Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes)

NourishedNourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes) is Lia Huber’s debut novel where her talent shines as a writer on travel and food writing. Working at a PR firm that focused on travel, this path eventually led her to food writing where she wrote for Cooking Light, Bon Appétit to name a few. She writes of her move to Costa Rica and her return to Corfu made for interesting reads.

I wanted to enjoy this book, but I was distracted by the health issues, anxieties, and breakdowns in her quest to find healing, meaning, and a place at a table. I had to remind myself this is a memoir (not a food memoir, per se) where she shares her trials and tribulations, and finding faith, Christianity. There was mention of writing a cookbook and a previous book she wanted to publish, which didn’t materialize. There was also mention of pasta making and opening a restaurant.

However, squeezing in numerous experiences of 22 years – including pursuing a masters degree and adoption – in this one book, at times for me was reading overload. That unfortunately took away from staying engaged reading her travel and food experiences, which had been my expectations.

That and the recipes at the end of each chapter. What I truly enjoyed were the recipes!

Once I finished, I found myself thinking I was not really sure if I felt she “felt” nourished or if the intent all along was to introduce NOURISH Evolution. On the website, her introduction reads:

“I’m Lia Huber and I know how easy it is to feel like you’re spinning in a million directions.”

That is how I felt reading this.

~ date read 01.08.2018 ~ 3 stars ~
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
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FoodLit Reads That Are Perfect to Read Over the Winter, Because You’re Going to Need Something to Do While You Stay Inside

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Take the excuse the winter is giving you to stay inside and catch up on all of those titles you swear you’ve been meaning to get to, but never had a chance to. Winter is for staying in and waiting for spring!

For me, sharing a few of my food writing notable reads:

  • Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes)
  • Give a Girl a Knife
  • The Reporter’s Kitchen: Essays

So grab your favorite throw and join me!

Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques

KK2Top Chef Kristen Kish’s debut cookbook Kristen Kish Cooking is a classic – along with recipes and techniques, you can “hear” her voice resonate as she shares her stories, insights, and opinions! Still a young chef, I hope she enjoys the journey (be in the moment) and continues to share and grow in this industry and wherever life continues to take her – she deserves it! A definite shout out to her and for sharing her journey and her cooking!

I caught an episode of Lucky Chow [Koreatown USA] where Kristen Kish was a guest, learning how to make kimchi. Watching her, she reminded me of my youngest Aiko – her height, her mannerisms! I’m all nostalgic as my baby will be wrapping up her last year of Pharmacy in Indianapolis!

Being Asian, I was surprised she was learning to make kimchi; like, she’s Asian and a Top Chef winner … so shouldn’t she know how to make kimchi, at least? [like I’m one to talk!]

Little did I know.

A Top Chef champion and having attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, I was intrigued. I had chanced upon reading her mentor’s memoir Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, where Barbara Lynch speaks of Kristen. And as I began to follow Kristen on Instagram (yes, Instagram is my guilty pleasure!), I found out about her upcoming cookbook!

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A beautiful and modern cookbook I am proud to own and add to my collection of awesome books. It will be a timeless addition to add to your repertoire of beloved cookbooks!
~ date read 12.31.2017 ~ 5 stars ~

Side Note: A formal model, she’s in Target’s ads…yes I own a A New Day tee…mine’s pink! 😊

The Girl Before

thegirlbeforeOne Folgate Street. A striking minimalist house, currently on the market. Click here to view the listing.

By no means a haunted house. Rather, the increased popularity of Japanese minimalism, bent along the lines of the art of decluttering. If you have read Marie Kondo’s “Magic Cleaning” series (or rather the first book of the series) will suffice, you will surmise a bit of the obsession regarding this latest trend, of less is more. On an even grander scale, A recent read, Goodbye, things, further enhances the enlightenment this story surrounds itself with.

Perhaps the house will turn me into a better person. Perhaps it will bring order and discipline to the random chaos of my life.

Technology plays a key role. Security. Control.

This house may be simple, but its ambition is extraordinary.

Having read Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and The Woman in Cabin 10, this makes my list among Listopia’s Female Psychological Thrillers. It’s twisted. It’s dark. And in the end, you’re reminded that this is a psychological thriller.

Now why, begs the question, am I posting my review here…in all thing food writing?

A dipping sauce made from lemon juice, soy, and rice vinegar is the final touch.

Yes, there is mention of food! As simplistic as that sentence was, the simplistic literary food scenes speaks volumes for a food writing book reviewer!

I have to give kudos for the setting. It’s the old adage to seek the perfect relationship and a recent take on living the minimalist experience. Along with nothing’s really as it seems…

~ date read 04-09.2017 ~ 4 stars ~
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

ahomemadelifeMy first introduction to food writing was in 2012. I came across a local culinary book club and requested to join. Their next read was this novel.

Molly Wizenberg begins with “A Place to Start”, introducing us to her father and the potato salad. I finally met Molly today at an event at the Eisenhower Public Library, and this was the chapter she read to the group. It has been years since her father’s passing, and this piece still holds many memories for her.

Molly’s writing began when she created her blog Orangette in 2004 as she expressed  to someday write for a food magazine. A friend of hers suggested to start a blog where she can write about her two interests: food and writing. She hasn’t stopped since, having won the 2015 James Beard Award for individual food blog.

I wanted a space to write about food.

Each chapter tells the tale of coming-of-age moments in her life where food was most part of the picture. Most interesting is how she met her husband – an award in and of itself.

Classified as a biography and autobiography, it is a series of endearing essays. Her ‘voice’ resonates throughout in her writing. I find it inspiring that she didn’t have to have a writing degree nor be a trained cook to discuss food writing. Her one advice: write what you want to read.

And let’s not forget the recipes! What was at first to be a cookbook evolved into stories and recipes. If you have read my past posts, I consider recipes in a food writing novel to be a bonus from an author. She shares many interesting dishes worth perusing – the recipe index is great at-a-glance source.

~ date read 01-21.2012 ~ 4 stars ~
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A Conversation with Molly Wizenberg event reading and book signing 02-21-2016

I had the pleasure to finally meet her as she flew here to Chicago! I spoke of my father and memories of food with him ~ especially hot dogs with ketchup. Yes, I am aware that you’re not a Chicagoan if you put ketchup on your hot dog. [Why don’t Chicagoans put ketchup on hot dogs?]

In spite of the controversy sparking a panel discussion at the Chicago Hot Dog Fest, I am born and raised native Chicagoan and continue to put ketchup on my hot dog!

I have plans to visit Seattle and definitely plan to have a bite to eat at her restaurant, Delancey.

My Kitchen in Rome: Recipes and Notes on Italian Cooking

MyKitchenInRomeWhen I was asked by the publicist at Grand Central Publishing if I would be interested in reviewing My Kitchen in Rome, I was hesitant as it was not my intent for this blog to post reviews of cookbooks.

Being that it was about the author’s intriguing experience of one’s year in a small Italian kitchen, I said yes. It has all the elements of what my blog is ~ a food lit dishcovery!

My Kitchen in Rome released in the UK last year under the title “Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome”. In the US version, she noted the alternative title which makes sense; My Kitchen in Rome is a better fit as I for one am unaware of what five quarters would have meant.

What an interesting memoir as Rachel Roddy charts her culinary adventures in five quarters. The “five quarters” make up the classic Roman meal: antipasti {starters; appetizers}, soup & pasta, meat & fish, vegetables, and dolci {sweets; desserts}. Each quarter is its own chapter.

Her voice resonates her heartfelt appreciation of the food and City that grew on her, the village of Testaccio. Her notes adds to the history of and understanding of five quarter cooking as well as the memories of family experiences in the kitchen. Her recipes are of the area she lives with its own odori {aromas}. Keep this in mind when you go through the collection of recipes and the notes she shares as this is a tribute to staying true to the area, making it her home.

The photographs depict her life in Rome, and the lifestyle of Italian cooking. We see through her lens the bustling food markets, interior and exterior views of cafes and restaurants, street fanfare scenes. Interspersed are snap shots of her kitchen, the collective ingredients, basic equipment, and food preparation.

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I have never been to Rome, so I appreciate her sharing her culinary journey of Testaccio’s style of cooking. I also appreciate her sharing aspects of Italian food and cooking techniques. To share, I have two favorite “Italian” dishes – my homemade version of Spaghetti {Ragu Super Chunky Mushroom pasta sauce, Barilla this spaghetti} and Conchiglie alla Sarda {seashell pasta in a tomato-cream sauce with ground sausage, peas, and pecorino cheese}, a dish I order from Topo Gigio {my version of her La Torricella}.

With the variety of dishes in this book, the one pasta dish I plan to make, the Linguine con zucchine {linguine with zucchini, egg, and parmesan}, looks to be tasty and comforting. However, I look forward to making the Coda alla vaccinara {oxtail with tomatoes and celery} and Trippa alla romana {roman-style tripe} are interestingly delish!

Yes, ingredients are the basis for good food!

Following is an except I was most impressed with:

“It was when I really began writing about food that I realized I missed something I’d left behind: other people’s writing about food. Although inspiration came from where I was living, the inspiration about how to write about food came from the books I had read and used years before, the distinctive voices I’d so enjoyed reading and cooking with.”

I couldn’t agree more!

A great reference to add to your memoir cookbook collection!

About the Author:  Rachel Roddy writes for The Guardian. Check out her blog, rachel eats, where you can find more recipes and notes.. She is currently working on her second book.
About the Publisher:  Grand Central Life & Style, part of Hachette Book Group, is one of the book industry’s top publishers of lifestyle and wellness.
~ date read 01.24.2065~ 4 stars ~
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

 

Snow Reads are the New Beach Reads – FoodLit reads to get you through the Winter

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As winter solstice has since passed, we have yet to brace ourselves with bone chilling, at times sub-zero temperatures. And however bleak the forecast, this is the best season to burrow deep into a great read!

A few food writing notable reads:

  • My Kitchen in Rome: Recipes and Notes on Italian Cooking
  • First Bite: How We Learn To Eat
  • Drinking with Men: A Memoir

So grab your favorite throw and join me!