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That’s What She Said Kleinur (Icelandic Pastries) recipe

  Iceland is the No. 1 country in the world for gender equality, and while researching That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together in Iceland, I quickly became addicted to kleinur, a traditional Icleandic confection.  Flavored with cardamom, they are similar to crullers or twisted doughnuts, and […]

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A Gentleman in Moscow Latvian Stew recipe from Amor Towles

In writing a novel, I work from an extensive outline that describes in detail the events of every chapter, the settings, and the psychological states of the characters. As a result, when I began composing the “Advent” chapter in A Gentleman in Moscow, I knew that the Count would visit the Piazza (the main restaurant […]

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Peking Duck Spring Rolls from Janice Y.K. Lee

The Expatriates is set in contemporary Hong Kong and is about three very different women living in the American expat community, but I think it is mostly about the bonds of women and motherhood.  Expats in Hong Kong can live a rarefied life of cocktails and dinner parties.  In my novel, Hilary Starling has a dinner […]

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Soft Scrambled Eggs & Chanterelles from Stephanie Danler

One of the great joys of moving to the East Coast was discovering wild mushrooms. My first autumn in New York, a chef friend of mine took us foraging up in the Hudson River Valley where we hunted for chanterelles. Each golden cap was like finding treasure, though the real rewards came later when my […]

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Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Pistachio Baklava

  Towers Falling, my novel for middle grade readers focuses on three friends: Sabeen, a Turkish American Muslim girl, Ben, a booklover and soldier’s son, and Dèja, a homeless girl who doesn’t know her father’s damaged lungs and her family’s subsequent poverty are because of his 9/11 heroism. When Dèja and Ben cut school to […]

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Kathy Gunst’s Provençal-Style Fish Soup with Rouille from SOUP SWAP

Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden How can making a pot of soup build community? That’s the concept behind Soup Swap, my newest cookbook. Here’s the set up: invite a group of food-loving friends over—neighbors, family, book club, yoga group, PTO, etc— and ask everyone to bring a large pot of their favorite soup (as well Mason jars […]

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Alexandra Risen’s Maple Granola

I lived in Montréal for almost two decades and cherished its multicultural culinary treats. Traditional neighborhoods abound, and I wandered from French bistros to little Italy to Schwartz’s smoked meat deli to my favorite shawarma restaurant whose pita sandwiches fueled me through university. I carry two beloved Montréal memories with me: the sweet beauty of […]

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Historical Dutch Apple Pie recipe from author Dominic Smith

Life is weather. Life is meals. I always recall this James Salter quote from Light Years whenever I think about food in fiction. Meals are also a signifier in novels and stories. What a character eats—and how they eat it, and with whom—tells us a lot about their background and worldview. In The Last Painting of […]

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Emma Donoghue: Jack’s Sixth-Birthday Cake from ROOM

The following recipe and introduction are re-printed from THE BOOK CLUB COOKBOOK by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp (Penguin, 2012). The narrator of Emma Donoghue’s novel is a five-year-old boy who leads a busy life. Jack and his mother’s days are filled with imagination, love for each other, and “thousands of things to do,” […]

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Juicy Wine Cakes from A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES COOKBOOK

In the novel A Confederacy of Dunces, Ignatius Reilly and the wannabe stripper, Darlene, both have an affection for wine cakes, smallish yellow cakes soaked in wine and topped with whipped cream and cherries. This dessert goes all the way back to Creole Louisiana’s antebellum days, when cakes such as savarin, a French pastry doused […]

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