Showing posts with label karen page. Show all posts
Showing posts with label karen page. Show all posts

Dec 6, 2017

"kitchen creativity" + giveaway

Greetings to you, the reader! I hope that all has been well with you and your loved ones; it's been a tumultuous past year, no matter what part of the world you call home, so I wish you all the best.

About Me

In case you are interested, a bit of catch up, in the next few sentences, and then I want to share a very special book with you - that is, if you are even the slightest bit interested in cooking the food you eat.

Current Events

My girls and I are in the middle of the Fall 2017 mid-terms at the community college, and it is intense. My son has been off this semester, having graduated with a bachelor's from UC Berkeley in Spring of 2017 and is awaiting the start of his graduate degree-career in film at USC in the coming spring. My husband is currently working from home (about a year now) and I am pursuing a computer science degree. That's about it - in a nutshell.

Future Events

I'll begin posting more in the coming weeks, as I am testing out a few things in the kitchen. Since going back to school, I just simply do not have the time to spend in the kitchen that I used to; there is just so much that needs to get done!

I preach balance all the time and part of that compromise involved pulling time away from the kitchen. There is family to be with in the midst of all of the chaos and that is more important than how fancy a meal can be. Occasionally, yes, all the time, no.

I *had* been cooking two meals a day (all by myself for the most part), but now, with this plan, the meals are divvied up more evenly among the family members. I thought the plan might be of interest to some folks.

Review - Kitchen Creativity* by Karen Page

As I teased above, if you are interested in cooking the food you eat, I want to share with you Karen Page's new book, Kitchen Creativity. You might remember that I reviewed Karen's last book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, and I absolutely adore it! Happily, I can't recommend her newest book enough.

Very briefly, the book is:

"..Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg's latest book [is] an exploration of the culinary creativity of the world's best chefs, and profiles Chefs Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones of LA's Crossroads alongside award-winning chefs from the world's best restaurants like NYC's Blue Hill, Daniel, and Le Bernardin"

It is about being creative in the kitchen, in both small and significant ways. This is a very simplistic description, but extremely accurate. The best part of the book is that the authors explore all the dimensions and paths to becoming more creative in the kitchen, but they do it in such a way that you can choose how intensely you want to pursue this creativity.

Karen and Andrew break it down, step by step, and give you the tools you need to accomplish the goals you set yourself. You can either learn bits and pieces - such as how to season food or how to pair flavors, or you can follow their plan from Stage 1 (Mastery), to Stage 2 (Alchemy), to Stage 3 (Creativity), on your way to becoming a chef.

The book is divided into two parts, Part I: The Creative Process in the Kitchen and  Part II: A World of Infinite Culinary Possibilities: The Lists. Let's explore these a bit.

Part I: The Creative Process in the Kitchen 

This is the part where you learn how the creative process works and how to implement it. Based on the three stages I mentioned above, you are given the map from novice to expert. Along the way you learn how to master the fundamentals of cooking, how dishes we call classics today, were avant garde yesterday.  You will learn how flavors play well together and what makes a  proper flavor profile. Finally, you will learn how to cook with all your senses and how to create dishes yourself.

Part II: A World of Infinite Culinary Possibilities: The Lists

The second part consists of lists. But the lists aren't just lists; they are recordings of changes the world has seen, with ideas and opportunities to explore them or just delve deeper into a rabbit hole.

Within this part you will find lists of seasonal ingredients, seasonal dishes, mocktails, sensitivities and aversions, trash-to-treasure dishes, holiday dishes, nostalgia foods, salt-baked foods and even super bowl foods!


I fear that I really am not doing justice to how amazing this book is!

*Kitchen Creativity, (although not vegan or vegetarian), is one of those books that contains such important information, that to ignore it because it is not exclusively vegan would be a shame. Note that the book is not animal-centered and while there are featured quotes from non-veg chefs, there are no in-your-face animal ingredients. For example, I searched the list for "chicken" and, while there is "chickpea water", there is no list for the former. Karen is newly vegetarian and you can tell that is so by the content of the book.

How about owning a copy yourself? Karen and Andrew are offering to give a copy to one lucky US resident. The book is a beautiful, hefty, hard cover volume, reminiscent of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

Enter for your chance to win! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jan 16, 2015

"the vegetarian flavor bible" giveaway + karen page

I am very pleased to be a part of Karen Page's blog tour for "The Vegetarian Flavor Bible." I purchased this book based on Robin Robertson's recommendation and couldn't have been happier about its contents! 

The book contains a brief run-down of the history of food with special attention to vegetarian and vegan food, but the bulk of the book is of flavor profiles - which flavors go best together. These are tried and true flavor profiles that will make any cook into a chef!

You simply choose an ingredient, find it in the alphabetical listing and check out what other ingredients are best with it. Then you get in the kitchen and make some magic. Consider the book a road map to successful flavor combinations. 

Karen has offered to write a guest post for Zsu's Vegan Pantry and it really is the best way to show you what this book has to offer. Thank you, Karen, for such an amazing reference book for everyone!

Don't take my word for it, though. Enter to win a copy of your very own. The Rafflecopter giveaway, open to U.S. residents, is right below Karen's blog post. This is a huge, hardcover, full-color volume. Contest ends Monday, January 26. Good luck!

Around the World in 80 Dishes:
A Sampling of Flavors from Restaurants Featuring Plant-Strong Global Cuisines
by Karen Page

When I mentioned to friends who have known me as a lifelong omnivore that I had stopped eating meat and had embraced a plant-strong diet, their reactions often suggested that they felt badly for what I was missing out on.  I honestly feel no sense of deprivation whatsoever.  Instead, I’m thrilled about the new ingredients and flavor affinities I’ve been discovering through a wider range of cuisines than I ever imagined possible.

I’ve enjoyed Ethiopian cuisine since college, but I love it even more now as a fun way
of eating vegan. Because of the culture’s traditional periods of fasting and avoiding
meat, eggs, and dairy, every Ethiopian restaurant I know has a vegan combination option that includes the spongy pancakes called injera, which are used to scoop up bites of various braised legumes, greens, and other vegetables.  I love the all-vegan Bunna Café in Queens (pictured ahove), as well as the vegan combination platter at Injera restaurant in Manhattan.

Ethiopian Flavor Affinities:

berbere + garlic + onions
collard greens + garlic + ginger

Pastas and pizzas have long been vegetarian staples, but restaurants like Brooklyn’s
Paulie Gee’s (pictured, above) and Portland’s Portobello Vegan Trattoria are doing their part to make pizza a vegan staple, too. Paulie Gee’s, which is right around the corner from Kickstarter’s international headquarters is worth getting there right when it opens to avoid the otherwise ever-present lines out the door.

Paulie Gee’s Vegan Pizzas Flavor Affinities:

arugula + lemon juice + nutritional yeast + olive oil
arugula + cashew ricotta + olive oil + pickled red onions
chile + garlic + olive oiil + sea salt + spinach

Enthusiasts of Japanese cuisine welcomed Manhattan’s vegan Michelin-starred restaurant
Kajitsu, which specializes in dinnertime tasting menus showcasing seasonal ingredients
such as matsutake mushrooms (which are as prized in Japanese cuisine as white truffl es are
in Italian). Lunchtime is a great value; a composed tray might feature a main dish of ramen
noodles seasoned with three different kinds of miso, or rice topped with bamboo shoots,
alongside seasonal vegetable accents and perhaps a spring roll or yuba (tofu skin) filled with
seasoned rice. Manhattan’s popular Beyond Sushi (pictured above) creates vegan sushi from ingredients such as “mighty mushrooms” served on a six-grain blend.
Beyond Sushi Flavor Affinities:

barley + black rice + brown rice + pearl barley + red rice + rye berries  (six-grain blend)
cashews + enoki mushrooms + ginger + hot pepper paste + romaine

I’ve been a fan of Manhattan’s oldest Mexican restaurant, El Parador Café, for two
decades of its fifty-five years in business. (How can you not love a restaurant whose motto
is “The answer is yes. What’s your question?”) And I discovered a year or two ago that it
offers vegan salsa upon request (its standard warm salsa is not vegetarian), along with an excellent vegetarian / vegan menu. After two decades of loving one of America’s most renowned Mexican restaurants — Chicago’s Frontera Grill — and later its sister restaurant,
Topolobampo, I was surprised to discover that the latter, too, offers a veg menu. It
blew me away — especially chef Andres Padilla’s extraordinary chayote dish, the best I’ve
ever tasted.

Mexican Flavor Affinities:

acorn squash + chayote + mole verde + pumpkin seeds
avocado + cumin + lime
cilantro + corn + cumin + onions
chocolate + cinnamon + nuts + orange + vanilla

Once you know a few flavor affinities (featured at length in THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE), you can use them to inspire your own experimentation in the kitchen.  Enjoy the journey!

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