Summer Reading

Yes, yes. Summer’s almost over (even thought it’s still sooo hot), but we just got a bunch of new books in and I couldn’t resist the title. They are all too good and I couldn’t pick a favorite if I had to.

  1. Taste: The Infographic Book of FoodTaste: The Infographic Book of Food
    Illustrated by Vicki Turner (one of my favorite illustrators) this book has so much eye candy it’s unreal. The author, Laura Rowe, explores the complex, colorful and at times controversial world of food.Taste: The Infographic Book of Food
    See what I mean about the eye candy? At the intersection of food and art.Taste: The Infographic Book of Food
  2. Styled by Emily HendersonStyled by Emily Henderon
    Styled by Emily Henderson features more than 1,000 design ideas for how to style a room from HGTV Design Star winner Emily Henderson. Emily’s designs are two parts midcentury modern and one part Hollywood regency, and she’s a doll. She just did a touching whole-house makeover for her family’s nanny. Try not to cry.Styled by Emily Henderson
  3. Once Upon an Alphabetonce-upon-an-alphabet
    Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
    is a whimsical children’s book with lovely illustrations and quirky short stories about each letter of the alphabet.once-upon-an-alphabet
  4. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto9781607747208
    Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay features a complete meat and smoking education from one of the top barbecue masters and owner of the wildly popular Texas restaurant Franklin Barbecue, which I’ve actually had the privilege of visiting during SXSW this year in Austin. Ben loves his show on PBS… BBQ with Franklin.

    franklin-bbq-1 Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto

  5.  Nature’s Day

    Natures DayNature's Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll at Personify Shop
    Nature’s Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll is a beautiful children’s book showcasing the natural beauty that’s right outside our doorstep. Danielle Kroll is another one of my favorite illustrators ever. See more of her work here. I have pinned many of her illustrations.
    Nature's Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll at Personify Shop
  6. Food with FriendsFood with Friends by Leela Cyd
    Food with Friends by Leela Cyd is a gorgeously styled and inventive cookbook about special gatherings with friends. Leela is a styling genius and this book is absolutely lovely (as you can tell from the pictures). Follow her on Instagram here and her website is also beautiful.Food with Friends by Leela Cyd
  7. Start Where You Are Journal

    Start Where You Are JournalStart Where You Are is a visually stunning journal for self-exploration featuring illustrations and lettering from Meera Lee Patel. I’m looking forward to working through this.Start Where You Are Journal
  8. One Thousand Things One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses
    One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses is a lovely visual encyclopedia of one thousand first words to see and say. Search-and-find Little Mouse on every page and discover new words with every turn of the page.
  9. Felicity by Mary Oliver

    Felicity By Mary Oliver
    This collection of Mary Oliver poems is a poignant and hopeful picture of the ways we connect to the people around us. I love Mary Oliver and I love this collection of poetry. I wrote this personal blog post about it, if any of you care to read it. These poems will lift your soul.

Check out our complete selections of books here. I spend a lot of time sourcing the best books for the shop and I think you’ll really enjoy them. My first love was books and I’ll never get over that exhilarating feeling of opening a book and diving into a completely different world. I hope some of these give you that feeling too. Xoxo.

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Christina Tosi’s Ritz Cracker Ice Box Cake from Milk Bar Life Cookbook

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I asked my friend (and very talented stylist/photographer) Stephanie of Abbitt Collective (read my interview with her here) to make some recipes out of one of our cookbooks: Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi for the blog.

I was first introduced to Christina Tosi through the PBS show Mind of a Chef. The first season features chef David Chang, of the Momofuku empire, and his pastry chef, Tosi, the mastermind behind Momofuku Milk Bar. They both have incredible tv personalities (don’t bother watching other seasons of the show when they’re no longer in it) and inspiring stories. Needless to say, I was hooked.

I’ve made a couple of recipes out of Tosi’s first cookbook, but fell in love with her newest release: Milk Bar Life (which we carry in the shop!). The recipes are often twists on old favorites, and feature creative plays on prepackaged ingredients. I think she modernizes baking and pushes the limit on the ways we snack in this cookbook. One Sunday afternoon I plan on reading through the whole cookbook. It’s a gem.
Milk Bar Life

See the recipe for the Ritz Cracker Ice Box Cake and Stephanie’s tips below. YUM! P.S. There are only 3 ingredients… Whaaaaaaat.


milk-bar-life-ritz-cracker-icebox-cake
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Grape Jelly
2 (8-oz) containers Cool Whip, defrosted in the refrigerator
1 (11.3 oz) Ritz crackers

Recipe:
1. Heat the jelly in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30 second intervals, whisking after each blast, until it is just fluid but not hot. (If the jelly is hot, set it aside for a minute or two before proceeding.)

2. Whisk 1 cup of the Cool Whip into the jelly until the mixture is smooth. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining Cool Whip until completely homogenous. (This is how even the fanciest pastry chef incorporates a flavoring ingredient into whipped cream.)

3. To assemble the cake: Spread a very thin layer of the purple Cool Whip in the bottom of a pie tin or on a cake stand. Anchor in an even layer of Ritz crackers so that they touch each other but do not overlap. Top with a thick layer of Cool Whip (about 1 cup) and another round layer of Ritz. Repeat this process until the Cool Whip and crackers are used up and the tower is complete.

4. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, or, preferably, overnight before slicing and serving. Leftovers, should there be any, will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

milk-bar-life-ritz-cracker-icebox-cake

This is a GREAT quick dessert to make when you are running late! (Which I was.  ;)) I am ALL about simple recipes regardless, but this one is golden. My husband and I were on our way to a friend’s house for dinner and our job was to provide dessert. I love the idea of a sweet and salty dessert! I am a huge sweet tooth, but having something salty to compliment the sweet; it’s the best. I have never really worked with Cool Whip before, so this was definitely a learning curve! I actually messed the Cool Whip up the first time and it was way too runny. I was a little over zealous with my blending of the Cool Whip and the grape jelly. Once everything was mixed together (aka, I finally got it right), you put it in the refrigerator for a bit then make your cracker + grape whip tower! This recipe was a hit. My husband has been eating all of the leftovers because he loves it so much!

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