The Mossback Café has a cookbook!

Hopefully you all remember my review of The Fever by Thomas Fenske. If not, click here and read it, and then click here and buy a copy and read it yourself! There’s a second book, too, A Curse that Bites Deep, that I have on my Kindle and haven’t yet finished (see my previous post – I haven’t been reading, so sad), though I’m sure is as excellent as the first.

In any case, now that you’re reacquainted with the books – some exciting news: the lovely Mossback Café, which plays an important role in the books, has a COOKBOOK!

The Mossback Cafe Cookbook: Texas Cooking from the Pages of The Fever and A Curse That Bites Deep by [Fenske, Thomas]

I was so excited when I learned about it that I downloaded it immediately and read it straight through in one sitting. My husband asked me, somewhat incredulously, “You’re reading a cookbook?” Technically, yes, but in the author’s words, it’s so much more than a cookbook!

The Mossback Café Cookbook is “compiled” by Thomas Fenske, writing in the voice of Smidgeon Toll, a character from the books. It’s a treasure of Texas-style cooking that I’m sure will go over well in my house (well, at least with my husband…) when I have a chance to try the recipes out. Having read The Fever, and looking forward to restarting A Curse that Bites Deep, it was a lot of fun to learn more about Smidgeon and the Mossback Café from Smidgeon’s perspective. I smiled throughout, and it definitely rekindled my desire to pick up A Curse that Bites Deep again soon.

I can’t see how anyone would read the cookbook (check it out! only $.99!) and not want to read the books themselves, so even without trying the recipes I call the cookbook a great success. And I can’t wait to try out the homemade chorizo!

Five stars!!!

 

First book of 2017! Benedict XVI – Last Testament

Does that not sound ridiculous from a book blogger? It does explain my absence, however – it’s tough to blog about books when you’re not reading books… In all fairness, I have been reading a LOT with my kids, but not a lot for me. I suppose I could blog about the kids’ books (as I have in the past), but instead I’ve used that precious free time to try to actually read for myself. It barely worked – until we moved the baby (henceforth known as “A” – she is 7 months old and spectacular!) out of our room. Now I’m reinstating my read-in-bed time right before I go to sleep. I sooooo missed it!

So, on to the book! I received it as a gift for Christmas, and it took me from Christmas until Easter to read:

Last Testament: In His Own Words by [Benedict XVI, Pope, Seewald, Peter]

I was initially surprised to find that the book is essentially a transcript of interviews Peter Seewald did with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, but I quickly came to enjoy the format. As the title states, the book truly is “in his own words,” and that is my favorite thing about the book. I’ve read some of Benedict XVI’s writing in the past, both for personal reading and for research purposes during my stint in grad school, but I had not known much about him as a person. Reading this book allowed me to see the Pope Emeritus in much more human, personal light, as opposed to as…you know…Pope.

My least favorite thing about the book is how it makes so many references to previous interviews between the Pope Emeritus and journalist Peter Seewald. Along those lines, I would have understood a lot more of the book had I been more familiar with Pope Benedict’s life. There are a lot of references that I just didn’t understand.

Overall, I’m really glad I read the book. I learned a lot about Pope Benedict XVI that I didn’t know before, and I have a greater understanding of how and why he decided to take the unprecedented step of resigning from the Papacy.

As a standalone book I’d give it a pretty low rating of a 2 out of 5 stars, but as a Catholic seeking to learn and understand more about my Church and its leaders, it gets a solid 5.

Released Today: 100 Days of Real Food – Fast and Fabulous, by Lisa Leake

Hi, everyone! I’m popping in post-baby (she’s one month old and perfect – and I’m very busy… so many things to write about, no time to write!) to let you all know that Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food released her second cookbook today: 100 Days of Real Food – Fast and Fabulous.

As one of Lisa’s Cookbook Ambassadors, I was privileged to receive an advanced, autographed copy in exchange for some reviews and sharing her book here at The Edifying Word. Having just had a baby, I have not been able to actually try any of the recipes in the book…but I am SO excited to start trying them. Lisa has an incredibly down to earth way of approaching cooking “real” (read: unprocessed) food, and her book truly makes it look easy enough to integrate into my busy life. I’ve been reading her blog now for several months and learned SO much and gotten such great ideas – I was so excited that I jumped at the chance to be a Cookbook Ambassador even though I knew it would be kind of ridiculous for me to try blogging with a newborn… but here I am!

So, to show how very simple this can be, I’ve chosen one of the more basic recipes in the book to share: Veggie Cream Cheese. I love this because it integrates a simple recipe I think my kids will actually eat with one of my favorite parts of Lisa’s blog – where she shares school lunch ideas. With one kid in kindergarten and another who eats lunch at preschool, I can always use more ideas in this arena. So, here’s the recipe with a nice picture from the book:

Veggie Cream Cheese
We found our new favorite snack food — and it’s this cream cheese! It’s fabulous as a dip for crackers or veggies, but (as you can see here) equally great on sandwiches with some thin cucumber slices for lunch.
Also, if you’re looking for some wholesome entertaining food for a wedding or baby shower, these would be super cute cut into little tea sandwiches and displayed on a pretty cake platter.
Difficulty: Easy
Prep time: Less than 10 minutes
Cook time: N/A
Makes about 11/2 cups
Special tools needed: Food processor
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGETARIAN
NUT-FREE
– 1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
– 1/4 cucumber, skin on, cut into large chunks
– 2 garlic cloves, smashed
– 1 green onion, white and green parts, roughly chopped
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
-One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1. In the food processor, combine everything but the cream cheese and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Drop the cream cheese into the veggie mix and pulse until well combined. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
So, check out the book, and happy cooking! I hope to be back soon(ish).