Archive for ‘Cookbooks’

November 17th, 2014

Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini

by Gwen


Book space is a major issue in my house and to live without towers of them around me I have to be really brutal about what stays, gets donated, or as part of a specific collection, gets shoved in boxes under my bed. Say hello to the not-so-mini-library of books on Frank Lloyd Wright and the Arts & Crafts movement that, most likely, are holding up my bed right at this very moment.

Anywho, there are three shelves of visible books and a good portion of those are to-be-read with the remaining space for favorites and reference.  It isn’t often that a book falls into that last category because competition is T-O-U-G-H, tough. Modern Pioneering has made the cut.

Growing up in the city with parents that worked their rear ends off had it’s trade-offs and one of those was a lot of my food came out of a box from the freezer, was nuked in the microwave, and slithered onto my plate. Not only that, but we had a gardener, a pool guy, a dry cleaners that delivered, etc. Are you picking up what I am throwing down? There was zero home ec going on in my house. It was so bad that my first laundry load in college all came out blue due to not knowing to separate colors and especially new colors.

As the years have flown by I have learned so much and would have killed for the plethora of books that are out there now like Modern Pioneering. The whole make from scratch and consciousness about where food comes from is something that we lost for a few decades and color me thrilled. This one is a keeper for a few reasons.

There are things in Modern Pioneering that can attract all pioneering skill sets. It’s great for a beginner and the pro will find some new-to-them skills as well.  Kefir, is finally explained in words that don’t sound like something only a crazy health nut would use, priceless. From more space efficient gardening to (gosh I cringe at this word) foraging, then making a birdhouse out of a gourd to how to season a cast iron pan-there is so much packed into 293 actually readable pages.

Foraging to this city girl brings up negative pictures of dumpster diving and those um, freaky people that do it for fun. I might use wildcrafting or creativity in it’s place. It isn’t the wrong word, just has negative connotations for me personally.

Oh, and the photos? Fuhgetaboutit, you’re covered though you might want to bring something to wipe the drool. There are step-by-step directions and tutorials that will make you a pro in no time.

In general, it is a such a great book to grab at first blush that it earned one of the coveted slots on the shelf, even with the use of the word forage.  It fits right in between the 52 Weeks cookbook and The Healing Remedies Sourcebook, which are my go-to books for other similar but not the same reference titles.  Stop judging me for also saving The Resurectionist by Hudspeth, it’s all a part of my evil plan. It will happen with Kefir and cool illustrations of animals that don’t exist. 


Much Like Gwen's Signature

I think this one was from the publisher, it seems to have moved in and made a home for itself and that is a good sign. Not all books get along with each other. 


October 24th, 2010

The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy

by Gwen




When you think of pasta, how many shapes can you name? Maybe a handful? There are over 300 shapes and they all have their uses and back stories. I can barely count that high, but I can eat and am passable at cooking.

Call The Geometry of Pasta a cookbook for the hungry graphic artist in you. There aren’t any pictures of the prepared dishes, just fabulous graphics of each individual type of pasta. Check this one out.


The Geometry of Pasta - AGNOLOTTI

AGNOLOTTI are, in essence, ravioli, but instead of being made from two squares of pasta, they are made from one piece folded in half.

After each description, there are suggested sauces, the history of the shape and dimensions along with a recipe for a sauce or two. (For Agnolotti, Kenedy suggests butter and sage, in broto, stew juice, and tomato sauce.)

I can see what you are thinking, without pictures this sounds boring and unappetizing. Au contraire my hungry friend. The ingredients jump of the page leaving your mouth watering.

The first one I tried was the Walnut Pesto. It was so good that I have made it multiple times and still haven’t managed to be able to take my own picture of it before it is gone.


Stole this shot from Country Living, but it looks just like this

My kitchen is the size of a shoebox. Therefore I am pretty stingy when it comes to giving up space for cookbooks, but this baby has a place of pride right along with Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking. It even inspired me to take up a bit more space and buy a pasta roller thing to make my own.

The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy


  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree, Limited (May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752227378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752227375signature_thumb[1]