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4th Annual YA Novel Cuisine Luncheon & ARC Giveaway of ARROWS
Dec 15th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

For the past four years, Wisconsin and Illinois authors/bloggers/librarians/teachers have gathered together for a luncheon inspired by foods mentioned in various novels. This may have been our best year yet! After all, we had some fantastic new people join us, including Alyssa of lifeofabookenthusiast.wordpress.com, who drove all the way from Michigan to be with us! Though people are still talking about the Dragon Risotto from The Fault in Our Stars, which we had three years ago. 😀

There is no way this event could be done without my awesome co-host Heidi Zweifel of YA Bibliophile. Together with Alyssa, we had a blast cooking together, laughing and yes, tasting.

Our group included: Monica Fumarolo,  Heidi ZweifelKristen HarveyAlyssa PerrinErin ArkinJaime ArkinRachel KinnardLori Lee and her daughter, Phoebe Dyer, Mary EversTara Jordan, Liz CzukasJenny ChouSilvia AcevedoMelissa GorzelanczykEmily AlfanoJaimie M., and me!

As part of our fun celebration, everyone received an ARC of Wisconsin debut YA author Melissa Gorzelanczk’s ARROWS, which is being published by Delacorte Press on January 26, 2015! We’re all proud of Melissa and are excited for her book to come out in the world.

In addition to enjoying outstanding company and yummy food, everyone brought books to donate to the new Sojourner Family Peace Center’s library!

Our Menu:

Strawberry Fields Salad – We Can Work It Out

Deviled Eggs – Keeping the Moon

Guac & Chips – What Happened to Goodbye, When Joss Met Matt

Trail Mix – The Start of Me and You

Tomato Salad – Better Than Perfect

Make Your Own Pizza – Saint Anything, Lying Out Loud, G0D Awful Loser  

Pasta- Hello?

Pies – Hello?, The Devil You Know

Hummingbird Cake – Rebel Belle

Chocolate Chip Cookies – The Boy in the Black Suit, Arrows

Raspberry Lemonade – The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Hot Chocolate – A Court of Thorns and Roses

Coke/Diet Coke – What Happened to Goodbye, Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

Sweet Tea – Persuasion

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GIVEAWAY: 2 ARCS of ARROWS (US & Canada)

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Third Annual Novel Cuisine Luncheon & Giveaway ARCs & Swag & Gag :D
Dec 16th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Third Annual Novel Cuisine Luncheon

For the past three years, Wisconsin and Illinois authors/bloggers/librarians have gotten together for a luncheon inspired by foods mentioned in various novels. This may have been our best year yet! Though people are still talking about the Dragon Risotto from The Fault in Our Stars, which we had two years ago. 😀

There is no way this event could be done without my awesome co-host Heidi Zweifel of YA Bibliophile. We had a blast cooking together, laughing and occasionally tasting. It was a lot of fun and time flew by.

If you are a book club or just a group of people like us who love getting together, I highly recommend hosting a Novel Cuisine Luncheon. It really is a blast. We talked favorite books, books that surprised us, and books we rave about to others. Author Lori Lee told us about her YA debut GATES OF THREAD AND STONE (It sounds amazing!) and author Liz Czukas also attended. She wrote ASK AGAIN LATER & Amazon’s best pick for December,  TOP TEN CLUES YOUR CLUELESS. Jaime and Erin Arkin from Fiction Fare, Rachel Kinnard, Andrea Payan of Mrs. Payan Reads, Krista Hutley, and Monica Fumarolo.

A photo posted by Liza Wiemer (@wiemerliza) on

Here was our menu:

My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

 

from Kiersten White’s story – Baked Mac & Cheese (we left out the onions)

 

from Kiersten White’s story – Ensalada Navidad (we used cilantro instead of mint)

 

from Stephanie Perkins’ story – Apple Cider

 

from Holly Black’s story – Brie cheese

 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

 

Tomato-basil salad

 

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre

 

Vegetable Soup

 

Chai Latte

 

I Was There by Gayle Forman

 

Vegetarian Enchiladas

 

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

 

Guacamole

 

Love, Lucy by April Lindner

 

Bread and Havarti cheese

 

The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

 

Bread

 

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

 

Funnel Cake

 

Compulsion by Martina Boone

 

Whoopie Pie Cake

 

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

 

Tea

  Everyone who attended received  an ARC of Elizabeth Eulberg’s WE CAN WORK IT OUT – Thank you so much Scholastic, an ARC of COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET by Gayle Rosengren – Thank you so much Putnam, and bookmarks, necklaces, and swag other awesome swag from author Martina Boone for COMPULSION! Lori Lee brought bookmarks from GATES OF THREAD AND STONE! So, one lucky winner will receive all of the above ARCs and swag – plus – our gag gift fun that relates to our favorite cake: Whoopie Pie Cake from COMPULSION! You’ll just have to wait to see what it is. (No, it is not a cushion.)

A photo posted by Liza Wiemer (@wiemerliza) on

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THE NOVEL CUISINE LUNCHEON ’13 & Giveaway!
Dec 18th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.

The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.

THE 3rd ANNUAL NOVEL CUISINE LUNCHEON ’13

This year, authors, bloggers, librarians from Wisconsin and Illinois came together for The Third Annual Novel Cuisine Luncheon. Kelly of Belle of the Literati, Monica of Fuma Files , Erin and Jaime of Fiction Fare and the Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Readalong, Author Gayle Rosengren – WHAT THE MOON SAID, Erica of The Book Cellar, Amanda, librarian in Stoughton, Anuradha teacher/writer, Rachel of Tiger Lily Rachel, Sarah from Novel Thoughts, Andrea of Mrs. Payan Reads, Heidi of YA Bibliophile, & Me!

All the recipes were inspired by a book. Just One Day, by Gayle Forman, Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (2 recipes), What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren, The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory, Wait for You, Trust in Me by Jennifer Armentrout, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi prepping for the party.

Heidi prepping for the party.

 

The awesome Heidi from YA Bibliophile came over on Saturday. After we spent several hours in the living room reading, we headed out to see THE HOBBIT II, and then we spent the rest of the night and into the early morning laughing and cooking and talking. We discovered that we’re cooking soul mates and dubbed “Modified Marthas.” Many of the things we made, were a first for us. Empanadas, Bubble Tea, Pastitsio, Galaktoboureko. All the recipes except for two were found on the Internet. The exceptions were Elizabeth Eulberg’s mom’s Cheese Ball from BETTER OFF FRIENDS – YUMMMMMMMM!!!!! and chocolate walnut cookies from WAIT FOR YOU and TRUST IN ME by Jennifer Armentrout. That’s a recipe I ended up creating based on several different recipes that I found on the net. Since Cam said that these cookies were better than sex, Heidi and I brainstormed names and came up with Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies.

menu

17228280HUGE THANKS TO:

Wisconsin born and raised author Elizabeth Eulberg: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads for supporting this event. Her publisher, Scholastic, provided ARCs of latest YA novel BETTER OFF FRIENDS. Her Wisconsin event for BETTER OFF FRIENDS will be held at Boswell Books on February 25th!

What the moon said

 

Wisconsin author Gayle Rosengren: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads for attending the event. Her publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons provided ARCs of her MG novel, WHAT THE MOON SAID!

One lucky winner will receive an ARC of each of these novels.

(See Rafflecopter below.)

 

 

RECIPES:

Elizabeth Eulberg’s mom’s Cheese Ball recipe as found in BETTER OFF FRIENDS

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball

cheeseball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookies

Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies, inspired from WAIT FOR YOU by Jennifer Armentrout

 Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies inspired from Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout:

I adapted one recipe to create this one:

5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – I used Scharffen Berger Brand

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips

30 whole walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven at 300 degrees – approximately 5 minutes.

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container at 1/2 power. Stir until smooth. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar, then add melted chocolate/butter mix and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, stir in with a spoon. Put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. It will firm up! Take a tablespoon of dough and flatten in a circle in the palm of your hand. Add toasted whole walnut and fold over chocolate dough. Roll into a ball, completely covering the whole walnut. Cover the entire ball in powdered sugar. Place dough on greased cookie pan. Bake cookies at 350 for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes gently use a fork to flatten the dough to a 1/2 inch thick. Bake for another 2 minutes, then cool cookies on a cooling rack.

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea inspired by THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by12813630 Holly Black: Here’s the recipe we used: Drinks Mixer

Potato Pancakes with Raspberry Jam (use any quality brand) inspired by WHAT THE MOON SAID by Gayle Rosengren

4 cups shredded potatoes

Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes

Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes

2 eggs

1/8 cup flour

1 diced small onion (I didn’t use it for this meal, but I do recommend including it for flavor)

Mix all ingredients together. Spray a cookie pan with vegetable oil. Spoon out a 1/4 cup of potato mixture. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 425 degrees until the top is brown – about 10 minutes. Flip over with a spatula and brown the other side.

Crepes au Citron inspired by JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman

Recipe used: Martha Stewart

 

 

EmpanadasVegetarian Empanadas inspired by THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Empanadas

Vegetarian Pastitsio inspired by WHERE THE STARS STILL 15826648SHINE by Trish Doller

Pastitsio

Pastitsio

Recipe used: Food.com 

Creamy Custard Pie (Galaktompoureko) inspired by WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller

Recipe used: Greek Recipes.TV

Hot chocolate inspired by THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West – I used Omanhene Brand

 

 

 

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Cornbread inspired by RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory

Recipe used from All Recipes

 

Cheese Fondue as found in Ann Mah’s MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING: Check out Ann Mah’s Blog. Here’s the recipe straight from Ann’s book:

Fondue

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Giving Back:

One of the suggestions that Heidi had was for us to collect books and donate them to a school in need. I found about Hmong American Peace Academy, a school in Milwaukee desperate for books and in the middle of a library campaign. The school services over 1200 students in K-4 through 12th grade. Over seventy-five books are already in the hands of students.

More photos:

Book Talk:

We utilized best-books-2013Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner’s end-of-the-year survey:

Click here: Jamie’s 2013 End of Year Book Survey 

Q: Best book you read in 2013:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone, In Darkness, The One and Only Ivan, The Testing, The Burning Sky, Sea of Tranquility, Reclaimed, Second Chance Summer, Crown of Midnight, This Song Will Save Your Life, Defy, Things I Can’t Forget, If I Find Me, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Where the Stars Still Shine, The Winner’s Curse, Covet, Hopeless, Goodbye Rebel Blue, This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Q: Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013:

Etiquette & Espionnage, Easy, Dear Cassie, Strands of Bronze and Gold, Six Months Later, Reclaimed, The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Tangled, Alice in Zombieland, Uninvited, Unearthly, Stir Me Up, Ruby Red, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Q: Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013:

Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, Allegiant, Champion, If He Had Been With Me, Second Chance Summer, This Song Will Save Your Life, Things I Can’t Forget, Sea of Tranquility, The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You, If I Stay

Q: Books you are most anticipating in 2014, non-debut:

The Worlds We Make,  No Surrender Soldier, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Landline, Ruin & Rising, Panic, Isla and the Happily Ever After, On the Fence, Ignite Me, Split Second, Into the Still Blue, Dissonance

GIVEAWAY: (US & Canada ONLY)

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MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING by Ann Mah – 5 Star Review & Giveaway
Oct 9th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING:

Lessons of Food and Love From a Year in Paris

 

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Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Pgs: 288

Thank you to Pamela Dorman Books for providing a copy for the giveaway! (See below)

Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE TO COOK! Cooking is a way for me to nurture the people I care about. Most of the cooking I do is simplistic, but I always pour a lot of love into each dish. I am not the type of person who collects cookbooks, but I ADORE recipes with a story. Family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, food that has a history and holds memories for those who eat it. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll savor every page of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING!

(Oh, and one more thing: Julia Child is mentioned in this book. My nickname for my grandma was Julia Child. I used to call her up and when she answered I would say, “May I please speak with Julia Child?” And my grandma knew that I had a cooking question. I cherish that memory sooooo much and whenever I make a recipe that she passed down to me, I’m reminded of that very special bond we had and how cooking and eating that delicious food brought us closer together.)

For all my Wisconsin and Illinois blogger/author/librarian friends, you can bet we’ll be eating something from this book at my annual “A Novel Cuisine Luncheon.”

From Goodreads: 

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.  Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French and Julie Powell’s New York Timesbestseller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love—of food, family, and France.

My Review:

From page one, Ann Mah transported me to Paris! I savored each tasty page, identified with her frustrations over cultural differences, and travelled along side her as she journeyed throughout France, searching for the best cuisine.

I found myself drifting into memories of Paris and France, sipping wine, eating in cafes and restaurants. Most of the memories were joyous, but some came with a flush of embarrassment as I remembered that we initially ate like barbarian Americans, stuffing food down our throats in comparison to our French counterparts. In France, eating is an art form, something to be savored over hours. (Dinner started at 8 pm – if not later – and would go on for hours. Sometimes people sat until midnight or later. Can’t imagine a restaurant here allowing patrons to sit that long. In that period of time, they’d rotate at least 2-3 more sets of guests.) I thought about this and others awkward and embarrassing moments after Mah shares some of hers.

Mastering the Art of French Eating is much more than a book about food. It captures the author’s struggles to create a life for herself after her diplomat husband is given a year assignment in Iraq. Mah makes some comparisons to her own life to the famous chef, Julia Child. Like Child’s husband, Mah’s husband is a diplomat. Mah was raised on watching Julia’s show and when she was a child, she cooked recipes from Child’s cookbooks. There are plenty of other connections that culinary fans with enjoy.

The subtitle for this novel is: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris. Yes, there are lots of lessons about food and readers will love the stories and the history behind the tastes and smells. Her trips across France are vivid and readers will have no problem picturing the countryside and the people she met. The lessons on love are interwoven and subtle. Mah had to learn to love herself in a different way, to appreciate what she has to contribute or stay locked up in her apartment alone and lonely. Food helps her get out into the streets of Paris and out of her comfort zone. There’s also the love she has for her husband and how they stay connected so far apart from each other.

I absolutely recommend this novel for anyone who loves Paris. France. Cooking. Eating. Or if you appreciate a well-written memoir. There are recipes included throughout the book. You bet that I’ll be trying plenty of them!

About Ann Mah:Ann-in-Paris-KGL

From her blog:

I’m a food and travel writer and author of a food memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating (Viking Penguin), and a novel, Kitchen Chinese (HarperCollins). My articles have appeared in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, the International Herald Tribune and other publications. I currently split my time between Paris and New York City; I love eating everywhere. Thank you for sharing my food adventures!

To learn more about Ann, check out her website.

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Purchase MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

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A Novel Cuisine Luncheon w/ Wisconsin & Illinois Bloggers/Teachers/Librarians
Dec 16th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

A NOVEL CUISINE

The menu and the novels that inspired the recipes!

To celebrate the end of the year, a wonderful group of bloggers/teachers/librarians gathered at my house to discuss our favorite novels from 2012 & to enjoy a “Novel Cuisine Luncheon.”

I’d like to share some of those blogs:

Heidi, YA Bibliophile: http://www.yabibliophile.com

Monica, The Fuma Files: http://fumafiles.blogspot.com 

Erica, The Book Cellar http://thebookcellarx.com

Jillian, Mrs. Heise Reads http://www.heisereads.com

Okay, it was over-the-top yummy – but everyone who knows me knows I love to cook & what could be better than including some of our absolute favorite books with food? Silver Phoenix, which was recommended to me by Heidi has so many mouthwatering descriptions of food, it was hard to choose just one. Jillian was the inspiration behind making the November cakes in The Scorpio Races. It’s the kind of recipe that takes patience, but OMGosh is it worth it!

Some of the authors shared their recipes (Huntley Fitzpatrick – Grace’s Lemonade for My Life Next Door). Others were inspired by the pages themselves and I had to do some searching for my own recipes. In Such a Rush , Leah ate a salad with romaine lettuce, so I used a recipe I like.

One I didn’t want to adapt was the dragon carrot risotto from Fault in our Stars by John Green (Hazel and Gus eat dragon carrot risotto. pg. 165.) I did some research and discovered that dragon carrots are PURPLE on the outside and orange on the inside. I had a hard time finding dragon carrots—not one grocery store in Milwaukee had them—but eventually I found an organic farm – Harmony Valley http://www.harmonyvalleyfarm.com – not so far from me and the owner was willing to send them to me. So worth it!

Many thanks to author Laura Harrington. We raffled off a copy of her brilliant crossover novel Alice Bliss, which not only was an inspiration for the cherry pie, but one of my absolute all-time favorite novels! (Page 4 Matt mentions cherry pies (because he wants to plant more cherry trees). Page 209 Angie makes cherry pie for the special Sunday dinner (when Alice is trying to get out to plant the garden.) Here we hear that cherry pie is Matt’s favorite. Page 304 Gram puts a miniature cherry pie on the boat she sends out to sea.)

Our winner: Jillian Heise

Recipes:

Maggie Stiefvater’s November Cakes: http://maggiestiefvater.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-name-is-maggie-im-perfectionist-and.html

Click here for additional recipes: http://wp.me/PAaOH-pH

 

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