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Showing posts from August, 2020

Death by Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes #FoodieReads

Last week I blazed through Sex, Murder & Killer Cupcakes  by Allison Janda* in an evening. I liked the title, loved the cover, and it was a welcome distraction from my almost nightly Zoom meetings for various organizations with which I volunteer. Zoom fatigue is real! On the Page image from This book was okay. Just okay. Nothing earth-shattering or wow-inspiring. Even though it entertained me for a couple of hours, there really wasn't much going on in this story. The main character, Marian, owns and operates a food porn publication - Think naked guys holding food in front of their private bits. Yes, really. - and moonlights as a crime scene photographer with the local police department. Though that seems like an interesting combination of career choices rife with possibilities for character development and conflict, this book is mainly about her obsession with two guys, attempts on her life, and her wild and unsubstantiated conclusions about who murder

Spiced 'Tree Pumpkin' (Persimmon) Muffins #MuffinMonday

Earlier in the year I saw a post from one of my favorite bloggers - Wendy at  A Day in the Life on the Farm  - and I realized that they've been having a muffin party for years without me. LOL. I emailed the host, Stacy of  Food Lust People Love  and got the scoop: "...last Monday of the month and no themes. We've been baking together since August 2015! Only one rule, you must use the muffin method (folding wet ingredients with dry - no creaming butter and sugar, etc.) to bake muffins." I've been happily joining in for months now. This month, this is the muffin line-up... Banana Nut Muffins from Making Miracles Cherry Almond Muffins from Zesty South Indian Kitchen Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins from Passion Kneaded Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins from Palatable Pastime Dark Chocolate Coffee Muffins from Food Lust People Love Lemon Lavender Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm Small Batch Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins from Karen

Spiced Smashed Potato Tacos with Homemade Purple Corn Tortillas

My cousin Joan posted the photo [below] on social media last month along with the caption that her high school classmate generously shared her mom's recipe. I politely asked if she would be willing to share it with me. Because, well, you know me. I'm always excited about beautiful and delicious food! photo by Joan Mateo-Bartoli via social media Naibe graciously posted her mom's recipe in the stream of comments and I used it as a jumping off point. In fact, you might say that I went completely rogue; I swapped in some homemade purple corn tortillas and whatever potatoes I had in my root basket; I added fresh cabbage, and pico de gallo; and I sautéed the potatoes in coconut oil with some spices. But her recipe was my inspiration. Ingredients  makes about twelve 6" tortillas and as many tacos Purple Corn Tortillas 3 cups purple masa harina 2-1/4 cups warm liquid (you can use water or stock) 1 teaspoon freshly ground salt 1 Tablespoon olive oil

A Rom-Com Read, Cocktail in a Can, But I Prefer Bourbon #FoodieReads

I can honestly say that I have never read a rom-com. I've watched plenty of them. Sometimes you just need some silly giggles. Like a rom-com movie, I asked myself, is it plausible? Maybe. Is it ridiculous? Most of the time. But it is enjoyable? Absolutely! And often times, the more silly the antics are - think  When Harry Met Sally  - the more memorable it is.  The Unhoneymooners  is just such a book. So, I was glad that The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren* was in my to-read pile. I cannot really remember who recommended it or how I ended up with it, but at the end of an exhausting day when Zoom meetings bookended all of my other activities, I was happy to collapse on my bean bag with this book in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other. I read it in one sitting. The Enemies-to-Lovers trope has a long history. Think  Taming of the Shrew  by Shakespeare, Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen, and others. The reason it persists is because that's probably how most

The Tenth Island, Alcatra, Sopa de Legumes Portuguesa, and Practicing Charity #FoodieReads

I picked up The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores by Diana Marcum* this week. And I finished it in two sittings. This is Marcum's personal account of her explorations of the remote Azores islands off the coast of Portugal. She had forged relationships with the Azorean diaspora in California's central valley, then traveled to the islands to live temporarily on the island of Terceira. 'The Tenth Island' - as there are nine islands in the Azorean archipelago - refers to everywhere in the world that Azorean communities keep the traditions alive, including California, Canada, Hawaii, and southern Brazil. It's less of a physical place as it is a piece of the Azores that the people carry within themselves that preserves their culture for themselves and for future generations. "The Tenth Island is what you carry inside you. Its what's left when everything falls away. Those of us who live between worlds just know the Tenth Is

A Fitting Wine and Bacon-Wrapped Mini Meatloaf #CooktheBooks #LitHappens #FoodieReads

Wild foxglove in a canyon in Big Sur / photo by Jake Mann This post is doing double-duty! I love being able to kill two birds (that is two assignments) with one stone. Debra of Eliot's Eats is hosting our bi-monthly reading group Cook the Books . You can read her invitation here . And, if you'd like to join the fun, the posts aren't due till the end of September, so you still have time. Then, for our Lit Happens book group, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm picked the same book:  Recipe for a Perfect Wife  by Karma Brown.* That is not a cook-from-the-book kind of group, but I usually am inspired into the kitchen by anything that I read or watch. And I love being able to consolidate posts, especially since I wasn't loving the book anyway. When you have a novel that includes physical abuse, deliberate lies and omissions between spouses, and spousal rape (sorry for that spoiler!), I am frankly surprised that I finished the book at all. But I did.

Chocolate Caramel Cauldrons (Bittersweet Cremeux with Coffee Caramel and Bourbon Cream) #FoodNFlix

This month Tina of Squirrel Head Manor is hosting the Food'n'Flix bloggers as we watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone *. You can read her invitation here . Okay, I'll start with this: I am not a fan of the Harry Potter universe. There, I said it. I have tried to read the books. I have tried to watch the movies. Back in 2015, we read  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  for #TheBookClubCookbookCC and I made  Pumpkin Pasties . So, when I saw Tina's invitation, I posted to my local friends, "Does anyone have a DVD of the first Harry Potter movie? I could stream it for $3, but I'd rather borrow it for free if possible." The next day a DVD showed up on my doorstep from a friend. Except it was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ...which didn't match Tina's invitation. I messaged my friend and stated, "I don't think this is the first one." The next day, another DVD showed up on my doorstep and it was the r