Are You Ready to Untangle Your Chopsticks and Get Started on Some Japanese Cooking?

16 12 2010

I wanted to officially announce the start of our next round here at Cook the Books.  I will be hosting this round and have selected Victoria Abbott Riccardi’s book “Untangling my Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto“, about her time in Japan, where she scratched the surface of learning about the art of tea kaiseki.  Kaiseki is the highly stylized cooking that accompanies the Japanese green tea ceremony and there is much to learn about presentation, garnishing, ingredients and the aesthetics of this ethereal cooking style and about traditional and modern Japanese culture in Riccardi’s wonderful book.

Ms. Riccardi has also agreed to serve as our guest judge of our upcoming posts about her book, so I am delighted to announce that as well.  If you have any questions for our esteemed author about her book please either leave a comment below or contact me by email at oldsaratogabooks (at) gmail (dot) com and I will be happy to relay them to her.

In the meantime, please find some time during this hectic holiday and end-of-the-year season to put your feet up and curl up with this great foodie memoir.  Remember, the deadline to post your Cook the Books post is Friday,  January 28, 2011.  We love to have new members come join us.  No registration or anything fancy is required other than buying (you can buy a signed copy of the book at the author’s website) or borrowing a copy of our featured book, and then blogging up your thoughts and culinary inspirations, with a link back to this Cook the Books blog.

Announcing the winner of CTB “Heat”

11 12 2010

Hello everyone,

It is snowing really hard outside my window (Athens, Greece). We went from 20 degrees to -5  in one day and it just feels really strange. It is the prefect weather to read and write though, so no complaints. Anyway, I think the voting went really well and I was glad to see that people really had their favourites. Below are the three posts that got your attention:


Kelly from It’s a Food Life with her basic Tomato sauce

Second  place

Claudia of Honey from Rock with braised short ribs, gremolata and polenta.


Third place

Natashya from Living in the kitchen with puppies with home made orechiette


Congratulations to the girls and thank you all so much for participating. Our next host will be Rachel from  The Crispy Cook who has chosen a really sensational book for us to read, Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojurn in Kyoto by Victoria Abbot Riccardi.

Deadline to read and post your entry for this selection is Friday, January 28th

In the meantime:





Cook the Books “Heat” roundup

6 12 2010

Hello everyone!

First of all thank you for participating in this round of Cook the Books. I was happy to see that you mostly enjoyed the book and you cooked absolutely wonderful dishes. I actually think that this was the most comfort food-oriented CTB I have seen so far. I have to agree with many of you who think that Mario Batali is a bit creepy and that Bil Buford is just not Bourdain, at least not in the way he tells the story of professional cooking/ I think he just doesn’t have the same zest for life and that greatly reflects on his writing. I also wondered throughout the book, how his wife did not divorce him. I mean, if my husband became so obsessed with something and suddenly disappeared from the house every night, left everything to go to Italy and apprentice with a butcher, I would be deeply disturbed.

Anyway, before I start presenting you with all the goodies people made, I need to make a special announcement. You know how every time we have a guest judge, wither the writer or someone worthy enough to do the job. Well, this time will be very different, as the judge will be US! Each one of the participants should email me (jdimopoulos AT foodjunkie DOT eu ) with the three favourite posts and why they liked them. The one which will receive the most votes will be our winner. You can vote for yourself if you want to, but you can’t vote for me, as I am the host.


Ok so here we go:

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