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Denise Morland has commented on (251) products.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Language of Flowers

Denise Morland, January 4, 2012

Already reviewed this earlier this year. My favorite book of 2011!
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The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Investigations) by Colin Cotterill
The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Investigations)

Denise Morland, December 30, 2011

The Coroner's Lunch is the first in a mystery series set in 1970's Laos. The Communist party has assigned the position of national coroner to 72 year old Dr. Siri. Siri is looking forward to a long, easy retirement when this posting, for which he has no knowledge or experience, comes through. Paired with a nurse who is obsessed with gossip magazines and a half-wit who knows the procedures better than both of them, he must solve some of the nation's most complicated, political, and perplexing deaths. He is both helped and terrifyingly hindered by the ghosts that appear to him and seem to have demands all their own.

The Coroner's Lunch is a satisfyingly exotic mystery, fast-paced, filled with likeable characters, historical detail, and a touch of the afterlife. Cotterill manages to give everything with a lightly satirical touch that keeps the story entertaining. I look forward to many more in this series!

I listened to the audio version of The Coroner's Lunch deftly narrated by Clive Chafer. He portrays the dry humor of Dr. Siri to a tee, bringing him to life. This is an audio that improves on the written version.
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Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg
Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day

Denise Morland, December 30, 2011

Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day follows the highly popular Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The authors have turned their focus to pizza, making it not only easy for every home cook to obtain the best possible results, but also making it such a quick and painless process that you will be tempted to eat pizza everyday! It has the same format as their previous books with first a master recipe, then many interesting variations. Heavy on detailed instructions, there are just a few color photos to give you an idea of the final product.

Master Recipe Olive Oil Variation - This is an easy, reliable recipe that has replaced my standard pizza dough recipe. I do love that you can have it just sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. It makes weeknight homemade pizza a cinch.

The Ultimate Tender Neapolitan Crust - I made this recipe to use up some extra cake flour I had on hand. It definitely changed the texture of the crust though I found it pleasantly chewy rather than tender.

Sauce from Canned Tomatoes - Easy and delicious. I will make this again and again.

White Pizza with Spinach -
This was the big wow recipe of the book for me. Fabulously good pizza with not much effort. This is a pizza I crave, then eat all week once I have the ingredients in the house.

Individual Breakfast Pizza -
Fun Sunday breakfast for kids. I made it in muffin tins and it was tasty.

Its hard to argue with fresh, easy pizza. I can't imagine there are many households out there that don't need a copy of this cookbook!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen by Donia Bijan
Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen

Denise Morland, December 30, 2011

Maman's Homesick Pie is Donia Bijan's very personal memoir of being forced to leave her home in Iran as a teenager during the revolution in the 1970's. The story begins with her charming, quirky and busy childhood. Her parents built a hospital and almost singlehandedly ran it, doctoring, cooking, bandaging, and administering all while raising their family in an apartment on the top floor. It continues through her family's exhile to the US, her own struggles to become a chef and her mother and father's struggles to find a place for themselves in America.

This is a lighthearted memoir despite touching on the Iranian Revolution and her father's emotional displacement. Donia and her mother comfort themselves and create homes around the food they remember and new dishes they invent. Everything is seen through the prism of food and the descriptions are lush and nostalgic. The recipes look both relatively simple and appealingly exotic.

Maman's Homesick Pie will satisfy the many fans of food memoirs with its warmth, generosity, and lovely food writing.
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We the Animals by Justin Torres
We the Animals

Denise Morland, December 26, 2011

We the Animals is a fierce, gut-wrenching ride through growing up. The three boys alternately cry, battle, and love their way through a childhood dominated by the loud, abusive, and yet close and loving relationship of their parents. Wildly exuberant, the three boys fight their way into adulthood with many missteps and triumphs along the way. In the end the narrator, the youngest boy, will have to step out of the shadow of his family and find his own path.

Wow! A gorgeous, intense, coming of age book that you won't be able to ignore. Not a comfortable read, this is more of a train wreck you can't look away from. So searingly honest and bare, yet funny in parts and even heartwarming, We the Animals, captures the experience of growing up and finding your way perfectly.

The audio version is narrated by Frankie J. Alvarez. He portrays the animal energy and brutality of the boys well. You can hear in his voice the cockiness of youth in one minute and the utter lack of confidence in the next. Its a great match that makes the book even better.
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