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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 17

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Cookbook Mon Nov 23 2015

Last Minute Thanksgiving Help

books.jpgIt won't be long now until you'll be standing in your kitchen juggling your feelings for Aunt Martha with the 36 cooking challenges you've given yourself. I've spent the last week or so pretending like Turkey Day isn't running at me full throttle, and I have a feeling you've been doing the very same thing. I like to think of my Thanksgiving procrastination and panic as my gift to my holiday guests. I always end up breaking the all important "don't try new dishes at a holiday celebration" rule. That sounds like punishment, but it's just my childlike reaction to 25 or so years of green bean casserole and weird stuffing. I have narrowed my Thanksgiving guides down to two cookbooks. Here's to hoping that my holiday insanity will inspire you to discover new dishes for your holiday table. Now, get to work!

Thanksgiving is pie. That's why I've chosen The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie by Paula Haney as my number one holiday guide. Haney opened the immediately successful Hoosier Mama Pie Company's first shop in the Ukrainian Village in 2009 after several years working as a Chicago pastry chef. Hoosier Mama became a local favorite right away, but also earned high praise nationwide from Bon Appetit, the Food Network, and Food & Wine Magazine. The book contains more than 120 sweet and savory recipes as well as many great tips for baking success. Imagine the possibilities with options like Sweet Potato pie, Frito-Chili Pie, Cheddar Vegetable Pie and Dutch Apple Pie with Sour Cream Custard. Paula Haney's stellar pie bible must be in your cookbook arsenal this (and every) holiday season.

Thanksgiving is also gorgeous produce, which is why I'll also be using The Green City Market Cookbook to help me on Thursday. The Green City Market was founded in 1998 by the late chef Abby Mandel and is held year-round in Lincoln Park. The market has blossomed over the years into one of the most popular destinations for finding organic and sustainable produce and products. Culinary icon and chef Alice Waters calls it, "the first place I go when I am in Chicago." The book is organized by season, and gives recipes that make use of fresh fruits and vegetables such as Wisconsin Blue Cheese Dip, Butternut Squash and Kale Soup, Roasted Harvest Vegetables and more. There is no better way to help you add fresh and new items to your table this holiday season and year round.

Whatever your holiday is, I hope these excellent books help you get the job done!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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