the glaze with this doughnut but will this weekend when I make them again got to use up the apple cider!

Great book for your kitchen and as a gift for those who like to cook and especially are just starting.

Thank you Blogging for Books for this opportunity.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence

From the overview:
Joy Wilson believes that everything is better with pie. And caramel. And definitely ice cream. Her world is pretty sweet: she dabbles daily in butter and sugar as her blogging alter ego, Joy the Baker. Her new book, Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence, is packed with 125 of Joy’s favorite, supereasy, most over-the-top, totally delicious treats, such as Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies; Butterscotch Cream Pie with Thyme-Marshmallow Meringue; Mint Chocolate Chip Cake; and Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. After all, every day is an opportunity for sweets.


Most people in the blogging world know Joy the Baker  -- her first book published in 2012 to wide acclaim from her fans and friends.  I tried a few recipes - they were good  but nothing that were spectacular. 

Joy's new book seems more promising Chocolate, Pistachio, and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies; Butterscotch Cream Pie with Thyme-Marshmallow Meringue; Mint Chocolate Chip Cake; and Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream all sound wonderful. 
The photos are beautiful and there are some interesting flavor profiles.

The book is broken down into --

Cookies, Brownies and Bars
Pies, Crumbles and Cobblers
Layer Cakes, Cupcakes and Skillet Cakes
Ice Cream Social

The brunch section looks delicious and is the section that interested me the most --   lemon poppy seed pancakes, whole wheat, peach and fresh sage scones, French onion quiche!  Some other recipes that stood out -- chocolate dipped banana bread biscotti, chocolate dipped cookie dough balls, pear, cranberry and pecan crumble and a huge ice cream section. 

Overall, I'm not as wowed by this cookbook as I am with Sugar Rush, Ovenly, The Messy Baker and/or Huckleberry.  It's just "okay".  It's a pretty book with some good recipes - nothing screams make every recipe like these other books have.   
Thanks Blogging for Books for the opportunity to review this book.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Slanted Door - Charles Phan

I love all types of ethnic foods -- I think I prefer it because we never had any as children.  Pretty bland food in our home --and a big outing was McDonalds -- hopefully back in the dark ages when I was a child - the burgers and chicken nuggets really had beef and chicken as the ingredients.

Charles Phan's new book - The Slanted Door - has the perfect mix of Vietnamese food mixed with American favorites.  The Slanted Door is Phan's famous restaurant in San Francisco - another one I wish we would have visited back in July. 

Of course, the book is beautiful - the photographs just pull you in.

The recipes that stood out for me --

Pork and shrimp wontons with spicy chile oil
Crispy green beans (these are not your TGIF fried green beans)
Vietnamese chicken salad
Spicy lemongrass soup (I love lemongrass)
Dungeness crab with cellophane noodles
Ginger beef vermicelli 
Phan's fried chicken looks amazing
Corn and mushroom side dish
Cashew chicken

Phan even includes some desserts --

No bake cheese cake with walnut cookie brown butter crust
Crème brulee
Chocolate soufflé cake
Spiced beignets (hello fried dough!)
Lemon meringue tarts look killer

I made the ginger beef vermicelli - it was relatively simple, quick and so intensely flavorful and I'm not a huge fan of beef.  I used spaghetti because I didn't want to run back out for vermicelli or rice noodles in the rain.  Big hit here tonight.  Pictures aren't the greatest - stormy and dark but this dish is killer.

I'm really looking forward to diving into this book and the world of modern Vietnamese food.

Blogging for Books provided me with this wonderful book for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts by Aglaia Kremezi

Aglaia Kremezi introduced Greek cooking to the United States.  I'm just sorry I didn't get introduced to her books until now.  Her new book, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, contains 150 simple but flavorful dishes that would satisfy anyone. 

Aglaia is the ultimate teacher and her instructions and narrative are perfect. The photographs are beautiful and jump off the page.  I have been wowed by a few vegetarian cookbooks this Fall and this one is right up there. 

Aglaia starts off with chapters on essential ingredients and seasonal menu suggestions.  I was pleased to see a recipe for phyllo pastry -- I've always wanted to try to make my own - and I'm excited to try with Aglaia's detailed instructions.  The recipes are labeled gluten free, vegan, vegetarian to make them easily identifiable for those of us with certain restrictions and lifestyles.

Some of the recipes I have marked are:

Pink fermented cabbage
Concentrated vegetable broth
Pepper, onion and turmeric paste
Vegetable fritto miso in tipsy batter with garlic sauce
Garlic and bread soup with sage and bay
Summer tomato and bread soup (one of these soups will be made this week)
Red lentil soup with spicy aromatic basil oil
Cauliflower gratin with garlic and feta
Roasted potatoes with garlic, orange and mustard
Crispy cheese pie
Linguine with spicy lentils and caramelized onion
Green risotto with garlic, herbs and lime
Pumpkin, tangerine and marmalade bread and
Orange and crumbled phyllo cake

Tonight I made the roasted potatoes with garlic, orange and mustard as well as the crispy cheese pie to accompany my husband's pork chops.  Andrew actually rolled his eyes back into his head when he ate both.  I had pointed out the two recipes to him earlier in the day and he said, "I thought about those potatoes all day."  After the piece of the pie - he declared it was one of the best things he ever ate.

Edited on Friday -- made the garlic with sage and bay soup tonight - it is so delicious! 

I strongly recommend this book for vegetarian and carnivores alike! 

Thank you, Aglaia, for the opportunity to review your book.  It will be a favorite in my collection.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sugar Rush

Johnny Iuzzini does it again. 

While his first book, Dessert FourPlay, was an incredible work in itself but advanced -- this book is geared more toward the home baker with an edge.   Any of these desserts would be show stoppers and I plan on making them all.

The book is broken down into chapters:

1.  Custards and Creamy Desserts
2.  Eggs and Meringue
3.  Caramel
4.  Cakes, Cupcakes, Brownies and Muffins
5.  Cookies, Tea Cakes and Biscuits
6.  Tarts, Cobblers and Crisps
7.  Yeast Doughs
8.  Glazes, Frostings, Fillings and Sauces
9. Building a Balanced Dessert.

The book is beautiful and has gorgeous photography. 

Some of the recipes that stand out - banana pastry cream, pina colada pastry cream, pineapple coconut meringue torte, honey roasted plum mousse, banana fritters with tahini caramel, butternut-maple blondies, no-tella cashew crepe cake...and there are just too many to name.

Johnny touches on every dessert, sugar rush possibility...marshmallows, caramels, creams, garnishes --- it's stunning.

It's a step by step walk through the sugar world and would be a great gift for someone that wants to start out baking and exploring or someone who is accomplished - the instructions and photos and information is fantastic.

I received this book through Blogging for Books.