Tasty Tuesday: Zesty Pizza Dip from #romance #author Augustina Van Hoven #funfood #recipe #mustread #fiction

This week’s Tasty Tuesday brings a tempting pizza dip recipe straight out of the pages of Augustina Van Hoven’s latest book, The Last Christmas on Earth. Enjoy!


Food is an essential part of my new frontier series.  Five thousand colonists and crew members are boarding the Starship Halcyon to take a nine-month voyage to colonize a new planet.  They have to bring enough food stores with them to sustain the group during the trip and for several months after they first land until they can harvest their own crops.

In the series prequel, The Last Christmas on Earth, we are introduced to Engineering Specialist, Duncan McGregor.  He’s not much of a cook but when he’s invited to a private poker game, he relies on an old recipe to use as his food contribution.

He’d called in a favor from one of the cooks in the galley and was allowed to make his grandmother’s recipe for pizza dip.  It was made with pizza sauce, several kinds of cheese, red and green peppers chopped up, and bits of hamburger, pepperoni, ham and bacon mixed through it.  He wasn’t much of a cook but this was something from his childhood that he’d made often.  Growing up with his grandparents there were times when money was tight.  They couldn’t afford to order out for pizza so his grandmother would make this dip with whatever ingredients she had.  She baked her own bread so there was always plenty of that.  It made for a tasty treat on the evenings they played cards or made puzzles.

Pizza Dip

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup pizza sauce

½ cup mozzarella cheese

2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons Red pepper (chopped)

2 Tablespoons Green pepper (chopped)

1 tsp of Italian seasonings

Optional:

Crumbled bacon, cooked ground beef, cooked diced ham, and chopped pepperoni

Instructions

Layer in order given.

Microwave 2 mins.

Serve with crackers or cut up toasted French bread.

AugustinaVanHoven_TheLastChristmasOnEarth_HRWhat if you had to make a choice, your lifelong dream or your soul mate?
Scott Southerland has his dream job and his dream woman. What could go wrong? With his mother around, plenty. Scott’s on his guard, and his soon-to-be fiancé, Harper Castille, is, too. Scott has no interest in the other women his mother dangles in front of him, but can his relationship with Harper survive the destruction of his dream?

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Tina small - CopyAugustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two dogs and three cats.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines.

Website: www.augustinavanhoven.com

Twitter:  @augustinavhoven

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Augustina-Van-Hoven-Author/336028986575129

Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author


Thanks, Augustina! You’ve given me some great ideas for the next time I do pizza fondue for my hubby and me. I do something similar in my fondue pot: marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, mini pepperoni slices, and use French bread to dip into the sauce. But adding in some bacon bits or maybe even some sliced black olives sounds mighty tempting, too.

Have you made a sauce or fondue like this? What other ingredients do you recommend?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

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Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole from #romance #author Cathy Skendrovich #dinner #recipe #romancebooks

I have a little spicy treat for you all on this Tasty Tuesday! Not only is Undercover with the Nanny a hot dish, but contemporary romance author Cathy Skendrovich shares a hot Chicken Enchilada Casserole dish, too. Take it away, Cathy!

Thank you, Betty, for hosting me on your “Tasty Tuesday” blog. I love writing, and I love cooking, so being able to talk about both is a win-win for me.

Food is always featured in my books. It doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a midnight snack, I invariably have my characters breaking bread together. It may be because I love to cook (and eat it), but I think it’s also true that when you sit around a table with friends or family, you naturally share more about yourself while in the process of eating. Table conversation can be enlightening, from lovers to parents.

In my upcoming romantic suspense release, Undercover with the Nanny, due out on April 23, 2018, the characters share several meals together. Our hero, Sawyer Hayes, is a DEA agent investigating Kate Munroe and her boss for possible drug trafficking. In one scene he invites Kate out to dinner in order to pump her for information. He’s unprepared for the slam-to-the-gut chemistry they share in the Mexican restaurant. Kissing her becomes more important that feeding himself. And kissing his suspect is dangerous, as well as unprofessional. Will he give in to the urge, and jeopardize the case, as well as his career? You’ll have to purchase the book on April 23rd to find out.

UwtN_1600When Kate Munroe is smacked in the head by a beach volleyball, she has no idea that the hunky guy responsible is a well-trained DEA agent sent to investigate her. She just thinks he’s a schmuck who can’t play very well. And when she discovers he’s moved in right next door, she’s not overjoyed. He makes her feel…edgy, when he looks at her. Like he knows what she looks like under her clothes. And she doesn’t trust a guy who throws her off balance. She doesn’t trust, period.

DEA agent Sawyer Hayes came to the southernmost tip of California in search of Mexico’s dangerous drug cartel leader, Armando Ortiz, who slipped through his fingers in El Paso. The link to finding Ortiz is Kate Munroe, a nanny for one of Ortiz’s henchmen. But does the dark-eyed beauty with the smart mouth know who she works for, or is she an innocent pawn in this high stakes game of cat-and-mouse? It’s Sawyer’s job to find out. And Sawyer won’t rest until he knows, because he’s falling for the sexy babysitter and isn’t sure if he can throw her in jail when the time comes.

Here’s an excerpt:

Just one more knock.

 

She gave what she thought was one last, good rap. Silence.

 

Fate—or God—had provided a reprieve for her common sense. She could go back home without having embarrassed herself with her momentary sexual weakness. She turned to go. Just as she did, she heard the rattle of the doorknob, along with the swish of the front door opening. Scrunching her eyes shut, she pivoted, and then opened them one at a time. She choked on a strangled gasp.

 

Sawyer Hayes stood in the open doorway, gloriously naked, except for the towel slung low on his hips. Really low. Mouthwateringly low. She dragged her gaze away, up that corrugated abdomen, past that chiseled chest where stray water droplets dotted the wide expanse of male skin, up to those glittering emeralds that pinned her in her place.

 

There was no Southern charm in his expression now. Only a palpable expectancy that snapped between them like an electrical current. Without losing eye contact, he leaned one brawny shoulder against the doorjamb. She fought the urge to check out how that towel remained around him in this new position. He had such narrow hips, after all—

 

“I don’t imagine you’re here to borrow a cup of sugar, are you?”

 

Her gaze popped up to his face, where humor had replaced that avid anticipation of a moment before. What could she say? That, now that the decision was left in her hands, all she could think of was being with him? Touching him, tasting him, doing unmentionable things more in keeping with a certain Mr. Christian Grey than with what she’d ever done in her rather beige sexual past.

 

A questioning look crossed his face, and she realized she’d been silent too long. What should she say? Tell him she’d changed her mind? Excuse herself and run home? He wouldn’t follow her. But, she hadn’t changed her mind, that was the problem. Seeing him almost naked only underscored that realization.

 

Her pulse sped up as she admitted to herself: she wanted to have sex with Sawyer Hayes. She needed to know if that instant spark that came to life whenever they were together would transfer to the bedroom. That maybe, just maybe, he would rock her world when others hadn’t. She wouldn’t question what that meant if he did.

 

“I do have sugar, Munroe, though you don’t strike me as the type to use that manufactured—”

 

“Can I come in?” Without waiting for his answer, she pushed past him, brushing against his body while half-hoping that tenacious towel would lose its battle and land on the floor. That would make her decision so much easier.

 

“It depends on how long you plan on staying,” he drawled, stepping aside and shutting the front door with a decisive click. She moved closer, close enough she could smell the soap he’d washed with, could hear each measured inhale and exhale that he took. She studied his face, had to tilt her head only a little because he was barefoot.

That sexy tidbit may not have you craving food, but here’s an enchilada casserole recipe I make for my family that’s easy and tasty and is similar to what I describe in the book. I use chicken, but turkey or beef can be substituted.

enchilada casseroleChicken Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

2-3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 15-oz. can tomato sauce

1 15-oz. can enchilada sauce, mild

Corn tortillas (10-20 count package)

Sliced or chopped olives to taste

Shredded Mexican cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Grease 9×13 baking dish
  3. Pour and mix tomato sauce and enchilada sauce in bowl
  4. Dip enough tortillas (usually 2) in the sauces, and place in bottom of dish
  5. Sprinkle some chicken on top
  6. Sprinkle olives and cheese on top of chicken
  7. Dip more tortillas in sauces and cover the chicken, olives and cheese
  8. Continue layering ingredients until there’s no more chicken
  9. Top the casserole with at least two more dipped tortillas, and sprinkle cheese on top
  10. Optional: May dribble sauce over top
  11. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350˚ for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Good with Mexican rice and beans. Serves 8-10

2017 Profile PicCathy Skendrovich has always loved a good story, and spent her formative years scribbling what is now called Fan Fiction. The current heartthrob of the time featured heavily in all her stories. Unfortunately, once she went to college, her writing took the form of term papers, written on typewriters instead of computer keyboards.

Upon graduation, Cathy took a job as an English teacher in a middle school. Along the way, she married her husband of now thirty-three years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County, California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there.

Now she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel, followed closely by The Pirate’s Bride. The sequel to The Pirate’s Bride, The Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade, came out Oct. 1, 2017. Her next contemporary romantic suspense, entitled Undercover with the Nanny, is due out on April 23, 2018.

She likes writing romance because she feels it’s lacking in today’s technological world. While she enjoys writing contemporary stories, creating romance in bygone times fascinates her. She hopes her ability to write in both genres will be the beginning of a long and satisfying writing career.

You can reach Cathy at the following sites. She loves hearing from readers.

http://www.cathyskendrovich.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Cathy-Skendrovich-249667925220631/

https://twitter.com/cskendrovich

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14232546.Cathy_Skendrovich

https://www.instagram.com/cathyskendrovich/

https://www.amazon.com/Cathy-Skendrovich/e/B015JJZZOW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
 

Thanks so much for sharing both your story and your recipe, Cathy! A bit of spice can really make a meal and a romance special. The combination seems like a fine idea to me.

Next week will be the last guest post for Tasty Tuesday for a while. I’m starting a new blog series of Between the Lines posts on Mondays and I hope you’ll all enjoy them. Watch for more recipes and stories to return later this year, though. I know how much you all have loved reading about the many different books and foods.

Until next time! Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Bajan Rum Punch by #historical #romance #author Sandra Masters #beverage #recipe #books #fiction

Tasty Tuesday brings you all a tempting rum punch recipe to sip in the shade on a hot summer’s afternoon while you enjoy a good book! Sandra Masters writes historical romance and enjoys sharing historical recipes much like I do. Welcome, Sandra!


We’re sure that by now you must be aware of the fact that rum has been a favorite of Barbados since the days of the British settlers. To this date, rum is still very much a favorite with both locals and visitors to the island as it is continually held in high esteem as the strongest and smoothest rum in the world.

While the modern version of this punch is best served over ice, in the 1800’s, ice was not available. However, this drink was the favorite of Thorn Wick, the hero of THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, Book Four, THE DUKE SERIES. He favored drinking it straight in a tankard or metal cup. He particularly liked the bite of straight rum, but also drank it with lime and nutmeg. Heavy on the rum. For island parties, the punch was a favorite of the men. Thorn Wick was a man who could hold his liquor and did not over-imbibe since malicious islanders could waylay a careless half-breed.

Glass of Rum PUnchBajan Rum Punch Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup of freshly squeezed West Indian green lime

2 cups bland sugar or syrup (equal portions of white sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves)

3 cups strong, aged rum (preferably good ole Barbados rum)

4 cups water

A few dashes of bitters

A few sprinkles of grated nutmeg

Instructions
Combine the lime juice, syrup, rum, water, and bitters, and stir well in a tall pitcher. Pour into glasses with grated nutmeg to garnish and don’t forget to tell the world that the best rum punch can be found only in Barbados.

THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD — A Regency Romance with an Element of Suspense

DMB-CoverDuke_resize !After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned Argamak Turk  horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans: on a dangerous mission to Barbados, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will he exact revenge for the foul deed?

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings. But the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her.

Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove love can pave the way to their happiness to fulfill their destiny?

http://amzn.to/2doCr2P   Amazon US

http://bit.ly/2eYiNsK     Wild Rose Press

http://amzn.to/2d8YbhF  UK

http://bit.ly/2ozMQNc    Barnes and Noble

Of course, there’s the 15,000-word teaser prequel to Book Four, 99 cents, which depicts Thorn’s life on the island of Barbados as the half-breed until the rock-hauling malice boys suffered the fury of the young lad and gave him a wide birth.

THORN, SON OF A DUKE, BOOK THREE

http://amzn.to/2sur7tr      US

http://amzn.to/2lnzwe4   UK

http://bit.ly/2eJKwPl     Wild Rose Press

http://amzn.to/2lnzwe4     Canada

SANDRA REDONEFrom a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the boardrooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She traded boardrooms for ballrooms, left her corporate world behind and never looked back.

Nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed. She lists her occupation as Living The Dream.

I grew up as an only child where both my parents worked. In those days, it was acceptable to have your child come home from school and wait for you to return. After doing homework, I would go to the bookcase. My reading material included the book “Heidi,” and the Encyclopedia Britannica, which my mother purchased from a door-to-door salesman. You can imagine how dry it was to read the Encyclopedia. At least, it had some graphics.

Fast forward to 2015, after five years of studying the craft of writing and networking with organizations of like-minded people fevered me. In July 2015, when I was offered the first contract of my life with The Wild Rose Press, I was over the moon, danced on the ceiling, and scared my dogs with the whoops and hollers. Five books later and Book Six at my publishers, I’m still writing my fairy tales and loving every minute of it.

To me, writing is not a hobby. It is not a career. It is an obsession.

If you want to more about the themes of my novels, visit my website at  www.authorsandramasters.com. Subscribe to my newsletter which I try to publish quarterly. Read a book? Have a question or comment?  Email me at  sandramastersauthor@gmail.com.

I try to make myself available for book signings, presentations, video events, and local TV screenings.


Thanks, Sandra! That’s both tempting and easy to mix up for a refreshing adult beverage. Thanks so much for sharing both the recipe and the story!

Have you all been enjoying learning about the recipes/foods these authors’ fictional characters gravitate toward? What’s your favorite so far?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Spaghetti Sauce by #romance #author Lynn Crandall #dinner #recipe #amreading #mustread #fiction

Here comes another tempting Tasty Tuesday dinner idea for you all. Help me welcome contemporary romance author Lynn Crandall back to share her spaghetti sauce recipe and her latest romance with you all!


Thank you Betty for having me on your “tasty” blog. I’m excited to talk about my novella, Two Days Until Midnight, and food.

Food is a favorite topic among people. We don’t merely take in nutrition and fill our stomachs, we enjoy the flavors and textures of a variety of foods. Our meals feed our bodies and our souls. According to experts, humans are the only mammals on the planet who cook food. Eating is an activity for us. We go out to dinner with friends and enjoy conversation over a meal. We gather as families around the dinner table and check in with each other to stay connected. The phrase “breaking bread” is a reference to the fundamental belief that sharing a meal is a meaningful observation of our shared humanity.

In Two Days Until Midnight, bird-shifter Lark Ellis has some bad news to admit to her boss Tamier Rein, whom she is falling for. She invites him to dinner at her house, creating a welcoming and casual atmosphere to show she cares despite her bad news. Cognizant of Tamier’s Italian heritage, she plans her meal around a dish she believes is Italian – spaghetti. By cooking Tamier something from his culture, she is showing him she accepts him and is trying to connect – and hoping her efforts will soften the blow. Does it ease her admission for Tamier? You can find out by reading the book.

Two Days Until Midnight(FINAL)coverBird-shifter Lark Ellis has spent her life shielding her true identity. Now, to protect her flock’s habitat she’s taken a job that pits her mission against her secret and her integrity.

Reclusive billionaire architect and CEO of Global Environments, Tamier Rein lost his freedom and his dreams the day a Society assassin cursed him and changed him into a were-cheetah. Imprisoned by uncontrollable transing, he faces a devastating condition of his curse on the approaching Autumn Solstice.

Lark risks her identity and all she holds dear to help Tamier as their relationship develops into a promise of true love. As the deadline looms, Tamier must let her teach him to live or lose everything in two days.

Two Days Until Midnight is available for 99 cents on Amazon http://a.co/9i3RRnz.

It also is part of an anthology titled At Midnight, by HiDee Ekstrom, Rena Koontz, and myself. Find the anthology on Amazon at http://a.co/ckmTcAI.

Here’s an excerpt:

Tamier closed his eyes, clinging to the sense of wonder and peace spreading through him, and trying to ignore his spontaneous impulses to reach for her. “I do know I don’t want this moment to end.” He stepped close to her, so close he felt her breath on his face. She didn’t move away, and he looped a lock of her hair behind her ear, sinking into the soft feel of it. Oh, how he wanted to kiss her lips, but he stood suspended in doubt nanomillimeters away.

“Tamier.” She stared at his mouth. “You don’t know everything about me.”

He pulled his eyes from her lips and looked into her eyes. “I don’t expect I do.”

“There are things I want to tell you, but I’m afraid.”

“Don’t be. If there are things I need to know, you’ll tell me or they will come up.” He nuzzled the soft spot under her ear and into her neck, all of his senses exploding with sensations.

“Tamier,” she whispered. “What?”

“Remember later that I warned you.”

Now to the recipe.

Italian Spaghetti Sauce

spaghettiIngredients

2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree

2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1⁄2 cup chopped onion

3 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1⁄2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese

2 1⁄2cups water (less if you want a thicker sauce

Directions

In a large stockpot on low-med heat add olive oil and saute onions for about 4 minutes. Add crushed garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Add tomato products. Mix well. Add spices and cheese. Cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Add sausage, ground beef, meatballs, or chicken if desired.

Serves 12 to 16.

lynn-crandall-picLynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don’t back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.

 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Crandall/e/B00AX9OA40/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1511570977&sr=8-1

Website http://lynn-crandall.com/

Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrandallAuthor/?ref=settings

Twitter https://twitter.com/lcrandallwriter

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6198966.Lynn_Crandall

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lynncrandallwriter/

Instagram lcrandall246



I love a good spaghetti sauce with ground beef, or better yet ground venison. Thanks so much for sharing the sauce and the excerpt, Lynn. The recipe reminds me of my sister-in-law making sauce for dinner, and it was the first time I had ever seen anyone make it from scratch. Very tempting, indeed!

Anyone else make their own sauce? What other ingredients do you include or exclude?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.