Books & Recipes

First Read of 2021!

For the past several weeks, we concentrated on reading and reviewing our favorite Christmas and holiday novels. It was a fantastic experience revisiting old favorites, such as Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory and indulging in festive-fluff pieces like Joanne Fluke’s Christmas Cupcake Murder. Realllllly got us into the spirit of things and was a nice change of pace from watching Home Alone and Kranks repeatedly.

However, since then, I have been CRAVING a book that would just grab me from the very start, and keep me hooked all the way through. Insert True Story by Kate Reed Petty.

the book: True Story by Kate Reed Petty

Trigger Warning, this book does describe scenes of sexual assault and addiction.

True Story begins by sharing the experiences of a lacrosse team in 1999. These boys feel like they are on top of the world until a rumor is started about a girl who passed out after one of their “legendary parties.”

The novel then goes on to explore different perspectives – that of the victim and the bystanders – showing us readers the POWER of storytelling. What I really enjoyed was the mix of genres used by Petty… it was unusual at parts, for example, one of the CRAZIEST and most important parts of the books was read entirely through a strain of emails. I loved it.

the bite: Chocolate Nice Cream Milkshake with Almond Butter “Caramel Sauce”

One of the consistent food references in True Story was milkshakes. One of the main characters, Nick, often goes to order milkshakes when he needs comfort. It is also something he shared with his first love in high school, Haley.

SO obviously, for this book we had to create a milkshake! This recipe is unique as it uses Nice Cream. If you are not familiar with Nice Cream, it is a dairy-free version of ice cream that prettttty much tastes like the real thing. It just uses frozen bananas as the base.

Although I am 99.99% sure that this was NOT the style of milkshake that Nick was drinking in the novel, True Story, I can promise you that it is equally as delicious and also guilt free!


  • 2 cups chopped frozen bananas 
  • 1 cup coconut milk 
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder 
  • 2 tbs runny almond butter 
  • 1 tbs honey 


  • In a blender, combine the bananas, coconut milk, and cocoa powder; blend until smooth (if you like a more runny milkshake, add a little more coconut milk) 
  • In a small bowl, mix together the almond butter and honey until smooth
  • Spoon the almond butter mixture around the inside of 2 glasses and allow to drip down to the bottom 
  • Pour the shake into the center of the glasses and top with chocolate shavings!