The Lost Recipe for Happiness_Barbara_ONeal

Favorite FoodieBook Fridays! | The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal

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Do you love food novels, food-themed books, or books with food as much as I do? As I’ve mentioned before, I love books and I love cooking, and I love novels with food themes. Here’s a taste of what’s to come! My all-time favorite author of “FoodieBooks” is Barbara O’Neal @barbaraoneal. Have you read any of her books? Can you recommend other food novelists that I or my readers will love?

The Lost Recipe for Happiness_Barbara_ONeal

One of my favorite food themed books

The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal is probably my favorite, but there are so many that I love, like How to Bake a Perfect Life.  I may have to re-read all of her books to be sure! To give you an idea of the beauty of her writing, here is one of my favorite snippets. I agree wholeheartedly with the author, “the fingerprint of a chef is born in childhood…”

The Lost Recipe for Happiness

“… The fingerprint of a chef was born in childhood. She remembered drinking red Nehi soda and eating potato chips on the concrete back step of her Uncle George’s store on a hot day, the sky as cloudless and plain as a piece of turquoise plastic. She thought of women cooking tamales in somebody’s kitchen, the ripe smell of simmering pork and red Chimayo chile filling the air. Her Aunt Viola’s tender, pale yellow cake with sprinkles of shredded coconut stuck to the frosting. Watermelon straight out of somebody’s field, hot and sweet and thirst-quenching like nothing else in the world. Hot dogs roasted on a barbecue with little black lines of crackly skin.
She narrowed her eyes, sketching chiles and tomatoes and pigs along the edge of the page. Tamales were hearty, and the structure made it possible to put almost anything inside. Duck? Venison? Peaches? A swirl of flavors rose against the roof of her mouth, a depth of dark sour cherry, the smoky gaminess of fowl, tender roasted onions. …”

~The Lost Recipe for Happiness, Barbara O’Neal


In many of Barbara O’Neal’s food-themed novels, the main characters are getting a fresh start, finding happiness through cooking, and following their inner voices to find passion and fulfillment in their lives. In The Lost Recipe for Happiness the main character, Elena, endures personal loss, guilt, and physical pain and finds a new life where she can put aside the guilt and pain and love again. The writing and everything about this book are gripping, I promise you won’t be able to put it down!

Cooking with Gran

I’ll never be a chef, but my love of cooking began as a child, cooking breakfasts and baking and decorating cookies with my Gran. I can still taste the cream cheese frosting and picture the pink cheeks on the Santa Claus cut-out cookies vividly in my mind! I remember making these tuna cakes for dinner.

This book is obviously beloved. It has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating, and I give it a 5! What do you think? What are some of your favorite food novels?

Hollie’s Favorite FoodieBooks on Goodreads

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About the author

I started eBookFoodie in 2018 as a hobby, to quiet a nagging voice inside my head to be creative and to be more productive. It went live in January 2019. I’ve always been hesitant to post about myself or my life, but when it comes to recipes and books, I find that I enjoy it! I especially like posting recipes inspired by books that I’ve read, and recreating family favorites!