Category Archives: Reviews

Girl Hunter

Girl Hunter : Reconnecting with Our Food

It was unusual in the city to see a whole pig roasting on a spit. It was summer and, sitting in the passenger seat, driving along Broadway with my Mum, I saw a whole pig being roasted right on the sidewalk in front of a pub. I craned my head back frantically, not sure about what I’d just seen. I told everyone I knew about it, all equally astonished as I. When I told my grandmother in Fiji about this odd sight she said, “It’s the way of life.”

I’ve been contemplating that memory and, in particular, thinking of my grandmother’s words since reading Georgia Pellegrini’s new book, Girl Hunter. There is a moment in the book in which Georgia visits Yellowstone National Park and realizes the sad irony of people observing nature from their cars and behind fences; cameras ready for action. She questions if nature has become “the last great zoo”, living off the land simply a romantic notion but unrealistic.

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The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell

Whether you are gluten-free by necessity or choice, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell is a cookbook that is only sure to delight. It’s a gorgeous new cookbook that’s filled with recipes or alternatives for several Asian dishes and staples, including sauces that usually have wheat hidden in them. I was fortunate to receive an early (review) copy of this cookbook, which is available right now for pre-sale and will be officially released August 22nd.

While much of Asian cuisine is based on rice products, there’s also a good deal of Asian food that is wheat-based including dumplings, such as pot stickers, or gluten hidden in sauces that are integral to make a particular dish such as teriyaki or even something as basic as soy sauce. (Although there is gluten-free soy sauce available, you generally have to request it if you’re eating out.)

Until I read the author’s story – she discovered she was gluten intolerant, experiencing symptoms after the birth of her second child – I simply thought that gluten-free Asian cooking involved using gluten-free soy sauce. Knowing that a lot of Asian foods use rice and rice products perhaps led to this belief, as gluten intolerance and celiac disease seems to be more common in the West as we’re surrounded constantly by gluten-based products. (In fact, celiac disease has been called a Western epidemic in India.)

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I made three recipes from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Gingery Pork Pot Stickers, Spring Vegetables Fried Rice, and Lychee Sorbet. All were delicious results; one described as dangerously so by my family. (Honestly, we couldn’t stop eating them!) While some cookbooks have recipes that are only made once, the recipes that I tried are going to be made again and again.

Click after the jump to read my thoughts on these dishes and more info, including a chance to win a copy!

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Celebrating Julia Child with My Life in France

Today is Julia Child’s birthday; she would have been ninety-nine years old. This year also marks the fiftieth anniversary of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Julia Child taught people so much through her cookbooks and television shows; she constantly inspired. I bought her autobiography My Life in France about two years ago and I loved reading it as well as looking at her artist husband Paul’s photographs, which greatly adds to the reading experience and charm (especially their own holiday cards and that were depicted in Julie and Julia).

My Life in France covers the period from when Julia first went to Paris, France, tagging along with her husband who had been offered a job to run the Visual Presentation Department for the United States Information Service (USIS) in Paris. Determined to be a better cook – years later, Paul would tell an interview that “Her first attempts were not altogether successful”; growing up, she had had “zero interest in the stove” and was not encouraged to cook – she enrolled herself at Le Cordon Bleu and the rest is considered history.

Click after the jump for more images and info.

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