Monthly Archives: May 2011

An At Home Pie Contest, Rick Bayless and Eva Signs

side dish

Out Soon: Lots of great new cookbooks will be hitting the market soon. Here’s look at a few.

Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard
From Nani Steele, Plum Gorgeous will concentrate on, yes, plums. With 60 seasonal recipes to celebrate the “romance fruit”. – Andrews McMeel (July 2011)

Food from Many Greek Kitchens
As the title would imply, Tessa Kiros gives us a look at Greek cuisine through the kitchens of her friends and family. More than 200 classic Greek recipes. – Andrews McMeel (June 2011)

Pie Contest in a Box : Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest
OK, great title. What’s the deal? It’s a pie baking contest kit. Everything you need to host your own competition. This sounds like fun! – Andrews McMeel (June 2011)

Perfect Pops: 50 One-of-a-Kind Popsicles That Will Rock Your World
Summer is either here or on the way depending on where you live. This one will make the kiddies in you world smile. – Chronicle (June 2011)

Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Aguas Frescas & Shaved Ice
Another potential summertime hit. Frozen treats are BIG in the summer. Fany Gerson takes us through how to make these icy Mexican delights. – Ten Speed Press (June 2011)

News and Events: There are things happening in the culinary world. We’ve got you plugged into a few items.

Helping Make Things Better. Everybody knows Rick Bayless gives back a ton to his community. The Frontera Farmer Foundation is holding a recipe contest to help raise money to fund it’s grants. Here’s more details on how you can enter and help some folks in the process. Frontera Farmer Foundation Recipe Contest.

Under The Radar. Everyone had their eyes glued to the announcement of this years James Beard Award winners. But, back in March the Gourmand Cookbook Award winners were announced. Here’s a look at the winners. Bhutanese Cuisine, Charity Books Among Winners of 2011 Gourmand Cookbook Awards


Eva Longoria, Eva’s Kitchen
Saturday, June 4, 2011, 12:30pm
Shops at La Cantera
15900 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX
(210) 694-0146

The Deen Brothers, Get Fired Up: Grilling, Tailgating, Picnicking, and More
Friday, June 17, 2011, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
LuLu’s at Homeport Marina
Gulf Shores, AL
(251) 967-5858

Barry Estabrook, Tomatoland
Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 6:00pm
Inkwood Books
216 S. Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL

We want your news and events. If you’ve got something you would like to tell the whole cookbook world, tell us. We’ll help you spread the love. Just drop us an email by clicking here.

An Inside Look At The Restaurant Show


Over the years I’ve associated Bob Marley with a lot of things. Coffee was not among them.

The National Restaurant Show

Every year at this time in May, you can find a who’s who of the restaurant trade all gathered in one place. Chicago Illinois. More specifically, McCormick Place. That’s the site of the National Restaurant Association’s annual restaurant show.

If you own a restaurant and are looking for equipment, food or industry technology, you can find it here. Not only can you find it here, but, it will chase you down a showroom aisle waving a free sample at you.

Yesterday, I had a chance for an insiders view of what you will soon be experiencing at your favorite place to dine. As I sampled my way through thousands of vendors one thing became crystal clear. If you didn’t come with a game plan to navigate your day, you’ve lost before you’ve even downed that first slice of mini pizza.

Let’s take a look at some of what the show had to offer.

Bacon, Still One Of Our Favorite Meats

Yes, bacon is still hot. Our fascination with the smoky, salty and sweet meat continues. There were lots of venders with smoked products, but, bacon still out shines them all (as you can easily see by the soft glow of the bacon beacon).

Sid Wainer & Sons

If you can’t find amazing food displays here then something is very wrong. Sid Wainer and Sons really pulled out all the stops at their booth. A recreation of an actual food specialty store. Pretty great.

Food Trucks On Display

Food trucks have been a culinary craze for a while now. There was even a TV reality show last year (once that happens, it’s officially a craze). It looks like this mobile food fad isn’t going away any time soon. And, that’s OK with me. This is one food trend I hope sticks around past the usual flame out point.

Nathan's Hot Dogs

As you would imagine there was a lot of food to sample. I mean a lot! Lines for some of the more popular places like Nathan’s, Dietz & Watson, Vienna and Idahoan Foods snaked down the aisle or around the booth.

Coca Cola's New Dispenser

Speaking of lines, Coca Cola had plenty of them. Check out their latest drink dispensing machine. 125 different flavors out of one machine! Pretty amazing. The unit holds 25 concentrated drink cartridges that when mixed in proper proportions, makes over one hundred Coca Cola product flavors. As you would imagine, all the standard Coke brands are represented. So, calm down, no one is going to take away your plain old boring Diet Coke.

Marley Coffee

Bob Marley’s son, Rohan, has started a coffee company. Who would have ever thought that? They use Blue Mountain coffee beans for their product and it’s surprisingly good. Bob’s daughter, Karen, was on hand the day I was there to talk up the product and sign a few autographs. Sure it’s a crowed marketplace, but, they have a story that might set them apart.

As you would imagine, there was tons of tech. From new point of sale systems, to customer paging to high tech valet systems. Groupon had a nice presence, as did Google and Living Social. All trying to demonstrate why their platform brings people in the door of your restaurant.

After six hours of floor walking, I was done. I had managed to cover most of the two giant show floors. I was tired and full, but, satisfied that I had gotten a pretty good look at what’s coming straight to your local eatery. I was ready to head out, complete with a ten pound bag of handouts to sort though later.

The National Restaurant Show really is a complete look at the industry. Around every corner of this show is a new food to sample.  And, it’s your job to try most of it. I mean, it is in the name of “journalism” and I wouldn’t want to let you down.


Cookbook Daily: Delicious Memories: Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee

Cookbook Daily

Delicious Memories: Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee

If you were a kid growing up in the sixties, in a typical middle class family, anywhere in the USA, you’ll recognize what I’m about to say as the truth.

Chef Boyardee = Italian cooking

I can not even begin to estimate how many cans of ravioli, spaghetti and lasagna were consumed in my childhood home. It was a lot. I’m not saying that my Mother didn’t cook, that’s certainly not the case. But, Chef Boyardee did a fair amount of cooking in the house too.

Now some seventy years later, the Chefs granddaughter, Anna Boiardi, is out with a cookbook of their families favorite dishes. And, it has some fantastic, classic Italian fare.

ALERT: If you are hoping to find the secret recipe for Beefaroni in this cookbook, you will be disappointed. But, you will find a recipe for a killer paglia e fieno.

Author: Anna Boiardi
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
ISBN-10: 1584799064
ISBN-13: 978-1584799061

Want It? We Can Help.

Click To Buy This Book

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

Looking for more Cookbook Dailies?

If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction

It’s Just Dirt

It’s as basic as basic can be.

Community Farming

In the middle of May, in Southwest Michigan, it should be warmer than the mid forties with a wind chill somewhere in the thirties. It just should be. On the upside, the sun was shining.

It was my first trip out to our shiny, brand new farm plot. A ten by ten piece of recently tilled dirt. That’s all that’s there, just dirt.

Our Dirt

It wasn’t exactly as I had envisioned it. I wasn’t thinking this would be a nicely pre-groomed, argi-science plot, complete with it’s a own irrigation system and fencing, but…

Apparently our little slice of planting paradise had been even more basic than when I first laid eyes on it. My fellow farmer, Jerry, had already been out to turn it over once (or maybe twice). It did come pre-staked so we would know where the planting boundaries were. I guess it’s possible that they made Jerry do his own staking (I’ll have to ask).

Two “Farmers”.

Two Farmers

Let there be no mistake. This is who is you’re dealing with. That’s me on the left and Jerry on the right. You can tell we’re serious, experienced farmers by the fact that we’re both wearing boat shoes! At least we look good leaning on a rake. He looks a little more seasoned than me, he’s wearing gloves. I think we only have one pair.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to be planting some stuff.

Seed Packages

And, you’re going to get to see it come to life.

We’re farming at a community garden set up by a local church. We’ll be donating a portion of our crop yield (my first farming term!) to the church’s local food bank. The gardens rules prohibit the use of commercial chemical fertilizers. They’re trying to promote organic farming methods, which is fantastic. So, not only will we hopefully be growing lots of good food, but, also food that is good for you and food that can help feed our neighbors.

I can’t wait to see what comes out of our humble plot.


Just in case you may have missed one of these other posts, here are some links:

I’m Going To Be A Farmer!

I’m Going To Be A Farmer!

Trust me, it’s not what you’re thinking. Or, maybe it is.

Farm Building

I’ll keep this brief. I’m having dinner and a few cocktails with my friend Jerry the other night. In between flipping a pork tenderloin on the grill and another Miller High Life, he said to me, “Hey, I’ve got this plot at a community farm our church is sponsoring this summer. Interested in farming?”. What kind of a question is that? Of course I am.

The details are a little sketchy at the moment. But, I do know one thing. This summer I’ll be planting, weeding, tending, nurturing and hopefully harvesting my own crops. And, helping out some needy folks at our local food pantry in the process.

More details to follow…

Cookbook Daily: Tomatoland

Cookbook Daily

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

If you’ve been buying fresh vegetables for any descent amount of time you have probably noticed something. The decline in flavor of some of your favorites.

Now investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook, takes us through the journey of the humble tomato. From its start as a vitamin packed, taste filled veggie treat. To, where it is today, a victim of modern processing and growing methods.

This book will be a great read for all who have loved food industry exposes like, Food Inc., In Defense of Food and Four Fish.

The next time your cruising through your local farm stand or farmers market you’ll be thinking about some of the valuable lessons from Tomatoland and how they have impacted your table.

Author: Barry Estabrook
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN-10: 1449401090
ISBN-13: 978-1449401092

Want It? We Can Help.

Buy This Book

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

Just in case you may have missed some of our other Cookbook Daily features here are a few links:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction

It’s Your Day, Eat What You Want

If you thought the days of eating whatever you want were over, think again.

Mini Nathan's Hot Dogs

Do you have a craving for that big sloppy double cheeseburger? How about a nice thick slice of chocolate layer cake or a fully loaded hot dog?

If you’re like me, sometimes there’s a more than slight twinge of guilt associated with chowing down some of your favorite pig out foods. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but, I suspect it’s my scale (or my Cardiologist) talking. Damn them both.

But, all hope of a remorse free meal or snack is not lost. I’m here to give you a one day only pass to eat whatever your little heart desires (you can thank me later). That’s because today is, Eat What You Want Day!

I’m not certain who dreams up some of these crazy food holidays, but, this is one that everyone can enjoy. Since it’s not a singular food event, you can make it what you want it to be. And, who doesn’t like that kind of culinary freedom? It’s a personalized food holiday!

As a public service and in hopes of giving your brain a jump start, I’m going to suggest a few cookbooks as a source of inspiration. As you can easily see, there are a virtual wealth of Eat What You Want Day possibilities.

Now do your job and get out there and eat!

How To Make Black and White Bean Salad

We really loved cooking out of Evada Cooper’s new book, The RV Centennial Cookbook. We made a light and delicious Black and White Bean Salad. Awesome for your summer road trip or backyard get together. Check out this great video of how we did it! You’ll love it!



Looking for more  How to Videos?
Check out our video on how to make Red Beans and Rice from the Buster Holmes cookbook.

Onions Make Life Sweeter

Is it possible for an onion to be more than just delicious?

Florida Sweet Onions

Behold the humble onion. Over the years a lot has been written and said about this sometimes sweet, sometimes pungent veggie. They are thought to possess powers over and above being a delicious addition to any dish.

How about as a cure for the flu? That’s right. Back in the early 1900’s, during the big flu epidemic, it was thought that leaving a cut onion on a dish, in a room would absorb the flu bacteria thus leaving the room germ free. What?? As crazy as that sounds lots of people bought into the notion that the onion was a germ sponge.

Could you just imagine going to see your doctor, paying the $25 co-pay then having him or her hand you an onion and send you out the door. I wonder if Medicare would cover that?

These Florida Sweet Onions may not turn your house into a sterile environment, but, they will make a tasty addition to lots of great recipes.

Looking for something to do with your purchase of fresh onions? Here’s a are a few cookbooks with some ideas for you.

The Onion Book
Onions, Onions, Onions: Delicious Recipes for the World’s Favorite Secret Ingredient
The Onion Harvest Cookbook

Spice Up Your Cinco de Mayo With These Flavorful Cookbooks

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Yes, it’s Cinco de Mayo once again. And, what does that mean beyond the usual swell of Corona, margarita and enchilada specials? Here in the U.S., it is a celebration of Mexican pride and heritage. It’s also a fantastic excuse to try out some new dishes inspired by our neighbor to the south.

Not feeling creative? Do you still want to celebrate in a culinary way, but, you can’t see past a wet burrito? Not to worry, we can help.

Here’s a list of cookbooks to put some zip into your Cinco de mayo celebration.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!