Stacey Ballis cooks up a delicious broth of a novel about a woman whose perfect life falls apart in spectacular fashion--leaving her with a house to restore, an antique cookbook (but no cooking talent), and one very unhappy schnauzer. For fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin.
To an outside observer, Anneke Stroudt is a mess--her shirts are stained, her fingernails stubby, her language colorful. But, despite her flaws, Anneke’s life is close to perfect. She has a beautiful historic house to restore and a loving fiancé who cooks like a dream.
Until Anneke’s charmed existence falls apart when she loses both her job and her future husband in one terrible day. In need of a new start, she packs up her disgruntled schnauzer and moves into her half-finished home, where she throws her pent-up frustration--and what little savings she has--into finishing the renovation.
But at the first step into the house’s overhaul, Anneke is sidetracked when she discovers a mysterious leather-bound book, long hidden away, filled with tempting recipes and steamy secrets from Gemma Ditmore-Smythe, the cook for the house’s original owners. Slowly, with the help of some delicious food and Emma’s life lessons, Anneke begins to realize that, just like a flawless recipe, she’s been waiting for the right ingredients to cook up a perfect life all along…
“With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis’s writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious.”--Jen Lancaster
From the Trade Paperback edition.
You’ve Got Mail meets Julie & Julia in the new foodie fiction from the author of Recipe for Disaster.
Top pastry chef Sophie Bernstein and her sommelier fiancé were set to have Chicago’s culinary wedding of the year…until the groom eloped with someone else in a very public debacle, leaving Sophie splashed across the tabloids--fifty grand in debt on her dream wedding and one-hundred percent screwed on her dream life. The icing on the cake was when she lost her job and her home…
Laying low, Sophie moves in with her grandmother, Bubbles. That way, she can keep Bubbles and her sweater-wearing pug company and nurse her broken heart. But when Sophie gets a part-time job at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, she finds herself up to her elbows in dough and reluctantly giving a wedding cake customer advice on everything from gift bags to guest accommodations. Before she knows it, she’s an online wedding planner. It’s not mousse and macarons, but it pays the bills. But with the arrival of unexpected personal and professional twists, Sophie wonders if she’s really moving forward--or starting over from scratch...
A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.
Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world’s most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.
Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again.
Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn’t seem so lonely--until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?
Readers Guide and Recipes Included
A touching and hilarious novel from the fabulous Stacey Ballis about best friends, true love, and the joy of food-'for fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin...
Jenna has lost her best friend.
With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do-'not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common-'well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.
And gained her best friend's husband...
But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?
The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn't approve of it-'but then, Wayne doesn't approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can't help asking herself: What would Aimee do?
The last thing Melanie expected to lose when she went on a diet was her husband.
Former lawyer Melanie Hoffman lost half her body weight and opened a gourmet take-out café specializing in healthy and delicious food. Then her husband left her-for a woman twice her size. Immediately afterwards, she's blindsided by a financial crisis. Melanie reaches out to a quirky roommate with a ton of baggage and becomes involved in a budding romance with a local documentary filmmaker.
In this warm and often laugh-out-loud novel, Melanie discovers that she still has a lot to learn about her friends, her relationships with men, and herself-and that her weight loss was just the beginning of an amazing journey that will transform her life from the inside out..
Stacey Ballis tackles home improvement and reality TV--and reminds us that sometimes life and love are better left unscripted…
What do you get when you give two hopeful singles fashion consultants and interior designers, allow them four days to perk up each other’s homes and get a total style overhaul, then let their single friends celebrate the results at a fabulous party? You get Swap/Meet, the newest reality show on the network block, where major changes are either embraced or embarrassing--and Lily Allen’s dream job turned nightmare.
At first, Lily was thrilled to appear on Swap/Meet. What better way for a Chicago interior designer to promote her business and enjoy some pseudo-celebrity? She just didn’t think she’d be doing take after take with the ditzy host, dodging sabotage attempts, and getting caught in the middle of the fashion czars’ lovers’ spat. Plus, the cute, curmudgeonly carpenter on her team knows just how to push her buttons. Episode by episode, through do-it-yourself disasters and matchmaking miracles, Lily discovers that a little bit of controlled chaos is the spice of life--and love…
Jodi and Jill Spingold are the Spinster Sisters. With a radio show, speaking engagements, DVDs, and two bestselling books, they've built a thriving cottage industry helping other single women find happiness. Their futures have never been brighter-until Jill turns out the lights on Jodi by announcing her engagement.
Jodi is stunned. How can they be the Spinster Sisters if one of them is married? Complicating things is her own love life, involving three vastly different paramours offering three different kinds of happiness-none of which Jodi is sure she wants. And her ex-husband, backed by his lawyer girlfriend, may be angling for a piece of the Spinster Sisters empire.
Now, Jodi must make some tough decisions, keep the business afloat, and get to the altar to stand by her sister-even if means that from now on she'll be single all by herself.
As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes--and that’s just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick’s cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.
Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana’s priorities shift, and Patrick--and Dumpling--find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table--one delicious dish at a time…
150 simple and scrumptious recipes from Stacy Balliss hit novels Out to Lunch, Off the Menu, Good Enough to Eat, and Recipe for Disaster, as well as 40 new, never-before-seen recipes! Stacey Ballis is not a professional chef. She is, however, a foodie novelist, meal innovator, family cook, memory maker, and Brussels sprout advocate who believes that delicious meals can be simple, fun, and creative. Her love of all things culinary has made her foodie fiction irresistible. Now, all of the best recipes featured in her novels are available in one mouthwatering cookbook, including 40 lost recipes that were not included in the original printings.With dishes for every occasion, designed to appeal to both experienced cooks and kitchen newbies, this easily-transportable digital collection will make every meal a happy moment and a special memory.Includes a preview of Staceys delectable novel, Recipe for DisasterPraise for Stacy BallisDeeply satisfying.Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of The Tao of MarthaDangerously good descriptions of food.Sarah Pekkanen, author of Catching AirOne delicious bite.Amy Hatvany, author of Safe with MeStacey Ballis was born in Chicago with a full head of hair and a naturally charming disposition. She majored in English Literature and American Studies with a minor in Creative Writing at Brandeis, spent time in a mud hut in Kenya, and got a Masters in Teaching from DePaul University, before spending fifteen years as an educator in Chicago. She then settled back into writing full time, focusing on stories about big girls who are comfortable in their own skin, have great lives, and arent dieting or morose about their bodies. She has since authored eight foodie novels, including Good Enough to Eat, Off the Menu, and Out to Lunch.