Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I know you've all been patiently awaiting these reviews, but I have been distracted w/ my retirement & new career as exhibit/show photographer......  also I have been less inclined to read/review any cookbook that I consider to be less than 3 stars!


Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes...., Rick Archbold

Oddly I am entranced with the subject of the Titanic.... not so much its sinking, rather the elegance and beauty of the ship and romance of the Edwardian era.

This book contains history, photos, menus, and recipes of the ship, its crew, and passengers. I was surprised that even the Second Class passengers had a generous dining menu, that was basically unheard of at the time.

Their April 12, 1912 "Hot" Luncheon menu consisted of: Pea Soup; Spaghetti au Gratin; Corned Beef; Vegetable Dumplings; Roast Mutton; and Baked Jacket Potatoes.

The "Cold" menu: Roast Mutton; Roast Beef; Sausage; Ox Tongue; Pickles; Salad; Tapioca Pudding; apple tart; Fresh Fruit; Cheese; Biscuits; and Coffee.
That sure is a whole lot of food for a 2nd class passage!

The First-Class Titanic Dinner was a "choreographed" affair with: Hand-written "formal" invitations (with advice on what to wear); a biography of the character your are asked to "portray"; flowers for the ladies; boutonniere for the men; and court music. 

Before dinner: Formal introductions; cocktails or lighter drinks (champagne); and hors d'oeuvres. 

Dinner: Dinner announcement w/ a gong; courses on silver salvers; a nine course dinner; and coffee, cigars, port or cordials.

A sample dinner menu w/ recipes:
First Course- Hors d'oeuvre: Oeufs de caille en aspic et caviar (Quail Eggs) w/ White Bordeaux or White Burgundy

Second Course- Potage: Potage Saint Germain (Spring Pea Soup) w/ Madeira or Sherry

Third Course- Poisson: Homard Thermidor (Lobster) w/ Dry Rhine or Moselle

Fourth Course- Entree: Tournedos aux morilles w/ Red Bordeaux

Fifth Course- Punch or Sorbet: Punch Rose

Sixth Course- Roti: Cailles aux cerises (Qualis w/ cherries) w/ Red Burgundy

Seventh Course- Legume: Asperges printanieres, sauce hollandaise (no wine?)

Eighth Course- Entrements: Macedoine de fruits; Oranges en surprise w/ Sweet dessert wines (Muscatel, Tokay, Madeira)

Ninth Course- Les desserts: assorted fresh fruits and cheeses w/ Sweet dessert wines, Champagne, or Sparkling wine

After Dinner: Coffee, cigars, Port or Cocktails

That is just one of the menus w/ recipes from one of the dining rooms..... Oh my.... The First-Class Dining Saloon had a menu w/ ELEVEN Courses.... and several of the courses, you had a choice of dishes.....

I'm surprised at all the liquor! Let's just call this an exercise in gluttony... but delicious gluttony and I for one, would have been happy to partake for just one night.

pies: delicious homemade pie recipes, Love Food Books

A very simply put together book by one of my favorite author/editor LOVE FOOD. This is a small book in size but not content...Each recipe has a corresponding beautiful color photo (OMG) and the recipes (if you are so inclined- which I am not, because I do not like to bake) are clear & simple to follow.... however some of the techniques are not so simple.....

The contents include: Introduction, 4 sections of recipes, and Index

Classic Pies: Traditional apple pie; Banoffee pie; Bakewell tart; Mississippi mud-pie; Queen of puddings; Custard pie, Key Lime pie; & Lemon Meringue pie

Sweet Snacks (many are minis) include: Maple pecan pies; Chocolate nut strudel; Paper-thin fruit pies; Apple strudel w/ cider sauce; Chocolate berry pies; and Lime w/ coconut meringue pies

Dessert Treats include: Pear pie; Apple lattice pie; Chocolate crumble pie; One roll fruit pie; Sweet potato pie; Forest fruit (berries) pie, Coconut cream pie (w/ mango on top); Peach almond pie; Tarte au citron; Chocolate almond pithiviers; and Peach cobbler

Special Occasions include: Pecan pie, Baked chocolate Alaska; Sweet pumpkin pie; Latticed cherry pie; Blackberry chocolate flan (really not a flan); and Boston chocolate pie

I'm tempted to keep this, but as I know I won't use it... I'll let it go back to the FOL Holiday book sale... someone is sure to score!


Indian Home Cooking...., Suvir Saran

If you like modernized Indian food and are not adverse to time-
consuming challenging recipes... you might like this cookbook.  Although the recipes sound tempting, making Lemon Rice that uses EIGHTEEN (18) ingredients is not for me, oh no it is not!

The book itself is heavy due to the slick paper it is printed on and there are only photos every-24 pages and not necessarily of the dishes that are given in the recipes.  The Recipe title is in large bold font, the explanation paragraph is a small grey bold font, the ingredients list in a medium black bold font, and the instruction are in a small plain black font, which I found amazingly easy to read.

Contents include: Foreword, Introduction,  13 sections of recipes, Glossary, Acknowledgements, Index, & Credits.

Recipe chapters include:

Soups include: Black pepper Rasam (Consomme) w/ tamarind; Pineapple Rasam w/ tamarind; Carrot & pea soup; Chilled yogurt soup w/ cucumber & mint; and My mother's tomato soup

Dals include: Simple lentil dal w/ cumin & dried red chilies; Empress dal; Simple Gujarati dal w/ three chilies; Yellow mung beans w/ spinach & Panchphoran; Sour chickpeas w/ garam masala & tomato cumin; Spicy squash,eggplant, & lentil stew; and Curried black-eyed peas

Vegetables include: Stir-fried green beans w/ coconut; Stir-friend carrots w/ cumin & lime; Cauliflower in a piquant tomato sauce; My sister's favorite corn curry; Smoked spiced eggplant; Crisp whole okra w/ fennel & coriander; Spicy peas w/ ginger; Plantains in curry; Crispy potatoes w/ cumin; Indian cheese in an herbed green sauce; sweet-sour butternut squash w/ ginger & chilies; and Stir-fried mushrooms w/ onions & tomatoes

Rice includes: Plain Basmati rice; Cumin-scented rice pilaf; Lemon rice (18 ingredients!); Sweet saffron pilaf w/ nuts & currants (This is what we serve at Armenian weddings); Chicken biryani w/ cream & garam masala; Coconut mint rice; Lamb biryani w/ orange & whole garam masala; and My grand-uncle's khitcheree

Poultry includes: Simple Lahori chicken curry w/ onion & tomato; Southern spiced Lahori chicken curry; Braised chicken in white sauce & garam masala; Butter chicken; Bombay chicken curry w/ coriander & coconut milk; Coconut chicken w/ cashews; Ground turkey w/ spinach & whole spices; and Tandoori roast Cornish game hens

Meats include: Simple lamb curry w/ coriander & garam masala; Parsi lamb curry; Pork vindaloo (the only pork dish); Lamb cooked Delhi style; Ground beef w/ spinach & fresh mint (the only beef dish); Ground lamb w/ almonds, cardamom, & coconut; and Mogul lamb 'filet' in a cream sauce w/ garam masala

Fish & Shellfish includes: Salmon curry; Halibut in a hot-sour sauce; Spicy friend salmon; Mangalore fried shrimp; and Tandoori prawns

Appetizers & Snacks include: Spinach, onion & potato pakoras; Puff pastry samosas w/ green peas; Ann's cheese toasts; Chickpea salad; Warm bread salad w/ mustard, cumin & tomatoes; and Papadum

Raitas (cold yogurt salads) include: Cucumber; Mint & onion; Pineapple; Eggplant; Grape; and Zucchini pachadi 

The recipe chapters continue w/ Flatbreads & Crackers; Pickles & Chutneys; Sweets (a wonderful sounding Orange Flan); and Drinks.

Unless I was an avid fan of Indian food, which I am not, I would not pay the $32.50 for this book......  But if you are, and you  are interested in this book, I'd first borrow it from the Library.

Cooking the Korean Way, Okwha Chun

I gave this 4 stars, not so much for quantity of content but for the easiness of the recipes, which include all of the Korean basics.....

Contents: Introduction (background of Korea); Before you begin; A Korean table; Korean basics; 4 sections of recipes; & Index.

Korean Basics: Egg pancake; Kimchi (wow so easy to make, I am on it); White rice; Noodles; Toasted sesame seeds; & Dipping sauce

Salads & Soups: bean sprout salad; Spinach salad (I this); Cold cucumber soup; and Potato soup

Chicken, Fish & Vegetarian Dishes: Mixed vegetables w/ (yam) noodles (another favorite); Glazed chicken wings; Fish patties; and Soy-sesame tofu

Beef Dishes: Barbecue beef (Bulkogi ); Simmered beef short ribs (Kalbi ); and Korean dumplings (Mandu )

Holiday & Festival Food: New Year's beef rice cake soup; Grilled beef & vegetable skewers; Five grain dish; Seaweed rice rolls; and Zucchini pancakes

Steamy Kitchen's healthy asian favorites, Jaden Hair

I like this book... it is a paperback format with very attractive photographs.  Most of the 100 recipes have less than six (6) ingredients which makes for fast & easy preparation.

Contents include: Foreword; Introduction; 9 chapters of recipes; Ingredients; Acknowledgements; about the author; Measurement conversions; and Index

Soups: Mom's chicken stock; seafood stock; miso soup; dashi; Thai tom yum; Healing ginger chicken soup; & Tofu mushroom miso soup

Pickles & Sauces: Shrimp & cucumber sunomono; Gari; Vietnamese carrot & daikon pickle; Quick kimchi; Andrew's secret sauce; Scallion dipping sauce; Dumpling dipping sauce; Sweet plum dipping sauce; and My sriracha sauce

Salads & Dressings: Simple citrus dressing; Orange sesame dressing; Lemon soy dressing; Peanut dressing & dipping sauce; Asian slaw w/ wasabi soy dressing; Edamame noodle salad; Big salmon salad; Quinoa salad w/ avocado & pears; and Seared scallop salad w/ sesame ginger vinaigrette

Little Bites: Korean beef bites; Crispy rice patties; Seared ahi tuna; Thai chicken larb; Vietnamese style shrimp cocktail; & Shrimp & spinach dumplings

Share: Vietnamese summer rolls (2 kinds); Chinese hot pot party; Sushi temaki party; vegetarian Korean bbq; and Japanese hot pot

Vegetables, Tofu & Eggs (I liked this chapter): Steamed asparagus w/ miso ginger butter; Roasted kabocha squash; Baby bok choy w/ garlic & ginger; Cauliflower steaks w/ ginger soy sauce; Eggs w/ oyster sauce; Ten minute Thai vegetable curry; Roasted carrots w/ ginger honey mustard; and Spicy garlicky tofu & broccoli

Meat & Seafood: Stuffed miso eggplant; Thai squid w/ basil sweet/sour sauce; Cantonese style poached fish; Kung pao chicken; Lemon chicken; sake steamed mussels; Salmon honey teriyaki; and Sweet & sour pork

Noodles & Rice: Pineapple crab fried rice; Seafood fried rice; Vietnamese vermicelli bowl; Singapore rice noodles; Seafood curry noodle soup; & Japanese soba noodles

Sweets & Libations: Coconut green tea; Sweet goji tea; Mom's preserved kumquat & honey; Lemongrass, ginger, & Kaffir lime herbal infusion; Kiwi sorbet; Passionfruit mimosa; Stevia simple syrup; mango brulee; Cucumber mint water; orange mango smoothie; and Sparkling Vietnamese limeade

What a lovely book!

Brunch Louise Pickford

Such a sweet simple little book of 64 pages. Lovely colored photos, delightful recipes, printed on a white smooth paper. The main titles are large the "with: in in small bold print; the ingredients are in small but easily read font as are the instructions. The only hard to read item is the paragraph/sentence under the title with points out ingredient options.

Contents: Introduction; 5 chapters of recipes; and Index

Late Breakfast: Soft egg w/ asparagus; Cinnamon-soaked granola; Omelet w/ fine herbs; Panettone French toast w/ coco nut milk (YUM); and Fresh figs w/ ricotta & honeycomb

Classic Brunch: Bagles, lox & wasabi sour cream; Eggs Benedict; Mushrooms on toast; and Kedgeree

Early Lunch: Crab Caesar; BLT tortilla panini; Mushroom burgers; Frazzled eggs w/ smoked bacon; and Charred asparagus frittata

Sweet Things: Warm compote; Baby custard tarts w/ cardamon coffee; Pecan & chocolate muffins; and Sweet bruschetta w/ quince glazed figs

Drinks: Iced Bloody Mary; Iced coffee; Mocha affogato; 3 types of Champagne cocktails; and 2 types of smoothies.

Taverna: the Best of Casual Mediterranean Cooking Joyce Goldstein

As this is an older book "1996", I'm not going to whine about the photos not being as I like them..... The pages are glossy and the print for the is easy to read.....

Contents include: Introduction; Basic recipes; 5 chapters of non-basic recipes; Glossary; and Index

Basic Recipes: Garlic-potato sauce; Yogurt-cucumber sauce; Tomato-nut sauce; Chili pepper sauce; and marinated olives

Appetizers: Garlic shrimp; Stuffed grape leaves; Fried cheese; Fried mussels in nut sauce; Lamb pizza; and Cheese filled pastries

Soups and Vegetables: Bread soup w/ cilantro, garlic & poached eggs; "Green" soup w/ kale & potatoes; Meatball soup w/ egg & lemon; City style braised artichokes; and Spinach w/ raisins & pine nuts

Fish & Shellfish: Stewed clams w/ sausage, ham & tomatoes; shrimp w/ tomatoes, oregano, & feta; Gratin of sea cod & potatoes; and Stuffed squid

Poultry & Meat: Grilled chicken kebabs; Roast chicken w/ oregano & lemon; Sausage & green pepper ragout; braised pork w/ quinces; Lamb stew w/ artichokes; and Pork ragout w/ sweet red peppers & lemon

Desserts: Cream filled apricots; Rice pudding; Sweet cheese tarts from Santorini; Figs stuffed w/ chocolate & almonds; Baklava; and Caramelized orange custard

Wonderful food...... not so easy recipes but I'm sure worth the effort

Blissful Brownies, Love Food Book

If you really like brownies, then this might be the book for you...... I do not particularly care for brownies, so it is not for me..... It is a pretty book with wonderful mouth watering photos, easy to read print, and rather easy to follow instructions.

Contents include: Introduction (Baking Basics); 4 sections of recipes; & Index

The Classics: Chocolate brownies (w/ a frosting squiggle); Chocolate fudge brownies; Pecan brownies; white chocolate brownies; & Chocolate chip brownies w/ pistachios (yes!)

New Twists: Sour cream brownies; Walnut & cinnamon blondies; Upside-down toffee apple brownies; Rocky road brownies; rich apricot blondies; & Marbled choc cheesecake brownies

Made to Impress: Mint julep brownie cake; Black Russian brownies; Blonde brownie hearts w/ raspberry sauce; & Rich ginger brownies w/ port cream

Cookie sheet treats: Chocolate peanut butter bars; Almond bars; Chocolate marshmallow fingers (really gross looking); Macadamia nut caramel bars; & Fruity (oat) bars

Give or take 82 recipes in total...... Which gives a person who loves brownies many options. Most likely there is something for everyone.

I gave this 4 stars because whether I like brownies or not, this is a good cookbook.


Hosting Wedding Parties

There were 6 shower ideas w/ decor, favors, and menus:

Luau Reception: Some type of "refreshing" punch; Kalua pork kabobs; Chicken long rice; Lomi lomi salmon; Coconut sweet potatoes; and Coconut lime wedding cake

Bridesmaids' Tea Party: Green beans w/ thyme vermouth butter; Herbed chicken; Strawberry orange poppyseeds salad; and Mystic petit fours

Playful Rehearsal Dinner: Fondu; 6 dipping sauces; THE Original Toblerone fondue; and White chocolate raspberry fondue

Gourmet Dinner Shower: Portabella pita appetizers; grilled garlic steaks; Orange fennel salad; and Bittersweet chocolate pumpkin cake

Garden Shower: Artichoke Tortellini salad; Glazed berry cheesecake tart; Garden Gazpacho; and Old fashioned lemonade

Engagement Party: Goat cheese squares; Poached shrimp w/ olive oil & lemon juice; Turkey chili tortillas; and Mini mocha tarts

So there is a party-planning timetable; papers, decorations, ribbons, envelopes, folding napkins... etc.

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