Friday, November 21, 2014

Fried & True - Delicious Fried Chicken

Whether you prefer it cold out of the fridge or hot and crispy on a buttery biscuit, you will find your new favorite fried chicken recipe in Fried & True, serving up more than 50 recipes for America's most decadently delicious food. Lee Schrager has left no stone unturned in his quest to find America's best fried chicken. From four-star restaurants to roadside fry shacks, you'll learn how to brine your bird, give it a buttermilk bath, batter or even double batter it, season with loads of spices, and fry it up to golden perfection.


The hardest part about this book was trying to figure out which recipe to try first.  It is filled with delicious fried chicken recipes, of all sorts and versions and ways to fry.

I was just gobsmacked and totally drooling.

Imagine if you will, a trip through the USA, stopping at some of the biggest cities and really looking into what their interpretation of Fried Chicken is.

I loved seeing how every single State does it a little different, adds their specific ingredients or side dishes and really kicks up plain old fried chicken.

I can't wait to get in there and try some of the recipes, I believe this may just make a fry cook out of me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

The debut cookbook from Cathal Armstrong featuring 130 recipes showcasing modern Irish fare, along with stories about Armstrong's journey from Dublin to Washington, DC, and becoming an internationally recognized four-star chef, the owner of seven successful food and drink establishments, and a leader in the sustainable-food movement.

With its moderate climate and amazing natural resources, Ireland is a modern-day Eden, boasting lush, bountiful produce, world-renowned dairy, plentiful seafood, and grass-fed meats. In My Irish Table, sustainable food movement leader and four-star chef Cathal Armstrong celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his culinary journey from Dublin to Washington DC, where he runs seven beloved and critically lauded restaurants.
Featuring 130 delicious recipes—from Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster with Parsnips to Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and Mam’s Apple Pie—My Irish Table draws on Armstrong’s Irish upbringing as well as his professional experience and French culinary training. In his hands, Irish food is comforting yet elegant, rustic yet skillful, and My Irish Table invites you into his kitchen to explore the vibrant traditions and rich culinary landscape of the Emerald Isle.

Where to Purchase:
Amazon - Kindle: $16.14 Hardcover: $24.92
My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve

I love food, I love cooking, and above all, I love cookbooks.

This one just had to be part of my kitchen, and I'm thrilled that I got a chance to review it.

Filled with interesting tidbits and background on the author, where he came from, how he got into the food business and became an internationally acclaimed chef. 

Combining these two things, I was able to sit down and actually read the cookbook from cover to cover, not only enjoying the story behind it, but the beautiful photography and the delicious recipes it contains.

Best part?  Recipes made from scratch, and I mean absolute scratch.  Want to enjoy Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day?  He teaches you how to do that, from the cut of beef to how to cure it.  Same with boiled bacon.

Slow Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage

Another favorite of mine is Irish Soda Bread.  Yum!!!

Irish Soda Bread

There are quite a few other recipes that I want to try, I've actually sat down and jotted all the recipes and page numbers, and I think I may have one from pretty much every page.  I can't wait.

If you're looking for a cookbook that you will truly enjoy, not only for it's contents but for the sheer beauty of it, then this is it.

For more information, go here.
For the author's bio, go here.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a review copy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{ Liar, Tempress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott }

Belle Boyd
Emma Edmonds
Rose O'Neal Greenhow
Elizabeth Van Lew

In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War.

Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives.

Abbott's pulse-quickening narrative weaves the adventures of these four forgotten daredevils into the tumultuous landscape of a broken America, evoking a secret world that will surprise even the most avid enthusiasts of Civil War–era history. With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor NapolĂ©on III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.

This book.....oh this book was amazing.

You all know how much I love history and research and all that shebang, right???

If I tell you that this book satisfied every single area of my history fiction genre, would you believe me???

Because it did. It absolutely did.

The story centers around 4 women who in way or another, manage to contribute or rather aid their causes during the Civil War.

I love what the author did here, she managed to tell a great story but also teach a good history lesson, I walked away knowing so much more and actually knowing things I had no idea about the war.

I usually prefer a fiction book over a non fiction, but when I came upon this one I knew that I would love it, as my fascination with the civil war era has no end. 

We have Emma, a woman who disguises herself as a man to work the front lines.....she was able to hide her true identity but what happens when she starts to have feelings for two of the men she works with????  You gotta read to find out.

Belle, Rose and Elizabeth did pretty much whatever they had to, in order to achieve their objectives, if it meant seducing, lying, cheating, jail time, it didn't matter, it was done. 

Fascinating book, told in chronological order, that left me wanting more by the time it was over.

If you love history and you love the civil war era, you have to read this one, I am sure you will enjoy just as much as I did.

Thank you to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy for review.

{ Treacherous Trust by L.V. Delcid - Book Review }

Holly McLairn is still struggling to overcome the tragedy that left her a widow two years ago. However, all that changes when she rescues a mysterious and embittered stranger from a fiery helicopter crash, Now that act of kindness has not only put her fragile heart in danger, but her life as well.

I was recently contacted by Lola Delcid, back when I was still on Facebook, and asked if I would consider reviewing her first book.  Lola is the mom of one of my friends on Facebook and so I immediately said yes, I love helping out new authors and if they are related to someone I know, then even better.

I didn't quite know what to expect from the novel.  Obviously when I read a book that is the authors first, I have nothing else to compare it to, previous work, word of mouth, reviews etc.

I consider it a bit of a test to see if I can stay with it, or if it is not to my liking.

I was pleasantly surprised.  I enjoyed the book from the very beginning and quite liked the main character Holly, she was spunky and funny.

The story is well written, it was an easy read and I didn't find that I got bored or that I was faced with dry material.

For it being Lola's first book, I think she did a phenomenal job and I'm quite looking forward to the next book in the Tropical Skies series.

If you want to get your hands on a copy, head on over to Amazon.

If you would like to know more about the author, then be sure to visit her website.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Amish Kitchen

An Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman, Kelley Long, Amy Clipston

The Amish Kitchen is the Heart of the Home – and the Ideal Setting for Stories of Love and Hope. Fall in Paradise, Pennsylvania, always brings a brisk change in the weather. This season also ushers in unexpected visitors, new love, and renewed hope for three women. 

Fern has a green thumb for growing healing herbs, but longs for love to bloom in her life. Then the next-door neighbor’s oldest son, Abram, comes running into Fern’s kitchen seeking help for his little sister. The crisis soon leads to a promise of romance—until mistrust threatens to end the growing attraction. 

Nearby, Hannah runs her parents’ bed and breakfast, Paradise Inn—but her life feels nothing like Paradise. She longs for a man of integrity to enter her life, but never expected him to knock on the front door looking for a room. Will she be able trust Stephen with her future once she discovers his mysterious past? 

 When a storm blows a tree onto Eve’s farmhouse, she has little choice but to temporarily move her family into her parents’ home. Outside of cooking together in the kitchen, Eve and her mother can’t agree on anything. But this may be just the recipe for hope in healing old wounds. Three Amish stories—each celebrating love, family, and faith—all taking place in a tight-knit community where the kitchen truly is the heart of the home. 


Short, but such good stories. One of my favorite book genres, are Amish Fiction. Maybe because I love the Amish life so much and have such admiration and respect for them. These 3 stories take us right into the heart of Pennsylvania, to the kitchens, to the goodies being baked and cooked, and to the stories of Fern, Hannah and Eve. I really enjoyed the different characters, the stories, the faith that the Amish women have and as always the love that binds this community together. A joy to read.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Soft and Tenderly by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauk

Book Blurb: 

Happily married and owner of two successful boutiques, Jade longs to begin a family with her husband, Max. But when she discovers that Max has an illegitimate son–who he wants her to help raise–Jade’s life is turned upside down. She flees to her childhood home, a rambling Iowa farmhouse, with enough room to breathe. There–while her mother’s health grows fragile, and the tug of her first love grows stronger–Jade begins to question everything she thought she knew about family, love, and motherhood. In the wide-open landscape, Jade begins to see a future that doesn’t rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God’s tender mercies.

My thoughts:

I think this is a book that touches on some very important but tender issues, some things that many may not like to talk about or think about. But issues that are extremely common in many lives. I think an author has to be extremely careful when handling certain situations in a book, it not done correctly it could be completely misunderstood. The fact that Sara Evans was able to capture these moments in such a raw and heartfelt way says a lot of about the story that we watch unfold through the pages. There were moments that the pain the character was enduring was so palpable that it left a lump in my throat, but thankfully there were also some much lighter funny moments mingled in. It was a great read, and a story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

 Disclaimer:  I received this book for review from BookSneeze.  All my views are my own.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank - TLC Book Tour

Folly Beach, South Carolina, with its glistening beaches, laid-back Southern charm, and enticing Gullah tradition, is the land of Cate Cooper’s childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Now, thanks to a newly deceased husband whose financial and emotional perfidy has left her homeless and broke, she’s returning to this lovely strip of coast.

Once, another woman found comfort here: an artist, writer, and sometime colleague of the revered George Gershwin. With her beloved husband, DuBose, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly. Though the Heywards are long gone, their passion and spirit linger in every ocean breeze.

To her surprise, Cate is about to discover that you can go home again, for Folly holds the possibility of unexpected fulfillment—not just the memories of the girl she was, but the promise of the woman she’s always wanted to become. . . .


So as the book starts, we are at Cate's husband's funeral.  I have to say that the very beginning and probably the first two Chapters or so, were kind of slow for me.

This was my first Dorothea Benton Frank book and while I think by the end I was able to appreciate her style of writing, it did take some getting used to.  I'm not a huge fan of books that seem to have long pages about the backstory or explaining who so and so is and what they did and's just not the kind of stuff that I find interesting.

But I kept with it and very shortly began enjoying the story.

This is a Southern fiction at it's best.  I like that intertwined with the all the family ups and downs and drama, there is also historical details and a lot of funny moments throughout the book.  The author was able to vividly describe the setting and I think for me that was one of the best parts of the book, I kept imagining being where the characters were and kept thinking "boy, I wish I was there".

Overall, after the slow start I ended up not only enjoying the book but unable to set it down for very long, I was so into the story that I wanted to know what was coming next and what was going to happen to Cate.

Definitely recommend it :)

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy. If you want to check out the rest of the tour, here are the next stops:

Tuesday, January 3rd: Book Journey
Wednesday, January 4th: Chunky Monkey
Thursday, January 5th: All Grown Up?