Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book review: A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

I just finished reading "A table by the Window" by Hillary Manton Lodge.  This book combined three of my most favorite things to look for in a book, mystery,cooking and a good love story.  

Not only was there a good storyline right from the start but the recipes,  ooh the recipes, and all of the talk about the food they were cooking and eating made me want to crawl right into the story!  I loved the details of the foods that they were all eating and the secrets of cooking properly.

Now don't think that this book is only about cooking.  For those of you looking for a little mystery you can find it here.  In fact, the author was very sneaky at the end of the book to keep you wanting more and continuing it with her next book that is coming out in the series.  

We can not forget the love story.  Juliette is the main character, she is in a family of chefs and is starting a restaurant with her brother.  She does not have the time to find a romance outside of her restaurant business and finds one on a dating website.  But her romance is not easy, the man that she falls for lives in another state.  
I really enjoyed this book and can not wait to read the sequeal when it comes out.  In the meantime I will try some of these delicious recipes.

I want to thank Waterbrook Press for a free copy of this book to give my honest review.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review: Death by the Book by Julianna Deering

I wanted to share with you a very clever book I just finished reading.  It is called "Death by the Book" and was written by Julianna Deering.  I love a good mystery novel and this one was no exception.  The story was very well written.  I was kept guessing who committed the murder until the very end, which I really appreciated.  Usually I just tend to stop reading if the mystery is solved before the end (sad, but true).  The author really made the characters likeable and I laughed a little at the interactions between the characters.  The conversations of the characters themselves really made it feel like I was there with them inside the story.

I don't like to spoil a good story, so if you would like to read a book that is a quick, enjoyable read, while still being a book that you don't want to put down (because you just have to know who the killer is), this book is for you. 

I want to thank Bethany House for a copy of this book to review with my honest opinion.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Finding treasure in Comunity Cookbooks

Lately, I have been collecting community cookbooks.  I love a recipe that is a family favorite or  treasured because it was passed down through family members.  I can imagine the women who submitted the recipes being approached for their best recipes to be published so their organization can raise some money.  I know a lot of women find it hard to part with family recipes. 

I really love an old cookbook that has stains on a page and personal notes written.  You know a cookbook was a treasure to someone when they have an inscription written in them.

Many of the cookbooks have regional favorites and secrets to the past.  Some of the people and organizations are no longer around today.  For me, each cookbook offers an heirloom that was past on with love.  Thank you, ladies.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Match Made in Texas - Book Review

I just finished reading "A Match Made in Texas".   This book is a Novella Collection containing four stories written by four different authors.  In each of the stories a secret matchmaker is at work trying to help an unsuspecting female find her match.
     What a pleasure it was to read this book!  I really enjoyed every one of the stories.  The stories flowed so well into the next one it seemed like they were all written by the same author. 
   I did not want to put this book down.  The stories were funny, they had adventure, love and a setting that helped you escape.
  I want to say thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Solari's Cheesecake

I had the pleasure of making this very tasty cheesecake for a ladies luncheon.  It was my first attempt at using my new springform pan.  A message from the unwise, be VERY careful carrying your cheesecake if it still  has the bottom of the springform pan still under it. 

This recipe comes from razzledazzlerecipes-
Solari's Cheesecake

3 tablespoons soft butter, divided 
1 package (about 12) very dry ladyfinger cookies 
1 pound ricotta cheese 
1/2 cup milk 
2 eggs 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or a few drops of lemon extract) 
Pinch salt 
Pinch cream of tartar 
3 egg whites, at room temperature 
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet
your sweet tooth is)

Generously grease a 9-inch springform pan, using one tablespoon of the butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crumble the cookies into rather small pieces with your fingers. Use half to line the bottom of the springform; reserve the rest.

Place ricotta, milk, whole eggs, cornstarch, vanilla or lemon extract and the rest of the butter into the container of a food processor. Process until well-mixed and smooth. (If you don't have a food processor, mix the cornstarch into a smooth paste with a little of the cold milk before adding it to the rest of the above ingredients; then beat until smooth.)

Add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar to the egg whites; then beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar, about two tablespoons at a time, until all is incorporated. Continue beating until you cannot taste or feel a single grain of sugar.

Mix together gently but thoroughly the ricotta and egg white mixtures and pour into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with the rest of the cookie crumbs. Place the pan into a larger baking dish containing about one inch of water. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until cake is set. (If the cookie crumbs brown too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of foil.)

Cool cake in pan until lukewarm before turning out onto a serving dish. Chill thoroughly. Garnish the top with fruit, if desired.
Makes 16 servings

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Easy peanut butter cookies

  These cookies are soo easy to make and make a lot of cookies.  They have a light peanut butter flavor not overwhelming at all.  Try them I think you'll like them.

  Easy peanut butter cookies

1 box Dunkin Hines Deluxe Yellow Cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup peanut butter (I use creamy)
2 eggs

It is easiest to mix all ingredients together, then add the peanut butter.  Mix well.

Scoop out whatever size you desire onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a fork to make design and sprinkle sugur on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Friday, June 7, 2013

In my 50's now what?

  Hi I'm sorry I have not written in a long time.  I didn't feel I had much to say.  I started this blog to keep friends and family updated.  Now I am writing for me. 

I feel I am in a changing time in my life.  I am in my 50's, early 50's, and sometimes feel that time is running out.  I have developed Arthritis which makes me sore, and Anxiety attacks for which I take medicine that makes me tired. 

Although they say 50 is the new 30, if you would have seen me in the dressing room today trying on bathing suits you would say they are wrong.  At least in my case.  Oh, by the way for any grammar people out there that may come across my blog. I'm admitting it right now, MY GRAMMAR SUCKS!!!  Sorry.  After I had my last child at age 41 and then headed towards 50, my body went from so-so to looking like a overly stuffed Teddy Bear.  Yes I am old enough to be a Grandmother but that doesn't mean I want to look like one.  Thank you very much.

Well every summer I make a list of things I want to see and do with my kids to enjoy our summer.  Tonite I was writing down a list of things I want to do for myself.  Things to do or things to learn to improve myself.  I know BORING.  But, believe me there is ALOT of room for improvement.

If you want you can join me on this journey.  I am not perfect and don't strive to be perfect, just better.  In public I am pretty shy and reserved but in private I can be as weird as the rest of them.

Here is a partial list of things I want to improve upon.

Grammar  -  yes, I know this should be number one

Eat healthier - yes, I am typing this as I am eating a Raisin Oatmeal cookie (flawed I told you!)

I want to have some signature dishes.  I cook fine for my family.  My husband even calls me throw together Queen, but I want some dishes I can serve to family and friends that I know will turn out.

I want to feel comfortable entertaining and throwing parties.  Without having to triple up the anxiety medicine.  Just saying :)

I want to exercise on a schedule.  Down with the teddy Bear look.

   Well that is a partial list, now my blog has a purpose.  Follow along if you'd like, but no negative comments.  I'm doing this for me, wish me luck :)