BEA Wrap-Up

After a week spent at Book Expo America in NYC, this blogger has her feet back on mile-high soil.

BEA 2011 was great fun—we enjoyed meeting everyone who stopped by the Fulcrum booth, from dear friends to attendees who came by to discover Fulcrum’s books for the first time. Katie and I were able to do a little bit of our own expo touring and gawking; we met Tyra Banks, I saw Judy Moody, and on our way back to our hotel we saw a certain former Sterling Cooper art director on the street (Katie is still recovering from the sighting, since I punched her in the shoulder and shouted “BRYAN BATT!” into her ear, and then proceeded to hop up and down, flapping my arms like a startled chicken).

Tyra Banks at BEA

Can you guess which one is the supermodel and which one is the starstruck marketing associate?

Katie cochaired a panel called “Back to Basics: Why Home Economics Books Are the New Retro Chic” with the Fabulous Beekman Boys, the publisher from Interweave, and  two librarians, one from the New York City Public Library and the other from the Portland Public Library. The panel seemed to be well-received by the librarians who attended, and we were proud to have Modern Homestead represented among such a great group of DIY panelists and homesteaders.

Our authors Richard Hetzler and Renee Wilkinson made a big splash as well. We were delighted by the many attendees who stopped by The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook signing to tell Richard how much they had enjoyed a meal at the Mitsitam Cafe. Many attendees in line for the Modern Homestead signing swapped planting stories with Renee and talked about their urban plots like proud parents.

Renee Wilkinson meets a fan and shares homesteading stories.

We had a great time and enjoyed meeting new friends, such as our booth buddy, Biblioasis, and the bloggers who shared their wisdom at Blogworld. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

Fulcrum Catches Up with Richard Hetzler

Richard Hetzler, executive chef of the Mitsitam Café at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and author of The Mitsitam Café Cookbook (ISBN: 978-1-55591-7470, $22.95), has had quite the year. Since The Mitsitam Café Cookbook (which took Richard 3 years to complete) came out in the Fall of 2010, the cookbook has received great exposure, including winning the Gourmand “Best in the World” Cookbook Award for Best Local Cuisine. Along with interviews and book signings, Richard traveled to Paris in March for the prestigious Paris Cook Fair, where he performed a cooking demonstration. Richard even had a stint on the Food Network late last year when he participated in the show “Chefs vs. City.” The Mitsitam Café and the NMAI were featured on the episode, which took place in Washington, DC.

And this week, Richard traveled to New York to attend in his first ever Book Expo America, North America’s largest publishing event. Richard participated in a couple of book signings and giveaways, and rumor has it he was even going to bring some delicious goodies with him to New York. I haven’t heard the scoop yet from our marketing team (who is still living it up in New York), but I was able to catch up with Richard a few weeks ago to discuss the excitement of the past year and his expectations for his first BEA experience.

Fulcrum: What was your experience like in Paris for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and the Paris Cookbook Fair?
Hetzler: Wonderful. To see something on that scale that was dedicated to food and wine was a great sight to see.

Fulcrum: How has life changed since The Mitsitam Café Cookbook won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award and how has the perception of The Mitsitam Café Changed?
Hetzler: Life has not changed too much yet—I would say it really has not set in yet. I’ve met so many great people that had authored books and didn’t receive recognition for them, and I had the opportunity to do this one book and won such a prestigious award.

Fulcrum: You are attending BEA in New York this year with Fulcrum. What are you looking forward to about visiting New York and being at BEA for the first time?
Hetzler: I will be attending BEA and this is my first convention of this type. I cannot wait. I am honored to attend and see what the show has to offer.

Fulcrum: What is in store for The Mitsitam Café this spring and summer? Any new dishes that you are excited about?
Hetzler: We change the menu seasonally so I am not sure yet, but I can assure whatever we put on the menu will be delicious.

Fulcrum: Do you have a favorite recipe from The Mitsitam Café Cookbook?
Hetzler: My favorite recipes are the moles (see Fulcrum’s recent blog post on making the Chicken Mole Verde Tacos from Richard’s book). They seem very complex, but truly are very simple and have so much flavor. They give you wonderful talking points when entertaining friends and family, i.e. you can discuss how chocolate is used in savory cooking and how it adds a wonderful complexity to the dish.

Fulcrum Author Signings This Week at BEA

Fulcrum has some fun events and book signings lined up for Book Expo America in New York this week. The talented Renee Wilkinson, author of Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create, and Richard Hetzler, author of The Mitsitam CaféCookbook, will be signing and giving away their books, as well as possibly giving away food and other goodies.

If you’re at BEA this week, take a look at the schedule for Renee and Richard below:

The Mitsitam Cafe

 Tuesday, May 24 — 4:00-5:00pm
Richard Hetzler will be signing The Mitsitam Café Cookbook at Table 6.

 Wednesday, May 25 — 10:00-11:00am
Richard Hetzler will be signing The Mitsitam Café Cookbook at Fulcrum’s booth, #4507.

Thursday, May 26 – 11:30-12:30pmRenee Wilkinson will be signing Modern Homestead at Table 11.

Thursday, May 26 — 2:00-3:00pm
Renee Wilkinson will be signing Modern Homestead at Fulcrum’s booth, #4507.

Have a wonderful week!

Nerdin’ Out at Book Expo America 2011

This week, New York City is all abuzz with the excitement of Book Expo America, the largest publishing event in North America. Each year, thousands of people from every part of the publishing and book world converge in New York City to learn about what’s new, what’s next, and what exciting things our happening in our industry. There are parties, presentations, book signings, and plenty of giveaways, making it a fun and busy week in NYC. Fulcrum’s marketing manager Katie O’Neill and sales and marketing associate Dani Perea are taking New York City by storm and manning the Fulcrum booth at BEA 2011. Here’s what Katie, a first-time attendee, had to say about going to BEA:

I’m definitely nerdin’ out over attending my first BEA this week. I initially heard of this amazing show many years ago while working in a bookstore, during which a couple of our buyers would disappear for a week to New York and return looking refreshed, even better read, and brimming with stories of celebrity authors. I thought, “I must go to this show some day. I must see what all the buzz is about.” Not just because I’ve never been to NYC, although that is a HUGE perk, but because I feel drawn to be in the place where once a year so many booksellers, librarians, publishers, authors, printers, media, etc., etc. are all together to celebrate those great, timeless things: books.

I’m also really psyched to meet two of our authors face-to-face finally: Renee Wilkinson, author of Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create (and to hear how she can really raise 3 chickens in her backyard when I have a hard time not getting my pup to eat my furniture), and Richard Hetzler, author of The Mitsitam Café Cookbook (who, I hear, will be bringing some mouthwatering giveaway items to the show). They will each have two signings (Hetzler: 5/24 from 4-5 PM at Table 6 and 5/25 from 10-11 AM in our booth # 4507, and Wilkinson: 5/25 from 11:30-12:30 PM at Table 11 and 2-3:00 PM in our booth # 4507) and give away FREE copies of their books!


I’m pretty sure Dani and I (after standing in the middle of the convention center, wide-eyed with book wonder for several minutes. Imagine two Dorothys upon seeing Oz) will try to sneak away from the booth to see what free galleys we can find, what favorite authors we can catch a glimpse, and what schwag we can steal. Stay posted for what spoils we bring home next week…

Have fun Katie and Dani! Bring us back some good schwag! And for those of you lucky enough to be attending BEA this year, stop by Fulcrum’s booth, #4507, and say hello!

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)!

Cranberry Crumble(d)

This Cranberry Crumble is a sight to behold. It looks so pretty and yummy. This is not anything like what my cranberry crumble looked like last night. This crumble must have been made by someone who either (a) baked it earlier than 1 am on a Wednesday night without a whining dog jumping on them the entire time, or (b) is an elf (elves are responsible for many magical incidents in my life when I’m too lazy to fully understand them).

I don’t have a picture of my crumble to share today. I, er…my, uh, dog ate it? I left it at home? It’s too embarrassing to show publicly and, unfortunately, not quite good enough to feed my coworkers today for a little afternoon snack. No, my crumble is better left to the imagination.

I thought I had picked the easiest recipe in The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN-13: 978-1-55591-747-0). Wait. Yes. Yes, I did. There are only six ingredients, for gosh sakes! The entire prep and bake time can be done in less than 45 minutes! You can play fetch with your whining dog, talk on the phone to your best friend, wash the dishes, and sing aloud all while creating this yummy concoction. Or, wait. Maybe you can’t do all those things while creating it. Maybe that’s where I went wrong? My 1 am multitasking?

No, where I went wrong was trying to bake something when its main ingredient is out of season, or at least in the wrong holiday season. It’s more Easter-Bunny-and-chocolate-egg season around here, less turkey-gobble-gobble-and-pass-out-watching-football-on-TV season. Where do cranberries go in April? I ask you. Because I went to three grocery stores and this is what I found at the first two:

I found one bag of frozen cranberries at the third store (as if elves had put it there). The amount of cranberries called for in this recipe is more around the amount of two bags. No problem, I bought the bag anyway, mainly because I finally felt victorious in my search (and it’s hide-plastic-eggs-around-your-backyard-and-send-your-kids-looking-for-them season).

I was tired by the time I got home and started the simple tasks of adding and simmering cranberries, cornmeal, sugar, butter, maple syrup, and honey. Maybe I was too tired to notice that I should alter the amount of cranberry to sugar/maple syrup/honey ratio based upon the smaller amount of available cranberries in the state of Colorado during the month of April. Alas, I was not.

I was pretty thrilled with the smell, though. Simmering cranberries and maple syrup has to be one of the most divine aromas in the universe. And, I would like to think that even though my end result wasn’t so pretty, my cranberry soup smelled just as amazing as Chef Hetzler’s elves’ cranberry crumble (see above).

I wish you luck in your baking endeavors. This recipe is simple, fast, and really impressive when you follow the recipe. It’s a great recipe for the holiday season, should you be anything like me and will-not-be-cooking-a-turkey-because-you-prefer-Tofurkey-but-might-have-the-perfect-dessert-to-bring-to-dinner-now. Do me proud and stock up on cranberries now.

Round-up: This week in books

Lots of news in our little corner of the bookverse this week.

Richard Hetzler’s The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook won the Gourmand “Best in the World” award in the Best Local Cuisine category. It’s the one cookbook to rule them all!

Native Citizen News Network posted this wonderful video featuring Walter Echo-Hawk and his new book, In the Courts of the Conqueror.

This week also marked the national celebration of Read Across America Day. Read Across America Day was created by the National Education Association as an annual reading motivation program that calls for every community to celebrate reading and children’s literacy on March 2,  Dr. Suess’s birthday. You can read President Obama’s official proclamation of the holiday here.

On March 2, Congress and President Obama eliminated funding to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). The program provides free books to over 4 million children who don’t have adequate access to public libraries. As a foreign services/military brat, I spent most of my childhood with my beak buried in a book supplied to the local base by the RIF program. I was very disappointed to see the loss of a program that gave me and millions of other children access to quality books.

That’s all the news that’s fit to blog for this week. Have a great weekend, and happy reading, everyone.