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Indigenous Delights

New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian by Chef Freddie Botsoie & James O. Fraioli (Abrams Books)

My Favorite parts of this book are the second to none ingredients and beating hearts of all the recipes.

~Kelly Fredericks-Dear Mr. Hemingway

November 30, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? How perfect is it that I am sharing my latest cookbook obsession, New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian by Chef Freddie Botsoie & James O. Fraioli? This cookbook gives new meaning to “farm to table”. It is overflowing with recipes that come from ancestral traditions from Indigenous people all over North America. The food is simple, stunning to look at, and highlights the unique ingredients used from all the different regions. Let’s take a peek.

North America is not, and has never been, a monolith. Just like Europe, it’s an expansive continent that’s incredibly diverse in terms of language, geography, culture, and more. But European countries like France and Spain are praised for their food traditions, which are taught in elite culinary schools; Indigenous cuisines, with similarly sourced ingredients and finessed preparations, unfortunately don’t get the same attention. My aim is to change that.

-Chef Freddie Bitsoie

Cheyenne Beef and Sage, Three Sisters Bean Stew, Baked Farmer Gourds, Sauteed Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Cedar Plank Sockeye Salmon.  Are you drooling yet?  These and so many more incredible recipes fill the pages of this delectable treat.  My favorite parts of this book are the second to none ingredients and beating hearts of all the mouth-watering recipes. I had a winning moment in the kitchen with the Braised Chicken with Sage and Chokecherry Sauce.  Succulent chicken that pretty much fell off the bone filled my Le Creuset pot.  Full disclosure…I could not get my hands on chokecherries, so I used fresh cranberries instead.  Five out of five devoured this dish so no complaints on my end.  

Even though there are variations in Indigenous cuisines, the focus remains the same. Food is meant to be shared and celebrated with those around you. I feel blessed to have this cookbook on my permanent shelf. Recipes rooted in tradition and deep history always have a special place in my heart.  Yes, food fuels our bodies, but it also nourishes our souls and relationships in the most profound ways.  New Native Kitchen is not only a culinary experience but a lesson in Indigenous culture. From soups to stews, to vegetables and desserts, Chef Bitsoie has got you covered!

Happy Cooking Everyone!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Freddie Bitsoie is the former executive chef at Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and James O. Fraioli is a James Beard Award-winning author.  Not Too Shabby!

Click on this work of art to purchase!

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY. 

Party Hearty

Arty Parties: An Entertaining Cookbook by Julia Sherman (Abrams Books)

November 12, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Hello again! I am back today talking about ANOTHER fabulous cookbook. Perfect timing for the holidays. Being the “hostess-with-the mostess” is a hard gig unless you are Martha Stewart. Arty Parties: An Entertaining Cookbook by Julia Sherman takes this role to a whole new level, one that makes a lot of sense to me. Instead of focussing on the finished product in the kitchen, let’s enjoy the process and the company that comes along with it. Creative messes in the kitchen are my kind of messes. Let’s take a look.

“My mother, a visual artist who raised me in her studio, gave me a mantra: Getting dirty is part of the fun. It stuck with me. Indeed, entertaining requires more effort and more cleanup than eating out ever will. But this is the calculation, as I see it: You can spend fifty dollars on a restaurant meal that you will surely forget; or you can spend less to eat at home, where the food is both sustenance and entertainment.”

Arty Parties is more than just a cookbook filled with delectable recipes. It is a culinary journey that explores the artistic side of cooking, eating, and entertaining. Sherman’s book is drool-worthy between the recipes and the stunning photography. Avacado With Furikake, Squash Blossom & Egg, Parmesan Broth, and Boozy Cherries (Cocktails anyone?) are just a few mouth-watering temptations yours for the taking in her latest creation. Sherman shares ideas for Winter Taco Night (Slow Braised Leg of Lamb Tacos 😋), Make Your Own Dumpling Night, Soup Kitchen Soups ( I made the Carrot Fennel Seed Soup), Girls Night, Office Parties, and so much more. She introduces you to some pretty creative and inspiring people along the way too. Arty Parties is a cookbook to sit with for a while. It’s a pour yourself a glass of wine, sit by the fire, and read from cover to cover kind of book. The recipes are healthy, use common ingredients (and a few fun ones too) and focus on getting messy in the kitchen. I will be working through this work of art through the holidays, creating and making lifelong memories with my friends and family.

Arty Parties: An Entertaining Cookbook by Julia Sherman is an absolute must for all the foodies out there. It will always have a permanent spot on my bookshelf, but it also will reside on my coffee table for all to enjoy while visiting me. This is the PERFECT cookbook to gift this holiday season!

Happy cooking and creating!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. If this book sounds up your alley, be sure to check out Sherman’s previous book, Salad For President! She takes the salad to a whole new level 🤗!

Click on the fabulous book pic to purchace from your local Indie Bookstore!

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY. 

Take Me Out To My Kitchen

Peace, Love, and Pasta:  Simple and Elegant Recipes From a Chef’s Home Kitchen by Scott Conant (Abrams Books) Rosemary Lentils page 154


November 2, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I am back again talking about my love of cooking and COOKBOOKS!  I firmly believe that one can NEVER have too many of them in their kitchen.  Because of this, I am sharing yet again, another culinary gem to add to your shelf.  Peace, Love, and Pasta:  Simple and Elegant Recipes From a Chef’s Home Kitchen by Scott Conant has everything you need to make a simple and elegant breakfast, lunch, dinner, or sweet treat.  Let’s take a look at this delicious creation. 

What I love about Conant’s new cookbook is that it covers everything I love and need in my cooking life. Don’t let the title fool you though.  When I first saw the cover of this book I assumed it would be overflowing with only pasta recipes.   I was pleasantly surprised when I open the gorgeous cover and read through the table of contents.  Yes, pasta was definitely on the menu, but so were soups, salads, legumes, veggies, breakfast, and then some.  Conant’s recipes have an incredible Italian flair and he even gives a nod to his in-laws with a chapter on Turkish cooking.  

“What wasn’t foreign to me-and where I immediately felt at home-was the table.  Whether sitting down for a Turkish breakfast with her family or walking through towns like Ortakent, getting fresh seafood from the kiosks, and eating it on the beach together, the connection between food and family resonated with me, and ultimately inspired me, after years of trying to make a statement in Italian cooking, to try to learn a new language, so to speak.”

Each section of his book is composed of simple recipes using fresh ingredients with stunning photos of the finished product.  Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Pasta Pomodoro, Braised Short Ribs, and Chocolate Souffle are just a few of my favorites.  Another stand out for me was the Rosemary Lentils, which came together lickety-split. Lentils, olive oil, shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, San Marzanos pureed tomatoes and fresh rosemary (that’s still growing in my Maine garden) are all you need to make the ultimate comfort dish.  I found these lentils had a similar consistency to a bolognese sauce.  They were great over a salad for lunch and with pasta for supper.  Whatever you do, do not forget the crusty bread.  It is an absolute must.  

Peace, Love, and Pasta:  Simple and Elegant Recipes From a Chef’s Home Kitchen is what I call a one-stop-shopping cookbook.  This is the type of book that I like to pack when going on a vacation where I know we will be doing a ton of cooking because it truly has everything.  It is a new staple on my bookshelf that I keep turning to in time of need…which is always in my house. With that said, the holidays are right around the corner.  If you are looking for something yummy to gift a friend or loved one…here you go! Enjoy!

Bon Apetit my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  Becoming a chef was Conant’s backup plan.  After his baseball career didn’t go as expected, Conant looked into becoming a plumber, chef, or hairdresser.  I am so psyched he went with option two.  However, I wonder how he would do with my hair😂.

Click on the book pic to purchase!

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY. 

The Golden Baker’s Cap

Nailed It!: A Family Cookbook by The Creators of The NETFLIX show, Nailed It! With Heather Maclean & Introduction by Jacques Torres (Abrams Books 2021)

October 15, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

As you know, I adore cooking and creating yummy concoctions in the kitchen with my family. I believe that more memories are made in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house.   I will tell you that the weeknight dinner grind does zero for me. However, while I despise fast cooking and rushed meals, I live for Sunday dinners, holiday meals, and creative baking, especially if my family is involved.  My son and I just had a wonderful night cooking something from the new cookbook, Nailed It!: A Family Cookbook by The Creators of The NETFLIX show.   Let’s take a look at why this book is a must-have addition to your cookbook shelves.

Have you seen NETFLIX’s show Nailed It!?  It is wicked cute and perfect for the whole family to watch.  The show is co-hosted by world-renowned pastry chef Jacques Torres (Mr. Chocolate) and comic Nicole Byer.  Three contestants come on each week and re-create a variety of edible masterpieces for a chance to win the golden baker’s cap and $10,000.  How fun is that?  This show is beyond entertaining with its less than skillful competitors.  We are currently watching season six and enjoying all of the kitchen mishaps and disasters. 

“At its core, Nailed It! is about the joy of the process. Because let’s be honest, doing anything with tons of butter and sugar and sprinkles is a good time. And whether you build a wedding cake worthy of Sylvia Weinstock or the Leaning Tower of Pastry, because of all that butter and sugar and sprinkles, the end result is going to taste amazing.”

My son and I took on one of the easier items, a double-layer chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream covered with decorative fondant for the win.  We made the cake and icing with ease. The tricky part was working with the fondant.  Fondant is kind of like edible playdoh in my opinion.  It’s very pliable, easy to roll out, and fun to cut decorations out of. The sky’s the limit with this stuff making decorating feel like an art form. It is very tricky to make it look SEAMLESS, but my son did an excellent job if I do say so myself.  Fondant is edible, but I prefer to pull it off my piece and just enjoy what is underneath.  Next up for us is something a bit more challenging…I can’t wait! I believe with all my heart and soul that we would have won the $10,000 for our cake…just saying.

Nailed It! is overflowing with step-by-step baking activities.  From cakes to pies, cookies to donuts, there is no shortage of delectable treats.  This book offers tips and tricks along the way to help perfect your creations. If you have a panic moment…there are little red boxes throughout the book with solutions to the most common dilemmas that will save you. It even has a section on how to host your very own Nailed It! Party and what recipes work best for different ages and party sizes.  And with the holidays right around the corner, there is even a Nailed It! Holiday chapter to get you in the spirit.    

I can not recommend this book enough for some family fun in the kitchen.  Happy baking!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Look what I just found at Walmart. A Nailed It! Alien Cupcake Kit.

Click on the book to purchase!

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY. 

Its Begining to Look a Lot Like Christmas

2021 Christmas With Southern Living:  Inspired Ideas For Holiday Cooking & Decorating (Abrams Books)

October 3, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Ahhhhh, fall is officially in full force here in Maine. Scarecrows are posted, mums are planted, and pumpkin spice lattes are flowing like a river.  I am in absolute heaven.  There is only one thing better than this time of year…CHRISTMAS!!!!!  And guess what?   It’s only a blink away.  I am already planning and plotting my holiday moves with my new book, 2021 Christmas With Southern Living.  I am literally drooling over all of their decorating ideas, holiday menus, and entertaining tips and YOU WILL BE TOO.  Let’s take a look.

I know what you are going to ask.  Do we need another Christmas-themed entertaining book?  My answer is 100% YES.  Yes, we most certainly do.  There will never be enough in my personal opinion and Southern Living’s holiday vibe is totally on point.  Decorating with red and green is officially a thing of the past.  Blue themes, sweet themes, and musical themes are all the rage and it’s time to keep up with the times.  The photos in the book will have you running to the nearest Home Goods for some baubles and candy canes.  Are you onboard?

The decorations may set the tone for the holiday season, but the grandest traditions are made in the kitchen and Southern Living has got you covered.  I have been making homemade cinnamon buns for Christmas morning for years and years and years.  I pound out the dough and prep the filling on Christmas eve and roll out and bake these treasures every Christmas morning.  I will never tire of these sticky treats, but I may have found an alternative to keep things interesting.  Can you say Christmas Morning Orange Rolls???? Swap out the cinnamon and brown sugar for a bit of orange zest, white sugar, and tons of butter and you have yourself a breakfast AMEN!  This citrus surprise was devoured by my three boys and husband and will now be a part of our holiday traditions.  

Christmas Morning Orange Rolls page 157

While Southern Living has breakfast ideas covered for the upcoming holiday season, they also provide menus for a Tasty Friendsgiving, a Cozy Winter Supper, and a Classic Christmas Feast.   Standing Rib Roast, Mulled White Wine, and Lemony Sauteed Broccolini with Garlic anyone???  And let’s not forget incredible side dishes, one-pot wonders, and tasty temptations to make this time of year even more delicious!

Here is the scoop Mr. H…I am obsessed with 2021 Christmas With Southern Living.  I have more sticky notes and dog-eared pages than I can possibly count, but I am going to fit it all in if it kills me and YOU WILL TOO!  As a lover of fantastic food, incredible drinks, and delightful decor, I can say with confidence that this book is an absolute mustPlease do not fear if you are overwhelmed with cooking and entertaining.  Southern Living’s latest book has calendars, planners, and checklists galore to make the holiday season relaxing, delicious, and one of a kind fabulous!  So while you sip your hot apple cider and carve your orange pumpkins, be sure to check out 2021 Christmas With Southern Living.  You will not regret it!

Until next time my friend!


Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Click on the book pic to purchase this holiday treat!

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY. 

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