You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2013.

August means tomato heaven, out there on the farmstands, in the gardens, and at your local farmers’ market. And because it’s finally cooling down, you might not even mind turning on the oven to roast a few. Here’s how–trust me, it’s worth it.

Click here to read Roasted Tomatoes: The Perfect Accessory for Summer Dishes at NPR’s Kitchen Window.

It’s been a very busy few weeks, but I’ll be back with more cookbook reviews, CookShelf app updates, as soon as the kids are back to school (1 down, 1 to go)!

Browse all my Kitchen Window stories for NPR.

A thoughtful and nicely packaged volume of tweaked, saturated classics.  Maybe not the most innovative or the fastest, but worth a second look.

Click here to read today’s review of ‘Old-School Comfort Food’ in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version

On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app , you’ll find more data points and analysis of this book and over 200 more of the latest cookbooks.  Treat yourself to a copy of the app for cookbook fanatics – it’s available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android devices and updated most Wednesdays (but fewer Wednesdays in August!).

A great book with an awful page design, Vietnamese Home Cooking is one of those books where it pays to persevere.   It’s  not one of those books that shouts “Come on in, the water’s fine!”  It’s more like “Here be dragons! Enter at own risk.”

The type is cramped.  The recipes have a number of nested sub-recipes.  Both recipes and sub-recipes are involved, with lots of mincing, crushing, and deep-frying.  So, the question I asked myself, with every recipe I waded, messily, through, was: is it worth it?  And the answers were, pretty much, YES.

Click here to read today’s review of Vietnamese Home Cooking in the Boston Globe.  (Hit the paywall?  Use this PDF link.)

On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app this week, you’ll find more data points and analysis of this book and over 200 more of the latest cookbooks.  Treat yourself to a copy of the app for cookbook fanatics – it’s available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android devices and updated most Wednesdays (but fewer Wednesdays in August!).

Maple, bacon, sausage, eggs, orange juice – sounds like breakfast, but what’s to stop you from eating your favorite 7 am ingredients at 7 pm?  That’s the question posed by Lindsey Landis and Taylor Hackbarth in this intriguing husband-and-wife blog book.

Click here to read today’s review of Breakfast for Dinner in the Boston Globe.  (Hit the paywall?  Use this PDF link.)

On  CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app this week, you’ll find more data points and analysis of this book and over 200 more of the latest cookbooks.  Treat yourself to a copy of the app for cookbook fanatics – it’s available for both  iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

When I first started writing professionally, it wasn’t just cookbooks that I reviewed.  I’d just left academic publishing after 10 years in literary studies, and there was a bit of a transition. My very first clips ran in Publishers Weekly, and they were book reviews: tiny, 200-word reviews of literary biographies, books about the occult (!), and a few books about food.

Over the years my focus shifted to cookbooks only.  But this month I had a chance to re-visit the world of mainstream book reviewing when NPR asked me to have a look at an Chinese-American food memoir.

‘On the Noodle Road’ turned out to be a fascinating read, although I had a number of disagreements with it.  And because I adore radio work, I especially enjoyed working with NPR to convert my 700-word review into into a 2-minute audio synopsis.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat, even if there is a long queue of cookbooks that are first in line as usual.

Click here to read the full version and listen to my ‘On the Noodle Road’ review as heard on All Things Considered.

splash screen demoThe folks at cooks&books&recipes are kindred spirits–cookbook obsessives who, like me, can mull over the finer points of our culinary libraries for days and days.

So I was especially glad to see they’d had a chance to look over, use, and enjoy CookShelf. Click here to check out the review!

Maybe CookShelf could use a marketing slogan.  “CookShelf – crack for cookbook lovers!  Get your fix weekly!”  I think it’s edgy.

Get CookShelf for iPhone/iPad !

Get CookShelf for Android !

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