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Elle Jauffret

Writer & Fork Handler

Summer: reconnecting with spooky children's literature

There is nothing like cold chills to survive a hot summer, and with a light work schedule, I am happy to be able to reconnect with my childhood love: "spooky" children's literature (it can be found in your bookstore under "Contemporary fantasy/horror/ghosts/ wizards & witches/historical”). 

1) THE WICKED DEEP by Shea Ernshaw (Young Adult- horror-witches)

From the book (hardcover p.16-18): “The sign above the glass door reads: ALBA’S FORGETFUL CAKES in pale pink frosting-swirled letters on a cream-color background. […] Her tiny forgetful cakes are intended […] to wipe away bad memories.”

Decadent chocolate fig basil cake (right); Lemon lavender (middle); Hazelnut espresso (left)---all mentioned in the book.

Decadent chocolate fig basil cake

Cream butter (4 tbsp of soft butter) + sugar (1/3 cup). Add to 3 large eggs and mix well. Add flour (1/3 cup) + salt (1/4 tsp). Mix well. Then add bittersweet chocolate (8oz and melted) + basil (chopped leaves about ½ cup) + figs (2 large, ripe).

Pour into muffin pan (makes about 10). Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes.

Decorate with powdered sugar, basil leave, or a slice of fig

Lemon lavender

Cream butter (1/2 cup softened) + sugar (1 cup). Add 2 eggs. Mix. Add flour (1 ½ cup) +baking powder (2 tsp) + salt (1/2 tsp). Mix well. Add low fat yogurt (1/2 cup) + lavender extract (1 tsp) + lemon juice (of 1 lemon).  Divide equally and pour into muffin cups/pan (makes about 10-12). Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes.

When cool, pour icing over cakes and sprinkle with lemon zest (of 1 lemon) and lavender flowers.

Icing recipe: confectioners sugar (1 ½ cup) + + lemon juice (2 tbsp)

Hazelnut espresso

Cream butter (1/2 cup softened) + sugar (1 cup). Add 2 eggs. Mix. Add flour (1 cup) + hazelnut flour (1/2 cup) + baking powder (2 tsp) + salt (1/2 tsp). Mix well. Add low fat yogurt (1/2 cup) + coffee extract  (or extra strong coffee) (2 tsp). Divide equally and pour into muffin cups/pan (makes about 10-12). Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes.

 

2) THE INN BETWEEN by Marina Cohen  (Middle Grade-ghost)

Early in the story, Quinn and Kara stop at Norm's Diner. Even though the menu offers many southwestern dishes, only grilled cheese sandwiches are available. I wanted to remediate that and give Quinn the taco salad she wanted and Josh the Diablo burger he craved.

Taco Salad            

In a bowl, place: Romaine lettuce (chopped, 1 handful) + ½ avocado (sliced in small cubes) + 1/2lb ground beef-less ground beef (or regular ground beef) (previously sautéed with 1 tsp of taco seasoning + 8 cherry tomatoes (cut in 4) + 1/3 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese + ¼ cup of salsa.   Mix all. Top with ¼ cup sour cream + 2 tbsp of scallions (sliced small) + tortilla chips 

Diablo burger

Brioche bun + roasted red bell pepper (1-2 slices) + Pepper Jack cheese (2 slices) + bison burger (cooked to taste) + mayonnaise +  slices of chili pepper

Image includes: Emma's orange backpack, the yellow ball cap, a page of Spanish lesson, pink string (bracelet), dead cellphone battery.

 

 

 

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