Category: Bread Making

Book Review | “Tea & Crumples” by Summer Kinard

Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2016 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: Whilst participating in #LitChat last Summer [2015] about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish, I found two publishers in attendance. Light Messages Publishing happily corresponded with me a bit after the chat concluded. Whilst in communication with their publicity department, I was encouraged to look through their beautifully lovely catalogue and see if one of their upcoming releases might suit my bookish curiosities. This selection was suggested to me due to my appreciation for tea: “Tea & Crumples” by Summer Kinard, who had attended the chat. If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived.

This marks my second review for Light Messages Publishing, as I began reviewing for them with my review of “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” of which I loved! I received a complimentary copy of “Tea & Crumples” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I applaud Light Messages as an Inspiring Publisher of Realistic Stories:

Of the two stories I picked to read first by Light Messages, it was Tea & Crumples I nearly felt I might not have the strength to read as I knew it hit on a harder story arc than I generally allow myself to read. I am mindful of my emotional sensitivities as much as other ‘triggers’ in fiction that are outside of what I can tolerate to read (most of which are listed on my Review Policy; but a few surprises still can happen despite my self-control to recognise what will affect me) – however, with this story, I felt a connection to the novel’s heart as I read about it’s premise. It’s hard to describe – sometimes I feel like I’m guided by grace and the faith I lean on everyday – my entire blog life (and my activities in Twitter) have been a walk of faith in other words.

I get certain intuitive glimpses about stories – sometimes it’s a miss on my judgment calls, but more times than naught when I feel especially keen on a story such as this one, I decide to trust that instinctive nudge to read a story! I should have realised Light Messages would challenge my heart in a good way rather than an adverse one – as despite my trepidation, as soon as I settled into the narrative and the graceful textured style Kinard’s writings spilt out into the novel – I found myself comfortably relaxed inside where Tea & Crumples would take me!

This was quite similar to how I felt wrapped up inside The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, as I could not take my eyes off the text nor fully yield to pull myself out of the world Örnbratt created! The writers being published at Light Messages have an intuitive way of alighting their readers inside a fully conceptionalised story with strong inspirational messages and lives backlit by faith, love and hope. It’s a pleasure for a lifelong reader of INSPY fiction to discover but moreso than that, I applaud the strength of the stories they are publishing as a whole.

My third author I’ll be reading is Deborah Hining – I have a feeling she’s going to leave an equally strong impression on me, as all three authors combined have a bit of a common threading between them, if you think on it a bit! Laughs. I am simply drawn into lives of strong women who have an obstacle in life or faith affirming moment arising out of their ordinary hours to embrace. I love finding INSPY stories who have a textural element of insight of real-life inside them – where they broach inside what I refer to as INSPY Realistic Fiction as they are such hearty composites of our modern lives or the historical past; depending on the story.

I also like writers who stitch together the faith of their characters through their internal thoughts and show how faith is a cornerstone of their lives; as natural as breathing and as readily important! Thus far, I am happily soaking inside the works by Light Messages authors – finding the publisher truly understands what modern INSPY readers are seeking and how blessed we are the authors are writing such grounded stories of strength and perseverance!

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Book Review | “Tea & Crumples” by Summer KinardTea & Crumples
Subtitle: faith, tea, love : a novel
by Summer Kinard
Source: Direct from Publisher

“Tea is how I love people.”

Welcome to Tea & Crumples where tea brewed strong with grace has the power to bring people together. The click of chess pieces and susurrus of fine papers mingle with aromas of warm pastries, tea,
and the caramel of hospitality. Through it all, the steady love of God pours out in daily rituals.

Meet Sienna, whose spiritual gifts are the heart of the shop. Walk with her as she struggles to believe in miracles even while she walks in the shadow of death under the weight of temptation.

Tea makes Sienna remember. She remembers pain in order to hold fast the joy of her lost daughter and happiness gone in order to hold fast to Peter’s love. Tea is there with Sienna when every bit of her has
been poured out. So are her friends. They keep vigil when all that’s left is faith, tea, and love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-123-7

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on 2nd November, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 314

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

Author Page @ Light Messages Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #TeaAndCrumples

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

About Summer Kinard

Summer Kinard

Summer Kinard is the mother of five, a tea lover, soprano, and author of inspiring novels and curricula for active learners.

She writes about faithful people overcoming trials with the help of tea, friendships, and love. Summer’s first novel, Can’t Buy Me Love, was a USA TODAY Happy Ever After pick for Women’s Fiction. Her paranormal Orthodox Christian romance, The Salvation of Jeffrey Lapin, has received glowing reviews from readers.

Summer writes about faith, tea, and love in journeys of healing. Follow her family’s journey with tea at TeaAndCrumples.com. You will find up to date posts on her writing life at her site: WritingLikeAMother.com, or follow her on Instagram for up to the moment updates. All links are below.

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Balancing Life Amidst Chaos:

Although I have taken up java since I turnt twenty-nine (soon to be eight years past), there is something quite authentic about how ‘tea’ can calm your ever last nerve; the aromatherapy notwithstanding; when you brew a cuppa tea – it’s almost as if the act itself has a calming effect long before the brew sets the leaves into the water. I could readily see why Kinard showed how tea fused serenity into Sienna’s life and how the art of tea-drinking was a ritual she appreciated with her husband Peter. Tea has this way of encompassing more of your life than it detracts. I even know java won’t last as long as tea in my drinking habits, except for a return to the ‘green bean’ of Yirgacheffe (the one brew of java that tastes like tea!)!

If tea can help purport balance into one’s life, it’s healthy attributes for your wellness is equally as keen! Sienna knows tea is only one component, she leans hard on her faith even during the hours where her mental focus is off-kilter; she prays as readily as I used to find meditative bliss in the motions of Tai Chi Chaun! Sometimes your prayers change through how you approach a prayerfulness in your life’s activities; ebbing in and out of you as you find new ways to sort through your thoughts and become mindful of your spirit’s rhythm. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #LitChat, 21st Century, African-American Literature, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Found me On Twitter, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Bread Making, Cancer Scare, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Foodie Fiction, Gluten-Free Foods, Healthy Baking, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Judaism in Fiction, Judiasm, Life Shift, Light Messages Publishing, Loss of an unbourne child, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Nurses & Hospital Life, Parapsychological Gifts, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Using Natural Sweeteners, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions, Writing Style & Voice

Author Guest Post | “A Baker’s Guide to Life” by Judith Ryan Hendricks whilst on tour for “Baker’s Blues”.

Posted Tuesday, 4 August, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I hadn’t had the proper pleasure of finding Ms Hendricks prior to this blog tour, wherein I was most delighted I could participate by offering to host the author via a guest author feature! I am quite drawn into Foodie Fiction, especially novels that involve bakers or bakeries, as I previously devoured How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’ Neal.

Ever since that first encounter with a baker who was experiencing a lift shift whilst embarking on a journey towards centering themselves into a new awareness of how to live a life they truly could treasure and cherish, set a new standard of foodie novels I wanted to seek out and read quite readily! It’s been a bit of a hit/miss experience for me, as I’ve found a few motion pictures along the way that tickled my palette of interest even before I realised that a few of them had been based on books! (i.e. Julie & Julia) Although, The School of Essential Ingredients is one novel I cannot wait to continue reading as the poetic prose of the writer tickled my readerly heart with absolute joy!

As I set to mind what I wanted to ask Ms Hendricks, I tried to envision myself nearly at the tip-stone edge of picking up Bread Alone ahead of reading Baker’s Blues; attempting to think about what I might find curious about this third in the series whilst at the precipice of the first!

Proposed Topic: I love the introspective thread of narrative knitted inside Wyn’s character journey as she is turning inward in order to understand how all the changes in her outer world are not only affecting the people she loves but how their impacting her spirit. What was the impetus to use bread as a metaphor for the human condition and the resolve to effectively recognise as heart-wrenching as life can become there is still time left to resolve the past and present whilst keeping hope alive for the future? Baking felt to me in this one instance to be the centering balance a ballet dancer feels each time they go back to the bar. Balance is not always easy to repair when adversity collides into our ordinary hours.

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Book Synopsis | No.3 of the Bread Alone Series: Baker’s Blues

In Wyn Morrison’s world a 5 AM phone call usually means problems at her bakeryBaker's Blues by Judith Ryan Hendricks—equipment trouble or a first shift employee calling in sick—annoying but mundane, fixable. But the news she receives on a warm July morning is anything but mundane. Or fixable.

Mac, her ex-husband, is dead.

Ineligible for widowhood, Wyn is nonetheless shaken to her core as she discovers that the fact of divorce offers no immunity from grief. Friends and family are bewildered by her spiral into sadness, Mac’s daughter Skye blames her for his death.

For the last several years Wyn has been more businesswoman than baker, leaving the actual bread making to others. Now, as she takes up her place in the bread rotation once more, she will sift through her memories, coming to terms with Mac and his demons, with Skye’s anger, and with Alex, who was once more than a friend. Soon she will re-learn the lessons of bread that she first discovered at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle…bread rises, pain fades, the heart heals, and the future waits.

No.1 Bread Alone (Book Synopsis)

No.2 The Baker’s Apprentice (Book Synopsis)

Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 4 August, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Bread Making, Cookery, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, TLC Book Tours

Blog Book Tour |”Gluten-Free on a Budget” by Chandice Probst & Tana Besendorfer #gfree for the budget conscience home cook who attempts to eat as healthy as they can!

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Cookery Delights | Savoury & Ambrosial | Cookbook reviews by the Bookish Foodie Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Monstruo Estudio.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Gluten-Free on a Budget” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

My review on behalf of this cookbook from Front Table Books has me quite excited because I am always on the look-out for how to make ‘Gluten-Free’ foods & sweets without breaking the budget! It was quite ironic that the author of the book added ‘budget’ into the title because I rarely say ‘breaking the bank’ and/or ‘breaking the wallet’, as I tend to talk in generalities that I think relate to everyone; so being we all have a food budget, the word felt more akin to what is relatable to me! I have some wicked awesome GF ingredients I want to use and I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to try one or two of the recipes inside! This marks my third *gf!* cookbook to review! Too exciting for words!

as shared on Jorie’s Box of Joy, No. 4

Although I was also hoping to find wicked good ‘staple recipes’ that you could sort out ahead of time, whilst having a bevy of ‘go to choices’ that could compliment any dish and/or meal you were planning to make as these are the general bits inside cooking that tend to give you the most heartache trying to sort out whilst ‘in-progress’ with a current meal! Biscuits, cookies, small cakes, or even accompaniments to a main dish are generally the tricky bits to sort out whilst you are going from cookbook to cookbook or in a last ditch effort hopping on the internet to run a ‘search’ for ‘whichever recipe you need’ at that hour it’s warranted to be found!

One thing I love about the cookbooks I’ve been discovering through Front Table Books is that they are each a piece of the overall meal planning puzzle! Let me explain after I give you an introduction to what you can find inside the book:

Blog Book Tour |”Gluten-Free on a Budget” by Chandice Probst & Tana Besendorfer #gfree for the budget conscience home cook who attempts to eat as healthy as they can!Gluten-Free on a Budget
by Chandice Probst
Source: Direct from Publisher

Eat Gluten-Free without Going Broke!

Keep those pennies in your pockets - your gluten-free lifestyle doesn't have to cost a fortune. Now you can enjoy all your family's favourite foods while cutting the gluten and the cost!

Try all the delicious recipes, like . . .

Crepes with Sweet Cream and Strawberries

Chicken Pot Pies

Mini Banana Breads

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake

From breakfast to dinner and dessert, this is a full-course cookbook on a one-course budget. And with food that's so delicious and so good for you and your bank account, this is one cookbook you'll want to use for every meal!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Baking, Cookery, Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking


Published by Front Table Books

on 13th January, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

Read More

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Posted Friday, 6 February, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Bread Making, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Cookbook, Cookery, Dairy-Free Foods, Debut Author, Gluten-Free Foods, Healthy Baking, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features, The Bookish Foodie

Blog Book Tour | “Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast (Recipes for Whole Grain Health)” by Melissa Richardson #Foodie #Baking An impressive guide to succeeding at homemade (natural yeast) baking projects!

Posted Sunday, 14 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast : Recipes for Whole Grain Health 

by Melissa Richardson

Published By: Front Table Books (@FrontTableBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TheBreadGeek, #Baking, #naturalyeast & #Bread

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

My inspiration to read and grow in my knowledge about yeast is twofold: I developed a fascinating addiction to bread from a very young age (I take after my Mum!) combining with the stories of my Uncle who was taught how to knead bread in order to reduce his stress levels (therein a curiosity to make homemade bread germinated in my mind) and through my research (in step with my Mum’s) into healthy living, eating, and the way in which foods affect us on a physiological level (and beyond) I have known for awhile there is a staunch different between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ yeast.

I wasn’t as sure if I had the resources I need to take on this particular project of mine, but I wanted to gain knowledge, as knowledge is the first step towards doing anything in our lives; including bettering ourselves in the kitchen! Therefore what surprised me (as you will soon see revealed) wasn’t a lack of an ingredient or a repertoire of baking items to use, no rather it was a more precise ‘issue’ I have no control over and thus, had to abandon my idea of creating my own natural yeast at this point in time. Meanwhile, the joy I had when I saw this book go on tour remains because I truly believe one way to change our lives is to effectively find better ways to nourish ourselves and broker an independence off what is quick and fast, for something that is more dynamically beneficial to our bodies, minds, and spirits.

As foresaid on my previous two blog tours for Front Table Books, my own journey towards living a healthier lifestyle is in a very unique stage at the moment — you can read my thoughts on where I am on either my review of Gluten-Free Made Easy OR The Secrets of Gluten-Free Baking wherein I speak openly and honestly about my quest for a healthier future. Part of my long-term goals are to provide more photo journals on my blog for each Front Table cookbook I am receiving from Cedar Fort. You will find my first foray into merging my joy of photography with my foodie heart’s quest to being a more well-rounded cook on my showcase for Gluten-Free Made Easy; if you are on Twitter you can easily favour or re-tweet the specific points of that post to your followers. It was the first time I hosted a live-as-you-bake sequence of photo journals on Twitter.

Blog Book Tour | “Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast (Recipes for Whole Grain Health)” by Melissa Richardson #Foodie #Baking An impressive guide to succeeding at homemade (natural yeast) baking projects!Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast
Subtitle: Recipes for Whole Grain Health
by Melissa Richardson
Source: Direct from Publisher

With allergies to commercial yeast on the rise, natural yeast is the easy and healthy solution to baking all the foods you love. Brush up on your techniques with Melissa Richardson’s newest book, Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast, with mouthwatering recipes like Soft Pretzel Rolls, Honey Whole Wheat Bread, and Lemon Chiffon Cake. Say goodbye to commercial yeast, and hello to a healthier body!

Read the Book Synopsis for The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast, the companion to this release and the first of the series. I decided to name the series myself as it felt as though it was implied but I am unsure if there will be more in sequence past these two books thus released.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Baking, Baking with Natural Yeast, Cookery


Published by Front Table Books

on 31st September, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 200

About Melissa Richardson

Melissa Richardson is a mother of three who is addicted to researching, studying, and baking bread. As a college student Melissa taught herself to bake as a way to pinch pennies from the food budget and unleashed a passion that transformed her into The Bread Geek she is today. At any given time of day, flour can be found somewhere on her shoes, clothes, hands, or children. When not baking or writing, she enjoys collecting hobbies and spending time outdoors with her family.

Be sure to check out "The Bread Geek" on YouTube!

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Sunday, 14 December, 2014 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bread Making, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Cookbook, Cookery, Indie Author, Locavore, Non-Fiction, Social Change, Sustainability Practices inside the Publishing Industry, The Bookish Foodie, Vignettes of Real Life

+Blog Book Tour+ “Gluten-Free Made Easy” by Christi Silbaugh & Michele Vilseck

Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Published by: Front Table Books (@FrontTableBooks)

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Official Author Websites:

Christi Silbaugh: Site | @MomWhatsForDinn | Facebook | YouTube

Converse via: #GlutenFreeMadeEasy, #gfree & #glutenfree

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Gluten-Free Made Easy” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I originally shared this on yesterday’s tour stop but I felt I should leave this on this tour stop because it still applies as I selected both tours at the same time to host; thereby everything I mentioned yesterday still directly inspired me to read this cookbook too!

I have been embarking on a Quest for living healthier and more vibrantly than I had been before I stumbled across a few culinary disciplines: Macrobiotics, Veganism, Vegetarian, Whole Foods, and Gluten-Free living. I also came across an appreciation for raw juicing as the benefits of drinking vegetable juice as it was intended to be consumed has a strong impact on my well being moreso than always attempting to eat the number of vegetables we all need to have on a regular basis. At my heart of hearts, I am a vegan vegetarian who accidentally became gluten-free! In reality, I am living an omnivore life whilst finding myself Gluten-Sensitive. Circumstances affect all of us from one point in our lives to the next, and although I spent five years eating through the seasons whilst purchasing farm to farmer’s market fresh fruit and veg (all organic or non-chemical grown); last September I had to put that part of my life on hold and switch back.

When I saw this particular cookbook come up for tour at Cedar Fort, I was celebrating the joy of the find because one area of cookery I am always delighted by is *baking!* I daresay, I was a budding baker long before I became a budding chef! Laughs. In truth, I was a lot like Julia Child — I came into my own with the ways of food and the kitchen a bit late in life (my late twenties) which grew out of my passion for eating. I love the experiences food can create and the palette of choice due to different cultural styles of cooking and the different ingredients that can be combined to create a bit of bliss inside of a bite! I rarely meet an herb or a spice that I do not passionately become addicted too (one reason the film “The Mistress of Spices” is amongst my favourites!) and I am forever growing in appreciation for Ancient Grains & Fibers. My favourite resource for picking up these beautiful lovelies to cook with and grow in appreciation for tastes unlike any I grew up knowing so well is Bob’s Red Mill.

Sorting out how to narrow down the choices within the pages of Gluten-Free Made Easy, was not as easy as falling in love with the variety of choice! One thing I had forgotten to mention yesterday on my review of The Secrets of Gluten-Free Baking is that particular cookbook requires a more flexible budget whereas Gluten-Free Made Easy works well for individuals and families on a more tight budget. Also, as I am only gluten-sensitive I paired an element with one of my recipes that someone who has Celiac Disease could not eat themselves; this is simply my journey as a girl who strives to live as healthy as she can whilst eating around her gluten-sensitivities.

+Blog Book Tour+ “Gluten-Free Made Easy” by Christi Silbaugh & Michele VilseckGluten-Free Made Easy
by Christi Silbaugh, Michele Vilseck
Source: Direct from Publisher

When The Secrets of Gluten-Free Baking author Jillayne Clements learned gluten was off the table, her taste buds rebelled. But she soon discovered that gluten-free food can be healthy and delicious! Use her unique whole foods approach to create:

Cinnamon Rolls
Buttermilk Biscuits
Honey Oak Bread
Breadsticks and more!

Whether you're on a temporary or permanent gluten-free diet, learn Jillayne's tips, preferred ingredients, and secret against-the-grain methods to baking delicious food without gluten. This book blends taste and satisfying nutrition into mouthwatering gluten-free recipes your whole family will enjoy.

Bake your way to Better Health today!

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Gourmet Cooking for Two, NOURISH: The Beginner's Guide to eating healthy and staying fit

Genres: Cookery, Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking


Published by Front Table Books

on 13th May, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 280

Author Biographies:Christi Silbaugh

Christi Silbaugh (seen in the photo) started cooking gluten-free in 2009 when her daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. Since then, she has created and posted over one thousand gluten-free recipes. Her cooking obsession and love for her family has turned a hobby into a full-time career of blogging and writing. She is the self-educated chef and author of three cooking blogs, including Mom, What’s For Dinner; Gourmet Cooking For Two; and Zero Calorie Life. She writes for foodie media giants Glam Media and Federated Media and works for Fast Forward Events, covering food and wine events in San Diego.

Michele Vilseck is a mother and avid hobbyist who loves to write and loves to live gluten-free. She is always eager to take on new projects, including writing this cookbook. Michele has been eating gluten-free for over ten years. Although brought on by necessity, her passion for food increases daily. Her great how-to tips and tricks throughout the book engage the readers, letting them know they are not alone in this journey. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut with her family.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Before I begin, I want to clarify one thing: because I am gluten sensitive and not suffering from Celiac Disease, I do eat around my triggers. What I might be able to eat myself is not what I know others who have higher levels of gluten intolerance can eat. We’re all individuals and so, as I share my own story and adventures in cookery & baking experiments, please keep in mind that you have to make your own choices which work for you and your family. This is only one girl’s journalling of exploring healthy options and healthier living. Remember only you and your physician can make choices that benefit your own health and wellness. Please be advised I am only sharing personal recollections of cookery & baking books whilst experimenting with the recipes inside.

The authors truly made this a user-friendly primer for anyone who is starting to eat a Gluten-Free lifestyle, not only by their approach to make each category colour coded and vibrant, but they took the time to educate and to lead with suggestions that might have gone overlooked in other cookbooks. I enjoyed looking over the list of hidden gluten foods, as I have already deduced on my own behalf that I need to switch to GF beer! I love dark amber lager but at times I do notice it doesn’t like me very much in return! I’ve checked out the market for GF beer and I must sadly be on the last leg of expansion for distribution! Aye. There are a few brands of beer I can enjoy every odd moon until I can source the GF varieties, but at least I know there are GF beers out there! I have a lovely magazine about this topic near my desk and I promise once I get to dig into it further I’ll be posting a review because it is a topic that interests me!

On the note of soups and cream of soups not being GF friendly, I recently found a quality source for GF Cream of Mushroom Soup which is Healthy Valley. I am unsure if this brand is mentioned in the cookbook, but I find it a great go-to resource to use when wanting to get away from regular “cream soup” to use as a base in cooking. I mention this inside my recollections of cooking two of the recipes, but my go-to pasta is Tinkyana! It is by far the best I have found on the market, not only because the noodles hold their consistency but because the taste is spot-on and brilliant! I love how using their products create a lighter meal and you do not feel as though you had eaten a meal with pasta as a main part of the meal! Instead of using Soy Sauce I have used either Braggs Liquid Aminos (by Braggs), Raw Coconut Aminos (by Coconut Secret), San-J Organic GF Tamari Soy Sauce by (San-J), or even a product I can say aloud but cannot find in google in order to spell it properly! Laughs.

I loved the expanded section on mixing your own flours, including an easy one for Vanilla Cake Mix! I’d like to sort out if that is a more cost effective alternative to always purchasing a ready-made mix like Betty Crocker’s (of which I used for the Breakfast Bar). The authors and I share a mutual passion and affection for a few brands like: Ancient Harvest (for Quinoa), Bob’s Red Mill (my post yesterday is a good indication of my love!), Glutino, and King Arthur Flour. I was not overly impressed by Udi‘s unfortunately, and although I finally sourced Pamela’s brand for baking flours & mixes, I found the brand a bit pricey.The other brands they listed are ones I want to try as budget will allow: Better Batter, Mina’s Purely Divine, Manini’s Gluten Free, Schar, and Venice Bakery.

Let me share the joy I found whilst experimenting with recipes found within:

#GFBakingFest Shopping List by Jorie in Canva

The first recipe I knew I wanted to make was actually a baking choice rather than a savory option! When I read the ingredients for the *Raspberry Breakfast Bars* I knew that between what I had on hand and at the ready in my pantry & fridge combined with a few items I could pick up at the grocer’s — this would make a fantastic start to exploring all the lovely and delish offerings inside Gluten-Free Made Easy!

I decided to take Rochelle @NotebkBlogairy (the post where she hosted the first event on 11 August, 2013 which was spontaneous & a heap of fun) up on her idea to host a #GFBakingFest of my own, as she had originally spontaneous created the niche on Twitter when she shared her experiment. I always host a weekly tweetchat at 11am NYC on Saturdays (#ChocLitSaturdays), therefore I started my tweeting for this event around 2pm NYC. (you’ll note, I always denote the time zone via a major city rather than EST or PST) I began by tweeting out a ‘card’ announcement of what would be needed for the recipe, the authors of the cookbook itself, and a bit about the event in general. The card was then attached to this tweet, which I have included on the left! I am so very thankful to StoryDam @StoryDam for originally cluing me into the benefits of using Canva! (canva.com) I was able to ‘photo journal’ my baking experience and easily upload those photo journalling cards to Twitter for everyone to see!

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#GFBakingFest Ingredients by Jorie in Canva

Crofter’s Organic | @croftersorganic | Facebook

Better Crocker | @bettycrocker | Facebook

Smart Balance | @SmartBalance | Facebook

{ the oats were left-over therefore exact brand unknown; eggs on hand }

As you can see, I opted to sub the Raspberry jam for the jam I had on hand in my fridge: Crofter’s Wild Blueberry (Organic) Jam, featured here in front of the cake mix! Oh, my dear stars, this jam made the end result so wickedly addictive to eat, I think the ENTIRE pan was consumed before Tuesday morning! Laughs with mirth. I nailed this recipe so well I’ve been asked for encore appearances! This is always a good way of knowing you’ve hit on something special, and I credit the success of this experience to the authors! Of whom have my heartfelt gratitude for not only giving such awesome recipes that fit flexible and tight budgets, but for giving recipes that do not require a lot of difficult (i.e. pricy) ingredients to source and obtain! They simply rock for providing affordable recipes for those who want to whip up something healthy, Gluten-Free, and divinely succulent!

A note on the ingredients: I am a healthy baker who generally opts for brands to use that are more known for being GF (Gluten-Free), however, I was working on a tight budget for this experiment and was most delighted that the grocer I attempted to purchase a GF Cake Baking Mix from was out of stock but was able to query a neighbouring store whereupon I was able to make the purchase! They were thankful I brought it to their attention they lacked having a GF Cake Mix on the shelf and I thanked them for finding me the last item I needed to bake the breakfast bars! A win-win! I was most surprised to find how much I loved using Betty Crocker’s GF Cake Mix! Yet, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself – what I wanted to say, is that I generally opt for Earth Balance to bake with when butter is required, but in a pinch, Smart Balance is as good as my preferred brand. Likewise, when farm fresh eggs are not in the budget any veg diet egg will surely do just fine! The reason I switched the type of jam I used for this bar is simply due to cost and what I already had on hand to use.

men shoppingShopping Trip: Whilst I had quite a lot on hand for the three recipes I selected to make out of this cookbook, there were a handful of ingredients I needed to pick up. A family friend had gifted us a grocery giftcard to help my parents celebrate their Anniversary in late Spring; but given how Spring and Summer flew past us with health afflictions and other things that arose out of the blue, we never had the pleasure of using the giftcard until now! Therefore, I was quite happy that several of the items were either on sale or a Buy One, Get One:

  • Cauliflower – Buy One, Get One
  • Mozzarella Cheese – 2 for $5; bought one for $2.50
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Sweet Peppers – Buy One, Get One; bought one red & one orange
  • Garlic – 2 for $1
  • GF Cake Mix by Betty Crocker – $4.99
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – discounted
  • 3 pounds of Yellow Onions – discounted

By substituting the jam I had on hand, I saved instantly by not having to purchase Raspberry jam, and by having other ingredients already on hand such as the following, I saved even more:

  • Crofter’s Wild Blueberry (Organic) Jam
  • Swanson’s Chicken Broth
  • Red Gold No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
  • Springer Mountain Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (veg diet)

#GFBakingFest Preparing the Ingredients created by Jorie in Canva

The best part about this recipe is that you can do a bit of prep whilst your pre-heating your oven, which is what I explained in this tweet that went out on Twitter. Most of this is self-explanatory with my notes overlaid onto the images themselves, but the one thing I wanted to mention is the Before & After Water pictures. When you first put the jam into a mixing bowl (my preference are glass, but I used to only have plastic; either/or will work) you will notice that by adding the water it changes the consistency of the jam itself. It allows the jam to breakdown a bit and become more spreadable for creating the bar itself.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Bread Making, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Cookbook, Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Gluten-Free Foods, Non-Fiction, The Bookish Foodie