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Book Inspired Recipes

In the kitchen with Zombie Fiction

in the kitchen with zombie fiction logo
Somehow I've become a huge fan of zombie fiction. It wasn't something I planned, rather something I realized after the fact. And while I can't resist a really good make-up job or a bad-ass kill, even a bit of well-executed gore, it's really the story of the survivors that I'm drawn to.

I think zombie fiction has evolved a lot in that respect. I mean, I don't remember ever being very attached to the older movies or stories. Or maybe they were and I just wasn't paying attention. Which leads me to the announcement of a new series here on All Roads Lead to the Kitchen called "In the Kitchen with Zombie Fiction".

The 420 Gourmet: Cookbook Review + Five-Pepper Blazed Potatoes Recipe

The 420 Gourmet: Cookbook Review
Oftentimes, the term "cooking with cannabis" conjures up images of giant plastic-wrapped cookies, special lollipops, and magical brownies tucked into colorful hobo bags and eaten on the way to a concert or festival, consumed for the sole purpose of getting high. And yeah, sometimes it is that. But sometimes, it's so much more.

The newly released cookbook by JeffThe420Chef, aptly named The 420 Gourmet, ditches that stereotype by introducing us to CBD (cannabidiol), the medicinal compound in cannabis that "helps with numerous health issues, especially when combined with a low dose of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)".

Blueberry Lavender Shrub Syrup (Drinking Vinegar)

Blueberry Lavender Shrub Syrup (Drinking Vinegar)
In case you haven't guessed, I'm on a bit of a shrub kick. I can't seem to get enough of the these amazing drinking vinegars once the weather gets hot and sticky. When poured over ice and topped off with some sparkling water, I'm hard pressed to find anything more refreshing (aside from plain ice water). So, when I found out that this month's Progressive Eats theme was "summer bounty", my brain immediately started scanning the fruit, berries, and herbs that I'd been stocking up on this past week.

Crawfish Calas w/ Green Garlic Mayonnaise | Interview with the Vampire

Crawfish Calas w/ Green Garlic Mayonnaise inspired by Interview with the Vampire
Welcome to another edition of the All Vampire Book and a Movie Challenge! Our pick for June was Interview with the Vampire the book by Anne Rice and movie adaption, its screenplay also written by Anne Rice. Before this month, I only remember watching the movie in its entirety once, probably 20-ish years ago, around when it was released. Over the years I've caught bits and pieces on tv every once in a while, but I knew it would be like seeing it for the first time when I sat down to watch it again. This was my first time reading the book (or any of Anne Rice's books, actually).

The Book (1976):

Divided into 4 parts, this story begins in modern day. Louis, a 200-year old vampire is about to tell his story to a reporter (referred to as "the boy" throughout the book). His vampire life began in 1791 in his hometown of New Orleans. A plantation owner who cares for his mother, sister, and younger brother, he becomes distraught after the death of that brother who he "believed to be a living saint". Feeling guilty over his death, he's lost the will to thrive, and his choices began to show that. He "lived like a man who wanted to die but had no courage to do it himself", passing out in cabarets, walking dark streets and alleys alone and wishing to be murdered until one night he was attacked by a vampire named Lestat.

Shoofly Pie inspired by Pies and Prejudice | #FridayPieDay

Shoofly Pie
Somehow today is already the last Friday in June, and although I'm always happy to see #FridayPieDay arrive, I'm having a hard time reconciling that I have no idea where this month went. But alas, I do have a delicious pie inspired by a fun book series to share with you today, and that is what's important.

I happen to love cozy mysteries, especially when they revolve around food. Imagine my delight when I came across a series called the "Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries" by author Ellery Adams. What makes me like them even more is that they contain another little element that I love woven into my food and mystery stories—magic!

Blueberry Buttermilk Popsicles (Paletas de Suero de Leche de Arándano) | #PaletaWeek

Blueberry Buttermilk Popsicles
As this first week of summer continues, so do the popsicles! Today I'm sharing a variation on one of my go-to summertime freezer-fillers and my submission for Lola's Cocina's Paleta Week, Blueberry Buttermilk Popsicles. I know it's not a new discovery, especially to those in the American south, but drinking buttermilk is amazing way to help you beat the heat.

The first time I shared a buttermilk ice pop variation was in 2010, and it used cranberries and bananas (and also a kiwi and pineapple version). I've also shared a mixed berry version (that were made in a ZOKU) and my favorite of them all is cherry buttermilk. But this blueberry variety is disappearing fast, as well.

Caramel Macchiato Popsicles | #PopsicleWeek

Caramel Macchiato Popsicles
Popsicles, paletas, and ice pops—oh my! Summer has just begun and not only did I share 12 popsicle recipes to help you stay cool in the most delicious of ways on Monday, I'm back today with a new recipe to share in honor of Wit & Vinegar's Popsicle Week!

This one is for all of my fellow coffee lovers. I don't know about you, but when the weather heats up, I tend to choose iced coffee and frozen slushy coffee drinks over a hot cuppa most days (unless I wake up particularly early and heat up the water for the French Press before the flames make a difference).

5 Foods to Complement Your Coffee!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Folgers. All opinions are 100% mine.
5 Foods to Complement Your Coffee!
The women and girls on the maternal side of my family have what some might call hoarding tendencies, but we prefer to think of ourselves as collectors. That's why, at least a couple of times a year, we commandeer a large table and pile it high with magazines piles that have grown slightly too large for comfort.

We come armed with coffee and plenty of sustenance to carry us through a few solid hours of good-natured chatter and the ripping and sharing of recipes and home and garden ideas. By the end of our decluttering session, we are each left with our own tidy "pile with purpose" and a full recycling bin.

Curry Parmesan Shortbread inspired by He Will Be My Ruin

Curry Parmesan Shortbread inspired by He Will Be My Ruin
Today I'm hosting a TLC Book Tours stop for the new thriller by K.A. Tucker titled He Will Be My Ruin. I love edge-of-your-seat suspense stories and this was one that I couldn't put down...literally. I started it in the morning and was finished by the end of the day. It's the story of two women who were best friends since childhood. Only when Maggie, the wealthy philanthropist comes home after the news of Celine's death does she realize how many secrets she was keeping from her.

Although the police are calling it a suicide, Maggie doesn't believe that is the case, and she sets out to uncover the mysterious circumstances behind the death of her beloved friend. Throw in a handful of intriguing and nuanced supporting characters and some unexpected twists and turns, and I was hooked (just when I thought I knew what was coming, I was blindsided).

12 Popsicles Recipes to Kick-Off Summer!

12 Popsicles to Kick-Off Summer
Since today is officially the start of summer, I figured what better time to share some frosty popsicle, ice pop, and paleta recipes to stock your freezer and start beating the heat right away! I'll also be sharing a couple of new popsicle recipes later this week as part of Popsicle Week at Wit & Vinegar and Paleta Week at Lola's Cocina; I hope you'll come back and check out those recipes, as well.

Without further ado, I present popsicles and money—what better way to kick-off summer 2016?

Roasted Carrot Hummus inspired by Zootopia

Roasted Carrot Hummus inspired by Zootopia
Every month or so, my friend Kimberly from Coffee and Casseroles and I challenge ourselves to create a recipe from a certain theme; this month she set forth the challenge of "any Disney movie". That's like, a million movies or so. I narrowed it down to a small handful of favorites that included The Aristocats, James and the Giant Peach, Bridge to Terabithia, Spirited Away, The Game Plan, and...Zootopia.

Obviously I chose to make something inspired by the latest of those releases. The kids and I went to see Zootopia on opening weekend at theaters—and I LOVED IT. I thought I'd like it, but I didn't expect to come out thinking that surely it was one of the best films of 2016. I know the year is only halfway over at this point, but I still believe that.

Spelt and Vegetable Soup inspired by I Am Love | #FoodnFlix

Spelt and Vegetable Soup inspired by I Am Love
Our Food 'n Flix pick this month is the 2009 Italian film I Am Love starring Tilda Swinton. I watched this movie when it was first released on dvd and remember not really liking it. That being said, I believe in second chances, so I went in with a clear head when I popped the dvd in again this week. Unfortunately, it still wasn't my cup of tea. But all was not lost, because while I found the movie to be painfully slow, it did feature some beautiful scenery and delicious food to keep me in front of the screen.

The movie starts in Milan in the home of the wealthy Recchi family. Food is being prepped, silver is getting shined, and the scene is being set for a family meal to celebrate the grandfather's birthday. He announces his retirement from running the family business, which he will be entrusting to his son and grandson (because it will take two to take the place of one of him).

Coffee Biscotti w/ Almonds & Goji Berries

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Folgers. All opinions are 100% mine.
Coffee Biscotti w/ Almonds & Goji Berries
I'm the kind of person who needs coffee to clear the fog from my brain in the morning. It just gives me the boost I need to get the household up and running and power through some morning work. By the time early afternoon (aka break time) rolls around, my coffee pot has been cold for hours—that's when I open up the cupboard and reach for the instant coffee.

I actually love this time of day, because it's my "me time"; a window of time between that busy morning and late afternoon when my husband and kids walk through the door after work and school. I use it to watch a movie, read a few chapters of a book, brainstorm recipe ideas, or just sit and listen to the world...more often than not with said cup of instant coffee and a snack.

Michigan Apples make a Refreshing Apple Shrub Syrup!

Refreshing Apple Shrub Syrup
It's heating up outside, and this apple shrub syrup, or drinking vinegar, infused with mint and fennel is a refreshing way to beat that heat. To enjoy, combine 1 part shrub syrup with 3 to 4 parts sparkling water and serve over ice. Shrub syrups are also a fun and creative way to bring a signature cocktail to life—it is wedding season, after all!

A way of preserving fruit after the harvest in Colonial times, sweet and tangy drinking vinegars are a fantastic way to enjoy the pure spirit of your favorite fruit any time of the year. Fresh herbs and whole spices will add another layer of flavor to your syrups, as will experimenting with different types of vinegar.