Main Dishes

Find main dishes inspired by your favorite fiction books and so much more, including memorable quotes and discussion guides! Thanks for stopping by!

Southern Shrimp and Grits Casserole

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For this post, I provide you with a delicious recipe for Southern Shrimp and Grits Casserole!

Southern Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Southern Shrimp and Grits Casserole

If you’ve never had shrimp and grits (casserole or otherwise), I am glad you are here! This recipe is absolutely delicious, pretty easy to make, and a family favorite of ours. My husband would eat this at least once a week!

If you’re stopping by here while searching for recipes, you may not know that the recipes here are all inspired by books! This particular recipe was created after reading Before We Were Yours. If you love reading, check out more about this great book HERE!

This recipe for Southern Shrimp and Grits Casserole combines smoky gouda, bacon, green chilies (for a kick!), and shrimp.

And, I know some people prefer their shrimp and grits without bacon. If that’s you, don’t fret. The bacon can be omitted from this recipe and it’s still delicious!

The flavors combine to create a warm and comforting Southern dish that’s absolutely delectable.

This Tender Land Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For This Tender Land, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

This Tender Land Book Club Questions and Recipe
This Tender Land Book Club Questions and Recipe
This Tender Land Book Club Questions and Recipe
This Tender Land Book Club Questions and Recipe

If you’ve been stuck in a reading rut lately, especially due to the pandemic (or just life in general), then This Tender Land could be the next read for you. It’s a character-driven adventure story with all the feels, but it won’t leave you emotionally fatigued. I truly loved this book.

The novel centers around two young brothers and their two friends, a mute American Indian and a sweet-hearted girl with a mysterious gift. All four characters begin their journey at a brutal reformatory-like institution called the Lincoln Indian Training School. All four characters are orphans longing for family.

This Tender Land

The story follows the group as they make a narrow escape from the school after an accidental crime is committed and set out for a new home, making their journey down the Mississippi river. Along the way they encounter drifters, struggling farmers, and faith healers.

The book, set against the backdrop of the American midwest during the Great Depression, is a beautiful coming-of-age that explores questions of faith, love, and belonging.

Anxious People Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Anxious People, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas and recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

Anxious People Book Club Questions and Recipe
Anxious People Book Club Questions and Recipe
Anxious People Book Club Questions and Recipe
Anxious People Book Club Questions and Recipe

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is a story about eight strangers who find themselves taken hostage by a desperate bank robber.

Now that you have formed a thought about what a story like that might be like, ball it up, and throw it in the trash. Because that’s exactly what Backman, in his genius, does.

Anxious People by
Fredrik Backman

The story takes place at an apartment viewing where a bank robber who has failed to properly rob the bank across the street stumbles into eight strangers and the situation escalates into a hostage situation.

What is usually a high-stakes thriller in the hands of other authors turns into a comedy about the compassion each of us requires simply to wake up and face another day.

As each of the hostages and finally bank robber reveals their deepest struggles, Backman moves the reader to examine her own needs and to consider the ways she can show kindness to those hurting around her.

Much like in A Man Called Ove, nothing on the surface of these characters can be quite trusted and throughout the book Backman pulls back layer after layer compelling the characters and the reader towards compassion.

It is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time. I found myself scribbling down poignant truth after truth.

There is a way Backman disarms the reader with comedy and then delivers a blow to the heart. He’s done it time after time in all his novels and I encourage you to read more of his books! Find the list here!

Capricciosa Pizza

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For this post, I provide you with a delicious recipe for Capricciosa Pizza!

Capricciosa Pizza
Capricciosa Pizza

Capricciosa pizza…if you live in the States, you may have never heard of it. The name capricciosa means capricious in Italian or given to sudden whims or mood changes.

In other words, the pizza’s ingredients are left to the whim of the chef…or whatever they have on hand.

Most recipes for Capricciosa Pizza you’ll find on the internet include a fairly similar list of ingredients, though. And, you’ll find this pizza pie familiar in that it resembles what we in the States call Supreme or The Works or The Special, etc.

So, if you don’t like a few of the ingredients I used on my Capricciosa Pizza, change it up. Play to your mood.

If you’re stopping by here while searching for recipes, you may not know that the recipes here are all inspired by books! This particular recipe was created after reading Anxious People.

This book is another hit by Fredrik Backman, the author who wrote A Man Called Ove. If you haven’t read either, I highly recommend both. Anxious People was one of my favorite reads of the year.

If you love reading, check out more about this great book HERE!

This recipe for Capricciosa Pizza starts with marinara and mozzarella. The toppings include olives, artichokes, Italian ham, and mushrooms. If you can’t find “Italian” ham, any nice sliced or shaved ham will work.

The flavors combine to create a warm and comforting dish that’s absolutely delectable.

One Day in December Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For One Day in December, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

One Day in December Book Club Questions and Recipe
One Day in December Book Club Questions and Recipe
One Day in December Book Club Questions and Recipe
One Day in December Book Club Questions and Recipe

One Day in December is Josie Silver’s debut novel, released in 2018. It was featured in Reese’s Book Club and has gone on to be a New York Times bestseller.

While this isn’t your Pulitzer prize winning book club pick, it is a really great love story with true-to-life characters and a love triangle plot that will have you reading until the end. It is a wonderful read if you’ve just finished something heavy. And, (hint hint title), it’s a great read for the holidays.

To give you a quick idea of whether or not you’ll like the novel, consider if you liked Bridget Jones’s Diary or Love Actually. If you did, then you’ll love this novel, which has similar themes as both books.

One Day in December by Josie Silver

While some reviewers have classified this as a rom-com, I would say it leans just outside of that category and into the women’s fiction category by a hair. While you will get some of the classic rom-com feel, the characters also deal with some deeper internal struggles than you see in pure romance. The primary conflict arises because the main character cannot confess to her close-as-a-sister best-friend that the man she’s fallen in love with is the man the main character already fell in love with.

Friendship and what it means, what loyalties it asks of a person, is the primary issue explored. In addition, the main character experiences a self-discovery growth arc, as do several other characters.

One Day in December is also written in an interesting form, telling the story in short scenes that spread out over a period of ten years. Silver did a masterful job creating a unique form where such a long stretch of time is covered without leaving the reader feeling frustrated or confused.

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