October 24, 2011

Holiday Tips & Hints

The holidays are fast approaching, it reminds me that there are good hints and tips help ease the stress.  From time to time I come across good hints or tips that I want to share.  I often find they are not only for the holidays, but can be used year round.  I have added the label "Hints and Tips" to make searching easier as I add the tips,  Also, I will have graphic to the left posted. 

October 17, 2011

My Family Table -A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking

John Besh
November 2011
Non-Fiction- Cookbook
ISBN:    9781449407872
Pages 272
List Price: $35

John Besh's book My Family Table -A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking is the perfect book to bring a busy family back to the table for meals. As a home cook you can find a cookbook on almost any type of food, technique, or by almost any chef.  We buy books because we find a recipe that catches our eye, we want to try a new technique or style of cooking, or we are a fan of the celebrity chef gracing the cover.  Then life gets busy and we look for what is fast, easy and the family will eat.  I am guilty of having celebrity chefs gracing the cover of some of my cookbooks, but none of them are books I have enjoyed more than My Family Table and Besh's previous book My New Orleans. 

"Please take my preaching with a grain of (sea) salt as I am a self-proclaimed, or rather a self-confessed, hypocrite who has in many ways prospered from the food/television relationship.  But I openly admit that this contradiction has helped me see the errors of my ways.  At one time, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina had crippled the restaurants of New Orleans, putting suppliers and farmers  and growers of all kinds out of business, I gladly took part in cooking competitions on TV because I believed my appearance could help communicate to people across this country that it was okay, even urgent, to return to New Orleans, to visit or live. ...I also realized that by doing that kind of TV, I might actually be hurting the same local food culture and family involvement I was seeking to protect."
My Family Table is not just page after page of recipes and a few pictures here and there, Besh tells a story with each chapter and eat dish.  He tells stories about his wife, Jenifer; and his boys, Brendan,  Jack, Luke and Andrew; they make you feel like you are part of their family. His passion for his heritage, his community and his family come through on every  page and in every picture.  I cannot wait to to have the actual book in my hands.  The photography, by Maura McEvoy and her daughter Oona, brings you into every moment of the story.  The team of people who brought this book together have created a book that not only will be used in my kitchen, but also placed on my coffee table because it is of its beautiful photographs.  

After reading the chapter Sunday Supper I want to be at John Besh's house on Sundays!  John describes Sunday suppers at the Besh house; it truly is a family affair.  Having his boys involved helps them identify their heritage by what they eat.  Bringing the family back together for meals isn't just gathering around the table and eating, it is actively participating. Participating includes making the meals, having conversations and creating memories.  The recipes in My Family Table are not complicate or time consuming.  They do not include a bunch of specialized ingredients that you spend money on and only use once in a small amount; they are ingredients you might already have in your pantry and you will use in other recipes.  I have tested a variety of the recipes in Besh's new book including the Cauliflower Mac & Cheese, Beef Noodles, Slow-Cooked Beef Chuck Roast, Fried Eggplant Salad, and the Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake.  I look forward to continuing to make recipes from My Family Table for my family and friends.

In addition to recipes, Besh includes tips on staple items to have in your pantry, simple techniques for how to cook an egg, and even how to fillet a fish.  He also list resources for products he uses.

John Besh is a James Beard Award winning chef from southern Louisiana.  He is the owner of six restaurants: August, Luck, Besh Steak, La Provance, and Domenica. He has appeared on shows such as The Next Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters.

LUX Soap

I met life-style expert Ross Sveback on Facebook in 2009.  I have had the opportunity to collaborate with him on a variety of project ideas.  In addition to his dinnerware, Ross recently designed a line of handmade soaps that will be sold on his website www.rosssveback.com and in retailers across the country. 

After meeting with Ross to discuss various packaging ideas, he decided on using a specialty paper that compliments the scent of each of the soaps.  I have been hired by Ross to design labels for the front and back of his packaging.  We then passed the final design to a graphic designer to create the final rounded label.

I have had the opportunity to smell each of the soaps; they are all unique in fragrance, texture and color.  These LUX Soaps would be a perfect gift for a man or a woman.  

In addition to information his LUX Soaps, you will find more information on Ross' line of Faux Bois dinnerware, embroidered kitchen towels, products he recommends and fabulous recipes to help even the novice cook make wonderful meals.  I do warn people- don't go to his website hungry.  My favorite recipe...there are too many to name one favorite.

His soap scents include: 
  • VII - Heavy Whipping Cream, Honey & Oats
  • Bror - Russian Fir, French Green Clay & Poppyseeds
  • Nero - Slippery Elm Bark, Shea Butter, Lavender & Tangerine
  • Jaipur - Cloves, Patchouli & Rhassoul Clay
  • LV - Lemon Verbena, Marigold & Tangerine
  • Blis - Lavender & Shea Butter
  • Magi - Frankincense, Gold, French White Clay & Myrrh
  • Elements - Sea Salt, Eucalyptus & Lemongrass
  • Leo - Citrus, Floral, Gold, Equisite
  • Eros - Patchouli, Sandalwood & Rosehips
  • Hadass - Moonflower, Shea & Gold
  • Terre - Moroccan Clay, Cinnamon, Orange & Peppermint

October 10, 2011

My Family Table

I have been previewing this book.  This week I will begin testing recipes and writing reviews.  I already love this book! Getting the family together for dinner? Recipes in the book will bring everyone to the table. Once again Chef John Besh book contains beautiful photos and personal stories to accompany the recipes that will fill anyone's kitchen table.

The book is due out  November 1st.

Esquire just named it one of the best five new cookbooks www.esquire.com