Review of Recipes to Remember- An Italian Cookbook

Recipes to Remember is an engaging cookbook fueled by family love.  I strongly encourage readers to take the time to recipes-to-rememberread the section near the beginning of the book described as, “My epicurean journey.”  It will help the reader appreciate each recipe preserved by author Barbara Magro.    She is not afraid to invite you to sit at the table while she explains the character arc of her life, how she arrives at the creation of this cookbook.   Her subtitle says, “My epicurean journey to preserve my mother’s Italian cooking from Memory Loss.”  The title quickly grabbed my attention because I could relate to it.  When I step in the kitchen, especially for the holidays it helps me connect with family no matter how far I am and who has passed.  Stirring ingredients stirs up memories.  Sharing the recipes preserves tradition and history.  Magro recognized with beginning stages of her mother’s memory loss would go a huge part of her family’s history.  With a sense of urgency, Magro stepped up to the challenge of saving her family’s culinary legacy. When Magro did this for her family, she tapped into a helping other Italian families conjure up pieces of family memories and I believe it would help any family to be inspired to get in the kitchen with your relatives to understand the importance of culinary family traditions.

The vibrant mostly in color cookbook is filled with 100 classic Italian recipes from antipasti (appetizers) to holiday recipes.  I appreciate that Magro does not opt to merely lump certain dishes into the standard sections.  The holiday dishes are highlighted from Easter to Christmas.  Look forward to finding recipes for antipasto classic, pasta e fagioli, various sauces, polpettone(meatloaf),  sausage stuffing for turkey,  veal parmesan, zeppole, pizza rustica, biscotti de mandoria(almond biscotti) and more.    If you have ever desired to learn more about Italian cooking starting with the cookbook of classics is a great way to start.  Seeing how the holiday recipes are grouped together is an excellent shortcut way to learn about Italian culinary traditions.

Most people do not pick up a cookbook to read a biography; however, this cookbook includes a compelling inspired story of creation. This book has one key ingredient many other cookbooks miss…soul.  It should be a gift to yourself and to put in someone’s culinary library.   A portion of the proceeds from Recipes to Remember benefits the Alzheimer’s Association.

Book Review: Guest of Honor: An Invite to White House Dinner for Booker T. Washington

Washington Post- History is like a photograph. Facts are facts, but how we understand them depends on who’s doing the framing. In her new book, “Guest of Honor,” about the famous White House dinner at which President Theodore Roosevelt hosted African American educator Booker T. Washington, Deborah Davis examines race relations in early 20th-century America through the lives of two of the era’s giants. With some success and one stumble, she depicts a brash, independent president and a former slave who became the most powerful black man of his time. Their dinner on Oct. 16, 1901, she argues, helped change the country.  READ COMPLETE REVIEW

Review of National Geographic’s “Food Journeys of a Lifetime”

Review by blogcritics.org-Reading through the book Food Journeys of a Lifetime brought back memories of my time at home when I would meet with my friends once a week, where we would cook an elaborate dinner featuring a different country, or region of the world. What was to become “around the world” night unfortunately ended when I moved to the other side of the state. I’ve always had a fascination and love for exotic and new tastes from different points around the globe.

Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe is a must have for the world traveler. Keith Bellows, the Editor-In-Chief of National Geographic Traveler’s magazine, says in his introduction, “a meal abroad is more than an intake of calories; it’s an exercise in cultural immersion.” The photography included within the pages is spectacular. Almost every page is filled with images from around the world that make your mouth water. The pictures aren’t always of mouth watering food, some are of places one can only dream about visiting: an underwater restaurant in the Maldives, Irish pubs, floating restaurants in Mauritius, and what can only be described as a “dining experience” in a Parisian train station.   READ MORE