What I’m Reading Wednesday

This week, I bring you the list of blogs I read that are written by people living in a different country. Just because they might write their recipes with grams instead of ounces and degrees Celsius instead of degrees Fahrenheit, does not mean that these blogs are to be put to shame, but instead, they are to be put in the spotlight. These are also just some of the greatest blogs out there, found on many “best of” lists and in the media and linked to across the Internets.

  1. David Lebovitz. He writes from Paris, about food and everything you might be able to find/be interested to find in Paris.
  2. Eatshowandtell. This is a blog written by five friends in Sydney. They write about the restaurants they visit, and of course, about food.
  3. Like A Strawberry Milk. Fanny is from London and writes about desserts and other sweet things in life.
  4. Baking Obsession. This is another baking blog (as if you didn’t get that from the title). Vera writes from British Colombia.
  5. Jumbo Empanadas. This blogger lives in Toronto, Canada. Another food/travel blog.

I hope you enjoy these international blogs as much (or more!) as I do! Happy reading!


What I’m Reading Wednesday

This week, I bring you fellow San Francisco Bay Area Bloggers. I read their blogs way before I knew they lived in the Bay Area or even met some of them at the SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale.

  1. Dessert First. Anita‘s blog was the very first blog I read! If you haven’t guessed by the title, she writes about dessert, and about lots of sweet things. She also wrote one of my favorite cookbooks, The Field Guide To Cookies.
  2. La Vie En Route. This is Annelies‘ blog; she writes about food, poetry, and travel on her site. She was the first blogger I really connected with (like in person, not just online) and made friends with.
  3. Eat The Love. Irvin writes about the sweets he makes and the adventures he has while traveling and in the bay area.
  4. Piece Of Cake. Shauna writes about the sweet things in life; best of all, she wrote a book all about marshmallows!
  5. Shutterbean. Tracy is one of my favorite bloggers who writes about the food she makes, and the life she shares with her husband, Casey, and their son, Cooper. I have not met her yet, but one day I hope to meet her, and maybe we can wear blazers together. (If you want to know about that reference, listen to the podcast she’s a co-host on) She also writes High Straightenence on Homefries.

There are, of course, many other bay area bloggers out there. Maybe you are one of them? Leave a comment with a link to your blog if you are. Check out my blog links page to get a jump start on the other blogs I read. You can also follow me on Pinterest, where I pin blogs I read (among other things).


What I’m Reading Wednesday

Last week, I started this series about what I am reading. I started things off with the cookbooks I am reading and grabbing inspiration and recipes from. This week, I bring you my most recent novels I’ve read.

How To Eat A Cupcake

(photo credit: Bookin with Bingo blog)

  1. How To Eat A Cupcake; By Meg Donohue. I first heard about this book on a blog I read, Cakespy, when she wrote out this blurb in the book: “I had, I’ll admit, effected a certain style–a method, if you will–of cupcake eating. To begin, you remove the cupcake liner carefully so as to not unnecessarily crumble the cake, and set it aside. You then turn the cupcake slowly in your hand, taking bites along the line where cake meets icing, your mouth filling with the perfect combination of both components. Once you’ve come  full circle, you gently twist off the bottom half inch of cake, a move that takes considerable finesse and leaves a delicate sliver of cake–the ideal size for lying flat on your tongue and allowing it to slowly dissolve, building anticipation for that final bite. To finish, you are left with the center cylinder of cake and icing, the cupcakes very heart, sometimes filled with a surprising burst of custard or jam or mousse, sometimes not, but always, always the most moist, flavorful bite of the entire cupcake. Take a breath before diving into that final, perfect bite; it is to be savored for as long as possible. Finally, of course, you scavenge the crumbs from the cupcake liner you set aside during step one, then ball the liner into your fist and overhand it into the nearest receptacle. Make the shot? You get another cupcake.” I was intrigued, and then I saw that Joy the Baker also read the book, and I knew I had to read it. I am still finishing it up, but it is definitely a good read. I would even say it is a good beach read. You know, of the “not needing to pay much attention to details” books. A quick read.
  2. Eat The Document; by Dana Spiotta. A couple’s story about their radical protests in the 1970s and what the outcomes are in the 1990s. It is a book my sister sent me, and therefore one I might not have picked up on my own, but it was a good book. A little bit of history, love story and mystery rolled into one. My sister also recommends her new book, Stone Arabia.
  3. The Book Of Salt; by Monique Truong. Another book from my sister, and a book I would be more likely to pick up on my own, about the Vietnamese cook who worked for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris in the 1930s. A great way to learn about these greats and about Paris in this era.

    Cover of "What the Dog Saw: And Other Adv...

  4. What The Dog Saw and Blink; by Malcom Gladwell. These books I read back-to-back so I get confused about which articles I read in which since they are similar in some ways. I picked up What The Dog Saw and started reading it before realizing it was the same author. Actually, I read this book first and then I read Blink. After seeing everyone reading Blink, as if part of the book itself, I figured I should read it, too. They are both insightful reads, but if you do decide to take on both, I recommend reading them at different times, and not back-to-back; it’s just too intense that way.The Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Photo Friday!

This month, I am participating in the Photo A Day May from Fat Mum Slim. These are the photos from week five: (last week! I can’t believe it’s June already!)

26. 12 o’clock. This was tough because of working through this time since I work at a restaurant and everyone comes there for their lunch break. Also, I did not want to stay up until midnight. So I took this picture on my day off. Almost missed it! I only got one shot because I caught the last 30 seconds of the minute.

27. Something sweet. Dessert. Of course. This is angel food cake I made recently, but more on that later.

28. The weather today. Surprisingly sunny. Pretty Clouds.

29. A number. This is one of the new “stop ids” at the bus stops near my work. They have these numbers at most bus stops now so that you can call up and get a prediction (relatively accurate!) of when the next bus is coming.

30. My personality. I’m a true Scorpio. Also, I guess I can be a bit blurry sometimes. 😉

31. Something beautiful. I am a cheater! Or just thinking outside the box. Took a picture of the restaurant sign for Beautifull!

Foodie Pen Pal

This month I became a part of the foodie pen pals. This is, yes, another food (blogger) community that I became a part of; it was started by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean. It is a group of bloggers (or non-bloggers) who are paired up to receive and give a foodie package and letter. This month, I was paired up with and sent goodies to Erika from MCM Mama; head on over there to see what I sent her! I got paired up with a non-blogger, Mandy, who sent me goodies from Louisiana.

Mandy sent me a little card with the package describing what was included. She sent two mini pumpkin nutella loaves, coffee from Cafe du Monde with chicory and an alligator shaped cookie cutter. She says, “Since I moved here last fall, I’ve been hoping to happen upon a gator (while in my car of course) but it has yet to happen.”  Thanks again, Mandy!

I’ll have to make some cookies soon because I now have an alligator shaped cookie cutter and a camel shaped cookie cutter. What type of cookies do you think I should bake? Maybe these funfetti cookies?

I also now want to make coffee ice cream and try making coffee bacon. Funny, I sent coffee in my package as well, thinking about all of the things you can bake with coffee. Just in case, like me, they don’t drink coffee. Now to find a way to brew coffee without a coffee maker…anyone know how? Or just find recipes that use the coffee beans/grounds. If you have any recipes you’d like to share, post them (or a link to them) in the comments!

Looking forward to using the goodies from this month and receiving new ones next month! Check back to find out what I get in June!

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I get a lot of inspiration to write this blog and make recipes from the cookbooks I read, the other blogs, and food related articles that I find online. I also want to have a weekly feature on my blog and I think this is the best way to do that. If you know this blog, you know I tried doing it before, with just links to articles, but I am older, more mature, and beyond just writing lists of article links, and onto writing more about what I am reading. (If you do a search on “links” you will find a long archive of posts like the ones I mentioned)

To start things off, I would like to tell you about some of the cookbooks I am reading that have been inspiring me lately.

  1. Baking; by James Peterson. I have mentioned this before and have shared the things I have made with this book. It is a great book full of basics and could even be used as a guide to teach yourself how to bake.
  2. Ratio; by Michael Ruhlman.I believe there is also an app for the iPhone that is related to this book. This book is a great tool to learn the basic ratios of everything including cookie dough, pie/tart dough, stocks, bread, pasta dough, and everything in-between. A great way to learn how to create your own recipes.

    Cover of

    Cover via Amazon

  3. Ruhlman’s Twenty; by Michael Rulhman. Yes, the same chef as Ratio. This is also a great tool to learn the basics of cooking and baking. It goes through twenty techniques/ingredients that are required to make just about anything you want to in the kitchen. It builds upon itself, and yes, “thinking” is chapter one, but you need to think about what you are making before you make it and add ingredients to the mix. Trust me, it makes perfect sense once you get into the rest of the book.
  4. Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts: Quicker Smarter Recipes; by Alice Medrich. A wonderfully smart women and beautiful and sweet. I met her at the book signing (after the bake sale) where I bought her latest book (the one I speak of) and she is simply delightful. This book is about keeping it simple. Whether you are the cook who is scared to bake, or the baker with no time to make a pie for tonight’s party, this book is for you. One bowl is all you need for most of the recipes in this book. Totally approachable from all angles.
  5. The Joy the Baker Cookbook; by Joy Wilson. This is one of my favorites. Both in blog form and in cookbook writing, Joy brings you her witty self and her greatest baked goods. She also hosts this super awesome podcast. Coffee bacon for breakfast. Carrot cake pancakes for lunch. You heard me. What?! There’s carrots in there! It’s healthy!

Those are the (top) five cookbooks I am reading/using recipes from/getting inspired by. For now. What are your favorite cookbooks right now? Let me know what you are reading in the comments!

Photo Friday!

This month, I am participating in the Photo A Day May from Fat Mum Slim. These are the photos from week four:

19. A favorite place. This is one of my favorite delis in San Francisco. It was the first deli I ate at here that really reminded me of an East Coast (Jewish) deli. My other favorite in SF is Wise Sons.

20. Something I Can’t Live Without. Babkah. More specifically, chocolate babkah. But really, I can’t live without dessert. Whether it is a cookie, slice of pie, ice cream, or a piece of chocolate, I need to have dessert everyday. Also, I wouldn’t have a career if it were not for dessert.

21. Where you stand. On the corner of 34th Ave. in San Francisco. This is not just where I stood when I took this picture, but where I currently live.

22. Pink. The ribbon and flowers from the Mother’s Day present my sister sent over here.

23. Technology. My keyboard on my MacBook. It is rare that I see someone with a computer that is not a Mac, or a phone that is not an iPhone. (of course, I do fall into the latter category)

24. Something new. These shorts are the newest addition to my wardrobe. They are lavender and I love them! I never even thought I would own a pair of shorts while living in SF, but these summer days have been warm so far, and they look great with a pair of tights, so it works in the cooler weather as well.

25. Unusual. I am cheating again with this one. The solar eclipse that happened earlier this week was certainly unusual, and while I didn’t take any pictures myself, I saw a lot of cool pictures of it and really like this one. (Picture taken from BigSurKate)

Only one more week left. I feel like I did okay with taking the pictures every day, but mostly this project made me take more pictures of life overall in this month and really pay attention to things in a different way. It was my way of posting regularly on this site and I am sad that I did not post much besides these, but I am inspired to keep posting photos on Fridays, and more regular (weekly) posts. I know I have said this before, but I have a plan in mind, and I will act on it in the coming weeks.