the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘cookbooks

Never in a million years did I ever think I was going to say I was proud of Kim Kardashian.  Scroll to the bottom for that bombshell!

 

What have I been reading?

Finished Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s  novella And Shall Machines Surrender, and freakin’ loved it.   My brain still doesn’t want to write long reviews, so I put a short review on Amazon.  If you like some, any, or all of these things, this novella is for you:  Beautiful writing, tight plotting, show don’t tell, cyberpunk, when AIs don’t need humans anymore, AI run cities, AI and human melds, and super hot sex scenes.

Finally finished Death’s End by Cixin Liu.  Those last few chapters, HOLY SHIT!  but man it was a lot of boring to get there .  Had a great conversation with my dad about the series.  I love how this series has become our family reading club book!

 

Also finished The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang.  It was. . . meh?  I’m really happy it was a novella.  I will say that the further I got into it, the more I liked it, but I won’t be continuing with this series.

 

Started reading The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust.  What a blast!   It’s Brust’s take on The Three Musketeers, except more banter, more humor, and everyone is offended by literally everything, so there are duels like every 3 pages.  There is also this parody thing going on with the narrator.  And, um, Sethra Lavode is . . .  young-ish?  It is super fun. Luckily, there is like 5 books in this series, so that should keep me busy for a little while.

 

Went on a little bookstore adventure today, picked up:

Hild by Nicola Griffith – this has come highly recommended!  I was surprised to find it in general fiction, i thought this was a spec fic book?

Ismail Merchant’s Indian Cuisine – lots of easy recipes, nothing intimidating.

How Language Began by Daniel Everett – I’ve been hooked on the Lexicon Valley podcast, so I’m all about the history of languages right now!

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – I have no idea if this is good or not, but I liked the cover art. And it looks super different than everything I’ve been reading lately, that alone is a big plus.

Speaking of podcasts, I discovered “This Podcast will Kill You”, I think they talk about poisons?  I’ve only listened to the episode about Aspirin and holy shit it was fascinating!   Now i kinda wish my commute was longer, so i could listen to more of this? no, really, NO I do not want a longer commute!  Goal in life is a shorter commute!

 

oh, what did we cook this weekend?  Made the world’s most delicious shrimp and noodle stirfry, it was one of those stirfry’s where you throw a bunch of deliciousness into a wok, and then throw noodles and some sweet chili sauce in, and surprising no one you end up with a delicious stirfry.  Made a quinoa sorghum salad with mint lemon dressing for something healthy to snack on at work, Tonight we are making Curry Rice, which is one of my fave autumn dishes.  I’ve blogged about this dish before, but imagine a beef stew, but it’s made with curry gravy. Buckets of spices,  buckets of ginger and garlic and hot peppers and onions, and you serve it with rice and yogurt.  my mouth is watering!!!

 

Apropos of nothing, I am annoying that one of my fave kitchen / small home decorating sites, thekitchn, is now  like 80% advertising posts for Costco, Trader Joe, and Aldi.  Like, i like those stores? but I also prefer content that is cooking,  kitchen techniques, and small home decorating. I actually do not give a shit about how the different pumpkin spice things at Aldi compare to those at Trader Joe.

 

Same as The Kitchn is being taken over by thinly veiled advertising for Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe, Buzzfeed is being taken over by less thinly veiled advertising for everything Kardashian.  three cheers for click bait?

I never in a million years thought I’d say I’m proud of Kim,  but I’m proud of her.  Ten years ago, if anyone had told her what her child could or could not, or should, or should not do, she’d have stretched it out over a season of her stupid TV show, and then divorced the guy.  She must have learned how to #adult, since now she’s willing to have a conversation about it, willing to hear the other person out, willing to not turn it into huge drama.

 

Yes, it is super sad that I’m proud of her for the teeny tiny act of hearing her husband out,  not making money off the drama, and making her relationship more important than them disagreeing over something.   But still, I’m proud of her.  She’s solving problems through discussing things, and trying to understand the why behind why people feel the way they do.   Kim, you’re all grown up!

Welcome to  Five for Friday! The concept is simple – it’s a Friday, and I post a photo of 5 books, and then we chat about them in the comments.

The only things these books have in common are:
– they were on my bookshelf
– I’m interested in your thoughts on them.

have you read any of these? if yes, did you like them? If you’ve not read them, does the cover make you interested in learning more about the book?

Want to join in? Post a picture of 5 random books you own, with the tag #5ForFriday and get your friends talking.

 

 

I’m changing it up this week, and sharing five cookbooks!

My husband and I love cooking together, and tbh, my favorite thing about cooking is making meals with and for people I care about.  Dinners made with four hands just taste better.   Hubs and I have been cooking together for 20 years now.

French Food at Home – this is probably my most used cookbook. I call it my “cheater” French cookbook because French food should not be this straightforward!  Her recipes are easy to follow, flexible if you need to swap something, always delicious, and look really fancy.  Most of the recipes are 8 ingredients or less, and she has cute/funny intros for most of them.  Passover at our house is delicious because of this cookbook.

 

A Feast of Ice and Fire –  Before the tv show, there was this food blog called Inn at the Crossroads (and before that there was this unfinished series of books. . . ) where two cooks recreated the meals described in A Song of Ice and Fire and other fictional worlds.   If you are into food history, and what ingredients were available historically in what locations, this is the book for you!  The “old recipes” are fun to read, the food history is excellent, the pictures are gorgeous. The recipes tho? actually just so-so.  It’s just a hella cool cookbook to have on my shelf!

 

Japanese Soul Cooking – one of our newer cookbooks. A whole chapter on Japanese Curry! Okonomiyaki is now my fave dinner!  We’ve not even tried the fried stuff chapters yet.  Great photos and  easy to follow recipes that are designed for American eaters.  i do wish this book had a recipe for mochi, I’ve had to depend on youtube.

 

Regional Chinese Cooking – i picked this up years ago, it was a library discard.  This is from the 80s, I think, so the few photos that are in the book are terrible, and the salt content will probably kill you.  But every recipes works,  the sauces thicken exactly as they are supposed to, the instructions are perfect, and we just cut the salt in half. This is where I learned how to make pleated dumplings from scratch.

 

Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten Free Cookbook – I don’t miss bread, I miss beer. a lot.   this book is everything you didn’t know you could do with quinoa, chia, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, oats, and a whole bunch of other gluten free grains that I’ve never heard of.  Quinoa chia crackers and oat pear scones are my new BFF.   Quinoa is great in the summer because it cooks fast on the stove,  Sorghum is freakin’ delicious, and someone please tell me how to make Amaranth not taste and smell disgusting.

 

do you like to cook?  what cookbooks on your shelf are your go-to’s?   or do you get your recipes off pinterest?

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I love buying books.  If I read an author and fall in love with their work, I try to buy more of their books.  I can’t seem to leave a bookstore without purchasing a cookbook.

 

I’ve been waiting for Seth Dickinson’s next Baru Cormorant book since, oh, I dunno, about 5 seconds after finishing the first book in the series, The Traitor Baru Cormorant. I was so excited for the next book in the series, The Monster Baru Cormorant, that I reread the first one, managed to purchase a copy of the new book the day it came out, and started reading it that night. It’s super dense, I’m madly in love with all the economics talk (but wait, i thought I hated economics?),  and I really miss Tain Hu. Might have to reread the first book just to be able to spend some more time with her. I’m about half way through The Monster Baru Cormorant, and am pretty sure I’ll need to read it twice if I’m gonna write a coherent review.

About five minutes after I finished Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee,  I ordered a copy of Lee’s short story collection, Conservation of Shadows.    And I finally, finally, after everyone I know has said how amazing this series is, bought a copy of Vicious by V.E. Schwab.  the problem is going to be deciding which one of these to read first!!!   The Lee looks enjoyable because it’s short stories, i can read one or two before bed or in the morning before I leave for work.   If Vicious turns out to be an emotional roller coaster, I might need to wait a few weeks to read it,  as I’m still recovering from Revenant Gun, and a little voice is telling me that Baru is going to take me on another emotional roller coaster!

 

Even if I don’t get to either of these books any time soon, I like that they are in my house.

 

 

And because I apparently can’t leave a bookstore without buying a cookbook, lets make some Gyudon.   and there’s a whole chapter on Japanese Curry!  Curry Rice FTW!

By the way, you’ve still got a few hours to enter the give away for a free copy of Bradley Beaulieu’s Twelve Kings of Sharakhai! Read my review, to see if this is a book for you!

I’ve been catching up my reading lately, which means I need to catch up on my review writing the rest of this weekend. But, there is this other type of book that I purchase obsessively. Books I find myself going back to again, and again, reading for the pleasure of them.  What kind of book am I talking about?  Cookbooks!

Husband and I got started on a copy of Joy of Cooking. You can tell how much I’ve used that cookbook by how destroyed the binding is, and how stained the pages are. It’s got some great recipes, and some priceless how-to’s for prepping cuts of meat, cooking turkeys, things to do with random vegetables, easy cookies.  It was a great starting point . . . but as the years went on we wanted something, how shall I say, more interesting?

Read on, for a short tour of my favorite cookbooks out of our collection. Cooking is better when the book holding the recipe is an enjoyable book all by itself, no?

"Everything Tastes Better Outdoors", "The Book of Jewish Food", and "

“Everything Tastes Better Outdoors”, “The Book of Jewish Food”, and “A Book of Middle Eastern Food”, by Claudia Roden

My growing collection of Claudia Roden books. If you see her name on a cookbook, buy it. Seriously. My mom gifted me with a copy of “The Book of Jewish Food”, and my fate was sealed as a devotee of Roden’s conversational recipe style. “Everything Tastes Better Outdoors” is all picnic foods,”The Book of Jewish Food” is a world-wide recipe tour of Jewish Communities from India to North Africa to France and “A Book of Middle Eastern Food” is basically 100% deliciousness.   One of these cookbooks is usually sitting on the kitchen table, because I just enjoy reading them, just to read them. you know?

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.