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Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: Fool's Gold Cookbook by Susan Mallery

Format: Bound copy (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: September 1, 2013

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery invites you to taste the local cuisine of her beloved fictional town and share in a year's worth of deliciously seasonal recipes.

Fool's Gold is known as the Land of Happy Endings, but it's also the land of hearty appetites. Throughout the series, the residents of Fool's Gold have found joy, comfort and good times through food. Now two local Fool's Gold chefs will also find love through food! Join them as they flirt, fight and fall in love, one season at a time.

You'll also find favorite recipes from popular characters in the series, such as:

Heidi's Arugula, Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese.
Liz's Spaghetti for the Girls.
Denise's Summer Berry Pie.

With chapters for summer, spring, fall and winter, you can find the perfect recipe for everything from holiday get-togethers to cozy date nights, always using the freshest ingredients. And the heartwarming love story that is woven throughout is Susan Mallery at her finest.

The more than 150 recipes and dozens of gorgeous photographs in this book will inspire you to find perfection in the simple and the seasonal. And with all of Fool's Gold with you in the kitchen, your every celebration will have a happy ending.

I am not a domestic diva, nor do I want to be. I burn almost everything I attempt to cook without effort but I do love food. So it was a bit of a shock for me when we (my mother and I) tried a recipe from Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold Cookbook and a.) didn't take all day and b.) didn't burn down the neighborhood.

Looking at the recipes most of them seemed easy enough to do but what I truly loved about this cookbook is that it was inspired by a series of beloved books by author Susan Mallery. I wish more authors would consider doing cookbooks. I may not like to cook but I would buy cookbooks from my favorite authors that are inspired by their books and characters.

Whether you're familiar with Susan Mallery's work or not, the Fool's Gold Cookbook is a must have for those who enjoy making quick, easy and enjoyable dishes. If you're a parent, there are some kid friendly recipes as well, plus, you can even get your kids in on helping you make them!

Book Rating:

Find Susan Mallery:

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We chose to make the Strawberry Shortcakes for our Labor Day weekend Barbeque dinner. We did do half of the original recipe because, ha ha, it serves 10 and we're a 3 woman household. Though to be honest I could have eaten half by myself. One of the great things about this recipe is that everyone gets their own mini "cake" to themselves.

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on biscuits before baking
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • Heavy cream, to brush on biscuits before baking

  • 2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups heavy cream, whipped, for garnish

I want to thank my mom Maggie who was the Captain AND the Crew for this particular voyage. I was just the camera woman and the Official Taste Tester. Enjoy the photos of the entire process! Note: The recipe instructions are in bold italics.

Is there anything better than fresh strawberries? Yes. Fresh strawberries sprinkled with sugar!

Recipe: For Filling - In a large bowl, combine sliced
strawberries and sugar. Toss to coat; let
sit 30 minutes, until strawberries release
their liquid.

 For Filling (cont) - In a large bowl with an
electric mixer or whisk, whip cream.

Our lovely supplies. This was the first time we ever used cake flour and let me tell you, it really makes a difference in the texture and fluffiness if not the taste.

Recipe: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking pad.
Recipe: In a food processor, pulse both flours, baking powder, sugar and salt until blended. Add cold butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; pulse until dough forms a moist ball.

Because we don't have a food processor, the dry ingredients and butter were mixed by hand.

Again, we don't have a food processor available right now. Instead my mom used her 3 cup food chopper which works just at well if you're making half the recipe. She added the buttermilk to the mixed flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and butter.
It kind of doesn't look like much at this point so some kneading is done.
After a little more kneading it finally starts to look like something that could be edible.

Recipe: Scrape dough onto a lightly floured
countertop. Knead a few times; pat into
a ¾-inch high circle.

Time to break out the cutter! I don't know how long my mom's had that cutter but since I can remember it would make yearly appearances, usually around Christmas.

Recipe: Using a 2- to 3-inch
biscuit cutter, cut out 10 biscuits. Push
any scraps together to form additional
biscuits, if desired.

 The first few "cakes" are ready for the sugar!

Recipe: Transfer to prepared

 Recipe: Lightly brush with cream.

We make do with the supplies at hand.

 Recipe: Sprinkle with sugar.
Look at how golden and yummy they look! The only problem was that while they are well done, the bottoms kind of burned a bit. It happens with every thing we cook in that oven.

Recipe: Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Let
cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer
to a wire rack.

 Time to ready the "cakes."

Recipe: Slice biscuits in half horizontally. Place
bottom half on dessert plate; top with
a spoonful of strawberries and whipped

 This is where those strawberries and sugar we left to "sit" come in. If you notice, they are now nice and juicy.

 Almost done now!

Recipe: Top with the top half of the
biscuit. Add another scoop of cream;
drizzle with juice from the strawberry
bowl. Serve immediately.

 The top view.
Side view. Honestly, our version looked like a dessert version of a hamburger. A very tasty hamburger.
It goes so well with anything! The light and fluffy biscuit wasn't too sweet and the strawberries and cream added a great, fresh flavor that I really enjoyed. All in all the process took about an hour from start to finish which isn't bad. I'm sure with practice it will take even less time. Be sure to be on the lookout for future posts about the recipes in this particular book.

Side Note: I noticed that the biscuits can also be eaten alone and make a great "Tea" or "Coffee" biscuits.


  1. Aw they look gorgeous Adriana! I I ended up making one of the appetizers from the cookbook and it turned out really good. And I'm so with you I'd buy cookbooks that went with a couple of my favorite series in a heartbeat.

  2. Great post, Adria! I just ate dinner and a Blizzard for dessert, but you've got me hungry again. :)

  3. I'm just as bad Stacey. I was putting this post together a few days ago and I had just eaten but as soon as I started looking at the pictures I got hungry all over again.

  4. I want to try some of the appetizers next. Although when the cold weather finally rolls around I'm doing the hot cocoa :)

  5. Yeah to the not burning down the neighborhood :) I am pretty sure the neighbors appreciated that LOL


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