Tasty Tuesday: Romantic Risotto alla Milanese by #histrom #author Carmela Martino #dinner #recipe #Italian

So, I need to pay close attention to today’s Tasty Tuesday recipe since I am challenged when it comes to cooking rice! Carmela Martino has done her research for this Risotto alla Milanese recipe based on her historical romance, Playing by Heart. I’m going to pull out a notepad and pencil and follow along closely. Ready to hear about her amazing story of lady musicians as well as this very tempting dish? You’re up, Carmela!


My historical romance, Playing by Heart (Vinspire Publishing), is inspired by two amazing women who lived in 18th-century Milan—composer Maria Teresa Agnesi and her older sister, linguist and mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi. I changed their names for the novel, but I included actual historical people and events to make the story feel more authentic. That authenticity carries over into the food and drinks mentioned. Getting those details right required significant research. I scoured historical cookbooks as well as references on the history of food in Italy. In the process, learned that the classic rice dish I’ll be sharing today, Risotto alla Milanese—Milanese Risotto, probably wasn’t developed until the 1800s. But, since it’s probably similar to the risotto my characters eat in the novel, I figured Risotto alla Milanese would be a fun recipe to share with you for Valentine’s Day. Even the name sounds romantic!

My main character is the naturally gifted musician Emilia Salvini. Because she is a teen in the story, Playing by Heart is categorized as young adult fiction. However, many adult readers and reviewers have commented that the story straddles the YA/adult genre. In the novel, Emilia dreams of marrying a man who loves music as much as she does, but as the “second sister,” she fears she’ll be sent to a convent instead. Her only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father’s quest for nobility. Her first test comes when she must perform at a reception welcoming a new governor to Milan. Risotto is mentioned in Chapter 3 to highlight the dinner-table tension when Emilia’s parents disagree over whether Emilia and her sister should have new gowns for the event. The lavish reception, which is held at the palazzo of an influential count, is where Emilia meets the violinist who becomes her love interest.

My parents were born in central Italy, so I’ve eaten and prepared a variety of Italian rice dishes. However, since Italian food is very regional, Risotto alla Milanese wasn’t one of them. When I decided to make it for myself, I turned to my brother for advice. He’s the family foodie and loves to cook. He sent me to a recipe on the Food & Wine website that is basically how he prepares it. I’ve adapted the recipe as follows.

Carmela’s Risotto alla Milanese

Ingredients

5 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped leeks (the original recipe calls for onion, which I can’t eat)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

Pinch of saffron threads*

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 TBL unsalted butter

2 TBLS chopped Italian parsley (I forgot to buy fresh parsley, so I used a teaspoon of dried parsley instead.)

*Note: Saffron is expensive, but you need very little for this dish. I bought a small container of saffron online, but my brother tells me it’s available at Trader Joe’s, too. The saffron is what gives this dish its distinctive golden hue.

Instructions

Risotto bubblingIn a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer and keep warm. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, until soft. This took me maybe 4-5 minutes. Add the rice and cook about 1 minute, stirring to coat with the oil. Crumble the saffron into the wine. I wasn’t exactly sure how much a “pinch” of saffron is. I aimed for about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon, but I had a hard time measuring the fine threads.

Risotto adding butter almost doneAdd the wine to the rice and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed. Add about 1 cup of the warm broth to the rice and continuing cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente, literally “tender to the tooth” and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce. It took me about 20-25 minutes from first adding the broth to get to this point. Stir in the cheese, butter, and parsley. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Risotto finished productThis recipe is a little labor-intensive, but I enjoyed making it. The kitchen smelled marvelous and the result tasted delicious, especially with a little extra parmigiana sprinkled on top. If you enjoy background music while dining, you could cue up a piece composed by Maria Teresa Agnesi herself, such as the one here. If you’d like to read more about the two sisters who inspired Playing by Heart, visit the website I created.

I’m pleased that Playing by Heart has received some lovely reviews, including one from Booklist that said, “Martino’s romantic read features lovable characters and is vibrant in setting and detail.” For more about the novel, and additional review excerpts, see the book’s page on my website.

PR BW portraitCarmela Martino is an author, speaker, and writing teacher. She wrote the middle-grade novel, Rosa, Sola (Candlewick Press), while working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. The novel was a Booklist “Top Ten First Novel for Youth.” Her second novel, the historical romance Playing by Heart (Vinspire Publishing), took first place in the Young Adult category of the 2013 Windy City RWA Four Seasons Romance Writing Contest. Carmela’s credits for teens and tweens also include short stories and poems in magazines and anthologies. Her articles for adults have appeared in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Catholic Parent, and multiple editions of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market. Carmela has taught writing workshops for children and adults since 1998, and she blogs about teaching and writing at www.TeachingAuthors.com

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That sounds absolutely delicious, Carmela! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, and I can’t wait to read Playing by Heart. I love books about musicians and combined with the historical aspects makes it all the more tempting for me.

Do you enjoy rice with fun and intriguing ingredients like cheese and saffron? What other ways have you dressed up rice?

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: #Squash #Casserole amid A Sister’s Quandary by #author Rachel Jones #recipe #whatsfordinner #mustread #fiction

For today’s Tasty Tuesday, how about a delicious pair of squash casserole and a poignant sister’s story about forgiveness and healing? Author Rachel Jones has just the thing for us.


Hi everyone! My first attempt at writing women’s fiction — I usually write full-length contemporary romance novels — debuted in a short story anthology last November. One of the details was to include the mention of a prepared dish that we would share with readers at the end of our stories. I chose a squash casserole recipe that I concocted a few years into my marriage while developing my culinary skills (we will be married 40 years next month). I’ve passed this recipe to family members throughout the years and decided it was the perfect recipe to include in my story about family love.

In A Sister’s Quandary, a life-threatening diagnosis triggers forgiveness between two estranged sisters. Brooke and Sophie spend weeks together as they recover from kidney donor and recipient surgery. While reminiscing, they talk about many things. Among them, the first dish Nana taught them to cook — squash casserole — because Gramps’ garden produced a bumper crop that year. When Betty offered a spot on Tasty Tuesday, I knew this was the dish I wanted to highlight.

Rachel’s Summer Squash Casserole

Ingredients

Serving-IMG_06452 lbs. yellow squash, sliced and cooked

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small onion, chopped

½ cup butter

1 carrot, grated

8 oz. sour cream

10.5 oz. can cream of chicken soup

2 cups cornbread stuffing

1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

In a large pot, cover squash with water. Add salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Drain and mash.

Sauté onion in butter. Add all other ingredients except cheese.

Mix well and pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over mixture.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Squash Casserole-IMG_0639

Love Around the TableA Sister’s Quandary

A life threatening diagnosis triggers forgiveness and healing between two estranged sisters.

Sophie needs a kidney and Brooke wants to provide her with one. But the past is keeping Sophie from accepting her twin’s gift and a chance for a healthy future.

Love Around the Table

Six Southern authors share six great short stories of friendship, family, and romance. Each narrative includes a recipe that the author divulges for readers at the conclusion of her story.

Love Around the Table is an extraordinary book. 100% of the eBook sales go directly to the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta.

Your purchase of this eBook will help make life easier for a child and their family. Ronald McDonald houses provide a home away from home when a child is receiving medical care for a life-threatening condition. There is no charge to the family.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Around-Table-Linda-Joyce-ebook/dp/B076C1BVHN/ref=

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-around-the-table-rachel-jones/1127226486?ean=2940154578049

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/749147

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-around-the-table/id1293461228?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-around-the-table

Rachel Jones-IMG_7587-Edit_previewAward-winning author Rachel Jones is a writer by day and a Labor & Delivery RN by night. A clarinetist for fifty-four years, Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Berry College and taught music in public and privates schools for ten years. Changing her career path in 1991, she received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from Kennesaw State University. For the past twenty-seven years, she has cared for high-risk OB and laboring patients in the hospital setting.

Rachel’s love of reading romance novels prompted her at age fifty-seven to write her first contemporary romance manuscript. She loves composing stories about strong women and sweet romance. Her books reflect her love of the performing arts and a twenty-seven-year career in healthcare has influenced the threads of medical drama woven into her storylines.

When she’s not writing or working, Rachel loves traveling, sewing and the music enthusiast in her still believes in practicing her clarinet and piano. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with her husband of thirty-nine years. They have three adult children and one spoiled Labrador retriever.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

http://rachelwjones.com

https://www.facebook.com/RachelJonesAuthor/?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/rjonesauthor


Squash, both yellow and zucchini, are favorites of mine. This casserole sounds delicious to me! And the story is intriguing as well. Sisters do not always get along, do they? Maybe most of the time, but not always… Do you recall the Sisters number in White Christmas, the one that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye pretend to sing dressed up like the original sisters in the movie? What a great scene, and the song itself is right on target. I hope you enjoy the recipe and the story!

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 A Handful of Heart Healthy #recipes from #author Virginia McCullough #dessert #breakfast #delicious #mustread #fiction

Today’s Tasty Tuesday offering includes several tempting recipes for you try. Women’s fiction and romance author Virginia McCullough is here to tell you about one of her favorite stories and several related dishes to enjoy. What do you have for us, Virginia?


Welcome to the Both Sides Now Café with Virginia McCullough

The Jacks of Her Heart takes place in a small Wisconsin town named Capehart Bay and features Jack Young’s ’60s and ’70s nostalgia café, Both Sides Now, where every item on the menu is named after a ’60s or ’70s song. No wonder it’s a favorite eatery in Capehart Bay. Lorna Lindstrom, a professional organizer and lifestyle coach, loves the café and when she and her friend June meet there for lunch, they usually order their favorite “California Dreamin’” salad, with either chicken or chilled shrimp—it’s full of avocado slices and tomatoes and, of course, sprouts—alfalfa, broccoli, radish, and sunflower.

Lorna and June never pass up a chance for a “Brown Eyed Girl” bran muffin. There’s no trick to make those at home. Use your favorite bran muffin recipe and add chopped walnuts and raisins, and you instantly have your brown eyed girl.

Jack, recently divorced, and Lorna, a widow, are passing acquaintances, but they both end up in a local group that takes off on a Caribbean cruise. Everyone has a fabulous time. But wow, Lorna and Jack get so caught up in the moonlight and dancing they impulsively duck inside a tiny chapel in the Dominican Republic and walk out married!

A light-side romance, The Jacks of Her Heart sees Jack and Lorna wondering if their opposites-attract-marriage can last once they’re back home in the midst of a chilly Wisconsin spring. Jack and Lorna have a “morning after” moment and agree that a quick divorce is probably the best solution to their impulsive wedding. Their grown children sure think this marriage is a serious mistake and aren’t shy to say as much at a dinner that brings the two families together. But do these kids—in their twenties and living their own lives—have to be so bossy about it? Leading the charge is Vicky, Lorna’s newly married daughter.

Don’t get me wrong, the adult kids try to be understanding of their parents’ need for “companionship in their older years.” What? In their early fifties, Jack and Lorna stifle their laughter and, using the need to bring out dessert, the two head to the kitchen to talk things over:

“Who are these kids to tell us how to spend our older years? Vicky’s been overbearing and bossy ever since her father died, but this is ridiculous. All three of them seem poised on a cliff, ready to pounce and run our lives.”

 

Lorna broke away from Jack and opened the bakery box. “What do you want to do?” she asked, transferring the raspberry tart to a platter.

 

“Since you asked, I’d like to shoo the kids out the door.” He came up behind her and squeezed her shoulders. “Maybe we could have a little companionship.”

 

She glanced behind her and grinned. “Right. I’ll drag out the rocking chairs and we can watch the Weather Channel.” She shook her head. “Honestly, I never heard anything so ridiculous in my life.”

 

“I know one thing,” Jack said with an edge in his voice. “I don’t feel like pretending to feel bad about our so-called mistake.”

 

Lorna pivoted to face him. “It didn’t feel like a mistake when we said those words—our vows, I mean.” 

 

“Spoken in front of a tall, skinny guy in a lime green suit—it matched your dress as I recall.”

 

“Ah, yes, that green is one of my best colors,” she said with a giggle, “but not necessarily one of his.”

 

“You looked beautiful, like you do now.” Jack rested his chin on the top of her head. “I don’t know about you, but I’m stubborn enough to…”

 

The sound of the door opening interrupted him. “Do you need more help?” Vicky asked, her face pinched in disapproval.

 

“We’re fine, but why don’t you put out the dessert plates from the breakfront in the dining room?”

 

When Vicky was out of sight, Lorna turned to Jack. “My stubborn streak is wide awake and standing at attention.”

 

He cupped her cheeks in his palms. “We’ve been quick to label it a mistake. But I didn’t want to take my hands off your soft skin this afternoon. Then I couldn’t wait to get back over here, even knowing our kids would treat us like criminals.” He kissed her forehead. “What do you think? Whaddya say we give this marriage a go?”

 

“Sometimes impulsive decisions turn out okay.” She heard the uncertainty in her voice and closed her eyes, enjoying his touch as he cradled her face. Caught in a frenzied game of tug of war, her head yelled no, no, no, but her heart begged her to say yes. Back and forth, her reason locked in a battle with her feelings.

Jack is a follow-his-gut kind of guy, while Lorna leans toward logic and reasoned decisions. They’re both stubborn, though. And maybe the kids pushed too hard for a fast breakup.

Within days of their cruise-ship wedding, Jack and Lorna find themselves involved in each other’s families in ways they never imagined. Jack is almost certain Vicky’s brand new husband is cheating, and Jack’s elderly dad needs some help—now. Turns out Jack comes with a dog, and he rescues a few more. For reasons of her own, Lorna doesn’t welcome pets, especially dogs. Uh oh. So, can this starry-eyed couple find some common ground?

I had a lot of fun with the ’60s and ’70s theme, and the book features a vintage clothing sale and Jack’s summer-long music festival, opening with a Beatles tribute band. But the most fun was naming Jack’s menu items—and you can have fun, too:

  • A couple of readers have commented that they started thinking of their regular brownies as not just typical luscious dessert fare, but special “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” brownies.
  • Grill flank steak for two and call it “Going to the Chapel.”
  • Any smoothie made with a banana can become an instant “Mellow-Yellow Banana Smoothie.”
  • Make an orange flavored muffin and call it “Here Comes the Sun.”

A couple of relatives of mine got a kick out of the “Whiter Shade of Pale” vegetable and egg white omelet and now call The Jacks of Her Heart a heart-healthy book. If you’re not familiar with egg white omelets, here’s an easy-does-it “Whiter Shade of Pale” recipe Jack’s cooks use:

Beat 4 egg whites until blended and set aside. (Use one whole egg if that “shade of pale” from all egg whites is a bit much for you.)

Assemble vegetables—up to ½ cup each of any combination of greens such as spinach and kale. Add about ¼ cup of any or all of these: diced mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives, cauliflower, or broccoli. Add salt and/or other seasonings to the vegetable mix—chives are always good. Some add the raw chopped vegetables into the omelet, but I like to lightly sauté and soften them before folding them in.

Melt butter (or a vegetable oil if you prefer) in your omelet pan and continue as you would with any omelet. Add the vegetable mix when the eggs are almost done and fold the omelet. Top with crumbled feta cheese or any other grated cheese if desired.

Want to listen to Joe Cocker sing “Whiter Shade of Pale” while you enjoy your omelet? Click here for a 1978 performance.

Ice Cream SundaeLorna’s mom Aggie has a favorite Both Sides Now dessert, the “Nights in White Satin Sundae.” Who can resist the easiest dessert ever—chocolate ice cream and marshmallow topping, and a dollop of whipped cream? Enjoy it with a side of the Moody Blues singing that hit live in 1968.

Hands down, the favorite lunch and dinner item on Jack’s menu is the “Forever Young Salmon Salad.” It’s fit for company, extraordinarily versatile, and takes very little time to fix. Here’s how to make this salad for two:

Two salmon fillets, 4-6 ounces each, placed skin side down in a lightly oiled baking dish.

Brush the fillets with a generous amount of sesame-ginger salad dressing—any brand. (A light teriyaki sauce is good too.) Bake the fillets at 375 for 20-30 minutes. Some people bake them at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Fill two dinner plates with greens and cut vegetables, any amount and kind you want. (Packaged greens and precut salad vegetables are fine.)

Put the fillets, hot or chilled, on the bed of greens. Add (optional) walnuts, berries, sunflower or sesame seeds, dried cranberries or raisins, and croutons. Dress with any kind of salad dressing, including a sesame-ginger.

If you don’t care for sesame-ginger flavor, try seasoning the salmon with spicy mustard, lemon and dill, or a citrus blend. Use honey-mustard dressing or raspberry vinaigrette.

“Forever Young” is one of the most enduring songs of the ’60s and ’70s era. Here’s one of my favorite covers, Joan Baez singing the Dylan classic.

The Jacks of Her Heart was great fun to write and if I had a Both Sides Now Café near me, I’d be a regular. I hope you’ll take a trip to Capehart Bay and enjoy Jack and Lorna’s story.

About Virginia McCullough

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has lived in many places, from the Maine coast to the mountains of North Carolina and now Green Bay, Wisconsin. As a ghostwriter/editor/coauthor, Virginia has written over 100 nonfiction books for physicians, lawyers, business owners, professional speakers and many other individuals with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s women’s fiction titles include Amber Light, Island Healing, and Greta’s Grace. She also writes for Harlequin’s Heartwarming line. Girl In The Spotlight (June 2017) and Something To Treasure (January 2018) are the first two books in her Two Moon Bay Heartwarming series, with Book 3, Love, Unexpected due for release in May 2018.

Whether romance or women’s fiction, Virginia’s novels feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues

Website:  https://virginiamccullough.com/

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/JUJCb

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/virginia.mccullough.7

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VEMcCullough

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Virginia-McCullough/e/B001JRXBNQ/

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/virginia-mccullough

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468913.Virginia_McCullough

 

Jacks 150Where to Find The Jacks of Her Heart

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2DCMnT9

Nook:  http://bit.ly/2BpLecw

iBooks:  https://apple.co/2F5UiWd

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2DywVbz

 


Thanks so much, Virginia! What great recipes!

So we learned about several new dishes to try, along with what sounds like an awesome story about an intriguing couple and town. I hope you enjoy!

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: Fry Bread and Race Cars from #contemporary #romance #author Leslie Scott #NativeAmerican #bread #recipe #racecar #fiction

I need some speed today for Tasty Tuesday, along with a delicious way to fix some hot bread for dinner. Contemporary romance author Leslie Scott has a little of both for us! Fasten your seatbelts!


Thank you for having me on Tasty Tuesday, Betty!

My name is Leslie Scott and I write New Adult Contemporary romances about a town full of street racers. The debut novel of my Arkadia Fast series released last month. The follow-up should be out sometime this spring.

The hero of The Finish Line is Cherokee from Texas, and in this modern setting he’s also the reigning King of the Streets. When Betty talked to me about writing this post, I started thinking about a dish that would be important to my heroine. The entire time, though, Jordan was in my ear reminding me that he has the most important dish. That it was something his grandfather made for him when he came to live with him.

Though, fry bread is not a traditional Cherokee recipe, in the Midwest it has become very popular among the Native American population in the past fifty or so years. The puffy, fried dough is something his grandfather served with chili beans or taco fixings. Something hardy and filling for an older man raising a large, hungry teenage boy all on his own.

You see, Jordan was born to an addict mother who eventually left him with her father. The relationship between grandfather and grandson formed Jordan to be the man he is, the hero he is, for Raelynn in The Finish Line.

The first time I ever tried Fry Bread was at the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City. If you’ve never been, you should really make that trip. The cultural experience is amazing, as is the artwork and obviously, the food.

I serve mine with taco fixings, though I’ve had it assorted sweet toppings (like with funnel cake) as well.

Here ya go:

Fry Bread

Ingredients

2 Cups Flour

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Water

½ Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Cup Powdered Milk

About 2 Cups Oil or Shortening

Instructions

frybread1Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, powdered milk, and water until you form a dough ball. Don’t kneed or over work the dough, you don’t want it tough.

Heat oil until bubbles form around the handle of a wooden spoon (or however you check to make sure it’s hot).

Flour your hands. Pinch off chunks of dough (mine are usually the size of a clementine), roll them into a ball, then flatten them with your hands.

Here’s a hint, don’t put more than two (or three if you have a large pan) pieces in the pan. Don’t let them touch and don’t let the oil get too hot. Flip them once when the edges start to burn. I use tongs, it’s easier.

When your pieces of fry bread are a nice, golden brown, take them out and let them drain.

frybread2Like I said, there are a variety of ways to serve fry bread both sweet and savory. I say, try them all! And honestly, being the southern girl I am… we’ve had it with white gravy and chocolate gravy. Because, why not?

I hope you enjoy!

TheFinishLine_w11775_750 - CopyAnother night at the races is more than burnt rubber with a hit of nitrous. For one young woman, it’s navigating trauma, love, and loss in the stifling Texas heat under the watchful gaze of her brother’s best friend and reigning King of the Streets, Jordan Slater. Home in Arkadia again, Raelynn Casey starts to heal from a terrible incident at college. She finds love in Jordan, a member of her brother’s circle of racing buddies. When another in the racing circle, the guy who took her to her high school prom, exposes his feelings for Raelynn, tragedy erupts like a tank of race fuel. Guilt, remorse, and pain must be overcome before Raelynn and Jordan can race to The Finish Line.

The Finish Line, Paperback http://bit.ly/2isnD4u

The Finish Line, Nook http://bit.ly/2A88mjH

The Finish Line, Kindle http://amzn.to/2A875ZX

About Leslie:

Leslie Scott thrives in the middle of chaos. Not because she homeschools her son and rides herd over the family’s zoo of indoor pets or listens to her soul mate wax poetically about all things car and related. Oh, no. That’s nothing. The real chaos is the characters in her mind, elbowing and tripping each other to get to the front of the line so they can be the next romantic couple in one of her stories. Her family is her passion. Writing romance is her dream.

Readers can find me on my website: lesliescottromance.com, on Twitter @leslieSwrites, and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lesliescottwrites. I’m really active on twitter/facebook and would love to hear from readers!


Thanks, Leslie, for sharing that recipe! I’m excited for your budding career and wish you all the best as you go forward!

I’ve enjoyed fry bread when I’ve visited my sister and her family in Oklahoma. What a delightful treat, too! I think it was around a time when the local tribe (am I using that term correctly? Please let me know!) held a powwow with dancing and food and storytelling, I think. It’s been a long time ago now, so the memory is a bit fuzzy. I do recommend trying this bread for its light and delicious texture and taste.

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: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from #Romance #Author Nancee Cain #sandwich #recipe #sogood #fiction

Hey, Tasty Tuesday fans! I’ve got a special guest today, contemporary romance author Nancee Cain is bringing her particular brand of humor to the table! Take it away, Nancee, with your grilled cheese goodness!


In my book, The Redemption of Emma Devine, Emma is not known for her culinary skills. As a matter of fact, burnt toast is her specialty and a grilled cheese sandwich highlights her inadequacies. Who among us hasn’t made a mess of the simplest thing? Enjoy!

Emma’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Place two pieces of toast in toaster.

Give in to the whining of the four-year-old who wants to help.

Caution her that the grater is sharp.

Push the button on the toaster.

Get sidetracked by a dog who needs to go outside to do her business.

Calm the hysterical four-year-old after she’s grated her finger along with the cheese while “helping.”

Throw the bloody cheese out, place a band-aid on the injured finger, kiss away the tears, thank the four-year-old for her help, and suggest she go find her father.

Mentally wonder if there is any beer in the fridge.

Remove the burnt toast from the toaster, ready to toss it in the garbage and start over.

Have second thoughts when the father yells from the living area, “Is supper ready?”

Place burnt toast on a plate teepee style and offer it to the father who has been oblivious to the chaos while he watches a ballgame.

Toastscheiben auf Porzellanteller, verbrannt

David’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Send frazzled mom to take a warm bubble bath.

Let dog in and instruct four-year-old to feed the dog and pick up her mess to keep everyone out of the doghouse.

Heat heavy cast iron skillet.

Cut off crusts.

Thinly spread one side of each bread with butter.

Skip the grated cheese and unwrap the pre-made cheese slice.

Thinly spread the other side of the bread with mayo and place mayo side down in pan. Throw on the cheese and when it is halfway melted, flip the other piece of bread on top and press lightly.

Remove from heat and cut in four triangles to prevent fit from four-year-old.

Allow four-year-old to eat in the den watching TV, knowing the dog will eat half.

Take an ice-cold beer to the frazzled mom in the bathroom, offer to scrub her back and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Grilledcheese

Profile portrait of businessman working on laptop  in black suit at studioAfter the upheaval of being dumped by his girlfriend, David Patterson leads a quiet life as a high school teacher in the small Southern town of Pine Bluff, Alabama. Soon to enroll in seminary, his dreams are within his grasp.

But a chance encounter with Emma Devine changes everything. She’s on the run, desperate, and surviving by any means possible. His pastor’s heart longs to help her—and the rest of him is rather intrigued as well.

His random act of kindness brings them together, but Emma makes an unfathomable decision—one that threatens to destroy two lives, though her intention is to save one.

Four years later, Emma returns, seeking redemption. But can David—whose dreams took a very different course after their last meeting—forgive her and risk losing everything?

Amazon: http://a.co/eBfDZfv

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2id9w5S
iBooks: http://apple.co/2gCXij5

KOBO: http://bit.ly/2yjQ9Md

Amazon paperback: http://a.co/aCuQI7q

Video: https://youtu.be/YaITeInWG7E

https://youtu.be/ah-EsphXFEw

About Nancee…

During the day, Nancee works as a counselor/nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder. Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)

Website: www.nanceecain.com

Blog: http://www.nanceecain.com/blog/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Nancee_Cain

Newsletter: eepurl.com/bhFMtX

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NanceeCainAuthor/

Reader’s Group (Cain Raisers): https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cain.Raisers/

Twitter: twitter.com/Nancee_Cain

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nanceecain/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/nanceecain

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCela7FfQ_j8t_qZm267NUSA


Nancee, you’re such a fun woman! I’m glad to call you a friend! Is there anything better on a cold winter day than a hot, gooey grilled cheese sandwich to warm you up? Well, other than your significant other… Maybe the sandwich could be paired with some tomato soup? That sounds like a perfect lunch or light supper, to me! How about you? What’s your go-to comfort food when you’re feeling down or just cold (it’s been so cold lately, too!)?

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: Caramels from #Romance #Author Jill Haymaker #dessert #candy #recipe #Colorado #fiction

Today for Tasty Tuesday we have a real sweet treat! Contemporary romance author Jill Haymaker shares her recipe for homemade caramels! Yum! Tell us more, Jill!


Today I’d like to share with you my Caramels recipe. This recipe has been passed down through five generations of my family since sometime in the 1800s. My mother did not bake a lot, but growing up every year during the cold winter months, it has always been a special treat to have the delicious homemade caramels. I have had the joy of watching my children and grandchildren delight in the sweet treat as much as I did.

Jill’s Caramels

Combine in a large sauce pan:

½ lb. butter

2¼ cups brown sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Slowly boil, stirring constantly until you reach 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, or just after you reach the soft ball stage. (Hint: the caramel will darken in color just before it is done.)

Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish and refrigerate to cool. Cut into squares and wrap individual pieces.

My Peakview Series centers around the small Colorado mountain of Peakview. Although the town is a product of my imagination, it is a composite of many small mountain towns where I have had the pleasure to spend time. The most consistent and well-liked character in my series is Violet Crandall who owns and runs the small café in the center of town. Violet is known for her kindness, her baking skills, and her uncanny ability to know everything that is going on in Peakview County. The internet has nothing on her. She also prides herself on being quite the matchmaker. If you ask her, she is responsible for every romance that has happened in Peakview.

If you’re single, you better watch out, Violet will know your perfect match before you do. The eighth book in the series, Colorado Golden Sunset, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07828MFF1 was released just before Christmas.

Violet’s own romance can be found in the second book in the series, Breakfast for Two. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VA616G, or at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Google Play.

Breakfast for Two current coverThe tiny, mountain town of Peakview, Colorado, wouldn’t be the same without Violet’s Café, and its owner, Violet Woods. Widowed in her fifties, she leads a solitary life with only her cat Lucky to keep her warm at night. All thoughts of romance died with Stan. They had a wonderful, long happy marriage, and she’s content to live out the rest of her life with her memories.

Howard Crandall, Peakview’s only mechanic, is a confirmed bachelor and something of a hermit. When Stan died, he took it upon himself to look out for Violet, and Violet has kept him alive with her cooking skills. Over the years, they have become friends, but it isn’t until the past he has hid from for thirty year past suddenly catches up with him, that he opens up to the idea of finding love.

Is there a second chance for these two lonely souls?

On any given day you are likely to find Violet in the kitchen baking something homemade for her daily special. Many times she’s joined by her adorable granddaughters or any of the many local children she’s taken under her wing.

Jill Haymaker PicJill Haymaker was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Haymaker made her home in Fort Collins until her recent move to East Texas. She practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters. She also has three granddaughters.

Jill has always had a passion for writing. Colorado Sunset was her first full-length romance novel in her Peakview, Colorado, series. Her latest book, Colorado Golden Sunrise, is the eighth book in the series. If you love small town romance, you will love the characters in this series. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, the most recent in the book Random Acts of Kindness.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys The Colorado mountains, horseback riding, gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on her favorite teams. She has a passion for working with high school youth; she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school mock trial team, and is a volunteer at cross country and track meets.

Email: jillhaymaker@aol.com

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/jillhaymaker/e/B00VU1T4QY

Website/blog: http://jillhaymaker.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JillLHaymaker

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jillhaymaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjillhaymaker

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13636693Jill_Haymaker

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/Jill-Haymaker



I’ll say it again: yum! I’ve been out to Colorado several times, and plan to go again this year for the RWA conference in Denver this summer. Beautiful is an understatement! Thanks, Jill, for sharing your recipe and your stories!

Do you like to make candy? Caramels sound like something easy to make and delicious to boot. What kinds of candy do you all enjoy eating, if not making?

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: Pairing Pasta with Pilsner by #romance #author Liz Crowe #ravioli #recipe #craftbeer #brewingpassion #mustread #fiction

The first 2018 Tasty Tuesday recipe is a real treat for us all! Romance author Liz Crowe brings us not only a delectable ravioli recipe but also a tale set in the world of the craft breweries. I’ll let her explain. Take it away, Liz!


One of the things I am learning as part of the process of becoming a Certified Cicerone* is how to pair great food with the perfect beer. I’m sure you’ve heard all about drinking red wine with red meat and white with poultry or fish, but these days, with “craft beer” as the latest trend in bars, it’s important to understand that matching your malted beverage with your food properly can be an interesting and fun way to explore the craft beer universe.

The other way to explore it is to dive into my “Brewing Passion” series from Totally Bound Publishing. I’ve crafted these stories set in and around the brewing world in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a.k.a. “Beer City U.S.A.” two years running!).

The second book in the series, LIGHTSTRUCK, features a kick-ass lady brewer who is also a French-trained chef. For her first date with the cocky brewer at Fitzgerald Brewing Company she decides to show off a bit, making some dishes that he might have a tough time pairing his beer with. But he’s taken on her challenge of bringing some of his rare brews that he “guarantees” will pair with whatever she makes.

I’ve decided to share the incredible—and somewhat labor intensive—main dish she makes for him:

Roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage, hazelnut, and brown butter sauce. Mind you, Elisa (or Elle), the aforementioned, kick-ass brewer/chef makes her own pasta for the ravioli but you can skip that part and buy it pre-made if you don’t have someone as hard to impress as Ross Hoffman, Master Brewer!

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Ingredients

Ravioli:

2 butternut squash, halved and seeded

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest

2 teaspoons chipotle puree

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 sheets pasta dough, 12 to 14 inches long by 4 inches wide

2 eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Chopped chives

Brown Butter Sauce:

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/4 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts

8 sage leaves, chiffonade

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Ravioli:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place squash on a baking sheet and roast until soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out flesh and run through a food mill. Place the puree into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until almost dry. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured work surface and distribute a heaping teaspoon-sized portion of the filling at least 2 inches apart. Use your fingertip or a brush to moisten the edges of the pasta sheet with the egg wash. Carefully place a second sheet of the pasta dough on top of the first and press with your fingertips to separate the rows of filling. Repeat with the remaining dough. With a ravioli cutter or pastry wheel, cut along straight lines on the vertical and horizontal to form each ravioli square. Press the edges closed with your fingertips to seal well. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop in the ravioli and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain, plate and spoon butter sauce over and garnish with finely chopped chives.

Brown Butter Sauce:

Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook until the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the hazelnuts and sage and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In case you were wondering, Ross brings a mild brown ale, brewed in an English style but using crystal malt which imparts a richer, almost chocolate flavor which is a wonderful pairing with her rich, creamy, buttery entrée. An ideal food/beer pairing either complements or highlights by contrast. You should all wish me luck as I get ready for my big test this winter on my way to becoming a Certified Cicerone!

*The word Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn) designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers. To claim the title of Cicerone, one must earn the trademarked title of Certified Cicerone® or hold a higher certification. Those with a basic level of expertise gain recognition by earning the first-level title Certified Beer Server. Only those who have passed the requisite test of knowledge and tasting skill can call themselves a Cicerone.

BrewingPassion_Social1_0002

About the BREWING PASSION SERIES:

A unique new romance series set in the trending world of the craft brewery. Meet the owners, employees and friends of Fitzgerald Brewing as they live, love, lust and laugh their way through the ups, downs and sideways shifts of small business ownership.

LIGHTSTRUCK Blurb:

Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby, and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—much less the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.

When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious, and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and can’t help but fall hard, fast, and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until-now secret backstory.

Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.

NOTE: TAPPED is book 1 of the series but it can be read out of order and enjoyed!

Lightstruck—get your copy and find out how that dinner goes….but understand that a Liz Crowe romance is chock full of reality, which makes the HEA that much sweeter!

Amazon   Amazon UK  B&N   iBooks   Totally Bound

Liz-32fullAmazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe voice brings something new and unique, both in settings and characters, that will thrill readers of romance, women’s fiction and chick lit alike.

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LizCroweBrand_BlogHeaderLiz Crowe writes intense true-to-life stories that make you feel. Whether it’s anxiety, love, fear, hate, bliss, or loss woven into her plot lines, you will feel it deep down to your very soul.

—Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author

“If you want a story that will grip your heart and bring all your emotions into play, then do not miss a Liz Crowe story.”

—International Best Selling Author Desiree Holt

“I’ve learned to expect the unexpected with any Liz Crowe novel—along with 3-dimensional characters and well-written, realistic plots.”

—USA Today Best Selling author AM Hargrove


I had to look up what “chiffonade” means – “finely shredded leaf vegetables used as a base for a dish or as a garnish” – since that was a new word to me. Thanks, Liz, for teaching me not only a new word but a new preparation method!

But what did I tell you all? Both the pasta and the pilsner sound delicious, but I really want to know what happens in Lightstruck as well! I’m thinking if I try the pasta, though, I’d have to buy it. I’ve never made fresh pasta… Have you? Do you think I should try to make my own or leave that up to the pros?

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.