Friday, January 29, 2010

Tortilla Lasagna Pie

Tortilla Lasagna Pie

Serves 3-4.

It smells good; it tastes good; it made The Mr. and me happy. It's like a delicious, messy burrito to eat with a fork.
Adapted from: Certified Angus Beef Recipe Card

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning, or 2 T. of this homemade mix
1/3 c. water
1/2 c. chopped green onions
3/4 c. salsa
1 (5-oz.) can diced green chiles
2 large tortillas
1 c. sour cream
1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cooked ground beef with taco seasoning, water, and green onions. Stir in salsa and green chiles.

Spray a 9" round cake pan with nonstick spray. Place a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, pressing up the edges if needed. Top with half of the beef mixture. Spread half of sour cream (1/2 c.) on top of beef; sprinkle with 3/4 c. cheddar cheese.

Repeat with another tortilla, followed by beef mixture, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes (60 if made-ahead and refrigerated prior to baking). Remove foil for last 10 minutes of baking time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Peanut Butter-Banana Cupcakes

Peanut Butter-Banana Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Elvis would've loved these.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant banana pudding
2 extra-ripe bananas, mashed
4 eggs
1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil
1 c. water
1 c. chunky peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together yellow cake mix, banana pudding, bananas, eggs, oil, and water. Stir in chunky peanut butter.
Spoon batter into a cupcake pan that has been prepared with liners.
Bake for 18-19 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
Frost with cream cheese frosting.

A Note From The LL: If you prefer to cook this in mini loaf pans, bake for 35-38 minutes. Mini cupcakes? Bake for 13-15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Helpful Hints: Common Food Equivalents

Helpful Hints: Common Food Equivalents

How much IS this anyway?


1 pound brown sugar = 2-1/2 cups
1 pound cube sugar = 96-160 cubes
1 pound granulated sugar = 2 cups
1 pound powdered sugar = 3-1/2 cups

1 stick butter/margarine = 8 oz. = 1/2 cup
1 pound butter/margarine = 4 sticks = 32 oz. = 2 cups

6 oz. package chocolate chips = 1 cup

1 c. marshmallows = 80 miniature = 8 regular
10-1/2 oz. pkg. marshmallows = 5-1/2 c.

1 pound all-purpose = 3-1/2 to 4 cups
1 pound cake flour = 4 to 4 1/2 cups
1 pound graham flour = 3 1/2 cups
1 pound corn meal = 3 cups

1 lb. coconut = 3 c. grated

1 c. pancake batter = 5 medium pancakes (5")

1" vanilla bean, scraped = 1 t. extract

1/4 oz. pkg. active yeast = 2-1/4 t.
4 oz. jar active yeast = 14 T.


4 slices of bread = 1 cup crumbs
23 soda crackers = 1 cup crumbs
38 saltine crackers = 1 cup crumbs
14-15 graham cracker squares = 1 cup crumbs
22 vanilla wafers = 1 cup crumbs
3-4 c. Cornflakes = 1 c. crumbs
12 Oreo cookies = 1 c. crumbs


4 oz. (1 to 1-1/4 cup uncooked macaroni) = 2-1/4 cups cooked macaroni
7 ounces spaghetti = 4 cups cooked spaghetti
16 oz. lasagna = 16-24 noodles
16 oz. manicotti = 10-12 pieces


1/2 pound (8 oz. package) = 2 cups shredded
1 pound shredded cheese = 4 cups
4 ounces crumbled Bleu cheese = 1 cup
1 pound American Cheese = 2-2/3 cup cubed

Eggs & Egg Whites:

1 egg = 4 Tablespoons liquid
4-5 whole eggs = 1 cup
7-9 whites = 1 cup
12-14 yolks = 1 cup
8-10 large egg whites = 1 cup
12-14 large egg yolks = 1 cup


1 lb. red potatoes = 7-9 small = 5-6 medium
1 lb. new potatoes = 9-12 small
1 lb. white potatoes = 3 medium = 2-1/4 c. peeled, diced = 1-3/4 c. mashed

1 lb. tomatoes = 3 medium
4 cups grape tomatoes = about 100, or about 15 grape tomatoes per 1/2 cup

8 green onions chopped = 1 cup
1 medium onion = 1/2 cup chopped
1 large onion = 3/4 to 1 cup chopped

1 lb. asparagus = 16-20 spears = 3 c. trimmed

1 lb. avocados = 2 medium = 1-1/2 c. pulp

1 lb. carrots = 24-36 baby carrots = 5-7 medium carrots

2-3 medium ribs celery = 1 c. sliced or chopped

1 head garlic = 8-15 cloves
1 small clove = 1/2 t. minced = 1/8 t. garlic powder
1 large clove = 1-1/2 t. minced = 1/2 t. garlic powder

1 lb. fresh mushrooms = 2 c. sliced


1 medium lemon = 1 T. grated rind
1 medium lemon = 2-3 T. juice
5-8 medium lemons = 1 cup

1 pint berries = 1-3/4 cups

1 pound bananas = 3 medium = 1-1/3 cups mashed

1 medium apple = about 3/4 to 1 cup chopped
2 medium apples = about 1-1/2 cups
1 large apple = about 1 cup chopped
2 large apples = about 2-1/4 cups chopped

1 lb. peaches or pears = 4 medium = 2 c. peeled, sliced

1 medium pineapple = 2 lbs. = 3 c. chunks/cubes


1 lb. bacon = 10-15 thick slices = 16-24 average slices = 25-30 thin slices
1 lb. cooked bacon = 1 - 1-1/2 c. crumbled bacon
1 lb. cooked ham = 3 c. diced

1 lb. ground beef = 2 c. raw = 12 oz. cooked
5 lb. beef tenderloin = 12-16 servings

5 lb. chicken = 2-1/4 lb. cooked meat
12-18 lb. turkey = 25 servings

2-1/2 lb. lobster = 2 c. cooked meat
1 lb. sea scallops = 30 scallops
1 lb. bay scallops = 75 scallops


1 keg beer = 7-3/4 gallons = 82 (12-oz.) cans
1 pony keg beer = 15-1/2 gallons = 165 (12-oz.) cans

1 lb. ground coffee = 80 T. = 40-50 c. brewed


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Serves 2.

This recipe is originally from Rachael Ray, but I found it through the blog of Heidzillas, Cleveland wedding coordinator and consultant. Although her typical blog posts focus on all-things WEDDING, Heidzillas opted to recap the 30th birthday party she threw for her husband. For someone who does "not love to cook," Heidi prepared an amazing spread of tantalizing treats. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. And ASAP. I only changed a few things -- subbing Ranch dressing for tomato sauce and changing around the prep for chicken and pizza dough. Heidi said her recipe won rave reviews and The Mr. and I raved about my version, so I think you can't go wrong with either!

While you're browsing Heidzillas blog, make sure to check out these amazing cupcakes and cakes, made by CMYKakes.

1 pizza dough packet mix
1/2 lb. chicken, cooked and cut into small pieces
cornmeal or flour, to handle dough
2 T. butter
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 T. hot sauce
1/2 c. Ranch dressing
1 c. shredded cheese (I used Parmesan, but blue cheese crumbles and cheddar would also work well)
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425.
Prepare pizza dough according to mix instructions. Stretch dough to form pizza using cornmeal or flour to help you handle it. Letting it rest and warm up for a few minutes should help it handle even easier. Set pizza on pizza pan and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in Worcestershire, hot sauce, and Ranch dressing. Stir in chicken.

Cover the pizza dough with chicken-sauce mixture. Top with cheese and scallions.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cheesy, Chivey, Mashed Potatoes

Cheesy, Chivey, Mashed Potatoes

Serves 2.

Smooth and creamy mashed potatoes. The yellow hue is from the Yukon Golds. Using traditional Idaho potatoes will result in the lighter, whiter hue typically seen in mashed potatoes.

5 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1/3 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
garlic salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives

Cut potatoes in half and place in a saucepan. Cover with water, season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Upon reaching a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.

Drain potatoes and return to saucepan; add heavy cream, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic salt, and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash to desired consistency. Add chives and continue to mash to evenly distribute.

A Note From The LL: For added flavor, boil the potatoes in chicken broth.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cheese & Green Onion Stuffed Pork Chops

Cheese & Green Onion Stuffed Pork Chops

Serves 2 (or as many people as you want!).

I haven't quite been myself lately. An intestinal bleed out of left field confined me to the hospital for two nights and sidelined me from my usual, daily activities for over two weeks. The Mr. has stepped up and been amazingly supportive and attentive, and his medical knowledge has proven extremely helpful. All that being said, I am finally on the mend. I went to grocery store for the first time in 2010 just this week! During the two "off" weeks, I rarely cooked, but when I did, I was forced to make do with what was in the fridge and freezer. These pork chops were one of those forced creations... and we loved them!

2 boneless pork chops
2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
1 green onion, chopped
garlic salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay pork chops flat on a cutting board, and with a knife held parallel to the board, cut into the pork chop, leaving one side intact. Spread a cheese wedge in the middle of each pork chop. Sprinkle green onion evenly between the two on top of the cheese.

Place into a baking dish that has been coated with non-stick spray. Season chops with garlic salt and pepper.

Bake for 45 minutes.

A Note From The LL: This is a versatile dish: Sub chives for green onion; add cooked and chopped bacon; sub any soft, spreadable cheese for the Laughing Cow wedges; use chicken breasts instead of pork chops; do whatever sounds good to you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Anniversary Chicken

Anniversary Chicken

Serves 2.

Yum! A delicious meal we both loved! Don't be fooled -- it's actually quite easy!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. stir-fry sauce
1/4 c. ranch dressing
1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1-2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 4-5 minutes per side until lightly browned.

Place browned chicken breasts in a baking dish that has been coated with non-stick spray. Brush with stir-fry sauce, then spoon on salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon bits.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. About 10 minutes before removing from oven, top chicken breasts with chopped green onion. Continue to bake for remainder of time.

A Note From The Little Lady: Adding the green onion later in the baking process keeps it from charring. If you use regular, chopped onion in place of the green onion, feel free to add prior to baking, as it is heartier and you will not need to worry about it charring.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Serves 2.

A flavorful pasta dish! My only complaint is that the cream sauce needs a thickening agent. Fix this problem by incorporating a tablespoon of either flour or cornstarch to the heavy cream before stirring into the chicken/veggie mixture.

4 oz. linquine pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
2 t. Cajun seasoning
2 T. butter (or olive oil)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 oz. mushrooms
1 green onion, minced
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. flour or cornstarch
1/4 t. basil
1/4 t. lemon pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. ground black pepper
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, place chicken and cajun seasoning in a bowl; toss to coat.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute chicken in butter/olive oil until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5-7 minutes. Add bell peppers, mushrooms, and green onions; cook to 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat.

Incorporate flour or cornstarch into heavy cream, and then slowly stir into chicken/veggie mixture. Season with spices and heat through.

Toss linguine with sauce mixture. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Egg & Sausage Strata

Egg & Sausage Strata

A great breakfast recipe that has contributed to many Christmas memories, get-a-ways with friends, and lazy mornings at home. And since all the prep work is done ahead of time, the only thing you need to do in the morning is throw it in the oven!

1 lb. sausage
6 slices white bread, cubed
6 eggs, well beaten
2 c. milk
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. dry mustard

Brown and crumble sausage and drain fat.
In a medium bowl, mix sausage, bread, and cheese. Pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan. Beat eggs and milk together; pour over bread mixture.
Sprinkle with salt and mustard. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

A Note From The Little Lady: You can also add 1 c. mushrooms, green onions, or chives.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pelicano's Pizza

Pelicano's Pizza

2218 Wooster Road
Rocky River, Ohio

Pelicano's Pizza is conveniently located to us, so we order from time to time, and walk down to pick it up. We have only tried their specialty pizzas, and they have kept us coming back. My favorite is the Country Chicken Ranch. The Mr. loves the Buffalo Chicken.

Pelicano's also has calzones, sandwiches, salads, breads, wings and appetizers, and pasta dinners, although I can't speak for them.

Country Chicken Ranch Pizza: Monterey Jack Cheese, Ranch Dressing, Chicken Breast, Smoked Bacon, and Tomato

Buffalo Chicken Pizza: Buffalo Sauce, Chicken Breast, and Monterey Jack Cheese

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches For A Crowd

Pulled Pork Sandwiches For A Crowd

Makes about 25 sandwiches.

Need to feed a lot of people? Want something easy that will go over well, stay warm and "at the ready" for a long period of time? Give these sandwiches a try!

6-lb. pork shoulder roast
2 (18-oz.) bottles BBQ sauce
1 can beef broth
Extra bottle of BBQ sauce for serving, if desired

Place pork shoulder roast in a slow cooker. Cover with beef broth and 2 bottles of BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 10 hours.

When cooked through, switch heat to "warm." Shred meat using two forks, and remove shoulder bone and any large pieces of fat.

Serve on sandwich buns and with additional BBQ sauce, if desired.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Veggie & Cheese Egg Bake

Veggie & Cheese Egg Bake

Serves 2.

This was an easy, light meal that I would definitely make again. It'll fill you up, but not leave you feeling "full," and you'll feel good about the fact that it's jam-packed with healthy ingredients. And if you need more flavor, we've found that ketchup, ranch dressing, hot sauce, or a combination of the last two make a great little dipping sauce.
Source: Betty Crocker's Healthy New Choices

4-5 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
1/4 onion (red or white), chopped
3/4 c.frozen peas
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese of your choice)
3/4 c. egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
1/2 can (6 oz.) evaporated skim milk
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1 t. mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a baking dish, such as a round cake pan, with non-stick cooking spray. Layer bread cubes, chopped onion, and frozen peas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread mixture. If egg mixture did not evenly distribute, stir to coat.

Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and center is set.

A Note From The LL: If making this ahead of time and refrigerating, increase baking time to 45 minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Heavenly Brownies

Heavenly Brownies

Source: 101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix

Bottom Layer:
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 egg
Vegetable oil, if needed

Top Layer:
1 lb. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry cake mix, butter, and 1 egg. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil if the mixture seems too dry. Spread into a greased 13x9 baking pan.

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, and remaining 2 eggs together; spread oven bottom layer.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown.

A Note From The Little Lady: I have also tried this with a brownie mix, preparing to box instructions and substituting it for the cake mix bottom layer. It worked alright, and tasted delicious, but was more of a messy, gooey bar-type dessert. I'd recommend preparing as directed above.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12, 18, or 36 muffins.

A moist muffin with bursts of blueberries and a sugary top.
Source: Ohio P.E.O. Cooks II cookbook.

For 12 servings:
1-1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 c. blueberries (preferably fresh, but frozen work too)
brown sugar

For 18 servings:
2-1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
6 T. butter or margarine
2 eggs
3/4 c. milk
1-1/2 c. blueberries (preferably fresh, but frozen work too)
brown sugar

For 36 servings:
4-1/2 c. flour
1-1/2 c. sugar
6 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3/4 c. butter or margarine
3 eggs
1-1/2 c. milk
3 c. blueberries (preferably fresh, but frozen work too)
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a muffin pan with liners.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter or margarine into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender (See note). Mix together the egg and milk and then add to the flour mixture. Stir until just blended. Add blueberries. Do NOT overmix - batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin cups and top each muffin with brown sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

A Note From The LL: If you don't have a pastry blender, use a knife and or fork to cut the butter into the flour mixture. Some small chunks are okay, and actually preferable.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Makes 10-12 enchiladas.

These enchiladas are one of our favorite meals, and fairly easy to make. They are also a great crowd pleaser!

10-12 flour tortillas
1 c. sour cream
4 c. cooked, shredded chicken
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
2 c. chicken broth
1 small can diced green chilies
2 t. dried oregano
1-1/2 t. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together chicken, sour cream, and 1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese. Roll mixture up in tortillas. Place in a 13x9 baking dish that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.

For sauce, mix soup, broth, chilies, and spices together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Pour over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

A Note From The Little Lady: If preparing ahead of time and refrigerating, increase baking time to 1 hour. These also freeze well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Scalloped New Potatoes and Leeks

Scalloped New Potatoes and Leeks

Serves 12.

A creamy, cheesey potato side. The original recipe calls for 1-1/2 t. dried thyme, but I felt that was too much. Feel free to increase my suggested amount if you'd like.

2-1/2 lbs. new potatoes, sliced
2 T. butter
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped (about 1-1/2 c.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
3 c. milk
1-1/2 c. shredded white cheese, such as Gruyere or Swiss (6 oz.), divided

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven, cook potatoes, covered, in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes, until tender. Drain, return to Dutch oven, and set aside.

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, and cook about 5 minutes, or just until tender. Stir in flour, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1 c. of cheese until melted.

Pour sauce over cooked and drained potatoes. Stir gently until coated. Spoon potato mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges are bubbly and cheese on top is golden. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

A Note From The LL: To make ahead, prepare as above, but after sprinkling with cheese, cover with foil, and refrigerate. To bake, cook covered for for the first 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 35 minutes more or until bubbly and heated through. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf

Serves 3-4.

Turkey meatloaf can't compete with traditional, but it's a nice change of pace and a healthier alternative. And on January 4, after weeks of holiday parties and Christmas cookies, that may be just what you're looking for.
Adapted from

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 egg
1/2 t. salt
dash pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and form into loaf shape. Bake in a loaf pan or standing alone in the middle of the baking dish for one hour and fifteen minutes. Top with ketchup, BBQ sauce, or bacon before baking if desired.

You can also form into individual meatloaves, which is what we always do with my traditional meatloaf recipe. If following this method, bake for 50 minutes-1 hour.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

I love fiction stories that teach you something. It's like receiving the educational benefits of a non-fiction book while enjoying the pull and intrigue of something created by the musings of the author's mind. This is one of those books. Sarah's Key was a great read. It takes place during WWII, a setting I am often drawn to. It's an emotionally-gripping mystery that centers in on the involvement of the French in the Jewish round-up in July 1942, where thousands were held hostage in the Velodrome d'Hiver, before being shipped off to concentration camps. It's a new look at the Holocaust - a fresh, yet dark piece of history that I didn't know much about until reading this book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay's 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia's conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah's trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down. (July)

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