Hye Thyme Cafe: Cookbook Review and Giveaway

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Cookbook Review and Giveaway

The cookbook in question is The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread, by Susan Russo. In addition to being a freelance food writer and cookbook author, Susan can also be found at her popular blog, Food Blogga. The book was published by Quirk Books and distributed by Random House. It was styled by Adam C. Pearson, and photographed by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites





Do you use a bread box? If so, I would seriously consider keeping this "smaller than a breadbox" treasure right inside for quick reference. With more than 100 recipes provided, from breakfasts to desserts, you will be referring to it frequently! Aside from the "bonus" of listing variations of most recipes, Susan provides recipes for many of the accompaniments as well.

When I first saw Susan's post announcing the April 5 release date and mentioning that Quirk was looking for bloggers interested in reviewing the book, I jumped at the chance. Not  having done any reviews yet, I looked at it as a way to diversify my blog posts. The irony is that with so much at our fingertips on the Internet nowadays, I can't tell you the last time I purchased a cookbook. My logic has been that with pretty much every recipe known to man on the Internet already, why pay for a cookbook?  The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches has me seriously rethinking that. I would have to equate the experience to reading a novel while watching Jeopardy and planning what I'll be making for dinner. There were stories and trivia and photos galore! It was not only interesting and entertaining, but educational.

One of my pet peeves with cookbooks is that many contain limited (or even worse, zero) photographs. If I'm making a recipe for the first time, I would like to know what the end product is supposed to look like. Yet, here we have a book about sandwiches (I'm fairly certain we can all approximate what they should look like assembled), and every last one is beautifully styled and photographed. Because of the size of the book, some of the pictured items appear to be "actual size," making you want to take a bite. Hmmm, maybe the second printing should be scratch and sniff??

I was very excited when it arrived. I closed myself in my room armed with a cup of coffee and pad of sticky notes. I didn't make it past the intro before I started tagging pages! The book sports an Ingredient Index at the front and a Sandwich Index and Conversion Chart at the back. I knew it was going to be interesting when I came across items on the Ingredient Index that I had never heard of ... Kummelweck Rolls, Telera Rolls, Bresaola, etc. Even the detail of turning the slip sheets between sections into slices of toast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was a clever touch.  

As you can see, I got a little carried away. These sticky notes are not marking the pages of recipes I want to try (because I want to try them all ... well, not the seafood ones), but rather interesting tidbits, things I want to learn more about, or things that sparked an idea for me.
Each of the recipes is prefaced by a paragraph or two relating snippets about the origin of that particular sandwich, how it was introduced to this country, different twists put on it by various regions, etc. From the sandwich favored by one well-known cartoon character (the Dagwood) to that preferred by the King of Rock and Roll (the Elvis), The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches offers something for everyone.

I did have one bone to pick. Susan chose to include the Bologna Sandwich. That's fine, but it reallllly would have been better suited for the back of the book. She mentioned the famed jingle along with the recipe, so as I was trying to push forward (past p. 23), all I could think was "My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R ..."   ;)

Mother's Day is right around the corner. Even setting the recipes aside, this books makes a great read and would be the perfect little something for Mom, so pick up your copy(ies) today!


On to the giveaway ...

The good folks at Quirk Books inadvertently sent me two copies, so with their permission, I am offering up the second copy to one lucky reader.  Your entry options include ...
  1. Become a follower of Hye Thyme Cafe
  2. Like Hye Thyme Cafe on Facebook
  3. Post about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter
  4. For fun, as another entry, you can leave the recipe for your favorite sandwich.  Mine is a Smokey Joe - honey mustard on pumpernickel with very thin sliced red onion and smoked turkey, muenster cheese, and lettuce (or sprouts).
Just leave a separate comment for each entry.  A winner will be chosen on April 30 via one of those random number generator doohickeys.  Make sure you include your e-mail or check back to see if you won so we can get in touch.  For the rest of you, the book can be purchased here. 

Winner selected per comment below - PAMELA - Congrats!!  :) 

39 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you're enjoying the book! And all those post-it notes made me smile. Cheers! Susan

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  2. Susan - the question is, were you singing the jingle in your head when you left here?

    Hey wait a minute, that's no fair! OK, if I pick #1 for the giveaway, I'll pick again. I'm not sending you a copy of your own cookbook! ;)

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  3. My favorite sandwich is a grilled meatloaf sandwich. Take two slices of bread, place a slice of Monterey Jack cheese on a one slice of bread, add a slice of meatloaf (either cold or heated), put some grilled onions on top of that, another slice of Monterey Jack, cover with the other slice of bread. Make sure you butter the bread (like you would for grilled cheese sandwiches) and grill either in a frying pan or gridle, or if you have a panni press, you can use that. These are delicious!

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  4. I posted about your giveaway on my Facebook page.

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  5. I love grilled BBLt's in the summer when I can get the tomatos off the vine in my garden
    Intreged by all your post it notes....looks like a got to have book

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  6. I am a snadwich kind of gal...this would be perfect!! I am following on FB!

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  7. Love turkey, avocado and cheese on sourdough

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  8. gfc follower
    tara.huff(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. like you on facebook
    tara.huff(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. I LOVE this sandwich from The Pioneer Woman - http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/03/grilled-chicken-and-roasted-red-pepper-panini/
    tara.huff(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. I am follower of Hye Thyme Cafe
    lgmorales18@gmail.com

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  12. Like Hye Thyme Cafe on FB as Laura Morales

    lgmorales18@gmail.com

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  13. I tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/laurabooknerd/status/62702739406336001

    lgmorales18@gmail.com

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  14. My favorite sandwich ever is Milanesa Torta its really good :P
    lgmorales18@gmail.com

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  15. I love the Bama sandwich from Southern plate!

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  16. My favorite sandwich recipe: Bread thickly spread with butter and pesto, topped with tomato slices and viola- a superb taste of summer.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    onehotstove AT gmail DOT com

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  17. My favorite sandwich is something I used to have as a kid all the time, and it's stuck with me: Kosher dill pickles, smoked gouda cheese, and honey ham on potato bread with just a little smear of mayo - plain and simple!

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  18. following you via GFC

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

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  19. I am a follower, like you on facebook and my favorite sandwich is a BLT, home made bread, Amish butter, homegrown lettuce and warm out of the garden heirloom tomatoes. Too bad I can't eat them year round.

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  20. Just posted about the giveaway on FaceBook.

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  21. Doesn't this book look great?! I'm like you about cookbooks, but I definately have my favs. :) I started making my own sandwiches when I was 6 or 7. My favorite then and now is a hamburger on white bread with mayo and pickles.

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  22. follow your blog. Thanks so much! joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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  23. Like you on fb. :) joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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  24. Love a peanut butter, banana and honey. YUM. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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  25. I make my hubby a sandwich every work day and I'm sure he'd appreciate some new one thrown in the lunch bucket! My fav is a Reuben...mmm getting hungry just thinking about it.

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  26. I adore thinly sliced turkey with mayo, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts on good bread.

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  27. follow blog as jelaws5
    thanks
    sounds like a interesting book
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. like u on fb Julie S Laws
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. shared on fb Julie Scott Laws
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. AND THE WINNER IS ...

    RANDOM.ORG Random Sequence Generator
    Here is your sequence: 5

    Excluding the first two comments, which were me and the author, comment 5 was from PAMELA. Yay!! I'll head over to FB to let you know in case you check there first. Gotta get your address so I can send it off. Thanks everyone! The hard part for me was not responding to everyone's comments. LOL So to anyone new here, welcome aboard, thanks, and hopefully we can do this again soon. :)

    ReplyDelete

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