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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 Zweifel, Kristen Harvey, Alyssa Perrin, Erin Arkin, Jaime Arkin, Rachel Kinnard, Lori Lee and her daughter, Phoebe Dyer, Mary Evers, Tara Jordan, Liz Czukas, Jenny Chou, Silvia Acevedo, Melissa Gorzelanczyk, Emily Alfano, Jaimie 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!
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
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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The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.
Heidi prepping for the party.
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.
4 cups shredded potatoes
Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes
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.
Recipe used: Martha Stewart
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Empanadas
Recipe used: Food.com
Recipe used: Greek Recipes.TV
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.
We utilized Jamie 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
The menu and the novels that inspired the recipes!
Enjoy cooking? Try some yummy food inspired by ten YA novels written by eight awesome authors.
On December 19th, seven Wisconsin YA book bloggers/librarians/book addicts met for our first book club meeting. And what a night we had!!! Heidi from http://www.yabibliophile.com , Rani from Next Chapter Bookstore http://twitter.com/#!/couldberuthless, Jillian from http://heisereads.blogspot.com, Erica from http://www.thebookcellarx.com Sasha http://twitter.com/#!/FzngWizbee, Maggie http://twitter.com/#!/MaggieMelchior and me. We had a blast talking about YA novels we loved from 2011, novels we can’t believe we waited so long to read, novels that surprised us or disappointed us. We talked about the authors who have hilarious tweets and are so wonderful in person. (There are a lot of them!!!!) We talked about how we review books for our blogs and Goodreads. Time flew by! It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time with just the best gals to hang out with and talk books. And I can’t WAIT for our next book club meeting, which is scheduled for February. For more info check out the awesome Heidi’s post! http://www.yabibliophile.com/2011/12/my-book-club-rocks.html
Besides reading and writing YA, cooking is another one of my passions. (I used to volunteer my time and cater events for a non-profit organization. That’s how much I love to cook. ) Whenever food is mentioned in a novel, I pay attention. And so I decided to create a menu and cook a dinner as a surprise for our first book club meeting. All the recipes were inspired by YA novels. Some mentioned a specific food, like mariquitas in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Noah and Mara
Mariquitas and Garlicky Sauce inspired from THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin (Click photo to enlarge)
are eating in a Cuban restaurant in Miami, page 222) while others mentioned atype of food, for example Korean in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Lola runs into Mr. Lim and asks him about his Korean restaurant, referenced on page 9. Lindsey Lim is Lola’s best friend.)
Here’s the menu and the YA novels that inspired the food:
A NOVEL CUISINE (All recipes are vegetarian except the chicken tikki masala, but feel free to substitute tofu)
Pita Chips (How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles)
Chummus (How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles)
Guacamole (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles)
Mariquitas w/ Garlicky Sauce (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)
Hot-Sour Soup (Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If I Stay by Gayle Forman)
Chicken Tikki Masala (We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han)
Brown Rice (We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han)
Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi inspired by LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins (Click photo to enlarge)
Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)
Moelleux au Chocolat (Molten Lava Cakes) with Strawberry Sauce
(Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins)
Sprecher* Cherry Cola (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Duff by Koby Keplinger)
Hot Mint Tea (Timepiece by Myra McEntire)
Water with Sliced Lime (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)
*Note – Sprecher is a Wisconsin favorite local brewery. Try and find their soda if you can. Once you taste their cherry soda, will will never want to drink Cherry Coke or Cherry Pepsi again!
Click here for ALL THE RECIPES: http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1015