30 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: The Fallingwater Cookbook by Suzanne Martinson

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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The Fallingwater Cookbook by Suzanne MartinsonI'm almost ashamed to admit that I've never been to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, which is about 140 miles east of me in Pennsylvania. The house was built for the Kaufmann family in the 1930s and remained in the family until becoming part of the Western Pennsylvania Conservatory in 1963. It is now open to the public.

The Fallingwater Cookbook grew from a 1991 newspaper interview that author Suzanne Martinson conducted with Elsie Henderson, who cooked for the Kaufmanns from 1947 until the house was given to the conservatory. The book contains both Henderson's stories and her recipes.

Because Henderson relied on her memory and experience instead of written directions, Martinson worked with her to develop the recipes for home cooks, determining measurements, pan sizes, and temperatures. In addition, Henderson was not responsible for cooking many of the meat and fish dishes served to the Kaufmann family, so Martinson contacted Jane Citron and Robert Sendall (both of whom are involved with Fallingwater) to help fill in the gaps. The cookbook also contains recipes from the Cafe at Fallingwater, bringing the book into modern times.

Most of the recipes are classics family dishes from the mid-20th century: sour cream coffee cake, quiche Lorraine, corn pudding, and roast beef. But there are also more upscale recipes, such as lamb chili, tomato and roasted red pepper tart, and fennel-cured salmon.

Kitchen in FallingwaterThe recipes look easy enough to make, especially the everyday dishes. However, I couldn't help but notice some odd techniques (like adding liquid and dry ingredients at the same time). Regardless, Martinson tells us she has tested and retested every recipe to make sure home cooks will have success.

There is quite a lot of information about the Kaufmann family and their way of life. They were department store moguls who loved to entertain at home. Their cook, Henderson, remembers some racy stories (guests skinny dipping in the creek, for example) as well as normal family life in the famous house. Henderson's memories of the Kaufmanns and her years of cooking for them take us back to a time gone by.

Although The Fallingwater Cookbook is informative and the few photographs are gorgeous, it's difficult for me to wholeheartedly recommend the book. If you have an interest in architecture or are curious about how the rich and famous ate in the post-Depression era, then this book might deserve a place on your shelves. For others, I suggest seeing if your library has a copy. It's definitely interesting and worth looking through.

For an interview with author Suzanne Martinson, see the History News Network and for another review and three recipes, see the Post Gazette. Note on the photos: The photo of kitchen in Fallingwater is from Wikimedia Commons and is copyright free. The photo of the cookies comes from the cookbook; all rights remain with the publisher. (Click the images to enlarge them.)

Pine Nut Cookies

Makes 35 cookies
  • 1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar, blending well. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, flour, and salt.

Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pine nuts and finely chop the rest. Add the chopped nuts to the dough and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Form the dough into small balls, place on greased baking sheet, and flatten each with the tines of a fork. Garnish each cookie with a few whole nuts.

Alternately, the dough may be rolled on a lightly floured board and cut into squares with a pastry cutter before topping with pine nuts.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes until the cookies are a pale gold. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool on a rack.

Published by University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780822943570
Source: Can't Remember (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


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28 January 2016

Sentenced to Be Read: January 2016

Do you play games with the titles of your books? Or is it just me? Check out these sentences made up of the titles of recommended books released this month:

Sentenced to Be Read @ BethFishReads.com
  • After the Crash: A plane carrying two babies crashes, and the sole survivor is one of those infants. Both families claim the girl, but who is she really? And what are the repercussions when she becomes a young adult? Psychological suspense. (Hachette)
  • River Road: A college professor is accused of killing one of her students in a hit-and-run. Did she do it? A twisty psychological thriller. (Touchstone)
  • Midnight in Broad Daylight: A fresh look at the long-ranging effects of World War II and Hiroshima on an Japanese-American family. Nonfiction / history. (Harper)
  • Traveler: Second entry in a young adult fantasy series: expect good action, a quest, and coming-of-age elements. (Delacorte Press)
  • The Road Back: A world-traveling journalist gives up his career to return to his Australian roots. Can he and his teenage daughter find a new future? General fiction. (St. Martin's Griffin)
  • The Past: Four adult siblings and their children unite at their family's vacation house for one last time. Jealousies, secrets, and family history come to a head. General fiction. (Harper)
  • Where My Heart Used to Beat: A British psychiatrist coping with the lingering effects of the great wars of the twentieth century opens up to a colleague. Working together will they find the key to peace and redemption? Literary fiction. (Henry Holt)
Sentenced to Be Read @ BethFishReads.com
  • Lay Down Your Weary Tune: A songwriter / music journalist has a chance to write the biography of one of his heroes. Perfect for the folk music crowd, this novel, set in a Vermont artist community, explores myth making and self-discovery. General fiction. (Other Press)
  • The Blue Line: Founded on historical events, this is a story of a young woman who becomes entangled in Argentina's Dirty War. Elements of magical realism and themes of hope, freedom, and fate. (Penguin Press)
  • The Narrow Door: In this memoir, Lisicky focuses on the two most important people in his adult life: one a friend and the other his ex-husband. He explores both the joys of building strong relationships and the heartbreak of losing the people we love. (Graywolf)
  • The Things We Keep: An emotional novel about two thirty-somethings who are beginning to show symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer's. (St. Martin's Press)
  • The Interstellar Age: The subtitle says it all: "The Story of the NASA Men and Women Who Flew the Forty-Year Voyager Mission." Nonfiction / history for space nerds (like me). (Dutton)
  • Even Dogs in the Wild: Scottish detective John Rebus is not enjoying retirement, so when he's offered a chance to be a consultant on a murder investigation, he doesn't hesitate. Everything you've come to expect in this great mystery series. (Little, Brown)

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27 January 2016

Wordless Wednesday 378

After the Snow, 2016


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26 January 2016

Today's Read: The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

The Other Me by Saskia SarginsonHow would you feel if you discovered your family wasn't what you thought it was? When the lives of three seemingly different people—whom we meet in different times and places—collide, their worlds shift, bringing the past into the spotlight.

I have no experience of killing anything. I take extra-long strides or sudden little hops to avoid stepping on insects that cross my path. When there's a wasp in the house, I cup it inside a mug so I can set it free out of the window. Feathered remains left in our garden after a cat has slunk away make me cry. I'm practically Buddhist. So how am I going to kill him?
The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson (Flatiron books, 2016, p. ix [Prologue], uncorrected proofs)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: London, 1986; Leeds, 1995; New York, 1994
  • Circumstances as I know them so far: In 1986, Klaudia is nervous about starting high school: It's not just that her father is the school's janitor but that he's German. The British haven't yet gotten over the war. In 1995 Eliza is living her dream, trying to advance in the local ballet company, making friends, and even meeting a cute guy. She doesn't want anyone to know about her past, so she calls her mother rarely and only in secret. In 1994, Ernst, a German war veteran now living in New York, is undergoing treatments at a Manhattan hospital. Although he always believed he was tough enough to survive anything, he's beginning to have his doubts.
  • Genre: literary fiction
  • Themes: family, secrets, coming to terms with the past, ethics, hiding from the truth, war
  • Characters: Klaudia, her parents, and her classmates; Ernst and his caretakers; Eliza, her flatmates, fellow dancers, and friends
  • What I think so far: I was immediately pulled into this story, which alternates between the three settings and time periods. The writing style is atmospheric yet vivid, and the characters are immediately present, easy to envision. I'm not far enough along to know all the secrets or where the story is going to take me, but I'm fully invested. I'm trying not to read the novel too quickly because I want to savor the language and immerse myself in the characters' lives.
  • Something to know: The book is published by Flatiron Books under the direction of Amy Einhorn, who has an amazing talent for discovering and acquiring outstanding fiction (and nonfiction). If she brings a book to my attention, it becomes a must-read, and I'm confident I'm going to love it.
  • Recommendations: Got out and buy it! The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson is perfect for fans of family stories, literary fiction, and fantastic writing.

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25 January 2016

Review: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Review: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie BrownsteinThoughts before Reading/Listening

  • I'm not sure why I picked up Carrie Brownstein's memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl because I've never seen Portlandia or listened to Sleater-Kinney.
  • What's more, I usually run like a crazy person from author-narrated audiobooks.
  • However, I'm always interested in the truths behind a so-called glamorous or blessed life. As for the audiobook, I figured Brownstein's experience on the music stage, in front of the camera, and in the recording studio would serve her well.
What's It About?
  • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is a well-written and thoughtful memoir by musician, writer, and actor Carrie Brownstein.
  • She talks about her childhood, her parents, and the rise of her band Sleater-Kinney.
  • More than just a chronology, Brownstein has things to say about sexuality, feminism, the music industry, and friendship. She talks about her insecurities and strengths, her successes and failures.
Thoughts after Reading/Listening
  • Being famous can often mean giving up privacy and control of your personal sphere. For example, Brownstein writes about being outed as gay in a magazine article before she had found the time, place, and way to tell her family and friends.
  • Sexism is as present in the music world as it is any other profession. One message of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is the fact that even in the twenty-first century, artists like Brownstein and cutting-edge bands like Sleater-Kinney are always described with some variation of the word female or woman: A great girl band, a powerful female vocalist, and so on. Why not just a great band period?
  • I was impressed with Brownstein's honesty and self-awareness, though this is not a tell-all memoir.
  • Life on the road sucks.
  • It pays to be bold, but not recklessly so.
  • This is a fairly literary memoir; Brownstein is articulate and well-spoken. She does, however, engage in some subtle name-dropping, and I wasn't always sure of the point--except perhaps that she wanted to say "I knew this musician / designer / artist."
  • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl has little to say about Portlandia.
  • Fans of the Riot Grrrl movement and of Sleater-Kinney will love the details about song writing and album making. Even if you're not familiar with Brownstein's music, these sections are still interesting.
Thoughts about the Audiobook
  • Carrie Brownstein did a fine job narrating Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. She was easy to understand and expressive. Brownstein was clearly enthusiastic about telling her story but didn't cross the line to over-the-top dramatic. Don't hesitate to try the audiobook.
  • Audiobook bonus: Don't miss the interview between Carrie Brownstein and Sarah Jaffe (audiobook producer). I loved hearing Brownstein's unrehearsed reactions to the questions and gaining extra insight into her personality.
  • Data: Penguin Audio; 7 hr, 4 min
Published by Penguin Random House / Riverhead, 2015
ISBN-13: 9781594486630
Source: Review: print & audio (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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23 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: 8 Culinary Cozies to Warm You Up This Winter

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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It's been a few months since I wrote about food-related cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian, two solid imprints when it comes to light mysteries. No matter your interest, there's bound to be a cozy mystery that covers it: cats, dogs, needlework, antiques, books, gardening, ghosts, decorating. Seriously, check out the site Stop, You're Killing Me! and click on the "Job Index" link, you might be amazed by the range of occupations held by amateur sleuths. Here are eight foodie mysteries to get you through the winter.

8 Culinary Cozies to Warm You Up This WinterForeign Eclairs by Julie Hyzy takes us into the kitchens of the White House in this 9th entry in the White House Chef series. I love Ollie Paras, who not only cooks for the most powerful people in the world but gets involved with murder and mayhem. There's always plenty of action, a taste of Washington politics, and great characters. In this story, Ollie herself may be targeted in a revenge plot.

One Foot in the Grove by Keely Lane is the 1st in a new series that takes place on a family olive farm in Georgia. Eva Knox has had it with men and misses her family. What she needs is the peace and quiet of small-town life and a return to her Southern roots and home. Unfortunately, when a body is found in the olive grove, all eyes turn to Eva as the prime suspect. Can she clear her name before she becomes the next victim or is forced to leave town?

For Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames is set in a cheese shop in a small town in Ohio. Artisan cheese makers, family-owned dairy farms, and quaint inns and B&Bs are getting ready for the annual cheese festival, and shop owner Charlotte Bessette is hoping to make a good showing. When a snooty cheese connoisseur is found dead, however, all planning comes to a halt. Charlotte gets involved when her BFF, Erin, is accused of the deadly dead. They must find the killer before either Erin's or the town's reputation is permanently tainted. This is the 7th book in the popular Cheese Shop series.

Scene of the Brine by Mary Ellen Hughes is the 3rd installment in the Pickled & Preserved series set in a small town in upstate New York. Piper Lamb owns a shop that sells her homemade pickles, jams, and brandied fruits to walk-in customers and to local caterers. This fun series features all the things I love in a cozy: a spunky heroine, a few red herrings, an intriguing mystery, and--of course--food! Small-town politics and a star-crossed romance play roles in this story. The action picks up when Piper risks getting into hot water as she tries to clear the name of a friend's son.

8 Culinary Cozies to Warm You Up This WinterDeath of a Bad Apple by Penny Pike transports to the West Coast, where former restaurant critic Darcy Burnette and her food-truck-owning aunt Abby decide to drum up some business at an apple festival. Fall is a great time to leave the streets of San Francisco for the surrounding farmland, but instead of fun and games, the pair find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. Is their innkeeper really guilty of killing one the guests? This is the 3rd entry in the tasty Food Festival series.

It's a Wonderful Knife by Christine Wenger is set in rural New York, where local diner owner Trixie Matkowski is running herself ragged keeping the restaurant open, preparing food for a community dinner, and nursing a broken leg. Despite the stress, she most decidedly did not thrust her butcher knife into the back of the director of the Christmas pageant. But who is the real killer? There are plenty of twists and turns in this 5th entry in the Comfort Food series.

Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie Budewitz is the 2nd installment in the Spice Shop series set in Seattle. Pepper Reece sells spices, herbs, and tea in Pike Place Market, where she's in the thick of the city's food world. Although she enjoys meeting the locals and tourists who visit her shop, she's more excited about building a good reputation with restaurants and caterers. All looks bright until a young chef dies, allegedly after ingesting one of Pepper's spices. Pepper is on the case; she needs to solve this crime before her business is run into the grave. The sights, sounds, and smells of the city and its market are highlighted in this well-written mystery. 

To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel is the 1st in a new series set in a pub in a trendy Pittsburgh neighborhood. It's hard to get a brew pub off the ground--finding a chef, checking on the craft beers, and attracting clientele. So when an employee is found dead in a beer vat, owner Maxine O'Hara is almost ready give up. Fortunately, her homicide detective father offers to help solve the crime. But will they find the killer before Maxine has to shut off the taps for good? A good setting, interesting characters, the bustle of city life, and a hint at romance make for good escape reading.

Two more thoughts: First, don't you just love the punny titles and fun covers of these cozies? Second, I wanted to point out that all of these mysteries include recipes: from spice mixes to rich cakes, tangy pickles, and an entire presidential menu.

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21 January 2016

Check Out a Book: The Invention of Science by David Wootten

The Invention of Science by David WoottonThe discovery: I'm pretty sure I learned about David Wootton's The Invention of Science through a pitch from Harper Books. The description of the book caught my eye because I took a couple of history and philosophy of science courses when I was in graduate school. This book, despite its length, seems like a great match for me, and I'm drawn in by the subtitle A New History of the Scientific Revolution. Here's the publisher's summary:

We live in a world made by science. How and when did this happen? The Invention of Science tells the story of the extraordinary intellectual and cultural revolution that gave birth to modern science, and mounts a major challenge to the prevailing orthodoxy of its history.

Before 1492, all significant knowledge was believed to be already available; there was no concept of progress, as people looked to the past, not the future, for understanding. David Wootton argues that the discovery of America demonstrated that new knowledge was possible: indeed, it introduced the very concept of discovery and opened the way to the invention of science.

The first crucial discovery was Tycho Brahe's nova of 1572: proof that there could be change in the heavens. The invention of the telescope in 1608 rendered the old astronomy obsolete. Evangelista Torricelli's experiment with the vacuum in 1643 led directly to the triumph of the experimental method in the Royal Society of Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton. By 1750, Newtonianism was being celebrated throughout Europe.

This new science did not consist simply of new discoveries or methods. It relied on a new understanding of what knowledge may be, and with this came a fresh language: discovery, progress, fact, experiment, hypothesis, theory, laws of nature. Although almost all these terms existed before 1492, their meanings were radically transformed, and they became tools to think scientifically. Now we all speak this language of science that was invented during the Scientific Revolution.

This revolution had its martyrs (Bruno, Galileo), its heroes (Kepler, Boyle), its propagandists (Voltaire, Diderot), and its patient laborers (Gilbert, Hooke). The new culture led to a new rationalism, killing off alchemy, astrology, and the belief in witchcraft. It also led to the invention of the steam engine and to the first Industrial Revolution. Wootton's landmark work changes our understanding of how this great transformation came about, and of what science is.
Why I want to read The Invention of Science: I'm particularly interested in this book because reviews tell me Wootton believes those of us (including me) who studied Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper, and other twentieth-century philosophers of science back in the 1970s and 1980s may not have a true appreciation for the significance of the Scientific Revolution. Because I haven't yet read the book, I'm not sure what the issue is, but I think it likely has to do with the context in which we view, reconstruct, and analyze history. In addition, I wonder how Wootton does or doesn't integrate modern discoveries, technology, and theories (especially in physics) into his discussion of research and its effects on our everyday lives.

Reviews: The reviews have been very mixed. Those written by experts in the field (see The Guardian), point out some of the oddities and contradictions in Wootton's conclusions. On the other hand, Kirkus gave the book a star, but because the reviewer is anonymous, we can't assess his or her background or perspective. Most reviews written by scientists mention that Wootton's arguments against Kuhn, Popper, and Wittgenstein get tiresome and may even have a bitterness to them. I'm looking forward to forming my own opinions.

Final thoughts: The range of reactions to David Wootton's The Invention of Science makes me all the more curious. I'm kind of sorry the book doesn't seem to be available in audio (though I suppose the many footnotes could be problematic in that medium) because I think I'd like to listen to the book, a chapter at a time. I'm going to keep this book on my shelves and hope to work my way through its 770 pages in short chunks. If/when I do, I'll be sure to tell you what I think.

Data: Published by Harper Books on December 8, 2015. ISBN = 9780061759529. Wootton is a professor of history at the University of York (in the UK) and has written about medicine, Galileo, and other topics.

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20 January 2016

Wordless Wednesday 377

At the Cemetery, 2016


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19 January 2016

Today's Read: Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel ColemanDoes a parent ever get over the loss of a child? Ex-cop Gus Murphy is still struggling, two years after his son's sudden death. When approached by another grieving father to help solve a murder, will Murphy be able to rise from his despair?

Some people swallow their grief. Some let it swallow them. I guess there're about a thousand degrees in between those extremes. Maybe a million. Maybe a million million. Who the fuck knows? Not me. I don't. I'm just about able to put one foot before the other, to breathe again. But not always, not even most of the time. Annie, my wife, I mean, my ex-wife, she let it swallow her whole, and when it spit her back up, she was someone else, something else: a hornet from a butterfly. If I was on the outside looking in and not the central target of her fury and sting, I might understand it. I might forgive it. I tell myself I would. But I'd have to forgive myself first. I might as well wish for Jesus to reveal himself in my sideview mirror or for John Jr. to come back to us. At the moment my wishes were less ambitious ones. I wished for the 11:38 to Ronkonkoma to be on time. I should have wished for it be early.
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (Putnam, 2016, p. 1; uncorrected egalley)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times, Long Island
  • Circumstances: Grieving ex-cop Gus Murphy is asked by grieving petty criminal Tommy Delcamino to find the people who murdered his son, TJ. Although initially reluctant, Gus decides to look into it. He is pulled into the underworld of drugs, wannabe mobsters, and more murder, all the while still trying to understand the death of his own son and the dissolution of his family and faith.
  • Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense
  • Themes: grief, fatherhood, depression, faith/religion, socioeconomic commentary, family
  • Characters: Gus Murphy, an ex-cop who know works for a mid-level hotel; Annie, his ex-wife; Kristen, his out-of-control daughter; Tommy Delcamino, ex-con who lost his son; TJ, Tommy's son, the first murder victim; Father Bill Kikenny, police chaplain; various cops from the Suffolk County police force; various drug lords, mobsters, and other bad guys
  • What I think so far: I love the noir feel to the story. Although the themes of depression and the death of a son could weigh the book down, they instead make Gus an interesting person: Will he start to see more light or will he fall deeper into the depths? In addition, there are enough small moments of humor (the kind that makes you chuckle or smile) to offset the heaviness. All the characters I've met seem real and easy to envision. The plot is just being set up, but I'm anticipating a great read.
  • A few of extras: This book is the start of a new series, so there's no backstory to catch up on. Where It Hurts has already earned a couple of starred reviews. Coleman was picked by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the Jesse Stone books.  
  • Recommendations: For lovers of dark suspense and contemporary mysteries.

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18 January 2016

Review: Everest (Movie)

Review: Everest (Blu-Ray edition)I don't know why I have a never-ending fascination with the history of Everest attempts and especially the events of May 10, 1996. Most of us became aware of that deadly climbing season through Jon Krakauer's article for Outside magazine and his book Into Thin Air, which was later made into a movie.

The newest film account of that horrific day is Baltasar Korm├íkur's Everest, available tomorrow in DVD, Blu-Ray,  and digital HD. Thanks to Universal Home Entertainment and Think Jam, I was able to preview the home edition of Everest, including the interesting bonus materials.

Just in case you don't know much about the film, here's the studio's summary:

Unbridled ambition, a ferocious storm, and the limits of human endurance collide at the top of the world in the white-knuckle adventure Everest. . . . Following a pair of expeditions to the highest point--and most dangerous place--on Earth, Everest captures the brutal majesty of the deadly peak, and the boundless courage required to conquer it, with breathtaking cinematography and spectacular storytelling. Exclusive extras make Everest a can't-miss, must-own event, bringing viewers behind-the-scenes for a look at the making of the film, as well as astonishing insights about the real-life 1996 summit attempt that inspired it.
There is no question Everest is magnificently filmed. The winds, the cold, and the beauty are brought to life on the screen. You have such a clear sense of being in the mountains, you might actually start to feel cold. With a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Watson, you know the acting was great. It's always tricky to portray real-life people, but I felt everyone did a great job conveying the unique personalities of the people on the mountain that fateful May morning.

It was interesting that some of the details in Everest differed from stories that were published twenty years ago. I'm aware that specifics in the stories told by Krakauer, Beck Weathers, and other survivors have been questioned, so perhaps this version is meant to set the record straight. That few people remembered the events in the same way doesn't surprise me; one of the big take-aways of Everest is just how quickly the weather deteriorated, the crazy confusion of the descent brought on by lack of oxygen and fatigue, and the dilemma faced by the team leaders (Rob Hall and Andy Harris) to make sure their clients reached the top while also trying to keep everyone safe and alive.

Although I loved much of the movie--especially the scenery and sense of danger and doom--I was less emotionally attached to the people than I have been in other accounts, both in print and on the screen. I'm not quite sure why, but it may have to do with the incredible cinematography. It's likely I was more invested in the visuals of Everest than I was in tracking the fates of the individuals (whose stories I already knew).

Regardless, I recommend the movie for anyone wanting to know more about what happened on the world's highest mountain that awful May. The filming and acting of Everest are outstanding, and whether you watch via disc or digital download, you're in for an amazing couple of hours.

The boxed set comes with a number of great features, including short films on the special effects, on finding authenticity, and on preparing the actors for the climbing scenes. The trailer gives you a sense of the action and cinematography:

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16 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: Cooking As Fast As I Can by Cat Cora

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Review: Cooking As Fast As I Can by Cat CoraIf you watch the Food Network, then you've probably heard of Cat Cora. You likely know she was the first female Iron Chef, and you might even know she's gay. But if you're anything like me, you probably don't know more more than that.

Enter Cat Cora's memoir Cooking As Fast As I Can. In this frank and well-written account, Cora reveals both the good and the bad of her childhood, the story of her culinary journey, and many details of her personal life.

Rather than summarize the memoir, I'll list a few highlights and then provide some general thoughts on the book and the audiobook.

Things that stuck with me
  • From a young age Cora had to find to way to deal with a variety of tough issues, such as sexual abuse (from a cousin), being adopted from birth, and growing up gay in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Cora is humble about her achievements and quick to point out her mistakes and weaknesses.
  • It's really tough to be a world-famous chef, and I'm surprised any relationship survives the whirlwind of television production schedules, restaurant responsibilities, endorsements, and lecture circuits.
  • I loved the story of how Cora met Julia Child when the older woman was on a book tour.
I was fascinated with Cora's memoir and found a lot to admire about her professional ambition and her struggle to find love and create a stable family of her own. Yet the chef's life has not been completely blessed: For example, she struggles with alcohol and is not always present for her wife and children.

If you're hoping for an inside look into the Food Network, you'll find a few tidbits. If you want to learn how to open a restaurant or become a household name, you'll need to look elsewhere. Cat Cora's Cooking As Fast As I Can is an intimate story in which she talks about her great good luck, her hard work, her dreams, and her difficulties. I recommend this book for foodies, for people interested in LGBTQ issues, and for anyone looking for a good memoir.

Note on the audiobook: I listened to the audiobook edition of Cat Cora's Cooking As Fast As I Can (Tantor Audio; 7 hr, 55 min) read by Cassandra Campbell. My full positive review will be published by AudioFile magazine, but let me say here that Campbell's accent, pacing, and emotional range fit the memoir perfectly. If you're so inclined, do not hesitate to pick up the audio.

Published by Scribner, 2015
ISBN-13: 9781476766140
Source: Review: print & audio (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


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14 January 2016

Review & Giveaway: Kingdom Come by Jane Jensen

Review: Kingdom Come by Jane JensenWhen Detective Elizabeth Harris left the NYPD to return to her native Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, she assumed her professional duties would keep her busy. She hadn't, however, expected that one of her first cases would be murder.

Jane Jensen's Kingdom Come is a light police procedural mystery set in the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. The novel starts with the discovery of the body of a teenage girl in the barn of a local Amish farmer. It is soon clear that the victim is English (not Amish), but her connection to the Amish community is just one of several puzzles surrounding the crime.

Jensen built up the story well. There were enough clues, false leads, and questionable characters to keep me from guessing the killer. In addition, I thought the main characters--Detective Harris, her partner Detective Grady, and her love interest Ezra--were well developed, and I had a clear sense of who they were and and what motivated them. On the other hand, not all of the secondary characters were as vivid, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the mystery.

Besides the murder, Kingdom Come touches on a number of issues. I was especially interested in the relationships between various categories of people: the English and the Amish, men and women, and city and country, for example. The novel also explores issues most Amish communities face: what happens when a community member decides to reject their way of life, what kinds of technology are allowed, attitudes about education, and the power (or pressure) of the church. The story also touches on darker topics, but listing these would give away too much of the book.

Recommendations: Kingdom Come is the first in a new series by Jane Jensen so you can get in on the ground floor. The novel will appeal to those who like police procedurals set in a small town and those who like stories involving the Amish. I sense the potential in the main characters, and I like the balance Jensen found between focusing on the crime and letting us see Harris's personal life. This is not a cozy but neither is it a hard-core crime novel.

Published by Berkley Books, 2016
ISBN-13: 9780425282892
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


The Giveaway: Thanks to the nice people from Berkley Prime Crime, I'm able to offer one of my readers with a US mailing address a copy of the paperback original of Jane Jensen's Kingdom Come. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner using a random number generator on January 25. Once the winner has been confirmed and the address is sent to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!

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13 January 2016

Wordless Wednesday 376

Winter Tree, 2016


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12 January 2016

Today's Read: Stars over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

Stars over Sunset Boulevard by Susan MeissnerHave you ever been friends with someone who seems almost your polar opposite? When outgoing Audrey agrees to let a room to reserved Violet, neither woman thought they'd ever be close. But shared adventures and shared secrets during the filming of Gone with the Wind solidify their friendship, even when men and ambition threaten to tear them apart. Here's Violet's first impression of Audrey:

A brilliant California sun bathed Violet Mayfield in indulgent light as she neared the soaring palm tree and the woman seated on the bench underneath it. Legs crossed at the ankles, the woman rested her back lazily against the skinny trunk. She held a cigarette in her right hand, and it was as if the thin white tube was a part of her and the stylish smoke that swirled from it an extension of her body. The woman's fingernails, satin red and glistening, were perfectly shaped. Toenails visible to Violet through peep-toes winked the same shade of crimson. The woman wore a formfitting sheath of celery green with a scoop neckline. A magazine lay open on her lap, but her tortoiseshell sunglasses hid her eyes, so Violet couldn't tell whether the woman was reading the article on the left page or gazing at handsome Cary Grant, whose photograph graced the right.
Stars over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner (New American Library, 2016, opening of chap. 1; egalley)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: 1930s and modern times; California (Hollywood)
  • Circumstances: In the 1930s, Violet and Audrey meet at Selznick International Studios as filming begins of Gone with the Wind. Each has her own ambitions and harbors secrets from her past. The two bond, but their friendship is strained by a potential love triangle. In modern times, vintage clothing store owner Christine is asked by a distraught client to return a green velvet hat, which bears an intriguing label: "Scarlet #13." The hat sparks long-buried memories, and Christine begins to search for the truth of her own past.
  • Genre: historical fiction 
  • Themes: women's friendship, loyalty, love, dreams, classic Hollywood
  • Characters: Violet, an Alabama native; Audrey, a California native; Bert, a costumer, an old friend of Audrey's, and a potential love interest; Susan Myrick, friend of Margaret Mitchell and film adviser; various studio employees, stars, family, and friends
  • What's happened so far: I'm a quarter of the way through and have just gotten past the basic setup of the novel. I've learned why Audrey ended up in Hollywood, but I haven't discovered what motivated Violet to leave home and move out west. I bet there's more to it than the promise of a job in the studio typing pool. The women's friendship is deepening, and Violet has been asked to assist to Susan Myrick on the movie set. So far, I don't know much at all about the modern-day story or how Christine is connected to Violet and Audrey.
  • Gone with the Wind: I'm a big fan of the movie and the book, so reading this novel about the filming and the costuming is a lot of fun. I'm also learning how the Selznick Studio worked (not all of it pretty) and the obstacles hardworking young women faced. 
  • Two random thoughts: I hope the potential love triangle is sorted out before it becomes a triangle. I hope the two time periods are pulled together in a believable way.
  • Recommendations: If you like historical fiction, old Hollywood, Gone with the Wind, and/or stories about women's friendships, you'll probably like Stars over Sunset Boulevard. Because I haven't finished the book, I can't promise that Susan Meissner delivers, but for now I'm on board. This is a light novel, perfect for a Saturday afternoon or a daily commute.

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11 January 2016

Check Out a Book: Twister by Genanne Walsh

Check Out a Book: Twister by Genanne Walsh (on Beth Fish Reads)The discovery: I learned about Genanne Walsh's Twister from a good friend (and the book's publicist), who thought this debut novel would be a good match for me. I like the general premise of how a major storm threatens not only to destroy a town but to expose the secrets of its citizens. Here's the publisher's summary:

By turns terrifying and humorous, clear-eyed and deep-hearted, Twister brings us into the center of a storm as a small Midwestern town mourns the death of a young soldier. Rose, the soldier’s fiercely independent mother, may or may not be losing her grip on reality, and we seek answers along with the constellation of family, friends, neighbors, and townspeople whose lives intertwine with hers. Each new viewpoint calls up singular memories and intrigue, raising stakes while the twister gathers force. As the storm drives into the heart of town secrets are illuminated, pasts are resurrected, and lives are shaken to the core. An unforgettable debut from a keen observer and chronicler of nature, people, and the ineffable.
Why I want to read Twister: I grew up in the Midwest in an area with seasonal tornadoes, so it can be hard for me to resist a good storm story. I'm sure the setting and circumstances will feel at least a little bit familiar to me, although my childhood in the suburbs was nothing like Rose's. Two aspects of this book are particularly attractive to me. I like stories that involve family secrets and also those that are told from more than one point of view. I'm also interested in learning how Rose copes (or doesn't) with the death of her son.

Extras: Awards--the novel was won the 2014 Big Moose Prize and was a finalist for the Brighthorse Prize. Excerpts of Twister have been published in magazines. Goodreads--the novel has a rating of 4.25. In the press--for more on Walsh and her novel, see the interview by TNB Fiction.

Reviews: Kirkus notes that Twister has "a surprising power." Other reviewers have mentioned Walsh's unique voice, wonderful descriptive prose, and subtle humor. Several readers said the pacing was steady and that Walsh takes her time developing the characters. However, once the plot points were set up, the story pulled them in and they were hooked to the end.

Data: Published by Black Lawrence Press on December 1, 2015. ISBN: 9781625579379. Debut novel. Trade paperback original.

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09 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: The Kitchen Journal--Brown Rice Arroz con Pollo

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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The Kitchen Journal from Beth Fish ReadsYou'd think after the holidays I would have had my fill of experimenting with new dishes and spending time in the kitchen. That wasn't the case this past week; I tried three new recipes and discovered how to make decent arroz con pollo with brown rice.

Adult Beverages. December is the time for parties and entertaining, and everyone (including us) seemed to be on a red blend kick. I thought I'd mention three such wines that we particularly like; we've had all of these many times, and they are reliably good and drinkable. Dreaming Tree Crush (California) is a blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Syrah. It's fruity but dry with light tannins and goes well with grilled meats and pulled pork. Hot to Trot from 14 Hands (Washington State) is a blend of Merlot and Syrah and has a nice spiciness to it. We like this as a basic table wine or just on its own. Quotation's Veramonte (Chile) is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon , Syrah, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc. The hints of cherry and chocolate make this dry wine perfect for sipping in the evening.


 Magic Brown Rice Arroz con Pollo. I had a hankering for the ultimate Mexican (or is it Southwestern?) comfort dish, arroz con pollo. I don't have an official source for the recipe I follow because I learned to make this dish from a friend when I was living in Arizona and had just gotten my first apartment. Back then, I specialized in two dinner dishes for guests: meatloaf and chicken and rice. Both are good choices for the beginning cook.

Anyway, over the years I've tried to make arroz con pollo with brown rice and have never been pleased with the results. Either the rice was undercooked or the chicken ended up overcooked. Last week I spent some time thinking about this issue and reading a bunch of recipes and blogs. I found a variety of tricks and tips and finally settled on this:
Soak the brown rice in hot tap water for at least 15 minutes. Drain before using.
Yes, it was a simple as that. I made no other changes to my recipe whatsoever. The dinner came out perfect. And, no, I don't have a photo because I didn't think to take one. I suspect this trick will work in any recipe. Give it a try and let me know.

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07 January 2016

Review: Death of a Dustman by M. C. Beaton

Review of Death of a Dustman by M. C. BeatonWhen I want a short audiobook purely for escape and entertainment, I turn to M. C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series. During the hectic days between Christmas and the new year, Death of a Dustman, the sixteenth book in the series, kept me company during one lazy afternoon.

What is it that I love about these books? They take place in the Scottish Highlands in the small town of Lochdubh and feature the unambitious police constable Hamish Macbeth. Although most of the townfolk consider Hamish to be a bit of an embarrassment and think of him as a loafer and moocher, the copper always manages to solve the crime. Plus I think his easygoing manner is just a ploy (a la Columbo).

Death of a Dustman involves a couple of murders, some blackmail, cases of domestic disturbance, business rivalries, and even a little love. There are plenty of red herrings and some delicious-sounding meals. As with all cozies, the townspeople and the setting play big roles in the story, and the deeper you get into the series, the more the characters feel like old friends.

Unfortunately, two things conspired to make this installment my least-favorite Macbeth book. First, I thought the plot was on the thin side. In this series, the solution to the murder is usually logical and hinges on a clue that Hamish uncovers in the course of his investigation and interviews. The end of this book, however, involves a hard-to-swallow action scene. Second the audiobook (Blackstone Audio: 4 hr, 58 min) was not read by my beloved Davina Porter. Instead, the narrator was Graeme Malcolm, who just doesn't have Porter's heavenly Scottish accent. To top it off, I was thrown by his pacing and characterizations. *SOB.* I may give him one more chance, but I think I'll eventually be forced to turn to print. ::insert sad face here::

Despite the fact that Death of a Dustman wasn't my favorite Hamish Macbeth book, I strongly recommend the series to readers who love fun, light cozy mysteries. Start with book one (or at least not with this one). And to those of you who are working your way through the series, I think you could skip this entry completely because nothing important happens to any of the principal characters. I'm praying that Beaton is back on target with the next book in the series. I sure would hate to say good-bye to the goings-on in Lochdubh.

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06 January 2016

Wordless Wednesday 375

Barn Door, 2016


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05 January 2016

Today's Read & Giveaway: American Housewife by Helen Ellis

Review: American Housewife by Hellen EllisIf you can't laugh at yourself (or the people you love), then what can you laugh at? The twelve stories in Helen Ellis's collection are the perfect winter boost and the cure for the post-holiday blues. Some women are driven slightly crazy by their lives—could you (or I) be one of them?

If someone moves to make room for you, take up more room. If someone is looking over there, there's something to see. If someone sneezes, run. If someone brings a bag into your home, look inside it. If you don't want someone to leave, sit on his suitcase.
American Housewife by Helen Ellis (Doubleday, 2016, p. 155 of eGalley, opening to "Take It from Cats")

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times; definitely America
  • Genre: Short stories, humor, social commentary
  • General thoughts: I really liked all the stories in this book, which rarely happens. True, some clicked with me more than others, but still, this is a solid collection. All the pieces are funny, but not in a belly-laugh kind of way. You'll chuckle, you'll nod your head, you'll be grinning. Even when a story didn't describe my life, I could still relate; after all, I'm a woman living in America and so I know the same people Ellis does.
  • One of my favorites: I'm a Yankee and I particularly loved the story "Southern Lady Code." I needed this dictionary cause I didn't know things like this: " 'She's the nicest person' means she's boring as pound cake."
  • A few more that made me laugh: "Hello! Welcome to Book Club" is a great commentary on what it means to be in an exclusive club. Yeah, the members are welcoming on the outside, but inside they're making comments about your reading tastes and cultural touch points. "Dead Doorman" offers some dark humor, and "Take It from Cats" is absolutely on target and perfect for cat lovers (like me).
  • Recommendations: This is a quick read with some great lines you'll want to read out loud to your family and friends. Even if you aren't normally a short story person, I bet you'll like this collection. Come on, you need some lightness to warm your soul this month. (The book will be released on January 12.)
The Giveaway

Thanks to the nice people at Doubleday, I'm happy to be able to offer one of my readers with a U.S. mailing address a copy of Helen Ellis's American Housewife. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner, via a random number generator, on January 15. Once the winner has been confirmed and I've passed the name and address along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!

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04 January 2016

Sound Recommendations: The Cainsville Series by Kelley Armstrong

Reviews of Visions & Deceptions by Kelley ArmstrongIf you recall, I really enjoyed Kelley Armstrong's Omens, the first book in her Cainsville Series. I finally got around to listening to the latest two books, Visions and Deceptions over the holiday break. I'm sticking with my earlier description of this series as "paranormal light." Yes, there are some otherworldly creatures (like Fae and goblins) and, yes, some people have special abilities (to see omens, for example), but the story is more about solving a mystery,  the power (or not) of myths and fate, and learning the truth behind a decidedly weird town.

The main characters are Olivia Taylor-Jones, adopted socialite; Gabriel Walsh, her friend, lawyer, and boss; and Ricky Gallagher, her MBA-earning biker boyfriend. Their complex relationship underlies the books and is tied into the overall plot. Don't groan, though, this is not a YA love triangle.

Visions and Deceptions offer plenty of action (shootings, stalkings), a good creep factor (abandoned psych hospital, dead bodies, mysterious town), hot sex, and well-developed characters. The multi-layered mysteries involve Fae, serial ritualistic murders, and ancient rivalries. I had a couple moments of wanting to shout, "Don't go in there, you idiot!" but overall, I thought the story was strong and the paranormal elements held my attention. Although I guessed where some plot lines were headed, I was surprised by others. The ending of Deceptions was satisfying, but keeps the door open for more Cainsville books.

The audiobooks (Penguin Audio: 15 hr, 2 min; 14 hr, 43 min) are read by Carine Montbertrand and Mozhan Marno, who alternate chapters, depending on the narrative's perspective. I'm not convinced that two narrators were needed, and I'm not in love with their performances. Why I opted to listen to all three books is a mystery in itself. If there are more Cainsville books, I think I'll switch to print.

Recommended to those who like a little paranormal mixed with their mystery and anyone who wants to give Armstrong a try. Note, however, you need to read the books in order. For more on the narrators and the setup of the series, check out my review of Omens.

Published by Dutton
Visions: published 2014, ISBN-13: 9780525953050
Deception: published 2015, ISBN-13: 9780525953067
Source: Review (print & audio) (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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02 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: All-American Paleo Table by Caroline Potter

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Review: All-American Paleo Table by Caroline PotterWhen Caroline Potter was in her 20s, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and knew she had to make major changes in her life, especially in her diet. After much research, she discovered that a grain-free paleo-style way of eating made significant improvements in her health and dependence on insulin. Encouraged by her results and what she had learned, Potter went on to earn her certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

All-American Paleo Table combines three of Potter's passions: cooking, photography, and healthful eating. One of her goals with this cookbook was to show people that they can eat normal everyday foods and still eliminate grains from their plate. As the title implies, the recipes highlight family favorites such as chili, nachos, waffles, and burgers as well as holiday foods like turkey and stuffing.

Potter goes further than many paleo cookbooks, providing grain-free recipes for grain-heavy foods, such as tortillas, biscuits, breakfast cereals, and breaded hot dogs (similar to corn dogs). At the same time, she shares recipes for many lighter dishes, including soup, salads, and simple meats and fish.

Cooks should have no problem realizing success with All-American Paleo Table. Not only does each recipe include a gorgeous photo but most also feature tips and tricks and serving suggestions. The directions are clear and easy for any moderately experienced cook to follow.

Some things you should know:
  • As you can imagine, some of the grain-free substitutions call for ingredients that might be tricky to find, but there is a resource section at the back of the book.
  • If you're a vegetarian or vegan, this book is not for you. Although a good number of recipes are dairy-free, almost all include some kind of meat or animal fat or eggs.
  • The recipes are arranged by occasion, which means similar dishes (say, desserts) are scattered throughout the book. Fortunately, the index looks like it was well done, and individual recipes are listed in the contents.
  • All recipes measures and temperatures are given in both Imperial and metric forms.
I recommend Caroline Potter's All-American Paleo Table for people who are committed to a grain-free or gluten-free diet and, of course, for those who are following a paleo way of eating. Check out Potter's Colorful Eats blog for recipes and more information.

Thanks to Page Street Publishing for providing the photograph and recipe I'm sharing with you today. Enjoy!

Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs
Makes 16 medium meatballs

Sauce
Paleo Sphaghetti and Meatballs from Caroline Potter
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • ½ small sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp (3 g) fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp (3 g) dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 28 oz (794 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz (425 ml) tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) good red wine (Merlot or Cabernet is best)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Meatballs
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil or bacon grease, for frying
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tsp (8 g) salt
  • 1 tsp (3 g) dried oregano
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 lb (454 g) ground beef
  • 1 lb (454 g) pork Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ¾ cup (73 g) almond flour
  • ½ cup (68 g) finely shredded Parmesan (optional), omit for dairy free

To make the sauce, warm a large stockpot to medium heat and all the olive oil. Saute the onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano and salt for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine and basil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, start making the meatballs. Warm a large skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil. Place the egg, balsamic vinegar, salt, oregano and pepper in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Whisk together. Add the ground beef, sausage, almond flour and Parmesan to the bowl. Use your hands to crumble and mix together the meat until incorporated.

Next, shape the meatballs into medium-size round balls. Brown the meatballs in the skillet for 8 minutes, rotating so that all sides are browned. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet.

Once your tomato sauce has simmered, use an immersion blender to carefully puree the sauce. Drop the meatballs into the sauce, place the lid back on the pot and slowly simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve over your grain-free noodle of choice.

This & That: I prefer to use spicy Italian sausage because I think it adds incredible flavor to this dish. However, if you are serving this for children or prefer something with less kick to it, use milk or sweet Italian sausage.

Published by Page Street Publishing, 2013
ISBN-13: 9781624141720
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


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