Dining with Angels: Bits & Bites from the Demonica Universe (Demonica #17.5) by Larissa Ione & Suzanne M. Johnson

Join New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione, and USA Today bestselling Southern food expert Suzanne M. Johnson as they guide you through their favorite Demonica world inspired food and drink recipes. And don’t forget to spend some time learning a little bit more about the private lives of your favorite characters in all new snippets and short stories! Brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights, DINING WITH ANGELS is now available! Grab your copy today!

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In a world where humans and supernatural beings coexist — not always peacefully — three things can bring everyone to the table: Love, a mutual enemy, and, of course, food.
With seven brand new stories from the Demonica universe, New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione has the love and enemies covered, while celebrity Southern food expert Suzanne M. Johnson brings delicious food to the party.

And who doesn’t love a party? (Harvester rolls her eyes and raises her hand, but we know she’s lying.)

Join Ares and Cara as they celebrate a new addition to their family. See what Reaver and Harvester are doing to “spice” things up. Find out what trouble Reseph might have gotten himself into with Jillian. You’ll love reading about the further adventures of Wraith and Serena, Declan and Suzanne, and Shade and Runa, and you’re not going to want to miss the sit down with Eidolon and Tayla.
So pour a glass of the Grim Reaper’s finest wine and settle in for slices of life from your favorite characters and the recipes that bring them together. Whether you’re dining with angels, drinking with demons, or hanging with humans, you’ll find the perfect heavenly bits and sinful bites to suit the occasion.

Happy reading and happy eating!

Grab your copy of DINING WITH ANGELS today!


Now this is a bit of a different kind of review. Because it is a cookbook I made a few of the recipes to test them out. I will say I have never read Larissa Iona before, but I might have to check out this Demonica universe now that I have gotten a glimpse into it. Now onto the recipes!

First off a few notes: One I am vegan so I have veganized the recipes I have tried...with some mixed results that were expected. Second I don't have access to everything year round like I did in the states so I might have changed things slightly to fit my needs. And there are some recipes that I will definitely try in the future, but will have to wait for the correct season (like Strawberries with Black Pepper Balsamic Sauce! It sounds delicious, but strawberries aren't in season right now). Also, I am not the best photographer so my photos are only so-so.

First up I tried to make the Dark Chocolate Chipotle Brownies since it was my husbands birthday and he loves chili chocolate. Now I really wasn't expecting them to turn out because veganizing a normal brownie recipe just substituting vegan for non one to one usually doesn't work for some reason. Cakes, cookies, things like that are fine, but brownies are tricky. Really I have tried many a vegan brownie recipe and have mixed results so...I knew it probably wouldn't be a win but I still wanted to try. What I did end up with was spicy chocolate goo that was quite tasty, but not a brownie. I may try this one again with different ratios of things as I like the spice in it. 

Next up was Loaded Grits in a Bacon Cup! I will put the original recipe then make note of what I did differently afterward 

12 strips of bacon (6 whole strips, 6 cut in half)
6 cups water
1 Tb salt
2 cups milk
4 cups instant grits
8 Tb (1 stick) butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup green onion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a 6-cup muffin tin, turn the tin upside down and place 2 -half-strips of bacon on top making an X. Then place 1 whole strip of bacon around the sides to form a cup. Repeat with remaining bacon strips. Place muffin tin on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, remove bacon cups from the cupcake tin and drain on paper towels. 

While the bacon cups are baking prepare the loaded grits. In a large pot bring water and salt to a roaring boil. Add milk and grits and stir continuously until they begin to thicken. Cover pot and turn to low. Allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat and add butter and cream cheese. When they have been mixed in well add mozzarella cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, pepper and green onion. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly. 

Remove from oven and place 1/2 cup of grits into each bacon cup. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and serve. 

I have never had grits before and that is why I chose this recipe. Thought it was time to try them out. I was talking with my husband about it and told him I have never had them and he said "Well they are like cream of wheat." I have never had cream of wheat either. Now after we ate my husband was looking at the box that I thought was Grits, but he thinks it is really Cream of Wheat...oops. My German tricked me and I grabbed the wrong one, but he assured me they were basically the same thing. Either way these were delicious! I substituted non-dairy butter, vegan cream cheese, and vegan cheese I could find at the store. It is just generic cheese flavor as they were out of the cheddar flavor, but it was still tasty. Oh, and I couldn't find green onion so I added a smidge of onion powder. 

For the bacon I used seitan bacon that I made and is so freakin delicious. I love it. Now since seitan is not all fatty and greasy like bacon I knew it wouldn't hold together when baked so I asked in some of my groups what people would use to make it hold a cup shape and I was in luck - someone makes these all the time for his English breakfast to hold his baked beans and he helped me out. A little bit of cornstarch and water = glue! The edible kind that you won't even taste. It was like magic. I lined my silicon cupcake cups with the seitan bacon, dabbed on the cornstarch slurry and baked and they came out of the oven perfect! Even when I cut into them they still held their shape. 

This is definitely going on the re-make list. Next time I will make sure to get grits instead of cream of wheat and see what the difference is. Delicious!

The last recipe I tried was Orecchiette with Hell Weed (or broccoli) and White Beans

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
8 bloodbath cloves, minced (Humans: use garlic)
1 tsp fresh fairy wings, minced (Himans: use oregano)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I use more!)
1 (15 oz) can cannellini or great Northern beans
2 pounds hell weed, rinsed and cut into small florets (Humans: use broccoli)
12 oz small shells of orecchiette
1 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Salt and Pepper

Put 4 quarts of water on the stove to bring to a boil. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook about 2 minutes until softened. Add garlic/bloodbath cloves, oregano/fairy wings, and pepper flakes and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in beans, cook 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. 

To the boiling water add broccoli/hell weed and one Tb of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer broccoli/hell weed to the bean mixture. 

Return water to boiling and add pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup water, drain pasta, and return to pot. Add 1/3 cup of reserved water, the bean mixture, and cheese. Toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste, adding more reserved water if needed. 

One of my all-time favorite dishes is Aglio e Olio - pasta with olive oil and garlic and some spice. I could eat it all the time and be happy. When I saw this recipe I thought this looks similar, but a bit more. The broccoli, the beans, the cheese, sounds perfect for me. And it was. I love pasta, but am not a huge tomato sauce fan so anything that is olive oil based I am in. The only things I did different was used vegan cheese instead of Parmesan of Asiago and it was delicious. Another recipe to add to my rotation. 

I'm glad I signed up to review this cookbook/book as it was a lot of fun testing out recipes. It made me think maybe I should do this more often as cooking is one of my other passions (besides reading). 

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

DINING WITH ANGELS by Larissa Ione and Suzanne M. Johnson – Cooks & Books Tour Schedule:

November 7th
Literary Gossip
Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews

November 13th
Jen in Bookland
Book Lovers Hangout
The Romantic Angel Blog

About Larissa Ione:


Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe. 

About Suzanne M. Johnson: 

USA Today bestselling author Suzanne M. Johnson is family trained, a South Georgia native who's been cooking all of her life, creating not only some really unique food, but precious memories that re-occur every time she smells something simmering in the oven. In all of her books, Suzanne shows that making a delicious meal doesn't have to be complicated--it just has to be made with love. So go ahead, don't be bashful, dive right in. Who knows? You might just make a few memories of your own. 


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