I am a sucker for beautiful coffee table books and big books of photographs. I reviewed two of National Geographic's books last year, Tasting Italy and All Over the Map and so I was happy to sign up to review Women: The National Geographic Image Collection this year. The book showcases women from across the globe with pictures from the last 130 years of women from all walks of life. Some photos are iconic images from the magazine, other were unfamiliar to me, all are stunning and fascinating. The book is set up by chapters titled Joy, Beauty, Love, Wisdom, Strength and Hope. In between the chapters of images are Portraits of Power with interviews of strong and amazing women I was pleased to see authors Roxane Gay and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, my hero Jane Goodall, and other impressive women like Oprah, Melinda Gates, Christine Amanpour, and Laura Bush--just some of the 24 women featured. I also really enjoyed the history of women appearing in National Geographic Magazine photos and the Through the Lens snippets where photographers (women) talk about their work and the images they captured. These features make it more than just a book of stunning pictures.
There are photographs that made me smile and those that made me catch my breath and made me tear up and feel strong emotion. From the fanciful to the gritty, all aspects of women are captured. I have paged through the 512 pages and found myself absorbed and entertained and will be going back in to look, enjoy, and be inspired some more. Women would make an excellent gift for the strong women of all ages in your life and mine will be displayed proudly on my coffee table.
Since there is little food that I found in the book itself, I decided to go with the theme of strong women and picked one of my favorite food icons, Ruth Reichl. I had a small bag of multicolored baby potatoes and found an easy recipe for Crispy Fingerling Potatoes from Ruth's blog (from Are French Fries Old Hat?) that contained some favorite ingredients (olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and sea salt) all of which I had in my pantry. I used a mock chicken broth to boil my potatoes but otherwise, followed the recipe as written.
Crisp, Lemony Baby Potatoes
Preheat oven to 400.
Put two pounds of baby potatoes (they use Red Bliss, but I used Yukon Golds) in a skillet or a pot, add three cups of chicken stock that contains the zest of one lemon and a couple cloves of garlic. (The stock may not cover the potatoes.) Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 8 minutes.
Drain, reserving lemon zest.
Put them on a sheet pan that is liberally covered with olive oil. Gently flatten each potato, using the back of a chef’s knife, a rolling pin or a small skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and the zest from the chicken stock and roast for about forty minutes, until the potatoes are so crisp they crackle when you take a bite.
Sprinkle with sea salt, and if you really want to gild the lily, shower them with grated Parmesan cheese.
Notes/Results: Okay, I confess... I ate the bowl of potatoes for dinner and I do not regret it one bit. Other than I now have no crispy potatoes. Oh well, they are super easy to make and so I can and will have more. The parmesan shavings were "gilding the lily" as Ruth said, but totally delicious. Crispy on the outside, creamy inside, lightly lemony and pretty addicting, I will make them again.
Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is "I Am Thankful For..." dishes with ingredients we love and give thanks for (like potatoes, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil!). ;-)
I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.
Note: A review copy of "Women: The National Geographic Image Collection" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.