Saturday, July 9, 2016

Caught Bread Handed - Review + Recipe

Caught Bread Handed (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander
Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Jules Capshaw is working long hours keeping the family bakery, Torte, going, trying to figure out just what kind of relationship she wants from estranged but very present husband Carlos, and keeping her friendship with Thomas who may or may not want to be more than friends.  The last thing she needs is to stumble across a dead body.  But that's exactly what happens early one morning when she discovers the body of the controversial developer Mindy in her neon green and very un-Shakespearean new restaurant.  Suspects and motives abound and Jules can't help but stick her nose in a little to figure out just who wanted Mindy dead.

My Impression: I so enjoy this mystery series!  When I start on page one I feel just like I'm walking into Torte and catching up with old friends.  I love watching Jules and her mom work together, seeing how Sterling and Stephanie are getting along, and finding out what new coffee creation Andy has come up with (can he have more page time next book please?).  The food itself is absolutely mouthwatering from pastries to savories it all sounds amazing.  Watching Jules' process as she comes up with a booze soaked cake was such fun and had me wanting to go play with marzipan and Grand Marnier.  I was also wanting to go whip up a red velvet cake at midnight but I resisted the temptation!  I did end up buying a piece from a local bakery the next day though!
It was interesting seeing Jules and Carlos together as the first 3 books have focused so much on their estrangement.  I was predisposed to not like Carlos as I have been fully Team Thomas (though I knew he didn't have much of a chance) but I warmed up to him as the book went along.  He and Jules do not have an easy road of it and I'm very curious to see how it plays out as the series goes along.
With all the character development the mystery did feel a bit like it was in the background.  However, that didn't mean that it wasn't fully fleshed out.  We got bits and pieces of clues as the story went along as well as red herrings galore.  The final wrap up was definitely a page turner and made perfect sense when it was all explained.
Once again Ellie Alexander kept me turning pages and thoroughly entertained.  I love the characters and always enjoy the mystery.  This has me wanting to head to Ashland, Oregon with a cinnamon roll in one hand and a bowl of soup in the other!

And speaking of soup, Jules makes 2 different delicious sounding soups for lunch at Torte but the one that really caught my attention was her Tomato Orange Soup.  Now it's July here in Alabama and soup is not something I normally crave but I'm up to my elbows in fresh tomatoes and the splash of citrus with the tomato just sounds amazing.  I have this coming up on my menu next week with some cheesy bread!

Tomato Orange Soup 

from Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion
10 fresh tomatoes or 2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup half and half

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add chopped onion and saute until translucent.  If using fresh tomatoes, was and cut slits in the tomato skins.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from water.  The skin should easily peel away.  Dice tomatoes and add to the onions, or add cans of diced tomatoes.  Then add salt, pepper, baking soda, and chopped rosemary and thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  (I loved that in the book Jules explains the use of the baking soda as she's making the soup.  Apparently it balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and citrus.)

Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree.  Once the mixture has been pureed, return to saucepan and whisk in orange juice and half and half.  Bring to a simmer and serve hot.

Today I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


27 comments:

  1. I would have never thought to add orange juice to tomato soup. Glad you posted that. I like putting a soup mixture in the blender and smoothing it out. Funny title of the book, the puns in the cozy mystery titles are hilarious.

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    1. I wouldn't either but I'm so intrigued! Can't wait to try it! I love cozy titles. They always give me a giggle.

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  2. This one sounds very good, Katherine. You know that Ellie Alexander is also Kate Dyer-Seeley, the author of that Oregon sports type cozy series that I started reading earlier in the year. She was so funny at that mystery conference I attended. Which reminds me, need to get back to the second book in the sports series. It's set on Mt. Hood.

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    1. I really enjoy the Dyer-Seely books too though I do admit I like these a little better. I think I can identify a little better with Jules than Meg.

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  3. Your soup sounds really delicious!
    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm really looking forward to trying it!

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  4. This sounds delicious! I bet it would taste good chilled too. (Just a thought) I love a good culinary cozy.

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    1. Oh yum! I bet this would be delicious chilled!

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  5. I think one of the best things about cozies are all the creative titles. This one is a good one. Your tomato soup sounds interesting. The mixture of tomatoes, orange juice and cream sounds like it would be very tasty. I like the idea of eating it chilled during a hot day. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I love cozy titles! All the puns ae just such fun! I'm looking forward to giving this soup a try. I'm so intrigued by the flavor profile.

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  6. I've been wanting to read this series. It sounds so good. The soup sounds delicious too.

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    1. You should read this series! I think you'd really enjoy it.

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  7. My goodness, I'm super impressed by this Tomato Orange Soup and can't wait to try it out! Very creative! Hugs...RO

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    1. I'm really excited about the flavor profile. It sounds so unusual.

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  8. I've been in the mood for a cozy for a couple weeks now. I just need to get through my next couple reads and maybe I can give in. This one does sound good. I am glad you liked it!

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    1. I really like this series! I've been reading a lot of cozies lately and I really like this series. Can't wait to see what you pick up!

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  9. How did I miss this? I enjoyed the first three books. That soup actually sounds good and I dislike tomato soup.

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    1. I don't think this one got quite as much press for some reason. It kind of snuck up on me a bit.

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  10. I love the scent of baking bread, so I am already salivating over this one. Stumbling over a dead body is a lot worse than having a cricket in the house,lol, although I prefer to have neither.

    Sounds like a good mystery with fun characters.

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    1. I've been baking more bread lately and hadn't realized just how I much I missed the smell! This is such a fun series!

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  11. Great soup. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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  12. Well, in the same way folks say that hot tea can be cooling, perhaps it works that way with soup? Though, I'd probably go with the try it chilled group, just adding a bit of cream :)

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  13. That is an interesting combination of tomato and orange.

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  14. I would never think of putting citrus in a tomato soup, what an interesting combination.

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  15. Oh that's a different soup combo. Hmmm! Sounds like a good read. Yay for being won over to a character (at least a little) :)

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