[mouthwatering review] magic ramen by andrea wang and kana urbanowicz

“Mankind is Noodlekind” ~ Momofuku Ando

 

Know what would really hit the spot right about now?

A warm bowl of instant ramen. Care to join me?

 

 

I can’t even guess how many years I’ve been going from “hungry to happy” with Top Ramen and Cup Noodles. They’re pretty unbeatable (and ubiquitous) as comfort food — quick, convenient, portable, shelf stable, cheap, tasty and satisfying. It’s the kind of thing you take for granted, the food that helped you get through college. 🙂

But do you know who actually invented instant ramen?

 

 

I first heard of Taiwanese-born Momofuku Ando in an article that appeared in David Chang’s inaugural issue of the now defunct Lucky Peach magazine (2011). What a fascinating and inspirational story! Anyone who’s ever slurped up their fair share of ramen should know the who, what, when, how, and why of what the Japanese consider to be their best invention of the 20th century.

 

 

Now, thanks to Andrea Wang and Kana Urbanowicz, hungry, noodle-loving kids can read all about it in a new picture book, Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando (little bee books, 2019). They will see that because of one man’s compassion, ingenuity, persistence, and entrepreneurial smarts, people all over the world can make their own delicious ramen “anywhere, anytime” in just a few minutes. 🙂

Continue reading

[tasty review] Right This Very Minute by Lisl H. Detlefsen and Renée Kurilla

 

Are you hungry, right this very minute?

Well then, put on your bib and prepare to lick your chops cause you’ve come to the right place. 🙂

Can’t wait to tell you about a brand new picture book (just out today!) by Lisl H. Detlefsen, who, you may recall, visited not too long ago to talk about her award-winning debut title, Time for Cranberries (Roaring Brook Press, 2015). 

This time she’s teamed up with Boston-based illustrator Renée Kurilla to serve up Right This Very Minute: A Table-to-Farm Book About Food and Farming (Feeding Minds Press, 2019).

 

 

Talk about interesting, informative, engaging, and totally delicious! This book spotlights the proud, dedicated farmers and ranchers who work hard to feed us each and every day. From orchards to dairy farms, to wheat fields and cranberry marshes, they are constantly busy getting food to our tables.

The fun begins with a mother serving her daughter pancakes, maple syrup and orange juice for breakfast.

 

All art copyright © 2019 Renée Kurilla

 

What’s that you say?
You’re hungry for breakfast?

Right this very minute?

Then you need a farmer.

You have the stories of so many,
right here on your table.

 

She then goes on to explain that the oranges are tested for ripeness at the citrus grove before they’re harvested and squeezed into juice. Meanwhile, a farmer is preparing his field for seeding. The wheat will be “grown, harvested, and then ground into flour” for pancakes. At the same time, a sugarmaker installs a new tubing system to carry maple sap to a storage tank before it’s boiled down into thick maple syrup in evaporators.

We are then invited to join more families and friends as they enjoy a snack, have lunch, dinner, and dessert. Each time, we are treated to tantalizing tidbits about the foods they’re eating.

 

Continue reading

[review + giveaway] The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi and Shahar Kober

My, my.  A story about dim sum and dumplings. What could be more tempting? 🙂

In the The Ugly Dumpling (Mighty Media Kids, 2016), a new picture book by Stephanie Campisi and Shahar Kober, we are invited to the Golden Swan Restaurant for a “modern fable of friendship, feelings, and being different.”

 

Once upon a time,
perhaps last week,
or even last night,
at your local dim sum restaurant
there was an UGLY DUMPLING . . .

This ugly dumpling
was ugly
in its
OWN
ugly way.

 

Poor thing! Though the dumpling tried its best to be noticed by wrinkling its brow, standing up tall, or even wearing pleated pants, sadly it remained “uneaten and ignored.” But as fate would have it, along came a cockroach whose heart swelled with love, who wept upon seeing the ugly dumpling. It extended an arm (or a leg) in friendship, promising to show the dumpling “the beauty of the world.”

Continue reading

the little bitty bakery: sweet talk with leslie muir and betsy lewin

Dark Chocolate Coconut Eclair via Ang

Roll out the pink carpet and fire up your ovens! Put on your best dress aprons and fill your pastry bags with vanilla buttercream frosting! Bakery babes Leslie Muir and Betsy Lewin are here!

*licks chocolate off éclair*

We are thrilled to be the third stop in The Little Bitty Bakery Blog Tour. It’s no secret that when it comes to bakeries I go a little insane. I think in a past life I must have lived in a French pâtisserie, where I had pain au chocolat for breakfast, cherry clafouti for lunch, and an apple tarte for dinner. Of course there were plenty of macarons for elevenses and madeleines for afternoon tea. Le yum!

So you can imagine how giddy I was to read The Little Bitty Bakery, a thoroughly charming tale of an elephantine pastry chef who bakes away her birthday. How her heart aches when she realizes it’s too late to celebrate. She’d worked so hard making treats all day long, but now there would be no birthday cake for her. She climbs into bed and in the middle of the night is awakened by the aroma of scrumptious “swirls of sweetness.” When she goes downstairs, she discovers a delightful surprise — a Crumble Jumble Cake prepared by the mice! “They had a celebration and nibbled cake till dawn./ When they set their napkins down, every crumb was gone.” Such heartwarming goodness!

Continue reading