Monday, December 10, 2018

The Christmas Experience by Katherine Moore

Food has always been a big part
of my family’s holiday celebrations. Over the years, we’ve refined those
traditions to perfection. Christmas dinner always includes pickled peaches and
cranberry chutney alongside the turkey and dressing; Christmas cookie trays
always include sour cream sugar cookies and “peanut blossoms,” those chewy
peanut butter cookies with a melty-but-somehow-still-firm chocolate kiss on
top—made from a recipe more than half a century old. Sometimes there are
gingersnaps. Occasionally there are oatmeal cookies. Our traditions allow for
some leeway om the cookies. But breakfast? There’s always bubble loaf for


Christmas mornings are often
hectic—presents to be opened, family and friends dropping by, church services
to attend—so you make and bake this sweet breakfast bread, then stash it in the
freezer until needed.

Reheat covered with foil so the
little “bubbles” don’t get too brown. Bubble loaf smells heavenly as it’s
baking and the butter, sugar, and orange zest will combine in a glaze so
delectable people will be tempted to lick their plates.

Bubble Loaf

2 loaves frozen bread dough,
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 jar of dried orange peel,
around 1.5 ounces
2 round 9-inch cake pans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the sugar and dried
orange peel in a shallow bowl.

Cut the thawed bread dough into
pieces about an inch square and then roll each square into a little ball.

Dip the dough balls into the
melted butter, then roll in the sugar orange mixture until coated.

Place the “bubble” into the pan.

Cover with a clean dish towel and
set in a warm place until the dough has risen and doubled in volume.

Bake at 325 until golden brown.
Allow to cool before serving.

If freezing, slightly under bake
the bread  so that when the bubble loaf
is reheated, it won’t get too toasty.

One loaf of dough will fit into
one pan.

This recipe makes two pans.
Serving sizes will vary. When my brother was on the football team in high
school, he could eat a whole pan by himself and then turn around and scarf a
whole plate of bacon and eggs and home fries (also a Christmas morning staple).
So plan accordingly.

The Christmas Experience

The Meredith Manor Hotel Series

Book One

Katherine Moore

Genre: Cozy Holiday Romance

Publisher:  Dark Valentine Press

Date of Publication:  November 11, 2017


Number of pages: 210 
Word Count: 50,860

Cover Artist: Lou Harper/Cover Affairs

Tagline:  Christmas is a state of mind at Meredith Manor Hotel, which explains why everyone’s just a little nuts.

Book Description:

Christmas comes but once a year but this year, Meredith Manor Hotel in scenic Silver Birch, Washington, is celebrating the holiday almost a dozen different ways. Guests can choose their "experience" from a selection of themed celebrations filled with food and drink and love and laughter. (Yes, there are recipes.)

When unemployed accountant Miranda Weston takes a temp job at the hotel her best friend's family owns, she never dreams that her friend's globe-trotting brother will show up to celebrate the holiday and complicate her life. Peter Meredith broke Miranda's heart years ago and it's still a little tender at the broken places. She's not the lovestruck teenager she once was and he's changed too, and as guests come and go and the staff works hard to deliver Christmas magic, the season works a little magic on them as well.

But Miranda's complicated relationship with the man who may just be the love of her life is only one of the storylines playing out among the hotel staff and the guests gathered for the various "Christmas Experiences" offered at the Meredith Manor Hotel.

This is a short, cozy Christmas romance novel for fans of movies like Love, Actually and the books of Katie Flynn, Trisha Ashley, and Cathy Kelly.

The Christmas Experience celebrates love and family, and all the season means.



Amy came by and
refilled our tea and water glasses. Alice polished off the rest of her rice and
noodles. I nudged my bowl of rice closer to her. “You mind?” she asked.
“All yours,” I
I thought about
the hotel as Alice prattled on, filling me in on all the gossip. It was kind of
like listening to a recap of a soap opera, only with more food.
“Nika and Annie
are getting married, and Annie wants to move back to Austin.”
“Mom’s frantic
because she hasn’t found anyone to replace Nika.”
“Are they really
going through with the wedding this time?”
Nika was the
hotel’s passionate Hungarian-American pastry chef who notoriously ran hot and
cold with her beloved. An ACF “Pastry Chef of the Year” winner, she wouldn’t
have any trouble finding work in Austin and neither would Annie, who was an
emergency room nurse. They’d both have new jobs before they’d even unpacked.
“Does Annie miss
her family that much?”
“Her dad’s got
some health issues,” Alice said. “And he’s old. I think she wants to stay
”The thought of
never eating another of Nika’s honey bran muffins makes me sad,” I said.
“Forget bran
muffins,” Alice said. “Her carrot cake is transcendent.”
Nika was going
to make Alice and Lionel’s wedding cake. Alice had known from the start she
wanted carrot cake, but she’d tasted pretty much every cake in Nika’s
repertoire until the chef pointed out if she didn’t make a decision soon, she
was going to have to buy a wedding dress in a larger size.
“Carrot cake
sounds good,” I said.
Alice jumped on
that. “If you have dinner with us tonight there’ll be carrot cake.”
“You’re evil,” I
“No,” she said.
I only use my powers for good.” She signaled for the check as she changed the
subject. “Did I tell you, Mom’s hired Max Hopkirk to do his one-man Christmas
Carol show for the Dickens Experience night?
Max Hopkirk!!
“Squee,” I said.
“I know,” Alice
said, eyes wide.
Max Hopkirk was
pushing sixty, but he still had it going on with his piercing blue eyes and
dramatic mane of silver-gilt hair. He was often praised for his deep and
hypnotic voice, but in one interview he’d given, Max had said he thought he
sounded like Eddie Izzard imitating James Mason playing God. So while he was
reputed to be something of a diva, he at least had a sense of humor.
“Oh yes, he is a
diva,” Alice said when I asked her about that. “He had all kinds of ridiculous
demands. Finally, Mom told his manager to stop being silly, that everyone knew
that Max needed money and it wasn’t as if she was asking him to walk around
naked juggling chainsaws .”
“I’d pay money
to see that,” I said.
“We could post
it on our YouTube channel,” Alice said. “Maybe he could do it for his encore.”
“I’d like to see
his Christmas Carol show,” I said.
Alice started to
smile again. “Staff gets in free,” she said.
“You promise
there’ll be carrot cake tonight?” I finally said because resistance was futile.
“Yay,” Alice

About the Author:

Katherine Moore was born in Washington, D.C., and now lives in the Pacific Northwest in a small town very much like the fictional Silver Birch, Washington where most of her books are set. She has worked as a caterer, a movie extra, a cookbook editor, and a lifestyle reporter for magazines and newspapers in Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Richmond, Virginia.

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  1. Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!