2 Cookbooks

I’ve liked all of the Thug Kitchen cookbooks so I was looking forward to Thug Kitchen 101. But, for some reason I had it in my head that this was going to be about fast food or road trip food but it’s not. It’s definitely a “101” style cookbook and I was disappointed. I didn’t see anything that I really needed to make, which is sad since our vegan will be here in a couple of weeks and it’s always nice to have a new dish for her to try. Blah.

And then there is Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings. I’ll admit it, I do follow her on Instagram and LIKE her but I wasn’t especially interested in her cookbook. I didn’t pre-order it and I didn’t even reserve it from the library. If it hadn’t just been sitting on the new arrivals shelf last weekend, I probably wouldn’t have thought to check it out.

Turns out, it’s good. Even though I don’t eat bacon and she loves her some bacon — and I don’t eat seafood or soup and she’s got her fair share of those recipes, too, I found myself saying over and over again that I’d make that. I even, for a minute, was sad that I don’t eat bacon because her garlic bacon sounds pretty darn good to me. In theory. I’d even make it for my bacon lovers but TW says it sounds yukky. She’s weirder than I am, by far.

I might actually want to BUY this cookbook… that’s saying something.

Four Non-Fiction

The #fakereadathon turned into a #fakereadathonweekend and I knocked out four non-fiction books for the occasion. Woot!

First, I finished The Bridge Ladies and really enjoyed it. I don’t know squat about bridge but when I was a kid I used to peruse the bridge column in the newspaper every Sunday and try to figure out what the heck they were talking about. Too much math for me but this memoir was pretty excellent. Moms, daughters, bridge and stuff. Go read it.

Next, I read Urban Sketching. I was overwhelmed by it. Too many words, too many sketches. I mean it’s a good book for urban sketching, I’m sure. It’s just too much. I need more white space.

More my speed, Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists. I want to own this book. Seriously. I wonder how much is is for Kindle… oh, hah. Cheaper in paperback. I’m pretty sure I will own this some day.

Last but absolutely not least, The Aunt Jemima Code. Super interesting and I was tempted to go dig through TW’s cookbooks to see just how many of the featured books were on our shelves. I’m pretty sure quite a lot. (though it’s also possible that she Kondoed a bunch, too.) Really good book.

Tis the Season for Non-Fiction

Whenever my work or home life get busy, I reach for non-fiction because they’re often quick and easy to read. So, here are the five I’ve read in the last week or so… some pretty good, some not so much.

Lovable Livable Home is the newest Young House Love book and I liked it so much better than their first book. I mean, I really enjoyed it. A lot.

Next, Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is Angela England’s book and I could have sworn I’d already read it. I mean I’ve followed her blogs/twitter/facebook forever, how could I have not read her book. But, apparently I hadn’t. I enjoyed it. It’s a nice look at how you can have a backyard farm with not a lot of land.

The New Christmas Tree was an impulse pick up from the library shelf because it’s Christmas, after all. Some of the trees were really cute. I kind of want a snack food tree. But, I totally stressed over all of the lit candles in the trees. Don’t do that. Gah.

My Cool Kitchens was… not cool. Yes, there were some nice kitchens but I didn’t like the structure of the book itself. Ho hum.

Heartlandia was a nice enough cookbook but not really my thing, though it did make me want fried chicken (and maybe to go to their restaurant should I ever find myself in Portland.

Two Non-Fiction Books

I enjoyed Thug Kitchen so much that I reserved Thug Kitchen Party Grub. This is a good cookbook, though I didn’t find it quite as good as their first book. Not quite as many, “Oh I want to try that” moments but still a very good book.

I enjoyed Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books though it wasn’t quite what I’d been looking for when I picked it up. Still, I have some old books that I might just use to create a new book, someday.

2 Cookbooks

Weird. I thought I blogged these weeks ago, but apparently not. Oh well, it will pad my November numbers since my October numbers didn’t need padding. 😉

Healthy Happy Vegan was ok. I didn’t love it. I don’t think there’s any recipe in there that I was dying to make.

Thug Kitchen… As expected, I love this cookbook. Which is probably why I love their site. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Whatever. I have reserved their party book from the library and plan to make all of the vegan things.

New York In a Dozen Dishes

I totally impulse picked New York In a Dozen Dishes because, duh, #BlogHer15 is in New York. And also because I like New York pizza.

The book was interesting – a look at 12 dishes, their history and their history in New York. Bonus for including restaurant suggestions and a recipe for each one. There’s quite a bit I wouldn’t eat (brains, chowder, blech) but all of the chapters were interesting. And, I have a weird craving for a black & white cookie and I don’t really like black & white cookies.

I Made Toast For Dinner and I Liked It!

Remember how I said I don’t really like toasted bread? Well I also said I was going to make something from that cookbook and if it went well, I’d let you know.

I made something. It went well. I’m letting you know.

I made the Nectarine Caprese Toast for dinner last night, except I left out the tomato (which makes it not so much a caprese, right?) I thought the tomato might be too much? Or maybe I was just feeling lazy and unsure of how the dinner was going to go? I couldn’t really wrap my head around the nectarines and the basil and then there was the whole pan toasted bread thing… that freaked me out. Oh, I also used sourdough instead of a baguette because I just felt like having sourdough. And, there were no white nectarines at the grocery store so I used plain ole nectarines.


I mean really yummy. I over-toasted a slice of sourdough and was annoyed with myself, but it was ok — TW and I just ate extra slices of nectarine, mozzarella and basil without that piece of toast and we were happy.

I will totally make this again. I’m kind of sorry I don’t have more nectarines because we have plenty of cheese and basil and sourdough — it could be an awesome breakfast. Heh.

If I could just remember to take pictures of food I make (and also maybe learn how to take a decent food photo) I could become a food blogger! hahaha.

Better on Toast

Sassymonkey, of course, was reading Better on Toast so I had to read it too. I loved the idea… until I got the book and then I remembered that I don’t really like anything ON toast except butter. No jam. No honey, no nothing else.

If I’m going to have a sandwich, open-faced or not, I don’t really like my bread toasted. In fact, I’d really rather not, thanks.

That made it hard for me to get into the idea of this cookbook. I asked Sassymonkey if she’d made anything from it — she hadn’t, because it had to go back to the library. She did say that she thought something with mushrooms or figs would be good. I agreed. Except, not so much.

So I’m sending the cookbook back… but, I am thinking about making ONE thing from it. Maybe even this weekend… if it works out, I’ll come back and let you know.

Eat the Year

Besides being a book written by a blogger, Eat the Year, is a book about weird food holidays. I’m a sucker for weird food holidays. So obviously, I had to pick up this book.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the first few pages. This was not the book I wanted it to be.

As someone who spent years talking to people about food holidays, on message boards, I was hoping for so much more than this. I told TW that this is the book that she and I should have written together… we could have nailed this topic, darn it.

I’m a Sucker for Books About/By Bloggers, So I Read Two More

I am. A very big sucker for books written by/about bloggers. Doesn’t matter if I’ve never heard of those bloggers before, I’m into it.

Which is, how I managed to bring Design Bloggers at Home home from the library. I think I’d only even heard of a few of these folks and only one was someone I’d ever read regularly or even remember reading at all. I enjoyed it quite a bit. There was a nice mix of design styles and regions of the world. I was also amused by the little tips and favorite blogs/sites provided by each blogger. And, as an extra bonus, the section on how to start your own blog was nicely done. I’m glad I read this one.

I reserved Sheet Pan Suppers from the library because a) Sassymonkey was reading it b) my mom owns it and loves it c) it’s written by a blogger. A trifecta of influence over me, haha.

I haven’t tried any of the recipes from this one but it did something that very few cookbooks or blog posts about food can do — it made me want to cook something. Not kidding. That’s a pretty big deal because I almost never want to cook. I don’t even mostly care if anyone else cooks. I’ll have some nachos or a sandwich and call that dinner every night, no problem.

So yea. I’m going to cook a few things from this and if it goes well, maybe I’ll even buy this cookbook. (Totally amusing since we are in the beginning stages of Konmari’ing our books right now, lol. Maybe I’ll buy it on Kindle lol.)