Showing posts with label ice cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ice cream. Show all posts

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Glory Road" by Lauren K. Denton, Served with a Recipe for Quick Peach and Pear Crumble with Cinnamon-Pecan Streusel

Just one day until Friday and then the weekend and I am more than ready. I am also more than ready to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for Glory Road, the new and third novel by Lauren K. Denton (a favorite of mine). Accompanying my review of this sweet Southern Alabama-set novel is a recipe for a sweet and homey Quick Peach and Pear Crumble with Cinnamon-Pecan Streusel, aka "The Dolly"--inspired by a dessert of the same name made by one of the characters.

Publisher's Blurb:

The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.

Nearly a decade after her husband’s affair drove her back home to South Alabama, Jessie McBride has the stable life she wants—operating her garden shop, Twig, next door to her house on Glory Road, and keeping up with her teenage daughter and spunky mother. But the unexpected arrival of two men makes Jessie question whether she’s really happy with the status quo. When handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. Then Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school, moves back to the red dirt road, and she feels her heart pulled in directions she never expected.
Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and navigating a new world of emotions—particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, is suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses and faces a frightening, uncertain future. 

Once again, Jessie feels her protected and predictable life shifting.
In one summer, everything will change. But for these three strong Southern women, the roots they’ve planted on Glory Road will give life to the adventures waiting just around the curve.

Hardcover: 336 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 19, 2019)

My Review: 

This is my third book tour with Lauren K. Denton books (see links my reviews/recipes for The Hideaway and Hurricane Road and she always draws me in with a gorgeous cover, tempts me with delicious-sounding southern food, and touches my heart with her engaging and endearing female characters. Glory Road is no exception with its three generations of strong, loving Southern women. Told from the points of view of Jessie, a single mother, back in her hometown after her husband cheats with his dental hygienist, her fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, who witnessed the ending of her parents marriage when she was six, and her mother, Gus, widowed when Jessie was a teen and facing her senior years with memory lapses. Things are about to change for all three of these characters when Jessie's first love moves back to town with his teenage son and a local golf course designer/developer wants Jessie to expand her nursery business (charmingly called 'Twig') to include flowers for his daughter's wedding and shows personal interest in her too. 

The Alabama setting is vividly drawn and I could almost feel the humid summer days and smell the earthy potting soil of Twig, mixed in with Gus's baking creations. (I want a nursery like Twig to go to where I can get a scoop of cobbler or a hand pie with a purchase.) Although romance plays a strong role, the relationship between the three women is just as important in Denton's storytelling and what kept me turning the pages. It's not a completely light read with the subject of aging parents and dementia, but it's a feel-good novel, not too heavy, and sweet, but not cloying. Denton's books are marked Christian fiction, but although they lean to the cleaner side, the faith aspect is not pushed at all. Glory Road will appeal to anyone who likes women's fiction, Southern fiction, stories about family and mothers and daughters especially. It's a good one to add to your spring and summer park picnic, porch or by-the-pool reading list 


Author Notes: Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. Her debut novel, THE HIDEAWAY, was a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her second novel, HURRICANE SEASON, released in spring of 2018, is a USA Today bestseller. GLORY ROAD will release in March, 2019.
Connect with Lauren on her website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Food Inspiration: 

Lauren's books are always full of tempting food and usually some area favorites for her southern settings. Food mentions included: peas, peach cobbler, onion burgers, milkshakes, tomatoes, slushies, biscuits, friend eggs, peas--cooked so they were brown and almost creamy, cornbread, pound cake, popcorn, cereal, peanut butter, fried catfish, pecan trees, fried chicken, cornbread, fried green tomatoes, garden crops of sweet potato, cabbage, basil, and cucumber, pork chops with butter beans and green salad with cherry tomatoes, coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon and fluffy biscuits with grape jam, sizzling chicken, simmering soup, and fresh pie. a fried fig pie with cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberry iced tea, pancakes with lavender maple syrup, sugared pecans, chicken piccata, green beans, mac and cheese ("'s a vegetable, you know..")and cornbread biscuits, apple pie, fresh apple jelly, peach galette, chocolate bourbon bread pudding, shrimp and angel hair pasta, Caesar salad, steak, thin crust pizza with mozzarella, greens and thinly sliced tomatoes, meatloaf, rice, sushi, shrimp and grits served in martini glasses or little glass jars, okra succotash, oatmeal and peanut butter cookies, "hunch punch" (grain alcohol mixed with fruit punch), root beer floats and pecan pie.

For my book-inspired dish I had to go with something homey and baked in honor of Gus. She made lots of different baked goods, offering cobbler or pie with a purchase at Twig. Two desserts in particular caught my eye because they had names; The June Cobbler--peach and blueberry with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg and My Dolly--peach and pear crumble with cinnamon-pecan streusel on top. I am a sucker for crumbles and crisps--more so than the more doughy cobblers and cinnamon-pecan streusel? Yes, please. My Dolly it is. 

I am all for fresh orchard fruit when it is in season, or home-canned which is likely what Gus used, but this being the beginning of spring and Hawaii, and a weeknight on top of that, I needed something easy and available. i bought canned peach and pear slices in syrup, planning to add plenty of cinnamon to the fruit as well as the topping to liven up my canned items. 

Quick Peach and Pear Crumble with Cinnamon-Pecan Streusel
Based on Gus and her My Dolly from Glory Road by Laurel K. Denton
(Serves 5-6 with Ice Cream)

one can (about 15 oz) sliced peaches in syrup, drained with syrup reserved
one can (about 15 oz) sliced pears in syrup, drained with syrup reserved
one Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 scant tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
1 tiny pinch salt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
 6 Tbsp salted butter, cold, cut in small cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the drained fruit in a medium bow and squeeze the lemon juice over it. In a small whisk the flour into about 1/3 cup of the reserved fruit syrup until completely blended. Pour flour/juice mixture over soup and toss until well mixed. Place fruit into an even layer in a small oven dish or pan (I used a small oval casserole dish) and set aside.  

For the topping, mix flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, salt, and chopped pecans into a mixing bowl. Add the pieces of butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work them into the dry mixture until it is the texture of course meal. 

Spoon topping evening over the fruit, packing down lightly. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling up through the topping and the topping is golden-brown. If topping seem to be getting too dark/done, cover with foil and continue baking. 

Let crumble sit for about 15 to 20 minutes and serve warm with ice cream or half-and-half. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: I do believe that there would be fewer battles waged and less pain and strife in the world if only everyone could enjoy a bowl of warm fruit crumble with good vanilla ice cream. This one is plenty cinnamony and mighty good, even for canned fruit and you can't beat the speed and ease of being able to get this crumble quickly into the oven--making it good for unexpected guests or a long tough day at work. The topping with the bits of toasted pecan and the crumbly, oaty goodness, is delicious too. I took some leftovers to work for breakfast (fruit and oats, people!) ;-) and poured some cream from the fridge on top. Yum! I will happily make this 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.

Note: A review copy of "Glory Road" 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.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses)" by Terri-Lynne DeFino, Served with a Recipe for 3-Ingredient Pineapple-Mango "Nice" Cream

Happy Wednesday! It's a warm and humid one here so I am happy to be enjoying some cold, sweet-tart frozen goodness while reviewing The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses), a new novel by Terri-Lynne DeFino as a stop on the TLC Book Tour. That chilly goodness is a three-ingredient, all-fruit and non-dairy Pineapple-Mango 'Nice' Cream, inspired by my reading.

Publisher's Blurb:

A whimsical, moving novel about a retirement home for literary legends who spar, conjure up new stories, and almost magically change the lives of the people around them.

Alfonse Carducci was a literary giant who lived his life to excess—lovers, alcohol, parties, and literary rivalries. But now he’s come to the Bar Harbor Home for the Elderly to spend the remainder of his days among kindred spirits: the publishing industry’s nearly gone but never forgotten greats. Only now, at the end of his life, does he comprehend the price of appeasing every desire, and the consequences of forsaking love to pursue greatness. For Alfonse has an unshakeable case of writer’s block that distresses him much more than his precarious health.
Set on the water in one of New England’s most beautiful locales, the Bar Harbor Home was established specifically for elderly writers needing a place to live out their golden years—or final days—in understated luxury and surrounded by congenial literary company. A faithful staff of nurses and orderlies surround the writers, and are drawn into their orbit, as they are forced to reckon with their own life stories. 
Among them are Cecibel Bringer, a young woman who knows first-hand the cost of chasing excess. A terrible accident destroyed her face and her sister in a split-second decision that Cecibel can never forgive, though she has tried to forget. Living quietly as an orderly, refusing to risk again the cost of love, Cecibel never anticipated the impact of meeting her favorite writer, Alfonse Carducci—or the effect he would have on her existence. In Cecibel, Alfonse finds a muse who returns him to the passion he thought he lost. As the words flow from him, weaving a tale taken up by the other residents of the Pen, Cecibel is reawakened to the idea of love and forgiveness.
As the edges between story and reality blur, a world within a world is created. It’s a place where the old are made young, the damaged are made whole, and anything is possible….

Paperback: 336 pages  
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 12, 2018)

My Review:

I have a few blogger friends who refuse to read or preemptively dislike books with long titles and subtitles so they would not even pick up The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses), which would be a shame because it is an engaging and enjoyable book. It also has a story or book inside the book so maybe it gets a pass on the long title since it's two stories in one. ;-)

The retirement home, called the "Pen" by its staff in residents was set up by Alfonse Carducci's mentor and lover, Cornelius Traeger, as a place elderly and ailing writers could find respite in their last days. In edition to its quirky collection of authors, editors, publicists and others--some very famous, some less so, there are is a staff--a doctor/director, nurses, orderlies and a groundskeeper. Cecibel Bringer is an orderly, who hides out at the Pen--from her past and from the accident that has left half of her face and her life destroyed. Cecibel is one of Alfonse Carducci's biggest fans and her admiration for him and the hurt she carries around with her, calls to Alfonse and she becomes his muse, inspiring him to pick up his pen to write again in the limited time he has left. A few close friends and more of Alfonse are living out their days at the home and soon they are adding their own passions and skills to the story the Alfonse starts. There are secrets and revelations, a possible romance for Cecibel and  of course the passed around treasure of a notebook where the authors take turns writing from different points of view.

With the story-within-a-story and the various characters--residents, staff, characters they are writing, etc., things could get confusing but DeFino manages to make it flow smoothly and wind the various bits together while secrets are unwinding. I can't decide whether I liked the chapters devoted to the present or 1999 at the Pen in Maine, or the mid-to-late 1950s where the book--a tale of star-crossed lovers take place, mostly in New Jersey. When I was reading one part I was enjoying it but found myself looking forward to getting back to the chapters in the other era. I was immediately drawn into the book and it kept me involved until the end. The characters are almost all likable and I found myself wishing the best for them and I was sorry to turn the last page although the ending satisfied. Quirky, unique, touching and engaging, The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Authors (And Their Muses) (OK, the title really is too darn long!) ;-) is a great summer read for book lovers and fans of writers and a book that's easy to escape with.


Author Notes: Terri-Lynne DeFino was born and raised in New Jersey, but escaped to the wilds of Connecticut, where she still lives with her husband and her cats. She spends most days in her loft, in her woodland cabin along the river, writing about people she’s never met. Other days, she can be found slaying monsters with her grandchildren. If you knock on her door, she’ll most likely be wearing a tiara. She’ll also invite you in and feed you, because you can take the Italian girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey Italian out of the girl.
Find out more about Terri at her website.


Food Inspiration: 

There is some food in the book, not a lot, but certainly enough to provide inspiration.  Some of the mentions included burgers and fries, coffee, tea (chamomile, peppermint and Earl Gray specifically), a lobster bake with butter, rolls and ice cream accompanying it, hotdogs, tapioca, puddings, light cakes and sorbets, whiskey, turkey sandwiches, ice tea and chips, pancakes, Long Island Iced Teas, hors d'oeuvres, Manhattans, steak, port, pies, fried chicken, potato salad, turkey with gravy and stuffing, s'mores, malteds and egg creams, chocolate cake, cannoli, salmon properly cooked, gimlets, hot cocoa, New England clam chowder, popcorn, cookies,carrot, potatoes and beef, Russian tea cakes, champagne, chicken Parmesan and sausage and pepper sandwiches. 

With a hot day and a busy week, my thoughts went to ice cream and a sentence about the retirement home, "The Pen" and having a pattissier--"creating decadent but harmless tapiocas and puddings, light cakes and sorbets" for the elderly residents. What could be more harmless than ice cream, or "nice" cream made with frozen fruit? I had pinned a recipe for Pineapple Nice Cream from Eating Well Magazine and it sounded like a good match for the book and a perfect match for the weather.

Eating Well says, "All-fruit, dairy-free and with no added sugar—these are the hallmarks of nice cream, a healthy alternative to ice cream. This pineapple nice cream has tropical flavors, thanks to a hit of mango and lime. It takes just minutes to make this naturally sweet frozen dessert in the food processor or a blender. Enjoy it alone, or top with fresh fruit and toasted coconut." 

Pineapple Nice Cream
Carolyn Casner, Eating Well Magazine, November 2017
(6 Servings) (Let's be real--more like 3 or 4!)

1 16-ozpackage  frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup frozen mango chunks or 1 large ripe mango peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice or lemon juice 

Process pineapple, mango and lemon (or lime) juice in a food processor until smooth and creamy. (If using frozen mango, you may have to add up to 1/4 cup water.

For the best texture, serve immediately.

Nutritional Info: Serving size: ½ cup Per serving: 55 calories; 0 g fat(0 g sat); 2 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 26 mcg folate; 0 cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 342 IU vitamin A; 47 mg vitamin C; 13 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 1 mg sodium; 131 mg potassium

Notes/Results: I have made banana nice cream and homemade Dole Whip before and this is right up there. Although the pineapple is a bit more prominent, the mango comes through and sweetens and mellows the pineapple a bit--rounding out the flavor. Refreshing and a good combination of sweet and tangy, it's a tropical taste treat that goes together easily and tastes great. (Although our humidity did make it melt pretty quick while taking pictures--lucky my spoon is also a straw!) I will happily make it 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.

Note: A review copy of "The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses)" 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.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Hanna Who Fell from the Sky" by Christopher Meades, Served with a Recipe for (Non-Dairy) Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream (+ A Book Giveaway!)

I am happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for Hanna Who Fell from the Sky, a new novel by Christopher Meades. I'm pairing my book review with a recipe for vegan Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream--perfect if it's humid and warm and not at all fall-like where you live too. There's also a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book at the bottom of the post.

Publisher's Blurb:

From highly acclaimed, award-winning author Christopher Meades comes a magical, provocative tale of forbidden love and one girl’s struggle for liberation 

Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven. She has never questioned why her father has four wives or why she has fourteen brothers and sisters. And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age.

But just days before the wedding, Hanna meets Daniel, an enigmatic stranger who challenges her to question her fate and to follow her own will. Then her mother tells her a secret—one that could grant Hanna the freedom she’s known only in her dreams. As her world unravels around her, Hanna must decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven. But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she’s ever known? Or is there another option—one too fantastical to believe?

With lush, evocative prose, Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating, unknown world—and, along the way, brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Park Row Books (September 26, 2017)

My Review:

Hanna Who Fell from the Sky drew me in with its subject matter--a young girl who has spent her life in a polygamous sect, who is about to turn eighteen and will be the fifth wife of her father's friend who is more than twice her age. I am fascinated by cults and Hanna's community of Clearhaven has all of the markings of one. The families are all polygamists, the community is remote, insulated and lead by Brother Paul, a prophet who "The Creator" speaks to/through. Young girls are married off to much older men, and young men are winnowed out and sent away in order to make the numbers work for the older men to have multiple wives. There are nineteen in Hanna's family and she's the eldest and the caretaker of her siblings--especially her younger sister who has a twisted spine. Hanna is a great character--smart, strong, beautiful, and loving so the "creep" factor is pretty high with all men in the community who would like to have her as one of their wives. When her Brother Paul blessed pairing is announced ten days before the wedding will take place, Hanna is resigned to her fate and role but then she meets Daniel, nineteen, and back in the Clearhaven community with his family, and she begins to question what she has been led to believe.

The book is unique as it's not just a coming-of-age story, but it has a strong core of magical realism woven in. I like magical realism, unless it gets to be too much "woo-woo" and I have mixed feelings about it here. In much of the book it seemed more of a background element--part of a story or secret about Hanna's past and with the author's  descriptive writing, I felt that it enhanced the storytelling and made the book different and special. Towards the end of the book, it leaned more into the woo-woo side and I felt it overtook the story briefly and thus took away a bit from it. Still, I was very much into Hanna's fate and that of the other characters, and the book kept me absorbed in finding out what would happen. Just know that if you aren't a fan of magical realism, you may struggle with it at times here. Christopher Meades's notes at the end of the book tell the tale of how he took a short story he created on a whim and then years later slowly re-wrote it after suffering a traumatic brain injury and three years of terrible concussion symptoms. He spent an hour a day (all he could bear) reworking the novella into this book and feels that Hanna's story helped him stay sane and get well again. His afterward touched me much like Hanna Who Fell from the Sky did and I look forward to reading more from him. 

(If you have a U.S. mailing address, stop enter for a chance to win a copy of this book at the end of the post.)


Author Notes: Christopher Meades is the author of three previous novels, including The Last Hiccup, which won the 2013 Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction. In addition, Meades’s work has appeared in several literary journals including The Potomac Review and The Fiddlehead. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, with his family.

Connect with Christopher via his website, Facebook & Twitter 


Food Inspiration:

Hanna's family is quite poor so there is not a lot of great food inspiration in Hanna Who Fell from the Sky, but there is food and drink mentioned including  moonshine, stew, barley and string beans, a birthday cake that was more like pumpkin bread or a date loaf with frosting, the smell of tea leaves and oranges, a salad made of spinach, strawberries, almonds, and cucumbers, wild berries, homemade wine from grapes, sandwiches, orange juice, bread rolls and fruit, a soup/stew of tomatoes and lentils, sweet bread and the town marketplace that's full of fruit, vegetables, spices and grains. There were meat shanks, taffy, oats, honey, homemade puddings and yogurt, roast, turkey, juice, tea and an assortment of cookies after church, porridge, ice pops, cabbage, bread, milk, a bakery window full of pastries and cakes and a restaurant dinner with chicken in sauce, assorted green vegetables, and potato triangles with herbs. 

Since most of the food was basic and usually lacking for a large family of nineteen, I decided to go with the ice cream that Hanna and her mother Kara have at the village marketplace since it is a treat they rarely get. In the scene, Kara chooses vanilla with toffee flakes and Hanna picks strawberry--both in a cup. I decided to make a strawberry ice cream, going with a vegan recipe I had pinned from The Kitchn that is made with coconut milk and has strawberry sauce streamed in as it is processing in the ice cream maker. I don't usually add corn starch to my vegan ice creams (or in my homemade ice creams in general) but since it is supposed to make it creamier, I wanted to give it a try. 

I kept the recipe pretty much as written--other than adding vanilla paste instead of a vanilla bean and at the recipe author's suggestion, saving out some of the fresh strawberry sauce to swirl in once the ice cream is finished, right before freezing to make it more vibrant.  

Vegan Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream
From The
(Serves 4)

2 (15-oz) cans full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup agave nectar or sweetener of choice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split (I used vanilla paste)
1 pint (2 cups) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup natural cane sugar 

Shake the cans of coconut milk thoroughly before opening to combine the liquid and solids.Reserve 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and set it aside. Combine the remaining coconut milk, agave, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat until all of the ingredients are combined smoothly and the mixture is uniformly warmed, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the reserved 1/2 cup coconut milk with the cornstarch until smooth and well-combined. Stir it into the warm coconut milk base. Scrape the vanilla bean into the mixture and slip in the pod as well--or add vanilla extract or paste. Cook mixture over medium heat until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes. Do not to allow the mixture to boil.

Remove mixture from the heat, discard the vanilla bean pod, and pour the coconut base into a separate bowl. Cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 5 hours as you need the base to be very cold before you process it in the ice cream machine.

While the base is cooling, make the strawberry sauce: Mash the quartered strawberries down in a medium saucepan and sprinkle in the sugar. Bring it to a low boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the berries start to lose their shape and become juicy. Remove berries from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Once slightly cool, blend in a food processor or blender, or with an immersion blender, for just a few seconds until a thick sauce forms. Set aside or place in fridge to finish cooling.

Following the manufacturer's instructions, churn the coconut ice cream base in your ice cream machine. When it has thickened to a soft-serve ice cream consistency, slowly ladle all but about 1/4 cup of the strawberry sauce into the ice cream maker as it runs so the sauce gets incorporated into the ice cream base. Spread the ice cream into a large loaf pan, drizzle on the reserved strawberry sauce and swirl it into the ice cream.

Cover with plastic wrap and and freeze for a few hours (or overnight) until the ice cream has firmed up completely. Serve and enjoy!

Notes/Results:  Creamy and full of fresh strawberry flavor, this is a tasty strawberry ice cream. I will say that the coconut flavor does come through--which I like because I think it pairs well with the strawberries, but my coconut-hating brother would probably not like it at all. So be warned you likely can't sneak this one without someone figuring out it's coconut milk. Texture-wise it's a bit more dense than my normal dairy-free ice cream but there was not that much of a difference. I may try it without the cornstarch next time. I also need to work on my swirling technique and do it in between the layers of ice cream in the loaf pan instead of on top because when I scooped, my swirls ended up more inside the scoops than outside--so not as visually dynamic. I had about 2 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries so I kept some out of the ice cream and served it on top which I think looks pretty and it tasted great too. Very refreshing on a humid day, I would make this again.

I am sharing this book and food pairing with Novel Foods #31, an event celebrating food inspired by the written word and hosted by my friend Simona at Briciole. This deadline for this round of Novel Food ends Thursday, March 23rd.

I'm also linking this post up to 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 "Hanna Who Fell From the Sky" 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.

***Book Giveaway***
The publisher is generously providing a copy of Hanna Who Fell From the Sky to give away (U.S. addresses only, sorry) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me your favorite flavor of ice cream or telling me why you'd like to win a copy of "Hanna Who Fell From the Sky."

There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or Publisher Park Row Books/Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)
and/or ChristopherMeades (@ChrisMeades). (Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow these accounts.)

Deadline for entry is midnight (EST) on Friday, October 6th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Quiet Child" by John Burley, Served with a Recipe for a Tea Affogatto

I am excited to be a stop on the TLC Book Tour today for the psychological mystery/thriller, The Quiet Child by John Burley. Accompanying my review is a recipe for a Tea Affogatto made with coconut black tea and vanilla ice cream, inspired by my reading.

Publisher's Blurb:

From the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, comes a gripping and darkly psychological novel about family, suspicion, and the price we are willing to pay to protect those we love the most.
It’s the summer of 1954, and the residents of Cottonwood, California, are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring illness and ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by a disease that is slowly consuming her.
Sheriff Jim Kent, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy, has watched the people of his town suffer—and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives, and Danny and his ten-year-old brother, Sean, go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.

Paperback: 304 pages 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 8, 2017)

My Review:

I am going to try to review The Quiet Child as vaguely as possible, because it is a book that could easily be spoiled with too many details and if you like dark and twisty thrillers, you will want to go into it not knowing too much about it. It's set in 1954 Cottonwood, California--interesting to me because Cottonwood is a real town and I lived in nearby Redding as a child--so the town and landscape felt familiar--even if I lived there in the 1970s. Cottonwood is a small town where everyone knows each other, or about each other, which has not been easy on the McCray family as most of the town believes that their six-year-old son, Danny, is the cause of illness and other maladies in the town and he is regarded with suspicion. This isn't easy on his parents--his mother is suffering and weakening from her own illness and his father, Michael, a local high school teacher is trying to cope. While Michael is getting ice cream from the store with Danny and Sean (Danny's 10-year-old brother), a stranger drives off with Michael's car and the boys. Local plumber and part-time Cottonwood Sheriff Jim Kent, along with two Shasta County Sheriff's detectives vow to bring them home--despite the rumors and negative feelings of the town about Danny.

I like the historical aspects of police work in the 1950s--it definitely doesn't make crime solving easy, not having the technology we have today. The author keeps the perspective bouncing around several different characters and keeps the chapters short, building the tension steadily and making the pages fly by. There were several twists and although I had parts figured out, there were some things I did not see coming--which I always enjoy. The book is unsettling--after all it is missing children and it seems that besides their mother and the sheriff, not a lot of people seem to really want Danny back in town--which is something that made me stop and think a bit. The story and its ending have some ambiguity--but it works in this case. This is my first book from John Burley (it's his third), but with storytelling like this, I am sure it won't be my last.


Author Notes: John Burley attended medical school in Chicago and completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He currently serves as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California, where he lives with his wife and daughter, and their Great Dane and English bulldog.

Find out more about John at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


Food Inspiration:

OK, The Quiet Child was a difficult book to pair with food--but it's what I do and you know I like a challenge. Taking place mostly over about a period of eight or nine days with missing children there was understandably, not much time for food. The few mentions I noted were: ice cream and strawberry ice cream in particular, cotton candy from a fair in a flashback, coffee, sugar, a vanilla shake and a burger with fries, a steamed artichoke appetizer and a glass of wine, lots of tea, milk, scotch, and an unspecified soup.  

In the end, I went more with what I was craving than anything truly tied to the book, using the mentions of ice cream and the frequent cups of tea together--making them into a tea affogato. Affogattos--which translates to "drowned" are usually espresso shots poured over a scoop or two of ice cream where it melts into a lovely and delicious mess. Sometimes I make them with espresso or coffee, sometimes I'll sneak a shot of liqueur in there if I'm feeling fancy, I have even tried it with hot chocolate, but I had not yet made them with tea.

You can use any favorite tea and ice cream pairing here--although a fully flavored, stronger tea works best. I wanted to use the traditional vanilla ice cream, and wanting a flavorful tea, I chose a black coconut tea. I received a gift certificate from from Adaigio Teas to try their products a couple of months ago and I have been bad about reviewing and cooking with it (Those posts are coming soon!) so this was a great opportunity to do more than just drink it. Not that there is anything wrong with just drinking it, I have loved all of the flavors I've tried. I love coconut teas and Adaigio's is blended into Ceylon black tea for a wonderful balance and smooth finish.

Tea Affogato
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 1

1 serving tea of choice--about 1 1/2 tsp loose leaf or 1 tea bag
4 oz water
2 small scoops ice cream of choice
garnishes and/or cookies to serve (I used vanilla coconut chips & vanilla sugar wafers)

Scoop ice cream of choice into balls and freeze for an hour or two to harden. 

When ready to serve: Brew your tea strong, steeping the tea bag or leaves in about 4 oz of hot water until it cools down to warm--about 10 minutes. You want the temperature to be nicely warm (not just off the boil, but not tepid) so the ice cream melts quickly but not immediately. If your tea gets too cool, rewarm it slightly before serving.

Place your ice cream scoops into your serving glass/dish and bring to the table with the warm tea and garnishes or cookies if desired. Pour tea over the ice cream and serve immediately. Enjoy. 

Notes/Results: Just a simple bowl of creamy tea goodness. The coconut tea (which is also wonderful on its own) was perfect with the vanilla ice cream--rich and delicious and it was a good balance of sweetness. Although I liked the coconut chips, I preferred my affogato without them and with the sugar wafers for dipping. I will definitely make this again, playing around with different teas--matcha and chai come to mind immediately. 

I'm linking this post up to 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 "The Quiet Child" 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.