Tag: pie

BOOK REVIEW: City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

**ARC provided by the publisher for review**

4 stars!

Save your fork, there’s pie!

Louise Miller’s City Baker’s Guide satisfies like the best apple pie – sweet and a little spicy, but not cloying. It’s about creating family where you find it and finding your place in the world. Oh, stop rolling your eyes. While that might sound schmaltzy, City Baker’s Guide strikes the right balance, never veering off into oversentimentality. If there’s just more book to squeeze in on your summer TBR list, it’s this one.

Olivia Rawlings is a legit baker (ahem, pastry chef), a culinary institute grad with 15 years under her belt. Although baking is about precision and detail, her life is somewhat in chaos. She’s behind on her rent and sleeping with an older married guy and doesn’t seem to have much guilt about it. And then, one night a flaming baked Alaska sets fire to her career in Boston and she runs off to her bestie in Guthrie, Vermont. All this in the first chapter – I love a book that throws you right into the action.

city baker's guide to country living louise miller| dailywaffle
City Baker’s Guide to Country Living is Louise Miller’s debut novel — out August 9.

Guthrie is full of characters who all know each other’s business, and it wasn’t long until I started casting the movie in my head. Mae Whitman or America Ferrara as Olivia, one the dudes from the Avett Brothers, or Taylor Kitsch as Martin. Allison Janney as Jane White? Make it happen, Hollywood. Make.It.Happen.

While there’s only a touch of romance here, there is full-on food porn. From the apple pie Olivia has to make on the spot at a job interview and all the way through, she is baking breads and muffins, creating amazing desserts for guests at the Sugar Maple Inn and pulling out her secret weapon cookies for the town bake sale. City Baker’s Guide is a dessert-lovers dream when it comes to sweets – all described in deliciously vivid (and accurate) detail.

“I measured the almond paste, sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of the stand mixer and set it in motion. The mixture began to make a swish-swish sound like maracas being shaken. The inside of the bowl sparkled like a black sand beach as the tide went out, the almond paste perfectly cut by the sugar and cocoa. After adding egg whites that had been whisked together with instant espresso powder and a drop of rum, I stopped the mixer, pinched off a piece of raw dough, and popped it in my mouth – the mixture melted on my tongue. All right, Guthrie bakers. Bring it on.”

While I’m nowhere near the baker Olivia is, I might just have to try a pie once apples start coming in. There’s even a recipe included in the book.  In the meantime, black bottom from the Joy of Cooking will have to do.  City Baker’s Guide comes out August 9.

What’s New at Trader Joe’s – April 2016

what's new at trader joes April 2016

Here’s a quick look at some of the new items at Trader Joe’s this month, spotted at stores in Washington state.  The new offerings run the gamut from soups to condiments to dessert. TJ’s also has a new Moroccon Mint Tea (not pictured – 64 oz. plastic bottle) which is surprisingly good, not too sweet, and it’s just perfect with an extra squeeze of fresh lemon.

The Fearless Flyer just came out, so there are some brand-brand new items here including the Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits, Dark Chocolate Covered Peaberry Coffee Beans and Island Salsa.

Other Trader Joe’s shoppers are reporting additional new refrigerated section items: pre-cooked Gyro slices and butternut squash crinkle cuts. I haven’t seen them locally, so far! With Passover this week, I wouldn’t expect the matzos to last long.

If you missed the March installment of What’s New, click here.

Back-to-School Black Bean & Sweet Potato Empanadas

black bean and sweet potato empanadas |dailywaffle

The hand pie may be one of the world’s best food creations.  Whether it’s a piroshky, a Pop Tart, a beerock or an empanada, the idea of tucking something sweet or savory into a little pocket of dough is an idea embraced by food cultures the world over. It’s an easy way to have a snack or a meal on the go with relatively minimal mess, which makes these Black Bean and Sweet Potato Empanadas perfect for back-to-school and back-to-work lunch boxes. (I know, I don’t want to think about it, either, and I don’t have kids).

Read more

Easy Strawberry and Lemon Curd Pie

Something about pie dough scares me. I’m forever not rolling it to the right thickness or into shapes that resemble a rhombus rather than a circle. It’s ironic, because when it comes to eating pie, I love a double crust. But if pie making is a drug, this strawberry and lemon curd pie is a Nilla wafer and saltine cracker gateway drug. Yes, I said SALTINES. You’re in, right? So let’s go.
Read more