Tasty Tuesday: Baked Salmon #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #oysters #whatsfordinner #IARTG

Have you missed Tasty Tuesdays? I have! I’m nearly recovered from my shoulder surgery but still have some limitations on my movement and endurance. But I am very happy to be back to some semblance of my normal self.

Today we’re going to update the plan of attack since it got sidetracked during the weeks of wearing a sling and regaining strength and mobility. Then I’ll share a really good recipe for baked salmon. I was a bit surprised at how much hubby and I enjoyed it, to be honest. First, let’s take a gander at the revised schedule with a few changes to the recipes I’ll share.

After reviewing what I had originally intended adapting, I realized that a couple of them needed to change. I didn’t need to do two salmon recipes, for instance. So instead, I’ll try frying up some catfish and making some shrimp sauce to go with it. I looked more closely at the lobster recipe and found that it was basically boil them and then arrange them on a plate with a bowl of melted butter. Somehow I didn’t think that would be challenging enough or different enough to be interesting to me or you guys. So instead, I’ll try one with crab. Other than those two recipe changes, the only other change is the dates. So here’s the revised plan:

Aug 22 Salmon – broiled, and baked
Aug 29 Salmon au Court-Bouillon Fried Fish; Shrimp Sauce
Sep 5 Lobsters To Dress A Crab
Sep 12 Fowl and other birds
Sep 19 Brown Fricasey with chicken
Sep 26 Roast chicken with chestnuts
Oct 3 Stewing chickens
Oct 10 Duck with green peas
Oct 17 Collops and eggs
Oct 24 Salmagundy
Oct 31 Apple pudding
Nov 7 Apricot pudding
Nov 14 Stewed pears
Nov 21 Pound cake

So now let’s look at how The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy suggests preparing some baked salmon:

Art of CookeryBaked Salmon.

Take a little piece cut into slices about an inch thick, butter the dish that you would serve it to table on, lay the slices in the dish, take off the skin, make a force-meat thus: take the flesh of an eel, the flesh of a salmon an equal quantity, beat in a mortar, season it with beaten pepper, salt, nutmeg, two or three cloves, some parsley, a few mushrooms, a piece of butter, and ten or a dozen coriander-seeds, beat fine. Beat all together; boil the crumbs of a penny-roll in milk, beat up four eggs, stir it together till is thick, let it cool, and mix it well together with the rest; then mix all together with four raw eggs; on every slice lay this force-meat all over, pour a very little melted butter over them, and a few crumbs of bread, lay a crust round the edge of the dish, and stick oysters round upon it. Bake it in an oven, and when it is of a very fine brown serve it up; pour a little plain butter (with a little red-wine in it) into the dish, and the juice of a lemon; or you may bake it in any dish, and when it is enough lay the slices into another dish. Pour the butter and wine into the dish it was baked in, give it a boil, and pour it into the dish. Garnish with lemon. This is a fine dish. Squeeze the juice of a lemon in.

Looking closely at this recipe made it seem complicated and included several ingredients I’ve learned hubby and I aren’t fond of. The other thing I noticed is that it likely was meant for when you’re cooking a whole salmon based on the quantity of sauce – check the number of eggs for example – the recipe yields. Obviously, some adjustments were needed to suit a meal for two instead of twenty! In fact, I played more with this recipe to shape it into something we’d enjoy.

Let’s start with the force-meat she would have us make. I don’t know about you, but using the flesh of an eel isn’t a common ingredient. At least not in my house… Instead of force-meat, then, I chose to make up a sauce to pour over the salmon fillets.

Instead of using butter to grease the dish, I used cooking spray, wiping it around with a paper towel to evenly grease the baking dish.

Instead of nutmeg and cloves, I used different lighter herbs and seasonings as you’ll see in the recipe below. My thinking is that the heavier spices would overpower the more delicate flavor of the fish.

Penny-rolls were small loaves of bread that cost a penny. I took that to mean there would be a bit more crust relative to the softer bread. Thus, I used a bit of hot dog bun and diced it up which seemed to work just fine.

I chose to not include a crust made from bread and oysters on the baked dish, but chopped up the oysters and added them to the sauce to cook. Using my motto of keeping it simple if I want to have a recipe I’ll use again, the resulting dish was good. See what you think…

 

Finished salmon with lemon garnish
Baked salmon with lemon garnish

Betty’s Baked Salmon 

Ingredients:

2 fresh salmon fillets

1 cup milk

¼ cup diced bread

2 slices onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

4-5 mushrooms, diced

2 eggs, beaten

1 T melted butter

2 oysters, chopped

3 T lemon juice

4 oz. white wine

½ T garlic powder

¼ tsp oregano leaves

¼ tsp dill leaves

¼ tsp ginger, ground

 

Sauce
Sauce simmering

Instructions: 

Grease a baking dish large enough to hold the salmon fillets.

Lay the fillets in the dish.

In a saucepan, combine milk and bread and bring to a boil.

Add remaining ingredients and stir, cooking over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until hot through.

Pour over fillets and cover tightly.

Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

This combination I’ll make again. It’s nice enough to serve to guests as well. Do you enjoy salmon? How do you normally fix it? Does this sound tempting?

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

Emily’s Vow is the first book in my American Revolution era historical romance series, A More Perfect Union. Her story touches my heart and I hope you enjoy it!

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1wZML3a

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Tasty Tuesday: On Hold for a While #colonial #recipes #hiatus #IARTG

Tasty Tuesdays are a highlight of my week, and I hope they are for you too. After my recent surgery, it’s become necessary to scale back on my writing and all activities actually. Turns out the damage done to my rotator cuff was more extensive than the MRI revealed. The surgeon did a fantastic job of fixing it, but now my right arm is in a sling that immobilizes the arm. For 4-5 weeks! So I’m sadly going to have to pause in posting my cooking blogs for one month. But never fear! I’ll pick up again the end of August right where we left off: various ways to cook fish, especially salmon, duck, and lobster as soon as I’m physically capable of whipping up something delicious, both figuratively and literally!

One last thought. Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

Happy reading and I hope your summer has been fantastic!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

Evelyn’s Promise is on sale until July 31. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

Evelyn's PromiseThe fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Determined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Tasty Tuesday: Fish Types and Cooking Techniques #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #shellfish #IARTG

Tasty Tuesday time! Today we’re talking about the kinds of fish and shellfish colonial cooks had access to and what they did with them. Let’s start with some general observations about the kinds of fish and shellfish Hannah Glasse talked about preparing. We need to keep in mind that The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, while printed in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1805 by Applewood Books of Bedford, Massachusetts, is based upon earlier cookbooks from England, so not everything we read from Mrs. Glasse will be available to the colonial cook. They had to wing it at times based on the available foods in their region.

Art of CookeryThe Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy includes the following fish and shellfish receipts by title, which gives us a good overview of both the kinds of fish she had access to and how she prepared them:

  • To Dress Fish
  • Lobster Sauce
  • Shrimp Sauce
  • To make Anchovy Sauce
  • To dress a Brace of Carp
  • To stew a Brace of Carp
  • To fry Carp
  • To bake Carp – I think she really likes this kind of fish…
  • To fry Tenchwhich includes instructions on how to clean and skin the fish, but this fish is not found in America as far as I can tell
  • To boil a Cod’s Head
  • To bake a Cod’s Head
  • To broil Crimp, Cod, Salmon, Whiting or Haddock
  • Oyster Sauce is made thus
  • To dress Little Fish – she notes little fish such as “smelts, roach, &c.” which are not widely available in America
  • To broil Mackerel
  • To boil a Turbot
  • To bake a Turbot
  • To broil Salmon
  • Baked Salmon – I’ll share my take on this next week
  • To broil Mackerel whole
  • To broil Herrings
  • To stew Eels with broth
  • To dress a Pike
  • To broil Haddocks when they are in high Season
  • To broil Cods-Sounds – I had to look this one up. It’s an English dish that features the bladder of the cod fish. Yum?
  • To dress Salmon au Court-Bouillon – Watch for this one on July 25
  • To dress Flat Fish

The list goes on and on! Other kinds of fish dishes she includes use Lampreys, Sturgeon, Cod, Scate (i.e., Skate), Soals (i.e., soles), Lobsters, Crab, Prawns, Craw-Fish (i.e., Crayfish), Oysters, Mussels, and Scollops (i.e., scallops).

Of the kinds of fish she includes, only the following would have been readily available to an American colonial cook: Carp, cod, sole, haddock, pike, eel, mackerel, salmon, etc.

The deep sea fish would have been ordered from afar, either overseas or from the New England fishermen, as would anchovies and flat fish I’d think. I’m not an excerpt on the history and distribution of the various kinds of fish. I tried to figure out what “crimp” are but came up short, for example, so I don’t know what kind of fish it is or whether that species would have been available in the colonies and early America. Any ideas?

Methods of cooking the fish include frying, baking, broiling, and stewing. The number of recipes that call for breading or battering and then frying the fish I found curious, given the inherent risk of fire of such a cooking method. But I guess if you like your fish fried, it’s worth the risk. Also by adding a hot sauce to the fish, the dish would stay hot longer for getting the entrée to table and still being warm for serving. Surely the cooks knew this and that is why so many of the recipes include a heavy sauce? After all, I don’t think they’d want to serve cold fish after it was cooked.

The term “dress” according to the Oxford English Dictionary means the following:

  1. Specific and technical uses. a. To prepare for use as food, by making ready to cook, or by cooking (also intr. = passive); also, to season (food, esp. a salad).

To Mrs. Glasse this may mean frying the fish or adding a sauce. I’ve come to find that all of the sauces tend to be very rich and heavy, and thus complicated to make. I’ll try some of the sauces going forward, but hubby and I have found we’re not such big fans of them so watch for me to simplify and lighten the sauces when I do use them. Since I’m only cooking for two, I needn’t worry about how long the dish needs to stay warm. That’s one of the main advantages we have over the cooking methods and locations of the 18th century. Plus we have microwaves…

Next week I’ll share a salmon recipe with you. I’ve included two on my plan because it’s one of my favorite foods. Trying new ways of preparing an old favorite sounded like a fine idea. We shall see what we think!

Also, Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

What kind of fish is your favorite? How do you prepare it? Talk to me! I love to hear from you!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

Like I said, Evelyn’s Promise is on sale for the next week or so. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

The fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Tasty Tuesday: Lamb Pie #colonial #recipe #howtomake #lamb #dinner #entree

I must admit my adaptations of colonial recipes for Tasty Tuesday are becoming more aggressive. At least for this recipe. I’ll explain as we go.

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryTo make a savory Lamb or Veal Pie.

Make a good puff paste crust, cut your meat into pieces, season it to your palate with pepper, salt, mace, cloves, and nutmegs finely beat; lay it into your crust with a few lamb-stones and sweetbreads seasoned as your meat; also some oysters and force-meat balls, hard yolks of eggs, and the tops of asparagus two inches long, first boiled green; put butter all over the pie, put on the lid, and set it in a quick oven an hour and a half, and then have ready the liquor, made thus: take a pint of gravy, the oyster liquor, a gill of red wine, and a little grated nutmeg; mix all together with the yolks of two or three eggs beat, and keep it stirring one way all the time. When it boils, pour it into your pie; put on the lid again. Send it hot to table. You must make liquor according to your pie.

I know many people who make their pie crust from scratch. That’s not something I’ve mastered and I find it simpler to buy ready-made crust from the store. But by all means, if you enjoy making your own, you’ll not hear anything but praise from me. More power to you!

The mystery in this recipe for me is with regards to the pie lid. I didn’t take the time (sorry, my bad) to research into what a “good puff paste crust” might be, figuring I needed to keep my final recipe as easy to make as possible or I’d probably never make it again. Thus my choice to use ready-made crusts. But in writing this post, I did take the time to dig a little deeper and found out that there are three distinct kinds of pastry crust: puff paste, standing, and short crust. The puff paste does take quite a bit of time to prepare, so I’m glad I didn’t worry too much about using that kind of crust for my adaptation of this receipt. If you’re curious, you can find out more over at Savoring the Past. For me, the store crust tasted good and was easy, too.

Two ingredients that I either don’t know where I’d find, if in fact I wanted to, or just didn’t bother looking: lamb-stones (i.e., testicles) and sweetbreads (i.e., pancreas). Here again, if you’re more adventurous than I am, go for it!

This is yet another recipe that calls for brown gravy made from the first recipe I adapted, the broth. I made a good quantity and then froze it in individual Ziploc bags to use as needed. Same with the broth, for that matter, as I didn’t want to have to make it frequently. Here’s one of the things hubby and I have discovered: we’re not as big a fan of so many dishes with rich sauces. Especially ones that use so much heavy spices like mace, cloves, and nutmeg. I think a decent substitute for this recipe instead of using the gravy would be to use a small amount of both the oyster liquor and the asparagus water and add the remaining ingredients into that. It would be a lighter taste, not quite as rich but still tasty. And fewer calories, too.

As I’ve said before for other recipes, I’m not a huge red wine fan and don’t typically have any on hand or open. So I used chardonnay instead. If you prefer red, though, that’s fine as well.

So here’s my recipe, which I may make a different version of later. I’m not sure I’ll make force-meat balls again, for instance. But only time will tell. Here goes:

Betty’s Lamb Pie

 

Sauteeing Force-meat balls
Force-meat balls

Ingredients: 

Pie crust for two-crust pie

½ pound lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces

Ground black pepper, to taste

Ground mace, to taste

Ground cloves, to taste

Ground nutmeg, to taste

2-3 oysters, chopped

16 force-meat balls, browned and drained

2 yolks of hard-boiled eggs

Asparagus-canned1 14.5-oz can asparagus spears, drained (I used 50% reduced sodium)

1 cup gravy

¼ cup oyster liquor

2 oz. white wine

1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

Lay one pie crust into 9” pie pan

Combine meat and seasonings in a small bowl; layer in pie pan

 

Lamb Pie ready to top
Lamb Pie ready to top

Add chopped oysters and browned meat balls, egg yolks, and asparagus 

In a saucepan, combine the gravy, oyster liquor, wine, and egg. Stir well and heat until boiling.

Pour gravy into pie pan.

Add top crust and crimp edges as for any two-crust pie.

Place in a preheated 350 deg F oven for 45-60 minutes, until the crust is brown.

Note that I didn’t use butter “all over the pie” since I had poured the gravy mixture in which I figured would keep everything moist enough.

Lamb Pie interiorThe resulting pie was very good if rich for our tastes. The overall concept is a good one, and one I can tinker with another time. So how adventurous are you with your recipes? Do you make your own crusts? Eat organ meats?

Starting next week we’ll be talking about fish and cooking techniques. Looking forward to trying to make lobster and salmon!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Here’s the first book in the A More Perfect Union series, Emily’s Vow:

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1wZML3a

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obL3tT

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1t75sMh

Google: http://bit.ly/13Bll94

Tasty Tuesday: Beef Collops #colonial #recipe #howtomake #beef #entree #whatsfordinner

What better way to celebrate America’s Independence Day than by adapting a colonial recipe into a modern version? This next colonial recipe was very easy to make for Tasty Tuesday! It’s delicious, too!

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryBeef Collops.

Take some rump steaks, or tender piece cut like Scotch collops, only larger, hack them a little with a knife, and flour them; put a little butter in a stew-pan, and melt it, then put in your collops, and fry them quick for about two minutes; put in a pint of gravy, a little butter rolled in flour, season with pepper and salt; cut four pickled cucumbers in thin slices, half a walnut, and a few capers, a little onion shred very fine; stew them five minutes, then put them into a hot dish, and send them to table. You may put half a glass of white wine into it.

 

IMG_2389
Beef steak cut into collops

This one didn’t have nearly as many changes necessary to put it together. As I’ve said before, I omit salt in most recipes unless it’s required for rising (like cookies and such). I’m very sensitive to salty foods and my hubby has had issues with kidney stones in the past, and that’s one of the possible culprits. So instead I use herbs and garlic to provide flavor.

 

 

IMG_2388
Have all ingredients ready

For the “pickled cucumbers” I used “stackers” that are flat slices of pickle and then diced them to be about the same size as the pieces of walnut. Again, this was with an eye for how the ultimate sauce would present when served.

 

I estimated the size of a walnut based on the pieces I had on hand, and then chopped them up a bit more to make them easier to blend into the sauce.

Capers are not something I have used in the past so I didn’t have them on hand. While I was visiting a dear friend and fellow author, Linda Joyce, she let me sample one from her stash. They are quite tart and briny, so if you do want to use some, just use a couple since this recipe is not for a large quantity.

 

IMG_2391
Collops frying

This recipe calls for brown gravy made from the first recipe I adapted, the broth. I made a good quantity and then froze it in individual Ziploc bags to use as needed. Same with the broth, for that matter, as I didn’t want to have to make it frequently.

 

So here’s what I ended up with and I think I may have to make this one regularly. Yum!

Betty’s Beef Collops

Ingredients

¾ lb steak, cut up into small pieces about the size of a matchbook

¼ cup flour

½ cup brown gravy

2 T butter

1 T butter rolled in flour

1/8 tsp pepper

½ T garlic, chopped

1 T walnut pieces, chopped

1/8 cup onion, diced

¼ cup white wine (optional)

Instructions

 

IMG_2393
Ready to serve!

Have all ingredients at hand before beginning. 

Lay steak on a cutting board and lightly score both sides.

Sprinkle flour on both sides.

Melt 2 T butter in deep skillet.

Fry the collops quickly until browned.

Add remaining ingredients, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and then serve.

If you want to reduce the amount of butter, you could fry the collops using cooking spray, but I’d keep the piece of butter rolled in flour to provide the gravy/sauce. We really did enjoy this for dinner the other night. It’s fairly simple to make and yet is very tasty indeed!

Wishing all my American fans a very happy Fourth of July!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Literary Classics International Book Awards - Youth Award Winning Book
Literary Classics International Book Awards – Youth Award Winning Book

During the 1800s, daring and courageous girls across America left their unique mark on history.

Milly Cooper galloped 9 miles through hostile Indian Territory to summon help when Fort Cooper was under attack.

Belle Boyd risked her life spying for the Rebels during the Civil War.

Kate Shelly, when she was 15, crawled across a nearly washed-out railroad bridge during a ferocious thunderstorm to warn the next train.

Lucille Mulhall, age 14, outperformed cowboys to become the World’s First Famous Cowgirl.

These are just a few of the inspiring true stories inside Hometown Heroines—American Girls who faced danger and adversity and made a difference in their world.

B&N: http://bit.ly/2em4lh9

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eNm5Ap

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nY0qXH

iBooks: http://apple.co/2em5Iw5

Google: http://bit.ly/2fFEQ6w

Tasty Tuesday: Scotch Collops #colonial #recipe #howtomake #lamb #entree

Ready for a delicious adaptation for Tasty Tuesday? This recipe for Scotch Collops took some serious thought to update to something my hubby and I might enjoy. And that we could afford. Here we go!

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryTo dress Scotch Collops.

Take a piece of fillet of veal, cut it in thin pieces, about as big as a crown piece, but very thin; shake a little flour over it, then put a little butter in a frying-pan, and melt it; put in your collops, and fry them quick till they are brown, then lay them in a dish. Have ready a good ragoo made thus: take a little butter in your stew-pan, and melt it, then add a large spoonful of flour; stir it about till it is smooth, then put in a pint of good brown gravy; season it with pepper and salt, pour in a small glass of white-wine, some veal sweet-breads, force meat balls, truffles and morels, ox palates, and mushrooms; stew them gently for half an hour, add the juice of half a lemon to it, put it over the collops, and garnish with rashers of bacon. Some like Scotch collops made thus: put the collops into the ragoo, and stew them for five minutes.

 

Lamb Cuts
Lamb cuts

Whew! This one was a challenge on several fronts. First the call for veal (again) which in my area is running around $26/pound. Out of my price range. So what might I substitute? I thought of chicken, but then realized the veal would have a beef-like flavor, not a poultry taste. What else is lean and has a hearty flavor? After some thought, I decided to use leg of lamb cut thin and into small pieces. Off to the store I went… But the only leg of lamb in my local Publix grocery store was organic and cost $36! Nope. My hubby stopped at Sam’s Club on his way home, and they were sold out of leg of lamb, too. So I went to a local meat store the next day and they also were sold out of leg of lamb. I don’t understand why nobody had any all at the same time. But the lady at the meat store pointed out a package of frozen lamb cuts. Small pieces with bone, it turns out, but they were approximately the right size and shape. Or at least close enough. So that’s what I used. However, next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use the leg of lamb cut to shape.

 

Notice that Mrs. Glasse says to “have ready a good ragoo” which meant I needed to fix that before I started sautéing the lamb. So let’s look next at the ingredients for the ragoo.

Butter, flour, a pint of brown gravy, pepper, salt, white wine, veal sweet-breads, force meat balls, truffles and morels, ox palates, mushrooms, and lemon juice. Whoa. Veal sweet-breads? What are they? Off to look them up only to find it’s the pancreas of the calf. Um. No. I couldn’t bring myself to include them. Sorry, Mrs. Glasse!

 

Fried Force-meat Balls
Fried Force Meat Balls

Okay, so force meat balls. I’d made them earlier about the same time I made brown gravy from the broth, so now that I know they’re going into a brown gravy dish, I put some into a heated frying pan and browned them on all sides. Since I made them with butter shavings, I didn’t need to use any other oil or spray in the pan. Then when they were browned I removed them from the pan and set them aside to continue with the ragoo recipe.

 

 

Diced Mushrooms
Diced Mushrooms

Truffles and morels and mushrooms? First, I knew truffles are a kind of fungus, but I had not heard of morels before. Turns out they’re related also to truffles and mushrooms. If I’ve eaten either of them, I couldn’t tell you what they tasted like. If you have and would like to let me in on the experience, I’m all ears. However, both truffles and morels are expensive and difficult to locate. That’s not the point of adapting these recipes, to make it expensive and challenging to prepare. So I only used white mushrooms readily available from my local grocery store.

 

Ox palate was next. You know, the actual roof of the mouth of an ox? Nope, sorry. I’m not even sure where I’d locate one. I could find ox tongue at my local meat store which was a good sized piece of meat (believe it or not), but no palate. So I skipped that ingredient as well. I did think about how back in the 18th century they used every piece of the animal they’d butchered. To make broth or stew or whatever. I wonder what happens to the pieces we don’t see at the grocery store? Research for another day!

 

Sauce for Collops
Ragoo
Sauteeing Lamb Collops
Sauteed Lamb Cuts

I mixed the other ingredients together to simmer while I fried the bacon “rashers” or thin slices  – in my case, I used what I had on hand: 2 slices of bacon halved. Once the ragoo and the bacon were ready, I sautéed the lamb cuts to brown them and cook them to medium doneness, then put them in a dish and poured the hot ragoo over, garnishing the finished dish with the bacon.

 

Here’s my adapted recipe…

Betty’s Scotch Collops

Ingredients:

1 lb. Lamb, boneless, cut thin

¾ cup flour, divided

2 T + 1 T unsalted butter

1 cup brown gravy

2 oz. white wine (I used chardonnay)

16 force-meat balls, browned

5 mushrooms, diced

2 oz. lemon juice (equivalent of juice of ½ of one lemon)

2 slices bacon, halved and fried until crisp

Instructions:

Cut lamb into small, thin pieces.

Scotch Collops
Scotch Collops ready to serve

 

Sprinkle ¼ cup flour over the meat.

Set the meat aside while you make the sauce or “ragoo”…

Melt 1 T butter in a saucepan.

Stir in ½ cup of flour until smooth.

Add gravy, seasonings, wine, force-meat balls, mushrooms and cook gently for 15-20 minutes.

Add lemon juice.

Melt 2 T butter in a deep skillet.

Brown the collops over medium-high heat.

Remove to a serving dish.

Pour the ragoo over the collops.

Garnish with bacon slices and serve.

Hubby and I really enjoyed the combination of flavors. The only problem we had was the numerous small, sharp bones that the lamb cuts contained. That’s why next time, and in my recipe above, I’m calling for boneless lamb.

You can probably tell from the ingredients that this is a rich dish. We had enough for two meals for each of us. I’d recommend pairing it with something light, like steamed broccoli or a tossed salad and maybe some garlic toast.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did! What do you think about truffles and morels? Have you tried them?

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Emily's Vow Finalist SealIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal…

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

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Tasty Tuesday: Making Brown Gravy & Force-meat Balls #colonial #recipe #howtomake #gravy #meatballs

I’ve starting to really get into some interesting historical “receipts” to convert for Tasty Tuesday! Today we’ll look at how we can use the broth I shared here to make brown gravy and force-meat balls to use in other “made dishes” I’ll talk about in upcoming weeks. Ready?

The next step is to make the brown gravy. First, you need to realize that in my house my hubby has always made the gravy. So that’s my first challenge with this recipe. Second, I needed to translate the original recipe into something not only understandable but also to a manageable quantity. Let’s look at Mrs. Hannah Glasse’s 1802 recipe:

Art of CookeryWhen you want very strong gravy, take a slice of bacon, lay it in a stew-pan; take a pound of beef, cut it thin, lay it on the bacon, slice a good peace of carrot in, an onion sliced, a good crust of bread, a few sweet herbs, a little mace, cloves, nutmeg, and whole pepper, an anchovy; cover it, and set it on a slow fire five or six minutes, and pour in a quart of the above gravy; cover it close and let it boil softly till half is wasted. This will be a rich, high brown sauce for fish, fowl, or ragoo.

Her instructions are actually the second half of the broth recipe. Since I reduced the quantity of broth, I also reduced the quantity of gravy by using smaller quantities of meat. Instead of a pound of beef, I used several pieces of stew beef that I sliced thinner. I used four baby carrots whole, and added basil and thyme as my sweet herbs. I did not use any anchovy, and used 2 cups of broth (“above gravy”) instead of one quart. For some reason, I forgot to take pictures but it was a simple simmering of ingredients and then removing the bits and pieces. My pups were happy with their treat, too!

Betty’s Brown Gravy

Ingredients:

1 slice bacon

¼ lb. stew beef, cut thin

4 baby carrots

1 small onion, sliced

1 bread crust (end slice)

Basil, to taste

Thyme, to taste

Mace, to taste

Nutmeg, to taste

Cloves, to taste

2 cups soup broth

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, lay the bacon on the bottom. Layer the beef, carrots, onion, bread, and herbs and spices.

Cook on medium heat until the bacon sizzles and the beef begins to brown.

Add broth. Cover and simmer until cooked down by half.

Remove the meat, bread, and vegetables.

Store gravy tightly covered in the refrigerator or divide into containers to freeze.

Now I have brown gravy to use to make the other dishes I’ll be adapting. See, there is an order to the progression of the recipes I’ve chosen!

Another ingredient I needed to make to have on hand for the made dishes is force-meat balls. Essentially, these are small meatballs used as filler and seasoning in dishes that are similar to what we call casseroles and pot pies.

Here’s what Mrs. Glasse would have me do:

To make Force-meat Balls.

Now you are to observe, that force-meat balls are a great addition to all made dishes; made thus: take half a pound of veal, and half a pound of suet, cut fine, and beat in a marble mortar or wooden bowl; have a few sweet herbs shred fine, a little mace dried and beat fine, a small nutmeg grated, or half a large one, a little lemon-peel cut very fine, a little pepper and salt, and the yolks of two eggs; mix all these well together, then roll them in little round balls, and some in little long balls; roll them in flour, and fry them brown. If they are for any thing of white sauce, put a little water in a sauce-pan, and when the water boils put them in, and let them boil for a few minutes, but never fry them for white sauce.

Ground TurkeySo the first thing I’ll say is that I didn’t want to use veal due to the expense. Instead, I chose another lean meat, ground turkey. I think it most likely has a similar consistency as ground veal. Note that when she says “cut fine” that would end up being very similar I would think to ground meats today. At least, I think it’s close enough.

Shaved butterLast year I made Martha Washington’s sausage and in doing so had done research as to a proper substitute for suet, which is difficult to find in my area. The result proved interesting. Frozen stick butter that you grate/shred and blend in. So that’s what I used in this recipe as well. However, there are other substitutes you may prefer to use.

All IngredientsMy intent with these adaptations is to make new doable recipes from the historic ones. Therefore, when she calls for sweet herbs I’m choosing from what I have in my spices and seasonings collection. So this time I thought Italian seasoning would taste good with the turkey and other ingredients. Other possibilities that come to mind are thyme, basil, dill weed, and rosemary.

Mace, cloves, and nutmeg are strong spices, so I used only a sprinkle of each. (We’ve determined that mace is a bit overpowering for us, so less is definitely more.) For lemon peel, I used lemon zest (grated lemon rind). I omitted the pepper and salt, but feel free to use them if you’d like.

For egg yolks, I put one in and then decided to use two to have the proper consistency. If you make these, then you can decide whether you want to use both or just one, depending on the quantity you’re making.

Betty’s Force-meat Balls

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey

1 stick unsalted butter, frozen then shredded

½ T Italian seasoning

Sprinkle of mace and nutmeg

½ tsp lemon zest

2 egg yolks

Rolled into BallsInstructions

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, breaking up any lumps of butter to evenly spread it in the mixture.

Roll the meat mixture into balls. I placed them on waxed paper for easy handling. (See note below)

Note: Uncooked balls can be divided into containers (I used quart-sized freezer bags) and frozen until needed.

I’ll talk about how I cooked these for use when I share the recipes I used them in. I kept out 17 to use in the Scotch Collops recipe for next week’s post but froze the rest in 3 batches of 12.

Take a moment to consider the large amount of food the 18th-century cook must have been making. Then think about how long it would take to fix just one meal. I imagine she was pretty relieved that the evening meal was usually cold meats and lighter fare. Keep in mind the cook would not have ready-made seasoning to sprinkle on like I did, nor already ground meat to use. I know how long it took me to figure out the recipe, let alone prepare it for use. Of course, she might have some things ready to use from making different foods, but still, I think it was quite a feat to send dinner to the table.

Next week I’ll share how to put together a made dish using these ingredients and many others! Until next time!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

I thought I’d share a little about Elizabeth’s Hope, so you know what the serialized novella is all about. And remember, it’s not on sale yet, only available for my newsletter subscribers. In each newsletter, I also include a link to the novella as released up until that point, so you won’t miss out on any of the previous chapters. Enjoy!

Elizabeth's HopeCAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND LOVE

Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

Tasty Tuesday: Oyster Sauce #colonial #recipe #howtomake #seafood #sauce

Oyster SauceToday’s Tasty Tuesday post is about making oyster sauce from scratch. I’ve never had this kind of sauce before, so it was an interesting challenge to make it. Unlike the broth recipe that required a good deal of adjustments, this one proved remarkably simple to tweak into an easier version. Let’s start with the original recipe…

Art of CookeryOyster Sauce is made thus.

Take half a pint of oysters, and simmer them till they are plump, strain the liquor from them through a sieve, wash the oysters very clean, and beard them; put them in a stew-pan, and pour the liquor over them, but mind you do not pour the sediment with the liquor; then add a blade of mace, a quarter of a lemon, a spoonful of anchovy liquor, and a little bit of horse-radish, a little butter rolled in flour, half a pound of butter nicely melted, boil it up gently for ten minutes; then take out the horse-radish, the mace, and lemon, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sauce, toss it up a little, then put it into your boats or basons.

So the first consideration was the oysters themselves. I’ve seen how oysters are shucked (opened and shells removed) and knew that was not something I wanted to include in making this sauce. Nope. So I went to my grocery store and bought a pint of oysters shucked and ready to use. That way I didn’t need to figure out how you beard an oyster…

Then the equivalencies for a “blade” of mace and “anchovy liquor.” Both easy enough to deduce. A blade is a small piece of the spice, but since the original recipe called for removing it and I’m using ground, I reduced the amount from the approximate equivalence of one-half teaspoon ground mace equals a blade, to one-quarter teaspoon. The anchovy liquor is created by simmering anchovies in water and salt, which Fish Sauce lists as the only 3 ingredients. So I used a tablespoon full of that.

The horseradish is subjective, a “little” is a matter of taste after all. I found where one tablespoon fresh horseradish is the same as two tablespoons prepared. Again, since it’s supposed to be removed, I reduced the amount to one-half tablespoon.

I love the idea of rolling butter in flour. It seems to be a fine way to measure the right proportion needed. I chose to use one tablespoon stick butter (unsalted) and rolled it in flour until covered and then added it to the saucepan.

Simmering SauceThe resulting sauce was good and I’m likely to do it again but with a few minor changes. First, we tried it with grilled steak but didn’t like the combination of flavors. The next night we had the remainder over baked salmon and we enjoyed that much more. Second, I think after simmering the oysters the first time, cutting them up a bit would make a more balanced sauce instead of having the whole oysters in it.

So here’s what I ended up with.

Betty’s Oyster Sauce

Ingredients:

8 oz. raw oysters, shucked and cleaned, ready to use

¼ tsp ground mace

¼ fresh lemon

1 T Fish Sauce

½ T creamy horseradish sauce

1 T butter rolled in flour

¼ lb butter, melted

Directions:

Simmering OystersSimmer 8 oz oysters in their juices on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Strain and reserve the liquor.

Place oysters in a saucepan and add remaining ingredients.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the lemon, squeeze the juice into the sauce.

So what do you think? Does this sound like something you’d like to try? Do you know how to shuck oysters?

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

The fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

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Tasty Tuesday: Historical Cooking Techniques for Meat #colonial #recipe #howtomake #dinner

 

Wmbrg Kitchen
A working kitchen in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Imagine preparing a meal using the tools and vessels available.

Today for Tasty Tuesday we’re going to talk about how meats were prepared back in the 18th century. We need to remember that the cooking utensils and heat sources were very primitive and basic. A kettle over an open flame, to be exact. Or a spit turned by hand, usually by one of the children, to evenly roast meats. Thankfully, we have much better tools and utensils as well as cooking apparatuses. But for a moment, let’s pause and consider what an 18th-century cook had to work with and how she’d prepare the family’s dinner.

 

Art of CookeryIn The Art of Cookery, Mrs. Glasse discusses how to prepare various kinds of meat. Most of the time she says to boil the piece of meat, but she also talks about frying things at times. The kinds of meat she would have worked with are also different from a typical American dinner table. Ox palates and ox heads being two that come to mind. Also, rabbits make an appearance now and again in addition to the typical shank (or shin) of beef. Also the “scrag of mutton” which I’ll talk more about next week, being part of the neck of the sheep. In fact, many of the meat dishes require boiling like what is done for soups and stews, the topic of next week’s Tasty Tuesday post. You can find the complete schedule of recipes I’m planning to try – unless I chicken out and choose a different one… – by going to this post.

I wonder about what is not written in the cookbook as to techniques used and the assumed knowledge of the 18th and early 19th century cooks. I enjoy reading the language of the book, with its use of “enough” as in “when they’re enough take them out and lay them in a dish” – which means when they are finished/done put them in a dish. But what kind of dish would they have used? A flat one? A bowl of some sort? What kind of presentation did they aim for when laying out the food?

She also talks about “force-meat” which is a way of making something similar to meatballs that you stuff into larger cuts of meat. I’ll be making my version of this to share with you for the June 20 post. Many of the dishes in the book are ones we wouldn’t want to try. Sometimes because of the current cost of a particular item (veal for one!) or because it’s a cut or part that doesn’t appeal to our tastes. For example:

To dress a Fillet of Veal with Collops

For an alteration, take a small fillet of veal, cut what collops you want, then take the udder and fill it with force-meat, roll it round, tie it with a packthread across, and roast it; lay your collops in the dish, and lay your udder in the middle. Garnish your dishes with lemon.

Notice that she doesn’t say to cook the veal, in this recipe which follows another one similar on how to fix veal. In the one for how “To dress White Scotch Collops,” she says to throw the collops of veal into a stew-pan and put some boiling water over them, stir them about, then strain it off, then add some broth and seasonings to it. So here’s an example of assumed knowledge that you need to look back at earlier entries for how to prepare the meat as well as know how long to cook them or know when they are done. Collops, by the way, are small rounds of meat. I’ve never tried udder and do not care to. But you must give them credit for not wasting any parts of the animal!

Another recipe she talks about is how to stew ox palates. I know some people enjoy tongue of various animals but have you tried the palate? Here’s what she says to do with it, in case you’d like to…

To stew Ox Palates

Stew them very tender; which must be done by putting them into cold water, and let them stew very softly over a slow fire till they are tender, then take off the two skins, cut them in pieces, and put them either into your made-dish or soup; and cock’s-combs and artichoke-bottoms, cut small, and put into the made dish. Garnish your dishes with lemon, sweet-breads stewed, or white dishes, and fried for brown ones, and cut in little pieces.

A made-dish is one that combines meats and vegetables into one dish. Sweet-breads are the thymus of the calf or perhaps the pancreas which is apparently pretty tasty, but again it’s not something I’m interested in trying. And I know my loving, supportive, patient hubby would not want me to serve it to him, so that’s another reason to pick different recipes to adapt. Also, I think she means to use stewed sweetbreads for “for” white dishes and fried for brown ones.

What kind of meats have you tried that are not typical fare? Did you like it? Would you want to have it again?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions! Until next time!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

The second story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series is one of my favorite ones. Poor Amy has some tough decisions to make…

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

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Tasty Tuesday: Potato Pudding #colonial #American #history #recipe #sidedish #whatsfordinner

Art of CookeryTasty Tuesday brings us to my adaptation of Potato Pudding from The Art of Cookery. The original recipe seems fairly straightforward until you consider the methods of cooking available then versus today. So let’s start with what Mrs. Glasse would have us do, shall we?

Boil two pounds of potatoes, and beat them in a mortar fine, beat in half a pound of melted butter, boil it half an hour, pour melted butter over it, with a glass of white wine, or the juice of a Seville orange, and throw sugar all over the pudding and dish.

The first stumbling block for me is that I do not own a mortar. But I do own an electric mixer that I use to make mashed potatoes for special occasions like holidays.

IMG_2150I’m going to guess that I used about one pound of potatoes, but to be honest, I did not weigh them. I used these four because I thought it would be enough for two to four servings, which it ended up being.

The second boiling of the potatoes would have been done in a tightly woven cloth placed in a kettle of boiling water over a fire. After thinking about the options, I decided to spoon the whipped potatoes IMG_2152into a casserole dish and then I could bake the final casserole instead of boiling it again.

Notice that she also blended butter, wine or the juice of a Seville orange, then threw sugar over everything, which was intended to counter the bitterness of the wine or orange. I chose to use butter and sweet orange juice to approximate the blend of flavors she was aiming for. My hubby is not fond of wine in sauces, so I didn’t choose to use it but feel free to try some if you’d prefer.

IMG_2154Be careful when you go to melt the butter! I put it in the microwave for what I thought was a short amount of time, but the butter ended up exploding. I had to clean up the mess and try again to achieve the desired result.

The resulting casserole was indeed a hit around here. It was fairly easy to make and again included only whole, fresh ingredients readily available at my local grocery store. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.

IMG_2157Ingredients

4 medium-large baking potatoes

4 T butter, melted

1 T butter, melted

¼ cup OJ

Instructions

Wash, peel and cut up the potatoes into large pieces

Cover with water in a saucepan and boil until just tender

Drain the water from the potatoes.

Add 4 T melted butter.

Beat with mixer until creamy but sticky

Put in a casserole dish and bake at 300 deg for 15 minutes.

Combine 1 T melted butter and ¼ cup OJ. Pour over casserole and warm through.

I think this may become a new favorite dish to make. What do you think about wine in the sauce? Should I have tried it anyway?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

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

The second book in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series, Amy’s Choice, continues the saga of women seeking personal independence during the American Revolution.

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1COKdqg

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZHT9Pl

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1zlf2Vk

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Google: http://bit.ly/1ocTIfL