Thursday, September 06, 2012

Free eBook: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket By: Edgar Allan Poe

In celebration of the Map of Time's sequel, The Map of the Sky: A Novel by Felix J Palma this month, Atria Books is offering free eBooks of the books that inspired the novels.
Edgar Allan Poe
 Edgar Allan Poe

Visit their website (it's very clunky, you will have to search and then sign up to "purchase" the books. You will get a link via email) to receive a free digital copy of The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket By: H.G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Healthy Eats: Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce

This past weekend I moved in with my boyfriend of over a year. We're both food enthusiasts and in the time we've been dating we invented a game called Broke-A$$ Chopped. As fans of the Food Network's Chopped, our own iteration came about from my skills in the kitchen and his previously unstocked, sad (read: Frat House-ish) pantry. I had fun devising up good foods with meager accouterments and a lack of (proper) pots and pans but those days are NOW over.

My Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce
We have begun a health kick together and in spite of the hectic Labor Day weekend move, I managed to cook on Saturday. Inspired by Pinterest too, I want to share this Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce recipe that I put together with you.

I've taken to cleaning, seasoning and bagging my meats right after I get back from the market. I usually then freeze them and they taste so amazing after they have had time to absorb and the flavors of the rubs/marinades. I usually do different batches so we can have some variety.

Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce

Chicken

For this healthy recipe for two, I used 3-4 pieces of organic chicken cutlets, which I seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash's lemon pepper, 1 teaspoon of white wine and 1 of olive oil, half a packet of Sazon, a dusting of Goya Adobo Light and garlic powder.

After seasoning, I froze the cutlets in a Ziploc and then defrosted them in the refrigerator when I was ready to cook them on Saturday. I simply seared them in a non-stick frying pan, misted lightly with canola oil and once golden, I covered them and lowered the flame to continue the slow cook until the chicken was cooked thoroughly. I usually just peek inside the thickest cut of the meat with a fork every 5-10 minutes until the chicken is completely white, keep watch, because you don't want dry chicken or pink, raw, inedible chicken.

Noodles

If you've aren't familiar with Soba Noodles, they hail from Japan and can be eaten cold or hot. They are made with  buckwheat (most brands are Gluten-free but please read the label) and have almost less than half the calories and carbs of white flour pasta. I found some in my local dollar store and stocked up.

They were very easy to cook. I just added them to boiling hot water, stirred and removed after three minutes. I went online to look for an easy peanut butter sauce to make because the last time I attempted to make this sauce, the recipe I used had a bazillion Asian ingredients that I had to go out and buy and the sauce still didn't taste authentic.

Sauce

This is the Peanut Butter Sauce recipe I found that I slightly altered:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbs cider or rice vinegar, or fresh lime juice
4 tsps sugar 
Optional: 2 tsp red pepper flakes
              1 tbs finely grated/minced ginger

I added 2 tabls of red balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Siracha, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, skipped the pepper flakes, and warmed this sauce over the stove with a piece of fresh ginger, which I removed once the sauce was completely melted/mixed together. It was really easy to make and tasted like the real thing.

Update: I also added some 1 chopped clove of garlic.

I let the sauce cool down and mixed it in with the noodles. They weren't exactly beautiful - I messed them up on the first try. In fact, they looked a little bit like brown mush (his puddy ugly brown plates didn't help - ergo, we're donating those) but once served with the chicken, which I butterflied for faster cooking (look at that perfect heart shape), the whole dish was scrumptious and the perfect meal for ravenous and exhausted movers & shakers.

This was His portion so it's a bigger ration. (Yes, I gave him my heart.)

My Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce
My recommendations: Use low sodium, fresh, organic ingredients when you can otherwise this dish will be really, really salty, don't overcook the noodles or they will turn to mush. For color, top off with chopped scallions or chives. This flavorful dish can be served hot or cold paired with a sweet/dry white wine.

Monday, September 03, 2012

New Book: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla

I can remember a conversation I had a few years back with my then mentor, Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, about cookbooks. I had expressed my concerns that the web was changing consumers' needs for buying cookbooks since it was so easy to just get them online. I remember him furrowing his brow and internally cringing at the thought that that perhaps I had been too frank. I don't think publishers need to be worried anymore though.

Lately, however, I've noticed a trend toward the objectification of things and especially vintage items, like books and vinyl. I think cookbooks, especially the most eye pleasing will fall into this category and they will always have a place on a shelf or a coffee table.

During my early twenties, I collected cookbooks, which I dreamed I would one day display in my kitchen, in the home of my future. When I came across Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla, I felt that old knee jerk shopaholic/collector pull: have-to-have-it!

I think you might feel this way too...

How to cook everything Latin American. 

W. W. Norton & Company (October 1, 2012)
Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In one volume it gives home cooks, armchair travelers, and curious chefs the first comprehensive collection of recipes from this region. 


An inquisitive historian and a successful restaurateur, Maricel E. Presilla has spent more than thirty years visiting each country personally. She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake


Detailed equipment notes, drink and serving suggestions, and color photographs of finished dishes are also included. This is a one-of-a-kind cookbook to be savored and read as much for the writing and information as for its introduction to heretofore unrevealed recipes. Two-color; 32 pages of color photographs; 75 line drawings.


Maricel E. Presilla is the co-owner of Zafra and Cucharamama, two Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and lives in Weehawken, New Jersey.




Friday, August 31, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

I'm moving out of town this weekend so this will be a short one. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

- Good News: Some of my photography will used in a documentary currently in production: Mayan Predictions, Myth or Reality by Tom Martens. To learn more about the project visit Mayan

- What Kind of Book Reader Are You? Diagnose yourself here

- Don’t think social will go away via Forbes

- Don't do it: The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy via NY Times

- I discovered The Vanishers By Heidi Julavits on the Oprah.com website and devoured it this weekend. It was a fascinating mix of time travel, supernatural and feminist discourse that kept me enraptured in spite of all the packing I needed to do - not that I was procrastinating or anything.

- Cool infographic: The DNA of a successful book via mashable

- 5 Ideas That Will Change the World by 2025 - things to think about 

- Oldie but goodie: 47 Mind-Blowing Psychological Facts You Should Know About Yourself here

- Take a trip back in time to old Puerto Rico: Visit the ARCHIVO HISTORICO Y FOTOGRAFICO DE PUERTO RICO's photostream

- Places where it's okay to be an atheist: run away, run away
- Get ready for autumn: Asopao de Camarones recipe 

and remember:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. [universe] Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 
― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"



Monday, August 27, 2012

New Book: The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo By F. G. Haghenbeck

In The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel by F. G. Haghenbeck, he keeps her alive, if only in our fancy.

One of Mexico’s most celebrated new novelists, F. G. Haghenbeck offers a beautifully written reimagining of Frida Kahlo’s fascinating life and loves.


Portrait of Diego Rivera and Malu Block and Fr...
Portrait of Frida Kahlo de Rivera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More than half a century after her death, Frida Kahlo continues to inspire a devoted following. Her paintings command more money than any other female artist, and her work was the first by a Mexican artist to be purchased by the Louvre. Now her fascinating life is the basis for a brilliant novel in Frida Kahlo’s Secret Book.


 Acclaimed Mexican novelist F. G. Haghenbeck was inspired to write this book after a series of notebooks and sketchbooks were recently discovered among Frida’s belongings in Casa Azul, her home in CoyoacÁn, MÉxico City. Although her family never confirmed their authenticity, Haghenbeck imagines that one of the notebooks was a gift from her lover Tina Modotti after Frida nearly died. Frida called the notebook “El Libro de Hierba Santa” (“The Sacred Herbs Book”) and filled it with memories, ideas, and recipes for The Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday that commemorates deceased friends and family through the cooking of a delicious feast of exotic dishes.


English: Statues of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rive...
Statues of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in the courtyard of the Casa de Cultura Jesus Reyes Heroles in Coyoacan, Mexico City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 In a rich, luscious style bordering on magical realism, Haghenbeck takes readers on an intriguing ride through Frida’s life, including her long and tumultuous relationship with her lover Diego Rivera, the development of her artistic vision, her complex personality, her lust for life, and her existential feminism. The book also includes stories about the remarkable people who were a part of her life, including Georgia O'Keeffe (with whom she had an affair), Trotsky, Nelson Rockefeller, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Henry Miller, and DalÍ.


F. G. Haghenbeck, a native of Mexico, is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novel Frida Kahlo’s Secret Book has been translated into ten languages. He lives in TehuacÁn, Mexico.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

.. and then there was a delightful surprise!
..(Photo: honor the gift)
- A list of 10 highly anticipated movies this season are based on books, from classics like 'Anna Karenina' to the final 'Twilight' installment via USA Today

- What is the future of storytelling? Immersion, interactivity, integration and impact via The Next Web

 - I'm so honored to be have made this list of the Global Top 100 Social Media Agencies & Consultants 2012-13 via SparkAh

- Know your audience: Millennials Buy More Books Than Everybody Else via Good.is

- 20 Social Media Touch Points You May Be Missing via Snapshot Social Media

- 2012 List of the the most sought after out-of-print books in America via Bookfinder

- Take it to the outside: The 6 Best Street Art Sites for Creative Inspiration via My Life Scoop

 - Why P&G Should Win an Olympic Gold Medal for Marketing - The three things that P&G did that made their ads standout.

- Junot Díaz’ on a few things he’d like to tell his swaggering teenage self via NY Mag

- 50 Best Books: Fall 2012's Must-Reads via HuffPo

Friday Five: How To...

How To Sell Books With Social Media via The Creative Penn

How To Read a Book a Week via Julien Smith

How to write a bad review via Salon

How to Deal with a Vicious Review of Your Book via The Awl

How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read via BrainPickings

Trailer for a animated film based on the Selkies, mythical women who can take on the form of seals, were at one point pretty much my entire conception of “Ireland,” probably a weird thing for a kid with 50% Irish-born great-grand parents. The selkie story generally begins when a fisherman falls in love with one and steals the magical seal skin that allows her to change shape, and then marries her. It generally ends when she finds where he’s hidden the seal skin and escapes back to the sea, leaving him to raise their children alone.


Song Of The Sea - Conceptual Trailer from Cartoon Saloon on Vimeo.
 
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