Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

recipes on my menu, e-books and cookbooks on sale this week

It’s been a week of leftovers and meals out except for one night when I made an old favorite – southwestern turkey and sweet potato skillet. Heat olive oil in a big high-sided pan and start adding these ingredients, letting each set cook before adding the next.

  • ground turkey
  • chopped onions, red bell and poblano peppers
  • minced garlic
  • sweet potato cubes, ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, chili powder, minced chipotle en adobo, chicken broth
  • black beans, corn, sliced spinach – and/or other greens, I added pac choi this time too
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro

If you ever come over for dinner, remind me to make this for you. So good. And easy!

Yesterday, I was going to spend some time in the kitchen but never did. It was one of those dark and rainy days meant for curling up and reading on the couch with sports and movies on the TV in the background. It was exciting to see Justify win the Preakness, but another horse excited me even more. Did you see Bravazo’s kick at the end? If he’s in the Belmont, that’s a horse I’d put money on.

Jim picked up some pulled pork BBQ from Charlie’s BBQ & Grille in Clayton, really Cleveland, my town that’s not a town, but whatever. Man, it was good. If you’re local and haven’t tried it yet, don’t wait as long as we did. The place has been there for years but we rarely get takeout—our mistake.

My CSF from Locals Seafood starts next week – community supported fishery, like a CSA except with fish. I look forward to getting two pounds of fresh local fish and shellfish every week, and not knowing what it will be until the night before.

recipes on my menu, e-books and cookbooks on sale this week

On My Menu

Tonight, we’re having a simple lemon chicken dish for dinner along with cannellini beans made with carrot top pesto, and buttered local sugar snap peas.

When I’m in the mood, I’ll make a few other things today or later this week:

  • Quick pickled daikons, watermelon radishes, cucumbers and carrots – I’ll compare my regular recipe to the ones in Can It & Ferment It (only $1.99 right now) and in Asian Pickles.

I love dinner salads any time of the year but especially in the summer. Yes, I know it’s not summer yet but down here in North Carolina, summer weather arrives in the spring—although as I write this it’s cloudy and 73. This chipotle chicken cobb salad with cilantro vinaigrette may make an appearance this week.

We’ll have fish on the menu Thursday and Friday night along with kale, beets and other farm veggies.

I’ll report back next week on what I end up making.

recipes on my menu, e-books and cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Many of James Beard’s cookbooks are on sale for $2.99 right now. His name may sound familiar to you because his foundation’s award ceremony happened earlier this month. His cookbooks are “of his time” but he’s an engaging personality and gifted cook, well worth reading, if that’s your kind of thing.

Delights and Prejudices by James Beard ($2.99)

A richly evocative memoir from the man whom the New York Times dubbed the “dean of American cookery,” recalling the flavors of his past. From devouring a raw onion as an infant to scouring the globe in search of local flavors as an adult, Delights and Prejudices is full of witty and illuminating stories that open a door into the world of one of America’s first and perhaps greatest epicures.

Packed with more than one hundred fifty recipes, including corn chili soufflé, fried oysters, and peach preserves, this very personal account of his life is as close to an autobiography as Beard ever penned. For those who love to cook or simply love to eat, there remains no better teacher than James Beard.

Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles: Letters to Helen Evans Brown by James Beard ($2.99)

[I’m in the midst of reading this again. This man’s drive and stamina in the kitchen astounds me. He is inspiring.]

Renowned culinary master James Beard and his dear friend, chef Helen Evans Brown, shared both a love of food and a keen insight into the changing palate of American diners. In this twelve-year, bicoastal epistolary exchange of three hundred letters, Beard and Brown offer not only tidbits of indispensable culinary guidance but also two fascinating perspectives on cooking. Whether swapping recipes for dishes like chocolate crepes and roast duck, trading descriptions of delicious meals, or exchanging stories about their travels, Beard and Brown bring their world to vivid life, and their letters provide a unique snapshot of a culinary love affair that is guaranteed to delight epicureans of all stripes.

Can It & Ferment It: More Than 75 Satisfying Small-Batch Canning and Fermentation Recipes for the Whole Year by Stephanie Thurow ($1.99)

Stephanie explains the differences between the canning and fermentation processes, emphasizes the importance of using local and organic produce, describes canning and fermenting terminology and the supplies needed for both methods, and offers more than seventy-five fun and easy recipes for every season. Readers will learn how to preserve each fruit or vegetable in two different ways; each can be enjoyed water bath–canned or as a healthy, probiotic-rich ferment.

The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches by Andrea Nguyen ($1.99)

Created by Vietnamese street vendors a century or so ago, banh mi is a twist on the French snack of pâté and bread… Opening a new realm of flavor for anyone tired of standard sandwich fare, The Banh Mi Handbook presents more than fifty recipes and numerous insights for crafting a wide range of sandwiches, from iconic classics to modern innovations… Respected food writer Andrea Nguyen’s simple, delicious recipes for flavor-packed fillings, punchy homemade condiments, and crunchy, colorful pickled vegetables bring the very best of Vietnamese street food to your kitchen.

Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto by Marc Vetri and David Joachim ($2.99)

The respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 100 recipes. Vetri’s personal stories of travel and culinary discovery in Italy appear alongside his easy-to-follow, detailed explanations of how to make and enjoy fresh handmade pasta… Loaded with useful information, including the best way to cook and sauce pasta, suggestions for substituting pasta shapes, and advance preparation and storage notes, Mastering Pasta offers you all of the wisdom of a pro… Mastering Pasta is the definitive work on the subject and the only book you will ever need to serve outstanding pasta dishes in your own kitchen.

Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Every Day by Diana Henry ($2.99)

Diana Henry shows you how to turn everyday ingredients into something special with the minimum of effort. Cook Simple is packed with over 150 recipes and ideas…that offer simple ways to make every meal spectacular. Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish, leaves, summer veg, winter veg, pasta, summer fruit, winter fruit, flour and eggs. Each recipe takes only minutes to prepare with ingredients easily sourced from your local supermarket.

New French Table by Emily and Giselle Roux ($0.99)

Simple family food forms the heart of French gastronomy…French food is not only easy and approachable, but light, fresh and bursting with flavor. From the provincial home cooking of the Ardeche to the sweet treats of Brittany, this unique collection of recipes shows how the French kitchen has evolved to suit a modern lifestyle – with delicious recipes for every day; family dinners; lighter soups and salads; new trends; international influences; and big feasts to feed a crowd.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.


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Creative Commons licensed image by James Wei (fish market) and foodism360 (beets) via Unsplash.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

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recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

Even on a chilly winter day, iced coffee is my preferred morning beverage. Since this spring has been feeling more like summer lately, my iced coffees are even more refreshing. I like just a hint of sweetness in them so I add a bit of coffee syrup. I used to order coffee syrup from up north but I decided to start making my own so I could avoid the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup.

Last weekend I made gingerbread coffee syrup with these ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat it all up, strain and store in the fridge.

Early last week, I pulled some fish from the freezer and made mahi mahi with jalapeño-shallot-tomato-dill sauce. Sounds odd but it was mighty tasty. For the veg, I sautéed chard and kohlrabi greens with onion and garlic and topped them with parmesan panko breadcrumbs. And, I nuked two sweet potatoes.

The next night, I made roast cod with tomatoes and olives. More greens, this time beet and radish greens sautéed with carrots, onion and ham—we eat a lot of greens in this house. Not that we needed pasta on the side but in my clearing-out-the-freezer mania, I decided to make a parsley-garlic sauce for an old package of porcini-stuffed ravioli. Seriously, that could have been a meal in itself but I happily enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast.

We both love lamb in any form so I always pick up ground lamb when it goes on sale. One night I made lamb burgers and served them on flatbread with feta cheese and quick pickled red onions and cucumbers. Our side was chard and kohlrabi greens sautéed with onions, dried apricots, garlic and Turkish seasoning. What a meal—my favorite of the week.

Friday night we had chipotle chicken sausage quesadillas (with corn tortillas, can’t abide any others) with onions, red bell pepper, poblano pepper and cheddar cheese. I discovered my new favorite way to prepare asparagus—baked over lemon slices in parchment. The stalks were bright green in flavor and color.

I also made a strawberry salsa with avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, sweet onion and lime juice to serve on the side just because I’ve been buying local strawberries like crazy lately and needed new ways to use them—besides having strawberries with yogurt and granola in the morning. The salsa worked really well with the asparagus—and with tortilla chips for Saturday happy hour.

On Saturday I made carrot top pesto from all the lacy green carrot tops we’ve been getting with our CSA carrots. I found the recipe here but it’s from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes. This time I made it with pumpkin seeds (pepitas). What will I do with carrot top pesto? Last time, I used most of it in vegetable sautés. I could put it in frittatas or egg salad, or toss it with pasta.

I also made strawberry oatmeal bars on Saturday. So healthy, right?! They do taste healthy. I cut back the sugar called for in the recipe because my berries were so sweet. I probably could have done without it completely.

Last night I made this salmon and greens curry recipe with collards—too many collards, they overwhelmed everything else. The dish was fine but it wasn’t great. It didn’t occur to me at the time that collards wouldn’t reduce like spinach. The next time I decide to substitute collards for another type of greens in a curry recipe, I have to remember to decrease by half (at least) the amount I use—not use a whole bunch—or use spinach instead.

Oh, and I joined a gym. Finally. You can’t eat like this and not have a belly. Or can you? Stay tuned…

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

On My Menu

We’ll have the leftover collard and salmon curry tomorrow night. I just pulled some ground turkey from the freezer and will make my old standard later in the week—ground turkey and sweet potato skillet. It’s one of those dump and cook recipes starting in a large skillet with…

  • ground turkey
  • onions, red bell and poblano peppers
  • garlic
  • sweet potato cubes, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, chili powder, chipotle en adobo, chicken broth
  • black beans, corn, spinach
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro

It’s colorful and healthy. I still have asparagus in the fridge so I may give it the parchment treatment again.

Here are some of my other ideas for sides.

  • I ordered local sugar snap peas from The Produce Box. I’ll barely heat them in a pan with butter and salt. Can’t wait.
  • We’ve been digging the quick pickled cukes so I will probably make more and also pickle watermelon radishes and carrots. I love having pickled veggies when it’s so hot outside. I just bought this book on Asian pickles (only $1.99) so I can pretend I’m in Vietnam eating that amazingly delicious fresh food.

Local blueberries are here. Doesn’t this blueberry cheesecake breakfast bake look amazing?

I’ll report back next week on what I end up making.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Daughter of Heaven: A Memoir with Earthly Recipes by Leslie Li ($2.99)

Leslie Li grew up in suburban north Bronx—a world apart from mainland China, where her grandfather, Li Zongren, had been the country’s first democratically elected vice-president. She gets a lesson in her cultural heritage when her widowed grandmother comes to live with them. Through her grandmother’s tantalizingly exotic cooking, Leslie bridges the divide in an America where she is a minority—as well as the growing gap at home between her rigid, traditional Chinese father and her progressive American-born mother. An intimate and moving memoir… Daughter of Heaven is a loving ode to family and food, an exquisite blend of memory, history, and the senses.

Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn by Chitra Agrawal ($1.99)

Lifelong vegetarian and chef Chitra Agrawal takes you on an epicurean journey to her mother’s hometown of Bangalore and back to Brooklyn, where she adapts her family’s South Indian recipes for home cooks. This particular style of Indian home cooking, often called the “yoga diet,” is light and fresh, yet satisfying and rich in bold and complex flavors. Grains, legumes, fresh produce, coconut, and yogurt—along with herbs, citrus, chiles, and spices—form the cornerstone of this delectable cuisine, rooted in vegetarian customs and honed over centuries for optimum taste and nutrition.

Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen: Delicious, Nourishing Food for Lifelong Health and Well-Being by Brittany Wood Nickerson ($1.80)

2018 IACP Cookbook Awards Finalist. In Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen [Nickerson] reveals how the kitchen can be a place of true awakening for the senses and spirit, as well as deep nourishment for the body. With in-depth profiles of favorite culinary herbs such as dill, sage, basil, and mint, Nickerson offers fascinating insights into the healing properties of each herb and then shares 110 original recipes for scrumptious snacks, entrées, drinks, and desserts that are specially designed to meet the body’s needs for comfort, nourishment, energy, and support through seasonal changes.

Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside Kitchens of Mexico by Roberto Santibañez ($2.99)

Few people are familiar with the incredible variety available on the streets of Mexico, from fish tacos of Baja to slow-cooked pork tacos of the Yucatán to cream-spiked strips of poblano peppers tucked into tortillas from the markets of Mexico City. In Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales, chef Roberto Santibañez shows you how to recreate these thrilling flavors in your home kitchen… Santibañez also explores the equally exciting Mexican sandwiches called tortas and hearty tamales, which are so much easier to make than you might think. There are plenty of salsas and condiments to enliven every bite. He also shares recipes for fresh juices called aguas, alcoholic treats like margaritas, and a handful of everyday desserts.

Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas by Fany Gerson ($1.99)

Paletas is an engaging and delicious guide to Mexico’s traditional—and some not-so-traditional—frozen treats. Collected and developed by celebrated pastry chef Fany Gerson, this sweet little cookbook showcases her favorite recipes for paletas, those flavor-packed ice pops made from an enormous variety of fruits, nuts, flowers, and even spices; plus shaved ice (raspados) and aguas frescas—the delightful Mexican drinks featuring whole fruit and exotic ingredients like tamarind and hibiscus flowers… Paletas is an inviting, refreshing guide guaranteed to help you beat the heat.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers by Edward C. Smith ($1.20)

Harvest tomatoes on a patio, produce a pumpkin in a planter, and grow broccoli on a balcony. Best-selling author Ed Smith shows you everything you need to know to successfully create and care for an edible container garden, from choosing the right plants and selecting appropriate containers through controlling pests without chemicals and harvesting fresh vegetables. You’ll discover that container gardening is an easy and fun way to enjoy summer’s bounty in even the smallest of growing spaces.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.


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Creative Commons licensed image by Joanna Kosinska (blueberries) via Unsplash.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

the recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

My spring celebration continued last Sunday with a ramp, mushroom and linguiça tart. The original recipe didn’t call for linguiça but I wanted to punch it up. Linguiça is a Portuguese pork sausage made with garlic and paprika. I order five pounds at a time from a place up in New Bedford and store it in the freezer.

As for the tart recipe, I omitted the lemon, thinking it wouldn’t go with the linguiça. I should have chopped the ramps into big pieces—it would have made slicing a whole lot easier. The tart was tasty. The goat cheese filling blended well with the other flavors. For our side, I sautéed collards with spring onions, red bell pepper and poblano pepper in the linguiça pan to get all the leftover greasy goodness.

We had the leftover pie later that week along with kale sautéed with red bell pepper, onion and ham. I had the last pieces of pie a few mornings for breakfast.

My Bella Bean Organics order last week included chicken thighs from Joyce Farms that ended up in a delicious ginger scallion chicken. I added carrots (sliced into matchsticks), garlic and red pepper flakes, and omitted the sugar. On the side, another great dish—spicy roasted (local) bok choy. These recipes are both keepers. The ingredients in the bok choy dish would work well with other roasted vegetables too, like broccoli or green beans.

the recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

On My Menu

Tonight we’re having the meal I planned for Friday—we ate out that night. We’re having mahi mahi with tomatoes, jalapeños and dill. Yes, a strange combo but I’m using up what I have in the fridge. I’ll do something with chard and radish greens—maybe sauté them with green onions and garlic and top with parmesan cheese. And I’ll either bake whole sweet potatoes or roast cubes. I have three lonely cipollini onions left over from another recipe that I plan to roast in a ramekin with butter—cook’s treat.

The great freezer clear-out continues with a long lost package of porcini-stuffed ravioli. I don’t think the portion is enough for a main dish (oink) so I’ll serve it as a side with an herby butter/olive oil sauce and parmesan. I’ll pull some cod from the freezer for roast cod with tomatoes and olives. A green veg from the CSA will be our other side.

Later this week, I’ll thaw some ground lamb and make lamb burgers. Hopefully I can find some type of flatbread in our local supermarket—something thicker than pita—and use that instead of regular hamburger rolls. I plan to pickle some red onions today so I can use them as a burger topping—ooh, quick pickled cucumbers would be good too—along with feta cheese. I like the idea of this chickpea salad with lemon and dill as a side.

On Friday, I’m getting local chipotle chicken sausage from The Produce Box. I’m thinking about making chipotle chicken sausage quesadillas with onions and peppers—and a little cheese, of course. I ordered a double portion of the last asparagus of the season so we’ll probably have that as a side.

I’ll report back next week on what I end up making.

the recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell ($1.99)

Winner of the 2015 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award. When his oldest son was leaving for college, Cal Peternell, the chef of California’s legendary Chez Panisse, realized that, although he regularly made dinners for his family, he’d never taught them the basics of cooking. Based on the life-altering course of instruction he prepared and honed through many phone calls with his son, Twelve Recipes is the ultimate introduction to the kitchen. Peternell focuses on the core foods and dishes that comprise a successful home cook’s arsenal, each building skill upon skill—from toast, eggs, and beans, to vinaigrettes, pasta with tomato, and rice, to vegetables, soup, meats, and cake.

Simple French Food by Richard Olney ($1.99)

The reprinting of Olney’s classic and indispensable Simple French Food offers readers the chance to learn more about this most idiosyncratic and accomplished of cooks. No pared down, paint-by-numbers recipes here: Olney is obsessed not only with showing you how to cook, but how to see, smell, feel, listen, and taste as well. Read, for example, Olney’s description of Scrambled Eggs… “correctly prepared, the softest of barely perceptible curds held in a thickly liquid, smooth, creamy suspension.” To scramble eggs, Olney insists on a wooden spoon, a generously buttered copper pan or bain-marie, and a precise control of the temperature–very simple to accomplish, as all his recipes are, as long as you take care to absorb fully his sensuous and exact instructions.

Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens by Pati Jinich ($2.99)

On her PBS TV series, now in its fifth season… Pati Jinich, a busy mother of three, has shown a flair for making Mexican cooking irresistibly accessible. In Mexican Today, she shares easy, generous dishes, both traditional ones and her own new spins. Some are regional recipes she has recovered from the past and updated… Pati has “Mexed up” other recipes… Still other dishes show the evolution of Mexican food north and south of the border… Throughout, Pati is an infectious cheerleader, sharing stores of the food, people, and places behind the recipes.

New England Open-House Cookbook: 300 Recipes Inspired by the Bounty of New England by Sarah Leah Chase ($1.99)

Sarah Leah Chase is a caterer, cooking teacher, and prolific writer… For New England Open-House Cookbook, she draws from her memories of growing up in Connecticut and Maine; her experience living and cooking on Cape Cod; and her extensive travels meeting farmers, fishermen, and chefs… All of New England’s classic dishes are represented, including a wealth of shellfish soups and stews and a full chapter celebrating lobster. From breakfast… to delightful appetizers and nibbles… to mains for every season and occasion… Plus perfect picnic recipes, farmstand sides, and luscious desserts.

One Good Dish by David Tanis ($3.00)

The New York Times food columnist offers 100 utterly delicious recipes that epitomize comfort food, Tanis-style. Individually or in combination, they make perfect little meals that are elemental and accessible, yet totally surprising—and there’s something to learn on every page.

Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local by Clotilde Dusoulier ($3.99)

Tasting Paris features new and classic French recipes and cooking techniques that will demystify the art of French cooking and transport your dinner guests to Paris… Featuring classic recipes… as well as newer dishes that reflect the way Parisians eat today… With 100 recipes, 125 evocative photographs, and native Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier’s expertise, Tasting Paris transports you to picnicking along the Seine, shopping the robust open-air markets, and finding the best street food—bringing the flavors and allure of this favorite culinary destination to your very own kitchen.

Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World by Madhur Jaffrey ($2.99)

Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, a meticulously researched collection of more than 750 meatless dishes from around the globe, presents its author in superlative form, culling the best vegetarian home-style dishes from virtually every culture and cooking tradition. Jaffrey’s book, filled with delicious, approachable recipes, has universal appeal, and should be part of every cook’s library. Divided into sections on beans, grains, and vegetables, and including chapters on vegetables, soups, salads, and sauces, among other topics, the book brilliantly juxtaposes recipes grouped by ingredient to reveal, finally, the way that ingredient is approached globally to make food… Throughout, Jaffrey provides definitive notes on ingredients… and techniques, as well as a truly comprehensive glossary.

The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes by Beth Hensperger ($1.80)

The Bread Bible contains 300 recipes, plus slice after slice of baking wisdom. Hensperger certainly knows her bread: she is the author of several other yeasty numbers… Her Bible features simple, basic breads… as well as fancier breads… Not forgotten are scones, biscuits, pizzas, croissants, waffles, muffins and even coffee cakes… Hensperger’s latest ode to bread will still prove invaluable for both new and seasoned bakers.

Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, China, India, and Beyond by Karen Solomon ($1.99)

Asian Pickles introduces the unique ingredients and techniques used in Asian pickle-making, including a vast array of quick pickles for the novice pickler, and numerous techniques that take more adventurous cooks beyond the basic brine. With fail-proof instructions, a selection of helpful resources, and more than seventy-five of the most sought-after pickle recipes from the East… Asian Pickles is your passport to explore this region’s preserving possibilities.

The Cheese Chronicles: A Journey Through the Making and Selling of Cheese in America, From Field to Farm to Table by Liz Thorpe ($1.99)

Liz Thorpe, second in command at New York’s renowned Murray’s Cheese, has used her notes and conversations from hundreds of tastings spanning nearly a decade to fashion this odyssey through the wonders of American cheese. Offering more than eighty profiles of the best, the most representative, and the most important cheesemakers, Thorpe chronicles American cheesemaking from the brave foodie hobbyists of twenty years ago (who put artisanal cheese on the map) to the carefully cultivated milkers and makers of today.

Start the Fire: How I Began a Food Revolution in America by Jeremiah Tower ($2.99)

Widely recognized as the godfather of modern American cooking, Jeremiah Tower is one of the most influential cooks of the last forty years…. In Start the Fire… Tower shares with wit and honesty his insights into cooking, chefs, celebrities, and what really goes on in the kitchen. No other book reveals more about the seeds sown in the seventies, the excesses of the eighties, or the self-congratulations of the nineties. With a brand-new introduction by the author, Start the Fire is an essential account of the most important years in the history of American cooking from one of its singular [arrogant] personalities.

The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites by Libby O’Connell ($2.51)

Dr. Libby H. O’Connell takes readers on a mouth-watering journey through America’s culinary evolution into the vibrant array of foods we savor today. In 100 tantalizing bites, ranging from blueberries and bagels to peanut butter, hard cider, and Cracker Jack, O’Connell reveals the astonishing ways that cultures and individuals have shaped our national diet and continue to influence how we cook and eat. Peppered throughout with recipes, photos, and tidbits on dozens of foods, from the surprising origins of Hershey Bars to the strange delicacies our ancestors enjoyed, such as roast turtle and grilled beaver tail.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.


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Join 1,417 other followers


Creative Commons licensed images by Jasmine Waheed (bok choy) and Christine Siracusa (asparagus) via Unsplash.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

Recipes on my menu and e-cookbook deals this week

While they’re in season, I’m getting local strawberries everywhere—in our CSA share, from Produce Box and Bella Bean Organics, and even from the supermarket. I made a delicious strawberry crostata last weekend following a New York Times recipe for the pastry and another recipe for the filling. Crostatas are easy because they don’t require much fuss: roll out the forgiving pastry, plop on the berries, fold up the pastry, do an egg wash, sprinkle sugar and into the oven it goes.

Sunday we had leftover Tuscan-style stuffed pork loin and Mediterranean-style butter beans. I tossed sautéed asparagus and spring onions with the citrus pesto I made for Easter.

I made a lemon dill butter for flounder one night with sautéed kale and roasted butternut squash and purple sweet potatoes—that was a colorful sight. I sprinkled sea salt, cayenne, smoked paprika and cinnamon over the squash and sweet potatoes before putting them in the oven.

One of the best dishes I’ve made lately is this chicken and apricot masala recipe from Nigella Lawson. I followed some of the suggestions made in the comments: cut back on the liquid; used ground cardamom, cloves and cinnamon instead of whole spices; increased the amount of spices, garlic and ginger; browned the chicken first; cooked the tomato paste for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes; and added a little cream at the end. I just had the leftovers for lunch—sooo good.

I ordered some watercress because I haven’t had it in ages. It’s so tasty. I sautéed it just enough to limp a bit and served it with salmon (pan-roasted with black garlic and thyme). Our other veg was asparagus sautéed with bacon, tomatoes, spring onions, and orange bell pepper. We’re enjoying lots of local asparagus and spring onions this month.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this weekOn My Menu

Tonight, the star of the show will be ramps. I managed to put in my Produce Box order in time to get some this week. I’m making a mushroom and ramp tart. I’ll do something with collards—probably sauté with ham, onions and poblano pepper. And we’ll have leftover roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes too.

I haven’t planned beyond that. I’ll pick up our CSA share on Tuesday—that will probably include salad fixings and veggies. I’m getting some local chicken thighs, chard and baby bok choy on Wednesday from Bella Bean Organics along with some Black Russian bagels—pumpernickel, I think.

I’ll report back next week on what I end up making.

 

Recipes on my menu and e-cookbook deals this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Mastering the Art of French Eating: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love by Ann Mah ($1.99)

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down. So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city. Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail by Thad Vogler ($1.99)

In By the Smoke & the Smell, spirits expert Thad Vogler takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal. From the mountains of Mexico and the forbidden distilleries of Havana, to the wilds of Scotland and the pastoral corners of France and beyond, this adventure will change how you think about your drink.

Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets by Giada De Laurentiis ($2.99)

Here are 120 recipes for breakfasts, juices, lunches, snacks, dinners, and desserts—each with nutritional breakdowns—that can be combined into 30 days of delicious feel-good meals. Special sections delve into Giada’s everyday life, including her beauty and exercise routines, how she satisfies sugar fixes, what’s always in her bag, and her ordering tips for eating in restaurants.

Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy and Chris Parachini ($2.99)

When Roberta’s opened in 2008 in a concrete bunker in Bushwick, it was a pizzeria where you could stop in for dinner and stumble out hours later, happy. It’s still a down-the-rabbit-hole kind of place but has also become a destination for groundbreaking food, a wholly original dining experience, and a rooftop garden that marked the beginning of the urban farming movement in New York City. The forces behind Roberta’s—chef Carlo Mirarchi and co-owners Brandon Hoy and Chris Parachini—share recipes, photographs, and stories meant to capture the experience of Roberta’s for those who haven’t been, and to immortalize it for those who’ve been there since the beginning.

Made In Spain: Recipes and Stories from My Country and Beyond by Miriam González Durántez ($0.99)

With over 120 delicious recipes, which stick to the key principle of Spanish cooking—respect the ingredient—Miriam González Durántez brings a taste of Spain to the family kitchen. As an immigrant to the UK and from a family of food lovers, Miriam was determined to share her love of her native cuisine with her sons. The recipes in this book are adapted from the cookery blog she started with them, and provide a uniquely personal glimpse into a modern family kitchen, which will inspire home cooks everywhere to adopt a more Spanish approach to cooking and eating.

Stir Crazy: 100 Deliciously Healthy Stir-Fry Recipes by Ching-He Huang ($0.99)

Learning what separates a good stir-fry from a great one is not always so easy to master. Indeed, it is all about timing, knowing when to add what and how to get the best out of each ingredient. With tips on everything from controlling the heat to using the right oil, bestselling author Ching-He Huang has gathered together a collection of delicious dishes, simple enough for every day and with nutrition, taste and affordability in mind. Many are gluten and dairy free, as well as suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and include both Asian and Western ingredients readily available in any supermarket.

Fress: Bold, Fresh Flavours from a Jewish Kitchen by Emma Spitzer ($0.99)

Fress (Yiddish): ‘to eat copiously and without restraint.’ Emma Spitzer’s style of cooking is unfussy and uncomplicated, extracting the maximum flavor from the humblest of ingredients without spending hours in the kitchen. For Fress, her melting pot of inspiration embraces Poland and Russia, Jewish recipes learned from her mother, travels in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and North Africa, as well as Algerian recipes shared by her mother-in-law. Big on flavor and spice, Fress is full of happy, sociable food to feed the soul.

Little Beach Street Bakery: A Novel by Jenny Colgan ($1.99)

Jenny Colgan’s moving, funny, and unforgettable novel tells the story of a heartbroken young woman who turns a new page in her life . . . by becoming a baker in the town of Cornwall. A quiet seaside resort. An abandoned shop. A small flat. This is what awaits Polly Waterford when she arrives at the Cornish coast, fleeing a ruined relationship. To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion…Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey—courtesy of a handsome beekeeper.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.

Creative Commons licensed image by Cedar Summit Farm (ramps) on Flickr.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

On a warm Sunday, I heated up my kitchen for several hours making an Italian-style beef stew recipe from Fine Cooking. It was supposed to be Italian-style beef and porcini stew, but neither my local Food Lion nor my local Lowes Foods had dried porcinis. Boo. I subbed fresh shiitake mushrooms and, luckily, had some porcini broth in the freezer. I know, how odd, but it was the strained and unused soaking liquid from the last time I made something with dried porcinis. I added beef broth to supplement the porcini broth (I didn’t have quite enough) and subbed cipollini onions for pearl onions just because I felt like it.

Now, the only reason I made beef stew on a warm day is because I’m trying to clean out some of the older stuff in our freezer. But, it was worth it. Excellent—a keeper recipe.

I made another winter-worthy dish for the side: Tokyo Bekana cabbage risotto with mushroom, onion, garlic, thyme, white wine, parmesan and chicken broth. What kind of cabbage? I had never heard of it either but we received a few bunches in our CSA share. The link above describes it well. I followed a standard risotto recipe and it was sooo good. I love risotto. The leftovers made a great breakfast with and without eggs fried in butter.

We had a lot of local kale in the house this week so I sautéed it with bacon, onion and tomatoes for a side on two nights.

The hearty meals continued because I wanted to try a new Tuscan-style pork loin roast recipe which was excellent and will replace the recipe I’ve been using. I pulled some Mediterranean-style butter beans out of the freezer that I adapted from this lima bean recipe.

Last night, we had pea and pancetta ravioli made by Melina’s Fresh Pasta in Durham—I ordered it through The Produce Box. Peas and pancetta reminded me of spaghetti carbonara so I made a carbonara-inspired sauce with shallot, spring onions, garlic, whipping cream, two yolks and one egg, parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Oh boy, it was thick so I thinned it with pasta water, but, oh boy, it was good, rich and good.

For our side, I sautéed local asparagus with local leeks and spring onions, garlic, and orange and lemon zest. It went really well with the ravioli carbonara.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

On My Menu

Right now, I’m in the midst of making a strawberry crostata or galette—can’t remember if there’s a difference. I’m following a New York Times recipe for the pastry and another recipe for the filling—the simplest of the recipes I looked at. I’ll sprinkle sliced almonds on top if I have them in the freezer (that is, if I can find them). And, I’ll make either vanilla- or almond-scented whipped cream. I’m bringing that to brunch tomorrow at my sister-out-law’s. Jim’s bringing the fixings for tequila sunrises.

After a tequila-induced nap, I’ll do something with the other bunch of local asparagus, maybe roast and toss them with lemon zest and parmesan. We’ll have the leftover pork loin for dinner. And I’d like to do something with either two sweet potatoes or a butternut squash that have been hanging around for too long. Maybe spiralize and sauté the sweet potatoes—they’re purple so that would look cool with the asparagus. I’d just roast cubes or slices of the squash.

We’re overdue for a fish dinner and I have a lot of CSA dill in the refrigerator so I’ll come up with a fish + dill recipe idea. More kale on the side. It’s a good thing we love kale.

The rest of the week, who knows? I still have more freezer excavating to do so whatever I randomly pull out will end up on the menu. I’ll report back next week on what I make.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home by Thomasina Miers ($0.99)

Eat your way around the markets of Mexico with this collection of over 130 mind-blowing recipes from Thomasina Miers, co-founder of the award-winning Wahaca restaurants. Inspired by the flavors of Mexico but using ingredients easily found in Britain [hopefully, the U.S. too], Wahaca is all about cooking authentic Mexican food in your own kitchen.

Dinner Tonight: 200 Dishes You Can Cook in Minutes by Lindsey Bareham ($0.99)

In this collection of simple, accessible and mouth-watering recipes from the winner of the Guild of Food Writers’ British Food Writer of the Year Award, Lindsey Bareham helps solve this never-ending question. Packed full of ideas from Lindsey’s award-winning weekly column in The Times, this book will become your go-to source for a quick fix after a long day.

Pizza Camp: Recipes from Pizzeria Beddia by Joe Beddia ($2.99)

Joe Beddia’s pizza is old school—it’s all about the dough, the sauce, and the cheese. And after perfecting his pie-making craft at Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, he’s offering his methods and recipes in a cookbook that’s anything but old school… Beddia takes you through the pizza-making process, teaching the foundation for making perfectly crisp, satisfyingly chewy, dangerously addictive pies at home.

Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour ($0.99)

In Feasts, the highly anticipated follow up to the award-winning Persiana and number one bestseller Sirocco, Sabrina Ghayour presents a delicious array of Middle-Eastern dishes from breakfasts to banquets and the simple to the sumptuous. Enjoy menus and dozens of recipes for celebrations and occasions with family and friends, such as summer feasts, quick-fix feasts and brunch.

Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America by Jonathan Dixon ($1.99)

For the first time in the Culinary Institute of America’s history, a book gives readers the firsthand experience of being a full-time student facing all of the challenges of the legendary course in its entirety. On the eve of his 38th birthday… Jonathan Dixon enrolled in the CIA (on a scholarship) to pursue his passion for cooking… Each part of the curriculum is covered, from knife skills and stock making to the high-pressure cooking tests and the daunting wine course (the undoing of many a student). Dixon also details his externship in the kitchen of Danny Meyer’s Tabla, giving readers a look into the inner workings of a celebrated New York City restaurant.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.

Creative Commons licensed images by Stephanie Studer (asparagus) and Priscilla Du Preez (dill) on Unsplash.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

I finished The Leavers by Lisa Ko before our long weekend away in the North Carolina mountains—which is why you didn’t see a Bookshelf post last week. It’s a story about the separation of a mother Polly/Peilan and her son Daniel/Deming. Deming’s an interesting character. He never gets over the separation because he doesn’t know why it happened—and we don’t either for quite a while.

Deming’s a brilliant musician, due in part to his synesthesia (the sound-as-colors brain syndrome), but he’s also a gambling addict and college drop-out. As he loses his Chinese family and identity, he becomes an interloper between two worlds, never fully settling into his white-American adoptive family and accepting the path set out for him—college. He’s like his mother who didn’t accept her path (marriage, village life) and, like her, he has to make his own confusing way.

Peilan stayed on my mind even when I was reading this book. We read about her life as a young woman in China, her escape from village life, and her first years in New York with and without Deming. She was always struggling to make a good life for herself even if it meant keeping secrets. So, did this determined survivor really abandon her son? I’m not saying. I enjoyed this book and wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

When this book was released it got a lot of buzz because it showed the personal side of a political issue. Immigration has always been personal to me and my opinions are conflicted. Throughout my restaurant and pastry careers, I worked alongside immigrants. I saw Salvadorans and Haitians leaving their eight hour kitchen shift and heading to another restaurant or cleaning job. When I volunteered as an English as a Foreign Language teacher, I was amazed at the dedication my students had to learning their new country’s language, many of them finding time to take classes in between morning and night shifts.

Peilan’s world was different: Chinese immigrants in New York’s sewing sweatshops and nail salons. For them, the most immediate enemy was poverty along with smugglers, gangs and loan sharks, not La Migra. For all immigrants, their story resembles the traditional hero’s journey—battling challenges (poverty, discrimination and the precariousness of illegal immigration status) to find freedom, peace, community and success.

Four stars.

I’m still enjoying A Life of Spice: Stories of Food, Culture and Life by Monica Bhide. I’ll need its light (both in mood and subject matter) considering the other two books I just started—these blurbs are from Amazon:

  • Blindness by José Saramago: A stunningly powerful novel of man’s will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature. A city is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” which spares no one. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, and a powerful portrayal of man’s worst appetites and weaknesses—and man’s ultimately exhilarating spirit.
  • A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Anonymous: In 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. The author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject—the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.

Now you can see why I’m balancing these tales with uplifting stories of cooking and food. Both these books have been lingering in my bookshelves for years so it’s time to read them and pass them on.

As of earlier today, these ebooks at Amazon were on sale at $2 to $7—up to an 90% discount—but act quickly if you want a bargain. These deals may only last a day or a week, you never know. If you’re in the browsing mood, check out last week’s ebook sales too—some of those books may still be on sale. Book blurbs are from the Amazon page unless otherwise credited.

Fiction:

Reminder: some of these books may only be on sale a few days so act quickly if you’re interested. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ($2.99 – today only)

Kirsten will never forget the night a famous Hollywood actor had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. 20 years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians… [who] have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff ($1.99 – today only)

Prize finalist and on many “best of year” lists.

Many a therapist will tell you that honesty and transparency is the glue that keeps a relationship together. Lauren Groff cleverly turns this concept on its head in Fates and Furies, demonstrating that sometimes it’s what you don’t say—to protect your partner’s vanity, their reputation, their heart—that makes a marriage hum…this dazzlingly told tale of one such marriage introduces us to Lotto and Mathilde. The former is an out-of-work actor-turned successful playwright, although some of that success is fueled by forces his ego obscures. And then there’s his adoring and enigmatic wife, Mathilde, who we later find out is a far better actor than Lotto ever was…a convincing love story that packs an emotional punch, especially when certain truths are revealed. The title Fates and Furies is a nod to Greek Tragedy, and this novel revels in the themes befitting one—passion, betrayal, vengeance, redemption.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett ($2.99, 75% off)

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, Nadia takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner….The pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar ($1.99)

Thrity Umrigar’s poignant novel about a wealthy woman and her downtrodden servant, offers a revealing look at class and gender roles in modern day Bombay. Alternatively told through the eyes of Sera, a Parsi widow whose pregnant daughter and son-in-law share her elegant home, and Bhima, the elderly housekeeper who must support her orphaned granddaughter, Umrigar does an admirable job of creating two sympathetic characters whose bond goes far deeper than that of employer and employee.

My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira ($1.99, 84% off)

Mary Sutter is a brilliant, head­strong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine—and eager to run away from her recent heartbreak—Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D.C. to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded… My Name Is Mary Sutter powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the period. Rich with historical detail (including marvelous depictions of Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, General McClellan, and John Hay among others), and full of the tragedies and challenges of wartime.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles ($1.99)

National Book Award finalist: Captain Jefferson Kyle is a war-weary widower, traveling from town to town reading bits of news to paying customers. In one such town he is given a $50 dollar gold piece to ferry a kidnapped girl back to what’s left of her family—her parents and sister having been murdered by members of the Kiowa tribe who spare the then 6-year-old and raise her as one of their own. Fast-forward four years and tribe life is the only life she knows, so she’s not about to go quietly with a stranger who doesn’t speak her language, whose motives she does not trust, and to a place that is not what she now considers home. Thus begins a seemingly ill-advised but transformative road trip where the mismatched pair eventually form an uneasy truce, then a not-so begrudging alliance, and finally something more wonderful that neither Captain nor kid could have imagined.

Delicious by Ruth Reichl ($1.99, 84% off)

Reichl was Gourmet magazine’s editor in chief and, before that, restaurant critic for The New York Times.

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine…Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints to pay her bills. To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to come to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.

Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund ($1.99)

Marie Antoinette was a child of fourteen when her mother, the Empress of Austria, arranged for her to leave her family and her country to become the wife of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the future King of France…She shows her new husband nothing but love and encouragement, though he repeatedly fails to consummate their marriage and in so doing is unable to give what she and the people of France desire most: a child and an heir to the throne. Deeply disappointed and isolated in her own intimate circle, and apart from the social life of the court, she allows herself to remain ignorant of the country’s growing economic and political crises, even as poor harvests, bitter winters, war debts, and poverty precipitate rebellion and revenge. The young queen, once beloved by the common folk, becomes a target of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court’s nobles, and the rest of the royal family are caught up in the nightmarish violence of a murderous time called “the Terror.” With penetrating insight and with wondrous narrative skill, Naslund offers an intimate, fresh, heartbreaking, and dramatic reimagining of this truly compelling woman that goes far beyond popular myth—and she makes a bygone time of tumultuous change as real to us as the one we are living in now.

Ariel: The Restored Edition (Modern Classics) by Sylvia Plath ($1.99)

When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn’t the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath’s original manuscript—including handwritten notes—and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem Ariel, which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer.

Fiction, cookbooks and nonfiction ebooks on sale now and book review of The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Food & Cooking:

Caveat: Ebook sales like these sometimes only last a day or a week, so act quickly.

The Dinner Plan: Simple Weeknight Recipes and Strategies for Every Schedule by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion ($2.99, 75% off)

The Dinner Plan offers five meal strategies—Make-Ahead, Staggered, One-Dish, Extra-Fast, and Pantry—that will help get dinner on the table no matter what the workweek throws at you…all of the recipes are “keepers”—brag-worthy, reliable, crowd-pleasing preparations that you’ll confidently turn to again and again…The Dinner Plan is every home cook’s indis­pensable weeknight dinner guide.

Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Every Day by Diana Henry ($0.99, 75% off)

Diana Henry shows you how to turn everyday ingredients into something special with the minimum of effort. Cook Simple is packed with over 150 recipes and ideas…that offer simple ways to make every meal spectacular. Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish, leaves, summer veg, winter veg, pasta, summer fruit, winter fruit, flour and eggs. Each recipe takes only minutes to prepare with ingredients easily sourced from your local supermarket.

New French Table by Emily and Giselle Roux ($0.99)

Simple family food forms the heart of French gastronomy…French food is not only easy and approachable, but light, fresh and bursting with flavor. From the provincial home cooking of the Ardeche to the sweet treats of Brittany, this unique collection of recipes shows how the French kitchen has evolved to suit a modern lifestyle – with delicious recipes for every day; family dinners; lighter soups and salads; new trends; international influences; and big feasts to feed a crowd.

Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, & Calzone by Alice Waters ($1.99)

Alice Waters…gives us the extraordinary pastas, pizzas, and calzones she serves in her famous Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkley, California. Based on the freshest and best seasonal ingredients, every recipe is bursting with flavor and unexpected combinations. Inspired as much by Providence as by Italy, these recipes reveal Chez Panisse’s strong Mediterranean affinities, not only in the choice of ingredients, but also in the combinations that make them so tantalizing.

Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman ($1.99, 83% off)

A young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In “a unique and surprising view of American history…richly researched, intriguing, and elegantly written” (The Atlantic), Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton ($1.99)

Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family—the result of a prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends.

Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble ($1.99, 81% off)

In January 2012, Megan Kimble was a twenty-six-year-old living in a small apartment without even a garden plot to her name. But she cared about where food came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body: so she decided to go an entire year without eating processed foods. Unprocessed is the narrative of Megan’s extraordinary year, in which she milled wheat, extracted salt from the sea, milked a goat, slaughtered a sheep, and more—all while earning an income that fell well below the federal poverty line…Backed by extensive research and wide-ranging interviews—and including tips on how to ditch processed food and transition to a real-food lifestyle—Unprocessed offers provocative insights not only on the process of food, but also the processes that shape our habits, communities, and day-to-day lives.

Fiction, cookbooks and nonfiction ebooks on sale now and book review of The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Nonfiction:

These books were on sale as of Sunday morning, but may not be on sale for long—act quickly.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover ($6.99 – today only)

This book is getting all kinds of positive buzz so grab it while it’s on sale.

When the Holocaust was mentioned in a history class, Tara didn’t know what it was…because she didn’t see the inside of a classroom until the age of seventeen. Public education was one of the many things her religious fanatic father was dubious of, believing it a means for the government to brainwash its gullible citizens…If it wasn’t for a brother who managed to extricate himself from their isolated—and often dangerous—world, Westover might still be in rural Idaho, trying to survive her survivalist upbringing…Eventually earning a PhD from Cambridge University may have been the easy part, at least compared to what she had to sacrifice to attain it. The courage it took to make that sacrifice was the truest indicator of how far she’d come, and how much she’d learned. Educated is an inspiring reminder that knowledge is, indeed, power.

Song of Praise for a Flower: One Woman’s Journey through China’s Tumultuous 20th Century by Fengxian Chu, Charlene Chu ($0.99, 90% off)

For nearly two decades, this manuscript lay hidden in a Chinese bank vault until a long-lost cousin from America inspired 92-year-old author Chu to unearth it. Song of Praise for a Flower traces a century of Chinese history through the experiences of one woman and her family, from the dark years of World War II and China’s civil war to the tragic Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and beyond. It is a window into a faraway world, a sweeping epic about China’s tumultuous transformation and a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting story of a remarkable woman who survives it all and finally finds peace and tranquility.

Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic ($1.99)

When Zlata’s Diary was first published at the height of the Bosnian conflict, it became an international bestseller and was compared to The Diary of Anne Frank, both for the freshness of its voice and the grimness of the world it describes. It begins as the day-today record of the life of a typical eleven-year-old girl, preoccupied by piano lessons and birthday parties. But as war engulfs Sarajevo, Zlata Filipovic becomes a witness to food shortages and the deaths of friends and learns to wait out bombardments in a neighbor’s cellar. Yet throughout she remains courageous and observant. The result is a book that has the power to move and instruct readers a world away.

The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus ($1.99)

The remarkable story of John Miller, one of America’s foremost migratory beekeepers, and the myriad and mysterious epidemics threatening American honeybee populations. In luminous, razor-sharp prose, Nordhaus explores the vital role that honeybees play in American agribusiness, the maintenance of our food chain, and the very future of the nation…Nordhaus’s stunning exposé illuminates one the most critical issues facing the world today, offering insight, information, and, ultimately, hope.

The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey by Dawn Anahid MacKeen ($2.99)

Growing up, MacKeen heard from her mother how her grandfather Stepan miraculously escaped from the Turks during the Armenian genocide of 1915, when more than one million people—half the Armenian population—were killed. In The Hundred-Year Walk she alternates between Stepan’s courageous account, drawn from his long-lost journals, and her own story as she attempts to retrace his steps, setting out alone to Turkey and Syria, shadowing her resourceful, resilient grandfather across a landscape still rife with tension. Dawn uses his journals to guide her to the places he was imperiled and imprisoned and the desert he crossed with only half a bottle of water. Their shared story is a testament to family, to home, and to the power of the human spirit to transcend the barriers of religion, ethnicity, and even time itself.

Beautiful & Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry by David Orr ($1.99, 75% off)

“A clear-eyed, opinionated, and idiosyncratic guide to a vibrant but endangered art form, essential reading for anyone who loves poetry, and also for those of us who mostly just admire it from afar.” Award-winning New York Times Book Review poetry columnist David Orr delivers an engaging, amusing, and stimulating tour through the world of poetry…Orr’s Beautiful & Pointless offers a smart and funny approach to appreciating an art form that many find difficult to embrace.

The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New by Annie Dillard ($1.99, 77% off)

Quintessential Annie Dillard, delivered in her fierce and undeniably singular voice, filled with fascinating detail and metaphysical fact. The pieces within will exhilarate both admiring fans and a new generation of readers…The Abundance reminds us that Dillard’s brand of “novelized nonfiction” pioneered the form long before it came to be widely appreciated. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life…with beauty and irony, inviting readers onto sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, with a sense of humor.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out last week’s list, some of them are still on sale.

Creative Commons licensed photos by Masaaki Komori (flowers) and Tanya Nevidoma (Death Valley) on Unsplash.

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I missed chatting with you last week. We spent a long weekend in the mountains of North Carolina so no blogging for me. We hiked Table Rock, the Chimneys trail in Linville Gorge, Hawksbill and, the highlight of the weekend, Profile trail up to Calloway Peak. Man oh man, that was a slog, but a great hike.

In my last “Kitchen” post, I was writing about my plans for Easter. I made sockeye salmon with citrus pesto which was delicious. On a whim, I added a little honey to the pesto. I also brought a side: asparagus sautéed with red and orange bell pepper, ham, leeks, red onion, lemon zest and flat-leaf parsley.

Since my kitchen was full of all types of onions—yellow, leeks and spring onions—I used a few pounds of them for chicken soubise. I followed the recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (volume 1)—why not go straight to the most authoritative source, right? I made more sauce than we needed so we enjoyed it on leftover greens and all kinds of things. The next time you’re faced with bland chicken breasts, top them with soubise.

Before we left for the mountains, I cooked and bagged the ingredients for a pasta bake which was a smart idea because we hiked the afternoon we arrived. Back at the cabin, I didn’t have much to do to pull together dinner. This edition of the pasta bake included ground beef and Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, fennel, garlic, homemade marinara sauce, basil pesto, smoked Gouda, Parmesan and a mix of Italian cheeses.

While I was putting the pasta together, Jim’s niece assembled our salad which included salad greens, spinach, arugula, breakfast radishes and pea shoots (love them!) from our CSA plus tomatoes, sweet onion, carrot and broccoli. We’re serious about our salads. If you spot pea shoots at a farmers market, grab them, so good.

Earlier this week, I made quinoa paella with mussels and shrimp. I subbed asparagus for the runner beans and added red bell pepper too. I meant to add peas, but I forgot. We loved it.

Last night, we had an entirely North Carolina meal thanks to the Produce Box: Maple Balsamic Glazed (NC) Bone-In Pork Chops, sautéed asparagus with tomatoes and spring onions, and purple sweet potato mash. The potatoes were quite the sight—the photo below shows how they looked before I boiled them for the mash. I added minced chipotle en adobo, milk, maple syrup and butter to the mash.

purple sweet potatoes

On My Menu

I’ve got a wild hair to do something with dandelions before it gets too warm and they dry up. This idea may come to nothing but if I get ambitious I may try making dandelion flower fritters or sautéing dandelion greens Italian-style.

My freezer needs culling—it’s out of control so I pulled out two packages of stew beef today. Unless some other recipe grabs my attention, and despite a warm forecast for tomorrow, dinner will be Italian style beef and porcini stew.

We got Tokyo Bekana cabbage in our CSA last week. It has more of a lettuce than a cabbage flavor but does well in braises and sautés, according to the web. I’m going to make a Tokyo Bekana cabbage risotto with mushroom, onion, garlic, thyme, parmesan and chicken broth.

Another freezer item is a pork loin which may end up in this Tuscan style pork roast with kale and butternut squash on the side.

For the rest of the week, we’ll have leftovers and/or fish. I’ll report back on what I end up making.

Tokyo bekana cabbage

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

You can never have enough cookbooks, I believe that still. Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals sometimes only last a day or a week. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal.

The Dinner Plan: Simple Weeknight Recipes and Strategies for Every Schedule by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion ($2.99, 75% off)

The Dinner Plan offers five meal strategies—Make-Ahead, Staggered, One-Dish, Extra-Fast, and Pantry—that will help get dinner on the table no matter what the workweek throws at you…all of the recipes are “keepers”—brag-worthy, reliable, crowd-pleasing preparations that you’ll confidently turn to again and again…The Dinner Plan is every home cook’s indis­pensable weeknight dinner guide.

Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Every Day by Diana Henry ($0.99, 75% off)

Diana Henry shows you how to turn everyday ingredients into something special with the minimum of effort. Cook Simple is packed with over 150 recipes and ideas…that offer simple ways to make every meal spectacular. Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish, leaves, summer veg, winter veg, pasta, summer fruit, winter fruit, flour and eggs. Each recipe takes only minutes to prepare with ingredients easily sourced from your local supermarket.

New French Table by Emily and Giselle Roux ($0.99)

Simple family food forms the heart of French gastronomy…French food is not only easy and approachable, but light, fresh and bursting with flavor. From the provincial home cooking of the Ardeche to the sweet treats of Brittany, this unique collection of recipes shows how the French kitchen has evolved to suit a modern lifestyle – with delicious recipes for every day; family dinners; lighter soups and salads; new trends; international influences; and big feasts to feed a crowd.

Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, & Calzone by Alice Waters ($1.99)

Alice Waters…gives us the extraordinary pastas, pizzas, and calzones she serves in her famous Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkley, California. Based on the freshest and best seasonal ingredients, every recipe is bursting with flavor and unexpected combinations. Inspired as much by Providence as by Italy, these recipes reveal Chez Panisse’s strong Mediterranean affinities, not only in the choice of ingredients, but also in the combinations that make them so tantalizing.

Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman ($1.99, 83% off)

A young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In “a unique and surprising view of American history…richly researched, intriguing, and elegantly written” (The Atlantic), Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton ($1.99)

Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family—the result of a prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends.

Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble ($1.99, 81% off)

In January 2012, Megan Kimble was a twenty-six-year-old living in a small apartment without even a garden plot to her name. But she cared about where food came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body: so she decided to go an entire year without eating processed foods. Unprocessed is the narrative of Megan’s extraordinary year, in which she milled wheat, extracted salt from the sea, milked a goat, slaughtered a sheep, and more—all while earning an income that fell well below the federal poverty line…Backed by extensive research and wide-ranging interviews—and including tips on how to ditch processed food and transition to a real-food lifestyle—Unprocessed offers provocative insights not only on the process of food, but also the processes that shape our habits, communities, and day-to-day lives.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some might still be on sale.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.