You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2013.

Loyal readers may have noticed that there’s been some radio silence here at the site for the last couple of weeks.  What’s up?! you may wonder.  We haven’t stopped cooking. And we definitely haven’t stopped eating.  Cookbooks are still being reviewed, recipes are still being tested, greens are being planted and chickens, scolded (they learned to cross the road to the library last week! and it wasn’t because they wanted to borrow the latest cozy mystery.  The next day, they got an electronet fence.)

app tease

sneak peek!

No, the reason for the blog pause has been a flurry of frantic, behind-the-scenes activity on my Big New Project.   It’s a cookbook-rating app! to be called CookShelf and published by Sutro Media.  In fact, it is the first ever cookbook-rating app on the market.

With an initial database of over 200 titles, CookShelf will offer rankings and ratings on  different criteria, like Skill Level and Giftworthiness. It’ll have mini-reviews, links to recipe-tested full reviews where available, peeks inside the books, filters for sorting out cookbook types, usability data (like page layout and recipe speed), buy links, and more.

In short, CookShelf will provide the expert recommendation you need to buy a cookbook you’ve never seen before with confidence – whether it’s for yourself or somebody you love.  (Hello, Mother’s Day!)

So, for the last several weeks I’ve been furiously developing a rating system, analyzing books, writing capsule reviews, entering and hyperlinking data, and sometime in the next couple of weeks –  when we’ve made it through Apple’s queue – the app will launch.

Stay tuned!  Cookbook expertise at your fingertips is on the way!

moroccan cooking, middle eastern cooking, using preserved lemons

“I trace my finger down the ingredients list. Shallots, check. Tomatoes, check. Cinnamon stick, check. And then there it is:  Preserved lemon. “Drat!” I think. “Foiled again!” 

That’s how this story started – I finally made up my mind to get a clue about preserved lemons, and never again find myself caught without a stash on hand. If you’ve already got preserved lemons on hand, congratulations! Let’s get cooking.  And if you haven’t?  Well, there couldn’t be a better time to start.

Read Preserved Lemons: Older, Wiser, and Full of Flavor at NPR’s Kitchen Window here.

Can Fuchsia Dunlop do it again?

Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook got us used to a certain level of well-glossed, well-described, more-authentic-than-average style of regional Chinese cookbook.

Every Grain of Rice isn’t a regional cookbook.  It’s an 200+-recipe overview of everyday Chinese cooking, bidding for a place on the weeknight rotation.  Does it succeed?

Click here to read today’s review of Every Grain of Rice  in the Boston Globe.  (Hit the paywall?  Use this PDF link.)

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