Tag: Books

Weekend Finds 8:30:14

It’s Labor Day weekend! Which means you should probably be outside doing something fabulous instead of sitting inside on your computer reading this. But if you’re doing the latter, that’s ok with me. The time has come for SERIOUSLY SUMMER’S ALMOST OVER AND WE HAVEN’T DONE [insert stereotypical summer activity here] YET, GAH. So, these weekend finds are some things I need to do in the next month, and some things I’m looking forward to.

1. Summer Vegetables and Glass Noodles

Glass Noodle Salad on Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I need more hot weather so I can eat more cold noodles.

This summer has been the season of cold noodles with crunchy veggies. I’ve got a few weeks left of summer, so I’m going to try to get one last version in, and it will be this one (or a variation on it) with glass noodles.

2. Restaurant Trends of 2014

Bon Appetit's Restaurant Trends // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Sweet neon signs are a trend I can get behind.

We all know Bon Appetit just put out their list of the top 10 hot restaurants of 2014 (and if you don’t, you should). But they also just put out a list of the top 25 restaurant trends of 2014. Which is pretty entertaining.

3. Pickled Blueberries

Pickled Blueberries on Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I love this new take on blueberries.

While I love a good blueberry muffin. Or blueberry galette. Or any blueberry baked goods. But sometimes, savory is good too. Which is why these pickled blueberries pique my interest.

4. Bull in China

Bull in China // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
They’re really just enabling me, at this point.

Guys, my neighborhood is blowing up. Lots of construction, lots of neat places opening up. Included, this one stop shop for bartenders, Bull in China, by a couple local bartenders. I’m certainly looking forward to stopping in, lusting after the glassware, tasting the bitters, and reading all the liquor literature.

5. Fudgesicles

Fudgesicles on Orangette // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Cold frozen chocolate on a hot day? Yes please.

If I haven’t already told you about Molly Wizenberg and her lovely blog, Orangette, I’m telling you now. Her writing is wonderful (I’m still working on getting my hands on a copy of her newest book, Delancey), her photos are so beautiful and really she could probably tell a story just with them. But her recipes are delightful. I’m hoping I can make these fudgesicles before the warm weather runs out.

Weekend Finds 5:26:14

I know what you’re thinking. “Annie, here you are, posting weekend finds on a Monday. Again.” BUT it’s Memorial Day weekend. So, I’m going to say it’s still the weekend. So there. Here’s what I’ve been eyeing this week.

1. Food Memoirs

Foodie Memoirs from the Kitchn // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
My summer reading list just grew by three.

I’ve been really looking forward to reading Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey for a while now, because I just love her writing. Love it. But I’m now excited to add two more books to my summer reading list, thanks to the Kitchn’s little article on new foodie memoirs.

2. Carrot Pancakes with Salted Yogurt

Carrot Pancakes from Bon Appetit // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I love the color of these carrot pancakes!

My mom came to visit me (thanks, Mom!) and she brought her most recent issue of Bon Appetit to show me some recipes. This one for carrot pancakes jumped off the page at me, and I am itching to make it.

3. What to know before buying strawberries

All about Strawberries on Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Educate yourselves about strawberries!

I like this list from Food52 linking to articles all about strawberries: different varieties, what to do when they’re over the hill, freezing them, and roasting them. I also like this post also about strawberries. Ingredient education, guys! I can’t wait for Hood season in Portland. It’s a close second to rhubarb season.

4. Crispy Skinned Salmon

Crispy Skinned Salmon on Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious CrustCrispy Skinned Salmon on Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I love the crunch of crispy fish skin.

These days, whenever we make fish (usually trout), I peel the skin off and fry it up afterwards. I love the crispy skin, the fishy, crunchy, slightly burnt flavor. And I never seem to be able to get that same result when I just pan fry a filet. But I’m going to try Russ Parson’s technique, and enjoy more crispy fish skin.

5. Hibiscus Rum Buck

Hibiscus Rum Buck on Honestly YUM // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
This cocktail looks so beautiful, I can’t even.

This cocktail from Honestly Yum is looking so crazy good to me right now. This might have something to do with the fact that when I was in California last weekend, I drank as much jamaica as I usually drink in maybe a year. So combining a little hibiscus syrup (a la jamaica) with some rum, lime, and ginger beer sounds delicious, as well as incredibly refreshing.

Books about food: What could be better?

Lately, the only books I have been reading are food memoirs. And by lately, I mean the past… year or so. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you as it is the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Also, it’s that time when sometimes you buy holiday gifts for people, and I think any one of these would make a lovely present.

Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton: This is the book that started me on this food/chef memoir kick. Recommended to me by my dad’s girlfriend, Darla, this is a very well written story about Hamilton’s journey as a chef, the opening of her restaurant Prune in NY, and her marriage. Because this was the first chef memoir I read, I was totally enthralled and unable to put it down, which worked because at the time I read it I was without internet, without TV, and without a job. Hamilton also went to school for writing (a theme among cooks, I’m finding), so the story is very well written, engaging, and beautiful. No one can write about Italian tomatoes the way this woman can.
J: This book reminded me of the power that food has to bring people together and help us celebrate life.  The chapters about the author’s childhood reminded me of the parties our “yard” of three families used to host in the summer where we would line up tables in the yard and people would bring food, we would grill, and have a good time.

Heat by Bill Buford: This book is all about Mario Batali. Well, kind of. It’s about Bill Buford, a writer at the New Yorker, leaving his job to follow in Batali’s footsteps. First by procuring a job at Batali’s NY hotspot Babbo, and eventually by traveling to Italy to study under the same little old ladies in rural villages as Batali did. This book is a little more academic in some sense, as Buford delves in to the history of Italian cuisine and the methods of certain dishes. He also teaches us how to properly make pasta and how to butcher a pig (brought up to his NY apartment via vespa and elevator).

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg: I went on a trip with my dad this past summer, and he brought this book, which I promptly stole and started reading. Wizenburg is a beautiful writer, which is one reason I love reading her blog. This book is a series of short stories from her life, all of which mention or are centered around food. What I love about this book is that she shows us her connection to food from a young age, and you see her passion develop from her childhood to adulthood. I also love that she provides recipes for the foods she talks about, making it even easier to connect to her and her stories because it’s so easy to go into the kitchen and make her wedding cake, or make her father’s potato salad. The story isn’t necessarily linear, which I actually liked because it was easy to read a chapter before bed without getting totally wrapped up in the story. (P.S. I made her wedding cake, also called “Winning Hearts and Minds” cake for a friend’s birthday. It was kind of like a very cakey chocolate souffle, or just chocolate butter. It was really lovely, and I totally recommend it.)

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl: If you don’t know who Ruth Reichl is, shame on you. She is a very (very) famous food critic for the New York Times, food writer, and editor-in-chief at Gourmet Magazine. In fact, she has another book about being a food critic that I can’t wait to read. This book, however, is similar to A Homemade Life. Reichl tells us about her relationship to food from a very young age: her mother was a self-taught cook, not following recipes, pairing odd ingredients, and often encouraging her family to eat dishes long after they had gone bad in the refrigerator. Reichl, perhaps because of this, learned to cook, and was known amongst her friends as the one to be fed by. Accompanied by recipes, Reichl tells us stories of dishes from her childhood through her adulthood. I haven’t yet made any of these recipes, but I’m sure that when I do, they’ll be good.

Life, on the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas: This is probably my favorite chef memoir that I have read so far. Buying this book was hard for me. I was at Powell’s, looking at their little table of highly recommended or newly released or whatever it was, and I didn’t even pick this book up. Why? Because if you click on the link above, you’ll see the cover, where Achatz looks, in my opinion, more than a little full of himself. But Jonah picked it up (yay for him for literally not judging a book by its cover), read the back, and handed it to me. I was then convinced to buy it. A book about two things I have a relationship with: food and cancer? I’ll bite. What I liked about this book is that Achatz and Kokonas aren’t necessarily the best writers ever, but this story is so cool that this book is impossible to put down. Achatz makes a completely different kind of food (big into molecular gastronomy, which some people hate, I know, but it’s extremely interesting), one that is still pushing culinary boundaries. So to read about the development of these dishes and the method behind the food is really amazing. Also, to read about the business side of opening a very risky restaurant was very interesting. Achatz’s cancer, which I thought would play a much larger part in the story, really came closer to the end, almost as a epilogue or afterthought, but made you root for him even more. Bottom line, this is a cool story about cool food.

Hopefully that can add a few things to your “to read” list! If you have any other questions about these books, ask away!