So, as I’ve mentioned before, I only take part in blog tours when I super, super adore both author and book. I have to cop to the fact that I am supremely behind on my non-YA reading thanks to blogging responsibilities, but A) I adored book one in this series, All Four Stars, enough to be fully confident in its sequel, The Stars of Summer, which just came out yesterday and B) I adore Tara a whole lot too 😉 (Come to think of it, it seems I do blog tour stops strictly for macaron buddies. Huh.)
Some proof of my macaron-centric love, and please excuse my horrible phonetography:
Above: Me and Tara at Sugar Plumm
So, what else makes me so confident in this book? Well, duh, it’s a foodie book, and knowing that Tara writes with so much respect for kids and produces books that are fun and delightful and foodtastic without writing down to the reader was honestly my first big MG revelation. So, yeah, much positivity toward these books!
In this charming sequel to All Four Stars, eleven-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby now has her first published review under her belt and is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and reviewing. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley.
As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy: she struggles to pass her swim test and can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches. The worst part is she can’t seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper and sneak away for her latest assignment—finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when it turns out her hot dog assignment was a dirty trick by a jealous reviewer, Gladys’s reviewing career may be over forever.
In honor of the fact that Gladys goes hunting for New York’s best hot dog, Tara asked if we’d share our favorite hot dog recipes. I…have no hot dog recipes, but I do know what I like in a condiment, so, let’s talk about this!
1. Mustard. You might think ketchup, but it turns out you’re actually wrong. Please don’t argue with me; this is science.
2. Barbecue sauce. If a sauce in the red color family is gonna go on your hot dog, there really is only one choice. It’s still not ketchup.
3. Chipotle sauce. My husband and I have a policy of buying literally every product we see that both mentions chipotle and has kosher supervision. As a result, we have a very weird number of chipotle sauces/mayos/whatever, but on the bright side, they’re good on hot dogs!
4. Onion jam. This is the new love of our home. My husband made it to go in a gift basket for a holiday, and we’re kind of addicted to eating the leftovers on our hot dogs. NO REGRETS. Personally, I have zero patience to make anything at home that doesn’t say Duncan Heinz on the box, but thankfully, he’s not the same way, so if you’re feeling adventurous or at least a little curious, here’s the recipe he made that we now swear by: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/08/seriously-italian-onion-and-rosemary-confiturra-recipe.html
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to prepare for Tara’s next visit to NYC; we have some macaron shopping to do.
Tara Dairman is the author of ALL FOUR STARS, which was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Mighty Girl Top Book of 2014 for Teens and Tweens. She is also a playwright and recovering world traveler. She grew up in New York and received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College. After surviving the world’s longest honeymoon (two years, seventy-four countries!), she now lives in Colorado with her husband and their trusty waffle iron.
Author photo credit: Tiffany Crowder @ Crowded Studios: http://www.crowdedstudiosphoto.com/