They Draw and Cook Cookbook- 'Tis the season, indeed. The holiday signage and decor are starting to appear like eight tiny reindeer but for me, in my bookstore role, its also a time when the Holy Mothers of cookbooks are starting to appear and they are lovely and legion. The Beekman Brothers Heirloom, Eleven Madison Park, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible and many more are making for some gorgeous cookbook displays and I'm salivating over them all. I have to give special props, though, to the first cookbook from a very creative website: http://www.theydrawandcook.com/. The Draw and Cook website and cookbook are chock-full of mouth-watering recipes illustrated by artists from around the world. The authors are a brother and sister design team and the website and book are way too much fun.
The New Yorker Food Issue- Its time, once again, for the annual New Yorker Food Issue and that's always a happy time for me. I've touted their book collection of food issue articles called Secret Ingredients in a previous post and I continue to anticipate this yearly batch of delicious food writing. This year's issue includes contributions by Jane Kramer, Paul Theroux, Adam Gopnik and one-time KC native Calvin Trillin. I love to devour this feast of words every year....and I always dig the cartoons as well. If David Sedaris had an article in this issue, it would have been perfect.
American Horror Story- As we embark on Thanksgiving and Christmas, here's a little post-Halloween fear factor..the Ryan Murphy FX fright-fest American Horror Story. Full Disclosure: I have this twisted sister of a show set up as a Season Pass on Tivo, and still didn't get around to watching a single episode until this past Thursday. Why? Because I was a bit scared of it, I admit. I don't know where everything went awry...I grew up a big horror movie fan; I relished the vintage Hammer films and dug the Halloween films. Somewhere along the way, probably with the advent of the last few years of torture porn nasties like the Saw series, I have become less and less of a fan of horror films. I have avoided the AMC series The Walking Dead like a zombie plague; I just don't dig the gut-wrenching gore and scary jolts. I love Ryan Murphy, though, if for no other reason, than I literally can't wait to see what happens next on his shows. I loved Popular ( though it was quickly canceled) and Ronnie turned me on to Nip/Tuck which was a weekly jaw-dropping WTF of a show. I remain a big fan of Glee even though it seems to be suffering a bit of what Nip/Tuck did, which was a loss of quality after the first couple of seasons. I foolishly decided to watch AHS while Keith was at a conference in New York. This batshit-crazy show scared the garbanzos out of me but was so mad bonkers I could not wait to see what they were and are going to do next. Jessica Lange as Southern Gothic queen Constance is worth the price of admission alone and beware of Constance's cupcakes and sweetbreads...yikes. Oh and yes, there's a strange man in a rubber suit running around this haunted house and he's about to be revealed on the next episode. I'm hopelessly hooked on this crazy train of a show.
Baked Pumpkin (pictured at top left)- I have written with great acclaim about a cookbook gifted to me by my friend Kara from a Fort Madison, Iowa bakery called the Ivy Bake Shoppe. I recently tried one of their signature recipes and it was a real kick. The baked pumpkin involves roasting an entire garlic-rubbed pumpkin that has been de-seeded and filled with garlic croutons and shredded mozzarella and swiss cheese for a couple of hours. Everything inside turns into a wonderful dip for bread or crackers and the pumpkin turns a beautiful, dark roasted color. You cannot go wrong with this cookbook and this baked pumpkin is perfect for parties.
The Simpson's Foodie Episode- Finally, one of my all-time fave TV families leapt into the foodie world and I loved every minute of it. Marge and the kids decide to write a food blog called The Three Mouthkateers and the entire episode did what this yellow family does best: celebrated and skewered pop culture and in this case, foodist culture. Cameos from Anthony Bourdain and a foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsey and various culinary references to Sriracha sauce, kimchi and El Bulli restaurant peppered the episode and I loved that the ending paid tribute to "Ratatouille". Apparently, some of the muckety-mucks in the food world sniffed at the episode but I thought it was most excellent.