GSP Cookbooks Win World Gourmand Awards

Food Festivals of Italy by James Fraioli and Leonardo Curti has been named the Best Italian Cuisine Cookbook in the American division of the 2008 World Gourmand Awards.

Great Chefs Cook Vegan by Linda Long has been named the Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the American division of the 2008 World Gourmand Awards.

These books will now compete for the Best in the World competition in their categories, the winner of which will be announced in May.


Havana Before Castro featured on PRI's The World broadcast

Peter Moruzzi reads and excerpt and shares his insights into Cuba while being interviewed on his book Havana Before Castro on PRI's The World radio broadcast. (Click on the link below to hear the program)

PRI's The World Global Perspectives for an American Audience

Posted using ShareThis


Tasty Thursday

Oh what fun! Now you and your kids can make cute cakes for any occasion! Since Christmas is only two weeks away, I thought it would be fun to highlight a recipe from Easy Cut-Up Cakes for Kids by Melissa Barlow. This great cake is the perfect way to spread holiday cheer!

Christmas Tree
Pans: 1 (9 x 13-inch) pan
Serves: 8 to 10

1 chocolate cake mix
Green frosting
1 King-Size Snickers or Milky Way candy bar
White frosting
Red candies, like M&Ms, striped peppermints, or Red Hots

1. Make cake mix according to package directions. Bake cake as directed on box for a 9 x 13-inch pan. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, and then invert and cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Cut the cake according to the diagram below. Position the two smaller triangle pieces together to create one large triangle and frost the top green. Place the other large triangle on top and frost entire cake green. Cut candy bar in half and then stack at the bottom of the tree to make the trunk.
3. Using a decorator's bag with a star tip, frost a white garland diagonally across the tree. Decorate your tree with candy as desired.

Variation: Frost the tree with green mint frosting or sprinkle on shredded coconut that has been tinted green to look like pine needles.


The true, inspirational Christmas story

Share the true meaning of Christmas with neighbors and friends with Candy Chand's true, inspirational story, Christmas Love.

Originally featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul and on the Internet, Christmas Love is the miraculous story of finding the sacred meaning of Christmas amid the chaos and commercialization of the holiday. Since 1999, this true story, about a touching reminder suddenly appearing during a school's holiday pageant, has captured the hearts of readers around the world. Now with tender watercolor illustrations, Chrsitmas Love is a beautiful, inspirational story for anyone who wishes to honor the real meaning of Christmas.

To Order, click on the book cover.

Barry Dixon Has Fans in High Places!

Brian Coleman, author of the book Barry Dixon Interiors with photography by Edward Addeo, sent us this image. The lady on the left is First Lady Laura Bush, and the lady on the right is Karyn Frist, wife of US Senator Bill Frist. Mrs. Frist presented Mrs. Bush with a copy of Barry Dixon Interiors during a recent visit to the White House.

Tasty Thursday

It's time to start making all those luscious treats that get us all excited for Christmas! Today's recipe is taken from the New York Times Best-Seller, 101 Things to do With a Cake Mix by Stephanie Ashcraft. This is the perfect dessert to make and enjoy with your family this holiday season. 

Christmas-Rainbow Poke Cake

1 white cake mix
1 small box strawberry gelatin
1 small box lime gelatin
2 cups boiling water, divided
1/2 cup cold water, divided
1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Pour batter into two 8- or 9-inch round pans and bake as directed; cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool cakes completely and clean the pans.

Place cake layers, top sides up, back into the two clean pans. With a fork, poke holes at 1-inch intervals through both cakes.

Dissolve strawberry gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Mix 1/4 cup cold water into gelatin. Spoon over one layer of cake in pan. Repeat with lime gelatin. Refrigerate 3–4 hours or overnight.

Dip one pan with cake into warm water for 10 seconds: invert cake onto a serving plate. Cover the cake with part of the whipped topping. Invert second layer of cake on top and then frost with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


An interview with the man who lives in 140 Square Feet

Author Gregory Johnson of Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned from Living in 140 Square Feet, was recently interviewed for "Writers Voices," on KRUU FM in Iowa.

Writers’ Voices with Monica and Caroline warmly welcomed author Gregory Paul Johnson, as well as guest host Steve Cooperman, last Friday, Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. Steve Cooperman is a former journalist and a KRUU show host who is currently involved in numerous community projects. Steve put his own life on a diet about a year ago when he moved into a 500 sq ft cottage with a wood stove, close to the town square, greatly reducing driving miles.

Click here for the article.

Use Goat Cheese to Liven Up Holiday Meals!

Be the hit of your holiday gathering with these delicious recipes from Goat Cheese by Maggie Foard!

Espresso cheesecake brownies

[makes 16]

7 ounces 70 percent bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks

1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 extra-large free-range eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup pecan halves


4 ounces fromage blanc or fresh chèvre

1/4 cup shot of freshly made espresso or very, very strong fresh drip coffee, cooled

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 beaten egg (about 2 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment that is oiled

or buttered on both sides. Melt the chocolates with the butter over simmering water in a double boiler; or do it my way—on the defrost setting in the microwave—until the chocolates are just about melted. Remove

from heat and whisk in the salt and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. The batter should be satiny and dark and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Scatter the nuts on the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon all but 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture into the pan.


Whisk together the fromage, cooled espresso, powdered sugar, vanilla and egg. Drizzle the fromage mixture over the chocolate batter. Dot the remaining chocolate batter over the top of that and run a knife back and forth through the batter to create kind of a swirl pattern over the top. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30–35 minutes, or until the top is set but not dry. Cool on a rack. Chill thoroughly before cutting if you want nice

neat pieces, but be sure to take the brownies out of the fridge a little while before eating. The flavor

is so much better when they are at room temp!

Fresh tomato tapenade

[makes approximately y 2 cups ]

1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced and poached in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for 1 minute

1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives

1 tablespoon capers

1/4 cup chopped basil

3 ounces crumbled goat feta

Salt and pepper to taste

Organic Roma or San Marzano tomatoes are best for this dip, but any full-flavored tomato can work.

In the dead of winter when I crave tomato bruschetta, I use diced organic tomatoes from a can.

Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl shortly before serving at room temperature with bruscetta. For a change, omit the feta and serve the tapenade with slices of fresh goat mozzarella or goat brie.


Flying M in Boise hosts Dinner at Your Door authors for booksigning

From the authors of Dinner at Your Door:
It's "Buy Local Week" in the City of Boise, Dec. 1 - 7th. Meet us First Thursday at the Flying M Coffeehouse for some pre-holiday cheer. Diana, Andy and Alex will be sipping coffee and signing books from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4th - that is this Thursday!

Bring in gift copies of “Dinner At Your Door” and we’ll add personal inscriptions to your friends and family. Flying M will also have books for sale. If you have recently started a Dinner Co-op of your own, come in and let us know how it's going. If you're trying to convert some pals, bring them in and we'll see what we can do. :)

This is our last scheduled local event before the holidays--it would be fun to see you there. To learn more about this all Boise-based project, please visit the dinner co-op website:


*Also - Join our group on Facebook- "Dinner At Your Door"

For Ordering Information, visit the Gibbs Smith Website:

Raving reviews of Art and the Gardener by Gordon Hayward

Artful Living: A library of garden delights
by Linda Brazill, The Capital Times
In a field like gardening, where new books are as numerous as tulips in spring, it's rare to find one that stands out. Gordon Hayward's books, however, are always noteworthy because the Vermont resident is that rare talent: a good garden designer and a good teacher, in print as well as in person -- as those who've attended his presentations in Madison can attest. But "Art and the Gardener: Fine Painting as Inspiration for Garden Design," Hayward's 10th book on garden design, is a radical departure from his previous work.

It's also stunningly beautiful, inspiring and filled with ideas and observations that will give even the most informed -- or jaded -- gardener pause. If you buy only one book this year, make it Hayward's. The book's been germinating since 1994 when Hayward first gave a talk at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on the relationship between art and the garden. That event made him realize the two disciplines share a vocabulary, but more importantly, they both train the eye to see. And that's what Hayward does for readers in "Art and the Gardener" (Gibbs-Smith, $40, 176 pages).

Hayward trains your eye by continually comparing paintings and gardens focusing first on style (romanticism, minimalism) and then on the relationship between the house and garden (view from the front door, out the window). He offers 10 "methods of composition for the landscape painter and garden designer" and looks closely at design principles like curving paths and focal points.

There is a whole section devoted to the role trees play in the garden: orchards, allees, the effects of low-pruning in compressing views under them. None of these ideas is necessarily new but Hayward's presentation is. Showing each concept as a pair of images -- painted and gardened -- brings a freshness and intelligence that has often been lacking both in books on garden design and in many gardens themselves.

Hayward also looks at that most difficult issue: color harmony and contrast, and begins at the beginning with a color wheel. He uses the gardener's color wheel expertly put together by fellow author, gardener and New Englander Sydney Eddison. He finishes up with a look at Monet, the master at combining life, garden and art.

Hayward includes images of a painting at various stages of creation, floral arrangements that interpret paintings, superb appendices on symbolism in art and gardens, descriptive language and a bibliography. The end papers are swirls of William Morris floral designs that continue onto the cover. "Art and the Gardener" is a book one will never tire of nor cease to learn from.

To Order Art and the Gardener, Fine Painting as Inspiration for Garden Design, or other works by author Gordon Hayward, please visit our website: