Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

The Love Song of 
Miss Queenie Hennessy
A Novel
By Rachel Joyce

Hardcover, 352 pages

I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry two years ago and, like the rest of the world, fell instantly and permanently in love.

The book cemented Rachel Joyce as a must-read author and one of the first on my favourites list.

Now we are given the gift of a companion book to the original novel. Not a prequel or a sequel - but a look into Queenie's life and perspective as she waits for Harold and his incredible journey.

We learn so much about this special woman, and remember so much about the first book - not with parallels but with snips and snatches that are remembered in such a different way by this teller.

It is profound how we can touch each other's lives. Near misses, words not said, things forgotten or unnoticed. Guilt, love, sadness, joy. Redemption.

A beautiful book.

From the Back Flap:

When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait?

A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, 'Even though you've done your travelling, you're starting a new journey too.'

Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was the beginning.

Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won multiple awards. Rachel Joyce lives with her family on a Gloucestershire farm.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Vibrant Vegetable Cooking 
from London's Yotam Ottolenghi 
Hardcover, 352 pages

And the KitchenPuppy award for most beautiful cookbook goes to: Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. I love just saying his name. (Not that I am sure I pronounce it right, but I am in my kitchen most of the time so it's all good.)

This is a stunning book that brings hope and love, beauty, and a sense of aliveness to the plate. Seriously, I could live off the pages alone.

I am not a vegetarian. I guess the term these days is flexitarian. I am just happy to eat for the most part. But in this book you don't even notice or miss the meat. (Not saying you couldn't serve any of these fine dishes with a lamb cutlet, but you certainly don't need to.)

A heady variety of Mediterranean dishes separated by cooking methods, which all sound incredibly sexy to me.

Tossed * Steamed * Blanched * Simmered * Braised * Grilled * Roasted * Fried * Mashed * Cracked * Baked * Sweetened

From the Back Flap:

The hotly anticipated follow-up to London chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling and award-winning cookbook Plenty, featuring more than 150 vegetarian dishes organized by cooking method.

Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the world’s most beloved culinary talents. In this follow-up to his bestselling Plenty, he continues to explore the diverse realm of vegetarian food with a wholly original approach. Organized by cooking method, more than 150 dazzling recipes emphasize spices, seasonality, and bold flavors. From inspired salads to hearty main dishes and luscious desserts, Plenty More is a must-have for vegetarians and omnivores alike. This visually stunning collection will change the way you cook and eat vegetables

Yotam Ottolenghi owns an eponymous group of four restaurants, plus the high-end restaurant, NOPI, in London. His previous cookbooks–Plenty, Jerusalem, and Ottolenghi–have all been on the New York Times bestseller list. Yotam writes for The Guardian and appears on BBC. He lives in London. The author lives in London, UK.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen

More than 100 Culinary Inspired 
Presents to Make and Bake
By Alison Walker
Hardcover, 176 pages

Countdown to Christmas! I know you were thinking it.

I am at the stage of my life.... (does that make me sound old? I'm not. Much) But I am at that stage where homemade gifts mean so much more to me than store bought. Especially if I can eat said gifts.

Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen gives you over 100 yummy gift giving treats and presentation ideas. Perfect for anyone on your list. I assume I am on your list as well. Please?

Chapters include:

Baked with Love
Candies and Confections
For the Pantry
From the Garden
The Delights of Chocolate
A Savory Treat
Raise a Glass
Small but Perfectly Formed
Gifts for the Cook
Containers and Packaging
Gingerbread House Templates
Resource Section

Beautifully laid out and photographed, you will have no end of sweet and savory ideas to wow your friends and family. And me.

From the Back Flap:

From homemade cookies to marshmallow hearts, flavored oils and spirits to panforte and spice kits, each of the more than 100 gift ideas has an easy-to-follow recipe along with inspirational ideas for presentation. Whether you're baking for a friend's birthday or bringing a thank-you gift, this book is your guide to creating elegant and tasty treats for any celebration.

     Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen is a delightful gift in itself, as well as providing a beautiful collection of culinary gift ideas for you to make and bake at home for friends and family. In a world where mass-produced is the norm, homemade carries a certain potency of care and thought, and indulgent fudge, warming liqueurs, spicy chutneys, sweet and crumbly homemade biscuits are easy to make, affordable, and meaningful gifts. They are perfect for Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving, or for everyday giving.

     And it's not just the making, it's the wrapping, too. Decorative jars, tins, baskets, and boxes add a personal touch that ensures these gifts will still be remembered long after the food has been enjoyed. That said, a range of containers isn't essential; Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen offers ideas for wrapping your gifts in a stunning and stylish way, so that every gift is special.

Alison Walker is the Food and Drink Editor of Country Living magazine and loves cooking comfort food using seasonal ingredients. After a career in editorial magazine and publishing, she retrained as a professional chef at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London and graduated as Student of the Year in 2002. After leaving Leith’s, she worked as a food stylist on various movie sets and television programs, such as the James Bond film Die Another Day and Vanity Fair. Since then, she has worked as food editor on various glossy women’s magazines in London. Immediately before joining Country Living, she was Head of Cookery at Good Housekeeping (UK edition).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Cookbook

More than 100 Heart-Warming Seasonal Recipes 
for You to Cook at Home 
Edited by Sharon Hapton
Trade Paperback, 216 pages

Oooh! It's that time again. Nothing says love like a warm bowl of soup after a long day. Hey, I've been known to have noodle soups for breakfast. Especially when I have a scratchy throat. I've been told that many cultures have soup for breakfast. Or noodles. Possibly both. I don't know. I just know I like it.

And combine healing, healthy, warming soups with the spirit of helping and sharing and you have a winning combination. Soup Sisters started in Canada and is bringing its warmth to Los Angeles, California for the first American chapter.

So far the Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers have donated over 350,000 containers of soup to those in need.

Buying this cookbook not only gets you 100 delicious recipes, but helps keep hearts and tummies filled and warm. 

The first book, The Soup Sisters Cookbook, and this new one, The Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Cookbook are first rate collections of deliciousness from celebrity chefs, restaurant owners and home chefs.


From the Back Flap:

The follow up to 2012's bestselling The Soup Sisters Cookbook (over 35,000 copies sold), with more than 100 new soup recipes from "souper" volunteers and celebrity chefs.

     The Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Cookbook showcases delicious recipes from Soup Sisters volunteers and from many top celebrity chefs--including Yotam Ottolenghi, Curtis Stone, Lidia Bastianich, Rob Feenie, Susur Lee, Michael Smith, Anna Olson, and Mark McEwan. With more than 100 recipes arranged by season, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, The Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Cookbook gives you enough heartwarming soup recipes to prepare and share throughout the year.

     Soup Sisters is a Calgary-based non-profit enterprise founded in 2009. It organizes multiple volunteer soup-making events across the country every month to produce soup for women, children, and youth in need. Soup Sisters believes in the power of soup and the nutrition, comfort, and warmth that the gift of soup can bring. As well as working with women's shelters, Soup Sisters also operates Broth Brothers, which focuses on work with youth crisis centers across the country, providing support to young men who are working to support themselves. The Soup Sisters' growing network of supporters collectively cook up more than 10,000 servings of soup every month.

Sharon Hapton

Sharon Hapton is the founder of Soup Sisters. She was selected as one of Chatelaine and CityTV’s Women of the Year 2011, and as a Woman of Vision 2011 by Global Television and the YWCA.