Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snack. 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.

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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, 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 

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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.

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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 ("...it'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)

fruit:
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

topping;
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, February 20, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Hiding Place" by C.J.Tudor, Served with a Recipe for Tuna Melt Sliders {and a Book Giveway!}

I was in the mood for a good thriller this week and so I'm excited to be a TLC Book Tour stop for The Hiding Place by C. J. Tudor, with plenty of thrills and chills. Accompanying my review is a tasty little snack, Tuna Melt Sliders, inspired by my reading and a chance for a Kahakai Kitchen reader to win a copy of the book.


Publisher's Blurb:

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.

Hardcover: 288 Pages
Publisher: Crown (February 5, 2019)

My Review:

I love a good psychological thriller and when you through in some elements of horror, it's even better, so The Hiding Place is right up my alley. It's dark, creepy, and has a definite Stephen King vibe (the tagline channels one of my favorite King novels, "The worst day of his life wasn't when his sister went missing...it was the day she came back") but it has its own flavor and originality, and at 288 pages, a much lesser page count so if you aren't a King fan, you should still give it a try. For the most part the tighter plot works well with the pacing, and building of suspense--although it moved a bit slowly at first and I would have liked a deeper exploration of the town of Arnhill and its residents and some of the "whys" of what happened there. Joe, an anti-hero especially in the beginning, is an interesting character, I started out disliking him but he grew on me. I think the mix of thriller with just enough horror was a good one and will be good for those who don't consider themselves horror fans. The book does get graphic at times, but I found it more spooky and chilling than outright scary. I did read it alone at night without any fear or mental trauma ;-) and it had me turning the pages to reach the end to see if my guesses were right (some were, some were not). 

Overall, I really enjoyed The Hiding Place and if you like thrills and atmospheric chills, you likely will too. (You can enter to win at copy of your own at the bottom of this post.) The Hiding Place is C. J. Tudor's second book.When her first, The Chalk Man, came out I heard good things and checked it out from the library, but never found the time to read it. Now, I am going to go back and try again.

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Author Notes: C. J. TUDOR is the author of The Chalk Man, and lives in Nottingham, England, with her partner and three-year-old daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much.

Connect with C.J. Tudor on Facebook or Twitter.

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Food Inspiration:

There is not a lot of good food mentioned in this book and definitely the sometimes graphic scenes don't lend themselves to thinking about food. There was mostly cafeteria food and pub food and a lot of alcohol. Mentions included: bad curry, McDonald's, fish-and-chips, penny candy, Wham bars (there were several mentions of this nostalgic UK candy),  juice, coffee, tea, Red Bull, Coke, bourbon, margaritas, pizza, frozen dinners, steak-and-kidney pie, Diet coke, cheese and ham baps (a sandwich of sorts made on a round, sweet roll), pork pie, chips, chocolate ices, Guinness, whiskey, chicken sandwich, pasta, potato broth, toast, Diamond White (a brand of cider), frozen fish fingers, grapes, and crisps.


I liked the description of the school cafeteria going from burgers and fried onions when Joe was there to chicken and rice, vegetable pasta and salad, and that he said that he "blamed Jamie Oliver" for the changes. I finally decided to combine a cafeteria tuna sandwich with the melted cheese bap (a regional British or Scottish bread roll or bun or sandwich made from a soft bun--see this recipe for a sausage bap) and make tuna melts for my book-inspired dish. For the bap roll itself, a small hamburger bun would possibly be the most accurate size-wise, but the sweet and soft part made me think of the local favorite--King's Hawaiian rolls.


I will confess that I never really saw any appeal in tuna melts growing up, much preferring my tuna sandwich cold. Then, several years ago, a friend of mine made them open-faced for work meetings at his house and his were really tasty. I hadn't had one in years and decided to make my version slider-style, with the King's Hawaiian rolls. 

Tuna Melt Sliders
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 8 Sliders)

1 can good tuna (I use an Italian oil-packed), drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 small stalk celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dill pickle relish
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp English or stone-ground mustard
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp (i used roasted) garlic powder
8  slider buns/rolls of choice (I used King's Hawaiian Rolls)
8 small slices cheddar cheese (cut to fit roll)

Preheat oven or toaster oven broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Combine tuna, mayo, celery, relish, capers, and mustard together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and evenly mixed.

Melt butter in microwave and stir in garlic powder.

Separate rolls into 8 bottoms and tops place on baking sheet, brushing the cut side of each with the garlic butter. Place a small scoop of tuna on each roll bottom and top tuna mixture with a slice of cheese. 

Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted, the bun tops are toasted and the tuna is warmed. 

Combine the tops and bottoms of the rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!


Notes/Results: OK, these were pretty darn good--the combination of the tuna with the tangy relish, salty and briny capers, sharp cheddar, garlic butter, and sweet rolls worked well together. The little sandwiches went together really quickly and easily. I just made four and ate them with fruit for a quick dinner. I plan to make the other four with my remaining ingredients tonight. Although they are not the prettiest of sandwiches, they are tasty and I will make them again.


Linking this open-faced sandwich up at this week's Souper Sundays, here at Kahakai Kitchen, where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sandwich creation. 


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.


***Giveaway!***

The publisher has generously allowed me to give a copy of The Hiding Place to one lucky U.S. reader! 

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment please (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me what your favorite cafeteria food was growing up and/or why you want to win a copy of The Hiding Place.

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 C.J. Tudor (@cjtudor),  on Twitter
(Note: You can still get the extra entries even if you already follow me or C.J. Tudor on Twitter.)

Deadline for entry is Friday, March 1st. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!!

Note: A review copy of "The Hiding Place" 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, January 31, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Pretty in Punxsutawney" by Laurie Boyle Crompton, Served with Sweet and Salty Whoppers Popcorn

Happy Last Day of January! Where did the month go? Time flies so fast that I often wish I could slow it down, but I wouldn't want to relive the same day over and over again, like Andie in the new YA novel, Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton. A mashup of the movies Groundhog Day and Pretty in Pink, with a nod to rom-coms and the movies of the eighties, I'm happy to be today's TLC Book Tour stop and to pair my review with some tasty Whoppers Popcorn, a sweet and salty mashup of two concession stand staples.


Publisher's Blurb:

Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss.  After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.

Hardcover: 304 Pages
Publisher: Blink (January 15, 2019)

My Review:

I am not the demographic for YA fiction (by a few years...cough...) but I like to dabble in it occasionally, especially when it ties in to movies I love. I have expressed before my fondness for John Hughes teen films and rom-coms and Pretty in Punxsutawny makes the most of them. Andie's mom is a Hughes fanatic, leaning to the movies as part of her parenting, pulling them out to bond with Andie, and make a life point when necessary. Andie's name even comes from her mom's favorite, Pretty in Pink, although like me, Andie prefers The Breakfast Club and doesn't like the way Pretty in Pink ended.

Anyway, Andie's parents have moved the family to the busier Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania so her psychologist dad can have more patients. Forced to start over at a new high school in her senior year, Andie spends the summer hanging out at the local movie theater crushing on handsome Colton and plotting how their "meet-cute" can turn into a romance and her first kiss. Unfortunately the first day of school has Colton falling for the resident mean girl and Andie happy the day is over with...but then it isn't. Punxsutawney's magic seems to have left the movie screen when Andie must relive her first day at school again and again, with no end in sight. Andie hopes that a kiss with her true love will start the time clock moving and starts trying different things to make it happen. 

I enjoyed the fun, humor, and sweetness of the story, even though I identify more with Andie's parents than Andie. Still, it's not hard to be taken back to the days of teenage angst and remember it all--the high points and the horrors of high school. Andie is a great character and I loved the balance of her awkwardness and snarky humor. It's not just the eighties and John Hughes movies that show up, there are classic movie mentions as well as other popular movie mentions. One of my favorite moments is Andie calling on Drew Barrymore's short-term memory plot points from Fifty First Dates (2004) as an excuse for her awkward behavior with some new friends. This book works well today for a YA reader, but is also great for the movie buff and those of us that were in high school in the eighties. It definitely put me in the mood for a classic rom-com movie binge and I'd recommend it if you want a light, enjoyable escape.
 
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Author Notes: Laurie Boyle Crompton is the author of several YA books, including Adrenaline Crush and Love and Vandalism. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. She has written for national magazines like Allure, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared onGood Day New York several times as a toy expert. And yes, “toy expert” is an actual profession. She grew up in a small town in western PA and now lives near NYC with her family and one enormous and very fuzzy “dog toy expert” named Baxter Bear.

Connect with Laurie on her website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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Food Inspiration:

Since much of the book is about Andie living the same day over and over at high school there is not a lot of food presence in the book and not too much that inspires. Cafeteria pizza keeps giving Andie stomachaches and the switch to "brown goo" didn't tempt. Andie's dad makes pancakes on her loop of days and their were mentions of midnight cookies, Puffs 'o Oats cereal, lemon squares, pudding, cheesy puffs, the mall food court with Szechwan chicken and rice and Cheddar, Bacon and Broccoli Spudz from Spudz World. There's beer at a party, canned bean soup, pineapple and passion fruit mentions and when Andie starts altering her days she heads to the city for a hamburger, learns pancake art and teaches herself to make elaborate fondant art of cakes inspired by John Hughes eighties movies. 


Ultimately for my book inspired dish, I went to a couple of movie concession staples Whoppers and popcorn since Andie's self-proclaimed "meet cute" with the boy she is crushing on involves her smuggling a big box of Whoppers into the theater and getting caught out and made to buy popcorn. Rather than hand in her favorite treat, she stuffs a good portion of the box into her mouth. I decided to combine them with buttered popcorn for a sweet and salty (& malty) combination.


Whoppers Popcorn: This is not a recipe--you just need a box of Whoppers or any malted milk ball candy and an appropriate amount of popped popcorn and blend them together. If you like your chocolate on the melty-er side, make sure the popcorn is hot. For a less messy version, let the popcorn cool a bit before stirring it with the malted milk balls. Either way, it is pretty addicting (she says as she stuffs handfuls in her mouth ala Andie!) ;-)


Notes/Results: I won't lie to you. This mix was my dinner after a long day at work and I really enjoyed it. I have mixed my favorite movie concession stand candy, Rasinets, with popcorn before and that combo slightly edges out this one for me, but I certainly would not mind making this one again. The sweet and malted chocolate pairs well with the salty, buttery popcorn. A fun way to mix up your popcorn. I usually use my air popper when I want popcorn as it's healthier, but for this I bought the full octane "Movie Theater Butter" microwave popcorn. Sure, I might have ingested my quota of chemicals with this mix but it was sure fun going down. ;-)


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 "Pretty in Punxsutawney" 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.