Pupcakes

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Noblin, Annie England. Pupcakes: A Christmas Novel. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Brydie Benson needs to start over but life just seems to keep throwing her curveballs. Having recently lost her own bakery along with her marriage, Brydie now finds herself working in the bakery at the local ShopCo. Asked to dog-sit for an adorable Pug named Teddy Roosevelt while his owner moves to an assistant living complex, at least she has a place to live. When Brydie meets Dr. Nathan and his large Irish Wolfhound, Sasha, things begin to get interesting, if not a bit crazy…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Caught by the charming cover and title, I was in the mood for a fun, light, Christmas novel and that is exactly what I got. Full of lovable dog antics, a blooming romance and a personal mystery, Pupcakes even comes complete with delicious doggy recipes, including a recipe for Pupcakes. Though a few curse words were included and a very brief adult situation, it was overall an enjoyable read and would make a delightful Hallmark Channel movie. Finding a new author I am fond of, I have already ordered her previous book, Sit! Stay! Speak!, of course, full of more amusing pups.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

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fika

Brones, Anna. Kindvall, Johanna. Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and other Treats. USA: Ten Speed Press. 2015.

SUMMARY:
fikaThe necessary Swedish tradition of “fika” simply means taking a break for a cup of coffee, pairing it with a bakery item, and enjoying. Such breaks are taken with friends, co-workers, or even alone. Sticking closely to tradition, classic Swedish recipes are used, many of which have been passed down through generations and shared in this new cookbook.  Eating and coffee are tied culturally and bound to emotion. Fika requires taking the time to slow down in the midst of busyness…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Wow…what an absolutely delightful tradition! The authors share the meaning of the tradition, Swedish ingredients, many mouthwatering recipes and seasonal favorites. Paired with darling pencil drawings and personal anecdotes surrounding the recipes, fika is more than just a cookbook, it is a culturally-educational lesson too. Cordials, jams, coffee cakes, and cookies all fill the pages. Though perhaps not the healthiest of recipes by ingredients (most are based on butter and sugar), the smaller results are sure to satisfy and tempt even the strictest of eaters when eaten in moderation with friends. After all, couldn’t we all use some simple quiet time to enjoy what truly matters? “Ska vi fika?” (“Should we fika?”) Absolutely!!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of fika from Blogging for Books for my honest review*