“Blaise the Baker – Dessert First!” review

As a child, one of my favorite pastimes was voraciously rereading my mother and grandmother’s collection of handwritten recipe cards, recipe clippings, and cookbooks, including Deanna House’s “House Specialties” and comb-bound community fundraisers from churches, local high schools, and women’s organizations. I loved reading the personal stories behind the recipes as much as imagining what…

Cooking with Loula: Greek Recipes from My Family To Yours

“Cooking with Loula” is the beautiful cookbook-slash-memoir of Alexandra Stratou, Athens native and classically trained chef, that centers on the recipes of Kyria (Mrs.) Loula, her grandmother’s cook. Kyria Loula had worked for several generations of the Stratou family, creating dishes that nourished the physical body as well as sustained family traditions and memories. I…

The Eat Your Way Healthy At Trader Joe’s Cookbook

I own and have reviewed several (unofficial) Trader Joe’s cookbooks and cook from all of them regularly, so was excited to see “The Eat Your Way Healthy At Trader Joe’s Cookbook.” It’s no secret that one of my favorite stores on the planet is Trader Joe’s. I first discovered them while still living in Michigan,…

Double header: “Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen” vs. “Amazing Malaysian: Recipes for Vibrant Malaysian Home Cooking”

  I’ll be honest; before moving to Asia, I had zero experience with Malaysian cuisine (in fact, my first introduction came through my amazing hairdresser Eddie Tham in Taipei). Although I’d spent many years reading about and cooking Japanese, Thai, and some Chinese cuisine, Malaysia remained a nebulous culinary mystery. But when Amazon UK offered…

“Peace and Parsnips”

Longtime vegan Lee Watson works as a vegan chef at a retreat center in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. In “Peace and Parsnips,” he collects 200 of his favorite recipes for smoothies, salads, nibbles, big plates, curries, burgers, desserts and more to prove that vegan food doesn’t have to be limited to spongy tofu and rubber-like…

“Pomegranates and Saffron” review

Nearly ten years ago to the day, I embarked on my present career as an adult EFL / ESL instructor. Freshly minted from grad school with my MA TESOL in hand, I began teaching English to students from over 100 countries, some of which I didn’t even know existed (particularly the Caucasus and Central Asia, as…

“Slow Cooker Desserts”

I’m a fairly recent convert to the slow cooker bandwagon; I only purchased my first slow cooker a couple of years ago and started out by baking my way through all the desserts in Michele Scicolone’s excellent “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker,” which introduced me to the joys of making flan, cheesecake, and fruit compote in…

Bundt Lust featured on 1000Cookbooks!

I’m so honored to be asked to contribute a list of my Top 10 Cookbooks over on 1000Cookbooks.com…I’m in esteemed company. Many famous chefs and authors (including Ottolenghi and many mutual Facebook friends) have also given their Top 10. I put a fair bit of time into choosing titles that would be different from many…

The arrival of summer…

Cherry blossoms have given way to a profusion of gorgeous blooms including lilies and hydrangeas. Summer in Japan is characterized by the rainy season, windchimes, and fireflies…each flower has its own brief season of appreciation, from wisteria and lilies to hydrangeas. You’ll also find seasonal sweets that mirror the changing beauty of the seasons.  …