Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Review: Smokin Hot in the South by Melissa Cookston

Here is the description of the book from
Melissa Cookston, the "winningest woman in barbecue," the only female barbecue world champion, and author of Smokin' in the Boys' Room, is bringing the heat with her second cookbook. Smokin' Hot in the South explores how to use fire in all its forms to craft more than 85 Southern-influenced recipes enhanced with the cultural flavors of Mexico, France, and Asia.

With the grill and smoker as her go-to tools, chef Melissa Cookston—named "One of the most influential pitmasters in America" by Fox News, and one of the "25 Super Women in Business" by the Memphis Business Journal in 2015—shares her all-new, modern interpretations of traditional Southern ingredients and recipes. Melissa explains how the culinary traditions of the South—long a bastion of slow-simmered vegetables and deep-fried everything—have expanded in the last decade to embrace Southwestern flavors, Asian spices, and the French palate.The nine chapters venture beyond the competition and barbecue principles of her first book and focus on instilling flavor with fire, using fresh herbs, and diversifying seasoning components in recipes that reflect the New South. She fire-roasts homegrown green tomatoes for a spicy take on a traditional pizza sauce and uses a barbecue smoker to add Southern nuance to porchetta. Also includes recipes for Butterbean Pate, Asian Pork Tenderloin with Watermelon Rind Pickles and Minted Watermelon Salad, Deep South Burgers with Pimento Cheese and Fried Green Tomatoes, Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Blood Orange-Jalapeno Glaze, Mini Sage Biscuits with Homemade Sage Butter, and Caramelized Fig Clafoutis. She also covers the tools, techniques, and ingredients needed to be successful grillling or smoking at home. This book will not leave you hungry.

My Review:

This cookbook had some really good looking recipes from rubs to desserts.  Reading the book teaches a lot about techniques and the proper tools to use. Because of this cookbook we are going to have a very tasty summer of grilling  and smoking outside.

I received this cookbook from Netgalley for my honest review.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Review: Believe Me by JP Delaney's description of the book:
In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions.

The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap?

But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

My Review:

I really liked this book and highly recommend it,  Just when I thought I knew how the book was going to end and who the murderer was JP Delaney throws a twist into the story and I was wrong.  I like the actress Claire, she was such a good actress it was hard to tell if she was acting or not and if she was capable of being the murderer.

This is the second book I have read of JP Delaney's and even though The Girl Before was a very good book I think this one is even better. A new favorite author!!!

This book will be released on July 24, 2018.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher ofr the advanced copy for my review.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Review: A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh

Here is's description of the book-

Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There's nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . . 

Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savories with A Literary Tea Party, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist. Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party. Cook up and enjoy:

  • Turkish Delight while sipping on the White Witch’s Hot Chocolate from The Chronicles of Narnia

  • Drink Me Tea with the Queen of Hearts’s Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland

  • Eeyore’s “Hipy Bthuthday” Cake with Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate from Winnie the Pooh

  • Hannah’s Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women

  • Tom Sawyer’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts from Tom Sawyer

  • And more!

  • Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes, inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating.

    My Review-

    This is a cookbook that has the name of a classic book then a quote from the book with a recipe for a food that was mentioned in the book. 

    I liked the concept of the book and was excited to get  copy from Netgalley for my honest review.  There is a few recipes I would like to prepare.  I really want to try the Turkish Delight, it looked delicious!

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers of this book for my free copy for my honest review.


    Saturday, April 7, 2018

    Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh description of the book:

    The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
    My review:

    This book is about a girl named Victoria who is shuffled through the foster care system and proves to herself that she is stronger than she thought. Through learning the Victorian language of flowers she is able to turn her life around.

    I enjoyed the story and also how the author included a dictionary of the language of flowers in the back of the book.  This is the first novel written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and I can see why it became a New York Times best selling book.  I look forward to reading more of her books.


    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    Book Review-- The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

    Here is the description of the book on

    Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.
    But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?
    To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

    My Review:

    This book is a realistic look into how it is to live with OCD and not be diagnosed.  It is also a terrifying look into an estranged  mother's desperate attempt to help her daughter with the beginning signs of OCD. 
    I was familiar with OCD before reading this book but I only had a limited amount of  knowledge of how OCD can control your whole life.

    Barbara Clayton Poole told the story of a woman's struggle and also of how her daughter, ex-husband and ex brother- in- law are trying to figure out how to deal with a mental illness they are not prepared for.

    I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it for a book club or just for yourself.  I love a book that has a very interesting storyline and also teaches me or helps me to better understand.  

    Thank you to Netgalley and also to the publishers of this book.  I look forward to following Barbara Claypole White on Facebook and reading her other novels.


    Monday, April 2, 2018

    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh -----What I reading Now

    Tonight I am starting to read the book, The Language of Flowers.  I have had this book on my bookshelf for a few months now.  I bought it at Goodwill which is a great place to find books. One of these days I'll take a picture of my 3 bookshelves to show you all of my
     to -be- read books.  I also have sooo many books on my Kindle.  Can you really have too many books?  I don't think so.

    Even though I have soo many books I can not go into ANY store that has books or magazines and not look at them and most of the time buy one or two or more.

    I have heard good things about this book but hopefully I will not be up all night reading.


    Ina Garten Foolproof Cookbook and Lidia's Family Table Cookbook

    I recently went to my local library and checked out Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook and Lidia's Family Table cookbook.  I love to cook AND I also love to read books.

    I have been looking for a good homemade Marinara sauce recipe and Lidia's Family Table did not disappoint.  There was also a complete step by step recipe for making pasta that really made making pasta look easy.

    I love all of the cookbooks by Ina Garten that I have but I did not have the Foolproof cookbook.  I really admire Ina Garten because she practices and practices making her recipes until they are perfect.  Ina's cookbooks also have tons of tips throughout her book .

    After reading through the books I decided I definitely want to buy Ina Garten's Foolproof cookbook. There was soo many recipes that I want to make. I found the recipes I was searching for in Lidia's cookbook.  I cook more of an American version of Italian food so most of the recipes in Lidia's cookbook just wouldn't work for me right now.

    Using the Library was a good way for me to be able to read the books and decide which one I wanted to add to MY library.

    I hope you get to read both of these cookbooks and maybe add one or both of them to your collection.