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You Wanna Piece of Me?

You Wanna Piece of Me?

More than 100 Seriously Tasty Recipes for Sweet and Savory Pies
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

From the Introduction:
Any Way You Slice It!
The day we opened we had “oven issues” (or that’s what I decided to call it). Instead of flipping the “closed” sign on the door around to “open,” I panicked and sent one of my new staff outside to explain that we would not be opening as planned, blaming those oven issues. A wave of disappointment swept down the lineup of people eagerly waiting outside. In reality, of course, the oven was fine; it was me who wasn’t. I was terrified all over again that I wasn’t ready, that for some reason the pies I’d been making for the past six years weren’t good enough. But then the first person in line spotted the display case inside, full of pies. They insisted on buying a pie from it—it didn’t matter if the oven was “broken”; these pies were ready to be eaten! Well, once the door opened, they all came flooding in. Despite my best efforts to remain closed that first day, we sold out of pie. It was a sellout opening day, and I never even flipped the sign on the door! 

A short, crazy six months later, we outgrew our space. We were making pies as fast as we could but still turning customers away. Not only were we a regular spot for the locals, we had become a destination for people visiting Vancouver. Over the years, we’ve had customers from all over Canada, the US, New Zealand, and Germany (to name just a few), who all make a stop at The Pie Hole part of their Vancouver itinerary. If word was going to keep spreading, I had to be strategic about my second location and make sure it was big enough to be used as a central bakery from where we could distribute to our wholesale partners, and of course our current shop, and future shops to come. 

When I sat down to write this cookbook, I got a bit stuck. I packed up my laptop and went to a café to write. But it wasn’t just any café; it was mine (goosebumps). Sitting there with a cup of tea, I interacted with all my fellow pie lovers—from our daily regulars to those visiting for the first time. When I said I needed inspiration—well, there was certainly no shortage of it there. Our customers are not shy (which I love!); they often approach me and share their stories every day. Stories about baking pies with their moms; about their grandmothers who carefully planned family dinners to include everyone’s favorite pie; tales about the time they attempted and failed to make a pie, usually muttering about how difficult pie crust is to make. Many of their stories make me smile; some make me tear up and hug them in a warm embrace. 

Recently an older woman told me that she used to come every week to The Pie Hole for apple pie with her husband. Apple pie was his favorite, and after more than 50 years of marriage, she was so happy to have found a place where he loved the pie so much that she didn’t have to make it anymore! She told me that he recently passed away, but that when she’s really missing him, she comes to the shop and orders a slice of apple pie, just as they did on their weekly dates. 

People often open their hearts to me, sharing some of their fondest memories and real vulnerabilities with me. They walk away not knowing how their stories affect me— and they do, deeply. As I am writing this book, I keep changing the words on the page in a direct reflection of these inter- actions. Day after day, as I watch customers come through the doors, I am constantly reminded how special this thing I have created is. Over the years, countless customers have brought Pie Hole pies to their family dinners and special occasions. It’s amazing and it’s humbling. We have become a part of their traditions and helped contribute to their lasting memories. For me, there is nothing more special than that. 

I am delighted to write this book, and to share my recipes with all of you. My hope is that you will create a little of the same magic we have at The Pie Hole in your own home. 

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Bisous and Brioche

Bisous and Brioche

Classic French Recipes and Family Favorites from a Life in France
edition:Hardcover
tagged : french
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Flavorbomb

Flavorbomb

A Rogue Guide to Making Everything Taste Better
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

From the Introduction:
The Flavorbomb Manifesto 
If you live for wildly addictive, life-affirming taste sensations that knock you off your feet, pin you to the ground, and pleasure you with layers of intense flavors, welcome to the club. You have just found your kindred culinary spirit. 

If this describes you, I’m willing to bet you keep a running list of restaurants you go to for your favorite flavorbombs—such as a vibrant, pungent Caesar salad, extra crispy garlic fries, or a spicy puttanesca pasta. I’ll also guess that you might be able to articulate exactly what it is about those dishes that you find so addictive. But when you try to reproduce the same flavors at home, do you find yourself falling short? That’s what I hear from so many of my friends. And that’s why they are curious about why food always tastes better at my house (their words, not mine). Hence this book. 

I’m a culinary charlatan. Thinking about food 24/7 is my job—and making it taste good without playing by the rules is my game. For the past 25 years I’ve eaten my way around the globe, traveling millions of miles in search of culinary adventures and inspiring foods for my three TV series and six cookbooks. Along the way, I’ve broken eight food-related Guinness World Records, competed in some of the most outrageous food competitions on the planet, cooked alongside countless amazing chefs, harvested grapes at legendary wineries, and sampled every local street food imaginable at ramshackle carts, hawker stalls, and night markets from Italy to India. 
Before I wrote my first cookbook, I managed and toured with international recording artists. So why should you look to a rock-manager- turned-culinary-adventurer for guidance instead of a restaurant chef or a Cordon Bleu instructor? Because rock ’n’ roll and cooking are based on the same two principles: there are no rules (and any rules that do exist are meant to be broken), and the only thing that matters is leaving your audience in a state of euphoria. 

The collective experiences from my travels, adventures, and competitions, combined with the tricks, techniques, and hacks that I’ve learned from observing street vendors and working with talented chefs all over the world, have formed the backbone of my cooking in ways that culinary school can’t begin to teach. 

If you are familiar with my previous cookbooks, you know that in the past I have been known to play with my food. As the self-christened “Surreal Gourmet,” I made edible creations that fooled the eye into thinking you were eating something you were not (think savory “cupcakes” made with braised lamb shanks, topped with beet-dyed pink mashed potato icing). While I would like to think that I was making Salvador Dalí proud, I was also leaning heavily on a highly styled surreal presentation that in retrospect was a work-around for not having a formal culinary education. 

I no longer feel the need to apologize for that, and now the gloves are off. The single focus of this book is to channel everything I have gleaned into recipes and practical tips that will help you create bold, stimulating flavors that leave you and those you cook for in a state of bliss. Simply stated, this book is the distillation of my life’s journey. It is how I cook at home every day for my wife and friends. And my goal is to share everything I have learned, in practical, applicable ways that will make you a rock star in your own kitchen. 

Any time I set foot in my kitchen, I challenge myself to maximize the flavor potential of every bite. And when I write a recipe, I strive to make it addictive and foolproof for anyone who makes it. Because I get more excited by tacos than truffles, my outsider approach to creating addictive flavors won’t require you to buy frivolous top-shelf ingredients or use super-sophisticated techniques. Nor will it rely on gratuitous amounts of butter, salt, and sugar. 

Instead, we will start every recipe together by building a foundation, and then we’ll add layers of flavors and textures at every step of the way. We’ll add complexity with some simple techniques (like my favorite, caramelization), and then finish it with some of the final flourishes I’ve learned in professional kitchens. If there’s a hack or a simple trick that can save you time or up the ante—believe me, I’ll share it with you. Each individual step is easy to wrap your head around, and when you start pulling them all together at the same time, your cooking will be forever changed. 

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Milk, Spice and Curry Leaves

Milk, Spice and Curry Leaves

Hill Country Recipes from the Heart of Sri Lanka
edition:Hardcover
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The Bite Me Balance Cookbook

The Bite Me Balance Cookbook

Wholesome Daily Eats & Delectable Occasional Treats
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

From the Introduction
 
How do you sum up a lifetime of belly laughs, of conversations spoken only with your eyes, of shared delicious, joy-filled meals, and family you've fiercely loved? It's not easy, but this natural give and take my sister Lisa and I have is what's always kept us balanced. We're sisters who know when to step in and prop the other up, and when to stand back and let the other shine. We cheer each other on, and we always have each other's backs (rolls and all). We cross our arms over our chests in unison not because we're closed off, but because it's comfy. We still get sent away from our parents' dinner table for being naughty, we're always on the same page (even when we're not­it happens, sometimes), we share a deep love for dogs, we talk endlessly about nothing, and together, we've built a business that caters to each other's strengths. My (being Julie's) deep love for the written word and design partners perfectly with the bionic palate that has helped guide Lisa in developing over a thousand unbelievably tasty and doable recipes in three best-selling cookbooks and on our Bite Me More website. She'd never boast about that, but I can.
 
WHY THE BALANCE? 
Since we both always try to tell it like it is. here's the skinny on our waistlines: we've sweated to the oldies. we've tried and failed to build buns of steel. and we ate fat-free for way too long. We fervently bought into (and boy, do we wish we could have our money back) the idea of the quick fix. the sure thing, and the next fad that would surely make us the masters of our thighs. But. eventually, too hungry and too tired. we waved the white flag, and shockingly, the moment we gave up on all-or-nothing extremism. everything fell into place. We had no idea how starving we were to be free of dodgy diet claims and constant fork-in­hand self-flagellation until we discovered that all that time wasted on calorie counting {btw. I'm superbad at math). obsessing over forbidden fruit (and. no. it wasn't apples). and holding our breath as we stepped on the scale would be way better spent listening to what our bodies were telling us about what we needed to be nourished. energized. and. of course. satisfied.
 
Here's the boring truth of our hard-won know-how: there's no magic bullet when it comes to health and wellness for either of us. and there's nothing sexy about our approach--moderation is the granny panties of the diet world-which comes down to a lifelong commitment to eating smarter and moving more. Yuppers. you read that right: eat smarter and move more. And while we haven't included our calisthenics routine in this book (though Lisa does dish on dips and I serve up some epic burpees). we can most definitely help you with the eating part. 

Finding the right balance between healthy and indulgent eating means different things to different people. but we're hoping to arm you with the tools (aka everyday amazing, easy, delicious. well-tested, healthy­ish recipes) that will allow you. and us. to bake that cake and eat it too.

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