Sensual gourmet revel

Venezia Tessa KirosJust in time for the holidays, Tessa Kiros brings us another of her mouthwatering and breathtakingly beautiful cookbooks. Venezia: Food and Dreams is an object of art, not unlike the city for which it is named. The food of Venice is diverse; influenced by the many different cultures that helped make this ancient port city one of the most interesting places on the planet.

Born to a Finnish mother and Greek father, worldly Tessa is the perfect guide to this rich food culture. She includes recipes for uniquely Venetian pasta, gnocchi, and of course its delicious seafood and scrumptious desserts. Cichetti or small plates, not unlike Tapas are an integral and delicious part of Venetian food. I swooned over the baked clams, which are pictured on the cover.  I was thrilled to discover how simple they are to prepare. This is not just another Italian cookbook. The recipes are unique to Venice – and Tessa is an engaging storyteller.
Use this jewel-like tome to inspire your holiday menus or to delight a cook on your holiday gift list.

A cookbook for dreamy summer evenings and magical afternoons

 Falling Cloudberries, a world of family recipes by Tessa Kiros is not a seasonal cookbook and certainly not a summer cookbook. She has recipes for all seasons and celebrations, but it is a book that I shall cook out of this summer. It is a voluptuous collection of her family recipes. So many of them have the makings of casual, but enchanted evenings of dining with friends and family.

Tess Kiros is a seasoned cooking professional and author. Her book includes savories and sweets from her Greek grandparents and her Finnish grandmother. What a divine combination!
Picture plates of smoked salmon with garnishes of red onion capers and finely chopped egg. Or gorgeous and tender homemade Gravlax, redolent with fresh dill. It is simple to make. She gives you her Finnish grandmother’s recipe, along with a recipe for Finnish mustard. This is truly divine. Then there is succulent roasted lamb with lemon and oregano and spicy, exotic stuffed eggplant. There are cold Mediterranean salads and hot dishes of fish in a spiced tomato sauce.
If you live for sweet, she shares recipes for homemade ice creams, Finnish cookies, shortcake, and honey-drenched Greek donuts.
There are too many treats to mention here. This is a gorgeous book to look at and a delight to read. The photography is opulent. As this is “family food’, most of it is easy enough for many home cooks, and even inspired beginners. This would make a marvelous Mother’s Day gift for anyone who loves to cook and entertain.