Cookbook Haul!

Here are the four cookbooks I recently checked out from the library!  The library can be a great resource for finding testing out new cookbooks before you purchase them!  Or trying to make a new cuisine!

Will a make any recipes out the books?  Maybe and maybe not.

I am one of those people that likes to read cookbooks for their authors stories about how the recipes where developed, what connections the authors have to food and my love of food photography.

  • Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and More by Hsiao-Ching Chou35850771

    • Chinese food is more popular than any other cuisine and yet it often intimidates North American home cooks. Chinese Soul Food draws cooks into the kitchen with recipes that include sizzling potstickers, stir-fries that are unbelievably easy to make, saucy braises, and soups that bring comfort with a sip.  These are dishes that feed the belly and speak the universal language of “mmm!” You’ll find approachable recipes and plenty of tips for favorite homestyle Chinese dishes, such as red-braised pork belly, dry-fried green beans, braised-beef noodle soup, green onion pancakes, garlic eggplant, and the author’s famous potstickers, which consistently sell out her cooking classes in Seattle.
  • Jacques Pépin Poulets Légumes: My Favorite Chicken Vegetable Recipes by Jacques Pépin36483977

    • The legendary cooking teacher whom GQ calls “the most impactful living chef in America” shares his favorite chicken and vegetable recipes from a half-century career spanning two continents. Some, like Poulet à la Crème and Baker’s Wife Potatoes, recall the country French dishes of his childhood, while Chicken with Cognac Sauce and Velvet Spinach come from his days in fine French restaurants. Most, though, are born in his contemporary Connecticut kitchen. All have that trademark Pépin touch: made with just a few steps but sublime enough for company, from Roast Split Chicken with Mustard Crust to Caramelized Tomatoes Provençal. Charmingly illustrated with Pépin’s paintings, this little compendium is perfect for revitalizing every cook’s repertoire.
  • Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Thai Isan & Lao Roots by James Syhabout, John Birdsall

    • 35008540After the success of Commis, his fine dining restaurant and the only Michelin-starred eatery in Oakland, Syhabout realized something was missing—and that something was Hawker Fare, and cooking the food of his childhood. The Hawker Fare cookbook immortalizes these widely beloved dishes, which are inspired by the open-air “hawker” markets of Thailand and Laos as well as the fine-dining sensibilities of James’s career beginnings. Each chapter opens with stories from Syhabout’s roving career, starting with his mother’s work as a line cook in Oakland, and moving into the turning point of his culinary life, including his travels as an adult in his parents’ homelands.From building a pantry with sauces and oils, to making staples like sticky rice and padaek, to Syhabout’s recipe for instant ramen noodles with poached egg, Hawker Fare explores the many dimensions of this singular chef’s cooking and ethos on ingredients, family, and eating well. This cookbook offers a new definition of what it means to be making food in America, in the full and vibrant colors of Thailand, Laos, and California.
  • Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day by Alexander Smalls, J.J. Johnson

    • 32673677In two of the most renowned and historic venues in Harlem, Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson created a unique take on the Afro-Asian-American flavor profile. Their foundation was a collective three decades of traveling the African diaspora, meeting and eating with chefs of color, and researching the wide reach of a truly global cuisine; their inspiration was how African, Asian, and African-American influences criss-crossed cuisines all around the world. They present here for the first time over 100 recipes that go beyond just one place, taking you, as noted by The New Yorker, “somewhere between Harlem and heaven.  This book branches far beyond “soul food” to explore the melding of Asian, African, and American flavors. The Afro Asian flavor profile is a window into the intersection of the Asian diaspora and the African diaspora. An homage to this cultural culinary path and the grievances and triumphs along the way, Between Harlem and Heaven isn’t fusion, but a glimpse into a cuisine that made its way into the thick of Harlem’s cultural renaissance.

If you are looking for a cookbook that reads more like a memoir Vivian Howard’s 576 page cookbook Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South is always a must.  Plus the recipes, I have made from the book are super tasty!

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Organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level–from beginners to confident cooks–DEEP RUN ROOTS features time-honored simple preparations alongside extraordinary meals from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer. Home cooks will find photographs for every single recipe.
As much a storybook as it is a cookbook, DEEP RUN ROOTS imparts the true tale of Southern food: rooted in family and tradition, yet calling out to the rest of the world.
Ten years ago, Vivian opened Chef and the Farmer and put the nearby town of Kinston on the culinary map. But in a town paralyzed by recession, she couldn’t hop on every new culinary trend. Instead, she focused on rural development: If you grew it, she’d buy it. Inundated by local sweet potatoes, blueberries, shrimp, pork, and beans, Vivian learned to cook the way generations of Southerners before her had, relying on resourcefulness, creativity, and the traditional ways of preserving food.
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Books made into TV Shows

I have a confusion to make…
One that is often not a popular opinion in the library world (at least in mine). I love when books become TV shows. I get where people and my fellow librarians are coming from when they say “BUT THEY RUIN THE BOOK.” Sometimes the TV show is different than the book. Sometimes the TV SHOW is wayyyyy different than the book. Sometimes the TV show sucks.
But when it does go right, and people who are typically not readers might just decide to pick up the book and maybe even try to find books that are similar to those books. I see it as a significant win. You cannot make people read. You can try, but trust me when I say it may or may not work. I date someone who get this has read a single book for every year we have been together. AN ENTIRE THREE BOOKS! Yup, that’s it. Three. I, a librarian who reads at least 65 books a year (on a slow one at that) dates someone who reads a single book a year.

Why then do I love TV shows that are from books?
TV shows can motivate people to read books! The book becomes less of a scary item and more of something familiar. Something that lets you become a real fan!

Here are my favorite TV SHOW BOOK COMBOS:

What are your favorite TV/Book Combos?

 

 

Three Romance Novels I Cannot Wait to Read!

I read a lot of romance.  Some might say too much romance, however compared to my 86-year-old grandmother who reads a romance a novel (only cowboy romance mind you) a day the number of romance novels I read a year is chump change.

Here are the romance novels I am hoping to read over the next couple of months:  

  • A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) by Alyssa ColeBetween grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise. Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown. The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

 

  • Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City #7) by Penny Reid                 Image result for Marriage of Inconvenience (There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit. Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.  Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece. Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

 

  • Hello Strangers (The Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas 
    Image result for Hello Strangers lisaA woman who defies her time. Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again. A man who breaks every rule. As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.