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Author Archive: "Tracey T."

A Sudden Light

Stein's timber-baron family saga is built upon, and torn apart by, the lush, woodsy nature of the Pacific Northwest. A teen's first visit to his ancestral home — a haunted old folly of a mansion — introduces him to new family and old ghosts with an angsty splash of young love and hero worship.


Falling from Horses

Falling from Horses is a story of the Westerns boom in old Hollywood, where cowboys reworked their cowpoke skills as stunt riders. Talkies are new, and everyone scrambles to find a foothold in the burgeoning film industry. Threaded throughout is a family mystery of a lost little girl. Gloss's tale is both heartbreaking and heartful.


Death and Co

NYC's premier craft cocktail bar, Death and Co, has a passion for building a fine drink — think complex flavors skillfully put together, elegance in a glass. The cocktail recipes in this book are sophisticated and creative. Death and Co includes extensive bartending techniques, so even an adventurous beginner can aim to be a master mixologist.


Huckleberry

Charmingly bound with polka-dotted edges, Huckleberry's sweet and savory recipes strike a welcome balance between comfort food and fine baking. Reminding us that "baking is supposed to be fun," Zoe Nathan, owner of Santa Monica-based Huckleberry Bakery and Café, encourages us to not be afraid of making mistakes in the kitchen.


New Cookbooks for September: Making the Most of the Harvest

September, when we are still working to preserve our summer fare amidst the first rains of fall, brings books on harvesting and preserving. Let's enjoy these last of the summer-oriented cookbooks and also: Cookbook Season! September, October, and November bring a bumper crop of new cookbook releases. Keep an eye out next month for a special edition of Handpicked, where our marketing and order office crew are planning a potluck photo shoot featuring recipes from the October new releases. As befits such a big release month, there will be twice as many reviews for October.

These are the rain-filled sunshine days that find many people on their hands and knees in forest and meadow searching for mushrooms. It's also the perfect time to bring out Shroom. Shroom is a mouthwatering and sometimes funny book. Many mushroom cookbooks are serious and dry, but Seattle author and chef Becky Selengut is chatty, enthusiastic, and sometimes hilarious about her topic. You can tell she has actually cooked the recipes and really knows what she is talking about. She offers tips in the body of the recipe, in case you ...


Rooms

If ghosts are real, they are probably like these: cantankerous, prone to snits, and deeply curious about the warm bodies living in "their" rooms. Oliver's dysfunctional family reunites in a lost-and-found whirlwind of mystery and secrets, with the housebound spirits as unexpected guests.


New Cookbooks for August: Family Meals, Comfort Food, and Drunken Wisdom

As befits the beginning of the end of the hot summer days, and looking ahead to back-to-school, the August lineup of newly released cookbooks is a harvest combination of family rededication, comfort foods, and good old-fashioned drunken fun.

My goodness gracious. I don't know quite what to say about My Drunk Kitchen. To fully comprehend this cookbook, you should watch Hannah Hart's YouTube videos. If you've seen the videos, can you imagine them as a cookbook? Me neither. But somehow Hart has managed to condense her irreverent style into a highly readable book! I don't know that many will want to make her recipes, but reading about them is hilarious! Okay, maybe I'd like to eat her Pizza Cake, which is made of four or five pizzas stacked on top of each other. And I often have her String (Cheese Theory) recipe; the ingredients consist of just: (1) string cheese and (2) a plate. Each recipe comes with an inspirational cocktail suggestion to get drunk by, 'cause this is My Drunk Kitchen, yo. And each recipe comes with a life lesson because the stated intent ...


A History of the Paper Pattern Industry

A History of the Paper Pattern Industry is a joy for any follower of fashion history. I've often been fascinated by how the early days of modern fashion (starting around the 1850s) followed developments in technology. Whether it's the maturation of the sewing machine, the development of chemical dyes for superior color, or the increase of factory jobs for women, the late 1800s and early 1900s were an amazing time in clothing. What I hadn't taken into consideration was how much paper patterns also played into modern fashion history. A History of the Paper Pattern Industry is concerned primarily with U.S. paper pattern history, while filled with plenty of depictions of pattern envelopes. No doubt the designer/sewist will find inspiration here, but this is really more of a sociological study of the pattern business.


The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen

Parents: Buy this for your teen grads. And then, after your kids start showing you up in the kitchen, buy a copy for yourselves, 'cause you'll learn something from it!

I can't emphasize enough how much helpful knowledge Kate Payne has packed into this book. You expect tips, hints, and the basics of cooking, which you get. But there is also nutritional information (which the kids will need after they get tired of living on Cheetos and beer during the first few months of being on their own). My favorite chapter: "Methodology and Mad Skills: Learning How to Cook without Books or Your Laptop."


New Cookbooks for July: All-Things Veggie

July. The deep summer month that brings a belated spring cleaning, picnics, and the beloved abundance of backyard bumper crops (or an abundance of farm-fresh produce from the weekly CSA delivery box). There is a joy in opening a community-supported agriculture box, followed a few days later with, What the heck do I do with all these veggies? July's new and recent releases help us in that department.

Coauthor of Veganomicon Terry Hope Romero presents a salad book that stands up and fights back: Salad Samurai. I can do no better to sum up her book than to quote from it: "Stop making salads that suck." These are kick-ass main meals. True story: a coworker trotted off with my copy of Salad Samurai after one look at the Pesto Cauliflower Potato salad. A favorite recipe of mine is the Pepperoni Tempeh Pizza Salad. (No offense to tempeh, which I like okay, but I'm an omnivore and used meaty pepperoni. Also, I tossed in a little shredded cheese.) I'm currently enamored with the Middle Eastern herbal spice mix za-atar, and I was pleased to find this included in ...


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