Linda Long promotes cookbook Great Chefs Cook Vegan at NAVS Summerfest

Author and food photographer Linda Long recently promoted her new cookbook, Great Chefs Cook Vegan, at the National American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) Vegetarian Summerfest at the University of Pittsburgh.

Great Chefs Cook Vegan features mouth-watering gourmet recipes prepared by 25 of today's top chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Todd English, Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, Charlie Trotter and Suzanne Goin.

This beautiful vegan cookbook is due out this Fall.
For pre-ordering information, visit our Website:

Linda Long, commited vegan for 30 years, has had a lifelong relationship with the food industry. She writes and photographs for vegetarian magazines (Vegetarian Journal, American Vegan, VegNews) and provides book cover photography for other vegan authors. She is a member of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).

"Bungalow Bathrooms" video review



Tea Cup Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder for dusting teacups
Cooking Spray
2 cups room temperature butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 16 ounce jar marshmallow cream
Food coloring if desired
Assorted candies or small fruits for topping

Let’s Bake Cupcakes!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray teacups with cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder.
Make cupcake batter according to package directions substituting milk for water and adding pure vanilla extract. Divide batter evenly between 24 prepared heat proof teacups. Bake according to package directions for cupcakes.

Mix Up the Frosting!
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in half of the sugar until fluffy, add the remaining sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.
2. Add vanilla and stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.

Batter Up Kids-friendly Kitchen Tips
Have children choose the flavor of cake mix and different colors of frosting for cupcakes.
If the cupcakes are going to be used for a birthday party, let the kids write the children’s names with paint pens on the side of each teacup before it is baked. Let the kids tie pretty ribbons around the handles after the cupcakes have been baked and cooled.


Warm, gooey sweetness from New West Cuisine

This dessert just looks oh-so-tempting! Couldn't resist sharing it with everyone. For more recipes from New West Cuisine, order your copy here.

Chocolate-Toffee Bread Pudding

3 to 5 cups dices bread, stale or fresh toasted, cut into one-inch cubes
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits (or English toffee candy, cut into pieces)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
Chocolate shavings or chopped toffee bar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 6-cup baking dish or bread pan. Evenly spread bread cubes in prepared dish. Sprinkle chocolate and toffee bits across top and mix in slightly.

Combine sugar and flour and mix well. Beat in vanilla, eggs, and cream or half-and-half. Pour over mixture in baking dish.

Set dish inside a larger dish and pour boiling water halfway up sides. Carefully place in preheated oven. Bake for about 45 minutes until pudding is set. Serve warm.

Garnish with chocolate shavings or a chopped toffee bar, if desired.

Bread Pudding Variations:

* Cinnamon Raisin: Substitute chocolate and toffee with 1 cup raisins tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
* White Chocolate-Raspberry: Substitute chocolate and toffee with 1 cup raspberries and 1 cup white chocolate chips.

Dinner At Your Door author Interviewed by Fox!

Alex Davis author of the upcoming book Dinner At Your Door was interviewed by the Boise, Idaho FOX affiliate, about the September release of the creative new book about Co-op Cooking!!
Click here to pre-order

Bill Fenimore Is Awarded The American Birding Association's Highest Honor

Author of the Backyard Bird Series Bill Fenimore was awareded the The American Birding Association's (ABA) Ludlow Griscom Award on June 23rd 2008. The ABA's prestigious and highest honor for Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology is given to individuals who have dramatically advanced the state of ornithological knowledge for a particular region.

Bill joins many important contributors to American ornithology, including the first recipient of the award, Roger Tory Peterson, in 1980.

Photography by Gibbs M. Smith


Dollar Sized Cookies

Sand Dollar Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

1 tube refrigerator sugar cookie dough1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 cup almond slivers

Let’s get baking!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 sheet pans with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Stir together granulated sugar and ground cinnamon, set aside
Cut cookies into ¼ inch slices and place 1 inch apart on prepared sheet pans.
Lightly brush each cookie with egg white and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon and sugar mix.
Gently press 5 almond slices in a wagon wheel design around center of each cookie to resemble the design of a sand dollar.
Bake at 350° according to refrigerator cookie package directions. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack for another 10 minutes.

Inspirations From France & Italy Earns ForeWord Silver Medal

Inspirations from France & Italy, the ninth book in Betty Lou Phillips' popular French design series, has been awarded a Silver Medal in the Architecture category by ForeWord Magazine.

ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors. ForeWord is the only review trade journal devoted exclusively to books from independent houses.

The unique awards process brings readers, librarians, and booksellers together to select their top categories as well as choose the winning titles. Their decisions are based on editorial excellence, professional production, originality of the narrative, author credentials relative to the book, and the value the book adds to its genre.

Congratulations to Betty Lou Phillips, and be sure to catch her newest book, The French Room, coming in October 2008.

How To Work With an Interior Designer launch party at Steinway Hall in NYC

Judy Sheridan celebrated the launch party for her new book How to Work With an Interior Designer at Steinway Hall in New York City on June 19.

Sheridan, past president of the American Society of Interior Designers/New York Metro Chapter, explains how to make an ordinary room into something fantastic, reflecting both the personal style and taste of the owner in her book.

To Order, please visit our Web site:


"Women of Courage" on CNN

In honor of Women of Courage being named Editor's Choice for non-fiction by Foreword Magazine, I found this interview with the authors on CNN that originally ran in Dec. 2007.

Say Ole to Culinary Mexico

Travel with south of the border with author Daniel Hoyer

Brighten up those Baby Showers

Jennifer Adams, author of Baby Showers was featured on Babyzone.com in an article about the Best Ideas for Baby Showers.

Check out the online article, here, for some great ideas.


Stephanie Ashcraft Talks Chocolate!

Game of the Week: From The Pocket Guide to Games

For our next installment of Game of the Week, let's move it indoors. Have you ever played Find The Ring? Here's how!

Find The Ring

5+ players
Can be played anywhere

The players sit in a circle, holding in their hands a long string which has been tied to form a circle large enough to go around to all. A small ring is put on the string before it is tied.

One player is chosen to stand in the center. The players who are seated then pass the ring from one to another, the object being for the player in the center to figure out who has the ring. The other players will try to deceive the center player by making passes to indicate the passage iof the ring when it is not really in their possession. When the player in the center thinks she knows who has the ring, she calls out the name of the player. If she's correct, the center player sits down and the player with the ring takes her place in the center.

One ring to rule them all,
See if you can find it.
We bought this ring at the mall,
But don't ask us to admit it!


Chinglish - Found in Translation - in light of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games


Found in Translation

Oliver Lutz Radtke's book, Chinglish - Found in Translation, puts the English language in China in a humourous and endearing light.

"Chinglish exists because people travel and their language travels with them. Chinglish also exists because of China's opening to the world, the tourism industry, state propoganda mechanisms and the Internet. In preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing is gearing up an immense amount of manpower to eradicate Chinglish from the capital, and the Chinese government plans to extend this linguistic cleansing to the rest of the country, as well. My aim is to show the nowadays endangered species of Chinglish in its natural habitat." - Oliver Lutz Radtke

See these images of fun uses of Chinglish in China and others in Radtke's book.

Oliver Lutz Radtke works as a television news producer in Singapore.


Dish up some Mayan Cuisine

Crema de Aguacate

Avocado Soup

From Mayan Cuisine by Daniel Hoyer

Serves 4 to 6

Both hot and cold versions of this soup are found around the Yucatan. This recipe may be used either way. I use the cold version as an appetizer or palate cleanser in a multi-course meal and serve it warm with some crispy bacon crumbles or chicharrones (pork rinds) along with some white rice as a light supper of lunch entree.

1/2 cup chopped white onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup tomato, charred, then chopped

1 or 2 serrano, yellow hot, New Mexico green or jalapeno chiles OR 1/2 chile habanero, well charred and seeded

4 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled

2 to 3 Mexican avocado leaves, toasted and ground OR 1/4 teaspoon toasted and ground anise seed

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 large ripe avocados (Hass is the preferred variety)

1/3 cup light cream of half-and-half

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish suggestions: Chopped cilantro, thinly slices radishes, tortilla chips, chicharrones, crumbled bacon, pickled red onions, lime slices and sour creams or Mexican crema.

1. Saute the onion in the oil until soft, clear and just beginning to brown. Add the diced tomato and fry for 2 minutes or more.

2. Add the chile, garlic, ground avocado leaves or anise seed along with the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Peel, pit and coarsely chop the avocados and add to the broth with the cream and lime juice.

4. Puree in a blender, adjust for salt and pepper and serve warm with your choice of garnishes of chill to serve cold later.

NOTE: After chilling, reheat the soup gently to serve it warm, it will burn easily and may separate with extended cooking.

Fudge Up Your Summer

For a sweet summer treat, stir-up a batch of this tropical fantasy fudge filled with macadamia nuts and topped with mini rainbow chocolate chips! Keep chilled in the frig and serve these cool fudgy "fish" with a tall glass of milk to beat the summer heat!

Rainbow Fish Fudge
Makes about 24 pieces

3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts, optional
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/ 2 cup rainbow sprinkles or mini rainbow chocolate chips

Let’s get mixing! Lightly spray 1- 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
1. Combine evaporated milk with sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, stir in salt, optional nuts, marshmallows, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Stir mixture until marshmallows have melted and carefully pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle top of fudge evenly with sprinkles or rainbow chips. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cutting.
3. Cut into fish shapes with a 2 inch cookie cutter and store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Barbara Beery, Batter Up Kids Inc.


75 Remarkable Fruits by Jack Staub reviewed in Town and Country magazine

"Gardeners passionate about heirloom produce will read Jack Staub's 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden (Gibbs Smith, $19.95) with interest. Tips on cultivating chokebernes kumquats quinces and other old fashioned fruits are interwoven with lore and preparation hints." - Marie Proeller Hueston, Town and Country magazine

Game of the Week! from The Pocket Guide to Games

Starting this week, we'll be posting a new game from Bart King's The Pocket Guide to Games on this site every Wednesday. To start your summer off right, try the Japanese Crab Race!

Japanese Crab Race

2-plus players


Until you try this, it’s impossible to realize how badly you’ll lose your sense of direction.

If there are just a few players for this game, it may be played as a simple race, without the relay described below.

The players line up behind a starting line in single files, each containing the same number of players. Opposite each file, at a distance of 20-40 feet, is a goal of some kind. (It can be a cone, line, circle, etc.) The game consists in a backwards race run on “all fours.”

To start, the first player in each file gets in position, with his heels on the starting line and his back to the goal for which he is to run. All start together at a signal. The player who first reaches his goal scores one point for his team. Others follow in turn.


Too hot to heat up the kitchen for dinner?

Take some advice from Janet Eyring and use your Slow Cooker this summer!

Bill Fenimore Watches Birds From His Own Backyard!

Author Bill Fenimore is featured on NBC affiliate KSL!
Check out the video and story!


Prospects for lifting the Cuban travel ban

I recently had a conversation with congressman Barney Frank - one of Washington's most powerful legislators - on the prospect of lifting the Cuban travel ban so that Americans could legally visit our Caribbean neighbor.  He told me that congress' mood, along with Barack Obama's recent speech regarding the subject, suggests that the travel ban would be lifted next year if Obama was elected president.  Interesting.  It's always confounded me that Americans could freely visit North Korea and Iran - two of the three Axes of Evil - but not Cuba.  I view the freedom to travel as a basic right of Americans that should not be abrogated.  One of the goals of my new book "Havana Before Castro" is to motivate Americans to see for themselves what has become of the most popular exotic destination for American tourists prior to the 1959 revolution.  Perhaps 2009 might be the year.


Chill Out Under a Blue Moon

Sippin' this chilling drink is a sure cure for the summertime blues!

Under a Blue Moon Milkshake
Makes 2 servings

2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1 1/4 cups apple juice or white grape juice
1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt1/4 cup milk½ teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Let’s get shaking!
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately.

Batter Up Kids-friendly Kitchen Tips
For a chilling drink glass, place serving glasses in the freezer up to 8 hours before using. When ready to serve–up milkshake, remove glasses from freezer and fill with milkshake.
Change the recipe by substituting frozen raspberries or peaches for blueberries…cool!


Gardening expert and author of the 75 gardening series, Jack Staub featured in Country Living magazine

Jack Staub, author of 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden, 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden, and the upcoming 75 Exceptional Herbs for Your Garden featured in Country Living Magazine.

Click image for article.

Visit our Website to order Jack's fascinating books (click on covers for links):


Bill Fenimore Joins the Wild Outdoors Festival

Bill Feinmore the author of the Backyard Bird Series will be at the 2008 ESPN STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series PRO first round on June 6th and 7th at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah as part of the Wild Outdoors Festival. Check it out live if you are in the Utah area, or check it out on ESPN2 in October!



James O. Fraioli and Leonardo Curti's cookbook Trattoria Grappolo was the top winner in the cookbook category at the Independent Book Publishers Association (PMA) 2008 Benjamin Franklin Awards!

To help celebrate, here's a favorite recipe to try out at home.

Serves 8

1 cup espresso
1 cup Italian roast coffee
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons marsala wine
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
24 ladyfingers
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder

Add brewed coffees together and set aside to cool. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg yolks on low and slowly add the sugar. Turn mixer on medium-high and continue until thick and pale yellow in color. Add the mascarpone cheese until thoroughly mixed (stopping to scrape sides down if needed), then add marsala wine; set aside.

Using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip cream until soft peaks form, add vanilla, and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold into the mascarpone mixture; set aside.

Dip each ladyfinger in the coffee mixture and completely cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch dish. Test the dessert dish by layering 12 (dry) ladyfingers in the dish to make sure they fit. Next, smooth over half of the cream mixture and repeat with another layer of coffee-soaked ladyfingers. Finish by spreading on remaining cream mixture. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Before serving, dust with enough cocoa powder to complete cover the dessert.


Gordon Hayward wins 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award

Congratulations to author Gordon Hayward for winning the PMA Independent Book Publishers Association 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award in the Gardening/Agriculture category for Small Buildings, Small Gardens.

Check out Hayward's latest book, Art and the Gardener, when it launches this Fall!

Summer By The Sea


Here's a simple summer recipe filled with cool and crunchy, sweet and savory flavors all swirled together in one bowl. The perfect choice for a poolside picnic!

Seaside Slaw
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup cider vinegar 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons poppy seeds 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apple 1 cup thinly sliced pear
1 (12-ounce) package cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw

Let’s get mixing!
1. Combine first 5 ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl; set aside.
2.Combine apple, pear, and coleslaw in a large bowl; stir in dressing.
3. Cover and Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Havana book receiving glowing reviews

The publisher of Cigar Aficionado magazine reviewed my "Havana Before Castro" book and was very complimentary about it. I've included what he wrote in my website www.HavanaBeforeCastro.com

TOP HONOR for "Women of Courage"

Gibbs Smith was presented with the
Editor’s Choice Prize for Nonfiction
for, Women of Courage: Intimate Stories From Afghanistan
by Katherine Kiviat and Scott Heidler

“This book is a collection of interviews with forty courageous Afghan women, including teachers, Olympians, soldiers, and journalists,” Managing Editor Whitney Hallberg said. “They discuss what their lives were like during the Taliban rule, and what they are doing now that they have some freedom back. Beautiful photos, probing questions, and revealing comments make this a truly remarkable book.”

Other award winners this year included:
GOLD: Honga's Lotus Petal by Honga Im Hopgood in the cooking category.

SILVER: Inspirations from France and Italy by Betty Lou Phillips in the architecture category

HONORABLE MENTION: Winning Our Energy Independence by S. David Freeman in the environment category

FINALIST: The Hydrogen Age by Geoffrey Holland with James Provenzano in the environment category