must read: great food, all day long

Maya Angelou Great Food

First, a little disclaimer: Maya Angelou is quite possibly the person I admire most in the world (at least, that I don’t know in real life), and definitely first on my fantasy dinner party list. In other words, I’m just the tiniest bit biased in her favor. When she released a cookbook a few years back (Hallelujah! The Welcome Table), I ran to the bookstore, devoured every single page, and have since come to rely on Dr. Angelou’s biscuit recipe as an old standby in my kitchen. So when I heard she’d written a second cookbook, naturally, I high-tailed it to the store once again. To my surprise, Great Food, All Day Long is a huge departure from Hallelujah! in nearly every regard. It’s built around Dr. Angelou’s recent weight loss, using a method that’s virtually unheard of these days: smaller portions and reasonable meals. Groundbreaking, I know. You won’t find much in the way of old-school Southern cooking in this book – which, I confess, I miss a bit. But it’s packed with recipes that I imagine are the dishes Dr. Angelou actually cooks and eats every night. Classic recipes like Mixed-Up Tamale Pie, Cabbage Rolls and Braised Lamb with White Beans had me reminiscing about my grandmother’s kitchen, and her talent for making delicious, simple meals that were more about enjoying than impressing. There’s not a complicated recipe in the bunch – this is everyday home cooking. After years of devouring one high-maintenance/high-reward cookbook after another, there’s some comfort in being reminded of the foods people actually eat every night.

As always, I love Dr. Angelou’s tone and way of writing, and her recipes have me longing for a simple plate of simple food. If you’re in the mood for a little nostalgia, some inspiration to “eat smart,” as she says, or just (like me) are happy to hear anything Maya Angelou has to say, Great Food is sure to be a perfect addition to your cookbook arsenal. –Becki S.

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and another one: high gloss joins the online shelter mag party

High Gloss

Hot on the heels of Matchbook comes High Gloss, the latest online shelter title to hit our digital bookshelves. In an interview with Shelterpop last week, Founder and Editor-in-Chief Paloma Contreras noted that the title has a broad focus that includes interiors, fashion, travel and entertaining and the proof is in the pudding: the inaugural issue boasts 181 glorious pages! Why Domino ever went to the big magazine bin in the sky will forever be beyond me, but I’m thankful for the growing list of digital titles in its absence and am anxiously awaiting the day when the staffs of all these projects storm the castle of big publishing and convince someone, somewhere to let them combine their talents and print one massive magazine that will give my peepers a much needed break from this computer! –Sarah C.

On our shelf:
High Gloss
Sweet Paul

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another online mag to love: matchbook


Just in time to chase away the winter blahs, another online magazine. Matchbook just launched as “the field guide to the charmed life.” I haven’t digested it enough to know if it lives up to the initial promise, but so far so good. There’s a feature on the 10 secrets to a charmed life from Miles Redd, a spread devoted just to books (that alone will bring me back for the next issue!) and a recipe from Sophie Dahl’s cookbook for monkfish that sounds positively yum. Have you read Matchbook yet? Let us know what you think. I’m firmly in the more the merrier camp. — Sarah L.

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want it now: penguin classics


There has been much ado about Penguin’s cloth bound, admittedly beautiful classic hardcover tomes in the blogosphere, but I’m much more interested in their re-released paperbacks . The new covers are colorful, bold and capture the loud spirits housed within the black-and-white text of their pages. All are gorgeous and reminiscent of comic books, graphic novels and fantastic pulp magazines (check out the scandalous cover of Ethan Frome). Pick up a stack for your favorite bookworm’s library. –Katie D.

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friday fun: penguin classics postcards


Especially around the holidays, you have to love an item with equal-opportunity appeal. My latest find in that category comes in the form of Postcards from Penguin, a collection of 100 of the publisher’s famous book covers in one box. Snail mailers, bookworms and design lovers alike might delight in the sight of an old classic, and at $25, the price is right to frame a select few favorites and have some left over to scrawl a witty sentiment to everyone in your book club, and your 75 closest friends. –Sarah C.

Via the neotraditionalist & sunshine on a cloudy day

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