Tea & Treachery, A Tea by the Sea Mystery by Vicki Delaney

Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries #1)

In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam
. . .
It was a wonderful surprise to find out Delany had a new series out! And it’s a tea room by the sea.
Lily Robers is one busy lady! As the owner and head pastry chef at her little tea room Tea by the Sea, you can have traditional English Tea and a view of Cape Cod. She is always running between her grandmother, Rose’s Bed, and Breakfast which she helps out in the mornings.
Rose is one great character. She may be elderly but she isn’t dead yet and until she is she will fight with all of her might to not let the sketchy Jack Ford buy the property next door to put up some golf course/resort. For a small old lady, she is not one to mess with.
Everyone thinks there is something fishy about Jack so it seems appropriate that he is found dead on the beach having fallen down the stairs on Rose’s property.
It looks like the police are railroading Rose and not looking anywhere else. But boy oh boy are there a lot of places to look! No one liked this man. NO. ONE. A con man and a slimeball, there are so many suspects Lily may never get her Grandmother out of hot water!
This is the first in a new series. And I loved every minute of it. The characters are so well done and I can’t wait for the next one!
NetGalley Reviews/July 28th, 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

PIES BEFORE GUYS by KIRSTEN WEISS

Pies before Guys (Pie Town Mystery #4)

A Pie Town Mystery  #4 ( With Recipes)

Val Harris, the owner of Pie Town, is not quite sure a poetry slam in a bakery is a thing. But Abril is excited enough for both of them. Does that have something to do with her professor, Michael Starke, a poet or is she a little starstruck?

Val would much rather spend time with her newfound half-brother but this could be good for the shop and she goes along. But the night ends abruptly when several of the professors begin to threaten each other and toss around the dreaded plagiarism accusation.

When later that night Starke is found dead, the Baker Street Bakers are determined to figure out who is guilty. And my goodness there were enough despicable people, right there in the English Department.

Everyone is keeping secrets. Everyone looks guilty. Even Abril! But with some help from her friends, especially the formidable Charlene, they are determined to find the guilty party without losing their heads.

I love this series!! I mean, PIE. And Charlene and her crazy UFO theories had me laughing the entire book. What a great cast of characters that Weiss has invented for us! And don’t forget…recipes!

Another winner!

Kensington February 25th, 2020

 

Let it Snow…just somewhere else!

Happy Sunday Y’all!  No, we do not have snow. We have gloom and light drizzle this morning and it’s 30 something but we aren’t getting snow. I finally figured out our weatherman covers the entire state, not just OKC. When he talks of snow, he means far NW Oklahoma. But after watching White Christmas, I remembered how romantic snow is. Or so I thought until I actually was in North Dakota the first winter of college.

Thrilled to see but I cried the entire time I was there and whined about frostbite and how does your snot freeze?? St. Simon’s Island doesn’t get snow. We are very smart people!

So hope your weekend is going well. I was up and out the door early because Hurt’s Donuts had a Coconut Cream Pie Filled Donut and I wanted to own it. So out we went and this is our haul!

While OU Boy isn’t an adventurous eater, he is always up for donuts. He chose a classic chocolate long john and an old fashioned donut. Maybe he thought it would taste like the old fashioned he had at Pearl’s last night. No, it did not. I loved the guy behind the counter. He was naming things and then we would both put our hands over our hearts and swoon a little. I love that boy. I told him straight up these were for photoshoots and this is what we came up with. A Cherry Cheesecake filled donut. A Coconut Cream Pie filled donut, A Nutella/Peanut Butter filled donut, An Apple Pie filled donut, and one called the Jesus and I have no idea what is in that but it looked good. And one Chocolate Bavarian Cream. I cut a tiny piece of the Coconut one and promptly put them all in the freezer. Not today Satan, not today.

Now we are a bit odd in our holiday shopping. I pick out all my favorite things and OU Boy goes by and picks them up. That done, it was time for a cup of tea and a calm sit down. So since we were in Edmond we went here:

If they would let me live here I would be happy. And it’s not out of the question as there is a lovely B & B behind it! With help from the lovely and very knowledgeable Claire, I ordered the lunch tea. It came with a heavenly Blueberry Scone and a side of Lemon Curd along with a Quiche Lorraine with so much Gruyere! Along with fruit and a huge slice of Coconut Cake! The tea I chose was Partridge in a Pear Tree. It was so delicious I had to find Claire and buy an entire bag!

They do all types of teas and have private areas for groups. I made a reservation for high tea next week. Even OU Boy loved it and Claire allowed him to order from the kids’ menu because ham and cheese on a croissant are as adventurous as he’s going to get. It is such a calming place and they sell Tea, Coffee, wonderful Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars and you can taste them all. It truly refreshed our spirits as well as our bodies.

Today is gym day and grocery day. Stay warm and remember to stop and take care of you this season and every day!

xx P

The BAKESHOP at PUMPKIN and SPICE by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, Allyson Charles

The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice

Every autumn, Moonbright, Maine, is the picture of charm with its piles of crisp leaves, flickering jack-o’-lanterns … and a touch of the sweetest kind of enchantment.

This was such a magical read. All happening in one town, Moonbright, Maine, affectionately known as Halloweentown! They pull out all the stops for the parade and festivals. Everyone is involved and at the center is Bellaluna’s Bakeshop. A magical bakeshop passed down from mother to daughter for generations, now being run by Bree and her Grandmother.

Three stories set in the same town at the same time. One starring Bree herself, who is beginning to think the magic gene has skipped her, along with two other ladies who thought they knew what they wanted until a bit of magic snuck into their lives.

This was a charming collaboration from three very talented women and it works so well. It is one of those curl up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ and a sugar cookie and feel all the warm feels!

Well Done!

NetGalley/  August 27th, 2019 by Kensington

The Ingredients of Us by Jennifer Gold

The Ingredients of Us

There is no recipe for life.

Elle, owner, and baker extraordinaire is thinking seriously about opening a second bakery.

She has put her heart and soul into her business leaving her husband in second place and looking elsewhere for comfort. He cheats. She doesn’t understand why and turns to what she knows best. Baking.

All of Elles’ recipes bring memories. Some more comforting than others. Confused, and not sure what to do she has her own little fling and may lose her husband in the end.

The story is told in the present, the months and years before she knew about the fling and the time afterward. That was a bit confusing, but not much. The recipes were to die for in this book. Elle wasn’t a very likable character for me.

To be honest, if I were her husband, I would have left too. She had a one-track mind and it was only on one thing. Her bakery. The marriage didn’t come with a recipe and Elle has no idea what the ingredients of one are. But can she find them? Or will it be too little too late?

I anxiously await her next book! Seriously Elle may have been clueless about marriage, but the woman knows how to bake!

NetGalley/ July 1st, 2019 by Lake Union Publishing

 

 

 

HAPPY MAY DAY! HAVE A CUPCAKE!

The first day of May. Dancing around the May Pole, leaving secret bouquets in cone shaped paper doilies and one perfect Lemon Cupcake with a cup of Celestial Seasonings Lavender Lemon Tea. It’s sunshine in your mouth!

A new month full of possibilities and it’s my birthday in a few short days. I see new books in my future. While it’s been storming and raining and flooding here for a day or two, today is supposed to be good until later. I have half of my herb garden in the ground and today I’ll finish.

But first…I have finished all of my 35 books for May and turned in reviews so I am reading a June book by Sandie Jones, The First Mistake. St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books is the publisher and I think it is on NetGalley if you’d like to request it.

On Monday we do the Cheesecake Factory and this take on Avo Toast made with grilled flatbread was delicious, as was this Rooibus Chai. They have a nice selection of teas. And of course there is the dessert. One piece and 4 forks. Maybe two pieces.

Aunt Gayle got the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and I had the Lemon Meringue which had a layer of Lemon Curd and it was just a party in your mouth!

Wishing you all a Happy May Day! May it be filled with all the books you want and I hope we all make a dent in our TBR pile!

xx P

ALL-TIME FAVORITE SHEET CAKES & SLAB PIES by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

All-Time Favorite Sheet Cakes  Slab Pies: Easy to Make, Easy to Serve

Who isn’t a fan of sheet cakes? Simple to make and serve and everyone gets a good ratio of cake and frosting. I myself make a mean Rum Cake Sheetcake. As I was looking in my library I saw this and quickly grabbed it. Slab pies? What is this?

Well it’s genius! Instead of having to make 3 pies for Thanksgiving, I made one slab pie and it was a huge hit. I doubt if I will ever make pie any other way after discovering these scrumptious recipes!

Bacon-Peanut Butter Cake with Maple Buttercream. Imagine those flavors! And there is more! 100 recipes of sheetcake, slab pies, cheesecakes, coffee cakes and even gluten-free goodies!  The Blueberry Buckle that I made with wild Maine blueberries was to die for! Warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, heaven on a plate.

This is one I will definitely be buying for myself!

 

 

coffee and cake by Rick Rodgers

Coffee and Cake: Enjoy the Perfect Cup of Coffee--with Dozens of Delectable Recipes for Café Treats

Rick Rodgers is an expert at writing really good cookbooks! And this one is exactly what I was looking for. Focusing not only on the cake, but on making the perfect cup of coffee, no matter what type of machine you choose to use.

I prefer the French Press. It’s always reliable and gives me a smooth cup. He takes us through all of the different brewing methods and shares some excellent coffee drinks with us so by the time the cake portion comes around, you are ready with your cup of choice.

The cakes are the good old-fashioned kind our grandmothers made. Plus some European treats and two of my all time favorites, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple-Cranberry Ginger Loaf. Oh my goodness were those good. I plan on working my way through the entire book and pairing them with the appropriate coffee. Or tea. If you know me you’ll know it’s probably tea.

I can say honestly I love this little book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

naked cakes: simply stunning cakes by Hannah Miles

Confession Time….I am obsessed with naked cakes. Whoever thought of this idea must be a relative of mine. The reason I don’t eat a lot of cake is I’m not overly fond of the thick icing. It overpowers the taste of the cake and I love the aesthetic of a naked cake.

This one is probably my favorite. I have not found a single recipe I didn’t love. Especially the Earl Grey tea cakes. Oh my goodness those are good.

This book was a gift and has been well used for the short time I have had it. Nothing is as impressive as one of these naked cakes!

Give one a try and you won’t go back to a full frost!