Monday, May 4, 2015

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "About a Girl" by Lindsey Kelk, Served with Homemade Pineapple (Dole) Whip + a Pineapple Whip Float Cocktail

I am always a sucker for books set in Hawaii, especially Oahu, as I like to read about the place I have called home for the past 14 years. In About a Girl by Lindsey Kelk, a new chick-lit novel, Tess Brookes takes a giant leap across a couple of ponds--from London to Oahu when her life runs off the rails. On today's TLC Book Tour stop, I am pairing my Hawaii-local book review with a homemade version of one of my favorite cold treats to share with visitors--the Dole Pineapple Whip, then turning it into a tropicalicious cocktail.

Publisher's Blurb:

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when the Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.

After accidentally answering her roommate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, she might try being Vanessa. With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?

But Tess is soon in big trouble. And the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster. Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…

Paperback: 416 pages  
Publisher: Harper (April 14, 2015)

About a Girl is the perfect beach or poolside read--besides the island setting, it is light and breezy and would pair really well with a tropical drink. It's chick-lit, no deep plots and fairly predictable but it is definitely fun and full of plenty of dry British wit, reminiscent of Bridget Jones's Diary, Jemima J. by Jane Green, or Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. This is my first book by Lindsey Kelk and her writing is sharp, witty and funny. A couple of my favorite lines--Nick: 'Not everyone does have a book in them. Some people don’t even have a Post-it note.' and 'We are modern women on the horns of a dilemma,' Amy corrected. 'We are culturally conditioned to drink. It's Bridget Jones's fault, not ours.' Tess, the main character, is likable and keeps her sense of humor even as her life is imploding. I especially loved her best friend Amy, and Kekipi, the gay manager of the estate where Tess is staying in Kailua--they are the kind of friends you would want around you in both the good and bad times. I did not know that this book was the beginning of a series but would definitely consider picking up What a Girl Wants, the second book, based on my enjoyment of this one. If you need an entertaining escape, are a fan of British humor, and love a feel-good chick-lit novel, you'll find About a Girl an enjoyable read.

Author Notes: Lindsey Kelk is a writer and children’s book editor. When she isn’t writing, reading, listening to music, or watching more TV than is healthy, Lindsey likes to wear shoes, shop for shoes, and judge the shoes of others. Born in England, Lindsey loves living in New York but misses Sherbet Fountains, London, and drinking gin and elderflower cocktails with her friends. Not necessarily in that order. Find out more about Lindsey at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


About a Girl isn't a food-centered book, but there is plenty of culinary inspiration between the mix of English snack food products, the foods of Hawaii, and the myriad of cocktails and alcohol that Tess consumes in her five days in Paradise. Particular standouts were the Kalua pig, chicken skewers, chocolate covered mac nuts, sushi for breakfast, and way too much fresh pineapple that Tess can't seem to get enough of. For alcohol there was champagne, wine, cheap vodka, mai tais, coconut cocktails, and creamy frozen pineapple daiquiris. For my book inspired dish, I decided to take my cues from the pineapple and the alcohol, as well as the treat I like to share with my visitors to the island--the Dole Whip. I made a homemade version of the frozen treat, enjoyed on its own, then combined with pineapple juice and pineapple rum for a sweet and cool cocktail.

If you have not experienced the delight of a Dole Pineapple Whip they are starting to pop up at places other than the Dole Plantation on the North Shore of Oahu and Disneyland. The Dole Whip is a creamy, non-dairy frozen pineapple treat and always on my family's "must-do/have" list when they visit me. Personally, I am partial to the Dole Whip Float--where Dole Whip is put in a glass and topped with pineapple juice. It's the perfect combination of refreshing drink and creamy, cold snack. Since I don't get to enjoy it nearly enough, I have been wanting to make it at home where I can also control the type and quality of the sweetener and other ingredients.  

I have pinned lots of recipes for Dole Whip on Pinterest, but for this post I am going with a variation of the one I pinned first from Detoxinista, as it is made up of just three ingredients--frozen pineapple, coconut milk and honey. Given the love for pineapple that Tess develops, I am sure she would be a fan--especially if we make a Pineapple Whip Float into an "adult beverage" by adding a shot of pineapple rum. 

Dole Pineapple Whip
Slightly adapted from Detoxinista
(Makes About 4 Servings) 

1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped and frozen overnight (or about 4 cups Dole frozen pineapple chunks)
3/4 cup to 1 cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
1 1/2 Tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice)

Place frozen pineapple chunks, 3/4 cup of coconut milk and honey into a high-speed blender or the bowl of a food processor and blend. Add additional coconut milk and scrape down the sides of the blender as needed until the consistency is thick, smooth and creamy. 

Serve in small bowls or for a float, place a scoop of the pineapple whip into a tall glass and fill with pineapple juice. Enjoy!

Note: For a prettier presentation, place the frozen whip into a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag with one corner cut off and pipe the mixture into the bowls or glasses. 

Pineapple Whip Float Cocktail
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 1

Add 1 to 2 oz (depending of your stamina and desire for alcohol) of pineapple rum (I used Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum) to a tall glass. Using your Ziploc pastry bag from above, pipe glass full of frozen Dole Whip. Add fresh pineapple juice to rim of glass. Garnish with fresh pineapple or a drink umbrella and straw and serve immediately.

Notes/Results: Although not quite as creamy as the Dole Whip you can get at Dole Plantation, the taste is spot on--a refreshing, sweet and slightly tangy frozen treat. Perfect if you don't have the time or funds to visit Hawaii or if you are like me and are just too lazy too drive to the North Shore unless entertaining out-of-state visitors. The pineapple rum adds a nice touch to my beloved Dole Whip Float. (Would it be wrong to carry pineapple rum in a flask the next time I head to the Dole Plantation?) ;-) This is a quick and easy frozen treat that is on the healthier scale of frozen treats. I'll definitely make it again. 

Note: A review copy of "About a Girl" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.



  1. Gluten Free A-Z BlogMay 5, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    I think I had the Dole Pineapple Whip in Disney. My entire family loved it and looked forward to it each time we went to Disney. I can't wait to make this easy refreshing recipe for my grandkids. Pinning it right now!

  2. Thanks Judee! Yes, there is nothing like getting a Dole Pineapple Whip at a fun location but it is so easy to make at home I am surprised I have not tried it before. ;-)

  3. Oh my gosh I haven't had a Dole Pineapple Whip since my last trip to Disney which was quite a few years ago. I CANNOT WAIT to try this recipe myself, especially since this version is dairy free and that means I can share it with my son!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  4. This was a fun tour Heather--thanks for having me! Hope you and your son like the pineapple whip. ;-)


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