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March 7, 2016

Romance and Fried Dough: Review & Recipe #MondayBlogs

review by Donna Huber

Bayou My Love

I read Bayou My Love by Lauren Faulkenberry over a month ago because I was looking for a light read and this book sounded like a light-hearted chick lit novel.

Enza sounded a little bit like me. She's thirty-one, independent, and trying to find her place in the world. She works in her dad's house flipping company. She inherited her grandmother's house. A home she has fond memories of from her childhood, even though the summer visits stopped when her mother ran away. Enza wants to prove to her father that she is ready for projects on her own. I think her dad fears she will up and leave just like her mother. She heads to the bayou where things don't go quite as planned.

I felt the plot was a bit predictable. Enza shows up at the house to find a guy and his dog lounging on the front porch - if you don't know where that is headed or how it end then you probably haven't read much romance. And a part of reading a light read is not really having to think. So really it was a great escape read.

Bayou My Love is well written. I looked forwarded to sitting down with this story and letting reality slip into the background. This would have been a perfect book in my opinion if it hadn't been for the sex scenes. Long time readers know how I feel about sex in a novel (you can read my thoughts on sex in books here). The scenes didn't move the story forward and only added a little to the development of the characters.

However, I really thought Faulkenberry did a great job of creating her characters. I was immediately drawn to them and wanted to know their story. I would have liked a bit more tension between the adversaries, but then again this is a romance and not a thriller.

There were a few subplots that I didn't feel were adequately resolved and I hope there will be future books. I would be happy to head back to Louisiana.

Buy Bayou My Love at Amazon

I feel like I should give a small warning if you have a sweet tooth. You will want beignets. At least I did. I read two books set in Louisiana and they both featured this treat. I had to go looking for a recipe. I liked this one from Southern Living.

photo Zoe from Seattle, USA
What you need:
1 (1/4 oz) envelop active dry yeast
1.5 cup warm water
1/2 cup + 1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup shortening
9 cups flour
enough oil for frying
powdered sugar for dusting

What to do:
Mix the yeast, warm water, and 1 tsp granulated suger and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the milk, beaten eggs, and the rest of the sugar into yeast mixture.

Add shortening to hot water until melted, combine with yeast mixture. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat 4 cups flour slowly into the yeast and shortening mixture until smooth. Then add 2 - 3 cups of flour until it is a sticky dough. Place dough in a greased bowl (turn to grease top of dough), cover, and refrigerate 4 - 24 hours.

On a floured surface, roll dough to an 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2.5 inch squares.

Add enough oil to a Dutch oven to have a depth of 2 -3 inches (or you could use a deep fat fryer). Fry dough, in batches, until golden brown (2 -3 minutes on each side). Dust fried dough with powedered sugar.

Book info:
available formats: ebook and print (292 pages)
published: March 2016 by Velvet Morning Press
ISBN13: 9780692556238
genres: romance
source: author

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