Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Toys!

Christmas was quiet this year.  As I told you yesterday, our children all live on the Left Coast.  So Jennifer, Brandon and the grandchildren celebrated with Nicki at their home in Redding, California.  Jennifer is our oldest daughter, Brandon is her husband and the grandchildren are . . . . well, incredible!  Nicki is our youngest.  She is an account manager for a landscaping firm and lives a little south of Jen/Bran/Fam.  Jeremy and Nicole, son and best daughter-in-law-alive, live in San Diego but went to New Jersey to spend the holidays with Nicole's family.  Nonetheless, Butch and I had a wonderful time and received some real goodies!

We love cookbooks.  I read them like novels before delving into the tasty adventure of trying the fare.  Beautiful to look at, incredible to try and it is very much like having a conversation with the author.  Between us, we accrued 5 new books this year.  The first came from Jeremy and Nicole's honeymoon in Jamaica, Mon.  Eat Caribbean by Virginia Burke is so much fun!

Nicole told us that as soon as Jeremy saw the book he said he wanted to get it for his parents.  Boy, are we glad!  The book includes a beautiful photographic tour of the islands as well as mouthwatering recipes.  I can't wait to try the Jerk Chicken with Avocado and Papaya Salad.  Thank you guys for thinking of us while on your honeymoon!

Butch and I are huge fans of Anne Burrell of Food Network fame.  So J&N sent Pop her new book, Cook Like a Rock Star.

Oh, my word!  We have already played with several recipes in the first chapter, Piccolinis, little pickies, my favorite way to eat!  Little bites of incredible food to munch on.  Loved the meatballs and Butch added her tomato sauce dip to them with great results.  Zucchini and parm fritters, awesome.  Can't wait for the figs stuffed with Gorgonzola and walnuts.  And that is only chapter 1!

We ordered two cookbooks for Jeremy and also bought them for ourselves.  That makes 4 very happy people with the results!  The Soul of a New Cuisine, A discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson is gorgeous! 
The book is actually a food history of the many countries of Africa from the various spices and rubs to the veggies, stews and meats.  And the variety is vast!  The photography of so many different regions and climates is breathtakingly, tear-inspiringly incredible.  Jeremy told me that he did just as I did by sitting down and just reading the book. 

Tupelo Honey Cafe is the next book and the name of the restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina.

We fell in love with Tupelo Honey years ago on a trip to Asheville for an education conference.  The theme is farm to fork and the food is delicious.  Fresh, local Southern style and to die for!  My all-time favorite is their shrimp with goat cheese grits.  I'm drooling thinking about it!  Still working on reading this one and haven't cooked from it yet but my dear friend Kathleen in South Dakota teaches at fiber festivals in Asheville and bought this when she returned home.  She made the pecan pie for Thanksgiving and if pictures tell the story, I missed out on some incredible dessert! 

Last but certainly not least is The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond.
The kids all got together and gave me a large Amazon gift card!  The way to my heart . . . other than lots of hugs and kisses!  So this was one of the first things I got.  Fun book!  Ms. Drummond was born and raised in Oklahoma, lived and worked in Los Angeles for years and then went home again.  Married a cowboy and settled in.  Good home cooking with flair.  Right now I am reading her memoir about the journey home.  She is a saucy one!

Not only did we get these wonderful books but Jeremy send homemade cookies this year after so many years of my doing the same.  Ginger, peanut butter with chocolate kisses and Snickerdoodles!  Yummy Christmas to us! 


  1. My pecan pie wasn't as good as the original from Tupelo Honey, which was no surprise. But it was still very very good, and I plan to try more delicacies from the cookbook (it'll help pass the time until I can eat there in person again).

  2. Hey Dee! Looks like you have a lot of cooking to do! The Pioneer Woman is one of my new favorites on Food Network. Have you checked out her blog? Glad y'all had a good Christmas. I noticed that you got a Kindle Fire...so did I. I enjoy it when I have time. I'll be checking in on you! Happy Cooking!

    1. Good to hear from you Amy! I haven't gotten to Ree's blog yet but have had a stick-um note up to do so for months. Will check it out soon. Hope everything is well with you! Here comes a busy season in your business.