Posted in 5 paws, cooking, Giveaway, Review, Texas on May 31, 2017



Terry Thompson-Anderson

  Genre: Cookbook / Southwest Cuisine

Publisher: The University of Texas Press

Date of Publication: April 18, 2017

Number of Pages: 312

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Texans love the morning meal, whether it’s bacon and eggs (often eaten in a breakfast taco) or something as distinctively nontraditional as saag paneer omelets, pon haus, or goat curry. A Lone Star breakfast can be a time for eating healthy, or for indulging in decadent food and drink. And with Texas’s rich regional and cultural diversity, an amazing variety of dishes graces the state’s breakfast and brunch tables. The first Texas cookbook dedicated exclusively to the morning meal, Breakfast in Texas gathers nearly one hundred recipes that range from perfectly prepared classics to the breakfast foods of our regional cuisines (Southern, Mexican, German, Czech, Indian, and Asian among them) to stand-out dishes from the state’s established and rising chefs and restaurants.

Terry Thompson-Anderson organizes the book into sections that cover breakfast and brunch libations (with and without alcohol); simple, classic, and fancy egg presentations; pancakes, French toast, and waffles; meat lover’s dishes; seafood and shellfish; vegan dishes and sides; and pastries. The recipes reference locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and Thompson-Anderson provides enjoyable notes about the chefs who created them or the cultural history they represent. She also offers an expert primer on cooking eggs, featuring an encounter with Julia Child, as well as a selection of theme brunches (the boozy brunch, the make-ahead brunch, New Year’s Day brunch, Mother’s Day brunch with seasonal ingredients, teenage daughter’s post-slumber party breakfast, and more). Sandy Wilson’s color photographs of many of the dishes and the chefs and restaurants who serve them provide a lovely visual counterpoint to the appetizing text.

Purchase the book here from UT Press


**A James Beard Cookbook Award Finalist**

“Bring a Texas-sized appetite to the table for Breakfast in Texas! A combination of home-style cooking and favorite dishes from restaurants across the great state, Breakfast in Texas is packed with recipes for simple to spectacular egg dishes, creative cocktails, meat lovers’ feasts, and pancakes and pastries, as well as vegan breakfast and brunch ideas. Beautiful photographs, mouth-watering recipes, and great menu and party ideas make this a must-have for your cookbook shelf.” – Virginia Willis, chef and James Beard Award–winning cookbook author

“I thoroughly enjoyed Terry Thompson-Anderson’s latest cookbook, Breakfast in Texas. I’m sure many of these recipes are going to become signature dishes for my family, as well as my loyal restaurant customers. Relish every story; enjoy every bite. This cookbook is Texas at the breakfast table.” -Monica Pope, chef and author of Eat Where Your Food Lives

“Terry Thompson-Anderson’s epic breakfast book spans the cultures of Texas, as well as its regions. With recipes that run from simple to more elaborate, and range from libations to pastries, there’s something for everyone. Plus, Breakfast in Texas is a good read, with all sorts of fascinating information about Texas and its rich and colorful history.” -Paula Lambert, owner of the Mozzarella Company and author of The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide


Is it possible to gain 10 lbs just reading a cookbook?

I do love a good cookbook and this one just tipped the scales for me! Not only is it breakfast/brunch recipes – they are from restaurants in Texas. How much better can it get?!

I enjoyed reading about all of the different chefs, restaurants, and recipes that are throughout the book. The photos (and recipes) had me drooling and wanting to pull up a chair and have a delicious meal or two (or three or four).  I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but have earmarked a few to try very soon.

But this book contains more than food recipes, it also includes beverages to imbibe while enjoying the food and also the stories behind how many of the dishes came to be and more information about the creators (aka Chefs). There is even a section on how to prepare eggs – because that truly can be an art form even for the best cook out there.

Because this is Texas we can’t overlook the Mexican influence that spices up all of our dishes – from beverages to breakfast tacos. Or the Cajun influence that is reflected in Brennan’s dishes (Houston restaurant). So if these flavors call to you, then those are the recipes you’ll want to try first.

But before you think that everything is for the carnivores out there – there is actually a section on vegan/vegetarian options and a couple of restaurants were highlighted. (although they missed out on a good restaurant – The Spiral Diner in Fort Worth).

Overall an excellent cookbook that serves up history with the recipes – a great combination.  We give it 5 paws up.

Terry Thompson-Anderson is the author of nine previous cookbooks, including Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State, which was a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Book Award for American Cooking.

Connect with The University of Texas Press

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram






  May 30-June 13, 2017

Click on the image to enter

Or Click HERE to win!

Check out the other great blogs on this tour

5/30 Promo Hall Ways Blog
5/31 Review StoreyBook Reviews
6/1 Sneak Peek Momma On The Rocks
6/2 Review Books in the Garden
6/3 Book Trailer My Book Fix Blog
6/4 Promo Syd Savvy
6/5 Review Bibliotica
6/6 Book Trailer Texas Book Lover
6/7 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
6/8 Sneak Peek Forgotten Winds
6/9 Excerpt Missus Gonzo
6/10 Review Books and Broomsticks
6/11 Promo The Page Unbound
6/12 Author Interview CGB Blog Tours
6/13 Review Reading By Moonlight


Comments Off on Review & Giveaway – Breakfast in Texas by Terry Thompson-Anderson #BreakfastinTX #cookbook @UTexasPress #LSBBT #LoneStarLit
Posted in chick lit, cooking, Romantic Comedy, Spotlight on January 14, 2017


Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sautééé pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

About the Author

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads  * Instagram * Newsletter

Comments Off on Spotlight – Mixing it Up by Tracie Banister @traciebanister #romanticcomedy
Posted in cooking, Giveaway, Spotlight on October 5, 2016

I do love a good cookbook and Italian food is not all pasta. There are lots of other delicious dishes to enjoy. I’ll be entering to win this giveaway because you can never have too many cookbooks!


Italy’s classic recipes are well known the world over, but few are aware of the dishes that reign on the flourishing Italian street-food scene. Hidden behind the town squares, away from the touristy restaurants, and down back streets are little-known gems offering up some of Italy’s tastiest and best-kept secret dishes that the locals prize.

ITALIAN STREET FOOD is not just another Italian cookbook; it delves into truly authentic Italian fare—the kind of secret recipes that are passed down through generations. Learn how to make authentic polpettine, arancini, stuffed cuttlefish, cannolis, and fritters, and perfect your gelato-making skills with original flavors such as lemon and basil or affogato and aperol. With beautiful stories and stunning photography throughout, ITALIAN STREET FOOD delivers an authentic, lesser known take on a much loved cuisine.


Rizzoli  ~  Amazon


About the Author

Paola Bacchia is one of Australia’s most popular Italian food bloggers. On her blog, Italy on My Mind, she shares family memories and their connections to food. It won awards for best food blog in 2013 and 2015 from ITALY Magazine. Paola returns to Italy every year to expand her knowledge of Italian food, its traditions, and innovations.

Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


Prizes: 5 copies of the book (open to USA only)

Giveaway ends Oct 29

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Italy Book Tours Logo jpeg 225 pixels

Tour Schedule

Oct 3 –   Working Mommy Journal

Oct 3 –   Freda’s Voice

Oct 4 –   Monica Cesarato

Oct 4 –   Olio by Marilyn

Oct 4 –  Library of Clean Reads

Oct 5 –   Rockin’ Book Reviews

Oct 5 –   StoreyBook Reviews

Oct 6 –   Cooking in Venice

Oct 6 –   Essentially Italian

Oct 7 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World

Oct 7 –   Il Mio Tesoro

Oct 10 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine

Oct 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews

Oct 12 – T’s Stuff

Oct 12 – Italophilia

Oct 13 – A Holland Reads

Oct 14 – Words And Peace

Oct 17 –

Oct 18 – Blooming with Books

Oct 20 – Take It Personel-ly

Oct 21 – Walking With Nora

Posted in 4 paws, cooking, Review on June 19, 2016

make ahead banner


Skip the hassle of last-minute meals and leftovers and replace them with simple, healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare make-ahead dishes! Your family will love these comfortable meals, new favorites, cozy drinks, and tantalizing desserts—all of them prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to worry! Enjoy simple, soul-filling foods without the chaos of preparing them at the last minute.


amazon buybn buy

Books and Things


I love cookbooks and was excited to be invited to participate in the blog tour for this book. I didn’t realize there are 75 recipes in the book but that sounds about right. The recipes are varied and include all different courses – from appetizers to main dishes, to sides and desserts. There are even a few beverage options.  The photos of the different recipes are mouthwatering!  I chose a few recipes based on the photos alone…is that wrong?  I hope not!  The Cashew Chicken and Brown Rice casserole caught my eye, along with the Double Dark Chocolate Banana Bread and the Coconut Black Bottom Brownies.  They were all a hit with family and friends so those will go in the keeper file.

I will say that this is down home cooking at its finest and if you are looking for low fat, this is not the cookbook for you. You can probably slim them down with exchanges without losing too much in the consistency or taste. Don’t get me wrong, these are some delicious recipes…just eat in moderation.

I do like how you can make ahead, and even freeze, some of the dishes for future meals. Watch how many the recipe says it serves. If you have a smaller family you might need to cut in half.

All in all some great new recipes and I can’t wait to try out all of the recipes later, especially the soups this winter.

We give it 4 paws up.


About the Author

Annalise Thomas is a big city girl married to a small town boy. Every day is a joy and a challenge as she learns to live and love this small town life. Annalise is a foodie with a deep passion for everything edible and for sharing what she loves with others. Annalise is a wife and mom, a baker, a cook, and a blogger. She and her family live a very real life and eat as much real food as possible.

Website * Twitter * Facebook


Posted in 5 paws, cooking, Review on December 18, 2015

Six Sisters Stuff, Sweets and Treats cover

Title: Sweets and Treats with Six Sisters’ Stuff
Author: Six Sisters’ Stuff
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Retail Price: $21.99
ISBN: 978-1629720791


After growing up in a close-knit family in Utah, the sisters scattered across the country when they went off to college, got married, and had kids. To keep in touch, they started the Six Sis­ters’ Stuff blog, which (much to their surprise!) attracted a massive following. Today, SixSis­ is an Internet sensation filled with recipes, meal planners, DIY projects, and more!

At the core of the Six Sisters’ brand are home-grown values: a devotion to family, love, and togetherness. And delicious, lovingly prepared food, of course!

SWEETS & TREATS is a treasure trove of ideas for the fun parent. Whether it’s for a special occasion or a festive after school snack, kids will be dazzled by Homemade Twix Bars, Circus Animal Truffles, Samoa Cupcakes, or Churro Chex Mix! Rock the school bake sales with spins on the classics —from Reese’s Brownies to Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies. And the recipes are so easy that kids can even bake along!

For party time, after dinner, or even just some well-deserved self-indulgence , SWEETS & TREATS is filled to the brim with cakes, pies, and other swoon-worthy delights like Brownie Caramel Cheesecake, Mini Pumpkin Pies, Berries and Cream Trifle, or perfect raspberry sorbet. This book features classic recipes derived from the Six Sisters’ family heritage (like their Fresh Peach Pie!) alongside innovative creations (Peanut Butter Brownie Buckeye Cupcakes, any­one?), that will give you options for easy entertaining.

Also included are these magnificent delights:

Hot Fudge Sundae Ice Cream Cake
Microwave Caramels
Frozen Grasshopper Cookie Pie
Rocky Road Fudge
Brownie Caramel Cheesecake

Every recipe is accompanied by a colorful photo and there are lots of whimsical sidebars throughout the book that offer great family activities, tricks for parties, crafts, and even ideas for cute, easy date nights. The Sisters know first-hand what it’s like to juggle a hectic life, and they’ve designed everything so that you can concentrate on putting a smile on your family’s faces.

The proof is in the pudding (and also the cakes, brownies, and cookies!): With the Six Sisters you can put dessert first!

Snickers Cupcakes


I have another cookbook by Six Sisters and I have to say that this cookbook does not disappoint!  All of the recipes are simple and do not call for ingredients that are hard to find.  I made the S’more cookies for my book club as part of our cookie exchange and they were VERY tasty!  My husband has looked at a few recipes that he wants me to make in the near future.

There is a great combination of sweet treats – from cookies to cupcakes to cakes.

I have a feeling this will be a go-to cookbook much like their other one.  I love cooking and don’t mind tackling harder recipes but sometimes simple is best!

We give this 5 paws up and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their cookbooks.


Cheesecake Brownies

Almond Joy Chocolate Chip Cookies

About the Authors

The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—grew up in Utah, but a few of them have lived in other parts of the country since moving out of the house. Between them there are five nieces and three nephews, and all of the sisters love playing “aunt.” The sisters started the blog in February 2011 to keep in touch while they were apart, but it has since gained popularity, garnering more than 9 million viewers per month and more than 307,000 followers on Pinterest.

 Facebook * Pinterest * Website/Blog * Twitter

Comments Off on Review – Sweets & Treats with Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook #5paws @SixSistersStuff
Posted in 5 paws, cooking, Cozy, Giveaway, Review on November 1, 2015

flipped for murder large banner640

flipped for murder cover

Flipped For Murder (Country Store Mysteries)
New Cozy Series
Series: Country Store Mysteries
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (October 27, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-161773925


In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start–until a murderer muddles the recipe…

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor’s disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she’ll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town’s darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer–before she’s the next to die…


Amazon * B&N * IndieBound


Anytime a cozy centers around food count me in!  My mouth drools at the descriptions and it makes me wish I could dive right into the book and become a part of the story.  Flipped for Murder is no exception.  There is a variety of characters to like (and hate) and since this is the first book, there is a lot more to learn about the citizens of  South Lick (I swear I wanted to write Salt Lick!) and especially Robbie, Jim, Danna and Adele.  The book is well written and while I suspected the killer it wasn’t because of anything specific, it was because I just didn’t like this person!  There is also a minor mystery that is solved along with who killed Stella, and that is Robbie finding out who her father is after 27 years and working to establish a relationship with him.  I look forward to reading more about how that develops in future books.

We give this book 5 paws up and saw that the second book, Grilled for Murder, will be available soon.  Exciting!


About The Author

maddie dayMADDIE DAY (aka: Edith Maxwell) is a former farmer of a certified organic farm, holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics, and is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Her short stories have appeared in the anthologies Stone Cold, Fish Nets, Burning Bridges, Thin Ice, Riptide, and The Larcom Review. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts, where she’s currently working on her next Maddie Day mystery when she isn’t out gardening.

Maddie’s Website * Edith’s Website * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook


a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160

Comments Off on Review & #Giveaway – Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day @MaddieDayAuthor #5paws #mystery
Posted in 4 paws, cooking, Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Review on August 2, 2015

fudging the books  large banner640


Fudging the Books (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Series: A Cookbook Nook Mystery (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425279403
E-Book ASIN: B00QH8320E


The Agatha Award–winning author of Stirring the Plot returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, California, where February brings Pirate Week, National Chocolate Month—and bitter murder…

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…


amazon buybn buy


It is hard to believe this is the 4th in the series! Another mystery in which I didn’t guess the killer. I definitely thought it was the wrong person. I was a bit surprised to learn who it was but it made sense once all the reasoning was laid out as to why. There are comments about Jenna being in town a short time and all of a sudden the murder rate increasing. Luckily she has a lot of people on her side that don’t think she is involved even though she ends up on the wrong place at the wrong time.  Of course it wouldn’t be a cozy if the main character is the killer!

I like how the author brings in titles of other books (cookbooks, mysteries, etc). I want to read them all!  I have oodles of cookbooks and I do want to go buy more (especially the chocolate ones) but don’t have enough space.

We give it 4 paws up!

Exclusive Recipe from Daryl!

I’m doing lots of promotion for Fudging the Books, the 4th in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Needless to say, I’m focusing on the “fudge” part by sharing lots of chocolate recipes. It turns out that a lot of my readers like chocolate. Go figure! LOL

Yes, this is a picture of a birthday cake. When I made this recipe, I had three birthdays in a week. I needed something easy to make. For months, I’d wanted to try putting coconut in a cake. I’d heard all the good things derived medically from eating coconut. For example, lots of populations have thrived for generations eating massive amounts of coconut, and these nations have less heart disease. Also, eating coconut increases energy. Hmm. I can always use more of that!

I discovered a yummy recipe in a Bon Appetit Magazine, March 2014, while I was waiting in the doctor’s office, of all places. (Well read and thumbed through after a year!) What else was I going to read? I forgot to bring a book. No cell phone use. And the wait was lo-o-o-o-o-ong.

Like I said, this recipe is EASY-PEASY! And this tasted like a big Mounds bar. I bet if you added almonds, it would taste like an Almond Joy. It was delish!

Savor the Mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber

Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous



Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (*if using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Frosting & sprinkles, if desired


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 4” loaf pan; line with parchment paper. Make sure some of it hangs over the side. This makes it VERY easy to remove the cake from the pan.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and coconut flakes in a bowl and set aside. [*If using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.]

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, coconut oil, and sugar on medium-high until it’s fluffy, about 5 minutes. It takes a while for the coconut oil to mix so be patient. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each time. The mixture will get very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Mix.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the dry ingredients, one-third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Do not overmix as it will cause the cake to split. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake cake for about 60 -70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. In my oven, it took 60 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes more. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

This will keep for a good week. Keep at room temperature.

Note: The Bon Appetit recipe asked for the coconut to be put in at the last (not in the dry ingredients) by making a canal in the middle of the cake batter, pouring in the coconut and topping with 1 tablespoon of sugar. I missed that instruction – oops! – which is why my coconut flakes were incorporated in the dry ingredients. It tastes like a Mounds bar!


About the Author

darylwoodgerberDARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Find Daryl here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Find Avery here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads





a Rafflecopter giveaway


great escape button160


Tour Participants

August 1Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

August 2StoreyBook Reviews – Review

August 3fuonlyknew – Review

August 4Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review

August 5Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review

August 6Babs Book Bistro – Review

Posted in 5 paws, Children, cooking, Middle Grade, Review on May 30, 2015


Apple Adventure


Book #1 – Amazing Apples!

Celia is bored. And with everyone in her family busy she doesn’t know what to do…until her dad gives her a task that leads to her best day ever; the day she meets Cedric and their yummy adventures begin!


amazon buy

Dirt Balls


Book #2 – Eat Dirt Balls!

After a rainy night Celia had a fun idea as usual. Who knew that what started out as mud and grass clippings would turn out to be the most delicious, delectable snack they or anyone else had tasted…yes, even her teenage brother, Jake.


amazon buy

Little Green Dragon


Book #3 – Little Green Dragon

Celia and Cedric meet a new friend! In this new adventure, they meet the little green dragon who becomes a fun playmate and an inspiration for a yummy new recipe. Celia and Cedric enjoy the Little Green Dragon’s smoothie and you can too!


amazon buy


I had the opportunity to read and review these 3 children’s books and if you have young children that you want them to enjoy a book and learn something at the same time, well these are the books that fill the bill.

These may be a kid’s books but it sends a good message about eating healthy. I like that it encourages children to think about food in a healthy way and in the first book, there is a recipe for Apple cake and there are 3 versions given: a regular version, a gluten free version and a Paleo version. What more could you ask for when given a recipe in a book?! 

The second book has Celia & Cedric outside trying to make treats from mud/dirt. Mom steps in and has them make dirt balls from healthy ingredients. They find it is easy to make and a delicious treat too. Even big brother likes it.

The third book has Celia & Cedric playing outside and trying to evade a green dragon. Mom has another treat up her sleeve, this time it is a smoothie and it is green thanks to the spinach. I have seen many recipes for smoothies with spinach and have yet to try one myself, but perhaps one day I’ll add a handful.

If you have young children definitely a series to give them and encourage them to think and eat healthy and even trying the recipe in the book. It looks easy enough and quite tasty too.

We give these books 5 paws up.


About the Authors

ellen kurtMother and daughter team Erin Kurt, B.Ed. and mom, Laara Exsnar, B.Ed, RHN, have joined forces to write fun, adventurous stories with their little characters Celia and Cedric. Erin, a former school teacher and mother of two young kiddies, and Laara, a retired school teacher and now nutritionist, have a passion for families, health and yummy food. Bringing their combined experitise together they’ve created a Read and Bake Series they hope will bring families continuous hours of fun and enjoyment.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Comments Off on Spotlight & 5 Paw Review – Celia & Cedric books by Erin Kurt & Laara Exsnar @ErinParenting #healthykids #celia&cedric
Posted in 4 paws, cooking, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on May 25, 2015

Chef Maurice Cover



“They say one should never trust a thin chef. By this measure, Chef Maurice was very trustworthy indeed.”

It’s autumn in the Cotswolds, and Chef Maurice is facing a problem of mushrooming proportion.

Not only has his wild herb and mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows, missed his weekly delivery—he’s missing vital signs too, when he turns up dead in the woods near Beakley village.

Soon, Chef Maurice is up to his nose in some seriously rotten business—complete with threatening notes, a pignapping, and an extremely well-catered stake-out.

Can he solve Ollie’s murder before his home-made investigation brings the killer out for second helpings?


Amazon US * Amazon UK * Kobo * iTunes * Googleplay


If you like cozies set in Britain and are a fan of British shows, you just might like this book. The main character is a rather rotund chef named Maurice. He is a strong character and reminds me a lot of Gareth Blackstock who is the main character in a British comedy called Chef – other than their sizes. Both believe that everything they say and do is right and they run right over the others.

Maurice has a friend who is a food/restaurant critic and together they make quite an interesting investigative duo.

The characters are witty and it wasn’t until near the end that I suspected who the killer might be based on actions at that time. You might be able to figure it out before then but the clues are subtle.

A series to watch and we give it 4 paws up


About the Author

JALangJ.A. Lang is a British mystery writer, and author of the Chef Maurice Mysteries series.

She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, an excessive number of cookbooks, and a sourdough starter named Bob.

Webpage * Goodreads * Facebook

Comments Off on #MysteryMonday & Review – Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle by J.A. Lang
Posted in 5 paws, cooking, Review on May 18, 2015

Going Against the Grain

This two-part book is a vital adjunct to any home attempting to be gluten-free. The first part guides you through early diagnosis and is an essential guide for any beginner diagnosed with celiac disease or some form of gluten sensitivity. You will learn how to identify symptoms of the disease, how celiac disease is diagnosed, and the consequences if left untreated. It will help you to understand how to read labels and how to manage your gluten-free home in a shared environment. It outlines practical advice for parents of children with celiac disease as well as tips for eating out and dealing with social settings such as special occasions or when traveling. Honorary foreword provided by renowned Dr. Peter HR Green, MD – Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Growing up authentically Sicilian, Nuccia Ardagna thought that getting rid of gluten meant giving up her favorite traditional foods, but that could not be further from the truth! Nuccia combines her passion for eating amazingly Italian with her new dietary needs to bring you scrumptious, traditional Italian (and Sicilian) recipes. From simple, classic appetizers to decadent desserts you thought you could never enjoy, every recipe is easy-to-follow and offers beautiful full-color pictures throughout. You can feel confident about entertaining guests and family with these mouth-watering recipes. You can eat healthier, feel better, and truly enjoy living gluten-free while never having to sacrifice great taste! In this book, Nuccia not only shares her personal story with celiac disease but also the recipes she grew up with at home and uses to entertain guests. Look for the bonus section at the end of the book along with a section dedicated to her favorite links and resources.

We hope you enjoy the book and find it helpful in your journey.

amazon buy


I’ll admit it…I’m a cookbook addict. I love all these amazing recipes and being able to try them out for my family.

Now we do not have to be gluten free in my household, but that doesn’t mean that those that need to live without gluten can’t enjoy delicious foods too. There is a whole first section that discusses how to live a gluten free life and how to handle each meal and other occasions. With as many people now that can’t tolerate gluten there are many options available.

There is a wide variety of dishes from starters to desserts. Some of them can be made using normal flour/bread (if you can have gluten) such as the bruschetta recipe – just use your favorite bread. The zucchini fritters is one of the first recipes that caught my eye. Each recipe uses normal ingredients and the recipes are easy to follow.

I tried 3 of the recipes – the zucchini fritters, the lemon rosemary chicken and the pork loin.  All 3 turned out pretty well and here are some of my experiences/suggestions.

*For the fritters, make sure the heat for the oil is fairly high so that they get a nice golden brown.  Also make sure that you add enough flour (of whatever type) so that the batter is not too runny.  My second batch turned out better after I added more flour to thicken up the batter.

*The chicken was so tender and just fell off the bone.

*The author suggested searing the pork loin before cooking and I don’t know why I have never done this before but it just made it so much better.  Even an experienced cook can learn new tricks.

I am looking forward to trying some more of these recipes.

If you are looking for a gluten free cookbook, I highly recommend this one!  We give it 5 paws up.


About the Author

Nuccia ArdagnaNuccia Ardagna loves to travel to the place of her roots: SICILIA! Being Sicilian, she grew up with mamma, nonna and all her zie learning all the tricks of the trade and creating DELICIOUS Italian food from scratch. When diagnosed with celiac disease she was forced to learn new habits and, now, after trial and error and experimenting, wants to share her exquisite culinary creations with you.

She IS a true Italian to the core.

Website  ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook



​Prizes: ​ Win one of 2 copies of Going Against the Grain

(Open to USA & Canada) Ends May 30

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Italy Book Tours Logo jpeg 225 pixels