Thursday, September 6, 2007

Alie & Lisa's Lunch at America's Test Kitchen

Alie and Lisa had lunch today at the America's Test Kitchen studios where they got a taste (literally!) of the new books being published this fall by the ATC folks, the ones behind Cooks Illustrated magazine and the Best Recipe cookbook series. Normally I would be very jealous, but they brought me back so many goodies that I am grinning like an idiot.

First was a slice of chocolate cake that did, indeed, take the cake. Alie told me there was a secret ingredient--sauerkraut! The recipe came from their new cookbook America's Best Lost Recipes, which I have been looking forward to since they began their Heirloom Recipe Reservation Project through their Cook's Country magazine. (link takes you to a story about the project from NPR--with the Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake recipe!).

Alie told me they had runzas for lunch (the recipe was a runner-up in the lost recipe contest), which she had never heard of before. I hadn't either until I became best friends with a girl from Nebraska. So I guess it's just as well that I wasn't at lunch--I'm sure the runza recipe in the cookbook is fine, but I'm also sure that it can't compare with my friend Kari's family recipe!

Alie also brought me a galley of a new book in the Best Recipe series--The Best International Recipe, coming out in November. This is one I didn't know about, and after looking at it I am super-psyched! It reminds me of Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World but in Cook's Illustrated style--fewer recipes, but each is accompanied by a fantastic essay on its development, testing, and refinement. Though Bittman is usually my go-to-guy, I have to say the ATC folks take this round. Definitely check it out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

With Apologies to the Shadow, It's Really the Phantom Who Knows

I have a double dose of yummy news today.

First, the new edition of Phantom Gourmet Guide to Boston's Best Restaurants has arrived! While Zagat's is known as the gold standard in restaurant recommendations, I'll admit that it tends to overwhelm me (and, after a while, all the blurbs start blurring together)--I think the Phantom Gourmet Guide is a fun and easy alternative that I really like.

If you're not familiar with the Phantom Gourmet, well, my second piece of news is that we now have last year's edition here on remainder for only $4.99! I highly recommend checking it out.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I met Tedy Bruschi!

Saturday will definitely go down as a day I'll remember for a long time. In case you're curious--yes, Tedy Bruschi truly is amazingly kind, humble, considerate, and all-around-awesome. I didn't think it was possible, but I'm even more of a fan now than I was 48 hours ago.

After the official signing yesterday for his book, Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery & My Return to the NFL, while he was in our back room signing some special orders and extra stock, Mr. Bruschi chatted with some of us Brookline Booksmithies about what we had been reading recently and challenged us to come up with some recommendations for him, which was lots of fun for all of us (and hopefully for him as well!).

If you'd like to join the Tedy Bruschi book club, here are the titles we picked out (the first by yours truly) that may find their way into his carry-on luggage this season:

And as if I couldn't be any more impressed, Mr. Bruschi also got guy bonus points for thinking to ask us for a book for his wife as well! I gave him The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart, and I hope she enjoys it--it's one of my all-time favorites.