Book Release: Now What?!

We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming today for an incredibly exciting announcement: my darling, Ari King (who has been mentioned on this blog in the past) wrote a book. And it was just published! I couldn't be more excited for him. The book itself, called Now What?! Conversations About College, Graduation, and the Next Step, features 60 interviews with a variety of recent graduates, writers, doctors, lawyers, Broadway directors, actors, and more about the last year of college and their first year out. When Ari graduated in 2009, the prospective jobs for college graduates weren't great, and he and many of his classmates weren't sure what they wanted to pursue. And so the idea for this book was born.nw_cover_210 To read more about the book, visit Ari's website here:

I think that this would make an amazing gift for any recent graduates in your life, or for anyone who is looking for some guidance in the path they are pursuing. You can also purchase the book on Amazon here.

A Vineyard in Tuscany

Now that the temperatures in New York are dropping below freezing, a jaunt to Tuscany is sounding quite lovely (not that it doesn't the rest of the year as well). I actually read A Vineyard in Tuscany a couple of years ago, but revisited it a few weeks ago and enjoyed it just as much as I had the first time. Ferenc Máté has also written several novels, so it comes as no surprise that his narrative is engaging and funny. The book tells the story of his family's venture into buying a ruined vineyard in Tuscany, and their first year of grape-growing.

Máté is able to present his story in such a way that you want to be right there working in the field with him, not so that he comes off as pretentious and self-satisfied. You get to know his wife and son, as well as their eccentric neighbors in their small town. Of course, at the end of the book is a convenient list of their wines and where to buy them (which you can find here). I can't say that I have tried any, but it does seem that their vineyard sits on a prime lot in the midst of some of the best Tuscan vineyards. Overall, A Vineyard in Tuscany is an enjoyable romp through a life that sounds extremely enjoyable but also like a lot of work. I think that many people have a romantic sensibility in regards to vineyards (including me), but in his prose Máté doesn't gloss over the immense amount of works it takes to run a vineyard -- but he also doesn't leave out any of the wonderful parts either.


I will be posting more recipes soon, including some cakes and party food!

Pre-Thanksgiving + a Book

Let me just say, I am SO EXCITED for Thanksgiving. It is far and away my favorite holiday -- I love the smell of roast turkey and buttery  mashed potatoes and stuffing, 30+ people crammed into my parent's not-so-large house (somehow everyone finds a seat), the crisp November air, the leftover turkey sandwiches...Ok, mostly it's about the food. But my parents have been hosting Thanksgiving for any and all who would like to come for as long as I can remember. Usually it's just cousins and aunts and uncles, but every year there is someone new -- friends, a new fiancé, someone's random great aunt. I can't wait. Of course, between now and tomorrow I have to actually board a flight from JFK to Minneapolis which is scheduled to leave at 8:30 pm but is somehow already delayed. However, the woman at the help-line assured me that the flight would not be canceled, so hopefully all will go smoothly.

On another note, I just finished a book called The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar J. Mazzeo. Ms. Mazzeo seems to have a love of champagne which rivals my own, so of course I had to read it. The book tells the story of the woman behind the Veuve Clicquot empire -- the Widow Clicquot herself. It's quite a remarkable story; of a woman who grew up in an upper-middle class household during the French Revolution and transformed a small family business into a multi-billion dollar company -- all during a time when women had almost no rights in the public sector. While her writing is a little dry at times, I found it very informative and would recommend it to anyone interested in the history of wine and how champagne has evolved throughout the last few centuries.

I'll be back after the holiday with pictures! And probably larger pants, if we are being honest.