Sweet Magnolia

by Candace Vorhaus on July 18, 2014


Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir is Frances Mayes newest book. Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun, recreates the intensity of her childhood as many wonder why she left the sweet south for sunny California and the beautiful hills of Tuscany.

I was exited to read this book. My mother grew up in the south and as a child, we would take the train from New York City to Shreveport, Louisiana where my grandfather would meet us. I have so many fond memories of the sweet smell of the magnolia trees in the yard, spanish moss hanging from the trees, and laying on cool white sheets staring at a ceiling fan during “nap” time.

Under Magnolia goes beneath the surface of all that’s romantic about the south and lets you peek at Mayes troubled childhood. Hers is not an idyllic southern upbringing. Having overcome growing up with a depressed, alcoholic father and a difficult mother, Mayes fled the south for California and Tuscany.

Although Under Magnolia has many sweet and sentimental descriptives, Under the Tuscan Sun still remains my favorite Mayes book.





I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.



Flashback Snacks

by Candace Vorhaus on June 23, 2014

www.randomhouse-1I am so excited to receive Jennifer Steinhauer’s new book, Treat Yourself.  Reading through this delicious, baking book brings back memories of my childhood that I had long forgotten.  After endless hours of experimentation, Jennifer Steinhauer, “cracks the code” for 70 classic, childhood snacks such as Twinkies, Mallowmars, Oreo’s, my favorite – Funny Bones, and many more.  Using fresh, wholesome ingredients, Jennifer brings back the memorable flavors of these iconic snacks and treats.

Growing up in Garden City, Long Island, I spent my summer days with friends and neighbors at the town pool.  Taking a break from swimming, we would climb the hill to the snack bar and buy an ice cream sandwich, a Strawberry Shortcake ice cream pop, or a pack of Chicken in a Biskit. With each crunch of a Chicken in a Biskit’s salty, chicken soup flavored cracker, I remember looking inside for a bit of chicken.  No chicken there.

As I got older, I discovered the chocolaty/peanut buttery goodness of Funny Bones and it became my favorite lunchtime snack, until I had to give up lunchtime snacks.  Working with the Girl Scouts I discovered Tagalongs and our family favorite, Samoa’s.  Now that I am more conscious of how I’m eating, I’m happy to be able to make a yummy, nostalgic snack with healthy ingredients when I want to treat myself.

I’m still trying to decide which recipe to make first.  If you’d like to try a few, here’s a sneak peek.  So, what’s your favorite childhood snack?



Disclaimer: “I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.”