Catherine Ettlinger of Unconfidential Cook and many other astounding feats, is a long time friend of both Claire and me. Unconfidential Cook is not to be missed. The premise of the blog is that people share the wonderful recipes that they find and use. There are easy recipes (those would be the ones I use) and some more challenging (those are the ones I request that Catherine make when I’m at her house). Claire swears by the flourless chocolate cakewhich I have even made and it’s one of the best chocolate cakes ever. However, the biggest impact Unconfidential Cook has had on our life are school lunches. We’re all sick of sandwiches and Catherine has stacks of advice for alternatives, many are just choosing great appetizers to bake while the kids are eating breakfast, then wrap up, and drop them in the lunch bag. Moreover, Catherine’s husband Bruce photographs all of the food and you just want to eat your screen looking at the scrumptious offerings. While I’m on vacation, Catherine chipped in the following post. She refers to her “Unconfidential Cook” dinners which she has graciously included me, they are full of wonderful food and even better conversation. I spent one evening talking to Nancy Spiller and then loved her book, Catherine shares why:
Nancy Spiller, author of Entertaining Disasters: A Novel (with Recipes),was one of my mystery guests at The Second Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner—that is, I had never met her; she is a friend of my friend Susan. Her book continues a tradition of fiction with food that began for me way back when Nora Ephron wrote Heartburn (I’ve been making her vinaigrette—6 T olive oil, 2 T red wine vinegar and 2 T Dijon mustard—to great acclaim for decades). I pretty much love everything I’ve read in the genre. Really, what more could a girl want than good writing/eating?
The premise of Nancy’s novel is simple. The heroine, FW…freelance Food Writer…is about to host a dinner party, and to say she’s suffering a bit of stage fright is an understatement at best. FW has been writing for years about her fabulous dinners in all the journalistic nooks and crannies in LA’s celebrity/culinary scene. It’s expected that a meal at her well-documented hillside home surrounded by gorgeous gardens will be nothing less than a 5-star extravaganza with, of course, the most sought-after A-list guests.
Hard to live up to? You betcha, especially since it’s all been lies. She’s fabricated every scrumptious detail about every coveted invitation to Read the rest of this entry »