Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good Reads – and Good Eats

I hope to kick off a flurry of updates on some of the good reads that have recently released to the market. I know I’m way behind.

I want to gift someone with these good books, so I’ll do a drawing on Monday the 21st for a box of one each of the books I post about (coming soon). To be entered, please do two things for me:
1)Post on your Facebook, twitter, or blog a note about one of the current Barbour fiction releases that you plan to read.

2)Then post in the comments that you did #1 along with a recipe or a link to a recipe that makes a quick and tasty summer treat.
I’ll start the recipes off with this one. I found it in recipes Colleen Coble shared with me back in February when I was behaving and eating well. LOL It is unique combination and great for summer when the strawberries and cucumbers are in season.
Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

1 cup sliced strawberries, divided
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dash of salt
Dash of cayenne (optional)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Stevia, to taste (or you can sweeten a bit with sugar or sweetener of your choice)
1 whole cucumber, sliced

Combine all but the cucumber and a half cup of strawberries in food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour over sliced cucumber and strawberries. Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes.


Carrie Turansky said...

Wow, this recipe sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

I will post a facebook message about Vickie's Texas Boarding House Brides Series. I enjoyed reading that in our critique group, and I think a lot of readers will be excited to know Vickie is writing trade length novels.

Here is a recipe I like to make for lunch when I have leftover cooked chicken:

Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken
I cup chopped celery
1 cup green or red seedless grapes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
I apple chopped
I Tbs. lemon juice
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
stevia to taste

Place the chicken, fruit and celery in a bowl. Mix the other ingredients and pour over the top. Toss and serve. I have used strawberries and blueberries in this too, and that was good. Enjoy!

Clari Dees said...

I've posted on my Facebook page about how much I enjoy reading Mary Connealy. I'm "pushing" her books where I work (public library), and to my friends via Facebook. I picked up Wildflower Bride as soon as it came out, read it, shared it with my brother who loves her books too, and am eagerly awaiting Doctor in Petticoats!

I also enjoy Kaye Dacus and MaryLu Tyndall and link to their upcoming or just released books on my Facebook!

Here's a favorite cool and light desert just right for hot summer days:


2/3 c. boiling water
1 pkg. Jello (4 serving size)
1/2 c. water cold (ice cubes)
1-8 oz. Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust (6 oz)

Stir boiling water with Jello until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup cold water or ice cubes, then stir in Cool Whip until smooth. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Spoon on crust and wait 4 hours, or overnight until until firm.

You can use any flavor of Jello and even add pieces of fresh fruit to the Jello mixture to jazz it up. Easy and tastes great!

Erica Vetsch said...

What a fun idea!

I posted about Mary Connealy's Wildflower Bride on my FB and about all the books on Twitter.

My summer recipe:

Orange Julius

3 oz frozen orange juice (or any juice of your choice. My family likes the strawberry-pineapple-banana for this recipe)

1/2 c milk

1/2 c water

1/4 c sugar (I use Splenda - a little less than a 1/4 cup because Splenda is so sweet)

1/2 tsp vanilla

5-6 ice cubes

Mix in a blender and serve.

Cara Putman said...

Hmmm. What a great new series of releases. I twittered/facebooked on Annalisse's new release. A recipe? You assume I actually cook in the summertime!

A favorite in our house are cucumber sandwiches. Easy to make with a sandwich bun or those wonderful new thin bagels for sandwiches. Layer chive cream cheese. Then add as many cucumbers as you like.

For a fun twist, add avocado and bacon. A tomato, too.

It just tastes like summertime to me.

Emily Joyner said...

I loved Annalisa Daughety's Love is Monumental! I'm already looking forward to Love is Grand. You can read my review of Love is Monumental at, and see comments on Twitter (@joyneremily)!

I recently stumbled upon a great recipe site with yummy, Weight Watchers friendly recipes! I'm excited to try the low-fat no-bake strawberry cheesecake!

Find the recipe on

Warren's said...

Wow, all of the latest book reviews look like great reads. I would love to read Nursing a Grudge and Surrender the Heart. They look very interesting and from a different angle.I posted it on our facebook page.
My summer recipes tend to not involve the oven. I like to chop up strawberries and freeze them to put in a cool glass of lemonade.
Summer looks to be a great time to pick up a new book to read.
Thank you so much for the upcoming books to look forward to.
T. Warren

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I tweeted about which books I plan to read here:

Here's my own recipe for a quick peach smoothie to cool off with!

Small can of peaches in syrup
1 8oz. cup of peach flavored yogurt
4 Tb sugar
2 c. ice cubes

Place the ice cubes in a blender. Pour in the yogurt. Add the sugar. Add the peaches. You may or may not want to add the syrup. I only use some because too much of the syrup makes it runny. Blend until smooth, serve immediately!


XOXO~ Renee

Mark said...

I posted on Twitter that I am going to read Nightshade by Ronie Kendig.

And even though I'm a guy, I can post a recipe :-)

Refrigerated Strawberry Shortcake

1 pound cake (bought or made)
2 strawberry jello mixes
1 instant vanilla pudding mix
1-2 quarts of strawberries - we used close to 2
1 8 oz whipped topping

Cube the pound cake and put into bowl/dish
Mix the 2 strawberry jello mixes with 2 cups of hot water
Stir in cut/sliced strawberries into the jello
Pour onto the cake, press down
Refrigerate for an hour
Mix up the pudding until thickened some, pour onto cake
Add whipped topping & garnish with stawberries if so desired

We usually use sugar free jello and pudding, and it tastes great, and isn't as bad for you :-)

Vickie McDonough said...

I posted a message about Mary Lu Tyndall's new book, Surrender My Heart. I just love her books!! They are so exciting, have awesome heroes and heroines, and a strong faith message. I posted this on my Facebook page today.

I'm pasting in a recipe for something I call Pink Stuff. My aunt always had it whenever we ate at her house when I was a kid. This recipe was also included in my novella that in the Kiss the (Cook) Bride collection. Note: If you want to try this recipe, please be sure to read the instructions because it contains addition items you'll need to have on hand.

1 small pkg. strawberry Jello
3/4 cup boiling water
Scant 1/2 cup sugar

Mix well. Cool a little.


1 small can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Scant 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Fold in 3/4th of a small or medium container of Cool Whip.(Leave final 1/4th to smooth over the top when done)

Line an oblong cake pan with vanilla wafers. Top with a layer of sliced bananas. (You can add as many as you like – about 3 - 4 medium bananas) Spoon on Jello mixture and even out across the top. Spread on remaining Cool Whip to make top pretty.

Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. Serves 12 – 16 people.

Note: When getting supplies for this recipe, please note the Cool Whip, bananas, and vanilla wafers listed in the body of the recipe.

And thanks, Carrie, for the "shout out" about The Anonymous Bride!

hspruitt said...

Just posted to my twitter that I recently finished reading "Simple Secrets" by Nancy Mehl and published by Barbour. It was a great read!

My summer recipe is a quick, easy and refreshing treat that we just started at my house in the last couple of weeks. You take cherry limeade, raspberry lemonade or any fruity beverage of your choice and pour half a glass full. Then you add half a glass of a carbonated beverage such as Sprite or 7Up and then mix the two in the glass. It so refreshing and we are thoroughly enjoying this summer treat!!

Becky said...

Woot! We have a winner!

Thanks for sharing the recipes. I'm suddenly craving a chilled smoothie. LOL