Tag: baking

Baking & Books: Mini Challenge #4

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon


Mini Challenge #4: Bookish Life + Non-bookish Passion

[The Girl of Fire & Thorns, Tiger Lily, Anne of Green Gables, The Book Thief, The Madman’s Daughter]

Today’s challenge asks bloggers to mash-up their bookish lives with a hobby or passion they have in real life. One of my passions is baking!! I love to try new recipes, and I especially love to have people over and entertain—murder mystery dinner parties have been a favorite in the past, but also brunches. For this challenge, I’m going to share different baked goods I would prepare for characters from some of my favorite books. If you would eventually like to see recipes or know what cookbooks these recipes are from, leave a comment letting me know which food item you would most want to try.

Happy reading and happy baking! vintage cake


1. Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns is one of my new favorite heroines.You can see my review here. She loves baked goods, as we find out in the first book, and so I am going to prepare her breakfast. I think an ideal time for this would be at the beginning of Book 3, right before it begins, when things are a bit difficult.

I’m going to serve:

Doughnut French Toast

Ham and Mushroom Muffins

Chai Tea

For the road for Elisa and the gang (right before Book 3):

Nutty Apple Loaf

2. Tiger Lily is another new favorite, read at the end of 2013. You can read my review here. I love Tiger Lily!! I decided to bake for both she and Peter. I’m going to give them some treats to take along on one of their walks. I might throw in something savory that is easy to transport.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Sesame Peanut Noodle Wraps

3. There’s no way I can stay away from Avonlea! I will be paying a visit to Anne Shirley’s house from Anne of Green Gables to have tea with her and Diana Barry. Here’s the menu:

Cherry Chip Cake with Cherry Buttercream

Blueberry Pie

Old Vermont Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

4. Liesel and Max in The Book Thief are living in a tough time! World War II! So, I’m going to arrive as a kind of “baking fairy” and bring them an evening dessert from my world. Here’s what I’ll prepare for them:

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (amazing!!!)

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

For Max, Hans, & Rosa: S’mores-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding with Whiskey Marshmallow Topping

5. When Juliet Moreau arrives back from her trip somewhere between The Madman’s Daughter and the second book, Her Dark Curiosity, I think she needs to have a splendid tea waiting for her! I loved The Madman’s Daughter and you can see my review here.

Here’s what I hope she would appreciate:

A good strong black tea with milk

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake

Coffee Crunch Spiral

Hazelnut and Chocolate Cupcakes

Those are my ideas for now, but this certainly could turn into a book length work! Regardless, you can see I enjoy baking and love to combine this with my reading (and writing!). What would you bake for characters from your favorite books??

What Katie Read

Connecting with Cakes


A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff (2013)

Suggested age range: 8 and up

(Philomel, 233 pages)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: Library

“Life is the grandest adventures one can go on, isn’t it?”

I love to bake and I love to read. Lisa Graff’s new book connects these two hobbies in A Tangle of Knots and I thought this book a true delight! Many characters in this story possess a “Talent,” a special ability. For Will it is the talent of getting lost; for Zane, it is spitting with precision. For eleven year old Cady, it is cake baking. She is able to bake the perfect cake for each individual she meets, and these delectable cake recipes are featured between different chapters in the novel. Will’s S’more Cake. The Owner’s Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. Miss Mallory’s Peach Cake. These are just a few. Readers could be baking and reading simultaneously if they really wanted.

There is a mystery behind Cady’s birth; she is an orphan and doesn’t know much about where she came from or about her parents. At the beginning of the story, she moves into a room above the Lost Luggage Emporium with Toby, who also has some secrets from his past. Her new home just happens to be in the same building as a family who may be more connected with her destiny than she realizes.

The perspective in the story changes from chapter to chapter. So, even though the reader might assume the point of view will remain Cady’s throughout the book, that isn’t actually how the story unfolds. The presence of the recipes gives the story texture and detail, and even gives readers something concrete to take away (if they wish!).

In addition to the perspective changes, I also liked the way Graff features both child and adult characters as important players in the story. In some ways this book reminded me of Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo as well as The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Both books feature children in search of identity and belonging and also reflect adults who are changed through the course of the story. The connectivity that develops among the various characters and the ideas of destiny and purpose are two ways I think this novel reflects the spirituality of children’s literature. Characters are stirred to take certain action or move in particular directions; it is as if something is driving them to do so. To be honest, I think something is driving me to bake and test “Cady’s Chocolate-Almond Cherry Cake”!

I wonder if teachers could use this novel to connect language arts and baking in their classrooms—how fun would that be?

I whipped through this book, and was sad to see it conclude, yet happy I had discovered such a gem. I think you will be too.

What Katie Read
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