Banana Nut Butter Smoothie & You Are Not Alone

Partnerships, Reviews and Recipes

I am so excited to be celebrating the paperback release of You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen with a blog party hosted by The Book Club Cookbook! A copy of this book was gifted to me in order to create an inspired dish or drink.

You Are Not Alone is a psychological thriller by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, following the lives of Shay Miller and the Moore sisters as they’re brought together by the violent death of Amanda. Amanda was merely a stranger to Shay, who served as a witness to her suicide and becomes fixated on the young woman; but to Cassandra Moore and Jane Moore, Amanda was an integral part of a shady scheme…one Shay is about to become a part of, whether she knows it or not.

This page-turner is a twisty tale of mind games, cat and mouse, and manipulation. Not only is the plot head spinning, but I found myself with whiplash as I faltered between emotions like pity and outrage. You Are Not Alone masters the art of dramatic irony, allowing the reader in on (most of) the secrets. Watching events unfold left me with an unsettling feeling of helplessness. I knew what was going to happen, and yet I couldn’t reach through the pages to tell anyone. But there was nothing I could do except keep reading.

Throughout the book, Shay makes her famous banana nut butter smoothie (which later becomes a key plot point, no spoilers!). The ingredients are simple, and the special touch, Shay reveals, is cinnamon. 

To make this delicious smoothie, simply throw into a blender two bananas, three helping spoonfuls of nut butter (I chose peanut butter, though Shay’s nut butter of choice is almond), about ½ cup to 1 cup of milk (this could be dairy, almond, oat, etc. and the amount varies based on how thick/thin you like your smoothies), and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Blend until smooth and enjoy! 

Be sure to check out what other dishes and drinks this book inspired fellow bloggers to create by going to the You Are Not Alone Blog Party homepage.


Butternut Squash Rigatoni

Partnerships, Recipes

This post is brought to you in partnership with The Kitchn and Shipt.

I love cooking. From washing the vegetables, to mincing the garlic, to stirring the sauce, to plating the end result, I enjoy every step of the process! (Okay, except maybe cutting onions.)

However, some days my plans to cook are halted by my need to grocery shop. You mean I have to leave my apartment, wander around fluorescently lit aisles, stand in line, and haul everything here? No thank you!

That is, until I found Shipt! Shipt gifted me a one year free subscription and a monetary grocery credit to try their services, and I cannot tell you how blown away I was.

Shipt is a grocery delivery service, founded on the mission to simplify lives. With a subscription, customers are able to order groceries online and receive free delivery on orders $35 and above. A shopper goes to the store on your behalf and (this is the best part) communicates with you during the whole journey! Forgot to order garlic (like I did)? No problem! Just text your shopper and they’ll add it to your order. They also will update you on when they’re in line and on the way to your home. The shopper simply drops the delivery on your doorstep, and that’s it! You can even tip through the app.

The whole experience is extremely personal by allowing direct communication with your shopper. The shopper who picked up my order took just as much care picking out produce as I would have. They were lovely, and really made the whole experience enjoyable.

So, when the cool weather hit and I was dying to whip up a fall pasta dish, all I had to do was log on to Shipt and place my order for my ingredients. Less than a few hours later, I was ready to get cooking!


Best enjoyed in a warm bowl on a cool day.


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 oz grated parmesan
  • 1 lb rigatoni


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel and dice butternut squash. Toss with olive oil.
  • Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, and even distribute diced butternut squash. Bake for 30 minutes until soft.
  • When the squash has another 15 minutes or so left, begin to boil a generously salted large pot of water. When water comes to a boil, add pasta.
  • When butternut squash is ready, blend in a high power blender together with milk until creamy.
  • Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water. Remove and drain pasta before completely al dente. It will continue to cook in the sauce.
  • Return pasta to pot. Add butternut squash puree, butter, parmesan, and reserved pasta water. Mix well until butter and cheese is melted, and pasta is evenly coated. 
  • Enjoy!

#BlendsBash: Bay Seasoning Crudité Dip

Partnerships, Recipes

It’s week three of my #BlendsBash recipes, and this week I’m bringing you a simple crudité dip inspired by a modern literary favorite.

If you missed my post these last two weeks, welcome to #BlendBash 2020! Bloggers, authors, and bookstragrammers (including myself)  will be creating special recipes inspired by The Book Club Cookbook’s Book, TV, and Song Blends. These are unique spice blends that take their names after all your favorite books, shows, and songs!

I may be the last person on the planet who hasn’t read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The book is on my TBR, and if it’s anything as amazing as this bay seasoning “Where the Crawdads Zing,” I’m sure I’ll eat it up just as fast!

Bay Seasoning Crudité Dip

Enjoy this zingy dip with crackers and veggies!


  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Where the Crawdads Zing bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of parsley 


  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. (Optional: whip with an electric mixer for a fluffy texture.)
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Enjoy!

#BlendsBash: Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

Partnerships, Recipes

I’m so excited to bring you a new recipe this week inspired by a Song Blend from The Book Club Cookbook. If you missed my post last week, welcome to #BlendBash 2020! Bloggers, authors, and bookstragrammers (including myself)  will be creating special recipes inspired by The Book Club Cookbook’s Book, TV, and Song Blends. These are unique spice blends that take their names after all your favorite books, shows, and songs!

This week’s recipe is inspired by Cayenne Take My Eyes Off of You (cue the music!), a Nashville hot chicken spice with plenty of kick.


This recipe may seem just too good to be true, it’ll have you singing!


    • 1 lb chicken thighs
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 3 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Cayenne Take My Eyes Off of You Seasoning
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
    • ½ tablespoon Cayenne Take My Eyes Off of You Seasoning
    • Pinch of salt and pepper
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
    • Enough vegetable or canola oil for about 1 in depth in a frying pan – about 2 ½ cups
    • 1 tablespoon Cayenne Take My Eyes Off of You Seasoning
    • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon paprika
    • ¼ cup hot frying oil
    • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Combine brine ingredients, including chicken, in a large plastic bag or tupperware. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Prepare egg mixture by whipping together eggs, milk, and hot sauce in a shallow bowl.
  4. Prepare breading by combining flour, garlic powder, and Cayenne Take My Eyes Off of You Seasoning in a shallow bowl. Add two tablespoons of egg mixture to the breading to help it clump together–that’s where you’re going to get all the crispy goodness from!
  5. Remove chicken from fridge. Take each piece of chicken and coat it in the breading, then the egg mixture, and then the flour once more. This double dipping technique will also help the chicken get extra crispy. Set aside until all pieces are done.
  6. Heat oil in a deep frying pan to 350 degrees.
  7. Fry each piece of chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Careful not to overcrowd the pan. (DO NOT DISCARD OIL AFTER YOU’RE DONE! We’re going to use it in the spice mixture!)
  8. Once all pieces of chicken are fried, place on a wire rack over a sheet pan and cook in the oven an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until chicken is crispy.
  9. While chicken cooks in the oven, combine ingredients for spice mixture in a medium bowl.
  10. Remove chicken from the oven and immediately brush with the spice mixture. Allow to cool.
  11. Enjoy! I loved these with mini waffles and some homemade honey butter!

#BlendsBash: Weeknight Udon Stir Fry

Partnerships, Recipes

I’m so excited to have partnered with The Book Club Cookbook to be a recipe contributor to their #BlendBash 2020! Bloggers, authors, and bookstragrammers (including myself)  will be creating special recipes inspired by The Book Club Cookbook’s Book, TV, and Song Blends. These are unique spice blends that take their names after all your favorite books, shows, and songs!

The Book Club Cookbook was kind enough to send me five spices, including Cayenne Take My Eyes Off of You, Sage of Innocence, Where the Crawdads Zing, and the two that inspired today’s recipe, A Song of Spice and Fire and Sesame Street.

These spices are seriously delicious. Not only do they make any dish stand out, but they also make incredible gifts for the foodie in your life!

I’m thrilled to kick off this recipe series with an easy Weeknight Udon Stir Fry. Not going to lie, this is hands down my favorite recipe I’ve ever developed.

There’s nothing like the magic of a chewy udon noodle, and it’s a great vehicle for all kinds of deliciousness. This easy stir fry means you can whip up this spicy, warm meal on even the busiest of days. As an added bonus, it’s easy to fry up any veggies or meat you have in your fridge that are about to go bad and throw into the stir fry for some extra yum. This is a recipe for one because, trust me, you won’t want to share.



  • 8 oz udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon + extra for garnish “Sesame Street” sesame seeds TV Blend
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • Up to 1 teaspoon “A Song of Spice and Fire” shichimi togarashi Book Blend**


  1. Cook udon noodles in a small pot of boiling water until separated. When finished, drain noodles and toss with sesame oil to keep from sticking.
  2. While the noodles cook, toast sesame seeds in a hot pan over medium heat. Continue to toast until golden. Remove seeds from the pan and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce and brown sugar to form sauce mixture. Set aside.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over high heat. Once hot, combine ginger and garlic.
  5. When ginger and garlic become aromatic, add sauce mixture, udon noodles, and ½ tablespoon sesame seeds to the pan. Combine well and reduce to medium heat. Stir occasionally and allow sauce to thicken, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and mix in green onions (reserve some for garnish) and shichimi togarashi.
  7. Plate the noodles and garnish with leftover green onion and toasted sesame seeds.
  8. Enjoy!


*This stir fry moves fast, so prepare all your ingredients by measuring and cutting before beginning the recipe.

**Amount of shichimi togarashi used will depend on your personal spiciness preference. This spice packs a punch, so a little goes a long way. I like to use ½ teaspoon for a good kick.