Month: May 2014

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

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Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.

A must for all food lovers, Delicious will feel like an indulgence with each page turn. I loved reading about the curious cast of characters that worked at Delicious. Billie’s taste buds are nothing short of amazing, but she won’t cook. If she even begins to think about it, she gets anxious.

The description of food is so vivid that you’ll find yourself longing for a piece of salami or a taste of cake. This book combines history, romance and food to create a tale you won’t be able to put down. I really enjoyed this book, and I’m sure you will too!

 

 

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki [Review]

thisonesummerI’ve been a fan of Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki ever since their first graphic novel, Skim. Jillian forever endeared herself to me for drawing Scarborough in her novel in such a beautiful way.

Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki are seriously talented cousins. Mariko writes the story and Jillian illustrates. In This One Summer, they’ve perfectly captured the quintessential Canadian cottage experience.
ThisOneSummer2 thisonesummer1This One Summer deals with some pretty heavy topics in a lazy Ontario cottage town. Julia enjoys typical cottage activities like hanging out with her friend, crushing on boys, going swimming and watching terrifying horror movies.

However, she’s also dealing with the fact that her parents seem to be getting further apart each day, and her mother is distant. Her friend is a little younger than her, and Julie is starting to mature faster than her. Even the teenager that she has a crush on has major issues to deal with. It all comes together in a dramatic climax.

It’s beautiful to see Jillian’s stunning brushwork and curling speech bubbles. She’s such a talented illustrator, and whenever these cousins pair together there’s bound  to be magic.

The book launches this week at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Check it out below!

This One Summer Book Launch ft. Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki with Hannah Sung
Sunday May 11, 2014
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.
Free Event
Facebook Details

 

Pukka offers a fresh take on Indian food

Pukka is a new Indian restaurant that’s only been open for 6 months! I had seen so many tantalizing photos of dishes from Pukka the last few months. When I was invited to attend a dinner for their new spring menu, I knew that I had to attend!

The dinner was organized by Vicky, who super helpfully laid out all of the dishes before hand so that we didn’t have to snap pictures between bites. Brilliant!

1-IMG_0727Bitter greens & Paneer Salad with spiced pumpkin seeds and chili orange vinaigrette.

1-IMG_0735Tawa Monkfish: This was my first time eating Monkfish, and I liked it! Served with slivers of mango, tomato and red pepper sambal.

1-IMG_0741Tandoori Chicken Tikka: I LOVED this chicken! Huge tender peices of herb infused chicken with tamarind chuntny. I could’ve eaten this forever.

1-IMG_0731Fresh assortment of naan! The basket included regular naan, garlic naan and whole wheat roti.

1-IMG_0760Rice was served in a mason jar!

1-IMG_0728 South Indian Vegetable Curry: A savory blend of coconut, tamarind and mustard seed curry. Mmm.

1-IMG_0738The Butter Chicken was served in the most adorable little pot! It was also a huge hit amongst the table and went fast!

1-IMG_0743The incredibly rich Seared Spiced Duck Breast had excellent presentation and was another smash hit at the table. Duck is admittedly not one of my favourite dishes, but it was good!

1-IMG_0733This Fiddle heads & paneer  dish got major points for creativity. The Fiddle heads were so tender! They had been wok tossed with garam masala. Being used to seeing garam masala in only chai tea, I thought that it was pretty interesting.

1-IMG_0751Can we take a moment for these? The Okra fries were hands down amazing. I don’t know how they managed to make a veggie that I mostly overlook SO good. The okra was tossed in a crispy red chili crust. They were a bit spicy and super addictive. They also feel like a pretty healthy option.

Our meal was expertly paired for us by Peter Boyd. Peter explained that pairing European wine with Indian food is a relatively new venture that he’s still exploring. Peter has matched wine with Indian food, but says that choosing one or two wines for the table doesn’t always pan out with Indian food.It’s better to have multiple wine options for select dishes.

Pukka has been open for 6 months and already has over 30 wines! It’s expected that they will have up to 70 wines.

1-IMG_0759Our appetizers were paired with a dry style Austrian white wine. It had overtones of peach  and a bit of peppercorn. It’s rich without being sweet. I thought it paired nicely!

1-IMG_0755The full bodied red wine was a surprise hit for me. I usually stick to sweet white wines and almost turned this down. I’m glad I didn’t! The wine has a slight herbal top note and tastes a bit like blackberry cordial. This wine paired so well with the butter chicken. It also didn’t have a strong tannin after taste. This was the first red wine that I actually enjoyed.

Of course, there’s always room for dessert!

1-IMG_0769My dessert pick would be the above Chocolate Mousse Cake with salted cocoa caramel and blood orange segments. Delectable.1-IMG_0767

Eaton Mess is a combination of Grand Marnier yogurt cream, drunk orange segments, pomegranate and orange blossom meringues. Could be a nod to the all-boys boarding school named Eton in India.

1-IMG_0765Carrot Cake was pretty traditional but with candied carrot strands and curry creme fraiche to spice it up.

1-IMG_0772A cup of chai tea was the perfect end to this excellent meal!

You need to visit Pukka! You’ll be so happy that you did. It’s the perfect location for a casual drink and snack (*cough*of Okra fries *cough*) or for a full blown meal. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Pukka is open for dinner at 778 St. Clair Ave. West (west of Bathurst St)

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My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Copyright © David Lebovitz
Copyright © David Lebovitz

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David’s Parisian kitchen.

My Paris Kitchen manages to both make me long for Paris and feel like I am in Paris. David Lebovitz is an American food blogger that moved to Paris ten years ago. He shares his stories and recipes about Paris in this book. The photography is gorgeous and will make you see the beauty in a stick of butter. (more…)

Make This! Madeleines from My Paris Kitchen

Copyright © David Lebovitz
Copyright © David Lebovitz

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I had been craving madelines for a bit. So, I was really happy to see this recipe in My Paris Kitchen! Warning: These madelines are insanely delicious! Be sure that you have at least two hours to make this recipe as it needs rising time. You will need a madeline pan. Don’t fill the madeline pan too much, or the madelines will become misshapen. Okay! Here we go. (more…)

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