Giveaway, The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth and Endive Salad with Bacon

Endive Salad 2

As I may have mentioned before, I generally receive a several cookbooks for major gift-giving occasions. This isn’t surprising; after all, I have a known cookbook problem, and I have several cookbooks on my Amazon wishlist. I’m fairly familiar with the major cookbooks that are released, what the buzz is, and what the classics are. But this Christmas my aunt (who is a fantastic cook) gave me a book I had never heard of — the Auberge of the Flowering Hearth, by Roy Andries De Groot. “It’s the book that inspired Alice Waters,” she told me. I thanked her politely and added the book to my already crowded shelf of food and cookbooks.

A month or so later, I had finished my book club book for that month and was looking for something to read, and my eye fell on the Auberge. The book is unassuming, with its seventies cover and relatively unknown author (who was at some point the President of the Gourmet Club, which I’m sure had some real meaning in 1973, but sounds made up to me, like something an enterprising high school student would use to pad their college application), but I thought it would be an excellent soothing bedtime read.
Continue reading Giveaway, The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth and Endive Salad with Bacon

Steamy Kitchen Cookbook Review and Garlic Butter Noodles with Shrimp

Garlic Noodles

I have a little bit of a cookbook problem. You see, when we moved to our current home, we dedicated a reasonable sized bookcase to the cookbooks. It had four shelves, was about two and a half feet wide, and seemed perfectly fine. Until I started putting my cookbooks on it. There was a little overflow, a few cookbooks I put on another shelf, some books that I recategorized as “travel books.” But the problem only got worse. It’s not that I buy a ton of cookbooks — I mean, I do buy a few, sometimes to cook with, sometimes as a souvenir when I’m traveling, sometimes because I really can’t resist a used book sale. But I also receive cookbooks as gifts. And cookbooks have a way of finding their way into my house in other ways too. As a result, I have several cookbooks that are more for recreational reading than actual cooking, per se, and several more that never really see the light of day (but do look so ornamental on that bookcase. And the surrounding bookcases as well.)

The point is, I have a lot of cookbooks, and while I don’t mind this, my husband seems to think my collection is a bit … excessive. So you know a new cookbook is good when he comes up to me and says “You know, that cookbook really fills a niche that I think was missing from your cookbook collection.” This cookbook isn’t only endorsed by me, it’s endorsed by him, and that is a rare thing indeed, when it comes to cookbooks.

The cookbook in question is, of course, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair. People who are up on the food blogging community will recognize Jaden from her popular blog, Steamy Kitchen, and if you’ve met her in person or seen her on TV, you know that she has a lot of personal charisma and energy (Full disclosure — I met Jaden at the 2009 Blogher Food Conference, and I received a complimentary copy of the book through the conference after party), but even if you’ve never heard of Jaden Hair, this is a book you’ll want in your kitchen.
Continue reading Steamy Kitchen Cookbook Review and Garlic Butter Noodles with Shrimp