I have to admit, I don’t exactly love salad. I will eat it but don’t be fooled, I’m not a fan of lettuce. To me, it’s just an excuse so I can get to the good stuff: salad dressing (and croutons, cheese, fruit, and nuts). Salad Love: 260 Crunchy, Savory, and Filling Meals You Can Make Every Day by David Bez is an entirely different way of looking at salad. For starters, Bez’s recipes don’t always contain lettuce (or any other green for that matter). And they look amazing, and filling, and are full of lots of different foods I don’t typically associate with salad.
In The Expats by Chris Pavone, Kate Moore is tired of living a double life. Working for the CIA while keeping it a secret from her husband is starting to catch up to her. So when her husband announces he has received a job offer in Luxembourg, Kate jumps at the chance to leave her secret world behind. Everything is fine until her husband starts acted suspiciously and working extra hours. When a mysterious American couple arrives in Luxembourg, Kate finds herself pulled back into a world of secrets and lies.
Homemade Decadence is a new cookbook by Joy Wilson, otherwise known as Joy the Baker. The cover claims this is a cookbook full of, “irresistibly sweet, salty, gooey, sticky, fluffy, creamy, crunchy treats.” I would say that’s exactly what it is, and Homemade Decadence is the perfect title for this collection. These are definitely over-the-top and delicious recipes. I’m a huge fan of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, more-is-more desserts, so this book is perfect for me. The recipes are divided into five categories, and each is better than the last: Brunch (Pear, Dark Chocolate, and Ginger Scones, Blueberry Pancake Muffins with Maple Glaze, Roasted Strawberry and Balsamic Grits), Cookies, Brownies, and Bars (Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies, Peach, Brie, and Dark Chocolate S’mores, Bourbon-Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars), Pies, Crumbles, and Cobblers (Apple Pie with Cheddar-Bacon Crust, Lemon-Buttermilk Pie with Maple-Cranberry Sauce, Brown Sugar-Rosemary Cheesecake with Bourbon-Burnt Caramel Sauce), Layer Cakes, Cupcakes, and Skillet Cakes (Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pretzel Layer Cake, Almond Angel Food Cake with Vanilla-Scented Citrus, Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake), and Ice Cream Social (Salted Dark Chocolate and Orange Ice Cream, Blueberry-Goat Cheese Ice Cream, Mint-Lemonade Sorbet). The recipes are easy to follow and the book is full of beautiful, mouth-watering pictures. This is a fun, decadent cookbook.
When The World Was Young: A Novel by Elizabeth Gaffney is the story of Wally, a young girl growing up during World War II and it’s aftermath. Wally is a feisty girl who loves reading Wonder Woman comic books and studying bugs and whose best friend is the son of the family maid. The book follows the unconventional Wally as she grows up and experiences what the world has to offer her.
Refinery29: Style Stalking is a new street style book by Christene Barberich and Piera Gelardi, the co-founders of the fashion site Refinery29. I have to admit, I’ve heard a lot about Refinery29 over the years, but it’s not a site I frequently read. However, I do love fashion and I get a lot of inspiration from seeing how clothes are styled in real life (ie not in fashion editorials) so I decided to check this book out. In my opinion, for the most part style books can only go one of two ways: they are either painfully obvious (little black dresses never go out of style!) or not practical for everyday life (as great as Harajuku street style is, it’s never going to work for me). I was pleasantly surprised by Refinery29: Style Stalking. The outfits are neither boring nor out of touch. This really is a great guide for how to incorporate runway trends into your everyday wardrobe.
When Gunnar Karl Gislason opened Restaurant Dill in 2009, he wanted to focus on celebrating Iceland’s traditional cuisine, but doing it in a contemporary way, using artisinal producers and only the very best ingredients from around Iceland. North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gislason and Jody Eddy is more than just a cookbook. In addition to Gislason’s recipes, it also has stories about Iceland and interviews with the suppliers of ingredients for Gislason’s Restaurant Dill. The interviews and recipes are divided into sections based on Gislason’s suppliers: The Bacalao Producer (Salted Cod Chips with Pickled Angelica Cream), The Arctic Char Smoker (Parsnips Three Ways with Arctic Char Roe), The Rugbraud Baker (Buttermilk Espuma, Pickled and Charred Cucumbers, and Hay-Smoked Rye Bread Powder), The Fisherman (Tea-Poached Skate, Braised Kale, Shallot Puree, and Skyr), The Seabird Egg Collector (Cauliflower, Seabird Eggs, and Burned Butter), The Barley Farmer (Skyr, Fennel Sorbet, and Roasted Barley), The Dairy Farmer (Custard with Blueberries and Cinnamon Sugar), The Birch and Mushroom Forager (Whey-Glazed Pork Belly, Caramelized Parsnip Puree, and Herb Emulsion), The Sheep Farmer (Smoked Lamb with Skyr and Nutmeg), The Hardfiskur Producer (Tea-Crusted Catfish, Braised Root Vegetables, Barley, and Lovage Oil), The Salt Maker (Sea Salt), The Goat Farmer (Whey Caramel, Buttermilk, and Horseradish), and The Blue Mussel and Dulse Harvester (Seaweed Butter).