Author

Amanda Harkness - page 2

Amanda Harkness has 59 articles published.

has written for Green Life Guides, LLC, an eco-friendly lifestyle website, and contributed articles for Green Life Guides to Huffington Post Weddings, Huffington Post Green, The Daily Meal and Martha Stewart Weddings. She has also published poetry in the Albion Review, contributes DIY articles to Moxy Magazine and writes entrepreneurial topics for the women’s website, She's Self Employed. In her spare time, Amanda makes hand forged metal jewelry and loves to travel. She has an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University and currently lives in New Haven, CT.

St. Patrick’s Day: 4 Literary Pubs You Should Have on Your Travel List

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Every year on the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day I walk a few blocks from my home to our town’s annual parade with an Irish coffee in hand. My friends and I catch the parade route starting at the very beginning and follow it all the way downtown where the crowd thickens and a sea of folks decked out in green spill out of the doors of every pub. It’s always a lively time and definitely gets everyone in the spirit of St. Paddy’s day. This year, as I bar hopped along the festive parade route, I wondered about the history of many of the bars in my hometown. My literary background caused me to wonder which famous authors drank…

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Sweet Paleo Treats Fit to Beet the Blues This Valentine’s Day

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My dad and I bond over food—especially around Valentine’s Day. Every year without fail, he buys a sampler box of candy and we carefully pick our favorite paper-lined chocolate morsels from the heart-shaped molded plastic tray. This year I wanted to do something a little different, and that’s where Sweet Paleo: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Delights by Lea Hendry Valle (Countryman Press; March 2) comes in. You can find delectable desserts ranging from an easy chocolate chip cookie recipe to more sophisticated sweets like tiramisu, all in keeping with a Paleo diet. I’ve never prepared anything Paleo before, but I’ve certainly enjoyed many dishes made by others who love this gluten-free and grain-free lifestyle. I’m open to experimenting and trying new foods,…

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Food52 Baking Has the Recipes You Need for Your Perfect Holiday Brunch

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Christmas dinner is a wonderful tradition but, trust us, holiday brunch is the wave of the future. It works equally well for Christmas morning and New Year’s Day and you get to eat before everyone gets restless. You can also prepare a lot of the recipes, including the one I’ve included below, the day before—then if your family will let you, sleep in. I’ve entrusted one of the best baking books of 2015 for this special occasion: Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap (Ten Speed Press, September 22, 2015). This unique collection of sweet and savory dishes is a must-have for your kitchen; it includes recipes that anyone can master. For my Food52-inspired brunch,…

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Holiday Baking: Up Your Gingerbread Game with Maple Syrup

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Christmas comes but once a year and with it, all those signature Christmas cookies. My family bakes and feasts on carmelitas, coconut macaroons, raspberry walnut thumbprints, anisettes, butterballs and of course, sugar cookies. That’s a little too ambitious for me. While all the cookie freaks out there are busy perfecting the sprinkle to frosting ratio on their anginettes and frequenting their third cookie swap of the week, I’m over here just waiting for my ninja cookie cutter kit and dreaming up ginger bread cookie fight scenes. This year I want to do something a little less, well, cookie cutter. Gingerbread is my absolute favorite cookie to make – the cutouts are always fun, plus icing the little guys after they…

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Like the Japanese, We Can Learn to Eat Healthy — and Love It

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Japanese cuisine was not always known for sparkling fresh sushi or tasty ramen noodles topped with chashu (juicy braised pork), nori (crispy toasted seaweed) and egg. Before the 20th century, food was often sparse, repetitive and always plain and unseasoned—in times of scarcity rarely more than rice and pickles—and it was the custom at meals to remain completely silent. Eating was not a joyous or ceremonious event. Today, Japan is a foodie’s paradise with the lowest rates of obesity of any industrialized country. The concept of umami, the meatiness found in seaweed, miso and soy sauce, transformed the cuisine in the early 20th century, along with a national campaign to add more protein to the diet of soldiers and school…

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The Key Ways to Reinvent Your Space and Create a Happy Home

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Sometimes a book enters your life at just the right moment. I recently moved into the second floor of a beautiful Victorian home and I was surprised to find that I had more space to work with than ever before—and every room had crown molding! I started brainstorming the most efficient ways that I could fill our space with functional pieces while still maintaining a sense of aesthetic balance. The Mindful Home: The Secrets to Making Your Home a Place of Harmony, Beauty, Wisdom and True Happiness by Dr. Craig and Deirdre Hassed (Exisle Publishing; November 1, 2015) is my go-to guide for learning the importance of objects being beautiful while also being useful. The book opens with a golden…

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The Meal You’ll Want to Cook Tonight from Dinner for Two

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Since moving in with my carb-loving other half, I may have overestimated our appetites. To be fair, I’ve been known to put away an entire meatball parm in record time, and he’s recently acquired the nickname “the compactor” due to his ability to crush meals. However, this doesn’t mean that we can keep up with all the leftovers. It’s just too much for two people and heating up last night’s dinner gets old fast. During the busy work week, I often find that the leftovers are no longer all that fresh when I finally get around to freezing them. And I won’t even mention the mysterious mold factory you find a week later. Instead, we want easy recipes with zero…

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Hey, Hollywood! Your Next Hot Movie Franchise Should be Katherine Neville’s Books

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One day somebody at Disney woke up and realized that there are eight Mary Poppins books and decided to cash in on that revelation with a new live-action movie. Not that I have anything against our favorite umbrella-wielding British nanny, but seriously Hollywood, is this all you’ve got? Apparently they’ve never read anything by Katherine Neville. Hailed by The Washington Post as “a feminist answer to Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Neville’s 1988 cult classic The Eight (Ballantine Books, 1997) is an international bestseller in more than 40 languages. Now available in eBook for the first time ever, it’s time that a new generation of readers discovered the Neville-verse of romance, history, mysticism, espionage and secret societies. Call me crazy,…

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Thinking of Going Vegan? Let These 2 Cookbooks be Your Guide

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Forward-thinking culinary adventures have been the main course lately, from Mark Bittman joining The Purple Carrot (a subscription service where healthy, premeasured vegan ingredients are delivered to your door) to Panera Bread announcing  that they are adding more plant-based ingredients to their menu in an effort to keep their guests healthy and happy and to lighten the load on the environment. In my own kitchen, I recently jumped on the “Meatless Monday” bandwagon—and then, as an experiment of sorts, I decided to try eating vegan twice a week. I never could have done this successfully without the help of two fantastic books, and I’ll definitely be using them for some delicious vegan Thanksgiving side dishes. Miyoko Schinner’s The Homemade Vegan…

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You’ll Devour the Endless Possibilities in Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix

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We constantly receive beautiful cookbooks here at BookTrib, all of them filled with practical tips, luscious recipes and interesting anecdotes, their covers splashed with a Technicolor smorgasbord of dishes of every kind. But it’s not very often that we come across one that’s so highly coveted that we have to sign a joint-custody agreement. This is the case with Mark Bittman’s latest Kitchen Matrix: More Than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities (Pam Krauss Books; October 27, 2015). I’ve had this book in my possession for four days now and I’m waiting for the moment when my colleagues start begging to borrow it. For now though, I’m locked away with this culinary crowd pleaser in…

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A Tour Through the Smorgasburg of Food in Brooklyn — Plus a GIVEAWAY!

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Feast your eyes on Made in Brooklyn: An Essential Guide to the Borough’s Artisanal Food & Drink Makers (Powerhouse Books, October 20, 2015) by Melissa Schreiber Vaughan, Susanne König and Heather Weston. Part source book, part travel guide—and gorgeous on your coffee table—Made in Brooklyn takes you on a culinary journey from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Greenpoint to Crown Heights and beyond. There are small batch surprises at every turn: gritty urban warehouses filled with key lime pies made from scratch and artisanal chocolates, cordials, cocktail bitters, popsicles, granola, chili oils, kombucha and spices. These are just a few of the many companies featured in the book, helmed by creative and innovative individuals who bring a touch of their own life experiences,…

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Chocolate Lovers: Sandra Boynton Returns — Plus a Fairytale Brownies Giveaway!

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What do you really want from your chocolate? Are you looking for a constant companion or an infrequent nibble? Perhaps you need some mood stabilization therapy through cacao consumption—or do you just want a quick sugar fix? You can now realize your full chocolate-loving potential because Sandra Boynton’s “Chocolate: The Consuming Passion (Workman; October 6, 2015) has covered every chocolate-drizzled angle. The beloved New York Times bestselling author, humorist and illustrator first wrote her “Handbook for the Truly Obsessed” in 1982; it has been redrawn and updated to the delight of a whole new generation of chocoholics. As Boynton notes, many things have changed in the world since the original release, but chocolate remains constant. Boynton’s comedic insight into the…

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Review: French Cooking Finds a Tasty New Groove in Bistronomy

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The next time you order a haricot verts salad with carefully selected seasonal produce or a fresh plate of creamy burrata from a small plates menu, just remember where it all started: Paris, France, 1992. In Bistronomy: Recipes from the Best New Paris Bistros (Rizzoli; September 22, 2015) author and highly regarded authority on French cuisine Jane Sigal brings us back to the beginning and traces the evolution of the Paris “neo-bistros” or Bistronomies, (bistro + gastronomies) providing wonderful recipes, anecdotes and photographs from the best kitchens in Paris. Yves Camdeborde (aka the father of bistronomy) wanted to create a restaurant where patrons could relax and enjoy life. Tired of the overly pretentious and stuffy French restaurants found in the…

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5 Fabulous Fusion Tacos You’ve Never Heard of (But Will Love)

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Chances are when you grab a quick taco from your favorite food truck it comes with all the traditional trimmings: meat or fish, shredded lettuce, red cabbage, tomato, cheese, some guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce and a wedge of lime. Pair with a side of refried beans and cilantro rice and you’re on your way to taco heaven. But the humble taco can be the framework for culinary magic. Enter Chef Ivy Stark of famed eatery Dos Caminos New York. She has created some updated interpretations of the taco that will leave your taste buds tingling. Her latest book Dos Caminos Tacos: 100 Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Mexican Street Food by Ivy Stark and Joanna Pruess (Countryman Press; September 21,…

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Give Your Recipes a Craft Beer Kick with the Beeroness

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In the last five years, the beer community has gotten mighty crafty. It’s apparent in the rise of boutique breweries and quality craft beer infiltrating mainstream culture. Bars and restaurants host craft beer and food pairings on a regular basis and craft beer desserts (lemon IPA bars, anyone?) are gaining in popularity. The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Sliders, Skewers, Mini-Desserts and More—All Made with Beer (Adams Media, September 2015) by Jacquelyn Dodd is a compendium of bar food bites that use craft beer as a main ingredient. Dodd, a recipe developer, food photographer and writer is best known as The Beeroness and she knows a thing or two about infusing craft beer into your cooking. This is…

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How to Make the Switch to Healthy, Non-Stick Cast Iron

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There are a lot of kitchen myths out there, but one of the biggest is the widely held misconception that seasoning, cleaning and cooking with cast iron is high maintenance. When people think cast iron, they often envision a nightmarish mess on a sticky surface, but that’s just not the truth. Properly seasoned and maintained cast iron is non-stick. In fact, cooking with cast iron is beneficial in so many ways that it’s amazing that anyone ever switched over to non-stick pans. The New Cast-Iron Cookbook: More Than 200 Recipes for Today’s Kitchen (Adams Media, 2015) contains 200 cast-iron recipes with a modern twist and breaks down the basics of cast-iron care to make them easy. Cast-iron cookware lasts a…

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