Sunday, January 21, 2018

'MY PARIS KITCHEN" and 'L'APPART"--World-renowned chef David Lebovitz shares his life in Paris, France...and the food is fabulous!

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

In 2004, David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes.

In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

MY REVIEW:   Who better than acclaimed chef and writer David Lebovitz--living in France for the last decade--to give us an up-close, first-person view of the "food life" in Paris. "My Paris Kitchen" is filled with fabulous food, intriguing local flavors, beautiful photos, and a real feeling for the author's everyday life in "The City of Light". A gifted and entertaining writer, David Lebovitz invites us in, takes us on a taste-filled tour, and enlightens us with his culinary expertise and food insights. His knowledgeable, useful explanations for ingredients and kitchen equipment are a cooking course themselves. The recipes and recipe notes are equally delicious, and the accompanying stories are charming. The recipes range from rustic to elegant, and you will long to be seated in a real Paris kitchen--taking in the amazing scents, sights, and the sounds of the language--as you await an exceptional eating experience. Here are some of the wonderful recipes included in "My Paris Kitchen": "Salted Olive Crisps"; "Onion Tart"; "Fresh Herb Omelet"; "Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche"; "Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries"; "Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic"; "Butternut Squash Crumble"; "Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse"; and "Paris-Paris"--a recipe for scrumptious eclairs. As the author says: "There are two kinds of butter in France--good butter and great butter."

Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz

Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-Pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes.

When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country—under baffling conditions—while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there

MY REVIEW:  As his life in Paris continues to unfold, world-renowned chef David Lebovitz discovers that living in his adopted country of France requires not only learning how the French think, but thinking like a Frenchman himself. He details his trials and tribulations, along with humor and acquired patience and acceptance in “L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home”. Seeking to renovate his apartment and create his dream kitchen finds encounters with local bakers, chocolatiers, and fresh market sellers giving way to negotiations with building codes and contractors. Interspersed with his adventures are delicious recipes (with helpful index) such as these: Cherry Flan; Bacon-Green Pea and Tarragon Quiche; Swedish Meatballs; Lemon-Yogurt Cake; Chocolate Soufflé; Mojito Sorbet; Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies; and Swiss Chard Gratin. While it took Lebovitz several years to fully recover from his experiences, he states that in the end, “L’appart”, renewed his Francophile status, and he is fulfilled by his instinctive life choices. The following quote from the author himself paints a telling picture: “Lastly, the story and descriptions are of a certain time in Paris. Paris changes frequently, so some of the incidents, social and business customs, and places mentioned in the book may not be the same as they are today.”

Book Copy Gratis via Blogging for Books


David Lebovitz is a sought-after cooking instructor with an award-winning food blog ( Trained as a pastry chef in France and Belgium, David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California for twelve years. He now lives in Paris, France, where he leads culinary tours of the city.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

America's Comfort Foods (Gooseberry Patch)--over 200 treasured recipes shared by family and friends--local and regional favorites--includes a recipe from my own Mama!

America's Comfort Foods (Gooseberry Patch)

by Gooseberry Patch (Author)

America's Comfort Foods is a keepsake filled with over 200 iconic American dishes--the kind of soul-satisfying recipes that make you happy, bring back heart-warming memories, and are a coveted local favorite. With a rich assortment of treasured dishes from coast to coast, you'll find America's best-loved comfort foods...hundreds of unforgettable dishes! You’ll find recipes for regional favorites like Philly cheesesteaks, Chicago deep-dish pizza, classic Midwestern meat loaf, Kansas City ribs, southern fried chicken, Tex-Mex enchiladas, all-American apple pie and much, much more! From breakfast to dinnertime, with these family-pleasing recipes you'll be serving up meals that warm tummies and hearts alike...snacks and desserts too!

MY REVIEW:  The soul-satisfying pleasure that we receive from our favorite foods is immediate, indelible, and infinitely soothing. Family favorites that are associated with happy memories, holidays, and home are a cherished part of all of our lives. We pass these recipes down to generation after generation and share them with our closest friends. “America’s Comfort Foods”, from Gooseberry Patch, is filled with wonderful dishes and delightful side-notes. As you turn the pages, you will meet people from all over the United States, and you’ll get to know what they cook and why they like what they like the most. Over 200 recipes are featured, including: “New Neighbor Coffee Cake”; “Wendy’s Bacon-Onion Swiss Quiche”; “Momma’s Idaho Potato Soup”; “Corn & Onion Casserole”; “Scalloped Tomatoes”; “Fried Taters & Squash”; “Red Cabbage & Apples”; “Mom’s Farm Favorite Casserole”; “Snowy River Roast Chicken”; “Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing”; “Texas Toffee Pecan Bars”; “Maine Blueberry Pie”; and “Buckeye Candies”. Another reason why I love this book? MY OWN MOTHER’S RECIPE FOR “MAMA’S SUMMER SALAD” IS ON PAGE 91.

Book Copy Gratis Gooseberry Patch

Monday, January 1, 2018

AUTHOR KATE WALKER--Dramatic, Irresistible Love Stories--Pulse-Pounding--Provocative--Passionate!

Kate Walker  

Kate Walker has been writing romance for over 25 years, and her contemporary love stories are classic tales of passion, filled with emotional twists and turns. Her characters allow us to live out our dreams through her words, and her story lines always offer something unexpected and intriguing. If you love intense romance reads which hold you enthralled from first page to last, then you will love the work of this amazing author. Kate's book list is quite extensive, and I have read and enjoyed many of her terrific titles through the years. For more information about Kate and her books, visit her website Here are several of my recent reviews for Kate Walker's wonderfully-written love stories:,204,203,200_.jpg

A Proposal to Secure His Vengeance…

His preferred method?

Ruthless, irresistible seduction!

Imogen O’Sullivan is horrified when charismatic tycoon Raoul breaks up her engagement and makes her his own convenient bride! She once surrendered everything to Raoul—body, heart and soul. But as he stalks back into her life, it’s clear he has punishment in mind, not just passion! Can Imogen resist Raoul’s potent brand of delicious vengeance?

My Review:  A rich man's agenda for personal revenge goes far differently than he had planned in "A Proposal to Secure His Vengeance"--a stirring contemporary romance from the fabulous Kate Walker. Secrets, scandals, and sizzling passion are all a part of this involving tale where wealth and good fortune are two very different things. Imogen O'Sullivan and her sister Ciara have long been at the core of a power struggle between their battling parents. When their father's drinking and unwise financial habits force Imogen to agree to a marriage of convenience with a longtime friend, she is unprepared for the arrival of Raoul Cardini, with whom she had a brief and passionate affair. Her sister Ciara, from whom she had long been estranged, has an unpleasant connection to Raoul's own family, further heightening the tension of the situation. Raoul's mistaken impressions of Imogen and her sister are factors in his desire to bring down the O'Sullivans in their final bid to save their family name and finances. However, the intense heat between Raoul and Imogen has once again burst to life--something they cannot ignore. Yes, the physical desire is there, but there is also appreciation and a shared sense of humor. Could love be waiting in the wings for all truths to be revealed and for honest emotion to break through pretense? If you love dramatic, deeply felt, and powerfully passionate love stories, then you will greatly enjoy the captivating contemporary romance tales from author Kate Walker.

Book Copy Gratis Author
Indebted to Moreno


Sins of the past must be paid!

On trembling legs, dress designer Rose Cavalliero stares up at the man she never thought she'd see again. Tall, dark and dangerous, Spaniard Nairo Moreno took Rose's virginity before a misunderstanding led her to nearly destroy his life. But now he's back and determined to collect the debt she owes him.

Designing his precious sister's wedding gown will cement Rose's career. But if she'd known that accepting Nairo's offer would see her blackmailed into becoming a more-than-convenient fiancée to the man who broke her heart, Rose would have said no…wouldn't she?

MY REVIEW:  The superb storytelling skills of author Kate Walker are richly displayed in “Indebted to Moreno”, a stirring and passionate contemporary romance. Rose Cavalliero is a talented dress designer, working to firmly establish her business while caring for her ailing mother. Heartaches from the past have left Rose determined to make their future secure, and she needs a spectacular wedding commission to put her name and business at the top of the list of sought-after designers. A potential new client from an aristocratic Spanish family would seem to be the key to making her dreams come true. However, the family member who visits her shop is not the bride to be, but her brother, Nairo Moreno, the man who stole Rose’s heart and innocence a decade ago. Nairo is as shocked as Rose by their unexpected reunion—he had no idea that the young woman he had known as “Red” had now become the designer whom his sister wanted to create her wedding gown. As a young man, Nairo had tried to escape his own family issues, living in a poor section of London, and going by the name of “Jett”. He and Rose had met under trying circumstances, each on the run from their true identities, and their youthful passion was too powerful to resist. A misunderstanding had led Rose to betray Nairo all those years ago, and the emotions between them are turbulent and full of mistrust. Nairo is very devoted to his sister, though, and he vows to see that her wishes for a perfect wedding come true at all costs—even if his personal cost is high. He makes it all too clear that Rose has no choice but to accept his offer, but will she once again give him the heart he broke so long ago? The passion between them is more potent than ever, but is a lasting love possible for these two seeking spirits? “Indebted to Moreno” is highly recommended for lovers of grand romantic tales filled with deep emotions, undeniable desire, and the love of a lifetime. 

Book Copy Gratis Autho

Destined for the Desert King [with Bonus Novella] (Rhastaan Royals #2)
Author Kate Walker's romantic reads are intense, involving, and impossible to put down until the last page is turned. With "Destined for the Desert King", readers are returned to the fictional empire of Rhastaan, ruled by Sheikh Nabil Al Sharifa--whom we first met in a "Question of Honor". Ten years ago, Clemmie, the woman meant to be Nabil's predestined bride was captured by the love of another man. Later the young woman who actually became Nabil's wife, Sharmila, was brutally murdered by an assassin's bullet meant for Nabil. Nabil was left with his grief and a lasting scar on his cheek from the bullet that took the life of Sharmila, who had been carrying his child at the time she was killed. Now, with each moment that passes, the pressure for Nabil to remarry and produce an heir becomes an increasing weight upon his heart and mind. He is all too aware of his duty, but he cannot forget past betrayal and loss--how will he trust enough to call another woman "wife". Beautiful and gentle Aziza El Afarim, whom he knew as a child, seems to be the perfect choice to resolve Nabil's personal and political dilemmas. For Aziza, this will be a marriage of the heart--she has always loved Nabil. Both have come a long way from the children they once were, and now they must get to know one another as adults. The fiery passion between them is undeniable, but will love burn bright as well? As Aziza gives him her heart, will Nabil find his own emotional center come to life? For a double dose of rich romanticism, I highly recommend reading "A Question of Honor", and then follow it with "Destined for the Desert King".  This edition of "Destined for the Desert King" includes a delightful holiday romance short story from author Maisey Yates called "Christmas at the Chatsfield".
Book Copy Gratis Author

A Question of Honor (Rhastaan Royals #1)


"A Question of Honor", an undeniable attraction, and a conflict of pride and passion. Author Kate Walker brings her trademark intensity to this dramatic tale of duty and desire. Karim Al Khalifa, bears his unexpected royal responsibilities with great determination. After the death of his older brother, Karim became his father's heir to the throne. Now Crown Prince of Markhazad, Karim must retrieve and return royal bride-to-be Clementina Savanevski, whose pre-arranged marriage to the future ruler of Rhastaan is a diplomatic necessity for more than one connected country. Dispatched by his own father to ensure the safe delivery of this most precious person, Karim is unprepared for how deeply he would be affected by Clemmie's alluring combination of seductive beauty and innocent nature. Clemmie knew her time in England living a free life was coming to an end, but she never expected her future to come calling for her in such a darkly handsome and magnetic escort. Their journey briefly delayed by inclement weather, their mutual attraction grows as passions and emotions are stirred. Each of them carries a secret, and each of them knows their familial duty. Resisting the explosive chemistry between them, they proceed with the preordained royal dictate, but will they be able to forget each other? Can a powerfully passionate attraction lead to a lifetime affair of the heart? A compelling romantic read from captivating storyteller Kate Walker.

Book Copy Gratis Author

A Throne for the Taking


"A Throne for the Taking" is a royal treat for readers, served up with sizzling style by author Kate Walker. A story line full of passion, poignancy, and intrigue is given life by two compelling characters, both driven by their own sense of duty. Honoria Escalona, Grand Duchess of Mecjorica, daughter of the High Chancellor, now at risk of losing everything she has ever known due to the misdeeds of her father. Forced to contact the one man she thought never to see again, Alexei Sarova, Honoria must somehow put aside her trepidation and convince Alexei to return to the land of his birth. The son of a royal father and a commoner mother, Alexei has every right to deny her request. At a young age, Alexei learned just how cruel court manipulations can be when his parents' marriage was declared invalid, making him illegitimate and ineligible to inherit the throne. He and his mother settled in England, and while Alexei became a successful international entrepreneur, he remained haunted by the injustice his family had suffered. Ten years have passed since Ria and Alexei have spoken, and now she has suddenly appeared, bearing proof of the legitimacy of Alexei's heritage. Friends in their youth, their relationship was strained by scandal. Now, Ria desperately needs his help, not just to restore order to the kingdom, but to save her from an unbearable arranged marriage. Stunned to find Ria at his business headquarters in England, Alexei has no intention of granting her wish. However, the more she pleads with him, the more he realizes that he has a longing to return home, a longing that has much to do with his intense attraction to the beautifully grown-up Ria. He will agree to her proposition, with one contingency--she will become his royal bride--for as long as he wants and needs her by his side. He respects her intelligence and regal persona, and he desires her beauty and vulnerability. When the time comes, will he be able to let her go? Ria can't help falling for the handsome, commanding Alexei, who underneath his imposing exterior, still has a tender heart. Can she trust him? Once you start reading "A Throne for the Taking", you will be caught in the spell of the drama and romance of author Kate Walker's storytelling.

Book Copy Gratis Author

The Return of the Stranger


Author Kate Walker was inspired by a classic Gothic romance tale when she created "The Return of the Stranger", and she perfectly captured the darker, more brooding elements of the story in her own compelling style. As a young child, Heath Montanha had been rescued from street life by Mr. Nicholls and brought to live on the Nicholls farm in the shadow of the Charlton mansion. He had been close friends with young Catherine Nicholls, but he was always resented and rejected by her brother, Joe. Heath's dark, handsome looks and air of mystery earned him the label of "gipsy", and the local society kept him at a distance. After the death of Catherine's father, her brother Joe took over the farm, and his treatment of Heath became unbearable. Heath soon left everything behind and went to make his mark in the world. Ten years later, a wealthy and powerful man, he returns to the Yorkshire countryside with vengeance on his mind. Thinking that Catherine had betrayed him a decade ago, he wants to hurt her as she hurt him. In his absence, she had married Arthur Charlton, the son of the rich, entitled neighbors of the Nicholls farm. Now widowed, Catherine is facing financial disaster as well as the emotional repercussions of her late husband's debauched lifestyle. Heath and Catherine are both startled by the depth of their mutual attraction, which wars with bitter hurt. Despite Heath's long-simmering desire for Catherine, he remains determined to carry out his plan of revenge against Catherine and her brother, Joe. Heath has secrets which will change the lives of Catherine and her family forever, but will spending time with Catherine and her young nephew soften his hardened heart? Catherine never knew the real reason that Heath left so long ago, and her life has not been the pleasant picture painted for society. Her husband's cruelty and deceptions have left her with little self-esteem--can she trust the love she feels for Heath? "The Return of the Stranger" is a passionate, atmospheric reunion romance with a delicious touch of Gothic darkness.

 The Italian's Forced Bride


Passion and emotion are equally powerful in author Kate Walker's poignant romance, "The Italian's Forced Bride". Domenico Parrisi never gave his heart, and no woman ever walked out on him. What he started, he brought to a halt when the time came. He worked hard, building his own fortune in the computer industry, and when he had time, he played just as hard as he worked. When he met Alice Howard, he never expected that she would be the exception to the rule. On a working holiday in Florence, Italy, Alice met Domenico at the restaurant where she waitressed. The chemistry was instant and combustible, and an immediate, highly passionate affair ensued. Domenico made it clear from the start that he had no interest in marriage--he had no interest in commitment. Alice tried to listen, letting her body do the thinking, but her heart had a louder voice. She fell in love, and then fell prey to vicious gossip about the Domenico and his "other woman". She left him and returned to England. Two months later, she sends word that she must speak with him, and soon he is angrily ringing the bell to her small cottage. Their meeting is fiery, passionate, and then changes all together when he discovers she is pregnant. He insists that they marry, but before the ceremony can take place, their child is lost to a miscarriage. Will the emotion which so often was hidden by the passion between fully bloom into a lasting love? Domenico is much more than the hard-edged business mogul known to the world, but can he let go of painful childhood secrets and trust his heart to Alice? Does she have the courage to once again take a chance on loving him? The title, "The Italian's Forced Bride", doesn't really do justice to this compelling romance from talented author Kate Walker. If you love heart-felt romance blended with sizzling passion, then you will very much enjoy this book.

The Proud Wife

THE PROUD WIFE  by Kate Walker

"The Proud Wife" wants nothing from the husband from whom she has been separated for two years. She keeps telling herself this over and over, right up until the moment she is once again face to face with the man she married. In author Kate Walker's touching, tempestuous romance, Englishwoman Marina Emerson was swept off her feet by the captivating charm of Prince Pietro D'inzeo of Sicily. Their whirlwind of passion resulted in an unplanned pregnancy and a quick marriage. Tragically, the baby was lost due to miscarriage, and the initial happiness between them was lost as well. Miscommunication and emotional barriers grew to the point where Marina could bear no more, and she left Pietro and his family home and returned to England. Two years later, Marina receives a royal summons from her princely husband to come to Sicily and officially end their marriage. Once they are in each other's company again, banked embers burst into life, and powerful emotions come to the surface. Both confused and filled with unexpected longing, can Marina and Pietro bring back to life the love they had thought to be long-dead? Can they face the issues which drove them apart and grow together as each of them grows as an individual? "The Proud Wife" is an intense, satisfying romance full of passion and emotional conflict.