"When engaged in eating, the brain should be the servant of the stomach."
Dame Agatha Christie
Just a little over a week before the biggest eating day of the year here in the U.S.---who's ready to get their stretch pants on?! For today's post I'm highlighting a few of my favorite cookbooks and the recipes that get my taste buds chomping at the bit. I'm always looking for recipes to add to, or put a new, culinary spin on Thanksgiving classics. These books are filled with culinary delights that do not disappoint! (links are in the pictures, just hover & click) 🦃
Lets start with the starters... (and cocktails 🍸 ) First off, huge snaps to the U.S. and U.K. writers who contributed to this collection! Katie Mettner's Brandy Slush; Amy Reade's Homemade Irish Cream and Sausage Bread; Bibiana Krall's Blue Angel and Carolina Corn Dip; VCB's Mama's Italian Sausage, Bacon and Date Bites; M.G. Wells' Heart Healthy Collard Greens...I haven't even gotten to the desserts! Best yet, the Kindle version of this writer's culinary treasure is just 99 cents!
If you're looking for an Italian spin for Thanksgiving this year, Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun Cookbook is filled with mouth watering foods from Tuscany--the pictures and backdrops in this book are gorgeous too! Antipasto delights (Bruschette & Crostini topped with Peas & Shallots or Cannellini Bean & Sage mash); Fried Zucchini Flowers; Fried Artichokes; Ragu; Pastas of every sort; Gnocchi; Soups; Ossobuco: Steaks: Chops--endless recipes with mouth watering ingredients. You'll be toasting Buon Appetito with these recipes!
For a literary take on good eats, these mystery writers have some wickedly good recipes to tease the palate (some I want to try just just based upon their monikers!). Nelson Demille's Male Chauvinist Pigs in the Blanket; Kate White's A Very Sneaky Bean Dip; Sandra Brown's Mystery Crackers; Lea Waits's Murderously Good Maine Chowdah; John McEvoy's Gone Broke Goulash; Mo Walsh's Mistaken Potato Salad; Alan Orloff's Killer Tofu; Scott Turow's Innocent Frittata; Rhys Bowen's Scone Recipe; Sharon Fiffer's A Pan, a Plan, and a Flan...no mystery here--these are good eats!
In the spirit of #Hygge, I love this Danish book featuring one of my fav Ladies of London stars, Caroline Fleming. Her down earth approach to cooking is right up my recipe alley. This cookbook is filled with traditional Danish recipes from starters to desserts. The focus is on using fresh ingredients that boost your well being (loads of seafood recipes). There are many new flavors (at least for this palate) to be tried in this book--I enjoy reading about the history behind the dishes. Read it while trying the Rod Glogg (red mulled wine) or Hvid Glogg (white mulled wine) with a bite of Lokridskaramel (liquorice toffee) while sitting by the fire! #Skol!
I'll end with this Barefoot Contessa collection from my culinary queen, Ina! Her recipes are sure to please you and your dinner guests--yummy and not that hard to make! #WinWin Hot spiced cider; Pomegranate gimlets; Ultimate Bloody Mary's to start. Grilled oysters with lemon dill butter and Spicy pimento cheese spread for appetizers. Soups and chowders (a great way to use up those leftovers) to warm you up on chilly nights. A Tuscan turkey roulade that would be a great main course alternative for T-Day. Celery root & cauliflower puree; Fresh corn polenta; and Roasted sweet potatoes with chipotle orange butter sound like fabulous side dishes. Peach almond torte; Tuscan baked apples; and Banana rum trifle could put a sweet finale to your dinner!
Wishing you a yummy #foodie lover's, taste-testing experience in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Take a recipe gamble, be adventurous, introduce new flavors, make a new culinary tradition, and remember, it's not a party 'til the first soufflé plops! It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:
Behind the scenes: the stories of Christmas Bizarre
Thought I'd share a few pics that inspired the settings you'll visit when reading Christmas Bizarre. The video clip above is a sunrise just off PCH looking south at Malibu, where Rikkhe has her glamorous home. It's a beautiful town filled with celebs but with a down home feel. Can you imagine seeing sunrises and sunsets like this every day?
For The Rocking Horse setting I was inspired by a walk down an icy path in a palatial park by the water in Stockholm, dotted with lovely homes along the shoreline. Our Viking Ocean cruise and Heidelberg Christmas market visit from years ago inspired The Ornament experience. You just never know where a story might pop up!
Our Viking Cruise ship👇
👈Gate to a icy, royal path along the water in Stockholm
New Hygge & Bisous Holiday Mysteries additions to my series tree....
The pink Santa from The Ornament 👇
Let's not forget the Kentucky bourbon in Lady H!👇
A good life adventure this week from the writers of Twitter...
Author Janine Marsh, My Good Life in France, In Pursuit of the Rural Dream, 5 ⭐
How many of us have dreamed about having a second home in another country to escape the hustle and bustle of urban reality and enjoy the sweet life in a country setting? Could you do it, would you? Author Janine Marsh shares her charming journey to the good life dream--including the bon and not-so-bon things to consider!
A trip to the French countryside changes everything for Janine and her husband, Mark when they buy a home that needs 'a bit' of fixing up. You'll smile and chuckle as they meet their new neighbors and adjust to the rural way of life in a new country--a far cry from their city life in London. The foods, home renovations, gardens, and a menagerie of new pets make their move enchanting, humbling and hilarious at times.
I truly enjoyed Author Marsh's down to earth descriptions of the adventures and realities of her new lifestyle. Not everything is greener on the other side, but ooh-la-la, it does sound magnifique! A heartwarming, inspiring read---highly recommended!
Next up in the #reading queue:
I'm especially grateful this week--hubby made it through his surgery with flying colors! I'm so happy for him to be rid of his pain in the...back.😁 We're taking his recovery day by day. If all goes well, we may be making a trek up to Paso Robles to celebrate Turkey Day with my SIL's family (if not next week--soon, for a belated celebration). We'll be staying at the fabulous Allegretto again, raising a glass of red, white or two (four, six...who's counting?) Who knows, I may be writing/editing a chapter of Blood on the Vines during our stay...🍇💀🍷 #Vino #InspirationResearch
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. For an absolute divine way to top off those Thanksgiving eats, I'll share my fav Irish coffee recipe once again ⏬ from the Buena Vista in San Francisco--it's sure to make your Irish eyes smile. ☘ Speaking of Irish Spirits...stay tuned for next week's post. Author Bibiana Krall will be talking about her #NewRelease, Mont Pelier, book 4 in the Irish Phantom Series. You just may want to keep this recipe close by when reading this tale! Gemma and Rikkhe approve.💖🍀👑