Tag Archives: COOKING

Review: House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

House of Belonging (Hesse Creek #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?

Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship—one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.

Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him—which makes her all the more appealing.

Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too—and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

House of Belonging by Andrea Thome is so much more than it appears. I thought it was about a woman or women overcoming an obstacle and moving forward. Yes, it was about that. But it had more depth and emotion than I knew. The journey that each character went through to get to where they ended up was heartfelt. I could not be happier. They were so realistic. I felt as if I lived right beside them for years. Sad, funny, and charming-Andrea Thome hooked me. I couldn’t stop reading. One chapter turned into several and then I was finishing the whole book. Love, new beginnings, and a promising future were shown here. I enjoyed it. Overall, I would recommend this inspirational and heart warming tale to fans of Hallmark, Debbie Macomber, and Susan Mallery.

 

Advertisements

Review: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Dinner with Edward shows that life can be unappreciated at times. With work and everything else pulling the characters’ attention away…some of life’s greatest moments pass by them. Lost love and never having been loved, are two stories followed here. Life is messy, complex, and uncertain at times. That too, is shown here. Sometimes, a purpose is needed for some to move forward and that is exactly what Edward has found. Isabel is at that crossroads point in her life where she felt like something she wanted is missing. With Edward around, she has gotten to enjoy life more so and forget a little more about not having a love.

Isabel Vincent’s novel, is heartfelt. I got to savor the cooking, friendship, and life’s lessons through the eyes of the characters. Each one had his and her own problems. But when they meet, they ended up changing each others’ life. I loved how each one gave and took from the other in equal amounts. Their blossoming friendship helped heal their wounds. It also gave them a renewed purpose in their lives. Moving forward after losing a love one and feeling old and lonely only to have found a good friend to share life with was sweet. I cried for both characters. Isabel is charming and middle-aged. I was able to relate to her issues easily. Never being loved truly has left her feeling sad. Edward is a fabulous cook, who made me mouth water with his recipes. His way of making sure Isabel is fine, tugged at my heart. They had a way of making me fall in love. Realistic characters, good plot, and emotional journeys inside made this a must read for me. Overall, I recommend Dinner with Edward to all readers.

Review: Gather and Make by Genevieve Layman

 

 

Rating: 5-stars

Gather & Make by Genevieve Layman is one of the most interesting garden and nature books that I’ve read. Here, she discusses things such as the benefits of plants and nature to us humans. Insects like the bees are crucial to plants. There’s even a project to make for insects. I did not realize how many health benefits there was just in interacting with mother nature. But that was not the only things I discovered. Did you know that there is such a thing as horticultural therapy? I did not. Genevieve’s book has taught me a lot. It’s inspiring, peaceful, and fun. Plus, it’s educational to read. Inserted in this nonfiction book, are projects, trivia, and facts for each section. These informative pieces are not things I would have come across in similar books. The book isn’t just facts and text. There are step-by-step guides, and pictures that go in hand with everything she discusses. Especially, on the health benefits. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to all readers. Genevieve Layman is definitely an expert in her field of study, and her book is a must have. Old or young, there are plenty of things to do and learn in Gather & Make for all.

 

Review: Expiration Date by Devon Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking–but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry’s latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she’s more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school.Today, she’s hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone’s decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry’s dish is deemed suspicious. Now she’ll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Expiration Date by Devon Delaney is an exciting new series. This first novel was packed with humor, murder, and mayhem. There is a cooking contest with a huge money prize. People want to win. But then, a judge is killed and an innocent cook is being setup. Sherry is excited to cook and hoping to win the contest. However, all hopes go down the drain when she has been framed for murder. Sherry has to work hard to solve the case just to prove her innocence. The lead detective doesn’t believe in her and that puts her in a pickle.

Sherry is a determined woman to make it as a cook. Yet her sleuthing skills are just as much fun to follow. Devon Delaney’s writing is engaging. I found myself laughing and enjoying the cast of characters. Plus, there are fun phrases that are used that made this book a must read. There was mystery, suspense, and a sort of charm that pulled me in deeper. Sherry has seen a lot of action and had her hands full with this latest journey. I cannot wait to see what adventure comes next. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: Excel Chinese Cooking



Synopsis

LEARN THE CULINARY ART OF CHINESE COOKING 

Ni hao! 

As the most prevalent ethnic restaurants anywhere you go, Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. 

Succulent sauces and spices with your many favorite choices of colorful vegetables and protein-enriched meats – is there any wonder why people love Chinese food? But do you know just how much goes into preparing the perfect Chinese dish? 

Most people think about Chinese food as something for lunch or dinner. But it’s so much more! Did you know that there are certain Chinese recipes that you can make for breakfast? 

What if you could cook your own Chinese food the next time you want to take a trip down to your favorite Chinese restaurant or order Chinese food delivery, and save the money that you would have spent on it? With “Excel Chinese Cooking,” that’s a reality. 

Here’s a sample taste of what you’ll get: 
– The ingredients basis that comprises of the different types of condiments, spices, noodles, rice, and prepackaged items. 

– The cooking utensils you’ll need and where to find them, including the wok, steamers, knives, ladles and spatulas. 

– The traditional breakfast serving style called “dim sum” and how to make each meal item, such as dumplings, spring rolls, and baozi. 
– The all-time favorites and most popular Chinese food dishes for lunch and dinner. (Do you know who General Tso really was?) 

– The exotic treats and desserts from China that will surely give you a serious sweet tooth. (Ever heard of the Red Dragon’s Beard Candy?) 

…and that’s just for starters. 

In “Excel Chinese Cooking,” you’ll learn how to start making your own delicious Chinese food at home with easy-to-follow and comprehensive instructions. 

We tell you everything that you need to know and give you the recipes that you love to really excel at Chinese cooking to cook up the food you want, anytime you want. 
Sihk faahn!

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Excel Chinese Cooking by Excel Cooking is indeed a great tool to have. This nonfiction cooking guide has everything Chinese food lovers want to know. From the basics of foods to preparation, Chinese food lovers will enjoy this cook book. Tasty yet beautiful Chinese meals all inside. Ever wonder how to prepare a Chinese meal that was a favorite? Well, Excel Cooking has done the work for readers. Every page is full of recipes, cooking tools, and much more. This book was carefully organized in a way that made following the instructions easy. Simple to use. Understanding it went smoothly. I felt excited. Chinese food is definitely my favorite and this book was just what I needed. Cooking at home saves money, time spent in restaurants, and is healthier. Overall, I would highly recommend Excel Chinese Cooking to readers worldwide. 

Review: That Girl from Summer Hill

 

Synopsis:

Enter Elizabeth Bennet. Chef Casey Reddick has had it up to here with men. When she arrives in the charming town of Summer Hill, Virginia, she leaves behind a demanding boss at a famous D.C. restaurant and a breakup with a boyfriend jealous of her success. Some peace and quiet on the picturesque Tattwell plantation is just what she needs to start fresh. But the tranquility is broken one misty morning when she sees a gorgeous naked man on the porch of her cottage.
 
Enter Mr. Darcy. What Tate Landers, Hollywood heartthrob, and owner of Tattwell, doesn’t need on a bittersweet trip to his ancestral home is a woman spying on him from his guest cottage. Mistaking Casey for a reporter, Tate tries to run her out of her own house. His anger, which looks so good on the screen, makes a very bad first impression on Casey. Hollywood he may be, but he’s no sweetheart to Casey—and she lets him know it!
 
The plot thickens. Sparks fly—literally—when Casey is recruited to play Elizabeth Bennet opposite Tate’s Mr. Darcy in a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Just brushing past Tate makes Casey’s whole body hum. As they spar on and off stage, Casey begins to think she’s been too quick to judge. Tate is more down-to-earth than Casey expected, and she finds herself melting under his smoldering gaze. But then Tate’s handsome ex-brother-in-law, Devlin Haines, who is playing Wickham, tells Casey some horrifying stories about Tate. She is upset and confused as she tries to figure out who and what to believe. As she finds herself falling for Tate, Casey needs to know: Is the intense, undeniable chemistry between them real, or is this just a performance that ends when the curtain falls?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux has just become my new favorite. Her characters spark an interest that is hard to ignore. The heated debates, the sexual tension, and the role of the characters creates an irresistible read. I found my myself intrigued from the beginning until the end. The Girl from Summer Hill is indeed very much like my favorite classic, Pride and Prejudice. Jude Deveraux’s writing is intense, dramatic, and romantic. I loved reading this story of hers as well as meeting these new characters.  I laughed, cried, and fell in love immediately.

Inside this brilliant tale, readers like myself get to meet a bold man who happens to be a very popular among the women and is a top movie star. Next, there’s a young woman who is a great cook, sweet, and finds the aka male movie star soaping his nude form out in the rain by her front door…she thought she was dreaming…they fight over it and she ends up hating him…only now that she sees him all the time and both playing leading parts in Pride and Prejudice…love may just be in the air. Then there are those electric sparks they both feel around another…maybe the Mr. Darcey and Elizabeth Bennet will find their happy ending in both the play and in real life. The Girl from Summer Hill is full of humor, wit, and romance. I can’t get enough of this juicy read and the plot that hooked me in all the way. Jude Deveraux is definitely a talented writer who brought out my favorite story and turned it into another amazing tale. I absolutely loved this novel, and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: The Paris Effect

 

Synopsis:

Nothing is what it seems in this highly praised debut novel about a food-obsessed young woman who sneaks away to Paris without telling anyone. Not even her husband. Once there she’s robbed, stalked, arrested, kidnapped (almost) and-worse-finds that her numerous issues have come right along with her. Grab a croissant and settle in for a decidedly non-touristy trip to the City of Light.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Paris Effect by K.S.R. Burns is indeed a perfect women’s fiction novel. Readers will see that there is a lot that happens inside, this brilliant well-written story. The main character has issues like the rest of us. She even has a list of rules some that sound great, others creepy, and the rest crazy. This is the first novel I have read by this talented writer. The characters will keep readers constantly one their toes especially, Amy. Amy is a character that readers can’t put one label on…instead, she contains many surprising labels and creates a fascinating adventure ahead.

Inside The Paris Effect, readers find a woman that is not smooth on the edges but rough and a little frayed. Amy and her woman friend Kat take up much of the novel. Everything, Amy does she either has her husband William telling her what to do or her friend Kat whose voice tells her what to do. Amy just doesn’t know what she wants yet or what she wants to do. She is laid off, her best friend died, and she has plans of going to Paris.  K.S.R. Burns takes readers to traveling to Paris where Amy runs into more trouble. Her husband wants kids one day and she’s not so sure. She tries calling her husband yet no answer…does that mean they are done? I can’t wait to read the sequel to this amazing piece. Readers like myself will be enticed from the first page and eager to finish the whole book in one sitting. Then when readers reach the ending…they will be begging to read more. I couldn’t believe how wonderful and adventurous this title would be until I read it. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

 

 

Review: The Beauty and the Feast

 

Synopsis:

Eva Raines is an uncomplicated country girl who’s all about food. Eva moves to the Napa Valley where her culinary skills come to the attention of the owners of a start-up and Eva finds her niche as a personal chef. Now all she needs is a man as perfect as her cooking, but she has serious doubts such a creature exists.

When wealthy entrepreneur, winery owner, and noted lothario, Gabriel Abbott, makes plans to seduce his flavor of the month, his assistant hires All Things to All People to cater a gourmet dinner. Eva expects to use her way with food to showcase the startup. What she unexpectedly discovers is that her culinary skills showcase far more. Gabriel Abbott finds himself seduced by her voice and the sensual flavors and textures of her food and his previous plans are quickly forgotten. He begins to obsess about meeting his little chef in person. He’s not alone. Once Eva hears Gabe’s voice and spends time in his home in the Napa Valley, she begins to wonder about the real man and her dreams of him are so hot they could ignite a barbecue.

When Eva and Gabe finally come face to face, the question is, how hot will their fire burn?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Beauty and the Feast by J.R. Barret is a highly entertaining romance. It’s hot, sexy, and funny sweet. This was the first novel I have read by this talented individual. The characters were fun to read about and follow along with as the plot developed. Readers will be enticed with this title from the first page and onward. Food, culture, and amazing travel readers will get to taste and view when reading this brilliant novel. I found myself completely lost as I read this story. It was like I was right there watching and engaging in the exciting scenes around me. The smells were so vivid that I found myself almost tasting the delicious meals prepared by the main character. She is beautiful, smart, and fun.

J.R Barret’s novel is steady paced and well-written. Once readers open it up to read it won’t be put down until they read the last page. Inside The Beauty and the Feast, readers are taken into a kitchen where we find our main character cooking and then being hosed down by a horny teenage boy. A horny teenage boy that she has to babysit for her boss. He takes great pleasure in soaking her shirts until they are transparent..then leaves grinning like a cashmere cat in Alice of Wonderland. Readers will be intrigued by Eva whose cooking skills will make anyone’s mouth water…especially that of a hot sexy man who heats up her dreams. Gabe is soon led to Eva and unlike most romances..this woman has a lot more than looks that attract a red-blooded male like him. But what fate holds in store for them both is one, readers must find out on their own. I absolutely loved reading this title..the cover and name of the book fit in perfectly with the story and its characters. Spicy, sensual, and masterfully woven, The Beauty and the Feast, is definitely a must read for all.

Review: Recipes for Love & Murder

 

Synopsis:

A bright new talent makes her fiction debut with this first entry in a delicious crime set in rural South Africa—a flavorful blend of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency and Goldie Schulz series, full of humor, romance, and recipes and featuring a charming cast of characters.

Tannie Maria (Tannie meaning Auntie, the respectful Afrikaans address for a woman older than you) is a middle-aged widow who likes to cook—and eat. She shares her culinary love as a recipe columnist for the local paper—until The Gazette decides its readers are hungrier for advice on matters of the heart rather than ideas for lunch and dinner.

Tannie Maria doesn’t like the change but soon discovers she has a knack—and a passion—for helping people. Of course, she shares her recipes and culinary advice whenever she can! Assisting other people with their problems, Tannie Maria is eventually forced to face her own issues, especially when the troubles of those she helps touch on the pain of her past, like a woman desperate to escape her abusive husband.

When the woman is murdered, Tannie Maria becomes dangerously entwined in the investigation, despite the best efforts of one striking detective determined to keep her safe. Suddenly, this practical, down-to-earth woman is involved in something much more sinister than perfecting her chocolate cake recipe . . .

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew is an intriguing mystery that readers will love. Sally Andrew has created a brilliant masterpiece for readers everywhere to enjoy. If you love food, writing, and solving a murder, then this is indeed the novel for you. Tannie Maria goes for what she loves to do…sharing her recipes with others…then she has to go a little out of her comfort zone and finds herself loving every minute of her new job. However, trouble soon starts brewing…and before readers know it, they are taken high into a murder case along with Tannie Maria. Recipes for Love and Murder is a laugh-out-loud read that readers will be coming back to every time. Humor, intrigue, red herrings, and much more can be found inside of this exciting fast-paced plot. There’s a stocky man who abuses his wife. This wife has written to Tannie Maria about help. But then the wife ends up dead. After the death of the woman, Tannie Maria finds herself entangled into one big melting pot. So many suspects, an amateur detective, an investigative journalist, and 2 policemen keep Tannie Maria on her toes.

Recipes for Love and Murder is a laugh-out-loud read that readers will be coming back to every time. Humor, intrigue, red herrings, and much more can be found inside of this exciting fast-paced plot. There’s a stocky man who abuses his wife. This wife has written to Tannie Maria about help. But then the wife ends up dead. After the death of the woman, Tannie Maria finds herself entangled into one big melting pot. So many suspects, along with an amateur detective, a hard-boiled journalist, and two 2 policemen keep Tannie Maria on her toes. Secrets are kept and Tannie Maria is determined to solve the case of who dun it. Readers won’t figure it out until the very end. Sally Andrew has beautifully woven a variety of  interesting characters most who have may have a motive for the murder that keep readers guessing. This is one mystery readers everywhere will enjoy reading and not want to pass. I love reading this story. The plot is well-written and the characters are well-developed. The race to find a murderer is on….and Tannie Maria is one character that readers will fall in love with over and over again. Overall, I highly recommend this cultural detective fiction to readers worldwide.