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Celebrate International Bacon Day

Today is International Bacon Day, a relatively recent food "holiday" created by college students in 2000 in Boston or 2004 in Colorado, depending on which story you believe. 

Market research firm the NPD Group reported that Americans ate 1.1 billion servings of bacon from April 2013 to April 2014 -- a six percent increase over the previous year. Baconmania may have reached "peak sizzle" in the last several years, with dedicated fairs and festivals, bacon paired with non-breakfast foods from chocolate to cocktails, and even bacon-inspired apparel, but the bacon craze is still going strong. EYB is here to help you celebrate with these great recipes from the EYB Library:

Alsatian bacon and onion tart

 

Alsatian bacon and onion tart (Tarte flambée) from Saveur Magazine

 

 

 

Roasted radicchio and shrimp

 

Roasted radicchio and shrimp with warm bacon vinaigrette from Food52

 

Orecchiette carbonara

 

Orecchiette carbonara with charred Brussels sprouts from Bon Appétit Magazine

 

Potato cake with cheese and bacon

 

Potato cake with cheese and bacon (La truffade) from The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan

 

Bacon ice cream

 

Bacon ice cream from David Lebovitz

Not finding inspiration? Try one of the over 6,000 other bacon recipes, all available online through EYB!

Lard gets a makeover

LardOnce a staple fat in the home cook's repetoire, lard fell out of favor at the turn of the 20th century. Part of lard's demise can be attributed to shelf-stable substitutes like shortening, which was created by companies looking for a use for the fat from which they used to make candles prior to electricity. Another portion of the blame falls on repeated warnings to consumers about the health risks of saturated animal fats. But in recent years lard has made a comeback, thanks to better understanding of the role played by fats in the diet and by farm-to-table trends. Many bakers swear by lard in their pie crusts, and Modern Farmer magazine reports on the rise of artisanal lard.

Even though lard's fortunes are on the upswing, it can be difficult for most people to find fresh lard. While supermarkets may carry several brands of lard, almost all of it is hydrogenated and contains added preservatives. Consumers must find a friendly hog farmer or the rare butcher who still slaughters onsite to find the good stuff. Part of the problem is that many small farmers don't know that people want lard.

June Russell, manager of development and inspections for an organization that operates NYC farmers' markets, notes that farmers often throw away the fat that makes this precious resource. "A lot of times, our farmers don't know what they have. They'll say, 'Are you kidding me? This is something that we're throwing away.' I let them know this product has value, and that they should put it out there and see how it does," says Russell. "People are not afraid of it. If they get the value of meat that's been raised sustainably, they get the fact that lard is part of that."

Elizabeth Swenson notes in her book The Artisan Lard Cookbook of Old World Breads and Spreads that when she was growing up in rural Minnesota, rendering lard "was a common practice...In this lifestyle, we ate close to the source, and the value of the practice was instilled in me." She was inspired to write the cookbook after purchasing a quart of home-rendered lard at a Saturday swap meet.

Read more, including the role of CSAs in lard's resurgence, on the Modern Farmer website. Do you use lard in your cooking or baking? What's your favorite use for it?

Photo of Lard from indexed blog The Homesick Texan

Me and my cookbooks - William Sitwell

Many EYB members have told us they enjoy meeting members and special guests through the "Me and my cookbooks" feature. We'd love to introduce more people, so if you'd like to be featured, just email us at info@eatyourbooks.com . This month's edition features William Sitwell, one of Britain's foremost food writers. Sitwell has edited Waitrose Kitchen and its predecessor Waitrose Food Illustrated for many years, and is the author of A History of Food in 100 Recipes. Sitwell shared his love of cookbooks with The Happy Foodie, and we hope you enjoy this excerpt from that discussion.

Sitwell's bookshelf

There are three areas at my home in Northamptonshire where I keep my cook and food books. There are the shelves in the library - a dark red room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling designed by the illustrator and painter Glynn Boyd Hart as a homage to the breakfast parlour of the Soane museum in London. Along two walls are books by my literary ancestors - Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell - along with Edith's own collection of books, as well as a travel section, biographies, art and music. The cookbooks are some of my favourites, spanning Stephane Reynaud's Pork and Sons, Marcella Hazan's The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and Caroline Conran's Poor Cook (a present from her son Tom). The books tend to stay on the shelves, although whenever I pass by I make a shallow pledge to myself to move one to the kitchen.

For that is where the second lot live. In a cabinet over four shelves live the books we actually use, regularly. There's Nigella's awesome How to Eat, Simon Hopkinson's charming Roast Chicken and other Stories (voted - with a little help from me - The Most Useful Cookbook of All Time, in the magazine I edit some years ago) and Jane Hornby's brilliant What to Cook and How to Cook It. And there is the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book always reliable for sauces, classic cakes, virtually everything - and equally good is the Ballymaloe Cookery Course.

Read more at The Happy Foodie site, including a discussion of Sitwell's "favourite stash" of cookbooks in a room accessed through a secret door.

Photo of William Sitwell's book collection by Vanessa Kimbell courtesy of The Happy Foodie

World Calendar of Cookbook Events

 Events collage

There are many cookbook-related events going on around the world - author book signings, talks, cooking classes, and more.  But we often never hear about them - or even more frustratingly, we hear about them too late.  Eat Your Books to the rescue!  We have created a calendar of every cookbook event we have heard about.  We will be updating it daily, so keep checking back.

Take a look now and see if your favorite author is coming to a bookstore or event near you.  Or check out the specialist cookbook stores for events they have scheduled.  And even if if there are no events near you, we have added some special promotions that publishers are running - eBooks for free or $2.99, contests, etc.

If you know of any events we haven't included, please do let us know at info@eatyourbooks.com and we will add them.

Building blocks of Mexican cuisine

Hugh Carpenter

Hugh Carpenter is an acclaimed teacher and award-winning cookbook author. He has teamed up again with photographer Teri Sandison for a primer on contemporary Mexican cuisine with Mexican Flavors. (You can enter our contest for your chance to win one of three copies.) The book includes classic recipes as well as gastronomic surprises such as banana salsa, quesadillas with papaya and Brie, and barbecued Caesar salad with chile croutons. 

We asked Hugh to expound on his latest work, and he elected to focus on one chapter in the book called "Flavor Building Blocks." This chapter is an in-depth exploration of chile peppers, a fundamental ingredient in Mexican cuisine. The synopsis below is like getting a free master class from this renowned instructor.

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Chiles are central to Mexican cuisine - The King of all ingredients. Native to the Americas and cultivated for at least one thousand years, the Spanish spread chiles around the globe within a hundred years following the arrival of Cortez and thus transformed the cuisines of far-flung countries. Before the 16th century, there were no chiles found in Szechuan!

Remember, when fresh chiles are dried, their name always changes. For example, fresh poblano become ancho, and jalapeño become chipotle chiles. Generally, the size determines the spice level. Most dried chiles of the same size have about the same level of hotness.

Fresh Chiles: 

Jalapeño and Serrano chiles are the two most commonly used fresh chiles in Mexican cooking. Jalapeño chiles vary in spice, ranging from moderately spicy to as mild as a bell pepper. Serrano chiles are hotter, but these, too, vary in intensity. Here is a simple way to know how hot the chile tastes: cut off the stem and taste the cut surface for hotness (in other words lick the cut stem!). Adjust the quantity to use accordingly. 

Anaheim and Poblano chiles are mildly spicy. Used for Chile Rellenos and for many other dishes, they have about the same spice level and can be used interchangeably. These are never eaten raw, and are always given a preliminary charring. When dried, poblanos are called ancho chiles and Anaheim chiles are called New Mexican chiles ("chile seco del norte") or chiles Colorado. 

To seed or not to seed: I'm always amazed when I see a cook cutting a serrano lengthwise in half and then carefully scraping away the seeds.  It's true that the seeds and ribbing have the most spice - but when using jalapeño and serrano chiles, never extract the seeds and ribbing! Just adjust the hotness of the dish by mincing less of the chile. To mince, use an electric mini-chopper. 

The plastic bag technique:  Habanero and Scotch Bonnet chiles are extremely spicy. When handling these, always protect your hands by placing them inside plastic baggies, or wear plastic food gloves. The chile will burn your skin and eyes if you don't remember to protect your hands. If substituting habanero or scotch bonnet chiles for serrano chiles: 1 habanero or scotch bonnet = 8 Serrano chiles.  

How to char fresh chiles: All Mexican cooks char fresh chiles by placing them on a thin metal pan called a "comal" over the highest heat on a gas stovetop. Any heavy frying pan can be substituted for the comal. No oil is added to the pan. Or, gripping chiles with tongs, hold the chiles directly over a gas burner turned to high. This can prove frustrating since the chiles are inclined to fall into or away from the gas flames, and causes constant repositioning, but can be solved by using a metal screened cooling rack that is dedicated to this function. When chiles char on one side, rotate and continue to char until blackened on all sides. Don't try to char the chiles on a gas grill or under the broiler. The heat won't be sufficient to blacken the chiles.

To wash or not to wash charred chiles: Never wash the chiles to remove the char. Once the chiles are charred on all sides, transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, or place in a paper bag and then seal the bag.  (Note:  don't use a plastic bag as the plastic bag will melt if there is any contact with the hot tongs used to rotate the chiles).  After five minutes, rub off the char using paper towels.  Don't wash the chiles as this will wash most of the roasted flavor down the drain.

Ancho chiles and their confusing name: In California, ancho chiles are packaged as "pasilla chiles." But in Mexico ancho chiles are dried poblano chiles, and pasilla chiles are a different chile called "chile negro."

Don't obsess about finding the "correct type" of chile: I know that Mexican cooking authorities recommend specific chiles; but chiles of the same size can typically be used interchangeably. Always check the hotness of chiles, both fresh and dried, by taking a little "taste test" and adjusting the amount to use accordingly. Most chiles of the same size have roughly the same amount of "hotness." The following dried chiles can all be used interchangeably:  Ancho (dried poblano), Cascabel, Guajillo, Mulato, and Chile Negro (or Pasilla). 

Dried Chiles

To toast or not to toast dried chiles: Mexican cooks usually give dried chiles a preliminary toasting in a hot skillet or pan (comal). But if the chiles are toasted a few seconds too long, the chiles acquire a bitter taste and the recipe is ruined. If you skip the preliminary toasting, the chiles will still give the food a fantastic taste. A preliminary toasting of the dried chiles is unnecessary. 

To seed or not to seed before adding to liquid: Mexican cooks soften dried chiles by submerging them whole in boiling water or chicken broth. Then the softened chiles are stemmed and the seeds rinsed out. But some of the soft, pulpy interior of the chile can be lost. A better techniques is to snip off the dry stem end, and shake out the seeds. Now the dried chiles are placed in a saucepan or bowl and covered with boiling water or chicken broth. Submerge the chiles with a small plate or bowl. Soak 30 minutes until softened (Note, the water or broth is not kept at a simmer during the soaking process. It gradually cools during the soaking process). Sometimes dried chiles are too wrinkled to cut them open and shake away the seeds. In that case, just remove the stem and seeds after submerging the chiles. 

Other Mexican Chile Products

Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce: These are smoked jalapeños simmered in a spicy sauce, and sold in 4-ounce cans at every Mexican market, and many American supermarkets. To use: Finely mince the chiles, including the seeds, and use along with the sauce. Warning: these are extremely spicy. To store:  transfer to a plastic container and refrigerate.  Lasts indefinitely.

Chile sauce, your favorite: This is a general term covering many chili sauces such as Cholula. Easily substitute with the Asian chile sauce, Rooster Brand Sriracha hot chile sauce, sold in a clear plastic bottle with a green cap. And remember to always refrigerate after opening. Crushed red pepper also serves as a great substitute to chile sauce and is sold in the spice section of all markets. It's also what appears on the table at all pizza restaurants and is very spicy, so use sparingly.

Chili powder, ancho and chipotle: If you can't locate this in your local market, it is always available in Mexican markets. You can also make your own by cutting the dried chiles into small pieces, and powdering them in an electric spice blender. Package, label, and store with your other spices. One powdered ancho chile equals 2 tablespoons.

Cookbook giveaway - Mexican Flavors

Mexican FlavorsMexican Flavors is the newest cookbook by prolific author and acclaimed cooking school instructor Hugh Carpenter. The book includes classic recipes such as guacamole and tortilla soup, but there are many surprises and twists on the classics as well. Chile rellenos are filled with a pine nut goat cheese herb stuffing and then smoked on the barbecue. Enchiladas have intriguing fillings of duck, shrimp, or shiitake mushrooms and are a master class on fail-safe ways to create perfection.

Hugh provided a synopsis of the chapter on chile peppers to EYB members, and we are delighted to offer five copies of Mexican Flavors in this contest. Enter soon; the contest ends on September 23.

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Over 150,000 online recipes at your fingertips

Fireworks

We are excited to announce that over 150,000 indexed recipes now have online links--that's over 15% of the 1,100,000+ recipes indexed on Eat Your Books! All of these recipes are from trusted, top-notch sources including the best magazines and blogs, plus online recipes from cookbooks so you can "test drive" a cookbook before you buy it! Of that 150,000 online recipes, there are nearly 24,000 links to recipes from cookbooks (equivalent to 120 cookbooks) and to over 48,000 magazine recipes (equivalent to over 850 issues of magazines). We are adding thousands of online recipes each month!

EYB allows you to find your favorite online recipes using one search instead of wading through dozens of cumbersome online recipe boxes or favorites lists or subjecting yourself to questionable recipes from a general internet search. If you've ever struggled to remember where you saw that great chocolate tart recipe (or have trouble navigating to the recipe even if you do remember the website), you probably already appreciate this unique resource.

What's more, you don't have to wait for your favorite online recipe to be indexed, you can add unlimited online recipes using the Bookmarklet. Once a member adds a recipe via the Bookmarklet, the recipe is added to the EYB Library, further expanding the resources for all members (approximately 10% of online recipes are added by members). You can even add your personal recipes to your Bookshelf, so you won't forget about your grandmother's special pot roast recipe. These great benefits are available to all members. Three cheers for our indexing team and members in reaching another milestone!

Spices and spice books

Learning to use spices better has been a lifelong ambition for me - and many other cooks, no doubt.  I always used to have a sort of anxious feeling about the spice cabinet - what's in there? how old is it? is it still any good? am I ever really going to use it?   On bad days, the neglected and confused state of the spice cabinet seemed like a pretty good metaphor for middle age.

Last year, with Herculean effort, I re-organized my spices into magnetic canisters stuck to the side of my fridge.  Now I can see and use them easily (although some, like the pink peppercorns and the cubeb, seem destined to remain untouched for years on end).  I use more of them -  more frequently - and I just like the way they look.

But I still feel my spice education has only just begun. Every so often, a book comes along that promises further tutelage.  This year, there are two - Spice Odyssey and World Spice at Home.  Spice Odyssey's like previous spice books I've seen: nicely designed, with recipes that stretch familiar dishes in eccentrically spiced directions (almond, cinnamon, and cranberry wontons?!)  World Spice at Home emphasizes spice mixes - dukkahs, baharats, masalas, five-spice, and the rest. It's smartly organized and I have a good feeling about it, but ask me in a month how it fared in the kitchen.

The problem is that spice books are sort of unclassifiable in terms of use. (In fact, they usually end up in the "Unclassifiable" section of my regional cookbooks shelf...along with "American.")  If I want to use fenugreek and caraway, I'll look them up here at Eat Your Books.  Then I tend to choose a recipe probably more based on whether it's by an author I can trust than any other factor, which means I'm unlikely to discover great new recipes from unknown sources.  But I'm working on being more open-minded.

August 2014 cookbook roundup

Every month Susie Chang reviews new cookbook releases and notes trends in the United States. And she may also occasionally throw in a review of a "not-quite cookbook." And for our non-U.S. members, Jane and Fiona provide similar reviews for new Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases.

US

It's not what I would have expected, but August brings an emphasis on baking and desserts and the odd book of comfort food (polar vortex, anyone?) The real excitement comes from a trio of publications from popular bloggers: forager Leda Meredith, baker Charmian Christie, and vegetarian blogger Nicole Spiridakis. Maybe August is the hot month for blog-to-book publications - if it happens next year too, I'll call it a trend!

Cookbook collageInternational Night: A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World by Mark Kurlansky and Talia Kurlansky: The Kurlanskys spin a globe once a week - wherever Talia's finger lands, that's the cuisine they cook. Variation on the supper club cookbook.

Burgers by Paul Gayler: A short (50-recipe) offering from the British chef whose vegetable book remains a perennial favorite.

Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish by Betty Rosbottom and Susie Cushner: The next in Rosbottom's "Sunday" series - easy, throw-together dishes for a weekend afternoon.

Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach: The creator of the blog and book Dinner: A Love Story shares the story of cooking 30 meals per month with her whole family.

 

Cookbook collageFrench Comfort Food by Hillary Davis: "Easy French" is turning into "grandmère" cooking these days. Expect simple but also slow.

Spice Odyssey: From asafoetida to wasabi, recipes to excite & inspire by Paul Merrett: A journey for the bold of palate from a Michelin-rated chef.

The Paleo Slow Cooker Bible: Healthy and Delicious Family Gluten-Free Recipes by Amelia Simons: Is August too soon to start with the slow cooker books? Apparently not! But psst - most slow cooker recipes are already Paleo-friendly.

Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic by Yigit Pura and Frankie Frankeny: San Francisco patissier Pura spins dazzling confections in startling flavor combinations for the ambitious home dessertmaker.

 

 

Cookbook collage Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts by Nicole Spiridakis and John Lee: Vegetarian blogger Spiridakis (www.cucinanicolina.com) has a first cookbook eschewing gums and flour mixes for a more holistic approach to gluten-free baking and sweets.

The Messy Baker: More Than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchen by Charmian Christie. Not just baking - "Messy Baker" blogger Christie specialize in exuberant, forgiving recipes of every kind. Read our author interview with Charmian and enter our contest for your chance to win one of three copies of this cookbook.

Preserving Everything by Leda Meredith. Forager (and about.com preservation guru) Meredith takes it home with a pantry reference for the masses.

Mexican Flavors by Hugh Carpenter: Teaming up again with photograph Teri Sandison, Carpenter supplies the classics along with special sections that take an innovative approach to some of Mexico's most famous dishes.

 

Cookbook collage 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake: The book adaptation of Leake's blog, inspired by Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, that chronicles how Leake and her family pledged to go 100 days without eating highly processed or refined foods.

And...just for reading:

The Culinary Imagination: From Myth to Modernity by Sandra M. Gilbert: A thinkpiece from a popular scholar, looking at foodways from a cultural-studies perspective.

Wild Sugar: The Pleasures of Making Maple Syrup by Susan Carol Hauser: August seems like an odd time to publish a maple sugar book, but what do I know? A read to inspire sweet daydreams for the cold season ahead.

The Chef Says by Nach Waxman and Matt Sartwell: Compelling quotations from 150 chefs--including James Beard, Julia Child, Gordon Ramsay, April Bloomfield--to inspire and delight anyone who's ever resolved a crisis by adding more butter.

UK and Ireland

Cookbook collage Jamie's Comfort Foods by Jamie Oliver: I've always thought of most Jamie recipes as being comfort foods but apparently he needs an entire book devoted to the topic. I'm not complaining since he promises to deliver "ultimate versions of all-time favourites, and also introduces cherished dishes from countries around the world" - sounds OK to me. The US edition will be published on Sept 23. 

Ms. Marmite Lover's Secret Tea Party by Kerstin Rodgers: The second book from the blogger, indexed on EYB, more than just recipes for afternoon tea. Themes (even a Marie-Antoinette inspired party) and table decorations for the table (and yourself) make these events rather more than your average tea party.

My Drunken Kitchen by Helen Graves: And another second book from an indexed EYB blogger, the creator of Food Stories. If Kerstin's book is the genteel afternoon tea, this book takes us into the dark night with tales and recipes combining booze (both in the food and in the author) and food. 

Tom Kerridge's Best Ever Dishes by Tom Kerridge: As chef/proprietor of The Hand & Flowers, the only pub in the UK to have gained 2 Michelin stars, Tom Kerridge knows about making simple food in the best possible way. Here he presents us with his favourites.

 

Cookbook collage All Things Sweet by Rachel Allen: The popular Irish author and TV host produces another book devoted to the sweet side - Bake and Cake have been previous titles. This one covers sweet treats, whether desserts or snacks.

Fish & Shellfish by Rick Stein: Rick Stein has produced cookbooks covering cuisines from around the world but the start of his career and his passion has always been for fish and shellfish. Here he has updated and reinvigorated his classic book on the subject.

Salmagundi by Sally Butcher: Salmagundi may be a word you haven't come across before - it's a 17th-century English word denoting a salad dish comprising, well, everything. This is Sally's fourth cookbook and it comprises salad bowls from around the world. The US edition is published in October.

Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can by Miranda Gore Brown: In my experience most cakes are pretty quick to make - it's what you so with the decoration that can take the time. Here Miranda assembles a collection for the time pressed baker. It's also good for beginners as no specialist equipment is required.

 

Cookbook collage Patisserie Maison by Richard Bertinet: This next baking book is somewhat further up the complexity ladder. Though it claims that Richard Bertinet makes patisserie accessible to home bakers and effortlessly guides you through challenging techniques, the fact that the recipes cover lavender and orange éclairs, gâteau Saint Honoré, tarte tropizienne, Paris Brest and cassis kir royal mousse suggests this is special occasion baking.

80 Cakes From Around the World by Claire Clark: Yet another baking book! How many baking books can one island publish before it sinks beneath the waves? This one takes us on a world tour of cakes - 6 continents, 51 countries, 80 cakes. 

The Kitchen Orchard by Natalia Conroy: Natalia believes that a well stocked store cupboard and fridge are a source of abundant meals - it just requires a little imagination. 

Bombay Lunchbox by Carolyn & Chris Caldicott: I wonder whether this book was inspired by the wonderful film last year, The Lunchbox? Watching the movie did make me yearn for the stacks of Indian delicacies that are revealed each day. Here the collection of sweet and savoury vegetarian recipes for can be made for lunch, afternoon tea or any snack eaten between breakfast and dinner.

Cookbook collageKeep It Vegan by Aine Carlin: Aine Carlin, creator of popular vegan lifestyle blog Pea Soup Eats, wants to keep vegan cooking simple. She keeps ingredients lists short and easy to find and makes her instructions as simple as she can.

Clifford & Son: Modern Irish Cooking by Peter & Michael Clifford and Joe McNamee: Joe McNamee looks at how Michael Clifford contributed to the development of modern Irish cooking and the restaurant business of today in Ireland. Joe also profiles his son Peter who is carrying on his father's legacy,

Canada

Cookbook collage Family Meals by Chef Michael Smith: Michael Smith is one of Canada's most popular TV chefs. Here he shares the recipes he cooks for his family at home.

Whitewater Cooks With Passion by Shelley Adams: The fourth book in the Whitewater Cook series has a focus on fresh, healthy recipes.

 

Australia and New Zealand

Cookbook collage Modern Classics by Simon Gault: Restaurateur and MasterChef judge Simon Gault has taken culinary favourites from around the world and added his own twist. Although there are many very familiar dishes such as risotto, roast leg of lamb and cheesecake, they have been reinterpreted enough that I'll be trying quite a few.

Smoked: How to Flavour, Cure & Prepare Meat, Seafood, Vegetables, Fruit & More by Jeremy Schmid: A skill I've never mastered, so hoping this book is going to change that. Jeremy's step-by-step guides to creating stove-top smoking units, using different wood fuels and the difference between hot and cold smoking are just some of the topics covered. I doubt that my efforts will be as delicious as the wonderful smoked meats that I've the pleasure of tasting but I'll be giving it a go.

Fast by Michael Van De Elzen: Michael is well known for his 3 TV series of The Food Truck, as well as owner of an award-winning restaurant. In his fourth book he showcases the food he cooks at home for family and friends. The 80 recipes are straightforward and healthy and fast, covering everything from food for babies and toddlers to barbecues, Italian, Asian and Indian dishes, roasts, brunches and and drinks.

Amisfield Food and Wine from a Central Otago Winery by Amisfield Wine Company: The fabulous scenery of mountains and lake surrounding Amisfield, combined with the sensational bistro food matched with gorgeous wines Central Otago make this an essential stop for anyone visiting this area. As well as recipes and wine matching tips, this book is about Central Otago. If you've been there this is a great reminder, if not you can look at the beautiful photos and dream!

 

Cookbook collage Kitchen by Mike by Michael McEnearney: Despite a background in fine dining, Mike set up his restaurant with a mission to make good food available to all-comers. His restaurant, a simple, canteen-style kitchen with shared tables, serves food from the counter that has made this a popular spot in Sydney. He shares many of his signature dishes including the house-made bread and fresh cheeses.

Taste of Australia by Lyndey Milan: Released as a companion to the latest TV series Lyndey Milan's Taste of Australia. Over 90 recipes showcase the eclectic nature of Australian cuisine. From the cultural melting pots of the inner cities, to the lush wine regions to the indigenous bush.

Gourmet Hot Dogs by Stéphane Reynaud: Gourmet is the key word here - the recipes in this lovely book have ideas for many different sausage types, bread accompaniments, salad garnishes and condiments. There are light-hearted, quirky illustrations of cute canines, each with their eye on a tasty hot dog morsel.

Superfoods by Rena Pattern: Following on from her successful books on Quinoa, Rena looks at the everyday foods that have unusually high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are good for us. All her recipes use simple ingredients that are readily available and include at least one superfood, including dark green or brightly coloured vegetables, oily fish and all legumes.

Australian Women's Weekly
The latest from Australian Women's Weekly:

Fast/Slow: Mealtime Inspiration for Every Day of the Week

AWW Cakes and Slices vintage Edition

Easy Mexican: Burritos, Tacos, Fajitas, Salsas and Much More

Afternoon Tea Party: Cakes, Biscuits, Scones and Sandwiches

Weather woes and tremor troubles

Pumpkin Nutella bread

Brace yourselves for an increase in the price of Nutella: a cold snap in Turkey, which produces three-quarters of the world's hazelnuts, has led to a price increase of over 60 percent for the nuts. Four hazelnut-producing Turkish provinces were hit by storms and unusual freezing weather this spring, which led to a greatly reduced harvest. Since most of the hazelnuts exported from Turkey go into products like everyone's favorite chocolate hazelnut spread, consumers can expect to see the price rise. We can breathe a sigh of relief, however, as Nutella maker Ferrero Rocher said it was "tracking this issue closely and there's no foreseeable impact on the availability of Nutella."

Moving on to more weather damage, California's Napa Valley, a major wine-producing area, has had another setback. Besieged by one of the worst droughts in decades, the area was already preparing for a premature harvest. Now it's been hit with a 6.0-magnitude earthquake, the worst to hit the Bay Area in 25 years. The quake toppled wine barrels and bottles across the area. Tom Montgomery, a winemaker for B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, California, told the A.P. that his winery lost "as much as 50 percent" of its wine.

The earthquake comes just as the wine harvest is set to begin. Adam Fox, managing director of Canard Vineyard in Calistoga, told the L.A. Times "It's particularly disconcerting this time of year because we're getting close to harvest and crush. You can't afford damage to your fermentation tank or water lines. If all your barrels came crashing, where are you going to get new ones in time?"

At least one area of the United States has good weather-related food news to report. Maine apple growers are expecting a good harvest this fall, despite some hailstorms early in the season. Plentiful rainfall has produced large apples, and most growers are expecting a healthy harvest. What's the weather bringing to crops in your area?

Photo of Pumpkin Nutella bread from indexed blog Two Peas and Their Pod

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!

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