Thursday, July 11, 2013

What YOU are reading: FOOD

Our adult summer reading program allows Burbank adults to share what they're reading with their peers in the community. If you are signed up, you can see some of the book reviews at the log-in site for the book club; but we thought we'd also feature some of them here, on the blog. If you want to sign up, click here, choose the adult program ("Eat, READ, Live!"), choose "sign me up!" and start writing book reviews!

From Suzy J.:
Pretty Delicious, by Candice Kumai
Wonderful book!
The author's famous, I had no idea.
Great ideas.
Simple suggestions.
Easy and tasty recipes.
While I get most of my recipes online,
I still love cookbooks.

Editor's note: The library doesn't own this book, but after Suzy's recommendation,
we will!

From Fay P.:
To Brie or Not to Brie, by Avery Aames
This is a delightful and yummy cozy mystery book in the “Cheese Shop” series about amateur sleuth and cheese shop owner Charlotte Erin Bessette. She creates cheese delectables (recipes included) as she solves a puzzling mystery: Who clobbered to death a nefarious stranger in the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor’s freezer with a 5-gallon container of Charlotte’s favorite Brie Blueberry ice cream?

The book is filled with colorful characters (possible suspects?) who live in the fictional small town of Providence, Ohio. The story builds with nail-biting intensity. So many people have motives, but who is threatening harm to Charlotte’s sleuthing? Is she on the trail of the killer or headed for a dead-end? This is a page-turner.

The other mystery books in the “Cheese Shop” series, recipes included, all have titles that are cheese-related: Clobbered by Camembert, Lost and Fondue, The Long Quiche Goodbye, Days of Wine and Roquefort.

Avery Aames, pseudonym for Daryl Wood Gerber, is a nationally bestselling Agatha Award winner who loves cheese and wine.  Her website is, where you can find video trailers for her books. Avery Aames also blogs on along with other cozy mystery book authors.

Editor's note: Ms. Aames (or Ms. Gerber) will be appearing at the Buena Vista Library on Tuesday, August 6! More details here.

Also from Fay P., a recipe (another option to enter in our adult summer reading programs book review interface):


2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bulgur
2 large red peppers
2 large ripe tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes
3 zucchini
4 green onions
1 fresh jalapeno chile
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Fresh ground pepper
¾ cup olive oil
Salad greens to line platter
¼ pound feta cheese
Pine nuts, chopped Kalamata olives and more feta cheese for garnish

Boil 3 cups water and stir in 2 teaspoons salt and pour over the bulgur in a bowl. Let stand, stirring once or twice, for 45 minutes. Drain bulgur, pressing with a wooden spoon to extract all water that has not been absorbed. Transfer bulgur to a large mixing bowl.

Char red peppers until blackened all over, turning often with tongs. Place peppers in a bag. Close bag and set aside until cool enough to handle. When cool, peel off the skin, discard the stems and seeds, and cut peppers into half-inch dice. Halve the tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds, and cut into half-inch dice. Cut the zucchini into half-inch dice. Slice the green onion thinly. Toss bulgur with pepper, tomatoes, zucchini and green onions.

For the vinaigrette, stem and seed the jalapeno chile. Puree the jalapeno, cilantro, mint, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly.

To serve, line a platter with salad greens. Mound the bulgur on top, and crumble feta cheese over the bulgur. Add pine nuts, chopped Kalamata olives and more feta cheese for garnish, if desired.

NOTE:  This recipe makes a HUGE salad.  Best to make recipe “as is” if you are going to a potluck, barbeque, picnic, etc. If just making it for a family of four, cut the recipe in half. Otherwise, you'll be eating it for a month!

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