Maple-Banana Muffins and The Ingredients of You and Me for TLC

 TLC and the publisher treated me to not only a copy of The Ingredients of You and Me, but also Nina Bocci’s other two novels in The Hopeless Romantics series:  On the Corner of Love and Hate and Meet Me on Love Lane.   (The Ingredients of You and Me is the last book in the series.)   Today’s post is focusing on the third book in Bocci’s series:  The Ingredients of You and Me.  

About the novel:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…and an old love.

After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

 

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Nina

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

About the author:

I pulled information about Bocci from her website.  You must stop by and read her bio.  She is hilarious.

I’m not allowed to go into a bookstore or Sephora without adult supervision. As a caveat, my mom doesn’t qualify as an adult, since she has always encouraged both my reading habits and my lip gloss addiction. Current fave: Fenty Beauty Lip Gloss Bomb

I always read the end of the book first or look up movie spoilers. I’ve been crushed by way too many Nicholas Sparks novels/movies not to. If there isn’t a satisfying happily ever after, I won’t watch it/read it.

What I thought…

This is a cute novel, one that goes quickly. There were some interesting plot components and without giving anything away I would like to focus on those.

Parker is an accomplished baker with some notoriety. She owns a NYC bakery called Delicious and Vicious, one that specializes in very tasty items that can be ordered up with direct (and sometimes nasty) messages. Need to break up with a needy boyfriend? D&V is the answer.

Parker has appeared on numerous Food Network shows and gained fame, so much so that she is able to sell her little bakery to a large company for enough money to be comfortable. But she loses her baking magic.

She travels back to her best friend’s hometown to try to get her mind together (and perhaps work on a budding romance). She hooks up with the town’s octogenarian club which has some colorful characters.

As usual, I lose patience with the romance formula and Parker’s love interest, Nick, who seems like a super sweet idiot at times.  (You can pick up on the formulaic plot in the above blurb.)

All-in-all, it was a fun read. There’s some heirloom recipes (from the aforementioned octogenarians) included. I received the first two books in this series too late to include in this post, but Parker’s best friends, Emma and Charlotte, are the protagonists of  On the Corner of Love and Hate and Meet Me on Love Lane, respectively.   Their romances are solidified in The Ingredients of You and Me.

The food…

Since Parker is a baker, there’s a lot of food in the novel: bagels, brownies, lots of frosting, pie, crème brûlée, truffles, tons of cupcakes, muffins, cakes, ice cream, torte, stollen, Baked Alaska, fudge, macaroons, eclairs, cannoli, scones…..

There’s lots of good comfort food, some of it Italian, thanks to Mancini (her adopted “grandmother”) and the rest of the Golden Girls:  lasagna, stuffed shells,  meatballs, pasta, salad, ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, pizza.

Mancini’s bunch also likes to imbibe and the younger set likes to visit a local brewery so there’s some adult beverages as well:  Manhattens, highballs, amaretto sour, gin & tonic, IPAs, whiskey, bourbon.

The final part of the book includes recipes, updated by Parker and attributed to the Golden Girls:

  • Cucidati (Italian Fig Cookies)
  • Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake)
  • Hummingbird Cake
  • Italian Wedding Cookies (anise cookies)
  • Ciambelone (Italian tea cake)

Parker creates (or tries to create during her “bad baking mojo” phase) many delicious sounding cupcakes.  One was Banana Maple Cupcakes (62) and it just so happens that Nick loves bananas.  I really wasn’t in a frosting mood, so I decided to make Maple-Banana Muffins.

 

Maple-Banana Muffins

These have just the right ingredients for you and me.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. packed mashed very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 3/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 T. raw sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Prepare muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas, almond milk and vanilla.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats,baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix just until combined.  Add pecans and just beat one or two rotations of the beater.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of the raw sugar.
  6. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool.
  8. These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They also freeze well.

Yield: 12

I love this recipe. (The original recipe used whole wheat flour.)  It has just the right amount of sweetness.  The next time I make these I will increase the amount of oats.  I added the pecans and I would highy recommend adding nuts.  The texture would have been a bit “off” without them.

I would have loved to have used some whole wheat flour in this recipe but I still can’t find any!  🙁

Please check out the other reviews in this tour here.

 

Linking up with Foodies Read for May.

Also connecting with Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking.

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