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Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Snapped on my train ride to work

I want to start reading again.  Well, I should correct that, I want to start reading books again that don’t involve how-to on baby: whether it’s making, baking, caring, or rearing.  Granted, there’s not much time to read what with the business of keeping Lil Z alive and thriving and all, but I would like something better to do on my train ride to work than stare into space.  It gets rather boring, and sometimes while staring into space I accidentally make eye contact with a fellow train rider. A big no-no for commuters in any urban area.  Read the commuting handbook and you’ll find out it is true.

I also want to get a library card.  And probably also find out where the library is located.  Because as much as I love Barnes and Noble where the air is permeated with the smell of paper and caramel lattes, it gets expensive to buy books.  Just recently I bought a handful of children’s books to read to Lil Z-Bear, the total: $97.85 for 4 books.  Ouch! Good Night Moon indeed. 

The books that I do own are proudly displayed on our bookshelf in the hallway; it makes people who visit us think we are smart (we are, in case you were wondering).  I make sure that the books that make us look even smarter are at eye level: that’s where I keep my Tolstoys, Gogols, and Nabokovs, Austens and Dickens, Steinbecks and Hemingways.  I also throw in hubby’s old Anatomy of the Human Body and various other medical books with scary titles to keep things interesting.  On the lower shelf, I keep my collection of South Asian writers, my collection of David Sedaris, my collection of travel books, and some selected chick lit books.  Hidden from all eyes to see in a box somewhere in a closet is my collection of romance novels.  Yes, the ones with the embarrassing graphics of dashing rakes and brazen maidens.  Because we all have our vices.

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I love to cook.  If I could make a living by cooking, I’d do it.  But two snags : I am not that great a cook (but I do alright), and the repertoire of things I know how to make isn’t that expansive.  When I step into the kitchen to make something, I either just envision the final dish and add stuff as I go, or I meticulously follow a recipe to make the final product.  I want to share a few of my sources for tried and true recipes:

 101 Cookbooks

I love this website because it compiles Heidi Swanson’s own recipes with those of so many other cookbooks (hence the name). I am willing to go to the mat for this: Heidi is a food genius!  I don’t know how she churns out recipe after delicious recipe without an ounce of meat, fish, or poultry. (And I am by no means a vegetarian!)  Her compilation of recipes focus on ‘natural, whole foods and ingredients’.  I have yet to try something from her website that doesn’t turn out scrumdiddlyumptious.  Her featured desserts make you do a double take with some of the ingredients she uses, but they always come out fabulous!  And her website is not just about food, but also her travels and her photography.  Awesome + Awesome + Awesome = Crazy Awesome! 

Savoring India

Part of the popular Williams-Sonoma Savoring series, you will fall in love with this book even before you make a single recipe.  The book is worthy based on its lush and vibrant photographs and mouth-watering descriptions alone.  Julia Sahini writes about food the only way it should be done: with unrestrained passion and reminiscence of fond childhood memories.  The recipes are easy to understand and easy to follow.   The book is peppered with personal experiences and fun facts.  Every recipe I’ve followed has turned out picture perfect and delicious.  And for those who are curry shy, fear not: the spices give a mélange of flavors, yet are never overpowering. 

Curry, Kabab, and More

This book of Pakistani recipes includes classics such as mattar pulao (rice and peas), shalgam gosht (meat with turnips), and yakhni (meat broth).  All the yummy offerings are the ultimate comfort food for this Pakistani girl: pulao with raita followed by zarda are the equivalent of pot roast, mashed potatoes and apple pie.  The recipes are well thought out and easy to make.  But what I love most: it’s a labor of love, the wife wrote the recipes, and the husband took the pictures in their house on their dining table, complete with white plastic doilies and silk flowers in the backdrop.

Alton Brown’s Recipes

This quirky man’s recipes are fun and flavorful.  His classic American dishes always hit the mark, and don’t be daunted by his rapid-fire pace and gizmos and gadgets, the recipes are quite easy.  Plus, I like the fact that he proves that cooking doesn’t have to be all Martha Stewart-y (no disrespect, I like Martha) and still be really tasty.

Happy eating!

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