Summer beverage ready with Margaritaville and Yeti – and Jen’s frozen sangria!

Do you need a summertime splurge or a last minute Father’s Day gift? I’ve got you!

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Chaat Masala Potatoes with Yogurt and Tamarind recipe and cookbook review: Ottolenghi: Flavor

#Ottolenghi @Ottolenghi #OttolenghiFlavor #TenSpeedPress @TenSpeedPress

Ottolenghi: Flavor is the third book in Ottolenghi’s vegetarian series: Plenty, Plenty More, and Flavor. This is a gorgeous book filled with more delectable love poems to produce. Yes! If you adore or want to adore produce, you need this! All the dishes we tried were wonderfully complex, balanced, and filled with flavor. While quite a few of the dishes are an hour or two from start to finish, most of it is just an exercise in patience. Do this 5 minute step and come back in an hour to finish everything off. It is all worth it!

I’ll tell you all about all the dishes we tried in a minute. But first, let me share his recipe for Chaat Masala Potatoes with Yogurt and Tamarind with you. Don’t be fooled by their appearance. Two out of four of us think this is the yummiest in the book so far. The cumin, chiles and tamarind give this an amazing flavor. And his dual handling of the potatoes, first boiling, then roasting, gives them a perfectly pillowy interior and a crisp exterior. Perfection. A huge thank you to Ten Speed Press for letting me share them with you! I’ve added links at the bottom to all his books. The holidays are coming up, and these are the ultimate gift for any produce lover that wants to flex a little kitchen muscle. Prepare to crave what you’re supposed to eat!

The recipe calls for nigella seeds. Sometimes they’re called black cumin. If you’re a Penzey’s-head, they sell it as charnushka.

Continue reading “Chaat Masala Potatoes with Yogurt and Tamarind recipe and cookbook review: Ottolenghi: Flavor”

Perfect gift for the wine enthusiast. Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course – revised, updated & expanded!

#KevinZraly #CompleteWineCourse #SterlingEpicure #SterlingPublishing #TotalWine #Wine #WineTasting

Kevin Zraly WOW Cover 2018

Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: Revised, Updated & Expanded Edition

This is an amazing book and has major gift potential for any wine enthusiast. As the title promises, this book will teach you all about wine appreciation. It’s a huge volume, and intimidating at first glance, but really actionable once you dive in. He’s thorough and it’s chock-full of interesting tangents and random factoids to delight even the very geekiest among us.

You’ll know exactly what bottle to bring for any dinner party. Guest like a boss!

I jokingly apologized to my husband for the havoc I was about to wreak on our bank account playing in this book. We took the book to the Total Wine down the street, sticky notes flapping from the pages we were starting with, excited to embark on the world’s best scavenger hunt for grown-ups. To my delighted surprise, working through his recommended lists, our basket was much more affordable than I’d anticipated. It was really quite reasonable. Hooray!

A huge thanks to Sterling Publishing for letting me take you with me on my grown-up scavenger hunt! Continue reading “Perfect gift for the wine enthusiast. Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course – revised, updated & expanded!”

Bibliophile and Wonders – two book lover’s books!

#bibliophile #janemount #wonders #rhondarubinstein #californiaacademyofsciences #chroniclebooks #lisahaineswright #beloitcollege

Okay, I am a massive bibliophile. I review all sorts of books, but usually just talk to you about cookbooks. Two nonfiction books came across my desk recently that are just too wonderful to keep to myself, though. Well, to borrow phrasing from one of my blogging friends, one is tangentially related to my blog. The first is for book lovers, and the second is for nature/animal/photography lovers. Both have fabulous gifting potential. Thanks to Chronicle Books for letting me use their photos. Continue reading “Bibliophile and Wonders – two book lover’s books!”

Jen’s Rock Star Jalapeño Roast Chicken & Vegetables! The Twine Swine be Thine!


Twine Swine. It may be the perfect gift. You can hand it to your friend, and in your best Shakespearian theatrical style, loudly proclaim, “The Twine Swine be Thine!” as you Twine Swine be Thinethrust your arm skyward. Yeah, I know. That’s a picture from Braveheart, but my attention span wavered a bit looking for just the right Henry V shot. Or you could treat yoself. In that case, it would be more like Montgomery Burns drumming his fingers together and declaring quietly and creepily, “The Twine Swine is mine.” Either way, people will be happy.

Twine Swine is Mine

Really, I think Twine Swine might have been invented by pigs who were sick of bacon trending, wanting to see people eat more chicken. They might have been inspired by the Chick-fil-a cows. I love roast chicken. Ina Garten makes a perfect roast chicken in Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients. It’s lickable. Then I got Marcela Valodolid’s Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias. She sticks jalapeños under the skin of the roast chicken and it’s a total game changer. It’s not really spicy, just insanely flavorful. I played with their ideas, and it was like Ina’s chicken and Marcela’s chicken had a delicious, delicious baby. Here’s my Rock Star Jalapeño Roast Chicken and Vegetables.

Continue reading “Jen’s Rock Star Jalapeño Roast Chicken & Vegetables! The Twine Swine be Thine!”

Sous vide. Food jacuzzi. Foodcuzzi. Perfect foodie gift.

We have a beautiful wrought iron, propane fire pit with glass marbles in the back yard. And in the house we have a gas fireplace with a switch on the wall. I love the thing. Last year, we vacationed in Taos, New Mexico. Killer trip. The ranch where Georgia O’Keeffe’s home is, and where City Slickers was filmed, is about an hour from there, and they give horseback tours of it all. It’s absolutely idyllic. There are charming museums, stores that sell fun metal sculptures from Mexico, the scenic Rio Grande Gorge Bridge where you can see goats playing, some neat restaurants, and it’s about an hour from skiing in Red River. The hotel we stayed at had a bocce court, and we could see prairie dogs playing all over out the back window. The room had an adobe fireplace in the corner that was amazingly efficient. My husband was in love with that thing. A year later, still having that urge to burn wood, he had to get a chiminea. That means I get to spend the same on a no reason kitchen toy. Awesome. Continue reading “Sous vide. Food jacuzzi. Foodcuzzi. Perfect foodie gift.”