Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marie Sexton's Top 5 Cookbooks & a #Giveway: Lost Along the Way (Tales of the Curious Cookbook, Book 3) Marie Sexton

Please welcome Marie to the blog today.  She's going to talk cookbooks with us!

Hello everybody! I’m Marie Sexton, soccer mom, football fan, author of gay romance, and collector of cookbooks. In fact, my latest release, Lost Along the Way, is one of the Tales of the Curious Cookbook – a series of novellas centered around a mysterious (and possibly magical) cookbook. So, since I hear top ten lists are en vogue, I decided to do one myself.

Except it's only a top five list because (let's be honest here), I'm lazy.

So without further ado, here it is: my top five list of cookbooks.

5. Timing is Everything, by Jack Piccolo: One could argue this isn't really a cookbook since it doesn't contain recipes per se. What it does contain is information, specifically with regard to (you guessed it) timing. It has detailed charts of cooking times, cooking methods, and shelf life for everything from kohlrabi and bulgur to lamprey and weisswurst. It's well-indexed and easy to use, making it a great resource when you're in the middle of a barbecue and can't remember if chicken breasts should be cooked to 160º or 180º.

4. The Spice Bible, by Jane Lawson: I'll be honest, I haven't actually used this cookbook yet because I just bought it. But man, it's gorgeous! The blurb on the front cover boasts "essential information and more than 250 recipes using spices, spice mixes, and spice pastes." The spices are grouped by type (seeds and pods, berries and flowers, roots and bark, etc.), and each one includes family members, aliases, and a brief history, followed by a series of recipes. I've already marked several to try out. Did I mention it's gorgeous?

3. The Oxford Companion to Food, by Alan Davidson: Okay, I'm cheating again, because this isn't a cookbook at all. I don’t think it has a single recipe. But it's fascinating. I've spent hours skimming its pages over the years. Did you know there used to be many kinds of ketchup, including mushroom ketchup, walnut ketchup, and oyster ketchup? Did you know Worcestershire Sauce was created by accident in a chemist's shop? The story goes that it was a special order that was never collected. It was accidentally left for some years in the cellar and began to ferment. The knucklehead who stumbled across it was going to throw it out, but decided to taste it first (logically, because who wouldn't taste the fermenting contents of a mysterious barrel found in the cellar?), and discovered it was quite yummy. The Oxford Companion to Food is full of these fun (and sometimes downright disturbing) facts.

2. Colorado Collage, from the Junior League of Denver: I own most of the Colorado cookbooks published by the Junior League of Denver, but this one is my go-to cookbook. I also gift it to every single couple I know when they get married. I don’t think I've ever been disappointed by a recipe in this book. My favorites are the Fireside Garlic with Rosemary (although make sure you eat it together, because you'll be breathing garlic for the rest of the night), the Blueberry Stuffed French Toast (my family eats some version of this every single year at Christmas), and the Sausage Rigatoni (my husband requests this several times a month, and it makes great leftovers). In short, this book is definitely a keeper.

1. And last but not least, my favorite cookbook is… [drumroll!!] Recipes for the Heart: Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts, by Granny B! Okay, okay, it's not a real cookbook either, but I'm sure you saw it coming. This fictional cookbook is the central component of the Tales of the Curious Cookbook anthology, and I'm telling you, if this cookbook were real, it'd be worth its weight in gold. Its recipes can cure broken hearts, save rainy days, and help the owner find true love.

And since I'm a collector of cookbooks (and other food-related books), I want your suggestions! Whether it's a "real" cookbook, a resource book, or just a stack of typed pages stapled together by your grandmother, I want to know -- what's your favorite cookbook? 

About Lost Along the Way:

Three months after losing his parents in a car crash, Denver weatherman Daniel Whitaker returns to Laramie, Wyoming. It’s bad enough dealing with the death of his parents and his failing relationship of fifteen years, but when he finds his childhood home full of clutter, Daniel is at a loss. He enlists Landon, his parents’ sexy neighbor, to help him sort through the mess.

Landon Kushner is a study in contradictions. He builds wind sculptures out of scrap metal and loves the outdoors, but he also rides a mint-green Vespa and has an affinity for knitting and fortune-telling. He’s been friends with Daniel’s parents for years, and he’s more than willing to lend a hand.

Their plan is simple: clean the house so Daniel can sell it and get back to his life in Denver. But when a strange cookbook comes into Landon’s possession, Daniel begins to realize that the universe – and Granny B – may have other plans.

Each Book in Tales of The Curious Cookbook Can Be Read As a Standalone

Book Details:

Lost Along the Way
Tales of the Curious Cookbook, Book 3
Marie Sexton

Genre: gay contemporary romance,
with a bit of magical realism

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Date of Publication: April 15, 2015

Word Count: 44K

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

About Tales of the Curious Cookbook:

It’s called comfort food for a reason.

Not much is known about the cookbook, except that years ago, the mysterious Granny B collected a set of magical recipes and wrote them down. Over the years, each book has been modified, corrected, added to, and passed down through the generations to accumulate its own unique history. The secrets behind these very special recipes are about to find their way into new hands and new lives, just when they’re needed the most.

Food created out of love casts a spell all its own, but Granny B’s recipes add a little something extra. This curious cookbook holds not only delicious food, but also the secrets of love, trust, and healing, and it’s about to work its magic once again.

About the Author:

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

My website/blog:






Enter the Giveaways:

Giveaway 1

Kindle Fire

$25 Giftcard to Dreamspinner Press

Paperback copy of Tales of the Curious Cookbook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway 2

Paperback copy of Promises

$25 Giftcard to Dreamspinner Press a Rafflecopter giveaway


Denise Dechene said...

My husband does the cooking. With good reason. He loves the Cook's Illustrated website and magazine. He uses it often. We also have a cookbook from the Victory Gardens that has wonderful recipes for all types of vegetables.

Tracy Faul said...

I have a small-but growing collection of cookbooks (I love Goodwill for this) but my absolute favorites are my great-grandmother's slowly disintegrating 1946 printing of the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book (the 3-ring binder with the ubiquitous red-and-white checked cover) and my own personal cookbook, which is a marbled composition notebook, the kind you can get for a dollar, with recipes written in various colors of ink, or stapled or taped to pages. It has a sort-of table of contents, but it's kind of a mishmash; one of these days I'm going to index it on my computer.

I am also a fan of the Tassajara Bread Book, although I've never successfully tried a recipe (the Zen part makes me a bit giggly, honestly) and Beard on Bread, and I have this gorgeous baking cookbook that was originally published in Germany in 1979 (I have an English version from the early 80s) jam-packed full of beautiful complicated intricate bits of everything from tea cakes to vol-au-vent to pizza.

Marie Sexton said...

Denise, I will have to check out Cook's Illustrated! Thanks for the tip.

Tracy, I know exactly which Better Homes cookbook you're talking about. And the marbled composition book sounds EXACTLY like a copy of Granny B's cookbook. :-)

Thanks for commenting!