Summer Reading, Having a Blast…

Since I’ve always been more of an indoor girl when the sun is beating down in the summer (I blame my pale skin and blatant dislike of temperatures higher than 90 degrees), books are a constant companion as I retreat to the air conditioning.

And whenever I’ve needed a break from reading and re-reading and making revisions to my novel Spaghetti in Exile, I’ve been enjoying a variety of fiction and non-fiction titles in the meantime.

I’m proud to … Continue reading

Limoncello: All in a Day’s Work

One of the best things about writing a novel where Italian food plays a starring role is all the delicious research of course.

Like a method actor getting “into character,” I was more than happy to sip and savor all that Italian cuisine has to offer. And one of the first things I couldn’t wait to try when Will and I eventually made our way to the boot-shaped paradise, the Amalfi Coast in particular, was the Italian answer to lemonade, … Continue reading

Cauliflower + Chickpeas = Yummy Tacos

Boring ol’ cauliflower is starring in a LOT of recipes these days, and I’ll confess that I’m not crazy about it as a pizza crust. Or “riced” in place of, well, rice, in Asian stir fries.

Some people also swear it makes for a convincing mashed potato alternative with a bit of butter and cream. I won’t knock it ’til I try it, but…

However, when it’s roasted with chili-forward spices, a drizzle of olive oil … Continue reading

So What’s Your Book About Anyway?

Ever since I typed those two little words back in late February, the ones that every novelist can’t wait for after months and months of hard work, namely THE END, the weeks following have been basically consumed with one task.

As I began reaching out to agents and various publishers, I answered some version of the following question: so what’s your book about?

Some agents want it summed up in one tidy sentence like a movie’s logline, while … Continue reading

Going Bananas for Banana Bread

Given we had exactly two unsightly bananas gracing the counter, I thought the only responsible thing to do was make banana bread.

And considering how good it smells in the house as we speak, I’m glad I followed my instincts. I’m thinking it’ll make for a pretty good breakfast tomorrow morning.

So I mostly followed Giada DeLaurentiis’s excellent banana bread recipe. I say almost because I made a couple of amendments. First off, … Continue reading

Homemade Three-Ingredient Jam

I’m about to let you in on a little secret…

Almost every morning, we eat toast for breakfast at the Banister house.

It’s quick, it’s tasty, and with a little peanut or almond butter, there’s a nice kick of protein with the whole grains. But my favorite part of the toast is probably the jam, strawberry jam in particular.

Whenever I’m traveling or visiting a farmer’s market, I often buy a jar or two to take back home. … Continue reading