Ready, Set, Holidays!

The holidays are nearly upon us. For many of us, it’s time to start thinking about making a Halloween costume, what dish to make for Thanksgiving, or what gifts to make for friends and family. Now is the time to start planning! Here are some books to guide you as the season approaches.

In The Horrible Craft Book, Laura Minter brings kids and adults together to make gross items like cat poo chocolates, or a brain piñata and tasty eyeballs, just in time for Halloween. In Autumn BouquetSharon Keightley shows quilters how to prepare appliques featuring beautiful fall colors and themes. Deck the halls Scandi-style with Norwegian sensations Arne & Carlos’s 55 Christmas Balls to Knit and Jorid Livnik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits. Make Beautiful Wreaths with Melissa Skidmore or step up your decorating game with Cassie Kitzmiller’s Christmas Tree BookPersonalize your own cards, gift wrap and decorations with Holiday Hand Lettering from Lark Books and Vivienne Bolton’s Making Your Own Greeting Cards and Gift WrapAnd Doerthe Eisterlehner keeps things festive and charming with My Little Crocheted Christmas along with ideas for traditional crafts in Taste of Home: Handmade Christmas Continue reading “Ready, Set, Holidays!”

BookBingoNW2019: DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

You may not have heard the term DIY before but you’re likely familiar with the concept. Do you grow your own herbs? Cook? Make small home repairs? Knit? Sew? Change a flat tire on your bicycle? Well that means that you do it yourself (DIY). And any book that teaches you how to make something that you’d normally buy, or do something that you’d usually pay a professional to do instead can count towards your DIY bingo square.

If you don’t already DIY, this square may seem daunting. Here are a few titles that are entertaining and informative reads in their own right, regardless of whether or not you plan to make any of the projects.

 

Continue reading “BookBingoNW2019: DIY (Do-It-Yourself)”

Grilling Season

Charcoal, gas, open pit: the 4th of July is almost upon us, and my mind has turned to grilling. Perhaps yours has too. Whether you’re a novice with your first grill or an expert looking to try a new ingredient or technique, here are some cookbooks to get your creative juices flowing.

The Big-flavor Grill by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
Avoiding intricate preparations and fancy equipment, this book teaches you to grill basic ingredients (meat and vegetables) and then combine them with flavorful accompaniments. Celebrate your new skills with a drink from the beverage chapter. Continue reading “Grilling Season”

Spring into Pacific Northwest Food

Never have I ever been so excited for spring! Each sliver of sun has me beaming as blooms burst forth from their winter burrows. And with spring sprung, all I can think about is our delicious PNW food.

Image courtesy of Gemma Billings via Flickr

Now, let’s be clear: I don’t actually enjoy cooking… My husband is the chef in our house. I do the dishes, so it’s perfect. But I just can’t stop drooling over our abundant CSAs and citywide farmers markets, our butcher shops and charcuterie masters, and all of the upcoming amazing food events. Most recently, I’ve been tempted to eat out even more at women-owned, POC-owned, and immigrant-supporting restaurants. Every time I turn around, there’s a delectable new way to taste the beauty of our region. Continue reading “Spring into Pacific Northwest Food”

Bringing Mexico Home

I finally traveled abroad for the first time last year to Mexico! It was beautiful and rugged, but the best part was the food! I searched and searched the library to track down the food I fell in love with. Here are the recipes I’ve found and the stories attached:

Tequila: Myth, Magic & Spirited Recipes By Karl Petzke

TequilaBacon Wrapped Monkfish with Tequila and Chives: My friend and I arrived in Guadalajara and after that long flight we were starving. We were picked up by her sister and brother-in-law who have lived in a community in San Juan Cosala for a few years so when it came to food we were in good hands. We stopped at a lovely restaurant near their home and sat out in a garden courtyard with a view of the mountains surrounding Lake Chapala. When I visit other places I try to eat things I’ve never had before so I gravitated towards their monkfish special. Now it wasn’t wrapped in bacon, but the flavor of the monkfish was absolutely amazing and the vegetables were so full of flavor. I would soon discover that vegetables in Mexico are the best I’ve ever had. Continue reading “Bringing Mexico Home”