Fulcrum’s News Round-up

TGIF. The view outside my window is filled with blue sky, bright white fluffy clouds, and miles of green. Perfect weather to… well, do nothing. Before I get busy doing that, let’s review another wonderful week of great Fulcrum books, events, and authors.

‘Twas a short week at the office, although a busy one after getting back from a week in NYC for BEA. See video and audio highlights from the 2011 show here, although, none of these include Dani’s and my highlights: Tyra Banks??!! Benjamin Batt??!! Ok, Benjamin wasn’t at the show, but we saw him walking down the street near Times Square, all cool and nonchalant and sending Dani’s heart racing. Tyra was at the show to publicize her new fantasy novel, Modelland. Here’s a picture of Dani admiring the book back at our booth:

Our own celebrities Richard Hetzler and Renee Wilkinson, authors of the books The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook and Modern Homestead respectively, were also at BEA this year. They both brought in great crowds for their signings. Richard’s fans raved about the menu at The Mitsitam Cafe at the NMAI in Washington, DC (which is, by the way, amazing):

While Renee’s fans solicited her advice on planting, growing, and chicken-raising conundrums (I believe the fan pictured below is reenacting one of her chicken conundrums) and her years of experience on her Portland plot in HipChickDigs.com:

In addition to our exciting BEA news, Dani also wrote a great blog post yesterday about our memorial edition of Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women by Wilma Mankiller. If you have not read it yet, please do. The book is not only a favorite of ours, but of many Native women, activists, libraries, and schools. And it’s a great, inspiring read for this weekend. Happy June and Happy Friday!

Cooking at home with The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

This week, the Marketing Department decided to take our work home with us and try our hand at cooking a few recipes from the beautiful Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN-13: 978-1-55591-747-0). You may have read marketing manager Katie O’Neill’s post yesterday describing her attempt at the Cranberry Crumble(d), found on page 149. I have no doubt that if cranberries were in season right now (really, where do cranberries go after Thanksgiving?), Katie’s crumble would have been fantastic. I’m going to file that recipe away for next Thanksgiving.

I chose a couple of recipes with ingredients that are in season year-round but especially good during the summer months, when fresh local produce is available. The first recipe I made was the Quinoa Salad, found on page 53. I love quinoa and am always looking for new recipes and new ways to eat it. It’s a great light meal, perfect for lunch or summer dinner, plus it’s packed with protein. The Quinoa Salad from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook is incredibly easy to make and very flavorful.

Quinoa in the pot from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

I served it with chicken breasts that I had in the fridge, and my husband and I devoured the meal. The honey and lemon vinaigrette that you pour over the quinoa was light and zesty and paired wonderfully with the cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions. I loved it and would make this simple yet flavorful salad again any day.

Quinoa Salad from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

The next night, I ramped up the technical difficulty a bit and went for the Chicken Mole Verde Tacos, found on page 78 (the mole verde is on page page 134). Wow. These were a far cry from the Martha Stewart, anyone-can-cook-them recipes I typically make, but the extra effort really paid off. I was so pleased with how this mole dish came out, and again, so was my husband (who went back for seconds AND thirds).

The whole meal took about 2.5 hours to cook, but with a little prep beforehand, most of that time is spent with chicken in the oven and mole simmering on the stove. This dish is loaded with flavor from tomatillos, a poblano pepper, an anaheim pepper, and tons of fresh squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice. We put the chicken mole on corn tortillas and topped it with queso fresco, salsa, and cilantro, and we ended up with tacos that were spicy, tangy, tender, and colorful. Yum.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook next time you are looking for a fresh, new recipe. After the success of this week’s meals, there are 87 more wonderful-looking dishes in the cookbook that I can’t wait to try. Especially the Cranberry Crumble (in about seven months)!