Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: October 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Blogging Break

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Hickory Tavern in the Northlake Mall area of Charlotte. This sports bar chain restaurant offers a wide variety of menu items from chicken wings to crab legs and steak, although they streamlined their menu since our last visit.
Dora here. Hickory Tavern is one of those go-to comfort restaurants for me. You know what I'm talking about, right? When you're tired, don't really know what you want to eat or you just don't want to cook, Hickory Tavern offers an eclectic variety of choices for the whole family. And with all the big screens located on every wall, you can almost kick your shoes off and just relax. Almost. lol.

As you can see, we're early eaters. Anybody else staring at the clock, ready to eat by eleven thirtyish? No? Okay, that's why we beat the rush. :)
Inside-ample seating around 11:30 on a Saturday, but it gets crowded
The Shrimp Po’ Boy features breaded fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pickle, cajun remoulade served on a toasted hoagie roll with a side of my favorite tater tots. I don't often order a Po’ Boy sandwich but after enjoying this one, it might just be back on my items to order more frequently. The shrimp was cooked perfectly, but the Cajun remoulade is what pulled this entire sandwich together.
Shrimp Po' Boy
Dora here. Not sure why hubby's short on words today. Hmmm. Anyway, the Chicken California Sandwich minus the mushrooms and avocado was moist and juicy and tender, and the bun soft and fresh. Delicious!
Chicken California Sandwich
Reminded me why I like this place so much, and I admonished hubby that we need to come back more often. It's just a bit of a drive to make it a regular place. The food seemed to take awhile, but so long as the iced tea kept flowing, not a problem. :)

We would rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What's your go-to comfort restaurant? What makes it that way?

Dora here. We'll be taking a short review break. Be back on Saturday, Nov 7th. Enjoy the next couple of weeks!

Hickory Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Excited about Reading: SHE'S MINE by Tammy Doherty

Amazon Buy Link
The cover story~
Caitlin Harrington has a new job and a new life away from her menacing ex-boyfriend, Adam. Issues with her parents, losing her previous job and the death of her beloved grandmother leave her wondering if God has abandoned her. Two things she is sure of: she’s a lousy judge of character and men just can’t be trusted. Now a volunteer firefighter who has come to her rescue more than once is dangerously close to breaking through her defenses.

And not everyone in sleepy Naultag, Massachusetts is welcoming. Someone is leaving ominous notes on her door.

Sean Taggart likes being a rescuer. But a failed engagement has taught him to be cautious with his heart and Caitlin is a threat. Women just can’t be trusted. Still, he’d like to save Caitlin from whatever demons have her so spooked. If only she’d let him.

Threatening notes. Scratching at the windows during the night. A shadowy figure lurking in her yard. Caitlin must tell the police about Adam, but everything he told her was a lie. Who is Adam? And if Caitlin trusts Sean to protect her, will his life be in danger?

Can Sean rescue Caitlin before the stalker becomes a killer?

Sharing my takeaway~
After reading Celtic Cross (FREE as of the date of this post) by Tammy Doherty, I couldn't wait to dive into She's Mine. Settling back with a book by Tammy Doherty is a lot like chatting with a dear friend over coffee. :)

Such three dimensional characters with emotional and physical scars! Caitlin Harrington. Math lover, teacher, taking up residence in her beloved Grandmother's house back in Naultag. She learned from her mother's promiscuous relationships and avoids egotistical, controlling men. Most men, actually, except a couple friends from her past.

Mom driving away, leaving me behind as if I was nothing more than a piece of furniture. Except Mom came back for the furniture. 

Hero Sean Taggart, firefighter and campground owner. Recovering from physical injuries sustained during the story, he battles depression, insecurity and even jealousy. 

Caitlin was like a late-night fire--you saw the flames but the full extent was hard to judge and there was a high risk of getting burned.

I really appreciated the genuineness of the characters. Both struggled with failures and asked some tough questions, which made the faith thread flow naturally. The pages were filled with flirty, witty dialog, with a bit of sarcasm thrown in occasionally. Awesome descriptions transported me into the New England area of Naultag. More than one person wasn't happy that Caitlin returned to Naultag. I had an inkling about creepy Adam but never would've guessed the actual scenario that played out, a palm-slicker for sure. Be sure to grab your copy of She's Mine, a perfect book to laze away a rainy weekend afternoon!

Romance, love and marriage--and divorce--had no clean, easily solved equations.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book while it was listed free on Amazon. I was in no way compensated for my fair and unbiased review. 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating covers McKethan Brothers BBQ Restaurant in Boone, North Carolina.
McKethan Brothers BBQ serves smoked meats, homemade sauces, and southern sides. This family owned BBQ joint offers all the classics including baby back and St. Louis style ribs, chicken, chopped pork, and turkey.
Dora here. We'd been itching to try this place since discovering it over July 4th, but they were closed. It's a bit off the beaten track and shares the same driveway with another business. Don't be alarmed by the empty seats. As usual, we opened the restaurant. By the time we left, they were filling up fast.

We shared the Brothers Sampler Platter, a huge tray of pulled pork, chicken, turkey, St. Louis ribs, and baby back ribs with mac and cheese, Brunswick stew and a corn muffin. Huge, full of flavor, and a great example of southern BBQ! The star of this plate was the baby back ribs, juicy, tender, and fall off the bone. The St. Louis ribs were a close second, full of that smoky flavor that you look for in BBQ. The chicken and pork were great with the turkey being a little on the dry side. The Brunswick stew was outstanding with all of the normal ingredients found in the stew plus a little heat.
Brothers Sampler Platter
Sides - Mac & cheese and Brunswick Stew
Dora here. Delish!! We could've eaten for two days on this meal! The baby backs were killer, but I'm not a fan of St. Louis style ribs, so Ernie got lucky. I ate most of the turkey myself, so I was glad hubby thought it dry. lol. Love the zing that hit going down with the pork. If we lived here, we'd be a weekly visitor. Probably more than that in the winter because I'd order a whole bowl of the Brunswick stew on the off days. 

5 forks all the way!

What's your favorite BBQ restaurant?

McKethan Brothers Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Courage and a Bonus Recipe by Gail Kittleson

Gail Kittleson

"Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage." Anais Nin

This quote could be the back cover material for my debut women’s fiction, In This Together, because Dottie Kyle’s horizons expand as she faces her challenges and fears head-on.

I want to be like Dottie, and as you get to know her, you will, too. She’s an ordinary, honest, solid World War II era woman, but her recent losses—of her son in the war and her husband soon after—launch her into other kinds of change she never would have imagined.

Isn’t that just the kind of alteration we try to avoid? Dottie does, too, but change keeps batting her in the face, first through a rather nasty employee at Helene’s boarding house, where Dottie cooks and cleans.

But even more heart-opening (I could say wrenching, but let’s think positively), are her widower neighbor Al Jensen’s advances. It’s only been a year or so since he lost his wife, Dottie’s best friend, to cancer, and Dottie hasn’t even entered Nan’s kitchen in all that time.

Now, Al invites her to go fishing one summer night, and then for a fish fry the next evening. To Dottie’s surprise, both invitations lead to pleasant time spent with someone always close at hand, but relatively unknown. She finds comfort in sharing with Al and values his insights. Best of all, his rather nervous, conscientious personality doesn’t throw her off.

One other thing remains the same through it all: Dottie's cooking. She’s a meat and potatoes kind of gal, like Helene’s male boarders. Let me share a recipe from Dottie’s reserve, kept in her noggin, with a host of others.

Special Mashed Potatoes

A big pot of peeled, cooked white or red potatoes, drained except for about 2 c of liquid
A few chicken bouillon cubes
Lots of fresh, rich butter from the creamery down the street

Soak the bouillon cubes in the hot water. Mash potatoes and add butter. Salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in the liquid mixture gradually. Feeds six easily, or stretches for unexpected guests.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about Dottie’s recipe and/or times when courage has expanded your life.

Dora here. Gail has graciously volunteered to give away one pdf copy of In This Together to one commenter today

Purchase Link
Dottie Kyle is the kind of woman you'd want for your friend, steady and reliable. When World War II steals her son and she loses her husband soon after the Allied victory, she takes a job at Helene's boarding house. Cleaning for the boarders and making nutritious meals gives her a reason to wake up in the morning. But when her daughter in California experiences complications in her third pregnancy and needs help with the little grandchildren Dottie longs to meet, old fears of closed-in spaces hinder the required cross-country train trip.

Meanwhile, unexpected challenges arise at the boarding house, and Dottie's next-door widower neighbor Al pays her a new sort of attention. Could their growing friendship hold the clue to conquering anxieties that hold Dottie captive?

About Gail: Sometimes we learn what we've done only after we do it. I wrote my memoir Catching Up With Daylight over a ten-year period, but learned the term "spirituality writing" only after the book was published. Figuring things out after the fact is a life theme for me, but even though it isn't the easy road, I learn a lot in the process. My very patient husband (37 years) and I live in St. Ansgar, Iowa, where a small creative writing class meets in my home, and we enjoy our grandchildren. I facilitate workshops on creativity/memoir writing/aging with grace. My first fiction release with Vintage Rose, titled In This Together, will release November 18, 2015. 

Connect with Gail at and

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to the Plaza-Midwood area of Charlotte and to The Workman’s Friend, an Irish pub offering a variety of pub fare with a Southern influence. 

Dora here. Plaza Midwood came through for us again! Originally, we'd picked out a restaurant in downtown Charlotte, but Panther fans snagged all the on-street parking. Plaza Midwood is a fabulous alternative to eating in downtown proper, and I appreciated the ample parking in the back of The Workman's Friend. :)
For an appetizer, we chose the Bag of Chips, hand cut fries with salt and malt vinegar aioli. Not chips in the American sense, nor the typical thick and potato-y pub chips. They were almost a blend of the two, crispy on the outside and firm on the inside. I ate mine with extra malt vinegar. Perfect!
Bag of Chips
Dora here. You should have seen Ernie's face when the server set the chips down on the table. I knew he expected homemade American chips. lol.

The Irish Breakfast was the brunch special of the day. Eggs, a Banger (sausage), Black and White Pudding (also sausage), Irish Bacon, Baked Beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and sourdough toast. Black pudding is sausage made from blood, meat, fat, oatmeal, and bread or potato fillers. White pudding (the same minus the blood), and Irish bacon is from the back of the pig instead of the belly and is like ham. The highlights of this great dish were the three different types of sausage and the sourdough bread. 
Irish Breakfast - a Brunch Special

Dora here. I'm a big fan of Irish pubs. Well, pubs of all kinds, actually. I'd heard about Black and White pudding but never tried it until now. (See those two round patties next to the baked beans. And how did they ever come up with that name??). Considering the ingredients and the name, I was surprised at how tasty they were.

The Sausage Roll, a blend of ground sausage and mustard and sour cream inside a puff pastry, fit my mood. Something light, not too heavy, and I enjoyed the mild sausage flavor. 
Sausage Roll ~ An appetizer
We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What about you? Do you enjoy pubs? What's your favorite pub food?

The Workman's Friend Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,