Connect Through Reading {Recipe: Banana Beignets}

Banana Beignets Recipe from

Today I’m sharing a special Connect Through Reading post – it includes a really fabulous Banana Beignet recipe – but it’s special for other reasons! I have to give you some backstory first, though.

About 9 years ago I was working from home doing a job I hated. I was working as a recruiter for a 1 man company. Recruiting was my background and the pay was good, but the type of recruiting I was doing required me to be on the phone a lot throughout the day cold calling. Cold calling is something I detest, but the job paid well and I really liked the guy I was working for. Now, mind you, I had a 2 year old and an infant at the time. I was really trying to balance it all, and was stressed out to the max. I thought I should have been grateful to have a job from home that was flexible so I could be at home with my kids, but again… every time I would pick up the phone to make a call, I wanted to throw up and cry.

I was part of a book club and along came our month to read the book Tending Roses by Lisa Winegate. This book, with the quote to describe it being “The lessons that most enrich our lives often come at unexpected moments and from unlikely places. ” absolutely changed my life. This one story, so tender and achingly real, touched my heart in so many ways and taught me an important lesson about recognizing what the priorities in our life should be… and how quickly life can pass us by. I quit that recruiting job the day after I finished the book and decided to find something more rewarding (hello Dine & Dish!). It was one of the best moves I’ve ever made and I owe it all to a book.

The Prayer Box and Banana Beignets www.dineanddish.netThrough the years, Lisa Wingate has remained a favorite author of mine. I was really excited when my friend DeLynn mentioned that Lisa was doing a special project with the release of her newest book, The Prayer Box, and she wanted us to be a part of it! You see, Lisa was doing a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Book” event…where a group of books would be traveling across the United States and read by several women. Each woman was to write their notes in the pages and share their own thoughts throughout the book before they mailed it on to the next woman. What resulted was a book that looked something like this:

The Prayer Box Bookk Review dineanddish.netThe traveling book had note after note on each page… each reader of The Prayer Box got to share their thoughts on the characters, emotions they were feeling while reading the book, and funny snippets. It was such a neat experience to see what other people thought while they were reading. My friends DeLynn, Whitney, Terri and I got together several times on Google Hangout while were were reading and then met for our final book discussion in person to share our thoughts together. It was a wonderful shared experience with great friends.

Prayer-Box-Group-PicI think one of my favorite parts of this project was getting the chance to communicate with Lisa and tell her what an important role Tending Roses played in my life. (Do you all ever email authors after reading a book? I do all the time now, but back when I read Tending Roses I hadn’t started doing that.) I was thankful to finally get to thank Lisa for writing such a personal and touching story and for making a big difference in my future with her book.

If you are looking for a story with heart, I highly recommend reading The Prayer Box. The Prayer Box is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where a formerly abused wife and her children move to start a new life. What she discovers in her new town has her questioning her faith, family, and whether she could love and trust again. As Lisa says… “The Prayer Box is a novel about the untold story of a woman’s life, as discovered through the 81 prayer boxes  found in her home after she’s gone.” I gave The Prayer Box 4 stars on Goodreads and highly recommend it, as well as many of Lisa Wingates other books. (She’s an incredibly talented writer!)

Download The Prayer Box on your Kindle, here, buy a paper copy from Amazon or add it to your virtual library on Goodreads, here. (Make sure to follow me on Goodreads so we can share book recommendations!)

I love it when books have some tie in to food, and The Prayer Box had a connection with Banana Beignets. You’ll have to read the book to find out what the tie in is, but I thought I’d share the recipe shared on Lisa’s site for the Banana Beignets with you! Enjoy!

Homemade Banana Beignets Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious homemade Banana Beignet recipe. Serve as an alternative to doughnuts for breakfast or as a special treat during the day!
Serves: 24 beignets
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • oil (for frying)
  • powdered sugar
  1. Heat Oil in a deep skillet or deep fryer to 360°
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Add Banana, flour, milk, sugar, baking powder, and salt to eggs.
  4. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Carefully place dough by the spoonful into the hot oil, three dollops at a time.
  6. Cook until golden on both sides (about 4-5 minutes).
  7. Carefully remove fried beignets from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
  8. Sprinkle powdered sugar over Beignets while still warm. Serve warm.

Disclosure: I was selected to participate in the traveling book project and therefore received a copy of the book for free. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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  1. Terri says

    Thrilled to have been a part of this with Whitney, DeLynn and you. Especially enjoyed sampling the Beignets! And thank you for introducing me to Lisa Wingate’s books so many years ago through “Tending Roses”.

  2. says

    Your post rings home with me!! This past March I left my hospitality sales career of 11+ years to blog full time. Like you, my job was cold calling and I couldn’t stand it. Like you, I am home with a toddler (and soon infant) so I kept the job for a long time because I felt lucky to be able to stay home. I’m so grateful to blogging for allowing me to make an income doing what I’m truly passionate about – cooking and healthy living. xoxo

  3. says

    Wow, this is so cool and thank you for sharing with us. I used to never think books were all that great, since I struggled with school and always looked at reading as a chore. But now that I am out of school I find it relaxing. I still cannot sit down for hours and read, but a little here and a little there is great! I will have to check out these books, they sound really encouraging!!

    Oh and the beignets? LOVE them!! They look so good and the perfect treat to cozy up to a book with!

  4. says

    Oh, how special is this? I love that you email your authors. I am one of those people too and I get so excited when they take the time to write back! What a sweet gathering and I love the handwritten messages in these books! xo

  5. says

    I love a good book, especially one that really makes me examine my life and well ties in food too! Thanks for sharing this story. Love this whole idea.

  6. DeLynn says

    It was also a privilege for me to be a part of this with all of you! Kristen started this years ago with introducing us to Tending Roses and the lovely series that produced! Thanks Kristen and Lisa!

    The beignets were a very special touch! The Hangouts were fun and as always the time at Houlihan’s was exceptional!!

    I highly recommend this book and all of Lisa’s books. The book is worth reading just for the “quotes”. And Lisa, in doing this project and following you on FB, you seem like the “real deal!”

    Thanks again to everyone!


  7. says

    This recipe looks SOOOO good! Beautiful images as always. Love how dedicated you are to reading and enriching your mind! One day I will sit down and read a book. Without distraction. One day. :)

  8. says

    Kristen, this is so random. I’m in the middle if reading The Prayer Box and got an itch for banana beignet’s after reading about them in the story. A quick google search brought up your post. I’m so glad I found it! I’ll be making these tomorrow morning! What a sweet thing to do as well. Once I’m finished with the story I’ll be sure to email the author. I hope you had a wonderfully blessed Christmas!

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