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How someone who didn't cook shaped the way your kitchen works


You might not have heard of Lillian Gilbreth, but your cooking might owe a lot to this pioneering woman. She was not a chef or even a talented home cook. Rather, Gilbreth was an industrial psychologist and engineer whose revolutionary work helped make kitchens more efficient.

Gilbreth worked with her husband, Frank B. Gilbreth, and together they invented the practice known as motion study. The duo were pioneers in using and reviewing short films "to watch how industrial processes and office tasks were done, breaking them down into component parts...to determine how to make a job faster and less taxing."

Even though she wrote or co-wrote many of her husband's books, Gilbreth often didn't take any credit because the male executives with whom they contracted wanted to deal exclusively with Frank. Following her husband's death, however, Gilbreth had to find a way into these decision makers' offices. That path was through the kitchen, which was seen as a suitable place for a woman.

The irony of the situation was that Gilbreth didn't do much cooking. As she explained to a group of businesswomen in 1930, "We considered our time too valuable to be devoted to actual labor in the home. We were executives." Despite this, Gilbreth designed an efficiency kitchenette that found its way into many apartments. The design minimized the number of steps someone had to take to mix a cake, put it in the oven, and clean up the resulting mess.

The next time you consider the "work triangle" or step into your L-, U-, or C-shaped kitchen, you might want to give a nod to Lillian Gilbreth, whose ideas have influenced kitchen designers for the past 80 years.

Review of Nadiya's Kitchen by Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya's KitchenNadiya Hussain, the latest winner to depart the Great British Bake Off train, has released her first cookbook aptly entitled Nadiya's Kitchen - Over 100 Simple and Delicious Family Recipes. Being the great cookbook sleuth that I am, I routinely google Bake Off contestants' names to determine any new releases. This might seem a little creepy, I don't want to track them down - I want to buy their books! I was thrilled to learn of Nadiya's book as well as a few other Bake Off alums recent releases (Martha Collison's Twist and Ruby Tandoh's Flavour).

Nadiya's Kitchen is a mix of sweet baking recipes as well as savory lunch and dinner dishes with a unique organization style: Lazy Sunday Morning, Sharing Lunch, A Little Bit of Something Sweet, Snacks & Small Plates, Who Stole the Biscuits from the Biscuit Jar, Teatime, Dessert for Dinner, Dinner Date, and Cosy Evenings & Midnight Feasts. At first, I was disappointed (for a brief moment) that the book wasn't just all baking but after digging deeper and trying some of the recipes - the disappointment was short lived. Nadiya demonstrates the same wonderful command of flavors and spices in her savory menu items as she does with baking.

The photographs are beautiful and I particularly appreciate the step-by-step picture tutorials. Breakfast Halwa Croissants for example brings 24 photographs depicting the folding and filling of the croissants. Nadiya's signature trademark of combining unique flavors is evident in her recipe collection:  Spiced Biscotti with an Orange Syllabub Dip, Za'atar and Lemon Palmiers, Bubblegum Marshmallows and Peanut, Black Sesame and Ginger Brittle are all examples of her what made her a winner. In the Lazy Sunday chapter, I have marked Morning Blueberry Caraway Scones, Feta and Dill Savoury Muffins, and Scotch Pancakes with a Mixed Berry and Lemon Thyme Compote to make our breakfast offerings more exciting. A complete index of the recipes can be found at Eat Your Books.

Sausage WellingtonsFor the purposes of this review, I tested two recipes: The Wellington Sausage Rolls and the Salted Mocha Macarons. The Wellington Rolls were made for a dinner party I threw and they disappeared. These rolls were so good - I'll be making variations on this theme for appetizers in the future. They were so easy to make - I prepared them the morning of the party - slipped them into the fridge and pulled them out and into the oven 20 minutes before the guests arrived.

Nadiya's macaronsThe macarons took some time and it was my first attempt at making macarons here in the mountains. Mine weren't perfect but it was my own fault. They were gorgeous resting on the tray and I rushed them off and my big mistake was using a macaron silicon mat. They were delicious and I will be making them again soon along with other recipes from this wonderful book.

Nadiya's Kitchen is a lovely book that truly reflects her fun and unique style and the recipes are simple and quick to throw together. It's a keeper.

Photos for test recipes by Jenny Hartin. Jenny is an enthusiastic home cook who lives in Colorado, owns the website The Cookbook Junkies and runs the Facebook group also called The Cookbook Junkies. The Facebook group is a closed group of 30,000 cookbook fans - new members are welcome.


Wellington sausage rolls
Makes 25-30

The mushrooms mixed with the sausage make for a darker, meatier flavour. The layer of English mustard gives the sausage rolls a subtle heat once cooked. These are always a winner at kids' parties, and are even better when they end up in the packed lunch the next day. They freeze really well, so they can be popped in the oven as and when you need them.

30g unsalted butter
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco, or less if you prefer, depending on your tolerance for heat
6 large beef sausages, taken out of the skins
a pinch of fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
plain flour, for dusting
450g puff pastry (shop bought, or you can make your own)
4 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 medium egg, beaten
sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 25 minutes
Can be frozen before or after baking

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C.

Put the butter and the mushrooms in a small frying pan over a medium heat, and cook the mushrooms until they are soft and any moisture has evaporated. Put them in a bowl and leave to cool completely.

Once the mushrooms have cooled, add the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, sausage meat, salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix by hand, and set aside.

Dust your surface with flour and roll the puff pastry out into a long wide rectangle approximately 25 x 35cm. Then cut down the middle lengthways to give you three long rectangles.

Brush the pastry rectangles with a generous layer of wholegrain mustard, making sure to leave a gap of 1cm along the long edges. Brush the exposed edges with the beaten egg. Down the centre of the pastry rectangles, lay out a generous line of sausage meat. Encase the filling with the pastry, making a seam joined with egg wash, underneath the roll.

Brush the three rolls in egg wash, and give them a light sprinkling of sea salt flakes. Cut each long roll into 8-10 pieces. Place the small rolls on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden on the outside, making sure the meat on the inside is cooked through.

Savory jams surge in popularity

zesty tomato jam

When you think of jam, you probably have something sweet in mind. One of the fastest growing condiment segments, however, is full of low- and no-sugar products: savory jams are on the rise in stores and eateries all over, according to NPR's The Salt. These jams utilize familiar products like berries, onions, and tomatoes in less traditional ways.

The trend to savory jams made with fruits and vegetables was made possible by the emergence of lower sugar pectin products. In order for jams to properly set in days past, a large amount of sugar - usually about two-thirds of the total jam's weight - was required. The use of new gelling agents like calcium chloride allows for much less sugar to be used while still resulting in a perfect spreadable texture.

When this technological advance was combined with the salty-sweet craze of recent years, interesting jams started springing up everywhere. One example comes from Baltimore's Blacksauce Kitchen, where owner Damian Mosley was looking for a way to stretch the seasonal rhubarb supply. "I decided one day to see what would happen when I smoked a boxful of rhubarb and turned it into jam," Mosley says. "Much to my amazement, it held onto the smoke." And so a new menu item was born.

While your imagination may be running wild with ideas for new savory jams, keep in mind a few safety warnings. Less sugar means more water, which can be a breeding ground for unpleasant microorganisms. Using vegetables or other low acidity ingredients can raise the pH of the product, which can increase the chances for botulism. Any preserved jam with a pH higher than 4.6 is not safe to eat. If in doubt, be sure to keep your jam refrigerated and use within a week or two.

Photo of Zesty tomato jam from Canadian Living: The Ultimate Cookbook byCanadian Living Test Kitchen

A passion for Rome and its food

Leonardo Vignolis cacio e pepe

Kristina Gill is the food and drinks editor at DesignSponge.com, a home and lifestyle site with over 1.2 million readers per month. Her original recipes, and those she hand-selects from celebrated authors, chefs, and readers have appeared weekly as the "In the Kitchen With" column since 2007. She is also a food and travel photographer. Kristina transferred to Rome in 1999 after earning her BA from Stanford and her MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She recently teamed up with Rome expert Katie Parla to write Tasting Rome. (Enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book.) Part cookbook, part travel memoir, Tasting Rome transports all of the flavors of Rome into your kitchen. Kristina shared with us the story of how the book came about:

Tasting Rome is truly the culmination of over three decades of a passion for a city and for food as a traceable history of its people. My first visit to Rome was part of a family trip when I was in middle school. I studied in Italy for two years during undergraduate and graduate school, in Florence and Bologna respectively, followed by an internship in Rome. All of my summers during undergrad I spent in Rome and visiting friends in other areas of Italy. I had already developed a passion for cooking and baking, so visiting different regions was fascinating to me because the type of food also varied- something we don't always experience in the United States. When I finally moved to Rome for work, I had already spent so much time here and had such a vast support network, the transition was not too difficult. Eating, however, was often in restaurants or with friends' families, so I didn't cook much at home in the first two years. I had already done all of that while I was a student, learning from my friends' mothers.

Once I met the man who later became my husband, as stereotypical as it may sound, I began to cook again. For some crazy reason, I wanted his mother to feel as though her son were in good hands. I passed the test! We entertained a lot and all of our friends were enthusiastic about meals at our place. I started to keep track of recipes, and collect even more. Specifically, I started to collect recipes from taxi drivers whenever I took a taxi to meetings across town. It seemed that food was what they all wanted to talk about on these long rides and they all knew how to cook! They could explain their recipes in great detail, including alerting to possible pitfalls in the preparation process. There was also a lot of 'folklore' involved about recipe origins that I had heard not just from the Roman taxi drivers, but from many Romans since I had been living there. After I had collected a little over one hundred recipes, it seemed logical to try to form them into a Roman cookbook.

Drawing on the work I had done as the Food and Drinks editor at Design*Sponge for five years at that point, and previous cooking experience and familiarity with Roman cuisine, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to the book to be. Italians are rightfully quite protective of their food, so I wanted this to pass the scrutiny of Romans. I wanted it to be visually about the whole city, not just the tourist areas. I wanted it to dispel any myths about the dishes and their origins. Identifying an equally passionate co-author who knew the food history of Rome, old and new, and could ensure that the recipes adhered to tradition and accurately reflected the city's cuisine was the missing piece. All of these elements came together to make Tasting Rome the book that it is. It is history, recipes, and coffee-table book rolled into one. I am fortunate to have been able to develop recipes for and photograph such a book!

Photo of Leonardo Vignoli's cacio e pepe (Cacio e pepe di Leonardo Vignoli) from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill

Cookbook giveaway - Tasting Rome

Tasting RomeIn their new cookbook Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture cucina romana -  Rome's unique character and evolved food culture - a culmination of two thousand years of history. Each recipe was selected for the story it tells, and combined the recipes acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today.

You can learn more about the cookbook by reading co-author Kristina Gill's story of how she fell in love with Rome and wanted to tell the story of its food.

We're delighted to offer 1 copy of Tasting Rome to EYB Members worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

Which Roman ingredient or recipe are you most interested in learning more about?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends September 19, 2016.

Ina Garten's posh new kitchen

Ina GartenWe've all seen Ina Garten whipping up fabulous dishes in her spacious East Hampton kitchen. Now the television show host and prolific cookbook author has another grand kitchen, this time in her new apartment in New York City.

Ina and Jeffrey recently purchased the two-bedroom unit on the Upper East Side for $4.65 million. The real estate listing describes the kitchen as being "perfect for an enthusiastic cook." Ina definitely qualifies for that description. 

The sleek kitchen features white cabinetry, a professional-grade gas range, and a cozy, marble-topped eat-in island. It's not difficult to imagine Ina saying "how easy is that?" in her elegant new digs.

Did someone find KFC's secret fried chicken recipe?

buttermilk fried chicken 

Over the years, many people have claimed to possess the "secret recipe" for Kentucky Fried Chicken's "blend of 11 herbs and spices" developed by Colonel Harland Sanders. None of the claims have turned out to be true, but the latest comes from a relative of the late Sanders. A reporter for the Chicago Tribune says he stumbled upon the recipe at the home of a nephew (by marriage) of the colonel.

The nephew, Joe Ledington, has a scrapbook once owned by Sanders' late wife, Claudia Sanders. The recipe was found tucked away in the scrapbook, inside an envelope that also contained Claudia Sanders' will. Yum! Brands, whos owns the KFC name, says that the recipe isn't the one used in the restaurants. Others doubt the veracity of Ledington's claim too.

But the 67-year-old Ledington, who used to work in Colonel Sanders' original restaurant, thinks it is the real deal. He recalls mixing up the ingredients for the chicken's coating and that this recipe seems to comport with his memories. A Tribune staffer used the recipe (published in the article), adding a bit of Accent (msg), and claims that the result "was indistinguishable from what it purchased at a KFC restaurant." If you like KFC's chicken, you might want to give it a try at home. 

Photo of Rosemary-brined buttermilk fried chicken [Michael Ruhlman] from Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection? You can now do this even if you have a free membership!

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!


From blogs:

6 recipes for making and using cajeta from indexed blog Serious Eats



From AUS/NZ books:

1 recipe from Country Chefs: Stories and Recipes from Australia's Best-Loved Country Chefs by Country Style, indexed by an EYB member



From UK books:

7 recipes from Nadiya's Kitchen: Over 100 Simple, Delicious, Family Recipes by Nadiya Hussain

Upcoming Events for Nadiya's Kitchen


14 recipes from  My Family Kitchen: Favourite Recipes from Four Generations by Sophie Thompson, indexed by an EYB member


5 recipes from  Tante Hertha's Viennese Kitchen: A Book of Family Recipes by Monica Meehan & Maria Von Baich, indexed by an EYB member



From US books:

5 recipes from Cook Korean!: A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin Ha


2 recipes from Cooking with Loula: Greek Recipes from My Family to Yours by Alexandra Stratou


9 recipes from Seasonal Recipes from the Garden by P. Allen Smith, indexed by an EYB member


108 recipes from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast: Simple, Healthy Meals for Every Night of the Week by Kristine Kidd, indexed by an EYB member

How chefs are tackling the cause of hunger

Tom ColicchioAs chefs have become more and more well known to the public, thanks in part to television shows like Top Chef and Chopped, they've started to use their celebrity status to promote causes that are important to them. One of the most prominent causes shared by many in the profession is hunger. It's a natural fit, as it deals with their stock in trade. Edible Manhattan showcases the efforts of several celebrity chefs who are vocal anti-hunger activists.

For decades, chefs and restaurants would participate in fundraisers for charitable groups in their communities. More recently, chefs like Tom Colicchio and Bill Telepan have been using their newly minted celebrity status to speak out on a national and global level to policymakers and others. They are appearing on talk shows, lobbying their elected officials, and writing opinion pieces for major publications.Inspired by Ingredients

This activism isn't surprising, says Edible Manhattan: "It's expected that chefs, the rock stars of our time, get involved in the issues of the day like many celebrities-and nothing hits closer to home to someone who cooks for a living than imagining a life without good food." Not everyone is on board with chefs becoming so vocal. In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Julie Kelly argued that because of the problems with low wages in the restaurant industry, chefs shouldn't claim a moral high ground on the issue of hunger. 

After calling Colicchio out by name, Kelly received a lot of backlash from supporters of chef activism. One such defender is Kevin Concannon, who spent eight years as President Obama's chief of the nation's nutrition programs. "When chefs weigh in, they are rightly viewed as experts on the importance of food in all of our lives," he says. 

The savory side of yogurt

 roasted cauliflower with yogurt

Despite being a fermented product, which inherently means it has a sour base, yogurt has developed a reputation for being on the sweet side. That's because we are most familiar with the highly-sweetened, fruit-enriched product often served for breakfast. But as Tasting Table points out, yogurt has a place in savory applications - even for breakfast.

Many of us have probably already dipped our toes into the savory applications for yogurt in sauces such as raita and tzatziki. These sauces only scratch the surface for savory yogurt uses. Tasting Table uses Mediterranean flavors as inspiration to create a savory take on a yogurt breakfast parfait, using a savory granola to add crunch without the sugar.

Anyone who's cooked out of Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks knows that the chef has a fondness for using yogurt in savory dishes. Not only does it make great sauces, yogurt's acidity makes it work wonderfully as a marinade in lamb dishes, chicken tikka masala, and more. Chicago chef Ricardo Jarquin uses yogurt in heavy braised dishes, mixing herbs, lemon zest and salt into Greek yogurt as a finishing sauce. "It brightens up the dish and makes it a little less rich and heavy," he says.

The EYB Library is chock full of savory yogurt recipe. Get started with these Member favorites:

Cumin seed roasted cauliflower with salted yogurt, mint, and pomegranate seeds from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark (pictured top)
Yogurt flatbreads with barley and mushrooms from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Chicken marinated in yogurt with Georgian plum sauce
from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry
Razia Syed's chicken with an almond yogurt sauce (Murghi korma)
from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer
Lamb manti with yoghurt, sumac and dried mint
from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine

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