Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

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

Anthony Bourdain. His death shattered me. He had gusto. Cook, writer, publisher, traveler and best dinner guest ever, I’m sure of it. My first introduction to this talented and fascinating man was his article in The New Yorker, Don’t Eat Before Reading Thisback in 1999. Damn, has it been that long? A year later, Kitchen Confidential was published and I snapped it up right away.

Once he got on TV, I was hooked. He still makes me stay up longer than anyone else. I love his personality—as well as his brilliant, smart ass yet generous and curious attitude.

I can easily imagine working with him. A different kitchen at a different time. He’s the kind of chef I would have laughed with, vented at, and drank with after closing, a brother in arms.

Bourdain inspired me to go to Vietnam. I couldn’t decide where in Asia I wanted to go that year. While watching one of his Vietnam episodes, it dawned on me that I loved Vietnamese food more than any other Asian cuisine. If Vietnam was his favorite place, I had to go experience it too and what an experience it was.

Oh man. Rest in peace, brother, so sad you couldn’t find it here in this life. Thanks for reminding us about what really matters.

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

produce vendors in Halong Bay, Vietnam

In My Kitchen

We spent another weekend away so I’m struggling to get back on track with all the items on my personal to-do list. Last weekend we were in the mountains in Stone Mountain State Park and this weekend we were at the beach on Emerald Isle. Can’t complain.

Looking way back to last week—which seems like so long ago—I recall making bonito with roasted red bell pepper sauce early in the week. The recipe was made easier by a jar of roasted red bell peppers. I should have taken the fish off the pan earlier—I would have preferred the pieces a little underdone, oh well, live and learn.

On the side, baby bok choy and cabbage sautéed with spring onions and garlic scapes and sweet potatoes roasted with Turkish seasoning and sea salt. I’ve been buying Covington sweet potatoes lately and I think they’re my favorite although I’d have to do a blind tasting to know for sure.

When any of the packages in the organic/sustainable, or whatever it is, more expensive, meat section of our supermarket sport the “manager’s special” yellow deep-discount stickers, I snap them up for the freezer. I picked up a package of discounted jalapeno-cranberry-cheddar turkey burgers a while back to save for one of those nights when I’d have no time to cook.

One of those nights came last week. Because of book club, I moved one of my dinner duty nights to a gym class night so I took advantage of those burgers and they were good. We had leftover summer squash with carrot top pesto and leftover roasted sweet potatoes on the side.

We normally have book club at a restaurant but this time we met at someone’s house so we all brought a dish for dinner. I made tortellini pesto salad:

  • 20 ounce package of cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • Few handfuls of stemmed and julienned baby spinach
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 8 to 10 ounces of quartered fresh mozzarella cheese balls
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

On Friday night, Jim and I were sent to nirvana with sautéed soft shell crabs again. This time I dredged them in flour, then in egg mixed with some milk and hot sauce, then in cornmeal, and cooked them in a mix of butter and grapeseed oil. I believe soft shells are my favorite seafood. It’s a short season so I feel lucky to have had them twice this year. I’m hoping Locals Seafood can get their hands on some in the short season later this summer, otherwise I’ll eagerly await their return next year.

Saturday, after my morning class at the gym where I did something painful to the front of my left shoulder while doing a push up, we left for Emerald Isle. I’m so bummed about my shoulder because I’ll need to give it a rest and skip classes until it gets better. I’ll miss the sweating and exhaustion. Back to the boring machines for a while.

The guys manned the grill on Saturday night at the beach and made us NC flounder, shrimp and venison tenderloin plus hobo packs of new potatoes and rainbow carrots—and leftover tortellini pesto salad. Sitting outside, eating, laughing, hearing the surf and feeling the sea breeze—nothing much better.

Yesterday, on the way home from the beach, Jim and I drove up to Morehead City for lunch on the waterfront deck at Southern Salt. They served hushpuppies alongside our tasty adult beverages, then we split a fantastic appetizer: down east egg rolls stuffed with collards, pimento cheese and andouille sausage and served with a spicy reddish aioli sauce. I’d love to recreate those rolls at home. For the mains, we shared plates of crab cakes and fried oysters—so good. And filling, we didn’t even bother making dinner when we got home.

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

our view at lunch at Southern Salt

On My Menu

I was going to cook blueline tilefish last night but now plan to cook it tonight or tomorrow. I’ve only cooked tilefish once before—golden tilefish with a spiced parmesan and bread crumb topping—and remember thinking it was a delicious fish I wanted to try again. I still don’t know what I’ll do with it this time, maybe tilefish tacos if I find some ripe avocados and salsa verde in the store. I have cilantro and two baby cabbages that would be perfect for a simple slaw.

Whatever I end up doing, I’ll use those little cabbages in something and make a sauté of summer squash and broccoli stems.

Jen at the CSA was giving away some big boy zucchini and yellow squash so I picked up two to make zoodles. I’m considering this recipe for zucchini (zoodle) alfredo but would also add canned clams. People hate canned clams but they have their place. Yes, fresh is way better, no comparison, but pantry clams are handy, I’m a fan.

Friday night we’ll have fish or shellfish from Locals Seafood along with other CSA and farmers market goodies. I still have a spaghetti squash and a yellow cauliflower from last week’s market—plus blueberries and blackberries. Time to get my baking on!

I’ll report back next week on my kitchen fun.

don-lu-423845-unsplash

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.

The Book of Greens: A Cook’s Compendium of 40 Varieties, from Arugula to Watercress by Jenn Louis ($1.99)

Winner of the 2018 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award for “Health & Special Diet” category and finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Awards for “Vegetable-Focused Cooking” category.

For any home cook who is stuck in a “three-green rut”—who wants to cook healthy, delicious, vegetable-focused meals, but is tired of predictable salads with kale, lettuce, cabbage, and the other usual suspects—The Book of Greens has the solution. Chef Jenn Louis has compiled more than 175 recipes for simple, show-stopping fare, from snacks to soups to mains (and even breakfast and dessert) that will inspire you to reach for new greens at the farmers’ market, or use your old standbys in totally fresh ways. Organized alphabetically by green, each entry features information on seasonality, nutrition, and prep and storage tips.

Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World by Sam Kass ($2.99)

Sam Kass, former chef to the Obamas and White House food policy advisor, makes it easier to do a little better for your diet—and the environment—every day, through smart ways to think about shopping, setting up your kitchen so the healthy stuff comes to hand most naturally, and through 90 delicious, simple recipes.

Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen by Donia Bijan ($1.99)

For Donia Bijan’s family, food has been the language they use to tell their stories and to communicate their love. In 1978, when the Islamic revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California’s Bay Area, where the familiar flavors of Bijan’s mother’s cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, award-winning chef Donia Bijan unwinds her own story, finding that at the heart of it all is her mother, whose love and support enabled Bijan to realize her dreams… An exhilarating, heartfelt memoir, Maman’s Homesick Pie is also a reminder of the women who encourage us to shine.

Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid ($2.99)

Winner of the James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year, International (2017), winner of the IACP Award for Best Cookbook of the Year in Culinary Travel (2017) and named a Best Cookbook of the Year by many papers.

Though the countries in the Persian culinary region are home to diverse religions, cultures, languages, and politics, they are linked by beguiling food traditions and a love for the fresh and the tart… Our ambassador to this tasty world is the incomparable Naomi Duguid, who for more than 20 years has been bringing us exceptional recipes and mesmerizing tales from regions seemingly beyond our reach. More than 125 recipes, framed with stories and photographs of people and places, introduce us to a culinary paradise where ancient legends and ruins rub shoulders with new beginnings—where a wealth of history and culinary traditions makes it a compelling place to read about for cooks and travelers and for anyone hankering to experience the food of a wider world.

Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook by Elisabeth Prueitt ($2.99)

A comprehensive cookbook with 200 recipes for the way people want to eat and bake at home today, with gluten-free options, from James Beard Award-winning and best-selling author Elisabeth Prueitt, cofounder of San Francisco’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery… As the family cook in her own household, Prueitt understands the challenge of making daily home cooking healthy, delicious, and enticing for all—without wearing out the cook. Through concise instruction Prueitt translates her expertise into home cooking that effortlessly adds variety and brings everyone to the table.

Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat ($2.99)

Move over, sushi. It’s time for gyoza, curry, tonkatsu, and furai. These icons of Japanese comfort food cooking are the hearty, flavor-packed, craveable dishes you’ll find in every kitchen and street corner hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Japan. In Japanese Soul Cooking, Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat introduce you to this irresistible, homey style of cooking… With foolproof instructions and step-by-step photographs, you’ll soon be knocking out chahan fried rice, mentaiko spaghetti, saikoro steak, and more for friends and family. Ono and Salat’s fascinating exploration of the surprising origins and global influences behind popular dishes is accompanied by rich location photography that captures the energy and essence of this food in everyday life, bringing beloved Japanese comfort food to Western home cooks for the first time.

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill ($1.99)

Tasting Rome provides a complete picture of a place that many love, but few know completely. In sharing Rome’s celebrated dishes, street food innovations, and forgotten recipes, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture its unique character and reveal its truly evolved food culture—a culmination of 2000 years of history. Their recipes acknowledge the foundations of Roman cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today. You’ll delight in the expected classics… the fascinating but largely undocumented Sephardic Jewish cuisine… the authentic and tasty offal… and so much more. Studded with narrative features that capture the city’s history and gorgeous photography that highlights both the food and its hidden city, you’ll feel immediately inspired to start tasting Rome in your own kitchen.

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

Last Sunday, I made slow cooker barbecue beef short ribs. I consulted two recipes—this one and this one—to come up with my own version so I could use what I had in the pantry instead of running to the store. Here’s the barbecue sauce recipe I developed for two pounds of ribs:

  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (I added them to the pan after browning the ribs for a bit)
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

We’re talking tremendously delicious here. I froze the leftover sauce and will figure out a way to revisit that goodness—maybe over polenta? The recipe would be great with pork ribs too.

I made roasted beet and quinoa salad with orange-ginger vinaigrette for one of our sides—the other side was leftover greens. This was another adapted recipe from here and here. Besides the beets and regular quinoa, I added:

  • Carrots, chopped
  • Fresh little mozzarella balls, quartered
  • Spinach, julienned
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet onion, chopped

During the week, I made chipotle salmon. But since I was in a rush—it was a short work week and I was pressed for time—I didn’t marinate the fish. Instead, I sprinkled on the spices, using ground chipotle instead of chipotle en adobo. We also had sautéed lacinato kale and chard with bacon, spring onion, carrot, and tomato along with the leftover quinoa/beet salad. I munched on that salad all week, so good.

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

We went backpacking Friday in Stone Mountain State Park. Since we were meeting family on Saturday morning to hike a few trails in the park, Jim and I decided to hike out to a primitive site in the park and camp Friday night. Widow’s Creek trail to our site was only 1.8 miles but it was mostly uphill and rated strenuous. With 30-pound packs on our backs, I agree with the strenuous rating.

I’m the designated camp cook—for now, REI is my grocery store. For dinner we had Mountain House beef stroganoff. I boiled some water in a pot over our backpacking stove and added it to the package: stir, seal, wait, stir, seal and serve. It was better than we expected. Dried apricots for dessert.

The next morning we had Mountain House breakfast skillet: another package filled with hash browns, scrambled eggs, pork sausage, peppers and onions. Add some hot sauce, ignore the texture, and it’s darn satisfying alongside a cup of coffee. We only camped out one night and spent the next night at our nephew’s house which is only an hour or so away from the park.

I had plenty of time to make dinner on Sunday so we had baked cobia with parmesan bread crumbs. What a fish. My seafood shop says it’s one of their favorites and I can see why. For the topping I tossed melted butter with parmesan, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic salt and fresh basil.

On the side, I sautéed a medley of summer squash—pattypan, zucchini, yellow, and zephyr—with red bell pepper, spring onions and carrot top pesto. The squash was from our CSA (Chickadee Farms) as were the new potatoes roasted with rosemary and garlic.

On My Menu

I haven’t had a chance to think about this week’s meals. I know we’ll have bonito tomorrow night—it’s the other fish I picked up from Locals Seafood (and froze) before going camping. I still have some baby bok choy and cabbage in the fridge and some sweet potatoes too.

If I pick up some blueberries at the farmers market this week—highly likely—I might make this blueberry cake over the weekend. All the calories I burn hiking and at the gym just come right back to me. C’est ma vie!

I’ll report back next week on my kitchen activities.

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.

32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert ($1.99)

In an industry where celebrity chefs are known as much for their salty talk and quick tempers as their food, Eric Ripert stands out. The winner of four James Beard Awards, co-owner and chef of a world-renowned restaurant, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection… Taking us from Ripert’s childhood in the south of France and the mountains of Andorra into the demanding kitchens of such legendary Parisian chefs as Joël Robuchon and Dominique Bouchet, until, at the age of twenty-four, Ripert made his way to the United States, 32 Yolks is the tender and richly told story of how one of our greatest living chefs found himself—and his home—in the kitchen.

Le Bernardin Cookbook: Four-Star Simplicity by Eric Ripert and Maguy Le Coze ($2.99)

Cuisine from New York’s four-star seafood restaurant, Le Bernardin, is made accessible to everyone in more than 100 meticulously formulated and carefully tested recipes for all courses, from appetizers through dessert. The food served in Le Bernardin’s beautiful dining room is as subtle and refined as any in the world, and because fish and shellfish are often best turned out quickly and simply, the recipes in this book can be reproduced by any home cook… Essential to the experience of dining at Le Bernardin and to the Le Bernardin Cookbook are the dynamic and charming personalities of Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert, whose lively dialogue and colorful anecdotes shine from these pages as brightly as the recipes themselves.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook: Recipes & Tales from a Classic American Restaurant by Sandy Ingber ($1.99)

Here are more than 100 of the restaurant’s best-loved classic recipes—some dating back to its opening in 1913—along with behind-the-scenes stories, historical anecdotes, and a wealth of expert information on buying, cooking, and serving fish. Featured throughout are vintage images and ephemera, along with gorgeous photos of mouthwatering favorites from raw bar to buffet. With recipes that have stood the test of time, The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook is a must-have for seafood lovers and fans of this famous New York City landmark.

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony and Danny Meyer ($2.99)

Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern is more than just a restaurant. It has become a New York institution earning dozens of accolades, including six James Beard awards. Its impeccable, fiercely seasonal cooking, welcoming atmosphere, and steadfast commitment to hospitality are unparalleled… Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s intimate story of how Gramercy was born sets the stage for executive chef-partner Michael Anthony’s appealing approach to American cooking and recipes that highlight the bounty of the farmer’s market… An insider look into the things that make this establishment unique, from the artists who have shaped its décor and ambience, to the staff members who share what it is like to be a part of this close-knit restaurant family.

Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David ($1.99)

62 articles originally written by Elizabeth David between 1955 and 1984 for numerous publications including The Spectator, Gourmet magazine, Vogue, and The Sunday Times… Her subjects range from the story of how her own cookery writing began to accounts of some restaurants in provincial France, of white truffles in Piedmont, wild risottos on the islands of the Venetian lagoon and odd happenings during rain-drenched seaside holidays in the British Isles. Here we can share her appreciation of books, people who influenced her, places she loved and the delicious meals she enjoyed… Some articles include recipes, but for the most part this is a volume nicely sized to curl up with or to take on a trip.

Lulu’s Provençal Table by Richard Olney ($1.99)

Richard Olney—responsible for the legendary Time-Life cooking series as well as other cooking classics such as his wonderful Simple French Food—moved to Provence in 1961 and had the good fortune to befriend Lulu and Lucien Peyraud, the owners of the noted Domaine Tempier vineyard in Provence, not far from Marseilles. Lulu’s Provençal Table tantalizes the reader with Olney’s descriptions of the regional food served as the vineyard meals at the domaine. Then he lovingly transcribes Lulu’s recipes… Starting with aperitifs and amuse-gueule and finishing up with fruit desserts, hers is classic French country cooking, featuring everyday ingredients cooked with respect for their nature and flavor.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard ($2.99)

A memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—one with her new beau, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé), and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese—there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti ($1.99)

While proofreading a deli catalog in Michigan, Michael Paterniti is bewitched by a description of cave-aged Spanish cheese. Years later, disillusioned with modern life and his own “computer-soft hands,” he travels to its Spanish back-country source, where he becomes obsessed with its larger-than-life maker and his story of soul-stealing cheese-related betrayal… Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain ($1.99)

Bestselling chef and No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain has never been one to pull punches. In The Nasty Bits, he serves up a well-seasoned hellbroth of candid, often outrageous stories from his worldwide misadventures. Whether scrounging for eel in the backstreets of Hanoi, revealing what you didn’t want to know about the more unglamorous aspects of making television, calling for the head of raw food activist Woody Harrelson, or confessing to lobster-killing guilt, Bourdain is as entertaining as ever. Bringing together the best of his previously uncollected nonfiction—and including new, never-before-published material—The Nasty Bits is a rude, funny, brutal and passionate stew for fans and the uninitiated alike.

Betty Crocker Lost Recipes: Beloved Vintage Recipes for Today’s Kitchen by Betty Crocker ($2.99)

Eighty percent of the book includes tried-and-true recipes that simply aren’t in today’s cooking repertoire—mainly from-scratch recipes that are hard to find. Twenty percent is a fun look back at some of the cooking customs of the past that may not be worth repeating, but are worth remembering. Features include ideas like “How to Throw a Hawaiian Tiki Party,” and the robust introductory pages contain interesting stories, anecdotes, and artwork from Betty Crocker’s history. Recipes are carefully curated to ensure that they are still relevant, achievable, and made with available ingredients—think Beef Stroganoff, Chicken à la King, Waldorf Salad, and Chiffon Cake. These lost recipes are ready to grace the tables of a whole new generation of cooks.

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy ($2.99)

Combining her three bestselling and classic books–The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book— in one volume, Diana Kennedy has refreshed the classics and added more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico. More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy first published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy… Through Diana Kennedy, [home cooks] discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed and she became recognized as the authority on Mexican food.

The Grand Central Market Cookbook: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles by Adele Yellin ($1.99)

2018 IACP Cookbook Award nominee. Founded in 1917, Grand Central Market is a legendary food hall in Downtown Los Angeles that brings together the many traditions and flavors of the city. Now, GCM’s first cookbook puts the spotlight on unique recipes from its diverse vendors, bringing their authentic tastes to your home kitchen… over 85 distinctive recipes, plus spectacular photography that shows off the food, the people, and the daily bustle and buzz. Stories about the Market’s vibrant history and interviews with its prominent customers and vendors dot the pages as well. Whether you’ve visited and want to make your favorite dishes at home, or are simply looking for a cookbook that provides a plethora of multi-national cuisine, The Grand Central Market Cookbook is sure to make your kitchen just a little bit cooler.

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America’s Great Flavors by Bobby Flay ($1.99)

The Food Network celebrity and renowned chef-restaurateur created his Bar Americain restaurants as our country’s answer to French bistros—to celebrate America’s regional flavors and dishes, interpreted as only Bobby Flay can. Now you can rediscover American cuisine at home with the recipes in Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook… Bobby also shares his tips for stocking your pantry with key ingredients for everyday cooking, as well as expert advice on essential kitchen equipment and indispensable techniques. With more than 110 recipes and 110 full-color photographs, Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook shares Bobby’s passion for fantastic American food and will change the way any cook looks at our country’s bounty.

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 Lynnette Jones (squash) via Unsplash.

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

I’m noshing on rye scones with smoked gruyere and caramelized onions fresh from the oven as I write this. Scones get a bad rap because the ones you find in Starbucks and other bakery cases can sometimes be dry. But thanks to sour cream, cheese, butter and lots of caramelized red onion, these are divine.

Last Sunday I made a simple lemon chicken dish for dinner. Instead of chicken breast like the recipe directed, I used thighs, cutting each in half, and added capers.

On the side we had cannellini beans with onion, tomato and carrot top pesto. I started by sautéing sliced onion, added sliced grape tomatoes to the pan and let them cook a bit, then a can of drained cannellini beans and some of my homemade carrot top pesto. I love finding ways to use the entire carrot instead of consigning the tops to the compost pile. In this batch of pesto, I used pumpkin seeds (pepitas) as the nut ingredient. We also had local snap peas sautéed in a mix of butter and oil. So good.

Dinner salad season is officially here. Last night, Jim grilled some marinated ahi (tasted like an Asian-style marinade) and made a big dinner salad, using some of the marinade as the foundation for the dressing. Sorry, I have no idea where he got the recipe but if you search for “ahi dinner salad” you’ll probably find something similar on the first page of the results.

Earlier in the week, I made a big chipotle chicken dinner salad. I used a mix of local Bibb, romaine and green leaf lettuces, spinach, carrot, sweet onion, broccoli, cucumber, radish, grape tomatoes and pea shoots. I took the recipe’s suggestion for strawberries, corn and avocado, left off the bacon, and added steamed chilled asparagus. I steamed the asparagus in parchment with lemon, my new favorite asparagus prep. I didn’t make the cilantro vinaigrette because I ran out of time. We used the dressings we had, which for me, was my favorite chipotle ranch—perfect for this mix of flavors.

The highlight of the week: soft shell crabs—simply dredged in flour and sautéed in lots of butter. Every Thursday, I’m now going to the State Farmers Market in Raleigh to pick up two different types of fish or shellfish at Locals Seafood as part of my CSF share—that’s community supported fishery.

On the side we had kale sautéed with bacon, tomatoes and onions, and a summer squash, broccoli stem and red bell pepper sauté with carrot top pesto.

The next night, we had the other half of our CSF: Maple Soy Glazed Mackerel. The recipe made way too much glaze, tasty, but too much. Instead of brushing it on the fish three or four times like the recipe suggested, I only did it once before putting the mackerel in the oven. The glaze is so boldly flavored, like the fish, that one application was sufficient.

Instead of making the avocado side suggested by the mackerel recipe, I made a cucumber mint avocado salad—what one commenter called “mojito guacamole,” the name fits. I added sweet onion to the recipe for additional crunch and flavor. I’ll make this one many times more, it’s a perfect summer side.

I also made this quick and easy spicy roasted bok choy again, but this time I added chopped garlic scapes instead of regular garlic.

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

On My Menu

Tonight, thanks to another raid of our chest freezer, we’re having slow cooker barbecue short ribs. Since I only about two pounds of short ribs, I created a recipe based on this one and this one. I meant to do something with these ribs in the winter but they were lost in the freezer. At least the slow cooker won’t heat up the kitchen.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make a roasted beet and quinoa salad with orange-ginger vinaigrette that’s been on my to-do list for a while. This is another adapted recipe from this one and this one. We’ll have leftover greens on the side.

I haven’t made my old stand-by, chipotle salmon, for a while so it’s time. And I’ll have CSF fish for other meals. Yes, it’s a fish week, love it! Our sides will be produce from the CSA and farmers market: perhaps kale, chard, broccoli, bok choy and/or sweet potatoes.

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.

Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson ($2.99)

Soon after the Childs arrived in Paris in 1948, a French cat appeared on their doorstep, and Julia recalled, “Our domestic circle was completed.” Minette captured Julia’s heart, igniting a lifelong passion for cats equaled only by her love of food and her husband, Paul. All the cherished feline companions who shared Julia’s life—in Paris, Provence, and finally California—reminded her of that magical time in Paris when her life changed forever. From Julia’s and Paul’s letters and original interviews with those who knew her best, Barey and Burson have gathered fresh stories and images that offer a delightfully intimate view of a beloved icon.

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi ($2.99)

Yotam Ottolenghi’s four eponymous restaurants—each a patisserie, deli, restaurant, and bakery rolled into one—are among London’s most popular culinary destinations. Now available for the first time in an American edition and updated with US measurements throughout, this debut cookbook… features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean. The recipes reflect the authors’ upbringings in Jerusalem yet also incorporate culinary traditions from California, Italy, and North Africa, among others. Featuring abundant produce and numerous fish and meat dishes, as well as Ottolenghi’s famed cakes and breads, Ottolenghi invites you into a world of inventive flavors and fresh, vibrant cooking.

The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside by Marte Marie Forsberg ($1.99)

Share in a gorgeous, thoughtful life in the charming English countryside with The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook of recipes and stories by Norwegian-born photographer and tastemaker Marie Forsberg.

A Real Southern Cook: In Her Savannah Kitchen by Dora Charles ($2.99) 

In her first cookbook, a revered former cook at Savannah’s most renowned restaurant divulges her locally famous Savannah recipes—many of them never written down before—and those of her family and friends… These are the intensely satisfying dishes at the heart of Dora’s beloved Savannah… Each dish has a “secret ingredient” for a burst of flavor… With moving dignity, Dora describes her motherless upbringing in Savannah, the hard life of her family, whose memories stretched back to slave times, learning to cook at age six, and the years she worked at the restaurant. “Talking About” boxes impart Dora’s cooking wisdom, and evocative photos of Savannah and the Low Country set the scene.

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table by Tammy Algood ($2.99)

You’ll always find the truest taste of home at the local farms, roadside stands, and produce markets in your community. These are the places that offer up the native flavors of the South and all its seasons. They are your portal to the fields, the waters, and the vines where your food is cultivated… Tammy Algood’s Farm Fresh Southern Cooking celebrates this experience with delicious recipes that will enhance the natural flavors of your latest market haul and stories of the South’s most dedicated growers and culinary producers.

Slow Cook Modern: 200 Recipes for the Way We Eat Today by Liana Krissoff ($2.99)

Beloved for her fresh, modern canning recipes, Liana Krissoff is back with modern slow cooker recipes that are sophisticated, full of flavor and spice, and thoughtfully designed for those who wish to use their slow cookers on weekdays, when they can leave the Crock-Pot on all day. In Slow Cook Modern, Krissoff shares more than 150 recipes, including quick, fresh side dishes created for the adventurous home cook. All the slow cooker recipes are true 8-hour dishes, so you can actually prepare each dish in the morning and finish it quickly when you get home… Filled with recipes using real, fresh ingredients, Slow Cook Modern allows busy people with eclectic tastes to come home to a nourishing meal every night of the week.

Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times by Mark Bittman ($2.99)

In sections that cover everything from appetizers, soups, and sauces to meats, vegetables, side dishes, and desserts, Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times showcases the elegant and flexible cooking style for which Bittman is famous, as well as his deep appreciation for fresh ingredients prepared with minimal fuss. Readers will find tantalizing recipes from all over, each requiring little more than basic techniques and a handful of ingredients… the dishes here are perfect for simple weeknight family meals or stress-free entertaining. Certain to appeal to anyone—from novices to experienced cooks—who wants to whip up a sophisticated and delicious meal easily, this is a collection to savor, and one destined to become a kitchen classic.

Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from Our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan ($3.00)

Everything in generosity is the motto of Zoe Nathan, the big-hearted baker behind Santa Monica’s favorite neighborhood bakery and breakfast spot, Huckleberry Bakery & Café. This irresistible cookbook collects more than 115 recipes and more than 150 color photographs, including how-to sequences for mastering basics such as flaky dough and lining a cake pan. Huckleberry’s recipes span from sweet (rustic cakes, muffins, and scones) to savory (hot cereals, biscuits, and quiche). True to the healthful spirit of Los Angeles, these recipes feature whole-grain flours, sesame and flax seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, natural sugars, and gluten-free and vegan options—and they always lead with deliciousness. For bakers and all-day brunchers, Huckleberry will become the cookbook to reach for whenever the craving for big flavor strikes.

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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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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

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.

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

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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.