April 2012 Book Club

This month, Book Club was scheduled between all our kids schools spring breaks and much of the evening was spent discussing what everyone was up to for their holiday.  We had cocktails and the caramelized onion dip, that I brought for an appetizer, around Claudia’s kitchen table.   The dip was a huge success and I included pita chips with the carrots and celery (no radishes for this crowd!)

Claudia made a delicious green salad and three kinds of chili.  I sampled each one, topped with sour cream, green onions, and cheese.  There was a basket of hot corn muffins, so close to my seat at the table, that it was very convenient for me to have more than one!  Dinner was delicious, but I was more focused on dessert (sorry Claudia!)   Adrienne made Darn Good Chocolate Cake.  Yes, that is the actual name of the recipe…and, it is darn good!  The recipe was given to me years ago by a colleague and I passed it along to Lisa, who in turn gave it to Adrienne.  The recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor and is super easy to make.  I rarely use boxed mixes for baking, preferring to make everything from scratch, but this one is a keeper.  When I searched on-line for photographs and a link for the recipe, I found Nest Full of Eggs’ post about the recipes she tried and enjoyed from The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free.  Below is a picture of the gluten-free version of  Darn Good Chocolate Cake.


I had never thought about substituting gluten-free mix in the recipe, but with a son with Celiac, I am thinking this could be an easy and less expensive way to introduce him to many more baked items.  Here are images and links to both the cook books.  I plan on checking them both out to see what other quick and delicious recipes they hold.

The Cake Mix Doctor

After dessert, we got down to the business of discussing our April book:  Secret Daughter: A Novel by Shilpa Somaya Gowda.

The Secret Daughter is a beautiful story about two mothers and their daughter.  One mother, Kavita, lives in a remote Indian village where her culture favors boys over girls.  Many of the daughters born to the villagers “disappear” after birth. When Kavita delivers a daughter, she sneaks way from her village to give her daughter to an orphanage in hopes that her daughter will have a better life.   Meanwhile, Somer, an American Doctor is trying desperately to have a child.   When pregnancy is no longer a possibility for Somer, she and Krishnan, her Indian husband, go to India to adopt a a baby girl, Katvia’s daughter. The story takes you through all three womens’ lives and shows how heritage, culture, and love play a role in shaping each of them.
It was unanimous, we all loved the book and had a good time discussing so many aspects of the story line: the diverse cultures, giving your child up for adoption, raising a child that physically looks nothing like you, growing up not knowing who your birth mother is and so much more. Here is my rating:

To purchase and/or read a sample click here


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