Tag: fall

Fall Food

The Five New Cookbooks To Spice Up Your Fall!

Don’t you love that fall feeling?! We’re all getting ready for it. We’re all anticipating it. But have you thought about what you want to cook for it?


You can’t exactly bring your summer dishes through to autumn. The tastes and flavors just don’t match up to your mood once October kicks in. The air is cooler, the days are shorter, and all you want to do is put on a sweater, drink something warm, and curl up with your favorite book. So when dinner rolls around you’re in the mood for something comforting and delicious. Where do you get your inspiration for meals, you ask? These are the five cookbooks that’ll give you fall-inspired easy dishes and get you through the changing leaves, right into the snowy weather!


1. The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies & Bars by America’s Test Kitchen


The Perfect Cookie

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Yes, of course, we’re going to start with the most tempting one. For those of you with a sweet craving constantly this may be a book to consider. America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) spans over television, radio, and online to show their viewers the science of cooking. From cooking gadgets to the art of mixing and tasting, this brand will undoubtedly give you the desserts you need with an easy guide. If you can imagine a cookie, brownie, or candy, ATK’s book will most likely have it, from their book to your jar. It’s the season for hot beverages and you have to have something on the side (you know, so your drink doesn’t get lonely). It’s perfect for holidays celebrations, plus what’s better than walking into a house that smells of fresh-baked cookies?!


2. Meyer’s Bakery by Claus Meyer


Meyer's Bakery

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Carbs are our favorite and probably yours too. Clause Meyer, a food activist and the head of several culinary projects, is giving us something to throw in the oven. His upcoming book gives us 80 simple recipes on how to (perfectly) make all things bread. From scones and baguettes to naan and pretzels, Meyer gives you the chance to really get your hands dirty and impress your guests. He gives us tips to get and advice for mixing, the degree of the oven, and even what flour is best to use. On a cold Sunday night with a hot bowl of soup or in the morning with tea anything of these recipes will work perfectly. We can sense a dough-verload coming.


3. The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli


The Home Cook

Image Courtesy of Amazon


We’re ready for this one. The executive chef and judge on Food Network’s Chopped is following in her mother’s footsteps and releasing her own cookbook. She’s tailoring it to a whole new generation. The book contains 300 recipes with an array of ingredients that consist of bold flavors, interesting veggies, and a feast of cultural dishes. Guarnaschelli knows that anything is accessible to anyone today. In her book, we can find dark chocolate rum pie to five-spice ribs. When we want to add a dish to the holiday table to show off to our family and friends, this may be the book. The not-your-mother’s cookbook. 


4. Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons


Bring It Home

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Another judge from the popular Top Chef, Simmons is bringing every continent right to your home. After years of her extensive travels and treks to discover new foods and recipes, she’s taking it back with her and serving it for dinner. All the traditional American drinks and dishes like veggie salads or upside down cake are all given a global twist with some kind of ingredient or spice. It’s simple, it’s easy, and she even includes behind-the-scenes sneak peeks and stories that fans will love and newcomers will relate to. So how do you spice up your Christmas brisket? Make it Christmas brisket fried rice. That’s one of the many recipes you can set down on the table (cue the oohs and ahhs).


5. Super Tuscan: Heritage Recipes and Simple Pleasures from Our Kitchen to Your Table by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar


Super Tuscan

Image Courtesy of Amazon


One word: yum. Chef Corcos and his wife, actress Debi Mazar, have brought the rolling hills of Tuscany to us and we didn’t even need a plan ticket (although we’d still love that too). The dynamic duo is sharing loveable anecdotes, stories, photos, and traditional recipes that’ll warm your belly and your heart. This is tradition meets American with the passed down recipes of Corcos’s grandmother. Recipes for marinated chicken with Tuscan herbs and gnocchi in a savory butter sauce is all we need to know before getting this gem. Multicultural flair and the deep love of family is what makes this book magic. On a brisk evening, what could be better than al dente pasta, fresh sauce, and a (small) glass of wine?


At this point, we’re just torturing ourselves. The options are endless, as are the recipes, love, and traditions that fill these books. Get your oven mitts and your appetite ready; fall is on our tails



Feature Image Courtesy of Huffington Post


Truly Frightening Books for Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, we’ve created a list of some great horror-filled, thrilling novels to get you in the scary spirit. From mind-bending, psychological thrillers to down-right terrifying ghost stories, these imaginative books will make turning off the light at night a little more difficult. Enjoy!

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Any scary story that professes to be based off real events is automatically petrifying. Regan MacNeil, a 12-year-old girl, starts to act extremely strange—leading her mother to believe that Regan is possessed by demonic spirits. Regan’s mother and a priest, Father Merrin, perform an exorcism to throw out the evil spirits haunting Regan, with terrifying consequences.  The character’s inner battles with their own conscious as well as their difficult relationships makes the story more relatable, engrossing, and frightening.The classic horror movie The Exorcist is based of off Blatty’s namesake book.  

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

So many of Stephen King’s books could have made this list, but something about dead children coming back to life is always unbearably frightening. With a title like Pet Sematary, you might not expect this Stephen King novel to be one of his darkest, but trust us: you will be disturbed and freaked out for quite some time after reading this.  

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Henry James’ suspenseful novella is a mysterious ghost story that truly messes with the reader’s mind.  Unlike classic ghost tales, the supernatural in this story don’t physically harm anyone, but their effect on the character’s psyche is just as chilling. The Turn of the Screw incorporates a multitude of themes from everyday life, like repression, appearances vs. reality, and good vs. evil, all with a chilling, paranormal twist.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Judas Coyne, an aging rock star with typical narcissistic qualities, orders a ghost online, which sounds a bit kitschy, almost humorous.  But the heart-shaped box he receives contains a dead man’s suit, as well as the man’s spirit which is hell-bent on getting revenge against Coyne and everyone he knows, as the spirit claims Coyne is responsible for his step-daughter’s suicide.  In this sinister tale by Stephen King’s son, Coyne’s past truly comes back to haunt him.

The Collector by John Fowles

This chilling story is told in part from the view of Frederick, an obsessive sociopath who collects butterflies, as well as from the perspective of the beautiful girl he abducts, Miranda. What makes this book so freaky is that Frederick thinks his bizarre and disturbing thoughts and actions are morally okay, while Miranda, who we hope will make out it alive and sane, struggles to escape. The Collector will stick with you.

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The premise of this story, about a ship named HMS Terror led by Captain Sir John Franklin that gets lost in the freezing Arctic, is based on real, unsolved events that occurred in the 1840s. Dan Simmons fictionalized telling of what could have happened is downright scary. The crew faces real dangers: darkness, freezing temperatures, relentless snow and ice, disease, betrayal, and death.  There is also a mysterious and murderous water-monster that stalks the ship. Eek!

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Oskar is a bullied boy with only one friend, his new neighbor Eli. She is a curious girl who only comes out at night.  When the body of a teenage bully is found, drained of all blood in an apparent ritual killing, Oskar hopes this is some sort of revenge on his enemies, which is only part of Oskar’s creepy, dark side. Meanwhile, Eli’s dark side is more gruesome—a trail of blood follows her. Although fantasy is included in Let the Right One In, the real horror comes in the form of bullying, paedophilia, and alcoholism. When you’re done with the book, watch the movie (the Swedish and American version are both super creepy and entertaining).

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This list wouldn’t be complete without Jackson’s supernatural thriller about four people who enter Hill House, a supposedly haunted eighty-year-old mansion. The build-up is perfect; each character slowly experiences strange occurrences, like inexplicable writing on the walls and the realization that the hand they were holding was not human, until one of the characters seems to be possessed by the house. Unreliable narration, vague writing, and complex characters make this book incredibly unnerving.  

 What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?


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Get Cozy with Some Great Fall Reads

The transition from the bright and hot summer days to the crisp, shorter days of fall incites us to read books about just that. Whether you’re snuggling up by the fire with a spooky Halloween read or headed back to school, these book suggestions will help you ease into your best fall gear.  

Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury

The title alone will make you nostalgic for those warm and sunny days.  In this semi-autobiographical trilogy, Bradbury uses the concept of time and seasonal weather to emphasize the story-line; the conflict between old and young, as well as the sexual awakening of protagonist Douglass Spaulding and his friends, are featured in this sequel to Dandelion Wine. It is a coming-of-age story reminiscent of those young summer days that no one wanted to let go of.     

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This may be an obvious choice, but the Harry Potter books are always a great fall read. The beginning of the school year starts September 1, and Rowling does an amazing job illustrating the shift in seasons. The setting descriptions could make someone in the midst of summer feel as if they are entering the orange-hued, cold days of autumn. Of course, the fantastic, magical, back-to-school elements are also excellent for envisioning the season.  

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

This list would not be complete without Irving’s chilling tale of the Headless-Horseman. It takes place in New York’s Hudson Valley, which, for those who do not know, has all the ingredients for a perfect fall setting. The leaves change from green to brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow. Apples are ripe for picking, pumpkins and squash litter the ground, and the air becomes crisp. Sleepy Hollow even has a scene during a harvest party.  It is a scary-fun read for fall!

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Although this tale does not solely take place in fall, the play makes the cut due to its mind-bending creepiness.  Set in Salem, Massachusetts, and based on the infamous Salem Witch-Hunt, Miller’s play shows how an entire community can turn against one another solely based on the allegations of a few disturbed individuals.  The highly religious Puritans of New England were convinced that the Devil’s work was at play in their small community.  What is most frightening is the entire town’s steadfast belief that witchcraft was at play, and its symbolic reference to the McCarthy’s ‘Red Scare’ of the 1950’s.

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Just look at the cover of this book!  This reimagining of Edgar Allen Poe’s frightening short story, The Fall of the House of Usher, finds the heroine, Madeline Usher, in a mysterious and sinister tale of horror and tragedy.  The Fall gives us a strong female lead, a haunted house, a family curse, and a gothic, Poe-inspired ambience that is perfect for Halloween.   

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The dystopian, science-fiction novel, Never Let Me Go, combines elements that make for a perfect fall read. There is romance and heartbreak, and a disheartening sense of doom (kind of like the feeling we get from the foreboding cold of fall on its way to winter). Set in the late 1970’s at a boarding school in East Sussex, three tight-knit students, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy search for the meaning of their lives and the secrets behind their bizarre and isolated upbringing.  Written from Kathy’s point of view as an adult reflecting on her school days, the novel beautifully illustrates the progression from youth to adult while capturing the carefree days of being a teen.  The absorbing novel will leave you heartbroken.  

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