Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Blueberry Lavender Tea Infused Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits {#SipBySip Tea Party}

I am very excited to be taking part in the #SipBySip Tea Party today, hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla and sponsored by The Republic of Tea to celebrate the release of their Beautifying Botanicals line.

(FTC Disclosure: I received free tea from the sponsor company for the purpose of reviewing and creating recipes. All opinions are my own.)

I admit to already being a fan of The Republic of Tea and several of their tins (Ginger Peach, Hibiscus Pineapple Lychee, get some ZZZ's, Immunity Super Green...) regularly grace my panty tea shelf, so I was looking forward to sampling the new botanical line featuring: 
  • Daily Beauty Blueberry Lavender Tea (Organic green rooibos, organic hibiscus, organic lemongrass, organic rosehips, blue butterfly pea flower, apple, organic lavender, organic hibiscus extract, sweet blackberry leaves, organic lemon balm, bamboo, blueberry, schizandra extract and natural blueberry flavor) and  
  • Beauty Sleep Chamomile Rose (Organic hibiscus, biodynamic chamomile, organic rosehips, organic lemongrass, blue butterfly pea flower, sweet blackberry leaves, licorice, organic hibiscus extract, bamboo, schizandra extract, natural honey flavor and natural rose flavor).
I had a little trepidation too since anything with strong florals like lavender and rose as ingredients needs a deft hand so it isn't like drinking a bowl of rehydrated potpourri, but I needn't have worried since The Republic of Tea has done their usual excellent blending of flavors so the teas are well-balanced and the floral notes are pleasant rather than overpowering. Both teabags brew a lovely color of herbal tea or tisane (sorry I didn't take a pic when sampling) and are a treat to sip. The packaging is beautiful and perfectly matches the tea--in colors and mood. (I think a tin of these teas paired with an antique tea cup in similar colors would be a lovely Mother's Day, bridal shower, or birthday gift.

For the task of creating a tea-infused recipe, I chose Daily Beauty and wanted to make a healthier pudding that nodded to all of the healthy botanicals in the tea. I love eating chia seed puddings and they make great breakfasts or snacks as the chia seeds are filling without being heavy and provide many good nutrients like fiber, protein and Omega 3 fatty acids and are hydrating too. 

I made a simple blueberry compote to serve with the chia pudding and ended up layering the pudding and compote with fresh blueberries and topping it with dollops of coconut yogurt. Putting them in jars is fun and gives me a grab-and-go breakfast to take to work. 

Since the tea is not overpowering, I used 3 bags in my coconut milk and added 1/2 tsp of culinary lavender. Since these teas are really botanicals or tisanes and not actual tea, I steeped them for about 15 minutes, to maximize the flavor without fear of the tannins that occur in 'real' tea (grown from camellia sinensis bush) making it bitter. 

Note: What is a lovely purpley-blue in the cup takes on a bit of a grayish cast in coconut milk, so I added a touch of purple food coloring to my chia pudding which gave it a light lavender hue that doesn't come through well in the photos.

Blueberry Lavender Tea Infused Chia Seed Pudding
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 can coconut milk + extra if needed
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp culinary lavender
3 bags of Republic of Tea's Daily Beauty Blueberry Lavender Tea
1/3 cup chia seeds
purple food coloring (optional) 

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk the coconut milk, honey, vanilla and culinary lavender together. Add the tea bags and bring slowly to a simmer over medium-low heat--stirring and not letting the milk boil or scorch.  Once at a simmer, remove from heat, cover and allow tea bags to steep about 10 minutes. 

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the tea bags against the strainer with a wooden spoon in order to press out all of the liquid, then discard tea bags . Allow strained mixture to cool to room temperature. Once mixture is cool, add the chis seeds, whisking them in and then set the mixture aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid the seeds clumping together. Add a couple of drops of purple food coloring if desired. Cover tightly and place pudding in the fridge several hours, preferably overnight.

Once pudding has set, remove it from the fridge and stir it, adding additional coconut milk if mixture is too thick or firm.


Blueberry Compote for Parfaits
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups Compote)

3 heaping cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Place the blueberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of water into a small saucepan and heat over medium. Bring to a simmer and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until mixture has thickened. Set aside and allow to cool before making parfaits.

To Assemble: Blueberry Lavender Tea Infused Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits:

Alternate layers of the blueberry compote, the chia seed pudding, fresh blueberries and yogurt of choice (optional) in small juice glasses or jars. Garnish parfait tops with fresh blueberries and a few buds of culinary lavender. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: I really like the pudding--especially when layered with the blueberry compote and am happy how these turned out. Blueberry is the prominent flavor with the lavender as more of an after note. The fresh blueberries and yogurt are optional but add different textural elements to the parfaits. I ate one last night for a dessert/snack and took another for breakfast today and I would happily make them again.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Check out the #SipBySip bloggers and their recipe creations and reviews:
A big thank you to our sponsor! And mahalo to Camilla for hosting and for the packs of lavender and honey she included with our tea.

You can find The Republic of Tea on the web, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,& Instagram

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Widows" by Jess Montgomery, Served with a Recipe for Spicy Cinnamon Fried Apples on Toast {and a Book Giveaway!}

Happy Thursday! It's been a few weeks since I did a book review and so I am very happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Widows, a historical mystery novel by Jess Montgomery. Paired with my review are some tasty Spicy Cinnamon Fried Apples on Toast inspired by my reading, and there is a chance to win a copy of The Widows at the bottom of the post.

Publisher's Blurb:

Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town’s widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death.

Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware that Daniel has died, and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter.

From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena’s lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be–and that his murder is far more complex than either of them could have imagined.

Inspired by the true story of Ohio’s first female sheriff, this is a powerful debut about two women’s search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community.

Hardcover: 336 Pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (January 8, 2019)

My Review:

As you can probably tell by the number of historical novels I review on this blog, historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine, especially when it takes me into the past and to aspects of history that I am not familiar with. In the case of The Widows, I was transported to the Appalachians and rural Ohio coal mines in 1925 where I learned about the attempts to unionize the mines and provide the workers with fair employment practices and safer working conditions, all why trying to solve a murder and a disappearance in a book with two strong female leads, based on real-life women. The character of Lily Ross is loosely based on Ohio’s first female sheriff, Maude Collins, appointed after her husband was killed during a traffic stop. Jess Montgomery had her character face a similar circumstance but made the question of who killed Lily’s husband Daniel the main mystery the book is centered around. As she investigates his death, Lily discovers aspects of Daniel’s life hidden from her including Marvena Whitcomb, also a widow, with a past that intersects with Daniel’s. Marvena is leading the local miners and their families in battling Daniel’s half-brother and his mining company against their unsafe work practices, all too real to both woman as Lily’s father and  Marvena’s husband died in the mines while trying to rescue miners after a cave-in. Marvena’s character is also loosely based a real person, Mary Harris (Mother) Jones, the labor activist who co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World. Both lead characters are strong and doing what they need to do to take care of their families and communities. Lily steps into Daniel’s role of Sheriff while Marvena sells moonshine to support her daughter, Frankie. Marvena also spent time as a ‘working girl’ at the local boarding house, something her older daughter, Eula was doing when she turned up missing and Daniel was looking into her disappearance when he was killed, purportedly by Marvena’s brother Tom. Despite their dissimilar backgrounds, both women loved Daniel and find themselves working together and forging a relationship despite their differing backgrounds and economic levels.

I enjoyed the setting of the book and the way Montgomery wove the stories together, although The Widows isn’t a fast-moving mystery, it was absorbing and kept me engaged throughout. The mysteries—Tom’s death and Eula’s disappearance, were compelling, and while I guessed correctly about most of what happened, there were still some good twists to the story. I was interested in both Lily and Marvena’s characters and the fact it is a debut novel and is so well researched and written is impressive. I am happy to hear that The Widows is the first book in The Kinship Series and look forward to spending more time in the town of Kinship and its surrounding community. If you enjoy historical fiction, books set in rural Ohio and the surrounding area, stories with strong empowered female characters, mysteries, and learning more about American history, add The Widows to your TBR list. (You can enter a giveaway of a copy at the bottom of this post.) 

Author Notes: Jess Montgomery is the Literary Life columnist for the Dayton Daily News and Executive Director of the renowned Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Based on early chapters of The Widows, Jess was awarded an Ohio Arts Council individual artist’s grant for literary arts and the John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence at Thurber House in Columbus. She lives in her native state of Ohio.

You can connect with Jess on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Food Inspiration:

There is food to be found in The Widows, and often it helps to illustrate the difference in lifestyle for Lily and Marvena. While Lily's table is more bountiful--even what she cooks for the people in the jail's holding cells, Marvena is making due with less and its often food she gathers from the nearby woodlands--berries, greens, mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, pokeweed, black raspberries, and the vegetables she grows in her small garden. Montgomery speaks in the afterward about the research she did to capture the experience of the Appalachians in Ohio in the 1920s from the scenes in the mines, life in rural communities, and of course the food. Lily's mother's Dried Apple Stack Cake is based on her family recipe. (Looking online for examples, the cake looked delicious but far too work-intensive for me to attempt to make this week.) ;-) My list of some of the food mentioned in the book included tinned milk, cheese, chopped steak, ice cream, coffee, biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, potato and onion, bologna sandwiches, an after funeral buffet of fried chicken, deviled eggs, ham salad, corn relish, and apple and peach pies, roasted chestnuts, peppermint and butterscotch button candies, good salt ham, fresh-baked bread, green beans and corn, black raspberry jam and apple butter, corn pone with sorghum syrup, buttermilk pie, broth and foot vegetables, muffins, tea--chamomile and sassafras (a favorite character Nana says, "Life is hard. Have tea."--something I agree with), squirrel stew with root vegetables, beets and spring peas, soup beans made with dried pinto beans, onion, bacon fat and water, taffy, cornbread, buttermilk, beef stew, deer jerky, carrots and green onions, fritters, a fried apple stack cake, canned peaches, pickles, and jams.

I ended up taking my inspiration for my book-inspired dish from a mention of apples fried up with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon that Lily serves to Marvena in the jail cell: 

"Marvena snatches the plate through the food slot, carries it back to the cot, sits. She eats a bite of good salted ham. She has to keep herself from moaning with pleasure and relief. Next she takes a bite of apples, fried up with brown sugar and butter and cinnamon. Fancy, rich food. Marvena hates to admit it, but Lily's a good cook. She clears the plate quickly."

Although I kept the brown sugar, cinnamon and butter of the many recipes I looked at, I decided to add a pinch of salt and some (Aleppo) chile pepper to my apples, just to make them more interesting, and to serve them on thick slices of toast.

Spicy Cinnamon Fried Apples
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2)

2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp of your favorite chile pepper or cayenne (I used Aleppo pepper), or to taste 
tiny pinch of salt
2 apples of choice (I used Gala), cored and sliced
bread and butter, if desired, to serve 
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it is melted and begins to bubble; stir the sugar, cinnamon, chile pepper and salt into the hot butter. Add the apples and cook until apples begin to break down and soften. (This can take anywhere from about 8 to 12 minutes depending on how thick you sliced them and how soft you want them--I like my apples to be tender but not mushy so mine took about 10 minutes.

Toast bread and butter if desired. Serve with the apples and their juices spooned on top. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: I love apples just about any way they can be served and this simple preparation didn't disappoint. I liked the combination of the sweet and slightly spicy sauce with a touch of tartness from the apples. The Aleppo pepper was present and give a little kick and warmth, but wasn't too spicy--just the way I like it (though the fried apples would still be perfectly delicious without it). Spooned over the toasted bread these apples made for a tasty after dinner snack. I made enough apples for another serving and will probably top my morning oatmeal with them. I will definitely make them again. 

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

***Book Giveaway!***

The publisher is generously providing a copy of The Widows to give away to a lucky reader (U.S./Canada addresses, please) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment please (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me your favorite era(s) in history to read about and/or why you would like to win a copy of the book

There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: Tweet about this giveaway or follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii), and/or author Jess Montgomery (@JessM_Author), and/or Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks) on Twitter
(Note: You can still get the extra entries even if you already follow me, Jess Montgomery, and/or Minotaur Books on Twitter.)

Deadline for entry is Monday, January 21st.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: A review copy of "The Widows" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "All Over the Map" by Betsy Mason and Greg Miller, Served with a Recipe for Butter-Toasted Apricot Oatmeal

It's Thursday evening and Friday is headed over the horizon. If you are going to spend the weekend thinking about holiday gift giving, check out my review of All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey by Betsy Mason and Greg Miller for TLC Book Tours. It's a gorgeous National Geographic book that's perfect for map lovers and world-explorers. Along with my review is a fantastic recipe for my new favorite breakfast, Butter-Toasted Apricot Oatmeal by Ruth Reichl to give you the strength to go exploring.

Publisher's Blurb:

Created for map lovers by map lovers, this rich book explores the intriguing stories behind maps across history and illuminates how the art of cartography thrives today.
In this visually stunning book, award-winning journalists Betsy Mason and Greg Miller–authors of the National Geographic cartography blog “All Over the Map”–explore the intriguing stories behind maps from a wide variety of cultures, civilizations, and time periods. Based on interviews with scores of leading cartographers, curators, historians, and scholars, this is a remarkable selection of fascinating and unusual maps.
This diverse compendium includes ancient maps of dragon-filled seas, elaborate graphics picturing unseen concepts and forces from inside Earth to outer space, devious maps created by spies, and maps from pop culture such as the schematics to the Death Star and a map of Westeros from Game of Thrones. If your brain craves maps–and Mason and Miller would say it does, whether you know it or not–this eye-opening visual feast will inspire and delight.

Hardcover: 320 pages  
Publisher: National Geographic (October 30, 2018)

My Review:

I love maps--especially old maps with lots of character. I also adore books where the author includes a map--particularly if it is historical and a place that looks different today, or maps of fictional, made up worlds, so I immediately wanted to be on the TLC Book Tour for All Over the Map. It is a big, beautiful and utterly fascinating book featuring all kinds of unique maps that chart worlds both real and imagined. As it came late and I want to savor this book, I have not fully read it (yet) but I spent a pleasant few hours paging through it and finding it full of glorious pictures and interesting tidbits of history, geography, and cartography. 

The book is broken up into nine sections: Waterways, Cities, Conflict and Crisis, Landscapes, Economies, Science, Human Experiences, Worlds, and Art and Imagination. There are also sections for Further Reading (including resources and bibliographies) and a very detailed Index; both of which I appreciate. I was happy to find Parceling Out Paradise, about the ahupua'a, sections of land in Hawaii divided almost like a pie so that the owners would have a piece that stretched from the mountains through forests and farmlands to the sea. The 19th century maps (see the lower left two pictures in the collage below) are interesting and since my visitors almost always ask about the Ahupua'a signs that dot the roadways here, I can point them to this information. Maps of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake also pulled my immediate interest, as did the entire Conflict and Crisis maps of wars--especially the several WWII related maps. The fictional maps of the lands of Game of Thrones and the Death Star from Star Wars are fun, the maps made after the 2016 election showing the changed political landscape in the U.S. are telling, the maps of waterways and landscapes are stunning, and the 19th century maps showing the death toll in the U.K. from cholera are chilling. I could go on and on describing the many maps that grabbed my attention--there are just so many different kinds of cool maps in this book. 

I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of All Over the Map and once I make my way through it, I plan to keep it as a reference. I'm that geeky person who likes to look things up to learn more as I read, and while Google is handy, having big color maps and detailed stories and information is even better. I predict that this book will be a hot seller for the holidays as I think anyone picking it up to page through it will want one for themselves and want to get one for a map-loving or hard-to-buy-for friend. Highly recommended.

Author Notes:

BETSY MASON is a science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously she was the online science editor for Wired, where she built an award-winning science section, the highest-traffic section on the site. Mason earned a master’s degree in geology at Stanford University. Follow Betsy on Twitter, @betsymason.

GREG MILLER is a science and tech journalist based in Portland, Oregon. Previously he was a senior writer at Wired and a staff writer at Science, where he won several honors. Miller earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Stanford University. Follow Greg on Twitter, @dosmonos.

Recipe Inspiration:

OK, I will be honest. I wanted to make this Ruth Reichl oatmeal recipe this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs and decided to work it into my book inspired dish. I think maps are for explorers--whether you actually get out your maps and take off, or you are exploring a new world from the comfort of your favorite reading chair. Explorers need a good hearty breakfast like oatmeal to give them energy. Also (as my friend Barb wisely noted), you can find oatmeal and its variations in many countries all over the map. I think it works and so Butter-Toasted Apricot Oatmeal is my food pairing for this book. 

I made a couple of small changes to the recipe--noted in red below.

Butter-Toasted Apricot Oatmeal
Slightly Adapted from My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
(Serves 2)

1 cup steel-cut oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
brown sugar (I used raw sugar)

Begin by melting a dollop of unsalted butter in a small pan until it becomes fragrant and slightly golden. Toss in the oats and worry them about until they're glistening , have turned slightly brown , and are very fragrant; it should take about 5 minutes.

Add 4 cups of water (I reduced the amount to 2 cups water + 1/3 cup cream for my Old Fashioned Oats) and the salt; turn up the heat and bring to a furious boil. Turn the heat down very low, cover the pot, and cook until most of the water has evaporated; this process should take about half an hour. At the last minute, stir in a handful of chopped dried apricots, heap the oatmeal into warmed bowls, and top with a few crumbles of brown sugar and a generous drizzle of cream.

Notes/Results: I am a bit hit-or-miss about oatmeal. I don't love it, but I go through phases where I eat it. That might change with Ruth's recipe. Toasting the oats in butter before cooking them gives the oatmeal another layer of flavor--toasty and more complex and the perfect foil for the bites of sweet dried apricots--it was delicious. I had old-fashioned oats in my pantry so that's what I used, plus they take less time to cook (and less water) making them perfect for a busy night or morning. I happily gobbled up a bowl for dinner and put the rest aside to take to work for breakfast tomorrow. I will make this again. 

Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs for Morning Glories--Ruth Reichl breakfast recipes. 

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "All Over the Map" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.   You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.  


Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "I Know You Know" by Gilly Macmillan, Served with Baked Beans on Toast with Smoked Cheddar

It’s Thursday and so, one day closer to the weekend—always a good thing. Another good thing is being on a TLC Book Tour for a mystery-thriller like I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan. Accompanying my review is a simple weeknight comfort food meal of Baked Beans and Toast, inspired by my reading. 

Publisher’s Blurb
From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.
Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.
For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.
When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy… 
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint Edition (September 18, 2018)

My Review:

I Know You Know is the third of Macmillan’s books that I have read. I reviewed The Perfect Girl (review here) and followed that up with her first book, What She Knew on my Kindle, and then I do have her Odd Child Out sitting in my #TBR stack and mean to get to it soon. I like the twists and turns her books take and I Know You Know is no exception. Podcast, especially true-crime podcasts have increased in popularity the past couple of years and I like how the book centers around a podcast that is hosted by man whose two best friends were killed twenty years ago, when the three were children together in a housing division in Bristol, England.
Cody Swift has reason to believe that the mentally-challenged man who was convicted of murdering his friends, may have been innocent and is willing to uncover a lot of buried secrets that many do not want uncovered—including the boys’ families, the investigator on the case—who happens to have been called to the scene where the boys were found when a new body, from the same era is uncovered, and of course the person who is actually guilty of the crime.   
Macmillan weaves the past and present together well through the podcasts, the differing viewpoints and memories of those involved, and the investigation of the current case. There were some interesting turns that kept me guessing and I didn't have it all figured out in the end--something I always appreciate in a thriller. I really enjoyed I Know You Know and I look forward to more of Macmillan's work.

Author Notes: Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar Nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she’s worked a sa part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.
Find out more about Gilly at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Food Inspiration:
Like many a thriller, I Know You Know is not exactly full of inspirational food, there are too many crimes and crime solving going on for food to be a focus. Still, there were some food and drink mentions that included jam sandwiches, squash, birthday cake, stew, chocolate mousse cake, nachos and mocktails, wine, coffee, tea, bacon butties, strawberries, barbecue, 99 Flake ice cream, eggs, beans, chips, fajitas, brownies with whipped cream and candles, vegetables and mashed potatoes, canteen sandwiches, ketchup, lasagna, Turkish coffee, champagne, cheese and pickle sandwiches, pot noodles, steak 'cooked bloody,' vodka and tonic, peppermint tea, cereal, glazed tagine dishes in Morocco--with lamb, herbs and couscous, a fruit basket with mango, tea and biscuits and arrabbiata sauce.

For my book-inspired dish I took the baked beans on toast that Detective John Fletcher eats at his table and later on, sees he left a pan of burned beans on the table. I had to assume he used Heinz 57 Beans which seems to be the standard when one looks online for British beans on toast. The gourmet section of my local grocery store has imported canned goods and I always see the blue cans of beans there. When I went to buy one there was one lonely and dented can on the shelf. I figured it mirrors the sad state of Fletcher's apartment and life. I picked up a small piece of smoky cheddar cheese and some chives to give it a little extra something and served it on leftover sourdough. And, I kept my beans not burned. ;-)

This is not a recipe  as I simply opened a can of Heinz 57 Beans and heated them up, toasted a couple of pieces of sourdough bread, covered them with the grated smoky cheddar cheese, and spooned the hot beans on top. Pretty simple for a busy weeknight. I garnished the top with a bit more of the cheese and some chopped chives. If you can't find the Heinz 57 Beans, there are lots of recipes online for British-style baked beans or you could use the American kind.

Notes/Results: The beans themselves are a tad sweet for me (I'm not the biggest fan of any baked beans actually) but the smoky cheddar I grated on top of the toast help lessen the sweetness and they were actually tasty and a pretty good weeknight dinner. I think they might be even better with a runny-yolked egg on top. I might try my leftover beans that way. ;-) I'm glad I finally tried the Heinz 57 Beans too--just for fun.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "I Know You Know" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.