No-Knead Olive Skillet Bread

This FoodieBook Friday is a revisit to last week’s Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash post. I’ve had several requests to post the full No-Knead Olive Skillet Bread recipe. It’s an amazingly moist, easy to make, garlicky, yeasty, salty, olivey treat!

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Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash

Cherry & Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash – It’s not my Mother’s Stuffed Acorn Squash! It’s a delightfully easy, sweet, and savory dish!

Stuffed acorn squash
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Just like everybody else, I often find it hard to come up with ideas for dinner. I was looking for something to inspire me to make dinner and I had just read about this garlicky, salty skillet bread on the Food In Books blog. It was amazing! I served it with herbed olive oil that I made with parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Thanks, Food In Books, for the inspiration!!!

olive skillet bread rising

So I had bread, now what!?

Olive Skillet Loaf
Olive Cast Iron Skillet Bread sliced

That got me totally inspired to get creative in the kitchen and how I came up with this Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash recipe!

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Sweet Potato Churros chocolate AND caramel, all on one plate? YES PLEASE!

Sweet potato churros

Favorite FoodieBook Friday Sweet Potato Churros, with a side of chocolate sauce AND a side of caramel sauce!

CHURROS! This week I had to make churros. I’ve never made them before, but in the past two books I’ve read, churros were mentioned thirteen times!

The Lost Recipe for Happiness, by Barbara O’Neal

While I read (re-re-re-read) The Lost Recipe for Happiness, by Barbara O’Neal last week my mouth watered over “Tansy’s Churros” recipe. It’s really a simple recipe combining eggs, flour, water, and butter. They are piped into hot oil and sprinkled, while hot, with sugar and cinnamon.

How to Live an Undead Lie, by Hailey Edwards

This weekend I read How to Live an Undead Lie, by Hailey Edwards, and wouldn’t you know, before the end of the first chapter, I was drooling again over churros. Churros are the main character, Grier’s “Kryptonite,” especially Esteban’s Churros, and by the description of them, I totally get it! “Eat more churros. Add extra caramel. With a side of chocolate sauce.” Yum! While it’s not a food-themed book, I love reading about how much she loves these little treats and shares them with her friends. When I’m not reading food-themed fiction, you’ll find me reading urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

In honor of Tansy’s Churros and Esteban’s Churros, I made Sweet Potato Churros, with a side of chocolate sauce and a side of caramel sauce!


I decided I had to try and sneak in some nutritious value (yeah right). Since I had one sweet potato, so I searched for recipes for sweet potato churros and came across one from the Food and Home Entertaining blog, with butternut squash. I adapted it by using a half sweet potato instead, which I peeled, cubed, and microwaved in a little water until tender. I used my cast iron skillet filled with about an inch of coconut oil to fry them.

While the sweet potato cooled, I made Easy Caramel Sauce from The Pioneer Women. It’s super easy and just a few ingredients, brown sugar, butter, half & half, a little vanilla, and a pinch of salt. (I’ll post the link below!)

Chocolate Sauce is a Must!

And since Grier Woolworth says you have to have chocolate sauce to dip them in, I made a quick sauce by heating about 1/4 cup of half & half in the microwave and poured it over about 5 dark chocolate Promises, and four Hershey’s Kisses and stirred until smooth. None of those weird chocolate-flavored wafer melting thingys, yuck, use some real chocolate, or chocolate chips!

I didn’t have a large piping bag and tip, or a big vat of oil, so I made them on a much smaller scale. I can only imagine how good they would have been in a deep fryer, and large enough to poke a hole into and fill with caramel sauce, but these little golden churros drizzled with chocolate and caramel were so good, that my husband actually came into the kitchen to steal them!

Recipes used for Sweet Potato Churros with Caramel and Chocolate Sauce

I was inspired to make these sweet treats by these two of my Favorite FoodieBooks! If you read them, let me know if you love them as much as I do! I doubt you’ll find me frying any more goodies soon, but once in a blue moon is ok!

If you like these sweet treats, try my Bacon, Peanutbutter, and Banana Breakfast Cookies, inspired by Bailey Cates!

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

The Lost Recipe for Happiness_Barbara_ONeal

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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Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas!

heart shaped valentines day side dish
Lemon Ginger
roasted buttery Heart shaped potatoes for Valentines Day

One of my favorite Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas is these Adorable Heart-Shaped Lemon Ginger Roasted Sweet Potatoes! You can serve them plain, add whatever flavor you like, or make these Lemon Ginger Roasted Sweet Potato Hearts. Depending on the size of your potatoes, you’ll need 2-3 sweet potatoes, a cookie-cutter, (smaller in diameter than your sweet potatoes) butter, a fresh lemon, fresh ginger, brown sugar, and a bit of olive oil. (Salt, optional)

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