reading list – what’s next?

This time of year always seems to be when I fall back into reading books, back to back, with no breaks in between. When the weather is changing, and the days are shorter, and our garden is done, I finally have time to sit and read at night again.

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately!

the art forger

The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro. I found this a few months ago, and the description sounded like an episode of White Collar, so I knew I would love it. Lots of twists in this one! It definitely didn’t turn out how I originally thought. I also loved all the imagery and references to the art pieces and techniques.

gone girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I know. I’m WAY behind everyone on this. I’ve heard about it all over the place, have seen the movie previews, and decided that I needed to go ahead and get it. I know I want to see the movie, and I do not want to see the movie before I’ve read the book.

I equally loved it AND hated it! Well, maybe not hated it. But I was completely sucked into the story, even though I was mad at just about everyone in the book, the entire time. That’s never happened before. Usually, you can find one character to stand behind, cheer for, but here? Nope. None of that. Or not for me, anyway. And the ending was definitely not what I was expecting, but I loved it! Totally made me mad, but still. Fantastic writing, too. I can’t wait to read some of her other books.

slammed

Slammed by Colleen Hoover. Okay -this isn’t even that new (she’s had at least 5 books since this one, I think?), but I read this (and the other two in the series) for the second time about a month ago, and I loved them just as much as the first time. I’ve never had much experience with slam poetry, but these books make me want to see it in person someday. Plus, the author is a big fan of our favorite band and quotes the songs for each chapter — bonus!

eat pray love

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Again, not new by any means, but probably one of my favorite books in the past few years. I’ve read this at least 4 times now? And I started reading it again on the way back from vacation. I also have her new book, but haven’t started it yet.

So – what are you reading? What should I add to my list? What have you loved lately?

grandma’s teacakes

Teacakes – do you know what they are?

grandma's teacakes

I had no idea what to expect when I first tested this recipe, but I didn’t think they’d be these tender little butter-cookies, perfect for having with a cup of tea or coffee.

I’ve found a bunch of different definitions of teacakes, from yeast-raised sweet rolls served toasted to actual loaf cakes to more biscuit-like baked goods.

grandma's teacakes

Whatever you want to call these – teacakes, butter cookies, biscuits – just make sure you eat them warm and spread on a little chocolate sauce for some extra indulgence.

You can find the recipe for these Grandma’s Teacakes over on the Dixie Crystals website, one of their vintage recipes that I tested and updated.

grandma's teacakes

spicy bbq chicken pizza

We’ve got a few things to celebrate today.

spicy bbq chicken pizza

1. It’s vacation time – finally!! We’ve been waiting all summer for this week, and after today, I’m pretty much going to be unplugged. There’s no wifi, no computers. Just beach time with the family, lots of eating, and lots of napping.

2. Fall is coming! I’m not completely ready for cold weather and this horrible winter everyone is talking about, but I am ready for some cooler weather, changing leaves, and sweaters.

3. It’s FOOTBALL SEASON. I’ve been watching as much college football as humanly possible, and that’s the one thing I’ll miss this week on vacation….is that weird? I love it. I can’t help it!

spicy bbq chicken pizza

To help celebrate both fall AND football season, we’re talking about this spicy bbq chicken pizza today.

Okay, so a few years ago, I was convinced that I had the perfect pizza dough recipe. And it’s good – really good. And you don’t really have to let it rise, which makes it nice for weeknights. But….there’s a new dough in the rotation, and I really think this is the best pizza dough ever.

s’moreo to end the summer

This is not a recipe.

s'mores night

Can you really have a recipe for s’mores?

It’s some kind of cracker with marshmallow and your favorite chocolate, all melted and completely messy. Easy!

But I couldn’t not share this. A few weeks ago, after the Lindt chocolate and wine pairing party, we went over to Susan and Jon’s house for dinner + s’mores, and I’m pretty sure I had the best s’more of my life.

I mean, I wouldn’t doubt it since it was with Susan – she (literally) wrote the book on s’mores.

s'more-o plate

The s’mores we had that night?

A new creation.

A S’more-o. S’mores made with oreos as the “cracker”. No graham crackers in sight.

And just to put it over the edge, we used Lindt sea salt chocolate. Holy moly. That sea salt chocolate will be in every s’more I have from now on.

in print. fall 2015.

I am so excited to finally tell you guys – I’M WRITING A COOKBOOK!

AND. It’s all using one of my very, very, very favorite things: COFFEE.

iced coffee

That’s right. Next fall, you’ll be able to get this cookbook, full of sweet + savory recipes using coffee.

I AM SO EXCITED!

And maybe, just maybe, a little bit over-caffeinated.

I think I better get used to that!

coffee white chocolate chip coffee cake

The majority of the recipes will be brand new, but I will be taking some of my all-time favorites and revamping them for the book. My coffee creamers will definitely be updated for the book, plus things like fun coffee cakes and baked goods, and all kinds of savory dishes that I can’t wait to work on.

coffee creamer

From the different varieties, flavors, and undertones to brewing the perfect cup (in all kinds of ways!), from hot coffee to iced coffee, from coffee cake to short ribs….this book is going to have it all.

I can’t wait to share it with you!

chimichurri white bean hummus

I love hummus. Do you love hummus?

I love that it’s an easy snack. I love that it can be a complete meal. I love that you can open a container and be ready for a party. I especially love that it’s not just great with celery and broccoli and chips – it’s super tasty spread on flatbread or with eggs or folded into grain salads.

chimichurri white bean hummus

My only problem with hummus is that I tend to get in ruts with the flavors. I keep buying or making the same ones, over and over, instead of adding new spices each time. So this is my new goal – to make all kinds of hummus, whatever I can think of, so I don’t get bored. Because life without hummus is just sad.

Starting with this one.

The first time I had chimichurri was on one of our Honduras trips. I had NO idea what it was. We went to dinner at a place called El Gordo’s (seriously), which basically serves all meat, plus some chimichurri and tortillas. Not a bad meal after you’ve been working outside all day. Especially when you cover your entire plate with the oil-and-herb sauce they brought out in little bowls, one at each person’s seat.