Saturday, June 21, 2014
So on at the end of spring and beginning of summer I thought I'd do a quick post on what books and other things have really stuck out for me this spring.
In the cozy category I really loved Hannah Dennison's Murder at Honeychurch Hall. I'm really looking forward to reading more by this author. In the non-cozy category Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie was a great continuation of a series I really enjoyed.
This was a really tough one. I've read a number of really great non-fiction this spring and it was a toss up between The Phantom of Fifth Avenue, Louisa Catherine or Murder on the Home Front but I think the book I probably liked the most was Molly Wizenberg's Delancey. This look at how she and her husband opened their pizza restaurant and how it affected their marriage and the way they looked at food was fascinating!
Favorite Romance: While this has been a great season for non-fiction it was kind of flat in the romance section. So far I haven't read any that I really just loved. For contemporary I'd say my favorite was Her Cowboy Hero by Tanya Michaels which I really didn't expect to like but ended up loving the characters. I also liked Jill Shalvis's Always on My Mind. For historical I enjoyed Laura Lee Gurhke's And Then He Kissed Her but that was a reread and really doesn't count.
Favorite Fiction: I really hadn't expected to like Hailey's Hotel but it proved a really interesting read. I had really high hopes for Liz Trenow's The Forgotten Seamstress and it was one of those rare books that met every expectation I had. On the opposite side of that while I did enjoy The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry my high expectations for the book caused me to be a little disappointed with it.
Favorite New Author: There have been a few authors that I read my first book from them this spring and am really looking forward to seeing more of. These are Tanya Michaels, Hannah Dennison and Meryl Gordon who has a biography on Brooke Astor that I'm really excited about trying.
Favorite Cookbooks: If you like to cook and haven't tried Carla Hall's Cooking With Love you are missing out! I wasn't too inspired by this book when I checked it out of the library but after making her Basil Bacon Bread I went out and immediately bought the book. If you haven't had her Buffalo Chicken burgers you have my sympathy and I don't even like wings. Great easy recipes, family friendly enough for weeknight meals but not so family friendly it's boring.
I've made this Blue Moon Orange Chicken from Iowa Girl Eats and it's so good! J doesn't like beer or fruit flavors in food and even he loves it plus it comes together pretty quick. For an extra tasty meal I make the Pioneer Woman's mashed potoates to serve with it and you can pour a little of the sauce from the chicken over the potatoes. Plus these potatoes are just fantastic even though they're not necessarily the most calorie friendly. I don't use cream and only 1 stick of butter and can't taste the difference so that has to help a little right?? Also, when you bake these potatoes it kind of makes the lumps go away which I love because there's nothing worse than lumpy mashed potatoes.
Favorite Snacks: The chocolate chip cookies from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook has been a favorite around here lately and I have a family full of chocolate chip cookie lovers. I always think I over-baked these but even though they're a little darker there always soft with a yummy slightly caramelized taste. I'm looking forward to trying lots more out of this book.