Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson

13355138I couldn’t possibly list all the cookbooks I have read this year but I will tell you about a few of my favorites.  Here goes:

Book Description

Release Date: June 26, 2012
Some desserts in jars are baked or otherwise prepared right in the jar, while others are spooned into jars. Either way, the sparkling and pretty vessel and the appealing treat it holds make for a beautiful presentation. Olmanson’s clever and cute desserts are at once playful and well-crafted, appropriate for a kids’ birthday one weekend (Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes) and a grown-up gathering, the next (Neapolitan Cakes). The book includes chapters on cakes, pies, crumbles and cobblers, quick breads and frozen indulgences like Strawberry Lemonade Granitas.
Desserts in jars are fun to make and, of course, to eat, and they are especially suited for gift-giving. They store, travel and stay fresh well, and even can be delivered with a lid on the jar and with gift tags, ribbons, and other embellishments. Olmanson devotes a special chapter to as-yet-unbaked mixes, with the flour, brown sugar, and so on attractively layered in the jar, a timeless idea now undergoing its own revival.
Review –
When I received this book in the mail, I couldn’t put it down.   First off, it has  a spiral binding which allows it to lay flat, next the recipes are simple and straight forward and use ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and last, the pictures are great and show you what the end product should look like.  Here are just a few of the recipes included in this book:
Orange-White Chocolate Cheesecakes with cranberry sauce
Flourless Chocolate Cakes
Pull-Apart Cinnamon Breads
Classic Apple Pie
Peach Bourbon Pies
Macarons in a Jar
Cheery Almond Crumbles
Strawberry Shortcakes
Frozen Mudslide Pies (one of my favorites)
and many many more.
Go out and buy some jars and make desserts.

Lake Eden Cookbook by Joanne Fluke

Book Description

Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Series: Hannah Swensen Mystery
It’s a picture postcard December in Minnesota. Pristine white snow is glistening in the winter sunlight, and Main Street is brimming with festive holiday decorations. Best of all, it’s the day Hannah’s mother, Delores Swensen, is holding her annual Holiday Cookie Exchange at the Community Centre – catered by none other than The Cookie Jar! The whole Swensen clan, their friends, and members of “The Lake Eden Gossip Hotline”, of which Delores is a founding member, have gathered for the delicious event. And as they share their favourite juicy tales of Lake Eden and its residents over coffee and dessert, they also share their favourite scrumptious cookie recipes – plus a mouth-watering menu of luncheon recipes…plus all the recipes from Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder to Carrot Cake Murder. Whether this is your first taste of Lake Eden, or you’re back for another helping, you can now bring the irresistible flavours of The Cookie Jar into your very own kitchen.
 Review –
I have read all of the Hannah Swensen Mystery books and loved the yummy recipes that the author, Joanne Fluke includes in every book.  Long after returning  a book to the library I found myself wanting to make a specific recipes and didn’t have it. NOW I have several of Hannah’s favorites in cookbook form.  The yummy recipes are taken from nine different books and I can’t wait to make the CHOCOLATE MINT SOFTIES, the CHOCOLATE OVERLOAD COOKIE BARS and the NORWEGIAN CHOCOLATE PIZZA , just a name a few.  I’m sure I’ll end up making all of the recipes at one time or another. Of course there is a story included among the recipes but
this time no one winds up dead. If you’re a fan of Joanne Fluke and the Hannah Swenson Mystery  Series,  you need to get this book NOW.

Bake Sale Cook Book by Sandra Lee


Product Description

Sandra Lee’s desserts have long been favorites among the legions of loyal fans of her two popular Food Network shows, Semi-Homemade Cooking and Money Saving Meals. The Bake Sale Cookbook brings together 120 amazing recipes and dozens more tips and ideas, all photographed in gorgeous full-color. You’ll find easy and always popular cakes and cupcakes; melt-in-your-mouth pies, tarts, and pastries; brownies, cookies, and bars; and even candies and confections. The easy-to-prepare recipes are perfect for school bake sales, family gatherings, and just about any occasion.
Review –
It’s that time of year again when our Church carnival is just around the corner and items are being requested for the Cake and Pie Booth.  This gives me a perfect opportunity to bake.  You see, I love to bake and usually have no one to bake for.
This book is wonderful and I have chosen a few recipes to try, even though they are not cakes or pies.  I enjoy maked cookies and bars and so here are the ones I have decided to make:
Maple Bars, page 88, because this time of year just calls out for Maple flavors.

Chocolate Strawberry Hearts, page 120, because these remind me of Linzer Cookies which are pretty to look out and taste wonderful.

And last, but not least, S’Mores Fudge, page 144, because with the popularity of S’Mores being at an all time high now I think it will be a very good seller.  Yum.




I can hardly wait to get into the kitchen and get busy.


I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys baking for ANY occasion.


A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison

From the Back Cover

Elizabeth Stevens is one bite away from happiness.Today is Elizabeth Stevens’s birthday, and not only is it the one-year anniversary of her husband leaving her, it’s also the day her bakery is required to make a cake–for her ex’s next wedding. If there’s a bitter taste in her mouth, no one can blame her.

But today, Liz is about to receive a gift. Her Grandma Verda isn’t just wacky; she’s a little witchy. An ancient gypsy magic has been passed through her family bloodline for generations, and it’s Liz’s turn to be empowered. Henceforth, everything she bakes will have a dash of delight and a pinch of wishes-can-come-true. From her hunky policeman neighbor, to her gorgeous personal trainer, to her bum of an ex-husband, everyone Liz knows is going to taste her power. Revenge is sweet…and it’s only the first dish to be served.

Review –

This was a fun fast read that doesn’t involve any heavy thiking or reflecting just a “good old wrap in a blanket rainy day read”. There are follow up books so I will be looking into those too because January is the perfect month for reading such books and I intend to do so.