What I Read In November 2020.

It was a steady reading month for me! I read four books and listened to one audio book. I didn’t have any books that I absolutely 5-star LOVED, but I really liked all of them and that’s what counts! Right now, I have to read six more books in December to hit my yearly goal […]

The post What I Read In November 2020. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

what i read in november 2020

It was a steady reading month for me! I read four books and listened to one audio book. I didn’t have any books that I absolutely 5-star LOVED, but I really liked all of them and that’s what counts! Right now, I have to read six more books in December to hit my yearly goal of 75 books. Eeep! Not sure if I can do it, but I’m going to try…

While I’m keeping my reviews here on the blog, remember that you can follow the goodreads account with what I’m reading, so you can see what I read in real time.

You can also join the book club! We have the instagram and secret facebook group here.

You can find my reading lists here and previous What I Read posts here. I’d love to hear below what you read this month!

What I Read in November 2020

The Twelve Dates of Christmas – 4 stars

Oh this was just so cute! Have I mentioned how much I adore christmas books?! The story follows a girl who signs up to get set up on 12 blind dates through a matchmaking agency. It’s so cute! Also, there is much talk about food here too. I loved how this was like a hallmark movie in a book and I could just see it made into a movie. I might have slightly liked In a Holidaze more… but they are both so cute for the holidays!

Virgin River – 3.5 stars

Okay so I am so throughly obsessed with the Netflix series, and last year so many of you told me to read the books. So I did read this first one and I have to say, I love the show more! I might feel otherwise had I read the book first. I think I just love the chemistry of Mel and Jack on screen (obsessed with both actors!) and it didn’t translate as well to the books for me. I did LIKE the book, but I just didn’t love it like I do the show, you know?!

The Most Fun We Ever Had – 4.5 stars

I have wanted to read this book for over a YEAR! I’m so glad I finally did – this is one of our book club pics for the months of November and December. The story follows a family with four daughters and lots of drama. The book flashes back between the past and present – it kind of reminded me of Mrs Everything in the way that it’s just the story being told of the family. I did love the idea of the parents’ relationship and just how in love they were – like nothing could compare!

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey – 4.5 stars

Oh my gosh – another celeb memoir that I absolutely loved. Like the others I’ve read this year, I listened to this on audible and it was so good. I mean, Matthew McConaughey’s voice is dreamy alone, right?! It’s so recognizable and a staple of my generation – haha! Anyway – I loved his story and the way he told it. I loved the idea of the red, green and yellow lights here too. It’s so good and I HIGHLY recommend listening to it! Only reason I couldn’t give it a 5 is because Mariah Carey’s set such a high bar back in September!

The Guest List – 3.5 stars

I’ve wanted to read this since the summer – my mom finally read it for her book club a month or so ago and that pushed me over the edge. The story follows the gathering of a wedding (oh my, it made me insane at times because of all the covid thoughts – LOL!) and a murder. It is twisty and suspenseful, but man the beginning was really slow for me. I did like the twist (and was totally wrong with what I thought!)- but I had a hard time getting into it – it may have just been the season we’re in?! But once I did, about halfway through, I enjoyed it.

What did you read this month?

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Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale is comforting and nutrient-dense, thanks to the butternut squash, lentils, kale, and leeks. Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale This vegetarian butternut squash lentil soup is like a bowl of comfort – the perfect way to warm up on a cold night. This colorful soup, made with healthy ingredients, […]

The post Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale is comforting and nutrient-dense, thanks to the butternut squash, lentils, kale, and leeks.

Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale
Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

This vegetarian butternut squash lentil soup is like a bowl of comfort – the perfect way to warm up on a cold night. This colorful soup, made with healthy ingredients, tastes delicious. The cooked leeks give complexity to the body of the soup. For even more lentil soup recipes, try my Lebanese Lentil Soup, Red Lentil Soup with Spinach, and Instant Pot Chicken and Lentil Soup.

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The post Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Simple Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

This is the recipe I use anytime I want perfect sugar cookies. Great flavor, and the dough is a dream to work with.

Continue reading Simple Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies on 101 Cookbooks

This is the recipe I use anytime I want perfect sugar cookies. They bake up beautifully with nice structure and a hint of snap when you break them in two. Especially true if you can wait that extra minute or two before taking them from the oven. So they have time to shift from just-plain-baked to golden, crisp, and toasted. The dough is an absolute dream to work with. And the flavor? They have just the right amount of salt to counter the sweet. Simple Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies
This recipe makes enough dough to yield plenty of cookies, with dough left over to freeze. I typically run out of energy before I run out of dough. I thought I’d posted this recipe long ago(!), but a search through the archives proved me wrong! I’m also including the icing I like.

Icing

As far as icing goes, I have a lot of thoughts. ? I have a base recipe I use and then tweak it from there. Sometimes, I like my icing somewhat translucent, like a wash – so I add more water. Other times, I want it more opaque, so I leave it as written (below). I always like it to be a bit matte, and not hyper-glossy, so that’s what you’ll get here. Also, have fun with natural colors. You could do tiny hot-pink dots on the trees pictured with some raspberry powder plus a bit of the icing added to it. I like saffron for yellow, matcha for green, etc. Play around!

Simple Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Pro-tip! Keep your eyes peeled at yard sales, flea markets, and the like for special cookie cutters – that’s where you’ll find the gems. I have a bin of favorites that I can go to each time I make cookies.

Continue reading Simple Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies on 101 Cookbooks

We Found the Best Instant Pot Cookbook

This review is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putti…

This review is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting them through a series of rigorous reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you. And so, let’s hand it off to our community members Sarah, Robin, and Rosa. Here are their reviews of your five favorite Instant Pot books—and their nail-biting verdict on which one reigned supreme.


We came about our love for the Instant Pot in different ways. Sarah wanted to know if the Instant Pot was everything it was hyped up to be, and if it could save valuable cooking time between busy work shifts. Rosa bought the Instant Pot because a certain Instant Pot cookbook made her finally say, “yes!” Robin, like many of you, wanted the ability to cook time-intensive meals faster without sacrificing the integrity of the dishes, and to shave hours off meal prep.

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How to Safely Mail Treats So They Arrive Fresh & Crumble-Free

Every year, at the start of December, my kitchen is transformed into a cookie making factory. I load up on butter, chocolate chips, nuts, vanilla extract, and a permanent fixture on the counter because I’m making dozens of batches each day. I do this b…

Every year, at the start of December, my kitchen is transformed into a cookie making factory. I load up on butter, chocolate chips, nuts, vanilla extract, and a permanent fixture on the counter because I’m making dozens of batches each day. I do this because I’m obsessed with cookies, and two, I make up tins for pretty much everyone I know. Teachers, friends, acquaintances, and even the mail and garbage man get a big ol’ tin of cookies as a way to tell them all how much they mean to me. It makes the end of the year pretty darn sweet, and I can’t imagine not doing it.

This year, I don’t have friends dropping by, I won’t be heading to the usual round of holiday parties, and I’m not really even meeting up for a friendly coffee. Hence, the opportunities to dole out my confections are limited. But that’s not stopping me. This year, I’m shipping far and wide so that no matter what, it still feels like the holidays. So, I stopped by my local post office to get the ins and outs of safely and effectively shipping baked goods because no one likes the way a cookie crumbles.

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Far From the Tree: Apple-Pear Cocktail

  The other day I was thinking of cocktails that were fall and winter-friendly. Calvados (apple brandy) of course is always in season, but I also had a bottle of spiced pear liqueur from St. George Spirits in California on hand that has a lovely pear flavor mingled with a bouquet of spices, that I’ve been meaning to incorporate into a cocktail. I had a…

 

The other day I was thinking of cocktails that were fall and winter-friendly. Calvados (apple brandy) of course is always in season, but I also had a bottle of spiced pear liqueur from St. George Spirits in California on hand that has a lovely pear flavor mingled with a bouquet of spices, that I’ve been meaning to incorporate into a cocktail.

I had a hunch that it would be well-paired with French apple brandy, and that hunch proved correct in this Far From the Tree cocktail, a nod to the expression that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” as the apple brandy – and the sparkling apple cider – fell into my kitchen, which are quite far from any trees. But happily, they all made it into my glass.

(And I’m hoping that all made sense. I’ve been trying to translate some American expressions for my French partner, especially “They drank the Kool-Aid,” which I’ve decided just isn’t translatable.)

Continue Reading Far From the Tree: Apple-Pear Cocktail...

2020 Home Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide: For the Wine Drinker

A gift guide for wine lovers! From wine coolers to wine glasses and a wine pump that actually works, this is a go-to list of best gifts for those who enjoy their wine. Continue reading “2020 Home Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide: For the Win…

A gift guide for wine lovers! From wine coolers to wine glasses and a wine pump that actually works, this is a go-to list of best gifts for those who enjoy their wine.

Continue reading "2020 Home Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide: For the Wine Drinker" »

No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cracked Sugar Topping

Sweet, creamy no-bake vanilla cheesecake with a cookie crust and topped with cracked sugar topping is reminiscent of creme brulee, but without any baking required! No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cracked Sugar Topping is a dessert you’ll want to make throughout this holiday season. This post is sponsored by Karo® Corn Syrup. Thank you for continuing […]

The post No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cracked Sugar Topping appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

        

Sweet, creamy no-bake vanilla cheesecake with a cookie crust and topped with cracked sugar topping is reminiscent of creme brulee, but without any baking required! No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cracked Sugar Topping is a dessert you’ll want to make throughout this holiday season.

No-bake cheesecake bar with cracked sugar topping on a white plate with a bottle of corn syrup in the background

This post is sponsored by Karo® Corn Syrup. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make My Baking Addiction possible.

Maybe you’ve noticed by now…I have a little obsession with cheesecake recipes

My family has noticed this about me as well. Even long before I was sharing recipes with you on this site, I was bringing some sort of cheesecake to nearly every family get-together. It didn’t take long for my cheesecakes to become something of a family tradition.

In fact, I think by now my family asks me to bring dessert because they’re craving cheesecake. From classic Vanilla Cheesecake to Key Lime Cheesecake and everything in-between, they know I’m going to have a cheesecake recipe for every season of the year.

So I couldn’t disappoint everyone by not having a new cheesecake recipe to share this holiday season! 

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The post No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cracked Sugar Topping appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

        

Why (& How) I’m Stretching the Holiday Season This Year

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of sustainable living and home design through a mother’s eyes.

I have a confession: In years past, my family’s holiday celebra…

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of sustainable living and home design through a mother’s eyes.


I have a confession: In years past, my family’s holiday celebrations often started with Christmas Eve and ended with Christmas Day. In the rush of juggling work, parenting, and housekeeping, I never had the time to make the holiday spirit last all week, leave alone all month (even present-wrapping was left for the eleventh hour, after everyone had gone to bed). There was a lot more room for joy on my holiday agenda.

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Skillet Cranberry and Apple Cake

This easy skillet cake with cranberries and apples highlights some of my favorite fall flavors – in a lightly spiced batter.

This easy skillet cake with cranberries and apples highlights some of my favorite fall flavors – in a lightly spiced batter.

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 Fall and winter are such cozy seasons for baking that I find myself with something in the oven at least a few times a week. This skillet cake is a wonderfully versatile recipe that you can really serve any time of day.

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This post is sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron. Their new bakeware line is gorgeous, sturdy, super versatile (hello, stove to oven to table!) and sure to become some of your favorites. I’ve used Lodge Cast Iron for years in my kitchen and I was very excited to learn about their new line of bakeware including this Baker’s Skillet which is perfect for everything from a savory quiche to a simple and comforting cake like this one. 


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Have a slice with tea or coffee in the afternoon, but make sure to save a bit for breakfast the next day too. Or, you can dress it up with a little bit of confectioner’s sugar and whipped crème fraiche for a gorgeous, low lift dessert.

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 The addition of rye flour here makes the cake exceptionally tender and I love the addition of tart cranberries for both color and a little pop of bright flavor that offsets the sweet and spice. If you don’t keep rye flour you can substitute and equal amount of all purpose or whole wheat flour, and feel free to sub pears for the apples too. 

Skillet Rye Cranberry Apple Cake

Makes one 9 or 10-inch cake

 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup (160g) crème fraiche

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup (130g) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (65g) light rye flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apple, from 1 large apple

3/4 cup (75g) fresh or frozen cranberries

4 teaspoons crunchy sugar like turbinado 

Confectioners sugar and whipped crème fraiche to serve, if desired

1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the Lodge Bakers’s Skillet or 9-inch cake pan

2. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs until pale and foamy, about 1 minute. Add the melted butter, crème fraiche, and spices. Whisk until smooth and emulsified. 

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until almost combined. 

4. Switch to a rubber spatula and add the cranberries and apples. Fold to combine making sure no streaks of flour remain.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the sugar over the top. 

5. Bake until puffed and golden, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Serve warm or room temperature with a dusting of confectioners sugar and whipped crème fraiche if desired.

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