In Her Kitchen – Cookbook Review

My latest cookbook review from is IN HER KITCHEN by Gabriele Calimberti. It is a compilation of recipes from around the world…sharing the commonality of being the recipe of a grandma.

Which might make you think that this cookbook would make the perfect gift for your mom or grandma. And you would be right.

It would also be the perfect gift for your favorite travel-crazy friend. The photographs are beautiful and in fact, the cookbook was inspired by a professional photographer’s tribute to his grandmother’s cooking…carrying it to the natural extreme of a trip around the world to feature other grandmother’s sharing their favorite recipes.

And for this reason, it is also the perfect gift for the culinary adventurer in the life. Hopefully, they will share the recipes they try…like:

Empanadas Criolla from Argentina
Chicken Vindaloo from India
Karniyarik from Turkey
Tart with Walnuts and Mountain Honey from Switzerland

You can be assured that these recipes have stood the test of time and family tradition.

This truly is a cookbook that many people will enjoy! Intact, I gave a copy to my mother…and she loved it!

I received this cookbook from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

A Kitchen in France : Cookbook Review




Beautifully illustrated and written with enticing recipes that will lure you into the kitchen and inspire you to entertain family and friends.

Does that sound  like a tall order for a cookbook? Certainly.

But A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson truly delivers on the promise of its beautiful cover. It is a large book, filled with sumptuous photos taken by the author’s husband. The pictures are filled with images of beautifully prepared food, but also of the Thorisson’s young children and the their new home in Medoc, France.

You will truly feel as if you have traveled to Medoc, shopped at the local farmer’s market, headed seaside for the freshest seafood, or to a cozy cafe for an espresso.

The book is arranged in seasonally inspired menus, so guidance is provided in planning a meal from the plethora of recipes. As for the recipes I can’t wait to try:

Chilled White Peaches in White Wine Syrup

Roquefort and Walnut Gougeres

Mustard Roasted Chicken

Vegetable Tian


Chou Farci

I have a feeling this book is going to be the source of many upcoming dinner parties in my home.

Highly recommended.

Love xo,


P.S. I received a free copy of this cookbook from Blogging for in exchange for an honest review.







Welcome to My New Site!



I am so excited to share my move from Blogger to WordPress and the new design of my site, created by Ida at Amygdala Design.

The design of this new site will give a proper home to each the subjects I usually talk about you: my passion for cooking, my walk with God, and my love of writing enchanting books. (By the way, you might be wondering why I listed ‘walking with God’ second in my site’s tagline? Well…I don’t think of it as second…I like to think of God being in the center of all I do in life, and so He is in the center of my site’s tagline!)

I can’t wait to learn all the capabilities of the WordPress site and to share my journey with you.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of my next novel A Map of Heaven which will be released December 24th!

To enter to win, just leave a comment below and I will pick a winner on November 20th.

Welcome to my new home!

Love xo,










Your Go-To Cookbook for Entertaining This Year: Sunday Suppers : A Cookbook Review

Need a new menu for your Thanksgiving feast this year?
How about this one…
Truffled Turkey with White Wine Gravy
Wild Mushroom and Brioche Stuffing
Cranberry Apple Relish
Buttered Brussels Leaves
Mashed Potatoes
Spiced Pumpkin Creme Brûlée
If that sounds good to you, then run…don’t walk to your nearest bookstore to buy Sunday Suppers by Karen Mordechai.
This unassuming cookbook is chock full of menus and recipes that take common dishes and give them just enough of a twist to make them fresh, while keeping their comforting familiarity. For instance, how about this breakfast:
Cream biscuits with jam butters
perfectly scrambled eggs
blood orange, halved
green juice
French press coffee
You’ll be vastly popular among your friends if you invite them over for Football Sunday menu:
Whiskey-glazed ribs
chili, Texas style
Thick-cut fries with pink peppercorn aioli
date cake with toffee sauce
Needless to say, I love the simplicity and quirky spins of this fresh and original cookbook. I can’t wait to begin cooking from it. I bet you will, too.

Please note: I received a copy of Sunday Suppers from Blogging for Books in exchange for an unbiased review.


The Perfect October Dinner – Individual Stuffed Pumpkins – Kid Friendly Yet Elegant Enough for Date Night at Home

Here is a meal that the entire family can enjoy preparing together, has infinite varieties to suit everyone’s taste and it’s fun to make! 
This recipe was inspired by a recipe for stuffed pumpkin from Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful cookbook: Around My French Table. I’ve adapted the recipe by using individual sized pumpkins and using different ingredients for the stuffing. 
But that’s the beauty of this recipe…you can change the stuffing ingredients to what you have in the pantry or your personal tastes…for instance, if you want a vegetarian meal: skip the sausage and add in eggplant, mushrooms, and spinach that’s you’ve quickly sautéed in olive oil. 
Would you believe that this delicious meal can be prepared in just 10 minutes and then bakes for one and half-hours at 350F degrees…which leaves you plenty of time to get the kids to do their homework, while you relax and enjoy a glass of wine with your spouse.

Three easy steps:

1. Clean out the invidual pumpkins…the kids can do this while you cook the spicy Italian sausage.

2. Each pumpkin is stuffed with equal amounts of torn rustic bread, cooked sausage, and cubed cheese. Then you pour cream over the top to moisten the stuffing.
3. Put the top on the pumpkin, place it on a baking tray, put it into the oven at 350F and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pumpkin is soft when poked with a fork. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, take the top off the pumpkin so that the cheese and melt and brown.

Take it out of the oven and serve…stir the stuffing in with the pumpkin and enjoy!

A sure way to get the family together for a weeknight dinner.

Please let me know what you stuffed in your pumpkin!

Love xo,


Where Do You Turn When You Need Answers?

Try this: write down your question on a piece of paper, in the form of a letter to God.
Then sit quietly in meditation and prayer and speak your question to God, as if you were speaking with a friend. 
You are.
Then, open up your Bible and see what God has to say to you about your question. 
Can you find a message that He wants to share with you, to give your guidance, comfort, and the answer you’re looking for?

                              ~ * ~

“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
 “So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
    bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
    exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
    no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
    living and lasting evidence of God.”

Isaiah 55:10-13

I’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.

Love xo,


Cookbook Review: Meat and Potatoes by Rahm Fama

At first, I hesitated to order the MEAT AND POTATOES cookbook because over the course of the past six months I’ve changed my diet to a ‘mostly vegetable’ based diet. Where I used to eat meat seven days a week, I now have meat twice a week.

Which is not to say that I dislike meat…I love a good steak. Or a grilled veal chop. And bacon is still my friend….

However, my changing the frequency of eating meat has elevated its place. I expect more from the experience, I want it be special.

Which is a perfect way to think about meat’s place in our health conscious diet.

And luckily for us, Rahm Fama’s cookbook: MEAT AND POTATOES meets that criteria with flying colors.

Fama has created a cookbook of menus in which he takes familiar meat based dishes, puts a tasty twist on their preparation and then pares them with unique side dishes that will have you reaching for this cookbook the next time you want to impress your family with the comfort of meat and potatoes, but with healthy, taste-forward combinations.

Here’s a couple menu combinations from MEAT AND POTATOES that I liked:

Five-spice (slow cooker )BBQ Pulled Pork 
Seasame Brown Rice Cakes
Curry Pear Slaw

Using a slow cooker is my favorite way to prepare pulled pork…Fama’s recipe gives turns the usual BBQ flavors on their head with the use of Hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, and pineapple juice.
I also think that adding pear to slaw is inspired.

Waffle Fried Chicken
Buttermilk Biscuits
Maple-Bacon Collards

A fun way to combine the popular waffle and fried chicken flavor combination. And as a big fan of collard greens, I can’t wait to try Fama’s recipe for collards with maple and bacon.

In all, this is going to be my new go-to cookbook for the special days when I add meat into my diet.

Highly recommended!

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

P.S. If you enjoy reading / crafting / cooking and FREE books, go to Blogging for Books and check out their wide selection of books available for review.