the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘food

A while back I got talking about my cookbook collection. The husband and I have been on an Asian food kick lately – Pakistani food, Thai Food, Malaysian curries, fancy Ramen, Chinese dumplings.  We’ve been exploring the joys of curries thanks to this cookbook:

curry cuisineand one of our favorites out of here is Japanese Curry Rice. I think I explained it to my parents as “imagine your favorite beef stew kicked up with curry spices and then served over rice. It’s not as spicy as it sounds”.  Well, I lied. it IS as spicy as it sounds. That’s what the rice is for.  Plain full-fat greek yogurt on the side is good for cooling your mouth down.

I called this blog post “One way to make Curry Rice” because I’m sure there are a million ways. This is our way,  slightly adapted from the Curry Cuisine recipe.



Ready for lots of badly lit photos of delicious food? Are you prepared to dirty every saucepan and measuring spoon in your kitchen? let’s go!

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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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Portal Cake (with recipe!), Klava, Stackfalter Sturton cheese, Romulan Ale* and more.  Have you got a favorite food or drink from a scifi or fantasy?  Check out the latest Mind Meld on SFSignal on our avorite science fiction foods and drinks to see who suggested which!

*Who provided the answer Romulan Ale? Vic Mignogna. The name might not ring a bell, but I bet you know who he is:

He’s the voice of Edward Elric. I spent about five years being more than a little obsessed with this manga and the first anime series.  Would still love to crossplay Edward sometime.




He plays Capt Kirk on Star Trek Continues. This project is just buckets of fun.


star trek continues



I muppet flailed when he e-mailed me back.


Shhhhh!!!  No one tell John at SFSignal that sometimes I invite people to MindMeld that I am totally fangirl crushing on.


EdibleBook poster rev tabloid

When I say “I eat books like that for breakfast”, what I mean is that I eat them for dessert. literally*.  Around the world, on or around April Fool’s Day is The Edible Books Festival.  Our local Edible Books evening was the first Friday of April. Hosted by the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, over twenty smart, funny, and punny edible books awaited judgement (and eating!).   Being a play on words, or a pun of some kind certainly wasn’t a requirement, but all of my favorites were word plays of some kind. observe the deliciousness! Warning – photo dump and awful photography ahead.



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I’ve already tortured you with my #idiottourist photos of the beach and of (zomg!) Borderlands books. We wandered around the Mission district of San Fransisco and then went to JapanTown where we went to what might be the coolest Sushi restaurant in the country.  TwoDudes, I’m counting on you to give us more info on JapanTown!

Arrrr, this creative sign down the street from Borderlands cracked me up. Sorry to hear about the store tho.


I’m not sure if this was graffiti that had guerrilla artwork over it, or what, but it made me smile. Yes, this is a super crappy attempt at a panorama.

mural sort of

And then we went to JapanTown! This is an indoor shopping mall/mecca of all things Japanese. There was plenty of kawaii, j-pop, Ghibli, kite-painters, Japanese bookstores, Japanese food, drink, and clothing, and all sorts of amazing things (including some kitch).

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Not a lot of reading got done this weekend.

Cuz I was busy making this:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread!

And apparently the secret is rising the dough overnight in the fridge, and not using an entire egg and tons of butter in the cinnamon sugar mix. Blend the softened butter into the bread dough and then when you’re making the filling use just enough egg to dissolve the cinnamon sugar in.

also, this:

Lemon tart!

Lemon tart!

Note to self: next time you make the lemon tart filling,  beat the eggs before adding sugar  and lemon juice and zest. Otherwise you get those weird unmixed white bits. They still tasty delish, just look funny.

I ended up w/a  ton of unused egg whites.  mmmm…. egg white omelet for me!

meanwhile, I’m busy reading The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaaron and Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson. Gotta be mixing my sf with my f, know what I mean? 😉  And in the meantime, I’m percolating a review of Melanie Rawn’s The Diviner. Although I could easily just say “omg, it was awesome!” over and over again until I hit 500 words.


So, what did you do this weekend?

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Boy was it lucky I happened to stop into my local bookstore the other day (picking up an Iain M Banks book, of course).  My friends there let me know about the Edible Books Festival that was happening later than evening. A room full of edible books? why yes, yes I would like to attend! and so I did.

edible book festival

The Edible Book Festival was exactly what it sounded like. Hosted by our Book Arts Center, there were nearly twenty “edible books”, often punning the title. Submissions were from local restaurants, book stores, book clubs, and pretty much anyone who wanted to make something. We looked, we photographed, we voted, and then we ate!  Good thing I was able to snap some quick photos, as within five minutes of the winners being announced, the tables were rushed by hungry people. I heard Call of the Wild and Pair A Dice Lost were very tasty.

Ready for a chuckle? here’s the photos, with their punny captions:

Pair a Dice Lost

Pair a Dice Lost

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This has been one helluvan exciting weekend, no?  Hugo awards announced at WorldCon in Chicago, fan community uproar when the streaming service cut the feed due to copyright infringement (showing clips of the winning TV episode? oh the horror!!), the livetweeting awesomeness that followed, and the highlight of my weekend, the grilled pizza cookoff.

Also, this Friday, Sept 7th is National Buy a Book day, so you should totally go buy something. I dunno, maybe one of these snazzy novels, perhaps the bolded one that JUST WON A HUGO AWARD for best novel!

Among Others by Jo Walton
A Dance With Dragonsby George R. R. Martin
Deadline by Mira Grant
Embassytown by China Miéville
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

And by the way, click here for a list of all the nominees and winners. A personal congratulations to Jim C. Hines for winning best fan writer. That dude is an all around awesome individual – great fantasy writer, great advocate, great sense of humor, wonderful father, and just generally the kind of person you want in your life. I’ve linked his name to his blog, you should click on it.
oh, and also?

this weekend was the third annual grilled pizza cookoff!  and after all that brilliant WorldCon live tweeting last night, the least I can do is post some delicious pictures of all the incredible food we chowed down on. More home made pizza than you can shake a stick at. literally.  we had to cook in stages because it wouldn’t all fit on the picnic table. Also? there were epic desserts. observe!

herbed thin sliced potatoes, bacon, cheese, deliciousness!

Chicken Satay Pizza – awesomely delicious, unless you have a peanut allergy.

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Time for something completely different!  Work has been nuts lately, so I read something quick and easy. it had lots of pictures.

Oishinbo, volume 1, by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki

Where did I get it: the library

I’d been hearing about this title for a while “The manga that’s all about food!”,  “a bestseller in Japan!”, “everybody is reading this!”, so when I saw it at the library, of course I had to get it.  The title, Oishinbo, means Gourmet, so this had to be for a food lover like me!

The first few pages of Oishinbo are character profiles, and with a large cast, you will want to take the time to read these. The main characters are Yamaoto Shiro, a young man who was trained in the traditional culinary arts and now works at a news agency, and his father Kaibara, one of the city’s foremost experts in traditional cooking techniques.Yamaoto had originally trained at his fathers school, but the two had a falling out and are now barely on speaking terms. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Yamaoto’s friends and co-workers, and Kaibara’s business associates.

Yamaoto’s newspaper is working on an “Ultimate Menu”, and each chapter in Oishinbo covers a different aspect of traditional Japanese cooking from Dashi, the chopsticks, to the basics of sushi, to knife use and treatment to tea ceremony to the connection between environment and meal enjoyment.  This isn’t so much a plot centered story as it is a discussion of the beauty of Japanese food culture. The food culture and culinary traditions of Japan focus around presentation, and the time, energy, and love that went into creating and preparing the food, the utensils used to eat it, the plates it is served on, even the environment it is served in.

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A Chicago public school has banned lunches brought from home (exceptions made for students with allergies).   I’m really, really hoping this is a hoax, but it’s looking pretty legit.

Read all about it in the Chicago Tribune.  It’s been getting tons of well deserved negative press, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the school changes their tune.  I can understand that the school wants their students to eat healthy lunches,  but have you actually seen school cafeteria food lately?  YUCK.

(by the way, that photo is from Fed Up With School Lunch, a blog by a public school teacher who does NOT teach at the school in question.  )

My personal political feelings on the issues don’t matter (well, they do, I’m on the internet, and my opinion is important, damn it!), and this post ISN’T ABOUT MY OPINION on this particular issue.  What does matter, is that this sounds like perfect science fiction story fodder. And that’s what this post is about. 

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FTC Stuff

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.