Heartland Chef Lenny Russo's Cookbook Available for Presale on Amazon

Categories: Cookbooks

Photo courtesy of Heartland Facebook Page

Heartland chef/owner Lenny Russo is a busy man. He's approaching the 13-year anniversary of his Midwest-focused restaurant Heartland along with the five-year anniversary in its present location, he's opening a new quick-service wine bar (projected opening, May), he's making sausages for the Saints Ballpark. He's representing Minnesota in the World Expo Milano 2015, a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe, and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium. He will be presenting two dinners at the James Beard Pop Up Restaurant (he is also a 2015 Beard nominee).

And, he's got a new cookbook. It drops in stores in October, but you can pre-order yours on Amazon now. "I'm like Sisyphus," says Russo.

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The New Mediterranean Table by Sameh Wadi Available in Stores April 14

Categories: Cookbooks

Alma Guzman
Find recipes for Sameh Wadi's tangines and lots more in his out-very-soon cookbook, The New Mediterranean Table

It's official: Sameh Wadi of Saffron and World Street Kitchen is now the proud papa of a cookbook, The New Mediterranean Table, featuring "modern and rustic recipes inspired by traditions spanning three continents."

The prolific young chef has had a cookbook up his sleeve since forever; his parents actually planted the seed when the family was all still living together in Palestine. Wadi's mother is an accomplished cook in her own right, and she and Wadi's father embarked on a mission to gather all the recipes and lore that they could about Palestinian cooking. But then the country erupted into political conflict and there was no opportunity to publish it. One could say that Wadi has picked up the torch.

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Chef Sameh Wadi Releasing The New Mediterranean Table Cookbook

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Cooking with Friends: A Nostalgic Jaunt for the Netflix Generation

Categories: Cookbooks

Jerard Fagerberg
Here's hoping none of the pages are stuck together.

Perhaps nothing is obsessed over more than iconic television, and from 1994 to 2004, there was no show more iconic than Friends.

The quirky generational sitcom endeared its core cast of six to millions, breaking primetime TV taboos about sex, non-nuclear family structures, and erect nipples. In its decade run, Friends wasn't exactly known for pushing culinary boundaries. In fact, only Monica (a professional chef) and Joey (a human garbage disposal) regularly bring up food, but that didn't stop authors Amy Lyles Wilson and Jack Bishop from compiling Cooking with Friends, a book of recipes based on food from the NBC stalwart.

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Vegan Drag Queen Mistress Ginger: "All My Many Lovers Have Been My Taste Testers"

Mistress Ginger

All of us, every one, would be wise to glean a little bit of the self-confidence the average drag queen has in her flamingo-painted fingernail. Why did Mistress Ginger, a.k.a. Justin Leaf, write a cookbook?

"To share with the world all the wonderful recipes that have made me the gorgeous showgirl that I am!"

But of course.

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10 Best Local Cookbooks and Food Guides

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10 Best Local Cookbooks and Food Guides

Categories: Cookbooks, Top 10

Tammy Kimbler
Stacks on stacks on stacks.

This holiday season we've compiled our picks for the 10 best food guides and cookbooks, all written by local Minnesota authors in the last year. From cookbooks on indigenous foods, squash, cake, and gluten-free breads, to recipes from Twin Cities chefs, to guides on cooking from farmers markets, mushroom hunting, growing micro greens, and dehydrating -- you've got plenty of options for the local food lover on your list.

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The Essential Holiday Gift Guide for Local Food Lovers

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Amanda Rettke of I Am Baker on "Surprise-Inside Cakes" [VIDEO]

Courtesy Surprise Inside Cakes

"Love to cook, hate to bake" is a commonly held sentiment among chefs. Why? Baking in general, and confection in particular, has a reputation for being tedious, inflexible, and focused on perfection. But baking blogger and cookbook author Amanda Rettke thinks that shouldn't be the case. She makes what she calls "Surprise-Inside" cakes, which when sliced into reveal three-dimensional, multilayered, rainbow-colored shapes and images. They may look complicated, but Rettke says the stakes with baking like this are actually pretty low. Her methods work just as well with boxed mixes (though she does encourage using homemade frosting) and she makes a very good point about the upside of screwing up when you bake: "You can always eat the evidence." 

Rettke has a book signing and baking demonstration coming up this Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Kitchen in the Market at Midtown Global Market, where you can sample treats, drink bubbly, and see how, exactly, she gets cake inside of cake. We caught up with Rettke to chat about her most ambitious designs, the cons of writing a book about something new, and the best food dye for the job.

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Tricia Cornell on how to shop Minnesota's farmers markets like a pro [RECIPE]

The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook by Tricia Cornell

It seems like a shopping no-brainer: instead of getting in your gas guzzler and motoring across town to a big box grocery store for your imported asparagus from Peru or heads of garlic from China, you spend your hard-earned food budget at your neighborhood farmers market, supporting the farmers who live and work near you, and getting the best quality produce you can. So why are so many people intimidated by the farmers market, and so few see it as a legitimate place to shop and feed their families?

Tricia Cornell tackles this question in her latest book, The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook. Brimming with easy to accomplish recipes, the book also includes a comprehensive directory of farmers markets throughout the region, and helpful notes on each type of produce covered, so you can shop and cook with confidence. She took the time to chat with us about kohlrabi, the lies we've been told about stir fries, and all of her best tips for shopping locally like a pro.

The Hot Dish: Describe your new cookbook. What should readers expect?

Tricia Cornell: The most exciting thing about The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook is that it's organized by product, so that you can experience it the same way you experience the farmers market. You can either start at the beginning of a row and walk all the way through, or you can drop in and see what you see in front of you, or you can go straight to the beets if you need beets. So the book is organized that same way.

HD: Why did you decide to write this book? Your previous book, Eat More Vegetables, tackles the questions of what to do with your seasonal produce. How does this book differ from or expand on the first?

Well, that book was also a lot of fun to write. That was 100% my recipes and the foods that my family eats at home. This book allowed me to talk to a lot of really dedicated farmers and chefs, some of them practically celebrities here in Minnesota and some them ordinary farmers market fellows. And the other thing is that this book allowed me to get really in depth and geeky on each vegetable in a way that I wasn't able to do so much in the first book. I take you through how to find a vegetable, when to buy it, what to when you get it home, how to store it...So, yeah, it's a little geekier on the vegetable front.

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Lenny Russo signs book deal for new cookbook

Categories: Cookbooks
Courtesy of Lenny Russo
Chef and soon-to-be author Lenny Russo
It's been a big year for Lenny Russo.  From traveling Slovenia and filming a television show to surviving what could have been a deadly car crash to recommitting himself to health, the award-winning chef has hardly found a moment to stop moving. Now, he has finally announced what many fans have long been waiting for: He's writing a cookbook.

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Heavy Table's Secret Atlas release parties and tasting events

Courtesy Heavy Table
A peek inside the new book from Heavy Table
Fellow local food blog The Heavy Table has just released their first book The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food, and they're throwing a few fun events to promote it.

The book was funded entirely by a successful Kickstarter campaign wherein backers who pledged at the $100 level were allowed to contribute a blurb about their own favorite "hidden gem" restaurant in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Iowa to be included in the book. Other chapters were written by local foodie darlings and experts in their respective fields including Heavy Table's editor James Norton (whose book Lake Superior Flavors is forthcoming); Tim Gihring, former editor for Minnesota Monthly; and man-about-town Andy Sturdevant, author of Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow.

The release party is tonight at Common Good Books in St. Paul and there will be cheese. Here are the details.

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Minnesota's Newest Food Network Star Debuts Saturday

Photo courtesy Food Network
Amy Thielen hosts Heartland Table
We're used to eating local, but what about watching local? This weekend Amy Thielen, a Minnesota-grown chef with a New York pedigree will premiere her new show, Heartland Table, on the Food Network.

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