My Holiday Gift Recommendations for Cooks and Bakers

2014 Holiday Cookbook Gifts
I’ll keep my intro short, because I want to direct your attention to the books on this list as quickly as possible. This is a list of books released in 2014 that I’ve bought for myself and felt compelled to buy them for my friends and family as holiday gifts as well.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s the list of my holiday cookbook gift recommendations. Please click on the cover photo of each book in order to be taken to its listing on Amazon. Continue Reading →

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Roasted Turkey with Thai Aromatic Paste

Roasted Turkey with Thai Aromatic Paste
From time to time, I get emails asking if I’ve ever tried to incorporate Thai flavors into my Thanksgiving turkey. I have indeed — though, I must say, only reluctantly and mostly to satisfy people’s curiosity. I guess the lack of enthusiasm on my part is due to this: while I eat Thai food all year round, only once a year do I get to enjoy plain, buttery roasted turkey along with sausage stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn pudding, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with apple cider-beer glaze, cranberry sauce, and soft dinner rolls with whipped butter. I love these side dishes with my turkey; each year I look forward to them more than I do the turkey itself. So I don’t feel I need to try thinking outside the box with the turkey and to risk having it clash with those classic sides.

Do “Thai flavors” clash with the traditional side dishes? Several years ago, some friends forced me to suggested that I make green curry-flavored turkey, and, against my better judgment, I caved. Well, let’s just say that we all are still scarred by the experience. We agreed we loved Thai green curry and we loved the usual Thanksgiving side dishes. We just didn’t love them together. Continue Reading →

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Northern Thailand and Northeastern Thailand (Isan) Are Two Different Regions


Northern and Northeastern Thailand
There’s the north of Thailand. Then there’s the northeast of Thailand.* The northeast is also known as isan, the term that never applies to the north. The two regions are separate and distinct in terms of food, dialect, culture, and geography.

This is old news to most people. However, based on what I’ve seen in various publications, it appears quite a few are still confused. So I hope this brief post will be useful to those who write about Thai food and/or Thai restaurants who perhaps didn’t know this before.
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* Different organizations employ different divisional schemes. What you see here is based on the one proposed by the Royal Institute and approved by the Thai government in 1977.

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