Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Monday, December 2, 2019

Annie’s Gift by Barbara Bretton

I love holidays. I love
tradition. I especially love it when you can combine the two at Christmas time.
I love piling memory upon memory until the years are nothing but a sweet blur
of happy occasions spent with the people you love best in the world.

Every year I attend the
candlelight tour of Rockingham, the Kingston NJ (formerly Rocky Hill NJ) house
where George Washington bade farewell to his troops after the Revolutionary War
ended. The docents are all in period costume. A woman in a mobcap plays the
harpsichord near the front room. Upstairs you can actually touch the uniform
worn by Washington’s aide de camp. If you close your eyes, I swear you can hear
the General’s voice ringing out over the bucolic New Jersey countryside,
peaceful now after years of bloody warfare.

The kitchen isn’t part of the
main house. It’s a small building off to the side near the smokehouse. The rear
wall is all hearth. Guides in long dresses and white aprons hand you mugs of
hot cider and offer spicy cookies piled high on earthenware plates. Outside the
air is crisp and December cold, but inside the air is warm from the fire and
filled with the delicious smells of nutmeg and cinnamon and candle wax.

The following Revolutionary
War-era recipe has been adapted for our modern kitchens.

Mulled Cider


1 gallon apple cider
2 sticks cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
1 sliced lemon

Tie cloves, allspice, and
cinnamon sticks in a cheesecloth bag with kitchen string. Combine cider, sugar
(if using), and spice bag. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for
fifteen minutes. Discard cheesecloth spice bag.

Serve cider hot, floating lemon
slices on the surface.


Annie’s Gift

Rocky Hill Holiday Romance 

Book Five

Barbara Bretton

Genre:  Paranormal romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

Date of Publication:  2017

ASIN:  B077BF911C

Number of pages:  80
Word Count:  20,000

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill

Tagline:  Because love never dies… 

Book Description:

Everyone knows Christmas is a time for family but not for Harry Barnes. If he had his way, he would close his eyes and not open them again until January second when all the fuss was over. Once upon a time he had loved the season but that was a long time ago. His wife Annie and daughter Erin are gone and he hasn’t spoken to his only son, Sam, in years.

The Christmas candlesticks he’d lovingly carved for Annie and their children are buried in the attic under a thick layer of dust along with memories that could break a man’s heart . . . if he still had one left to break.

After years of living on military bases all around the world, Sam Barnes has moved his family back home for keeps but they might as well still be in Japan or England or Timbuktu for all the difference it makes. His father’s heart is still closed to the idea of family and there is nothing Sam can do to change it. Not even if the only thing his twelve-year-old daughter Riley wants for Christmas is the grandfather she has never met.

But then on a snowy Christmas Eve in Rocky Hill, Harry and Sam are visited by a determined mother and daughter who have just a few earth hours to bring their family together or lose them forever. 


He heard a sound
like autumn leaves crackling underfoot, and then felt a soft rush of
cinnamon-scented air as a small form appeared then disappeared right in front
of his eyes.
He watched,
paralyzed with fear and hope, as she took form one more time, looking less like
a hologram and more like a flesh and blood woman. The woman he had loved since
he was sixteen years old.
“Annie!” Her
name tore from his throat and spilled into the space between them. This was his
Annie, before sorrow and sickness had taken their toll.
Bubbles of
laughter danced in the air around her. "I did it! How about that, Harry? I
did it!"
He reached for
her hand but it was like grasping cotton candy. His brain was a bowl of
overcooked oatmeal. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
The room began
to spin. He could feel himself starting to go under and he put his head between
his knees.
“Low blood
sugar,” she said, shaking her head. “I don’t miss that at all.”
“It’s not low
blood sugar,” he managed, gulping in some air. “I’m talking to a ghost.”
“If you want to
put it that way, I guess you are.”
What other way
was there to put it? He had buried his beloved wife six months ago and now here
she was in their living room acting like nothing had happened.
He took another
huge gulp of air then lifted his head.
“I’m still
here,” she said, her tone softening. “You can trust your senses.”
“Why?” he asked,
his disbelief beginning to show cracks. “How?”
She spread her
arms wide. “Look at this place! You’d never know it was Christmas Eve.”
“It doesn’t feel
like Christmas Eve.”
“It would if you
put some effort into it. Put up a tree. String some lights.” She aimed a sharp
look in his direction. “Place the candles in the window where they belong.”
Her brows darted
into a scowl. “Did you forget your promise?”
“That promise
was made a long time ago. Things change.”
“I don’t have a
family anymore. When I lost you, I lost everything.”
She reached out
and for a second he imagined he felt the touch of her hand. But that was crazy,
wasn’t it? She was no more real than Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.
“I’m here
because I love you,” she said. “And because you need me tonight.”
Tears threatened
to overwhelm him. He wanted to believe.
“I need you
every night, Annie. That’s never changed.”
“But tonight is
the night you asked for me.”
One moment he
was standing there next to the refrigerator with a carton of brown eggs in his
The next moment
the eggs were on the floor in a yellow and white mess and his Annie was in his
He had lived
long enough to know that second chances didn’t happen often in life.
This time he
wasn’t going to let her go.

About the Author:

Barbara Bretton is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fifty books. Her titles have been published in twelve languages in over twenty countries by Harlequin, Berkley, Crown, Pocket, and Free Spirit Press. When Barbara isn’t writing, she can be found knitting, reading, and cooking in New Jersey with her husband and a house filled with pets.

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Galliano Gold (Franki Amato Mysteries) by Traci Andrighetti

Galliano Gold
(Franki Amato Mysteries)
by Traci Andrighetti

About Galliano Gold

Galliano Gold (Franki Amato Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Limoncello Press (October 1, 2019)
Print Length: 327 page
Digital ASIN: B07XXDC6X9

It’s Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but PI Franki Amato has too many problems to celebrate. A proven Sicilian lemon tradition hasn’t landed her a proposal, so her nonna has amped up the meddling to get her married, and pronto. Franki’s also under pressure to solve the strange murder of a family friend’s nephew, Nick Pescatore, who was found on a Mississippi River steamboat rumored to be haunted. When the sinister old boat sets sail on an overnight gambling cruise, Franki goes undercover with a motley crew, including a Mark Twainophile captain with a murderous past and a slimy galley chef with a mobster brother, not to mention an ex-stripper landlady with a newfound career as a memoir writer and all-too public speaker. Franki has to figure out what missing Civil War gold, a playing card, and a mysterious woman on roller skates have to do with Nick’s death. If she doesn’t, it’s anchors aweigh for Franki—down to Davy Jones’ locker.

About Traci Andrighetti

Traci Andrighetti is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Franki Amato Mysteries and the Danger Cove Hair Salon Mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime--writing, that is. Her latest capers are teaching mystery writing for Savvy Authors and taking aspiring and established authors on intensive writing retreats to Italy with LemonLit.

Author Links -

Amazon Author page:

Purchase Links - Amazon


Every book in the Franki Amato mysteries features an Italian liqueur or wine and a matching color—in the title and in the mystery. For my latest release in the series, I chose a liqueur that I remember from my parents’ parties in the seventies, specifically in the Harvey Wallbangers they served—Galliano. Hence the title Galliano Gold.

Galliano also makes me think of my mother’s Bananas Foster because, like a lot of people, she substitutes Galliano for the banana liqueur in the recipe. The famous dessert is perfect for a Franki Amato mystery because Franki is a PI—and Bananas Foster has a crime connection.

In the 1950s, New Orleans was a major port of entry for bananas, so Owen Brennan, the founder of Brennan’s restaurant, asked Chef Paul BlangĂ© to create a dessert with the fruit. Brennan named the dessert after his good friend Richard Foster who served with him on the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic group created to clean up the French Quarter. Incidentally, Franki thinks the commission needs to finish the job, so she doesn’t have to.



¼ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup banana liqueur (or Galliano)
4 bananas cut in half lengthwise then halved
¼ cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream


Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the Galliano, then place the bananas in the pan. When the bananas soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, remove the bananas from the pan and place four pieces over each scoop of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the ice cream and serve.

It has been a pleasure being on T’s Stuff. As a Traci, I love that T!

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October 1 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

October 1 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

October 2 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 2 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT - Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

October 4 – T's Stuff – RECIPE POST

October 4 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

October 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 8 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – GUEST POST

October 11 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

October 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 12 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW

October 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 14 – Laura's Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 14 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery) by Elizabeth McKenna

The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

About the Book

The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (June 3, 2019)
Paperback: 204 pages
ISBN-10: 0578503018
ISBN-13: 978-0578503011
Digital ASIN: B07SKB5YX7

Mystery with a splash of romance…
Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.

About the Author

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life during her teens and twenties. The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
Author Links

Purchase Links - Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - Scribd - Apple

Hello mystery readers!
In The Great Jewel Robbery, Emma and Grace stay at a bed and breakfast while solving the mystery and take time out for a plate-licking potato, ham, and cheddar waffle. Robert and Douglas of the Aldrich Guest House in Galena, Illinois, offered to share their recipe, which won first runner-up in a national breakfast competition that had over 300 entries! 
From their website: “One of the great things about this recipe is that it takes simple ingredients and combines them in a very different way. It's also easy to substitute for dietary restrictions—make it veggie by using spinach, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes or omit the cheese for lactose sensitivities.”
I hope you enjoy both The Great Jewel Robbery and the Potato Waffles recipe!
Take care,
Elizabeth McKenna
Source: Robert and Douglas of the Aldrich Guest House, Galena, Illinois

Potato Waffles
Yield – 4

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, shredded, and drained (approx. ½ pound per person)**
2 eggs
½ t salt
¼ t fresh ground pepper
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6 slices diced ham
¼ c minced chives
Cooking spray
Poached eggs (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. Heat waffle iron to medium high while preparing mixture.
  2. Whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper then mix in cheese, ham, and chives.
  3. Stir egg mixture into shredded potatoes.
  4. Generously spray waffle iron with cooking spray.
  5. Scoop approximately 1 c (if using a scale, approx. 185g) of potato mixture onto waffle iron.
  6. Cook 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Waffles can be stored in a warm (225 degrees) oven on a rack while the rest are made.
  8. Top with a poached egg, additional chives, red pepper flakes, etc.

**To drain potatoes after shredding, place them on a kitchen towel and squeeze them into a ball until all the liquid is out of them. Do this in two batches to make sure that they are as drained as possible, as wet potatoes will not brown or crisp.

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August 4 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

August 4 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

August 5 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

August 6 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 6 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW

August 7 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

August 8 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 9 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

August 9 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – GUEST POST

August 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

August 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 11 – T's Stuff – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

August 12 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

August 12 – Reading Authors - REVIEW

August 13 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW

August 14 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

August 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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Friday, December 14, 2018

A Magic Redemption by Tena Stetler

Twinkle Bright – Elves Secret Santa

Direct from the North Pole,
welcome to the Elves Secret Santa party! Here at the North Pole it's extremely
busy, but we still have time for a little holiday fun and shenanigans.

Let me introduce myself.  I'm an elf and my name is Twinkle Bright
because my elf hat has twinkle lights wound all around the scalloped edge and
the pointy top.

I make yummy Hot
Chocolate for Santa and the elves from a secret family recipe passed down from
generation to generation. My hot chocolate keeps everyone warm and toasty
inside at the North Pole. There is even an automatic dispenser in Santa's
Sleigh providing him with hot chocolate during his travels on Christmas
Eve.  It goes good with the cookies the
children leave for him.

While I am mixing up large
batches of hot chocolate, I listen to Christmas Carols from a variety of pop,
country and rock artists. I always taste each batch to insure it’s up to elf
standards. .  You would think I'd get
tired of hot chocolate, but no -- never.
I love the steaming chocolaty drink.
I usually keep mine in an insulated mug so it stays warm while sampling
the cookies in the elves' bakery.
Frosted sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies are my absolute favorites.

Now, I'm going to let you in on a
little secret.  But you must promise not
to tell...anyone. 

We do a secret Santa gift
exchange around here and this year I got Bob, her job at the North Pole is name
checker to make sure Santa has all the correct spellings of the girls and boys.
One year she spelled Chrys' name Chris and wow what an uproar. 

Luckily Santa caught it, but we
had to rush to change all the tags on her packages. 


I'm getting Elf Bobi a package of
120 different color markers in a jewel encrusted case for marking off the
correctly spelled names after she checks them.

Do you think
she'll like that?

Do you like fudge?  Great, I'll share with you my favorite Fantasy Fudge Recipe.

3 cups of sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 -  5 oz can of evaporated milk (do not use sweetened
condensed milk)

1 – 12 oz package semi sweet
chocolate chips

1 - 7 oz jar marshmallow cream

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla

You may add chopped nuts if you

Bring sugar, butter and
evaporated milk to a full rolling boil in a large saucepan over medium heat,
stir constantly

Cook for four minutes or until a
candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees.

High altitude takes about 5

Remove from heat and add
chocolate chips and marshmallow cream, stir until melted.

Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan,
spread evenly.
Cool completely and cut into

A Magic Redemption

A Demon’s Witch Series

Book Five

Tena Stetler

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: 12-5-18

ISBN: 978-1-5092-2343-5

Number of pages: 322
Word Count: 80,585

Cover Artist: Kristian Norris

Tagline: Even with magic, finding your place in the world proves more difficult than imagined especially when someone is out for revenge.

Book Description:

Synn, a demon, carries extraordinary magic and power, but there is more within her than she dreams. Kidnapped as a child, her captors murdered her family and forced her into training as a warrior assassin.

When an assignment goes horribly wrong, she finds herself at the mercy of the friends and family of her intended target. Offering valuable information in exchange for protection, she gains her freedom, but it is not without its challenges.

Gavin Shaughnessy is the publican at his family’s Irish pub. He is certain Synn is meant to be his and isn’t bothered by her past. He must find a way to convince her their future together is stronger than the dark memories that haunt her dreams.
When her past comes calling for revenge, will their love survive the raging inferno she brings down upon them? Or will the searing path of destruction destroy all they hold dear.

Amazon        Amazon UK        Amazon AU

Amazon CA        BN       iTunes

Time seemed to
go on forever as she slowed and walked backward for a while, her foot steps in
the sand filling with water as she traveled along the shoreline, as if nature
erased her intrusion. She turned around and continued her trek. Unaware of how
long or how far she'd walked, the sudden outline of a figure, cloaked in the
fog, jogging toward her caused panic to set in. Her heart pounded rapidly in
her chest, she swallowed hard, adrenalin pumping through her veins as flight or
fight response kicked in. Digging her good foot into the sand she prepared to
attempt a sprint…to where. Where the hell am I? A quick glance around, she
spied a light from a familiar building far off on the bluffs as the figure
burst from the fog. A tall, wide-shouldered male with long muscular legs came
closer. She froze.

Once lithe,
strong and agile in her former life, a boss’s retaliation had taken a toll on
her body. Now tired her gait was uneven and unsteady, even a slow sprint would
likely end with her face planted in the sand.

About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking  or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.

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