Dishing Up Romance - Carolyn Hughey

Released April 2012

Carolyn Hughey
Avalon Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Dishing Up Romance takes contemporary romance and mixes it with a few recipes. In essence, you end up with something similar to a culinary mystery but in the romance genre. It's a great twist, and one I've been saying would be marketable for years. Quite simply, romance and food do tend to go hand in hand, especially when you're trying to impress that certain someone.

 Cassie Pirelli's job in finance ended when her firm closed their doors for good. A change of career was exactly what Cassie felt was necessary, so she started working for her father's friend launching a culinary career. Things are going great, though the money isn't the same, but Cassie's determined to make it work.

When her parents announce they're closing the family deli and plan to give Cassie the space to open her own cooking school/kitchen store, she's eager to make it work. With a handsome contractor ready to convert the space to that of her dreams, she never imagines romance might enter the picture. Does she really have time to balance the launch of a new business and the attentions of a man who takes her breath away?

The book mixes the romance with the recipes seamlessly. There are a few recipes I plan to try immediately, and tonight's goal is the "I Don't-Need-No-Stinkin'-Gateway-To-A-Man's-Heart Meatballs in Tomato Sauce" and then the "Mama's-Dreamin'-Tiny-Toes Molten Lava Cakes." I'll update the reviews to share how the recipes turned out. The addition of raisins in the meatball recipe has me curious. I know that tomatoes and raisins complement each other, so that recipe intrigues me.

As far as the romance aspect goes, Cassie is a little standoffish for my tastes. It's surprising Josh waited given all of her "friends-only" signals. Granted she's been hurt before, but I guess my thoughts on romance are far different to the average person. I've always been an "if it's there, give it a shot and find out" kind of person.

Amazon's selling this book for under $5. You can't beat that price. As this is a book that will likely end up on your keeper shelf, if only for the delicious recipes, I say go treat yourself to a romance/cookbook!


  1. Thank you for such a nice review, Tracy. I hope you enjoy the recipes.

    1. The meatball recipe is the best I've ever used. But, it was the recipe for the Molten Lava Cakes that really blew my family away. Even my daughter who doesn't like dark chocolate devoured hers and then said she'd happily eat seconds, thirds, and fourths. I did make a few adjustments, mainly because she hates coffee, so I left the coffee powder out and switched the coffee liqueur to Irish Cream, but it's so easy to follow and came out perfectly.

      I have a tip on melting the chocolate. Microwave is good, double boiler works too, but there are many of the glass-top electric stoves now that have a melt setting. If yours is one of them, don't be afraid to use it. On mine, it took about 20 - 30 minutes and you should check and stir every five minutes or so, but it works perfectly every time and maintains the ideal temperature for melting without scorching your chocolate.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed them and you found them easy to make. I'll have to try using the Irish Cream.

    The second in this series, "One Menu at a Time" will be out in December.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books

Farewell Floppy by Benjamin Chaud