now, i don't read much middle grade. i feel creaky enough when i am reading YA, squinting through my bifocals at...moreBOOK, WHY ARE YOU SO CUTE!!???
now, i don't read much middle grade. i feel creaky enough when i am reading YA, squinting through my bifocals at all the energetic protagonists. but wendy darling asked if i would join in on the blog tour for this book, and after i learned what a "blog" was, i got my old bones right on board. when a goodreads celebrity asks for your participation in something, you do not refuse. and considering how much i loved Rooftoppers last year, i figured it was time to see what else was out there in the world of MG.
and this book is such a delicious treat, to which i gladly give all four stars.
it's about gladys gatsby, an eleven-year-old foodie who is burdened with fast food-loving, terrible-cooking parents who do not know about her secret life as a mini-chef; that she has been creating gourmet meals for herself since she was seven years old. and they probably wouldn't ever have found out, except for an unfortunate meeting between a crème brûlée and the wrong kind of blowtorch, which resulted in NO MORE KITCHEN CURTAINS!
her punishment? no more cooking. no more reading about cooking. no more going to the one exotic-ingredients grocery store in her little corner of long island. she is doomed to night after night of takeout, and the occasional home-cooked meal by parents who are slaves to their microwave, and assert that meatloaf doesn't have "a set amount of time" to cook, and "We'll just nuke it until it looks done!"
oh, and she is also encouraged to play outside, make friends, be less solitary.
none of these are appealing to gladys at all.
however, when a school assignment about her future plans to become a famous food critic is misinterpreted as a job application at a major newspaper after a series of surprisingly plausible situations, she finds herself gainfully employed in her dream job.
and all she has to do is find a way to get into manhattan, go to her assigned restaurant, and submit a review that sounds like something an adult professional with years of training would have written. without her parents finding out.
what follows is a series of winsome adventures, delicious descriptions of food, and some triumphs in friend-making and parent-training, as gladys eventually gets to prove that, yes, meat does have a set cooking time, and food can be more than just fuel.
it's terrifically cute. and for those of you who are pooh-poohing the credibility of an eleven-year-old making these restaurant quality meals in her home kitchen - i watched masterchef junior last year, and those kids do NOT mess around.
and not a blowtorch mishap among 'em…
so, THANK YOU wendy darling, for thinking of me, because this was totally up my alley and now i feel youthful and vigorous. and hungry. very, very hungry.(less)
this is a really fun book for foodies, although in a way, it might be akin to carnivores reading Eating Animals. f...more24 hours in the life of a sous-chef.
this is a really fun book for foodies, although in a way, it might be akin to carnivores reading Eating Animals. for people who want to retain the mystery and ignore the warts of what happens behind-the-scenes at restaurants, this might take away the glamorous candlelit magic of the dining experience. not that this is in any way an exposé - everything in this book reinforces restaurants' strict adherence to the health code and the pure love that goes into food preparation, but just like the necessarily-suppressed guilt of the carnivore (of which i am one) when looking at a cute pig scampering around, you will understand reading this that people have worked hard and suffered so you could eat some food.
the hook of this book is that it is written in second person. but this is a gimmick that works particularly well for its subject matter - it brings a sweaty immediacy to the situation. you are making this food! you are in the weeds! you are managing your staff! you are ruining some filberts! you are not having enough time for your girlfriend!
and i really enjoyed thinking of this book as a long apology letter to the author's girlfriend. a "babe, i'm sorry i had to blow you off, but you see what i am going through here??" even though she seemed pretty understanding and cool about everything, being in the industry herself. and i felt very lucky, in the second person contrivance, to have such a special lady in my life.
i enjoyed the food-porn, especially the cheese-porn:
The Brinata - the queen piece, wrapped in white paper with a pink ribbon - summons you. You gently lay the cheese in the middle of the desk and begin to undress it, slowly peeling away the wrappings to reveal a semihard mound with delicate curves and moon-white skin. To use your fingers would be uncivilized. You trace the tip of a knife across the surface in search of the right place to enter. In one swift motion, you pierce the rind and thrust into its insides. You draw the blade out, plunge in again. You bring the triangle to your lips. It melts when it enters your mouth. Your palate goes prone; gooseflesh stipples your neck.
the moments of food science:
You roll the pork to reveal a golden brown sear. You spin the monk and it's the same. It's pure science: when the surface of a piece of food reaches approximately 300°F, certain sugars in the food begin to react with certain amino acids in the food and they rearrange to produce a series of nitrogenous polymers and melanoidins, which are responsible for a variety of luscious flavors and aromas. It's called the Maillard reaction. When it happens before your eyes, though, it blows your hair back.
and the other various things i learned:
Whole fishes must be sitting upright in the ice - dorsal fins to the sky as if they were swimming - in order to preserve their anatomical constitution. Laying a whole fish on its side predisposes it to bruising, bone breaks, bloodline punctures, uneven air circulation, and a host of other unwanted conditions that compromise the integrity of the fish.
how to test if foie gras-wrapped monkfish is done (not that i will ever need to in my tiny home kitchen, but it is fantastic)
The way you do this is with a cake tester, a thin metal pin about the length of a pencil. You insert the cake tester into the center of the fish and hold it there for ten seconds. When you remove it, you place it directly against the underside of your lower lip. If it is warm, the food is done. This technique has been around for hundreds of years, and it has a provincial flair to it, but it happens to be complexly scientific as well. The temperature at which most bacteria die, and at which protein begins to denature in such a way that it becomes cooked, is approximately 130°F. The temperature at which human skin begins to detect contact with heat is roughly 120°F. Empirical evidence suggests that a steel pin will, on average, undergo a ten-degree temperature decline in the time it takes to transfer it by hand from the interior of a cooked product to your lower lip. Ergo, when the cake tester is warm on your lip, the monkfish is thoroughly cooked.
what meat glue is:
Meat glue - known as transglutaminase in more sophisticated kitchens, or Activa in the purveyors' catalogs - is an enzyme that, when applied to two different cuts of meat, activates a covalent bond between the proteins, joining them together, in theory forever*. The most notable feature of this transaction is its thermo-irreversibility - the fact that the bond formed is capable of withstanding the application of heat** - which means that your meat-glued product will not break apart when you cook it, which makes the technique perfect for the monkfish roulade.
but mostly i just enjoyed the frenetic pacing of it - the exhaustion of a job that doesn't pay terribly well (nor, i have learned, does it provide health insurance), but attracts strong personalities who genuinely love their work and become, in the close quarters of the kitchen, a passionate, multi-lingual family attuned to each other in the dance of the kitchen and each contributing parts that make the delicious whole.
We are here to cook for people. Alimentation: the provision of nourishment - this is what we do. And we continue doing it long into the night, not because we favor adversity, but because we know that in doing so we get the chance to create with our hands something that sustains people and brings them joy. And because we know that in all the details, all the minutiae, all the intricate flourishes, difficult and tedious as they are, can be seen the sincerity of what we do. And even though our days are hard and congested and misaligned, we know that through persistent focus and discipline and effort and care, we have the continual opportunity to do something genuine.
thank you for making me food, restaurant staffs of the world. it was fun briefly being one of you.
i am making my way back into the land of reviewing....
i don't read a lot of nonfiction. but if i am really into the subject matter, i will take the pl...more i am making my way back into the land of reviewing....
i don't read a lot of nonfiction. but if i am really into the subject matter, i will take the plunge, and when it is narrative nonfiction, told with verve and humor, that makes it all the better. however, it turns out, i am more interested in food itself than in the utensils and machines that facilitate food preparation and storage.
"Consider the fork is an exploration of the way the implements we use in the kitchen affect what we eat, how we eat, and what we feel about what we eat."
and it's a great book for those of you inclined to explore these matters; there are definitely fascinating facts, and i have discovered a heretofore underdeveloped desire for a le crueset pan,
yeah, i want this.
overall, it was not quite what i was expecting. my fault entirely. but i learned a lot of interesting facts about the history of kitchen safety, and the development of cooling agents, a ton of antiquated kitchen gizmos, the evolution of the knife and its cultural associations, the dangers of the mandoline, the microwave phenomenon, and geyser cooking!
it is about food fads, and tradition and the evolution of cooking, and what we lose in quality the more we rely on machines to give us the shortcuts. it isn't a plea to return to simpler times, though - it doesn't have that kind of emotional agenda; it is purely scholarly, with some personal stories in the mix.
the best chapter is the one that talks about the food of the sixties and seventies, and the introduction of the cuisinart. i collect all those better homes and gardens cookbooks like
because they crack me up with their food presentation. everything has unexpected (canned) fruit, there are always these glistening sauces and toothpicks and aspic and everything can be made in a wok or tortured beyond its intended shape. and this book talks about this a bit, with the craze for smooth textures and endless dips and the ease that homemakers now found preparing more "exotic" dishes at home. with the newer technologies, women had more time on their hands to experiment, and these experiments have really defined that era. do yourself a favor and check one of them out sometime. so many cans to be opened!
and i do love thinking about "the first time." the first time people realized that an animal could be cooked over a fire. the first person who thought nutmeg might be edible. because, let's face it, this screams "poison" to me:
and it is, a little bit, but it is also delicious, right? but this book really makes you pause and think about foods we take for granted, and to think about that "first time" feeling, which is pretty exciting.
but it is also about the way we delude ourselves in the kitchen.
Kitchen gadgets - especially the fancy expensive kind that are sold through the shopping channels - advertise themselves with the promise that they will change your life. Often, however, your life is changed in ways that you did not expect. You buy an electric mixer, which makes it incredibly quick and easy to make cakes. And so you feel that you ought to make cakes, whereas before you acquired the mixer, making cakes was so laborious that you were happy to buy them. In fact, therefore, the mixer has cost you time rather than saving it. There's also the side effect that in making room for the mixer, you have lost another few precious inches of counter space. Not to mention the hours you will spend washing the bowl and attachments and mopping the flour that splatters everywhere as it mixes.
and it's true, all of it.
my grandmother is a sucker for cutesy kitchen gadgets. she has... everything. and then she will give them to my dad, and he will dutifully take them and eventually, he will pass it off to me. i have a ton of things here i will never ever use: plastic pastry shapers for making turnovers, a corn on the cob butterer shaped like a piece of corn, a teeny tiny rolling pin for making teeny tiny tarts, butter warmers, a machine for making those blooming onion thingies... and it's not like i have a lotta space here. but i feel sticky getting rid of them, you know? but having said that, my father has also become a devotee of the king arthur flour company, http://www.kingarthurflour.com/, and his baguette pan is something i would never have him be without. so for every lapful of "wait, why do i have this??"
there is something that actually works, and that i wouldn't want to give up like my ferocious microplane, which is pretty rad, but a bitch to clean, for sure.
but it is not just about fancy-schmancy devices, it is also about the invention of the pot, the spoon, the colander. things that we take for granted, but are timeless and necessary.
my only complaint is that the book lacks flow. the chapters don't really cohere into a unified story of food, the way i had hoped. the chapters stand alone, and each does have its nuggets of gold, but overall, it read like a series of essays. i liked the personal touches and anecdotes, and i think i would have liked to have seen more of those. for people who are interested in food, and cultural history and social anthropology, there is a lot here to chew on (heh.) but for me, it will always be about the food.(less)
four stars because the food network is my guiding angel, and i support any book or magazine they put out because they have always been inventive in th...morefour stars because the food network is my guiding angel, and i support any book or magazine they put out because they have always been inventive in their recipes, clear in their directions, and i love the photography in this, and all of their books.
but, it is a cookbook for beginners, so if you are practically a celebrity chef like me, a lot of the techniques and tips will be old news.
but - man - those pictures.
for example, i make an amazing lasagna. but the picture of the one in here still makes me a little wistful. although i am sure mine can kick its butt. when i make lasagna, that pan weighs the same as a three-year-old with a twinkie habit.
and there is a vegetable gratin in here that is so beautiful with its alternating layers of green and yellow squash and red tomatoes,that i almost don't want to cover it with slabs of meat.
and i am definitely going to use the recipe for migas next monday. but i will probably irish it up with some black pudding instead of chorizo. 'cuz us celebrity chefs have pizazz!
this is one of those books i drool over while already eating my monday-afternoon big breakfast. it makes no sense to read cookbooks while eating, i know, but it's just something i do, my version of relaxing with the crossword over coffee.
and i love that even though i know a lot of this stuff already, it is all gathered together for easy access should i suddenly forget how long beets need to be roasted, or what baby spinach is good for.
there are still some valuable recipes like pb&j wings, which i think is why i initially bought the book. i have a serious weakness for all things pbj.
and although i did say i loved all the food network's publications, and love to support them in all they do for the world of food, i would be a bad friend to greg if i didn't include this picture:
sorry, food network, even my love has limits.
now i am going to go lie down and frantically try to digest all that i have forced into myself. i am like a giant snake...full of breakfast meats and tomatoes...(less)
so, just up front, my two-star rating is probably completely unfair. if you are looking for a way to reduce the amount of preservatives you consume, k...more so, just up front, my two-star rating is probably completely unfair. if you are looking for a way to reduce the amount of preservatives you consume, kudos for you, and this is probably a truly helpful book. it lays out all the crap that is in snack foods and beverages, and offers up tasty organic substitutes. yum, right? goobers = bad, sunridge farms all natural chocolate toffee peanuts = good. fig newtons = bad, barbara's whole wheat fig bars = good.
but for me - i am under the impression that the artificial sweeteners in my food are going to slowly embalm me so i become immortal. and anybody who tells me that pop-tarts belong in the "hall of shame," well, i take that as a personal attack. pop-tarts have made me what i am, and while people may argue that that is all the more reason to be put in the "hall of shame," i think i am a mighty fine specimen, strong like hulk, stinging like bee.
and anyone who claims that something called "jolly beans" are better than the delicious array of flavors and wonderfully crackling "skin" of a jelly belly is clearly insane.
so - this is probably a fantastic book for all of you people with your bicycling everywhere and your bodies like temples, but for me, who has only eaten pancakes drenched in syrup, french fries drenched in mayonnaise, and ice cream today, well - you see how i roll.
why did i take this book from the free shelves at work, you ask? i thought it would be useful, you know, to try to teach an old dog new tricks. but it turns out i am one stubborn old dog.and you can pry my nutter butters from my cold, dead, good-looking corpse's hand.(less)
but still - this guy is really burning me up! because this isn't even a cookbook! this is just a journal of superiority. sure, he will list the ingredients and give some interesting information about the sandwiches in question, but at the end of the day, he is a king on a throne of bread and assorted meats, lording his bounty over us all.
look at this sandwich:
why is anyone besides me eating this? it has beets and goat cheese and honey and arugula and roasted red peppers and roasted garlic spread and whole wheat raisin nut bread. uncool, dude - that should be mine.
and this one:
the rules are, if it has bacon and bananas and honey and peanut butter, then it is mine. understood?
this one is called the "loosemeat" sandwich and is only here because its name makes me giggle.
whatever, dude, you are better than all of us. just know that no one likes you just because you are winning. at sandwiches.
incidentally, i resent the accusation that i am "finicky" for using a separate knife for my peanut butter and my jelly. that's just common sense, yo. peanut butter in the jelly gets all calcified, and jelly in the peanut butter is unacceptable.(less)
"so, katniss, the capitol must be quite a change from district twelve. what's impressed you most since you arrived here?" asks caesar.
what? what did h...more"so, katniss, the capitol must be quite a change from district twelve. what's impressed you most since you arrived here?" asks caesar.
what? what did he say? it's as if the words make no sense.
my mouth has gone dry as sawdust. i desperately find cinna in the crowd and lock eyes with him. i imagine the words coming from his lips. "what's impressed you most since you arrived here?" i rack my brain for something that made me happy here. be honest, i think. be honest.
"the lamb stew," i get out.
caesar laughs, and vaguely i realize some of the audience has joined in.
"the one with the dried plums?" asks caesar. i nod. "oh, i eat it by the bucketful." ....................................................
mmmm...i wonder what that stew looks and tastes like...
NOW I DON'T HAVE TO WONDER!!
it looks like this:
mmmm - admire it!
and it is delicious. except i have never actually bought prunes before, because i am not elderly, and was not aware that they are dried with the pits inside of them. it makes sense, but - oops. beware when eating my stew, friends...
i know this book is probably a silly thing to own, but i love cooking and i love the hunger games,and even though this is completely unauthorized, i still think it is wonderful. this person really put some time and care into assembling this thing. and for the most part, it feels authentic: edible flowers, mushrooms, wild herbs and nettles...except for the ginger ale in this stew. that seems unlikely.
she uses textual references from all three books explaining how she came up with each particular recipe, and they hail from the entire world of h.g. - from capitol to district 12. there are plenty of recipes that call for more exotic proteins like muskrat and raccoon and grooseling and other things i know i will not be able to find at wholefoods and my only chance of acquiring would be to become besties with the nuge:
although considering that my throat gets a little tight when i read recipes calling for, "1 (3- to 4-pound) raccoon, cut into pieces," we would probably have difficulties. but i can't say i'm not tempted by "grilled tree rat with peanut butter dipping sauce."
please don't cut me into pieces!
the recipes look great, for the most part. but let's be honest - that plum and lamb stew was the only one needed to make me get this book. when i was reading hunger games, a part of my mind was always on that stew. and now i have it.and it gave me the strength to get out there are wreck shit UP!
i really appreciate fans who do things like this, so i enthusiastically embrace this book. it is clearly a labor of love and not a gimmicky, glitzy ""give me your money" publication.like that angry birds cookbook. this has substance and style, and the remainder of the recipes (i mean, creamed goose over crumbled bacon polenta? yum!) sound promising.
but right now i have some stew to get into...(less)
this one is about a woman with so many food allergies, it makes my head spin: all dairy, eggs, soy, beef, shrimp...more another firstreads book i was denied!!
this one is about a woman with so many food allergies, it makes my head spin: all dairy, eggs, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamia nuts, pistachios, cashews, swordfish, mustard... and not just eating them - sitting at a table where cheese once touched - eating from "contaminated" plates, secret ingredients in spice blends or poorly-labeled drinks... it is horrible! i don't know anyone with severe food allergies, and it sounds just awful, especially when it is not just one or two, but a million.
and being allergic to cucumber makes no sense to me. i'm not knocking anyone's allergies here, i am just trying to wrap my head around an allergy to something that is essentially a green water-log.it seems so innocent! it saddens me, because i love food so much - almost all of it, and i would hate it if my body told me "no".
i usually try, if i am eating alone with a vegetarian, to either order meatless, or at least try not to order anything gratuitously meaty, like cowface, but after reading this book, i am hesitant to eat any food near any person, not as a courtesy, but because it is possible that my food could kill someone else.i could breathe near someone and cause them to seize. i could make out with someone after eating some delicious cheese and kill them.
they would die happy.
but let's see - what did i eat yesterday?
a rainbow-sherbet-flavored jello yogurt cup.
barry's tea with milk
artichoke and pepperoni pizza
and she couldn't have eaten any of it. or made out with me.in fact, if i had eaten what i did and then used the phone, and if she had used the same phone hours later, i could have caused her to have a severe allergic reaction.
how can i continue to eat in these circumstances? who could? i feel for her, i really do.
because she sounds so rad - she isn't whiny about her condition - she isn't one of these people who wants to ban peanuts from restaurants or schools or the planet -she is uncomfortable with some measures she sees as overreactions. she seems like a cool lady, who takes care of her own self, and is living with her allergies, not using them for attention.
i hate that she has had so many severe reactions at so many pivotal moments in her life: the weddings of friends, vacations, dinner parties, i hate how many times food has tried to kill her.
but i love that she keeps trying - cooking classes, children's birthday parties, travel. she is willing to give food one more try, despite being told as a child that she was "not designed to survive"
and despite all of the dangers and past failures: halloween, college, airplanes, grammar school cupcakes...
i will never be able to take her on an AIFAF, but i applaud her, from afar, in a bubble where i am eating fondue. eat those french fries and mushrooms, my dear, show the food who's boss...(less)
basically, you publish a novelty cookbook, and you have my attention. this is one i leaf through all...moreread but not used, truthfully.
this book is great.
basically, you publish a novelty cookbook, and you have my attention. this is one i leaf through all the time; when i don't feel like "reading," i will frequently grab a stack of cookbooks and curl up on my bed and drool over food pictures. and this book is a great one to fantasize with because it has nice big pictures and the concept is fun, and the promise of no silverware to wash is a definite plus. (i will happily scrub a thousand pots, but i really hate washing silverware.) and i haven't actually made anything from this book, but right now, i will go through it, and give you my impressions on all of the recipes. don't look for anything in-depth, this is more just for me to get amped up for a time when i will be without grilled cheese in my life, and will need a new food-plan, and i will be able to have a list of "recipes i am excited to try" less destructive than folding over pages.
for me - the sweet ones are the most exciting, conceptually. some of the savory ones look ho-hum, but just wait.... dessert is always the best part.
it starts off with the various kinds of sticks that can be used. they are many. then some pages devoted to dipping sauces and frostings and such. this is all foreplay before the sticking.
but we get impatient.
remember, i have tried zero of these, so my opinions (as always) mean absolutely nothing.
1) antipasti skewers.
i say "zzzzzz." i also say "take your olives to the next town, soldier"
2) bacon-wrapped shrimp.
what is this, a key party??
3) beef and vegetable kebabs.
i assume since we are in early stages here, that this is all ear-nibbling and fumbling caresses, and they are just lighting a small, traditional fire, before they break out the exciting recipes, which i swear to you are coming.
4) beef skewers with chimichurri.
okay... this is getting a little better.... a little boring, but chimichurri is at least fun to say...
5) beef teriyaki.
and now we are back in snoozeville. tim gunn would be all over this book, telling him that he is playing it safe and he needs to wow the judges and push the envelope and be fashion forward, and the writer of this book would be perplexed, but he would want to please tim gunn because the gunn is so sweet and avuncular.
6) bo la lot. (you guys will have to insert your own diacritical marks - twss)
okay - now we are feeling the heat rise... vietnamese, wrapped in betel leaves... this is the fanciest key party i have ever attended!
now i am kind of bored again. i would skip ahead and just look at the dessert pictures, but i know there are some awesome ones in the middle, we just gotta get through all these perfunctory meat-on-stick recipes. maybe i have to help out a little. maybe i am just laying here, and not contributing to this relationship. i will try to feign excitement, even if i am a little bored and my mind is wandering. because i know there is good stuff to come.
8) breakfast pancake dogs.
oh, yeah, that's it, baby! sausages, with a wrapper of cinnamonny pancake batter, deepfried and served with syrup. this is a definite "to-make" recipe.
9) caprese sticks.
simple, but i bet they taste amazing. fresh and sundried tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves. and they are of course, beautiful. those colors just make me feel clean.
10) cheese fondue.
now we are definitely back at the key party, but at least some attractive people have shown up.
11) chicken and waffles.
thank you! now we are doing something interesting with our sticks. this is great. everyone knows that chicken and waffles are the best, otherwise why would there be four different chicken and waffles places in a row on the street near where i used to live in brooklyn? this recipe uses the batter of a waffle, but not its shape, to surround a piece of seasoned chicken on a stick. then it, too, is covered in syrup. genius.
12) chicken satay.
greg will like this one. he used to get a chicken satay appetizer all the time, in the time before documented AIFAF. now, i think he feels the pressure to try different things so as not to bore our wide readership. i do love peanut sauce, though, and this recipe looks like a good peanut sauce.
13) chinese five-spice skewers.
more meat on a stick. but this time it is chicken. oh, right, i am supposed to be encouraging. mmmmm five spices, you say??? lemongrass??? is that cumin in your pocket or...
14) chinese meatballs.
they are probably good, but not worth buying the book for. the sweet-and-sour chili sauce looks promising, though. i like sauces with mint in them
15) coconut shrimp.
these are probably good, too, but i will never make them. i would order them in a restaurant, maybe, but they look a little fussy. i am a real person who eats real food - this would never satisfy me as a meal, and i do not host dinner parties.
16) corn dogs.
although i have never liked corn dogs (sorry, dana) i think i would like to try to make these. i mean - why have a deep fryer, if you are not going to try to make corn dogs at least once, right?
17) crispy orange beef skewers.
yes! these look amaaaazing. holy moly. i am all over these. beef, marmalade, cornstarch, honey, red peppers.... these are all wonderful things. i would totally stick that.
18) crudité skewers.
for fancy people, this is nice. pretty and dainty. the "latin green goddess dressing" sounds like it could be tasty. but i have never heard of tarragon vinegar. i will have to keep my eyes out for it...
19) dak sanjuk.
this looks pretty good - i like the flavors, but i lack a grill. maybe my dad will make it for me.
20) deep fried mac and cheese.
and there it is. this is pretty much worth the cost of the book. when we went to that fish and chips place in brooklyn and had the fried mac and cheese, it was a revelation. now, to know i can make it at home without traveling to such distant lands? priceless. and it uses three kinds of cheese. brilliant.
21) deep fried ravioli.
i don't want to jinx it, but i think we are on a roll now! yes!! think outside the box!! use your sticks for good, not boredom!! fry my ravioli, fryyy it!
corn covered in mayonnaise and parmesan cheese, chili powder and lime?? i am all over this. why have i never had this?? mexico, stop hoarding your food!
23) fish and chips.
both the fish and the chips are on sticks in this one. the picture is adorable
thank you google image search!!
24) fish balls.
heh. these look fine. again - too fussy for me. i know that anything you are making on a stick is probably going to involve more time than it should and can be termed "fussy", but some of these things i think are totally cool and worth trying, and some - why not just make fish balls? and stick them on some rice or mashed potatoes?? why are you shoving this stick in my face?? some sticks just aren't worth all the time and trouble.
25) fried mozzarella.
and some are. again - but whyyy would this be deemed stick-worthy and not the fish balls. i am inconsistent - deal with it. i say that this is a good stick. but i am easily swayed by cheese. and fried...
26) fried mushrooms with roasted onion dip.
these i will definitely make. this is gorgeous. GIS failed me this time - this picture is far better than any of those. sorry, suckers...
27) fried pickles.
yes! i am making these, too!! i can sense connor vomiting already. gherkins and pickle chips, cocktail onions, deep fried in buttermilk and bread crumbs?? sounds delightful to me. just delightful.
28) ground shrimp on sugarcane
and now i have already forgotten all those awkward first-recipes. all those meats with sticks jammed roughly inside of them. this is the casual elegance i was waiting for. these look intensely good.
29) korean-style bbq pork belly skewers.
there is no word in that recipe-name that doesn't make my mouth water. hold me back!!
30) lamb skewers.
you tell me where to buy cheap lamb, and i will make these. i also like mint chutney.
31) lamb souvlaki.
again. mexico!!chorizo, potatoes, cheese - deepfried in balls!! with tomato salsa?? good god. i need this in my mouth.
who ever thought to put bread salad on a stick?? but here it is!! and it actually looks pretty great like this. i would go to this party first.
34) pinchos de gambas.
eh. shrimp on stick. smoked paprika makes it a little fancier, but i still say eh.
35) pizza skewers.
fun! but these don't look as nice as the picture of the one from the beginning of the book - the street-pizza looking pizza on a stick. these are more like pizza-lollipops, where "pizza" is more like a comparison than an accurate name.
36) potato chips on a stick.
these look great. these i will also definitely make. they aren't at all greasy-looking, and they would be a great side to my famous steak sandwiches. shut up, they are totally famous.
37) red curry shrimp and pineapple skewers.
no takers here.
38) savory tofu dango.
yeah, these look pretty great, too. i have never cooked with tofu before, though. skeered!
39) scotch eggs.
sorry. i think these are kind of gross. and quail eggs?? slow down, rockefeller...
40) shrimp and vegetable tempura.
me, i have never cared for this stuff. although i generally like sweet potatoes done this way. but generally speaking, nah.
41) son-in-law eggs.
i do not have a son in law, and if i did, i doubt he would produce any eggs.
42) spaghetti and meatballs.
ON A STICK!!! this is great. holy shit. this looks like the most fun anyone can ever have in a kitchen. so you make the spaghetti and meatballs and chill it, right? so it gets all congealed. then you cut it into squares and deep fry it on a stick. i assume that these pictures are way more attractive than any i would be able to take - it sounds so messy. and maybe gross-tasting. but i'll try anything once.
43) spam and pineapple skewers.
yes. we will try these, my pretties...
44) spicy cajun skewers.
this looks okay - hush puppies, shrimp, okra, sausage, potatoes.... on a stick!!!
45) stuffed olives.
go to hell.
yum!! deep fried risotto balls!!! i am on this!
47) sweet potato wedges.
again - buy me a grill and these are yours. this is an open invitation. oh, and you also have to store the grill for me - i don't have the room...
48) tofu tod.
i had no idea humans could make this at home. i thought these things came from the angels. this will get me over my "never cooked with tofu" fear, no problem.
49) tornado potato sticks.
i don't know what a spiral slicer is, but it sounds dangerous
yeah, this i love. this looks a lot easier than i thought it would be to make, too. i am an enthusiastic cook, but also frequently apprehensive. but i could do this.
OH MY GOD ARE YOU READY?? THIS IS WHERE THE FUN STARTS!!
51) berries 'n buttermilk smoothie ice cream pops.
i didn't think i could ever get excited about fruit pops because they are so common, right? but these are all made with buttermilk and honey and fruit and yogurt and so are probably sooooo smooth.
52) cake pops.
i think whoever has the next birthday is getting these. they look like they are more fun than regular cake. can one buy lollipop sticks at michaels??
53) candy apples.
54) caramel apples.
yes. much better. these are rolled in peanuts. i made some last christmas for the ceridwens, rolled in pretzels, and i think they turned out okay. they were very messy, that's all i know. and they resisted being packaged. but i thought they would taste good??
55) caramel popcorn balls.
maybe i will make these for greg, when he fully recovers from oral surgery. his dentist will thank me all the way to the bank.
56) chocolate-covered cheesecake.
you had me at choc-
57) chocolate fondue.
yeah, yeah... tell me something i don't already know
58) chocolate-tipped peppermint sticks.
these are pretty and all, i have just never understood them, texture-wise. nice smooth chocolate just doesn't mix with splintery candy canes. you people are strange.
59) cinnamon rolls.
on a stick!!
this recipe is simple. get some ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls. put them on a stick. make some frosting for them with cream cheese and butter and stuff. eat 'em. there is no real work involved! and you get to eat them on a stick! so there's that.
60) cocktail cubes.
this one is just berries thrown with juice in ice-cube trays with some cocktail picks thrust in them. the picture shows ice cubes the size of shot glasses, packed with at least 5 raspberries and 10-12 blueberries each. how is this possible?? do i just have smaller-than-average ice cube trays? i never thought i would be self-conscious about the size of my ice cube trays before, but now i am, a little.
61) decorated sugar cookies.
these are pretty. if you are the kind of person with all sorts of edible glitter and other fancy decorating things, you should make these. for me.
62) deep fried candy bars.
what is better than a deep fried candy bar?? a deep fried candy bar on a stick, naturally!
63) doughnut holes.
yumy yum yum. these look great. and rolling them in chopped peanuts is inspired! i could eat these holes all day and never get sick of it.
64) fresh mango and chili powder.
i guess at least one recipe in here should not give you an instant heart attack.
65) frozen bananas.
i used to make these all the time as a kid. and i'm not even a bluth!
66) frozen elvis.
same thing, only rolled in a bacon-and-peanut mixture. this is probably the best thing to ever happen to food.
67) fruit salad skewers.
these are served with a fluff-and-cream-cheese dipping sauce that is eerily similar to my mom's... imma sue! (hers is slightly different, so don't go buying this book and thinking you have my recipe. my sauce is the best, seriously.)
68) fudge pops.
okay, wow. i can make fudgsicles at home? and these look like the richest fudgsicles ever. i think i am going to go buy some ice-pop molds this weekend.
69) fudge puppies.
frozen waffles, dipped in chocolate. on a stick. i have shuddered with pleasure.
70) grilled fruit skewers.
this could be good. but i'm into decadence right now, honestly. but i should think more in terms of grilled fruit for my sweet needs. it can't all be chocolate stuffed with chocolate and then drizzled with chocolate. ???
71) homemade marshmallows.
i feel like either greg or my dad should be forced, by law, to make these for me, since they both failed me with marshmallows. i accept all apologies that come in the shape of food.
72) ice cream sandwiches.
i do make the best chocolate chip cookies. they could only be improved by making ice-cream sandwiches out of them. and adding a stick, of course...
73) margarita jello shots.
for my next high school party, i guess.
74) mojito melon fruit skewers.
for my next adult drinking party. these actually sound amazing. stick slices of honeydew, pour a mojito over 'em, freeze 'em. they look beautiful. and rummy!
75) pineapple funnels.
pineapple wedges covered n funnel cake?? i take back everything bad i have ever said about funnel cake. it's still no fried dough, but when it covers pineapple, i might be willing to overlook that shortcoming.
76) red and white sangria pops.
for my next bachelorette party?? i have never been to one of those, but ladies like sangria, right?
these use the homemade marshmallows that greg and/or my dad will be making me. and i will need a whole p[latter full of them. thank you in advance.
78) strawberry shortcake.
wonderful. this was always my favorite dessert as a kid. now that i am grown, i can have mine on a stick and feel sophisticated.
79) sweet and sour lollies.
weird!! who knew you could make sour patch kids at home?? and put sticks in them?? very cool! and they fizz!
80) sweet tofu dongo.
these claim to be "delightful with tea and for those moments when you don't need to have your taste buds smacked with something overly sweet." in other words, i will not be making these.
and that is my "review". there are 80 recipes, many of them look good. i am excited to try a lot of them. 'nuff said.
wow, i have been "reading" this since july. i put it down a bunch and lost it once or twice, but still - it is shameful to have had this darkening my...morewow, i have been "reading" this since july. i put it down a bunch and lost it once or twice, but still - it is shameful to have had this darkening my "currently reading" shelf for eight months. shades of Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children. but today i finished it!!
and it is truly a wonderful book.
this man is the anti-foer. if i were ever to read that foer book - the one everyone says will turn me into a cowering meat-avoider, all i would have to do to recover is open this book and read his love letter to southern barbecue, or his swooning over french fries left to rest under chickens roasting suspended above, their succulent juices dripping over the crispy potatoes, or his descriptions of seafood - any seafood at all.
this book is such a lovingly recollected tale of his food-journeys and experiments. i completely envy him his job. if he wants to test out this newfangled microwave invention, he goes out and buys a couple, on vogue's dime, and experiments away. if he wants to explore local-food movements, he just jets out to the west coast and eats at the top ten or so restaurants and gorges. he gets to go to all the secret restaurants tucked away deep in the mountains in distant lands that only the truly initiated even know about...
and just the quantity of food! the chapter on the choucroute nearly gave me a sympathy stomachache with just how much food he and his wife were consuming. this man could give me a run for my money, appetite-wise. oh, the gluttony - all for his need to find the best food, the best way of preparing food, the best methods and ingredients and which food "facts" are actually fraudulent, for science.
when i eat an entire box of girl scout cookies, it is also for science.
he is my new favorite food-writer. he is funny and hungry and i am 100% using his stuffing recipe this year for thanksgiving, even though he poo-poohs turkey, which is ridiculous. he has never had my turkey, is all. oh, and i am also going to make this fruitcake recipe. i have never had fruitcake. is that weird? his sounds intense. and i must have it. expect fruitcakes in the mail come holiday time next year.
if you have any interest whatsoever in food, apart from using it as fuel to sustain your machine-like body, i suggest you take a look at this book, and prepare to drool
now i am going to get my hands on his follow-up and see how long that one takes me to get through!(less)
let me start by saying i will probably never make anything in this book - this is a cookbook just for looking at. i seriously lack the patience to be...morelet me start by saying i will probably never make anything in this book - this is a cookbook just for looking at. i seriously lack the patience to be cutting little smiley faces out of seaweed right before dinner. but i appreciate the concept: taking the ultra-cute japanese sensation of cutesy bento box food that looks more like playthings than anything you wouldnt feel guilty biting the head off of, and using more western ingredients to help americans get on board the cute food phenomenon. most of these are great. most of them are more time-consuming than a lot of people can really afford to make. like just now, i thought "im kind of hungry , but i dont want to make a peanut butter sandwich because it will take too long". so i ate a spoonful of peanut butter. now i will study, on my very filling pre-supper snack. can you imagine if i had to cut out smiley faces and affix them to a peanut butter pigface?with some sort of banana kittycat sidekick? no, midterms call, and i cant have almond penguin beaks right now. but i do have the time to flip through it wistfully, and time to write this stupid review. i just like this book, is all. i have looked at it every day since saturday, and its a nice companion at my bedside. the author wrote a little story about her cat and its adventures in here, too. its a little silly, but i figure, its her book, she can do what she wants. its a reward for cutting out so many little cheese bears and eggplant-monkeys.step it up, top chef!(less)