Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Book Trailer:

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions. A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

Fun read! This is a combination autobiography, cookbook, and comic book all rolled into one fun package. Lucy Knisley brings to life her life through her own colorful illustrations. Reading through the book made me realize how fortunate Knisley was to simply grow up in the family she did, divorce or not. As she states, "I feel incredibly lucky that the work my family has done has given me so many good things to eat and cook and experience."

Recipes (completely illustrated) include Spiced Tea (chai tea), The Dent Family Patented Marinated Lamb (with garlic, soy sauce, rosemary, white wine and honey), Mom's Pesto (would make a great kitchen poster), The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Carbonara, Summer Pickles, Huevos Rancheros ("great morning-after meal"), and Shepard (Fairey) Pie. Her 'The Way Mom Makes Mushrooms' recipe is a mixture recipe and great tips for cooking them. The Sushi Rolls recipe shows a pretty good illustrated step-by-step of how to make rolls successfully. The cheese section was fun to read, as was 'Making Croissants is Hard...Sangria Instead?'

Knisley relates key moments in her life with the food that was around her at the time. Her travels around the world show the humorous side of traveling with family, and also how different everything is while still having so much in common.

There are numerous funny stories inside, like her classmate's famous worst meal and her 'coming of age' family trip to Mexico, as well as good cooking tips throughout - her Four Neat-o Tricks to Remember When You Cook should be plastered on the front of your notes for the next dinner party. I especially enjoyed her photo album at the end showing in color snapshots how much food, kitchen culture, and her mom influenced her to this day. This book makes for a quick read as her stories are hard to put down once you start and the comic book style illustrations make it easy to digest.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This eARC was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Jacques Pepin's New Cookbook: New Complete Techniqes

New Complete Techniques by Jacques PepinThis book is an updated version of Pepin's classics - La Technique and La M├ęthode. And the 2012 book will be an instant classic as well. Just like all of Pepin's books, you'll get basic techniques for all the classics. This version has colored pictures as well.

Read the full review and see the current cookbook of the week.

PUSH Print: 30+ Artists Explore the Boundries of Printmaking

Another gorgeous edition from the Lark Books imprint of Sterling Publishing, PUSH Print is a collection of various printed media created by contemporary artists. 31 different artists or teams are represented and works include etchings, lithography, letterpress, and art incorporating digital technology.

Similar to other PUSH books, such as PUSH Stitchery and PUSH Paper,
this is an idea and inspiration book for any artist. I liked the overall theme for this one, using technology for multi-dimensional works and mixing different items such as giclee prints, silk screening, and relief work.

The book is curated by a two-brother team, Jamie Berger and Keith Berger, of the Cranky Pressman, a letterpresss printing operation. All the PUSH series books include a Q&A of the artists of showcased works, and questions and prompts include: Describe your work; What do you enjoy most about printmaking?; How has your technique developed?; and Walk me through a day in your studio. A curious question posed was 'What responses do you get to your work?' If you think they all get praise, reading the answer from Cannonball Press's art will surprise you. Their answers were: "Why in God's name did you make that?" and "I don't get it." They specialize in black-and-white woodcut prints.

One thing you will get with this book is a mighty collection of mixed media prints that will give you endless inspiration. The art is new, edgy, soft, warm, old fashioned, and even political. You'll get a little bit of everything.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Vegan Eats World: Over 250 Vegan Recipes for Savoring the Planet (Ethnic Cuisine Vegan-Style)

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero

When I heard Vegan Eats World was coming out, I got excited. Namely because of the author, Terry Hope Romero. She always finds a way to turn vegan food into something delicious, gorgeous, and with my personal favorite Vegan Pie in the Sky which she co-authored, creates vegan desserts that cook up perfectly.

Read the full review and try the Harissa Carrot Salad, too.