06 April 2013

Weekend Cooking: The Kitchen Journals 10

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. 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. For more information, see the welcome post.

Although I have a couple of cookbooks and some food writing books to review, I thought I'd take a break and settle in with another entry in my Kitchen Journals.

Adult Beverages. Let's start with drinks, shall we? We've been in a bit of rut with wine over the winter, but this week we bought a new-to-us red blend from Gnarly Head, called Authentic Red. It was quite drinkable for a weekday table wine, and I'm sure we'll be buying it again. We have been long-time fans of their old vine Zin.

The latest star though was the discovery of a pleasant Irish whiskey. Right around St. Patrick's Day, our local state store had an Irish whiskey tasting, and although we're Scotch fans, we couldn't resist giving some a try. Our favorite of the batch was Bushmill's Irish Honey whiskey, and Mr. BFR made sure we brought a bottle home. Despite the addition of honey, the whiskey is not sweet, just very smooth. A little bit straight up, in coffee, and even over fruit salad is a great evening treat.

After taking a 10-mile hike last weekend, we were in the mood for an ice-cold brew. Our choice? Dogfish Head Indian brown ale. We've always liked their beers, and after a fun, active spring day, this ale went down easily. It made us wish for warm summer nights on the deck, sipping a beer and reading or talking.

Culinary Cozies. I have a small stack of food-related cozy mysteries in my sights, and I'm looking forward to nicer weather and some lazy weekend afternoons indulging in one of my favorite escape reading genres. Here are five titles that caught my attention. I haven't read any of these authors yet, so I'm hoping to find a new favorite series. I admit I like the corny, punny titles of cozies and their fun covers. Have you read any of these?

Fonduing Fathers (Berkley Prime Crime, 2012) is the sixth entry in Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series, starring Olivia Paras, the assistant chef to the president. Of course, these books are set in Washington, D.C. Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti (Obsidian, 2012) by Bailey Cates is the second book in the Magical Bakery series. Our hero is Katie Lightfoot, a witch and a baker living in Savannah, Georgia.
Liz Lipperman's Murder for the Halibut (Berkley Prime Crime, 2012), the third in the Clueless Cook series, is about Jordan McAllister, a foodie journalist working out of Ranchero, Texas. A Broth of Betrayal (Berkley Prime Crime, 2013), by Connie Archer, is the second Soup Lover's mystery book. Lucky Jamieson, our amateur sleuth, runs the By the Spoonful Soup Shop in Snowflake, Vermont. Finally, Paige Shelton's If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance (Berkley Prime Crime, 2012), is the second book in the Country Cooking School series. Betts Winston and her grandmother run the Broken Rope, Missouri, cooking school when they aren't solving murders.

Like all good culinary mysteries, each of the five novels listed here includes a handful of themed recipes. It'd fun to make one of the treats to serve at a mystery book club meeting.

What I've Been Cooking. You can sure tell that we're in the heart of changing seasons in my kitchen. We started out the week eating kale lentil soup and roasted root vegetables and ended the week with asparagus risotto and fruit salad. That's winter to spring in just a few days! Our Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) food shares will start with the reopening of the farmer's market in just a few weeks. I wish it it were already May.

The soup  recipe I used came from Ellie Krieger's So Easy, which I reviewed way back in 2010. And I always make pressure cooker risotto following Lorna Sass's directions. I introduced you to Sass a couple of springs ago; check out that Weekend Cooking post if you've been scared to try a pressure cooker.

What food or drink adventures have you had this week?


Rikki 4/6/13, 6:33 AM  

Those cosy mysteries sound nice. Even though sometimes I find the focus on the theme a bit annoying. Even after finding a body they go on endlessly about coffee or food or whatever the theme is. But they ARE fun to read.

Tina 4/6/13, 6:35 AM  

That was an informative and enjoyable post. I am fond of adult beverages and when we try a different wine, I do a mini weekend wine review. Oh, the Bushmill is a nice toddy....never thought about putting it on fruit :-)

Will check out that Kieger book, I recently picked up one of her cookbooks at a used book store - good recipes.

kikifitz 4/6/13, 6:43 AM  
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caite 4/6/13, 6:45 AM  

Oddly,I do not read many cozies.
But that beer sounds very nice.

Unknown 4/6/13, 8:17 AM  

I need to get myself up-to-date on all of the new culinary cozy series. I used to read them all the time and settling in with one sounds like the perfect way to usher in spring (if it ever shows up here in Michigan!).

Beth S. 4/6/13, 8:35 AM  

Those mysteries sound like my kinda reads. I definitely need to check some of those out. I'm a sucker for a novel that includes recipes :)

bermudaonion 4/6/13, 8:42 AM  

You sure can't go wrong with Dogfish Head beers! Have you seen 61? It's an IPA brewed with grape must so I think a lot of wine drinkers would enjoy it.

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/6/13, 9:23 AM  

I so enjoy your Kitchen Journals! I am going to DC tomorrow, and I will stop in a bookstore and look for the cozy mysteries with the White House chef.

Julie P. 4/6/13, 9:30 AM  

I haven't read a food cozie for awhile! I'm in the mood for one.

Heather 4/6/13, 11:20 AM  

I haven't done much cooking in the past two months as I was having some digestive issues, lots of rice and bananas. But much better now and last week I cooked a special dish most evenings. yippee. I like the food related cosy mysteries. I have a few on my self involving baking and pastries. I will be looking for the mashed potato one for daughter.

JoAnn 4/6/13, 12:46 PM  

The culinary cozies sound delightful. How can you not love those titles? One I really liked is Agatha Raisin in The Quiche of Death.

I'm really looking forward to fresh, local foods from the farmers market, too!

Peaceful Reader 4/6/13, 2:14 PM  

I'm not a cozy reader but I am in favor of adult beverages. Happy Saturday.

rhapsodyinbooks 4/6/13, 3:14 PM  

I haven't read any of those cozies, but I'm a big fan of the culinary ones. I can't read them while I'm on a diet, however! especially because they always seem to involve bakeries, or great dinners, and recipes!

Gilion at Rose City Reader 4/6/13, 4:54 PM  

Sipping whiskey and kitchen cosies -- it doesn't get any better than that! Love the Kitchen Journals posts!

chrisa511 4/6/13, 5:22 PM  

Honey whiskey? Dogfish Head ale? Food related cozy mysteries? This post is filled with so many things I love :p

Cecelia 4/7/13, 12:11 AM  

Good for you on finding new drinks and reads - I tend to stick with the tried and true. I've never used a pressure cooker, so I'll have to look up those directions. Thanks for sharing them again!

Teddyree 4/7/13, 3:58 AM  

Ooh love a nice red and a pressure cooker is top of my next purchase list! I use my slow cooker heaps but thought a pressure cooker would be a handy addition ... off to check out that post :)

Debbie Rodgers 4/7/13, 7:09 AM  

Spring sounds wonderful - but that kale lentil soup is what really perked up my ears. I must try that before winter is over for good!

Heather S-G 4/7/13, 9:25 AM  

I have to admit, that I love both the name and the label for Gnarly Head...it drew me in years ago and I still buy it from time to time because I actually enjoy it. And Bushmills Honey - oh yes. I tried it for the first time at the distillery when I visited Ireland in September and have kept a supply around ever since!

Sue Jackson 4/7/13, 9:50 AM  

Yay for Dogfish! An original from our own adopted state of Delaware. My favorite is their IPA, but all of their beers are excellent. In fact, we spent Easter weekend in Rehoboth Beach, where the Dogfish microbrewery and restaurant are located.

You are so lucky that your CSA starts up soon! Ours doesn't start until the beginning of June :(

Enjoy your food this week -


Book By Book

Laurie C 4/7/13, 2:52 PM  

I've heard good things about Julie Hyzy's series, but haven't read any of them yet.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 4/7/13, 6:40 PM  

Cozy mysteries always look fun and I just never get around to them. I must try harder. I love hearing about your "sampling" adventures. I wish there were more of those type of events around here.

Debbie 4/7/13, 11:50 PM  

I love your kitchen Journal updates.
I like cozies--Margaret Maron is my favorite, not food related, but I do love them.

Daryl 4/8/13, 8:26 AM  

yesterday was really all about food

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