‘The Art of Escapism Cooking’ is a Guidebook for Adventurous Souls Everywhere [REVIEW]

Freezer Dumpling Ravioli

Mandy Lee says her Freezer Dumpling Ravioli is “an upgrade from my public school offering.” (Photo by Mandy Lee, Lady and Pups)

When life takes you to another part of the globe against your will, you’ve got to do something to preserve your sanity! For Mandy Lee, that dilemma got her cooking, churning out one recipe after another and sharing them on her blog, Lady and Pups. Now she’s collected the best of her culinary creations into one beautiful volume, The Art of Escapism Cooking. 


William Morrow

Born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, Mandy came of age in New York before she moved to Beijing because of her husband’s job. To say she didn’t like it is putting it mildly. It made her angry. Frustrated by the political climate in China, its incessant red tape, and its toxic air, she channeled her ire into her blog in an effort to keep her wits about her.

The food she crafts and shares with her readers is as diverse as the places she’s lived, although it is definitely influenced by her Asian roots. Take, for instance, the Freezer Dumpling Ravioli above which marries traditional Italian staples like plum tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese with more exotic ingredients like fish sauce and Asian freezer dumplings. It may sound like an odd pairing, but her followers rave about it, and call this recipe “yummy” and “genius.” (Get the recipe here.)

Some of her other fare includes breakfast treats like her Magic 15-Second Scrambled Eggs in Mushroom Cream which add potato starch and milk to cook up fast and pair well with crusty garlic bread. If you’re a soup lover, however, you may want to indulge in her Dandan Mazeman, which finds the happy middle ground between a dandan noodle and a cold noodle in peanut sauce. If pizza is your go-to meal, try Mandy’s Tom Yum Margherita Pizza. Sure, the idea of adding lemongrass, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and shrimp paste to pizza sauce may freak the pizza purist out, but while being a departure from regular marinara, this sauce proves to be profoundly fragrant and spicy. So why not give it a try?

Filled with amazing recipes that can’t be found anywhere else, The Art of Escapism Cooking is wholly original and gets major props for its creativity. The book itself is stunningly photographed by the author herself, and provides detailed instructions and vivid photos for each recipe. Best of all, this isn’t a dry textbook for unimaginative foodies, instead it is a guidebook for adventurous souls determined to switch things up in the kitchen. Written with tongue-in-cheek humor that is by turns cheeky and sardonic, which is pretty appropriate for a woman trying to make sense of her life abroad, Mandy Lee proves that she is a culinary alchemist, cooking virtually everything she can get her hands on and making menu items all her own.

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Mandy Lee

Mandy Lee
(Photo by Mandy Lee, Lady and Pups)


Mandy Lee founded her award-winning “angry food blog,” Lady and Pups, in 2012 out of sheer frustration after moving from New York City to Beijing.

She and her blog have been featured in numerous publications and sites, including Saveur, FoodandWine.com, CNN.com, Yahoo, Food52, and WashingtonPost.com.

She currently lives in Hong Kong with her husband and pups.

Check out her blog, Lady and Pups, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

By Mandy Lee
400 pp. William Morrow. $35.

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase The Art of Escapism Cooking at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, HarperCollins, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

The Art of Escapism Cooking is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to ‘The Art of Escapism Cooking’ is a Guidebook for Adventurous Souls Everywhere [REVIEW]

  1. Sara Strand says:

    She sounds like she’d be a fun dinner date to chat with too! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Mandy Lee, author of The Art of Escapism Cooking, on tour October/November 2019 | TLC Book Tours

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