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June 3, 2017 / Leslie

The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: May 2017
Format: Hardcover | 224 pages

You don’t have to own a beach house to enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ recipes. All you need is an appetite for delicious, casual dishes, cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients and presented with the breezy flair that make Mary Kay Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite at the beach.

From an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic-glazed lamb chops and bacon-kissed green beans, to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken, yuppie potato salad, and Coca-Cola cake, to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of charcoal-grilled oysters, home-cured gravlax, grits n’ greens casserole, and Meyer lemon bar trifle, this cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree coastal state of mind all year long.

Casual, easy recipes grouped by theme

Just in time for summer, Mary Kay Andrews has written a cookbook filled with her own recipes that promise to be easy to make and delicious too. Readers of her novels will enjoy her descriptive introduction to each recipe including its origin and a mention about which recipes made an appearance in her books.

While each of these recipes can stand on their own, she has conveniently grouped them together into an entire menu by theme such as summer get-togethers, or holiday parties like Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

The Desserts Look Wonderful!

I’m more of a cook than baker, but these Cheese Cake Bites look like a recipe I could handle. Also, I appreciate that these recipes use easy-to-find ingredients, and MKA doesn’t hesitate to use short-cuts to make preparation easier. These meals are geared towards large groups, and no one wants to be stuck at the grill or in the kitchen doing lots of prep work.

I’m looking forward to putting some of these dishes (especially the cheesecake) on my table this summer.
 


wkendcookingThis post is linked to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
Participation is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.


 
© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher through Tandem Literary.
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May 31, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Woodland Wildflower

Almost wordless: Not sure what these are. They were along the trail at the nature park.

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May 29, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ May 29th

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
Today is Memorial Day in the US – a day of remembrance to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. We finally are having a nice weather weekend, so I’ll be hanging out in my yard today trying finish up planting my flowers and veggies.

Only one new book last week, a surprise arrival that looks to be a fun summer read.

New Arrivals

Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe from Gallery Books.
New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe returns to her beloved Isle of Palms to tell the poignant, charming story of two women, one summer, and one very special beach house.

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May 24, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Fledgling Sparrow

The last of the baby sparrows came out of the nest box on Monday. The parents will continue to feed them while they learn to find their own food. This is dad bringing food to a begging fledgling.

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May 22, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ May 22nd

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 

Happy Monday! Despite the return of cool weather, it’s definitely springtime in my backyard.

Yesterday morning I noticed a lot of activity at one of my nest boxes. The baby sparrows were ready to go out on their own — one was out and hiding in the grass, and another had its head sticking out of the box, afraid to jump out. They can’t fly very well for the first few days and mostly hop around on the ground keeping the parents quite busy! Meanwhile, a robin was building a nest somewhere in the back of the yard.

Two new books this week, one audio and one print.

New Arrivals

The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen from Harper.
An enthralling odyssey and a gripping, expansive drama, The Destroyers is a vivid and suspenseful story of identity, power and fate, fathers and sons, and self-invention and self-deception, from a writer at the very height of his powers.

The Sixth Victim by Tessa Harris from Blackstone Audio.
London’s East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins…
The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe.

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May 20, 2017 / Leslie

Grocery by Michael Ruhlman

Grocery by Michael RuhlmanA Rapid Review

The Buying and Selling of Food in America

Publisher: Abrams Press | Random House Audio | May 2017
Format: Audio 11 hours | 320 Pages | Rating: 4 stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy

What’s it about . . .

Grocery examines how rapidly supermarkets—and our food and culture—have changed since the days of your friendly neighborhood grocer. But rather than waxing nostalgic for the age of mom-and-pop shops, Ruhlman seeks to understand how our food needs have shifted since the mid-twentieth century, and how these needs mirror our cultural ones.

What did I think . . .
This is much more than a history of the grocery store; it is also a behind-the-scenes look at how a modern grocery store is operated and managed, and the industry’s continuous evolution.

Through interviews with the owners of Heinens, a Midwestern grocery chain, we learn about the workings of different departments and even learn the real reason why the dairy and freezer cases are at the rear of the store. (I always thought it was to make me walk past the snack aisle!) There is an entire section on avoiding the center aisles of the store and why you should shop the perimeter. I found it amazing that we are headed towards a society where almost no one cooks anymore. Entire prepared Thanksgiving dinners can be purchased from the local grocery store, something almost unheard of a decade ago.

The author’s personal stories and memories combined with his extensive research of the grocery industry make this an interesting and absorbing read. His description of the grocery store in the 1960s brought back my own childhood memories of grocery shopping as a Saturday morning family outing.

Audio production . . .
The narration was performed by Jonathan Todd Ross in a pleasant, clear voice with smooth pacing. This was an easy-to-follow narrative and a good selection for audio. Non-fiction is a good choice for new audio listeners or for listening in the car as there is no complex plot or characters to remember.

I read both print and audio and found my time listening to be a perfect choice for multitasking.

Audio Sample . . .

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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May 17, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Spirea

Almost wordless: The Spirea burst into bloom earlier this week. I grew this one from a cutting off another shrub in the backyard – it is now 20 years old!

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