Book Review: The Homemade Kitchen By Alana Chernila

The Homemade Kitchen by Alana Chernila is one of those books you pick up on a whim, simply because it has an interesting cover and intriguing title. It personally caught my eye as I tried to figure out exactly what was featured on the front picture. Is that some kind of berry pie? A meat dish? Are those almonds sprinkled across the top?

Fortunately, for us cooks, this book is much more than a novelty item. The philosophy behind it is for home chefs to start where they are, put in the required work and not be afraid of food.  And that includes growing and raising your own food.

Put Your Hands In The Earth is my favorite chapter by far. If you’ve ever planned a garden and had things not turn out as expected, you’ll be able to relate. Grand plans never quite seem to work out. Chernila recommends less on the planning end and more on the doing end to remedy this. Get your hands dirty and put some seeds in the ground. That’s 99% of the battle right there.

The recipes in this book are as inspiring as the text. Kefir Banana Cake, Kimchi Breakfast Tata, Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon, you name it. This book has innovative, fun and delicious written all over it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Tacos: Recipes And Provocations

Continuing a recent and very positive trend in books related to cooking, Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman takes a food niche and expounds upon it to the extreme, giving us a whole new perspective and appreciation. Good cookbooks these days are not longer just a collection of recipes and ingredients. They take time to focus on the fine details of raising, growing, gathering and even building everything needed.

As I was reading this book, a friend looked over my shoulder and asked why in the world a book about tacos would have photos of a guy digging a hole in the ground. “Because he’s making an earth pib to cook a pig for his tacos, of course”, was my reply. We had a good laugh but the truth is, these detours are what makes this book and others like it so fresh and exciting. This is what makes cooking fun.

Of course, this book also includes all the information you would need and expect for making some great tacos in your kitchen and the quantity and variety of ideas here will keep me busy for a very long time. I think we’ll be having tacos for dinner tonight.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Evans Suggests Passing Gun Laws That Already Exist To Stop College Shootings

Flagstaff City Councilperson Coral Evans joined the chorus of politicians and media politicizing last night’s NAU shooting by asking on Facebook:

“How is it possible for an 18 year old freshman to legally have a gun on campus?”

If Evans had listened to the police press conference this morning, she would have known that unless a firearm is locked away in a vehicle, guns are not allowed on the Northern Arizona University campus.

You can ban guns anywhere you want but that won’t stop criminals from bringing them in.

Coral Evans

Statement by Flagstaff Councilmember Coral Evans. (Click photo)

Putzova Politicizes NAU Shooting As Police Calm Fears Of Random Attack

Never one to pass up an opportunity to make a political point, Flagstaff Councilmember Eva Putzova wasted no time Friday as she called for more gun control in the wake of an NAU shooting where one student was killed and three injured.

Her statement came as NAU police reminded residents that this incident was the result of a fight between students and not a random mass shooting like the recent Community College attack in Oregon.

Putzova’s statement reads as follows:

“I would like to say the unthinkable happened in Flagstaff. But I can’t. I’m shaken but not shocked. It was predictable, it was a matter of time when one of more than 300 million guns in the country would be used on the Northern Arizona University campus, leaving one dead, three injured, and many families devastated. I thank all who provide comfort and support to the Flagstaff community in this difficult time.

But prayers and condolences can’t be enough anymore. They may bring temporary relief, but we need more. How many times are we willing to witness this? We need to follow up with action and advocate for sensible gun laws. We did not act yesterday, we must not waste another day.”

Eva Putzova Gun Control

More Living Wage Hypocrisy In Flagstaff

The battle to bring living wage legislation to Flagstaff has been brewing for quite some time and two of the key players advocating for a mandatory living wage have been Friends Of Flagstaff’s Future and Flagstaff City Councilperson Coral Evans.

So you can imagine my surprise when I came across a post by Coral Evans on the Friends Of Flagstaff’s Future facebook page advertising a part time minimum wage job without benefits for a local business that Evans is involved with.

Working on legislation to force a mandatory $15 to $25 an hour starting wage, while at the same time only paying your own employees $8.05 an hour, is inconsistent and speaks volumes about the do as I say, not as I do mentality.

Leading by example gives credibility to any argument and if you can’t do that then stop telling other people how to run their businesses. Bottom line, put your money where your mouth is.

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Coral Evans has fought hard for a living wage in Flagstaff but you wouldn’t know it by the job offer in the screen shot posted above (click photo).