Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mac And Cheese and Death Angel

Do I have a couple of amazing books to share with you today. Of course you know they’re going to be completely different genres, but I think you could ‘read them’ together - so to speak. See if you agree.

THE MAC & CHEESE COOKBOOK by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade

Mac coverI must admit the cover of THE MAC & CHEESE COOKBOOK captured my attention the moment I saw it. Doesn’t it look yummy? Visions of mouth-watering dishes of mac and cheese sprang to mind and I had to know more.

I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed by the cookbook, quite the opposite. I found this charming cookbook to be packed with delicious recipes, easy instructions, gorgeous color photos, and extremely helpful tips.

Authors (Chefs) Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade have compiled tasty recipes that will have you eager to try all 50 of them. Each recipes is written in simple, easy steps with a bit of information about the dish. In addition, many are accompanied by a beautiful full page color photo of the completed dish. There’s also a section on selecting the right noodles and how to prepare them properly.

A highlight of the book for me was the step-by-step instructions and photos on how to prepare the mac sauce - the base of each recipe. The authors also note problems that can be encountered preparing the sauce and the simple solutions to resolve these issues.

Each recipe also includes a beer and wine pairing to enrich the meal. To help even more, the authors have included recipes for fun side dishes and desserts to compliment the mac and cheese.

Some of the recipes are: Trailer Mac, Mac & Blue, Shepherd’s Mac, Winter Citrus Salad, Peanut Butter Pie, and Dessert Mac. I tried the Vermont White Cheddar Mac and was delighted with my results. The recipe was easy to follow, the instructions helpful and the end results delicious. While this dish took a bit longer than opening a box of mac and cheese, it was well worth the effort. Once the simple mac sauce is mastered, the recipes are a breeze.

Mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food, can be prepared every day of the month with this enticing cookbook and never be the same. If you grew up loving mac and cheese, this is a must have for your kitchen.

Arevalo and Wade are the owners/operators of the wildly popular San Francisco Bay Area macaroni and cheese restaurant known as HOMEROOM. A school theme is sprinkled throughout the restaurant and the entire menu is under ten dollars.

For delicious, quick and easy dishes the entire family will devour, THE MAC & CHEESE COOKBOOK is the perfect solution. 

The HOMEROOM website is
The Mac & Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from HOMEROOM, America‘s Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade, Ten Speed Press, @2013, ISBN: 978-1607744665, Hardcover, 128 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
DEATH ANGEL by Linda Fairstein

Death Angel coverCombining a grizzly murder, buried secrets and the luscious layout of New York’s Central Park prove to be a good match for author Linda Fairstein’s latest Alex Cooper thriller, DEATH ANGEL.

Narrator Barbara Rosenblat does an excellent job giving distinct voices to the returning characters of Fairstein’s series, as well as new ones. Her cadence pulls you in holding you captive as she vocalizes the depth of Fairstein’s words. Rosenblat has you gasping for breath right along with the characters.

When a young woman’s body is pulled from a lake in Central Park, law enforcement is put on alert to find the killer and make the park safe once again. As Assistant District Attorney Alex ‘Coop’ Cooper and Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace being looking into the case, they discover the trail leads to the famous apartment building, The Dakota, located nearby. Piecing the bits of evidence together, they soon discover it could have connections to a cold case involving a missing child that rivaled the Lindbergh Kidnapping.

Meanwhile, Coop and Chapman have their hands full with a more personal matter. They’re about to be pulled into a scandal involving a judge on the verge of losing it that could cost both of them their jobs. Coop is determined to help Chapman no matter the cost as a few sparks of attraction between the two ignite.

Once again Fairstein places her characters in the middle of a bizarre crime scene and leads readers on a merry chase to find the killer. The well-developed characters continue to evolve with each new installment in the series. They’re realistic and likable.

DEATH ANGEL moves at a steady, but smooth pace. It’s action-driven with twists and surprises along the way to keep you on your toes. Readers new to the series won’t be left in the dark with prior references, while returning fans will enjoy the continuing growth of the lead characters.

Fairstein’s vivid and detailed descriptions of Central Park places the reader/listener in the middle of the beautiful backdrop. Her eye for authentic detail enhances the story and brings the setting to life. Reading/listening to DEATH ANGEL is like taking a virtual trip to Central Park with a side stop for a mysterious murder or two.

Author Linda Fairstein’s website is
Death Angel by Linda Fairstein, An Alex Cooper Novel, Performed by Barbara Rosenblat, Penguin Audio, @2013, ISBN: 978-1611761634, Unabridged, 11 Discs, Listening Time: 12.5 Hours

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

As always, I appreciate you taking time to stop by today. Hope you’re having a great weekend and ready for the holiday Monday. Now, did I tempt you to ‘read’ these two books together?

SIDE NOTE: BTW, have you noticed the posts have been in different fonts lately? I’ve been trying to find one that is easy to read and still looks pretty. If you have a preference for one of the fonts, just let me know what date was on the post you liked best. You can either leave a comment or send me an email with “Fonts” in the subject line. Thanks for your help. I want it to be easy and fun for you to read.


  1. Mason - Macaroni and cheese is such a comfort food, isn't it? Yum!! And I like the idea of the New York setting of Death Angel. You picked some good 'uns to share.

  2. Hi Mason .. I love macaroni cheese ... and often make variants of it ... and that would be a great book for a student ... easy to follow, delicious and tasty, while being fairly cheap ingredients ...

    The Death Angel concept draws me in too ...

    Fonts .. always difficult, depending on the length of the blog post ... these are fine, equally they could be slightly bigger ...

    Good luck with working that out .. cheers Hilary


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