Bart King Featured on AM Northwest Morning Show

The ever-popular Bart King appeared on Portland, Oregon's AM Northwest morning show to showcase the simplicity and fun of The Pocket Guide to Games. Check out the video here: http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/27527664.html

Doesn't that make you want to go play Plumber's Tag?


On the 'Veranda' with Charles Faudree

Country French Designer Charles Faudree, author of four Gibbs Smith titles including Charles Faudree Interiors set to release in October, is the current cover story for the September issue of Veranda magazine. Lisa Newsom, founder and editor-in-chief of Veranda magazine, penned the foreword in Charles' latest book, saying in part: "Charles Faudree, perhaps more than any other American interior designer, has championed the Country French style. ... While Charles is a devoted Francophile, he freshens his interiors by incorporating other influences as well."

Chef Johnny Vee judges student cook-off

Chef John Vollertsen, author of Cooking with Johnny Vee, recently marked the graduation of a class of young chefs-in-training at the Las Cosas Cooking School with their own version of Iron Chef.

Find more videos like this on eTaste


Havana Before Castro garnered a review by the Wall Street Journal!
Below is the article, but click here for the original

July 25, 2008; Page W5

Havana Before Castro
By Peter Moruzzi
(Gibbs Smith, 256 pages, $30)

At a time when millions eagerly await the post-Castro (Fidel and Raúl) era in Cuba, Peter Moruzzi brings us "Havana Before Castro," a jaunty, poignant portrait of the city in its pre-revolutionary heyday as a Caribbean playground. He has amassed a remarkable array of postcards, vacation snapshots, news photos, hotel brochures, advertising posters, publicity stills and other images that go a long way toward filling in the mental picture of a city that has been enticingly evoked by movies such as "Our Man in Havana" (1959) and "The Godfather: Part II" (1974).

As Mr. Moruzzi's accompanying essays show, the first inkling of Havana's colorful future came in the 1920s, when wealthy Americans flocked to the former Spanish colonial capital, where they could escape the annoyances of Prohibition in land of Barcardi rum. A full-page photo shows chemical tycoon Irénée DuPont's beachside mansion in 1927, and we see the Habana Biltmore Yacht and Country Club in a color postcard. It was after World War II, though, when the real boom began as Havana became a magnet for tourists who didn't necessarily arrive on private yachts. A Pan American Airways pamphlet in 1947 promised: "Carefree Cuba, Pearl of the Antilles, is calling you to share her enticing charms."

Those enticing charms, for many visitors, included pastimes that lent Havana a reputation for naughty getaways. Mr. Moruzzi amply documents the thriving bordello trade (a card advertises the Aunt Nena Club, where customers are "attended by pretty girls") and racy floorshows at nightclubs such as the Sans Souci and Tropicana (a series of photos shows the "teaser" performances put on in the aisles of a weekly flight from Miami sponsored by the Tropicana). But the biggest lure was casino gambling, which drew crowds -- and the mafia (we see a young Frank Sinatra at the famed Sloppy Joe's bar in 1946, flanked by mobsters Joe and Rocco Fischetti).

"Havana Before Castro" is eminently browsable, but reading it is no holiday in the sun. "Located in a vast neocolonial building," goes a typical sentence, "on a busy street corner one block from the Sevilla-Biltmore, Sloppy Joe's original Prohibition-era slogan was 'First port of call, out where the wet begins.' " Hope the slogan doesn't get trampled on that busy street corner.

For someone who clearly is enamored of Cuba at midcentury, Mr. Moruzzi is surprisingly more inclined to dwell on the shortcomings of the "imperialistic" U.S. and the epic corruption of pre-Castro governments than he is to mourn the arrival of the communist regime that beggared the nation. He praises the "exceptional power and artistic beauty" of a 1964 Soviet-Cuban propaganda film about the "depravities" of a Havana overrun by decadent Americans in the 1950s before the revolution.

And he can't quite bring himself to blame Castro for Cuba's plight over the past half-century: The real problem seems to have been flight of the professional and merchant classes that didn't share Castro's vision: The years since the exodus from Cuba, Mr. Moruzzi writes, "have been difficult for its people and unkind to its built environment." A century ago, after the Spanish-American War and Cuba's liberation, Havana bartenders invented the rum-and-Coke-based Cuba Libre cocktail. With luck, it won't be too long before they need to come up with the Cuba Libre II.


A Two-Fer from Doug Keister

Please enjoy the following videos from Douglas Keister, author of Teardrops and Tiny Trailers and Forever Dixie!

French Toast author Donna Kelly on Good Things Utah

Donna Kelly, author of the delectable cookbook, French Toast: Sweet & Savory Dishes for Every Meal, cooked her famous Southwest Chile Cheese Bread Pudding on Good Things Utah on July 16.

For ordering information, visit our Website: