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Review: Cookies & Beer

November 24, 2015


Cookies & Beer

Move over milk, there’s a new kid in town and he’s after your cookies!  Why pair cookies with milk when there are so many delicious beers out there that enhance their flavors.  But where to start?  Jonathan Bender has made that easy with his new book, Cookies & Beer: Bake, Pair, Enjoy.

Bender starts out with a basic tutorial on craft beer and says:

If you stopped drinking beer in college and think of craft beer simply as a stronger version of the stuff in a keg you never really liked, you’re in for a happy surprise.  Beer can be spicy and sweet or salty and sour.  Beer can taste like coffee and candy and chocolate milk.

He uses those flavors to pair specific styles of beers with specific cookies.  He provides recipes of cookies to pair with beer, recipes of cookies baked with beer, plus pairings for store bought cookies and Girl Scout cookies!  There’s even a recipe for dog treats made from spent grains.

I was anxious to try one of the recipes in this book and chose Bacon Chip Sugar Bombs (by Nick Wesemann, the pastry chef at The American Restaurant in Kansas City Missouri) because – bacon – it’s paired with Lindemans Kriek and I love a good lambic.  If you can’t find that specific beer, Bender suggests styles that will work as well.  I enlisted Vance to help me and, oh my gosh, were these cookies good.  The pairing was spot on too.  (The picture isn’t the best because we were too busy gobbling down cookies to spend much time on it.)

Cookies & lambic

There are so many more recipes in this book I want to try, like Ginger Lemon Radler Cookies, Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies, Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, and Gingerbread Stout Cookies with Brown Butter Stout Glaze.

Whether you’re new to craft beer or a seasoned craft beer drinker, Cookies & Beer is especially perfect for the holidays!  The paperback version is $19.99 and would make a terrific gift for the beer lover in your life.  Just think what Santa will leave if you leave him a great beer instead of milk with his cookies.

weekend cookingI will link this up to Weekend Cooking which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and 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. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Review copy provided by Andrews McMeel Publishing.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

November 23, 2015

Mailbox Monday Novemer 23

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I know this is a busy week for everyone but it seems especially busy for me this year.  Our nephew is here for the holiday and, while he’s here, Vance is staying with us too.  I’m going to see a new doctor to see if he can help me with my eyes and the store will be very busy too.  I probably won’t have much time to read or get on the computer but I’ll do what I can.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:







What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Juniors

November 20, 2015



Lea and her mother have made yet another move in her mother’s pursuit of an acting career.  This time, they find themselves in Hawaii – they’ll be living in the guest cottage of the Wests, a wealthy family, and Lea will start mid-junior year of high school at a prestigious prep school.  Lea decides she wants to “reinvent, or at least remodel” herself.

At first Lea is not sure what to make of the West children because their lives are so different from hers, but she slowly becomes friends with Whitney and finds herself attracted to Will.  As their relationships progress, Lea begins to question how much she’s willing to sacrifice to be a part of their world.

I wanted to love Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings but I can’t say that I did.  This book had so much potential but I thought it lost its focus a time or two.  That’s not to say it’s not a very good book – it is – I just wanted a little bit more.  Hemmings is a wonderful writer, though, so I have a feeling the target audience (older YA) will love this coming of age story.

The audio version of Juniors is narrated by Jorjeana Marie.  I thought she did an adequate job – I thought her delivery was flat at times so my mind wandered a time or two.  I do wonder if I would have enjoyed this more in print.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.


Review: Dear Mr. You

November 19, 2015

Dear Mr You

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker is a series of letters to many of the men who’ve mattered to her over the years.  The men are addressed in the salutation with a name like “Mentor,” “Father Bob,” or “Orderly,” and then referred to as “you” throughout the letter.  I could follow the arc of most of the letters but couldn’t always understand their significance to Parker.  I don’t know that much about her life and wondered if they would have meant more to me if I did, but most of the letters felt incomplete to me and left me wanting more.

This book is very literary and was probably too smart for me because everyone else has loved it.  I’ve seen others call it “innovative” and “profound,”  but, for me, it was mostly confusing.  I really wanted to love it but it just wasn’t for me.  If you’re a fan of Parker’s or literary work, you should give it a try.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 18, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I’m reading at a slow pace these days so I haven’t found any new words in my reading and had to turn to my Word-a-Day calendar this week.

1. repine – “The tragic lover in the poem goes to his grave repining over his lost love.”

In this case, repine means to long for something.


2. greenmail – “The company lost $40 million in the greenmail scheme but was able to stay in operation with their executive staff intact.”

Greenmail is the practice of buying enough of a company’s stock to threaten a hostile takeover and reselling it to the company for above market value.  I guess this is like a financial blackmail.


3. squinny – “I leant far out, and squinnied for a sign/ That this was still the town that had been ‘mine.’ . . . .”

Squinny is a verb that means to look or peer with eyes partly closed: squint.  My eyes are so sensitive to light these days I squinny quite a bit!


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: My Story, My Song

November 17, 2015

My Story, My Song


Lucimarian Roberts was a strong, spiritual woman from a humble background in Ohio.  Her family didn’t have much but she worked hard and earned a scholarship to Howard University.  It was there she met her husband, Lawrence Roberts, who was one of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Because of his Air Force career, Lucimarian and Lawrence moved around quite a bit but raised their four children with grace, dignity, and a deep faith in God.  That faith helped them through many difficult times.  Until her death, Lucimarian found great comfort in playing and singing hymns.

Lucimarian reflected on her life in her memoir, My Story, My Song: Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith.  Lucimarian tells the story of a life lived with dignity, faith, and great character.  Things weren’t always easy, but Lucimarian managed to keep her faith, stay positive, and learn and grow from her experiences.  She recounted her life from her childhood to surviving Hurricane Katrina.  Her youngest daughter, Robin Roberts, added a reflection at the end of each chapter and it’s easy to tell that Lucimarian’s children adored her.

I was afraid My Story, My Song would be too religious for me, but it wasn’t.  Religion was certainly a large party of Lucimarian’s life but I didn’t find her book to be preachy.  I enjoyed her story and have a great respect for the way she lived her life with quiet dignity.  I listened to the audio version and thought Robin Miles did an acceptable job with the narration.  Robin Roberts read her own reflections and did an outstanding job.  As an added bonus on the audio, there are five hymns sung by Lucimarian with daughters Robin and Dorothy joining her on one song.

Review copy provided by Oasis Audio.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Mailbox Monday

November 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday November 16

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.    It may not look like it, but I had a great week in books last week.  I received two books and read four books!  Two of them were kids’ books, but they still reduced my TBR pile, so I’m counting them.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:



What did you find in your mailbox last week?


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