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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spicy Chili Dip inspired by The Deepest Secret {book tour}

Spicy Chili Dip (inspired by The Deepest Secret - book tour) |

The Deepest Secret
author: Carla Buckley
publisher: Bantam
source: tlc book tours
hard cover: 448 pages

"foodie" read: Not a foodie read, but there is mention of food as a part of daily life. From Chicken Casserole to Ravioli, from ice cream to whole wheat doughnuts (which I almost made), from Gin & Tonic's to Pasta Puttanesca, there are plenty of references if you're paying attention. See why I chose to make Spicy Chili Dip below...

random excerpt: David looks at his wife, the woman he's loved. He thinks of their son. All the ways in which they've worked to protect this house from the sun had only allowed the darkness to creep inside. 

summary/teaser (from book cover): Eve Lattimore’s family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world.

Until the night the unthinkable happens. When tragedy strikes, it becomes clear that this family is not the only one on the quiet cul-de-sac that is more complicated than it appears. And as Eve is forced to shield her family from harm, there are some crises she cannot control—and some secrets that not even love can conceal.

my thoughts/review: First off, this is a long book. Easy to read, but long. I would find myself reading in my "spare" time, and them looking at my bookmark and thinking I hadn't gotten anywhere. But once I carved out a few hours of unadulterated reading time, I made quick work of it.

The characters: I found most of them to be fairly realistic, in that they were likeable and unlikeable at the same time. Much like the people we know in real life, they make mistakes, act like assholes, and give their hearts in the only way they know how - in an imperfect way.

The setting: A dark suburban cul-de-sac, which coincidentally, I've lived in before. Mine was dark because it was in a ravine, but this actually helped me relate. I also used to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night when I was about Tyler's age (as he does), so that seemed pretty real, too. I should also say that I loved to be nosy and see what was happening through other people's windows. But what kid doesn't!? Believable and somewhat comforting.

The story: Dark and kind of sad, kind of the way real life can be at times (I swear I'm not depressed or a pessimist, no matter what it sounds like today). I found some inner turmoil at the excruciating circumstances that this family found themselves in. I was contemplating both sides and thinking "what if" the whole time. The struggles between right and wrong, black and white, love and friendship, parents and kids - they're all driving forces behind the story.

I don't want to give spoilers, but if you enjoy an intense drama with a good amount of intrigue, you'll probably enjoy reading this.

Fair warning: I cried my way through the final 10 pages.

about the author: Carla Buckley was born in Washington, D.C. She has worked as an assistant press secretary for a U.S. senator, an analyst with the Smithsonian Institution, and a technical writer for a defense contractor. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, an environmental scientist, and their three children. She is the author of The Deepest Secret, Invisible, and The Things That Keep Us Here, which was nominated for a Thriller Award as a Best First novel and the Ohioana Book Award for fiction. She is currently at work on her next novel.

further info: websitefacebook | twitter

recipe inspired by the book: If I hadn't made Blackberry Fritters just the other day, you'd be seeing a batch of Whole Wheat Doughnuts right now (in reference to "the best whole wheat doughnut in the world" that Eve and David reminisced about). Instead, I opted for the very first mention of food in the book, a Spicy Chili Dip with extra sour cream that Charlotte brings over for Tyler's birthday party...while things were still "normal".

Spicy Chili Dip
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Spicy Chili Dip |
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer snack soy-free cream cheese sour cream Super Bowl game day tailgating American

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Chili with Beans (or 2 cups leftover homemade Chili)
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freeze dried chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • big pinch of ground cayenne
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400° F. Heat the chili over the stove or in a microwave until warm.

Beat the sour cream and cream cheese together with all of the seasonings until smooth. Stir in the warm chili.

Transfer to a smallish baking dish. Scatter the cheddar cheese over the top. Slide into preheated oven until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.

Serve immediately with chips, crackers, and or veggies for dipping.

This warm dip is super simple to throw together if you're looking for something to throw together at the last minute. Substitute a handful of fresh chives or a few fresh scallions, sliced either way, for the dried chives if you have them.


I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.