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A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels Hardcover – May 6, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Mouthful of Stars makes a cultural leap out beyond the landscape where most cooks stir their pots...this is the future. [Kim is] already where we're headed." (Frances Mayes, author "Under the Tuscan Sun")

"In this joyful and eclectic assortment of recipes and stories, readers can reflect on the flavors, meals, and people who have influenced them, while tasting the metaphorical starts that lead us home."

"Along with the recipes, Kim shares clever variations, poetry, stories about the people who shaped her tastes, and practical advice on cooking."

"The range of flavors is broad and deep..."

 (Louisiana Cooking)

“A Mouthful of Stars will immediately draw you into Kim’s culinary journey through the stories she shares of cooks and how they connect with their food. Get ready to be transformed into her world of Flower and Ice, Down-and-Dirty Rice, Tipsy Melons, and more. A Mouthful of Stars is a tasty and thoughtful combination of Zen and gourmet.” (Sara Foster, author "Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen" and "The Foster's Market Cookbook)

“Kim Sunée is one of the most compelling memoirists writing today, and on top of that, she is a gifted cook. I want to follow her everywhere she goes, reflect on every thought in this moving story, and make a meal of A Mouthful of Stars. I loved being immersed in the context of each recipe, and was impressed by how effortlessly Kim can transport dishes from near, far, and wide to her own kitchen and into ours.” (Martha Rose Shulman, food columnist for the "New York Times" and author "The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking")

"The book is a delicious package, invitingly designed and photographed." (Susan Chang, Boston Globe)

“There is a big difference between traveling to escape and traveling to discover. A Mouthful of Stars is a book that shows the beauty of learning about yourself, the food you eat, the world around you, and the wonderful people at every stop. It’s a poignant voyage through the smart writings and wonderful recipes of Kim Sunée.” (Hugh Acheson, author A New Turn in the South)

“Kim Sunée’s food, life, and writing are the stuff of pure genius. When she cooks, I am hungry, craving not just her food but also the essence of her presence and the mindfulness with which she lives. She has taken recipes from near and far, and served them to us with doses of stylishness, honest ingredients, playful spices, and haunting flavors.” (Suvir Saran, Top Chef Master, author American Masala and Indian Home Cooking)

About the Author

Kim Sunée is the author of the national bestseller, Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home. Trail of Crumbs was both a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and a Book Sense Pick, and has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Hebrew. She has been featured in the New York Times, Ladies' Homes Journal, People, ELLE, and Glamour.

She ate and lived in Europe for ten years before working as a food editor for Southern Living magazine and Cottage Living magazine. Her writing has appeared in Food & Wine, The Oxford American, and Asian American Poetry and Writing. Sunée has appeared several times as a guest judge on the Food Network's Iron Chef America and has collaborated on several cookbooks, including The Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Frances and Ed Mayes, and the Tupelo Honey Cafe by Elizabeth Sims and Chef Brian Sonoskus. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449430082
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449430085
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have to say, this book moves me. From the first time I held it in my hands and shuffled through the pages, I was smitten. I still feel giddy when I turn through the pages and have access to these incredible recipes! Much to my delight, the recipes are very easy to understand. I love to cook, but I am definitely a novice! If you are looking to expand your little cooking wings, I seriously suggest buying this book. Please, if you have any respect for yourself, make the roasted pork tacos... life changing. Better yet, invite a bunch of friends over and soak it up when they say you're the best cook ever!

Here are my favorite recipes from A Mouthful of Stars:
Roasted Pork Tacos (obviously)
Key Lime Pie (take her advice and make the special whipped cream with creme fraiche... you might die and go to heaven)
Dark Chocolate Coconut Cream Layer Cake (I hate cake but I made love to this)
Bottoms Up Rice (I make this at least once a week)
Party Pizza (an absolute BLAST)
Vanilla Custard-Filled Baked Apples (hoooolyyy smokes...)
Harissa (I actually eat this by the spoonful)

I'm making the tacos tonight. It's been almost two weeks and my husband has been begging me for them. I am more than happy to oblige.

In all sincerity, A Mouthful of Stars is simply beautiful. I trust that you will find it as beautiful and inspiring as I have! Do yourself a favor and buy this book. You won't regret it!
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Format: Hardcover
A Mouthful of Stars is a delightful cookbook that has a sparkling personality--something I am not used to seeing in a cookbook. I thoroughly enjoyed it from its whimsical, attractively designed cover, through the charming anecdotes and introductions, delicious recipes and colorful, eclectic page designs, all the way to the lovely back page that looks like something I would frame.

The great recipes and stories are, of course, the reason I would so highly recommend this cookbook. First, I love literature and am an avid reader (including Sunee's first book, Trail of Crumbs, which was a unique and engaging memoir that I would also recommend). I was drawn to the sophisticated prose in this cookbook--this is the writing of someone who cares about language, who cares about taking the reader through a personal culinary journey. The stories don't overwhelm--they are bright anecdotes that combine well with the recipes. This cookbook is not just about utility--it's meant to be read and enjoyed, and the author makes that very easy.

Second, I am not at all what one might call a practiced cook. In fact, I am something of a reluctant cook. However, I found the recipes enticing and easy to follow. Granted, I won't be making them regularly, but not because they don't sound delicious--just because I am lazy. And Sunee's creativity an authority in the kitchen, and her diverse background in the world of food really shine in the recipes she chooses. The recipes include a few unusual offerings that you wouldn't find in the average cookbook (like kachoombar salad or curry leaf cocktail) and also some variations on old favorites (like key lime pie and pork tacos) that are as alluring as they are distinctive. Her recipe for fresh kimchi is the ONLY kimchi I have ever enjoyed--I usually hate kimchi.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased "A Mouthful Of Stars" when it was first published, and I haven't been disappointed. I've since purchased many more for family and friends (thankfully Marie M is not one of them, since she doesn't appreciate a good cookbook when she sees one). To me, the most important thing about a cookbook is the recipes. Do they work? Will I make them regularly? Do they taste good? Will my family like them? I've tried many and I can say YES to every question!

Here are some of my favorite recipes that I've tried so far:

Bottoms Up Rice
Kachoombar salad
Roast Pork Tacos (hint: use cabbage leaves for the shells. Awesome)
Roasted tomatillo-pablano salsa
Spicy Tomato Marmalade
Salad of avocado, papaya and jicama
Avacado-almond ice cream (sounds wierd, but it's so good!)
Key lime pie
Lavender-pepper cornmeal crisps
Eggs baked in cream with olives (decadent, but I couldn't stop eating it!!)
anchoiade (looks disgusting, but it is so amazing!)
Green apple-calvados granita (make this on a hot day. Very refreshing)
Swedish beet and apple salad
BBQ ribs (this is a family favorite. I make it frequently for company now)
Triple layer chocolate-coconut cake (ok, someone else made this, but I tried it. I think I could eat the entire cake)
Vanilla-bean Panna cotta (this is the first time I've made panna cotta. It won't be my last.)
Almond-milk granita (This is my pickiest sons FAVORITE!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's not often you actually enjoy reading a cookbook, but this is a beautiful and enteraining read as well as loaded with recipes that will become your go-to favorites. I think most people can relate to the concept of the elegant narrative, food evokes very strong emotions and memories, we all have our favorites recipes and dishes, and the stories of why they're so special to us. I'm happy to live vicariously through Kim Sunee and her adventures. What's best is to be able to enjoy the treats she experiences along the way.
Everything I've prepared has turned out perfectly, and friends have raved about everything I've prepared. I'm addicted to the chocolate coconut cake, it's become a staple of my community. It's the perfect balance of chocolate and sweet and the coconut custard is really hard to not eat by the spoonfull.. I've gotten so many requests for copies of the book, it's my new go-to gift for all friends/family who love to cook and appreciate a good book.
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