Pictures From France

Photo of Monet's garden for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

First stop: Monet’s Garden. Me, Ross and my dad among the ANGELIC lily pads.

Photo of Gold Beach, Arromanches, France for blog "Pictures From France" by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

On June 6th, 2012 we visited Arromanches to COMMEMORATE the events that occurred on D-Day, ironically, June 6th, 1944. Me, my mom and brother in front of Gold Beach, one of the numerous beaches invaded by U.S. soldiers decades ago.

Photo of cod dinner at Au Bouillon Normand, Honfleur, France, for blog "Pictures From France" by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Cod served with whipped potatoes, vegetables and an ETHEREAL sauce at Au Bouillon Normand in Honfleur. All of the ingredients were “du marche,” meaning, “of the market.”

Photo of McDonald's in France for blog, "Pictures From France" by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

McDonald’s, the ESSENCE of America, chez France.

Photo of Kitchen at Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

In the kitchen at Château de Chenonceau, baking bread was a QUOTIDIAN activity.

Photo of French riverside picnic, for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

HONING your inner French self made easy with riverside picnic.

Photo of stevia leaves growing in gardens at Château de Chenonceau, for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

I LOATHE the artificial sweet taste of stevia leaves.

Charis

  • ANGELIC = divine
  • COMMEMORATE = remember
  • ETHEREAL = heavenly
  • ESSENCE = spirit, nature
  • QUOTIDIAN = daily
  • HONE = sharpen
  • LOATHE = hate

Guest Blog: What The Funk?

Photo of cheese assortment at Auberge De Launay for Guest Blog: What The Funk? on www. SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The garçon at the wonderful restaurant, Auberge De Launay, in Amboise, France, offered us a selection of cheeses from the region, which ranged from mild to funky.

France is known for its cheese. For Americans — us ugly American, francophile wannabees — we like the idea of IMMERSING ourselves in foreign culture, so you can imagine my excitement when presented with a cheese tray last night, after a marathon meal in Amboise. Following a dinner of GASTRONOMIC delights, including white asparagus and pig’s trotter, the garçon arrived with an attractive platter of cheese. He explained our selection, the smell and taste of which ranged from funky to what the funk. We opted for both the standard — brie, goat’s cheese — and the unusual — garlic and beer aged cheese.

Photo of beer cheese for Guest Blog: What The Funk, on www.SATgourmet.com, a website by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Beer cheese proved to be the funkiest thing I have ever tasted.

Of particular note, the beer aged cheese had subtle notes of ammonia, perfumed with the aftertaste of something INEXPLICABLY rotten. In an attempt towards cultural PREENING and self AGGRANDIZEMENT, I convinced myself that my palate could stomach, and even enjoy, such obviously disgusting food. Only after I had brushed my teeth that night and removed the smell RESIDING under my fingernails did I have a chance to determine that I’m happy with RUN-OF-THE-MILL, non-experimental, at times Wal-Mart produced and processed, cheese.

  • IMMERSING = Involve, submerge, dip
  • GASTRONOMIC = Of or relating to food and cookery, especially the art of good eating
  • INEXPLICABLY = Unable to be explained
  • PREENING = Devote effort to making look attractive
  • AGGRANDIZEMENT = increase power or reputation, enhancing
  • RESIDING = Be present, situated
  • RUN-OF-THE-MILL = ordinary

What is the funkiest thing you’ve ever tasted?

Ross Freiman-Mendel

Mirepoix: The Holy Trinity Of French Cuisine

Photo of Mirepoix for blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

A mirepoix, which consists of onions, carrots and celery, is the core group of flavors that add balance to most savory French dishes.

I’m heading off for a three-and-a-half week vacation to France, Berlin and Amsterdam, so last night, my dad prepared a French-themed dinner to prep our palettes for our upcoming PEREGRINATION. He made a delicious, broiled Icelandic salmon accompanied by a white sauce and vegetables. To bring out the French flavors, he sautéed a core group of flavors: celery, carrots and white onions, known as a “mirepoix,” and he built the dish from there. These ingredients are the holy trinity in French cuisine, because they combine perfectly together, INFUSE savory foods with flavor and add balance to soups, stocks, stews, meats and just about anything. Instead of using white onions, my dad OPTED for red and also added fennel and French sausage. Let’s just say that last night’s dinner got me so excited for France and the wonderful food that it has to offer!

  • PEREGRINATION = travel, journey, adventure
  • INFUSE = to fill, pervade, instill
  • OPTED = chose

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs and updates about my adventures exploring Europe.

Bon Voyage,

Charis

Recipe: Yellowtail Sole Meuniere

Photo of movie, "Julia and Julia" for recipe on sole meuniere on blog, www.SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite "foodie" movies, Julie and Julia.

Inspiration for recipes can come from anywhere, including movies, books, TV shows and life. While I was home 2 weeks ago, I watched Julie and Julia, a movie based off of a book by the same name. Julie cooked her way through the cookbook, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, written by the most SPRIGHTLY of chefs, Julia Child. (You probably figured out that this idea influenced Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.) In one of my favorite scenes in the movie, Julia is served a sizzling fillet of Dover sole, which sparks her obsession with French food. I couldn’t help but want to make some wonderful Sole Meuniere for me and my family to enjoy. I followed Ina Garten’s recipe with a few of my own SLIGHT ALTERATIONS.

Photo of ingredients for recipe on sole meuniere on blog, www.SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup flour, 4 sole fillets (3 to 4 ounces each,) 6 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tsp lemon zest, 6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons,) 1 tbsp freshly minced parsley, salt and pepper.

Photo of movie, "Julia and Julia" for recipe on sole meuniere on blog, www.SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Pat dry the sole fillets with paper towels.

Photo of flour mixture for recipe of sole meuniere on www. SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle the sole fillets with the flour mixture and add extra salt to one side of each fish fillet.

Photo of fish fillets in pan for recipe of sole meuniere on www. SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

In a 12" pan, heat 3 tbsp butter over medium heat until melted and slightly browned. Place 2 sole fillets in the pan (I put 3 fillets in...whoops.) Lower the heat to medium-low and cook the fillets for about 2 minutes on each side.

Photo of cooking fish in pan for recipe of sole meuniere on www. SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

While the second side cooks, add 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 2 tbsp lemon juice to the pan. Once cooked, transfer the fish to an ovenproof plate and drizzle the sauce over them. Keep in the oven while you cook the rest of the fish.

Photo of the finished sole meuniere in pan for recipe of sole meuniere on www. SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Add minced parsley to the cooked fish and serve immediately! Julia Child would be proud.

  • SPRIGHTLY = lively, full of energy
  • SLIGHT = of small importance
  • ALTERATION = a change, modification

Bon Appetit,

Charis

Book Review: Ripe

Photo of cover of cookbook "Ripe" by Cheryl Sternman Rule for book review by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Ripe, a PAEAN to produce, is the product of a collaboration between an omnivore food writer and a pescaterian photographer. I had to spend a good amount of time with this book to figure out exactly how to characterize it. It’s a cookbook, but not really. It’s a photo essay, but not really. It’s a handbook of fun food facts and healthy eating ideas, but not really. Actually, it’s all of the above. It finally hit me that the book doesn’t neatly fit into any once category. It’s really a love poem celebrating the wonders of fruits and vegetables. The book has an unintended, extra added bonus for SATgourmet followers: some seriously good vocabulary.

Photograph of honeydew salad with poppy seed dressing by photographer Paulette Phlipot for cookbook "Ripe" review by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Ripe: Honeydew Salad With Poppyseed Dressing

In her introduction to the book, author Cheryl Sternman Rule declares that being a food marm is not her intention: most likely you already know the importance of healthy eating. Her mission is to help you find the joy and beauty of produce, experience flavorful dishes, and spark your imagination to create some recipes of your own.

Photo of colors of the rainbow or electromagnetic spectrum known as "Roy G. Biv" for Charis Freiman-Mendel review of cookbook "Ripe"

Rainbow of food colors in "Ripe" AKA "Roy G. Biv" AKA the electromagnetic spectrum.

The book is organized by color rather than season, which is unusual for a produce-focused cookbook. Sternman Rule features 76 fruits and vegetables in rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, purple/blue and white (which physics students such as me will recognize as “Roy G. Biv”). Each one is introduced with chatty insights and observations by the author, followed by a recipe and a “simple uses” suggestion.

Photograph of toasted edamame with garlic chili oil recipe by photographer Paulette Phlipot for review of cookbook "Ripe" by Charis Freiman-Mendel

Ripe: Toasted Nori Edamame With Garlic-Chili Oil

Most of the recipes are easy to prepare and range from fairly standard (Grilled Asparagus With Chopped Egg and Champagne Vinaigrette, Ginger Cashew Cauliflower, Peanut Strewn Purple Cabbage Slaw), to unique and different (Jicama with Peanut Sriracha Dip, Cremini Farro Hash with Poached Eggs, Persimmon Apple Radicchio Stacks). Photographer Paulette Phlipot’s painstakingly perfect images show REVERENCE for food. Have a look and I promise, the pictures will make your mouth water.

Photograph of eggplant romesco rigatoni by paulette phlipot for cookbook "ripe" review by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Ripe: Eggplant Romesco Rigatoni

The most unique and possibly most useful aspect of the book is the “Simple Uses” suggestion that follows each recipe. The list of 3 practical uses and/or flavor ingredient combinations is meant to prod the inner chef out of your culinary comfort zone and help you get creative.

Photograph of Radicchio salad by paulette Phlipot for cookbook "Ripe" review by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."
Ripe: Radicchio Salad WIth Tahini Lemon Drizzle

If food is your muse, this is your book.

“Ripe” is available nationwide in bookstores and through online booksellers.

Charis

Thanks to Cheryl Sternman Rule for the LITANY of SAT vocabulary in her book.

Here are a few examples:

  • “Perhaps there’s no point in MALIGNING a peach to build  up a nectarine: both fruits have plenty to offer and similar culinary applications.”
  •  “Given blueberries’ DIMINUTIVE size, you can pile them on with irresponsible, reckless abandon.”
  1. PAEAN = praise
  2. REVERENCE = respect
  3. LITANY = catalogue
  4. MALIGN = berate
  5. DIMINUTIVE = small

Tie-Dye Cupcakes Recipe

Photo of tie-dye cupcake for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Adding food coloring to cupcake batter makes these sweet treats even more intriguing!

Summer is almost here! As a way of USHERING in my favorite season, I decided to experiment with simple cupcake batter in attempt to create tie-dye cupcakes. Of course, homemade cupcake batter and frosting are a better choice than the store-bought versions I OPTED for, if you’re not pressed for time. Either way, have fun mixing colors and letting your inner-kid come out! They scream 70’s and all hippies will surely RESONATE with their psychedelic flare.

Photo of ingredients for tie-dye cupcake for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Ingredients: 1 package store-bought cake mix and the ingredients that it calls for on the back of the box, frosting, and an assortment of food coloring.

Photo of mixed cupcake batter for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Preheat oven according to instructions on back of box. Mix together all of the ingredients.

Photo of separated cupcake batter for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Evenly distribute the cupcake batter into bowls. I decided to divide the batter into three bowls so I could have three different colors, but you can use however many or little as you want.

Photo of colored cupcake batter for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

The fun part! Add food coloring to each of the bowls of cupcake batter. This really tests your knowledge of color mixing!

Photo of cupcake batter in tins for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

After placing cupcake tins into muffin holders, pour the different colored batter over each other. Do not mix the colored-batter together!

Photo of baked cupcakes for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Bake the cupcakes for the time instructed at the back of the cupcake-mix box. I chose the keep my colors light and subdued, but feel free to create bright and psychedelic cupcakes!

Photo of frosted cupcake for recipe on tie-dye cupcakes on www.S.A.T.gourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

After frosting your cupcakes to your liking, enjoy!

 

Happy almost summer,

Charis

  • USHERING = to show, guide, mark the start of something
  • OPTED = make a choice out of many possibilities
  • RESONATE = meet in agreement

 

Homemade Ginger Candy For Mother’s Day

Tagxedo tag cloud of the word "Mother" for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Word cloud of "Mother" in 115 languages.

Handmade Mother’s Day gifts are a great way to MAINTAIN tradition while adding a personal touch that says, “I love you sooooooo much, Mom!” My mother has a collection of cards I made for her every year while I was in lower and middle school, so this year I went with homemade candy.

Photo of ginger candy on a plate for Mother's Day blog on homemade candy by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

The finished product: ginger candy is chewy and delicious.

Ginger candy is a sweet treat that can be prepared in advance and stored until the big day, which this year, is Sunday, May 13th. It’s easy to make and offers all of the health benefits of ginger. Ginger contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is an ancient treatment for many MALADIES, including digestive problems, nausea, and cramps.

Here’s a very simple recipe for ginger candy that Mom will enjoy and appreciate:

Photo of sliced ginger cooking in pan for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Simmer the sliced ginger.

Photo of ginger candy recipe for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

 

 

 

 

Photo of simmering ginger in saucepan with sugar and ginger water to be added, for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Measure the sugar and ginger water.

 

Photo of sugar being added to simmering ginger in pan for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Adding sugar to the simmering ginger.

 

 

 

Photo of simmering ginger with liquified sugar cooking in pan for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

The sugar liquefies, reduces, crystallizes: careful not to burn!

Photo of ginger candy on wax paper for Mother's Day blog on homemade ginger candy recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Let the ginger candy cool on wax paper before serving or storing.

Fun facts about Mother’s Day:

  • Ancient festivals of motherhood honored female DIETIES and ICONS
  • “Mothering Day,” the first to honor actual humans, began about 400 years ago, by DECREE, in England
  • In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson APPENDED the list of national observances to include Mother’s Day

Ginger candy tastes great and is good for you… not too many sweets can claim that!
Charis

  • MAINTAIN = preserve
  • MALADY =illness
  • DEITY = goddess
  • ICON =representation
  • APPEND = add

Book Review: “Zuppe” Celebrates Sustainable Eating

Photo of front cover of Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Available on Amazon, online booksellers and in local bookstores.

The recently published Zuppe features 50 soup recipes prepared by members of the Rome Sustainable Food Project, a mess hall serving the community of artists at the American Academy in Rome. As a diehard Italophile, I was predisposed to love this book, and I wasn’t disappointed. Author Mona Talbott, a Chez Panisse and Alice Waters disciple, is a frugal foodie who proves (with grace and style) that healthy, tasty, economical meals can be prepared on a shoestring budget. She crowd sources the recipes from her staff and local food PURVEYORS, and demonstrates that institutional dining doesn’t have to be institutional.

Ingredient list for cauliflower soup from Zuppe cookbook for cookbook review by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

You can substitute Parmigiano Reggiano for the Grana Padano.

Starting with the fall, and following the academic year, the book is divided by season, insuring that the freshest produce forms the daily cuisine. The soups are HALE and hearty, using very basic ingredients that are readily available. The recipes are designed to serve either  4 – 6 or 6 – 8 and are offered in both American  and European weight systems (ounces and liters, pounds and kilos).

Photo of ingredients for cauliflower soup from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Cauliflower Soup Ingredients.

The recipes appear to be relatively simple, so I asked my Mom, who is severely cooking-challenged, to try two of the recipes. Even though we are ENSCONCED in spring, I chose two of the winter recipes, which seemed appropriate because it’s still cold in New England. My Mom prepared the “cauliflower soup” and the “lentil and carrot soup” during my long weekend home from school. She was stressed by less than exact directions, such as “a bunch of parsley.” How big is a bunch???

Photo of ingredients for chopped cauliflower and potato for cauliflower soup recipe from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Chop the cauliflower and potato.

Photo of chopped celery and onion for cauliflower soup recipe from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Chop the celery and onion.

Photo of chopped celery and onion sauté for cauliflower soup recipe from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Saute the celery and onion.

Photo of simmering cauliflower soup from recipe from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Simmering cauliflower soup.

Photo of Charis seasoning the cauliflower soup for recipe from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Mom asked me to help with the seasoning.

Photo of cauliflower soup from recipe from Zuppe cookbook for book review blog post by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Add parsley, cheese and black pepper just before serving the cauliflower soup.

We served the soups with artisanal bread and salad. The meal didn’t disappoint but Mom complained that the recipes were DECEPTIVELY simple.

The proceeds from sales of Zuppe support the Rome Sustainable Food Project, a very worthy cause. I love that the cover is faux-distressed to suggest that the book is a hand me down from Grandma. Soup is a staple meal for year round cooking, which makes Zuppe an INDISPENSABLE addition to your cookbook collection.

Charis

  • PURVEYOR = vendor
  • HALE = healthy
  • ENSCONCED = settled
  • DECEPTIVELY = deceivingly
  • INDISPENSABLE = essential

Spicy Margherita Bruschetta

Photo of Italian flag for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

This Italian recipe is inspired by the colors of the Italian flag. Tomatoes are the red component, mozzarella cheese is the white, and basil is the green. I chose red pepper flakes instead of basil to give this recipe some spice!

Photo of all ingredients for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Ingredients: 2-3 tomatoes, 1/2 sourdough loaf, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, freshly ground salt and pepper.

Photo of sliced and broiled sourdough bread for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Slice the bread into 3 pieces and broil on each side for 2 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown.

Photo of tomato slices for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Chop the tomatoes into 3/4" chunks.

Photo of olive oil and red pepper flakes for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Measure the olive oil and red pepper flakes. If you don't like spicy food, don't use the flakes or use less of them.

Photo of seasoned tomatoes for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

 

Photo of sliced mozzarella cheese for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Slice the mozzarella cheese into thin rounds.

Photo of prepared bruschetta for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

To prepare the bruschetta, place the bread on a sheet pan, top with the tomato mixture and finish off with slices of cheese. Broil for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Photo of spicy margarita bruschetta for blog on "Spicy Margarita Bruschetta Recipe," a blog on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

The delicious finished product. Oh so Italian!

As an all-things-Italian lover, AKA Italophile, my entire family, AKA the Freiman-Mendel CLAN, is ACCUSTOMED to eating dishes I prepare containing basil, tomatoes and bread. Spicy Margarita Bruschetta is an AMALGAMATION of these three basic Italian tastes, with just one revision: I replaced the basil with red pepper flakes to add a spicy kick!

  • CLAN = tribe
  • ACCUSTOMED = used to
  • AMALGAMATION = combination

Buon Appetito!

Charis

Book Review: “Words That Make A Difference”

Photo of book, "Words That Make A Difference" for blog on book review on www.SATgourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Reading and studying "Words That Make A Difference" is a great way to learn more vocab!

On my hunt to find another creative vocabulary book, I came across Words That Make a Difference: and how to use them in a masterly way, written by Robert Greenman. Words That Make A Difference offers  yet another way to ATTAIN a great vocabulary through context. The book features hundreds of words that were used in passages from the RENOWNED newspaper, The New York Times. The book also includes a vocab list at the beginning and offers an easy tool at the end to clear up common linguistic mistakes, such as understanding the difference between “affect” and “effect.” There are about 400 pages of vocab words used in context, a sentence definition of that word and also how to sound it out. This book will keep you busy! Words That Make A Difference is a self-guide to learning words by reading passages that were written by vocabulary experts. It’s interesting and it makes learning fun.

Example:

SURREPTITIOUS   suh ruhp TI shus: acting in a secret, stealthy way

“‘The video pirates would take portable video cameras into movie theaters and surreptitiously tape the feature films being shown,’ Ms. Pirro said. She said they would then return to their base of operations and, using hundreds of conventional videocassette recorders, mass-produce copies of the movie.”

Words That Make A Difference was published in 2000, so it can be considered a “classic.” For words that make a difference today, Erin McKean writes a column for the New York Times NEMESIS called, Week In Words, a field guide to unusual words in this week’s Wall Street Journal. Erin highlights vocab that is not likely to appear on standardized tests but is fun NEVERTHELESS. 

Photo of mirliton or chayote squash for post by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way Through The S.A.T.", on book review of "words that make a difference"
Mirliton (AKA chayote squash)

Erin wrote this in the February 11, 2012 column:

the mirliton squash (also known as a chayote) can be swapped for bitter melon varietals.

The word mirliton comes from a French word for a kazoo-type flute, although the squash itself is often called a “christophene” in France. It is also pronounced as “mella-ton.”

April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day… consider baking a mirliton bread to celebrate! Scarlott Paolicchi recently featured my Zucchini Brownies recipe and fun fact vocabulary from Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. on her blog, www.FamilyFocusBlog.com. Brownies aren’t exactly bread…but close enough?

Charis
  •  ATTAIN = achieve, acquire
  • RENOWNED = famous
  • SURREPTITIOUS = acting in a secret way
  • NEMESIS = rival
  • NEVERTHELESS = still