The Bee Keepers Ball

The Bee Keepers Ball

“She was passionate about cooking and in love with the idea of creating a place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts.” The Beekeeper’s Ball, Susan Wiggs 2014.

In all fairness, I was drawn to this book after reading on the back cover the main character was pursuing a dream and opening a cooking school; coincidentally in the area where I grew up in Northern California.

Without even reading further, similar dreams echoing in my head, I checked this book out at the library. I was intrigued for personal reasons anticipating the journey I would take while following in the footsteps of a character who accomplished what I have always dreamed of doing.

Quickly, the plot was diverted and I was drawn onto an entirely different voyage than expected. Romance, flashbacks to World War II, tales of tragedy, love and loss, intertwined with a few unique recipes; curiosity did get the best of me. I found it to be an easy, light, quick read however my desire to live vicariously through a character sharing similar dreams lives on.

LET’S GET COOKING!

SUZANNE

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SUZANNE

Foodie | Home Chef | Author

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The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister 2010

The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister 2010

I may appear to be obsessed with the ingredients in my kitchen however the ingredients of my life is what truly matters to me. The School of Essential Ingredients was a fun book to read, less about the ingredients of recipes and more about the people in our lives and their importance to us. I have to admit that as much as I enjoy teaching my students how to be successful in the kitchen, I love the diversity each and every one of them brings to my life. This book is a great example of how the common desire of food, cooking and eating can bring people of such diversity together.

ENJOY!

SUZANNE

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SUZANNE

Foodie | Home Chef | Author

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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender 2011

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender 2011

Can you imagine that if every time you ate any type of food you personally felt the emotions of the person preparing it? Heavy thought to consider right? Well, in this fun quick read of a novel a young girl experiences just that. Without giving too much of the book away I enjoyed thinking about this idea.  What if? What would my food tell you about me? That I am a busy mom juggling a marriage, two very active kids, a business, a home and all that comes with it?  Or would it tell you of heartaches yet love for life and feeling blessed? Or maybe all the above which would be a lot for another person to take on during a meal. Would you keep eating? Some may not. Some may search for food with less meaning or some may seek out food with more.
People constantly tell me that their grandmother shared her secret recipe with them but every time they made it, it did not taste the same.  I have personally experienced this and now ponder if in fact emotions do play a role in the success of cooking. Out of laziness, I suspected my husband had always asked me to make his sandwiches because when I made them they tasted better. Really I thought?  Flattering,yet manipulating. Do I take more joy in preparing sandwiches – you bet I do. Does this make a difference? I don’t know.  However it is fun to think about.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake does not go as far as it could have in explaining the experiences one would have with this gift, or curse.  However, it was an enjoyable read that presented me with thoughts that I have not before considered. I can say that I do put my heart and soul in to my cooking and teaching and pray that my positive thoughts in the kitchen pour in to each and everyone that eats and cooks with me.

 

ENJOY!

SUZANNE

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SUZANNE

Foodie | Home Chef | Author

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The Flavor Bible

The Flavor Bible

I am often asked.. “What is your favorite cookbook?”  or “What cookbook could you never live without?” or something of the like.  Well, yes I am a cookbook addict.  I admit it.  I am sucker for cookbooks of all kinds especially ones with pretty photos, not just usual photos though, you know the photos that you can taste and smell (well imaginatively speaking of course).  Some chefs claim that the best cookbooks don’t have photos.  I can understand this statement from an educational perspective however we all know “pretty” sells.  I have cookbooks ranging from culinary text, yard sale finds to best sellers.  I use them all for inspiration and love different perspectives on cooking and styles.  So, I really can not say that I have any favorites.

However, that being said, I recently had a conversation with a client who asked if I had any recommendations.  Immediately the title The Food Bible came out of my mouth.  The client responded by questioning, “Because it has the best recipes?”  I replied, “No actually it does not!”  What is does have is much more valuable. The Food Bible is truly an “indispensable guide to creativity and flavors….”  Anyone can read a recipe.  And in most cases with some experience in the kitchen anyone can be successful.  What I teach in my classes is creative thinking beyond the recipe.  I guide people in their understanding of ingredients and how to pair them with other ingredients and tailor them to personal tastes.

If you are looking for inspiration then I highly recommend The Food Bible.  A recipe is a recipe and  in most cases does not ignite creativity.  The Food Bible lists, in alphabetical order, ingredients (hopefully some new ones for the reader) their season, taste, function, weight, volume, most common cooking techniques, tips for using the ingredient, compatible flavor combinations, and ingredients to avoid with it.

What differentiates a good home chef from a great home chef, is not only mastering the art of technical cooking but also the art of ingredient selection, preparation, and flavor compatibility.  Food need not be complicated if paired appropriately.

 

LET’S GET COOKING!

SUZANNE

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SUZANNE

Foodie | Home Chef | Author

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Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs 2008 (Same author as The Friday Night Knitting Club)

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs 2008 (Same author as The Friday Night Knitting Club)

Quick read, lots of drama, fun to explore the idea many have of hosting their own Food Network Show. (Don’t kid yourself….we all dream!!) Light reading for anyone wanting to detour from heavier reads. In my opinion, not a must read but nonetheless quick and fun.  Minimal references to actual food which is a normal requirement for me.

CHEERS!

SUZANNE

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SUZANNE

Foodie | Home Chef | Author

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Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton 2011 (New York Times Bestseller)

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton 2011 (New York Times Bestseller)

Interesting read yes, page turner…not necessarily for me. I loved the references to food and tradition and to times of back when. It has drama and dysfunctional throughout. I can not really say if I liked the book itself or if I am just better off for having read the book because it made me more appreciative of my life. Regardless, I love books that have culinary references and ones that contain personal stories as they are as different as DNA. Nevertheless, no time lost here. Sometimes it takes others unusual stories to help make ours more clear.

Looking for the next read….

SUZANNE

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SUZANNE

Foodie | Home Chef | Author

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