FRIDAY FEAST with Helene Young

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Well, are we in for a treat today on Friday Feast. This post is a hoot!

I am absolutely thrilled to host Helene Young this week. Helene is not only an award-winning romantic suspense winner, with two Australian Romance Reader Awards and a prestigious Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year to her name, she’s also an accomplished pilot and senior Check and Training Captain with Australia’s largest regional airline.

Yeah, I know. Over achiever. I’d rather like to hate her but I can’t. She’s far too talented and nice.

Helene’s new book, Burning Lies, the third novel in her Border Watch series, releases in July and we don’t have a cover to tempt you with yet, but if you watch her website it’ll be appearing soon. In the meantime, here’s a taste of Shattered Sky, the ebook of which Helene has very generously offered to give away to one super-lucky commenter. But not until you’ve read her wonderful post!



Surviving a missile strike on her aircraft suddenly seems like the easy part for Lauren Bennett. A year after being attacked mid flight, Lauren is sure she’s overcome her guilt at losing a friend in the ensuing crash. Her brittle, glossy veneer doesn’t fool Callam Granger, though. But the naval patrol boat captain knows he’s got no right to an opinion. He wasn’t there when she needed him most and she’s not going to let him forget it.

On a routine surveillance assignment Lauren uncovers an operation trafficking sex slaves. Pursuing the women – and their captors – will take her deep into the Australian outback and a reluctant Callam knows this time he can’t let her go alone. Is it possible for Lauren and Callam to put aside old enmities to outwit, outrun and ultimately out-fly the traffickers? Or will the frantic race to free the women simply ignite their emotions, endangering yet more lives?


Excitement, danger, romance. Oh, I’m swooning right now, but before I wander off to pour a jug of water over myself Flashdance style, please let me welcome Helene Young!


Put a little bounce in your life.

Thanks for inviting me to ramble on your Friday Feast, Cathryn. Your blog is a must read for me every week!

Today I’m admitting to an eclectic employment history.  Before I was a writer, I was pilot (or still am, I suppose…) Before I was a pilot I was an Adventure Sports instructor. Before that I was a cook (although I was never qualified except in my imagination…).  I’ve been a gardener, a junk mail deliverer, a waitress (several times), and a McDonald’s chick – fries were my specialty. I enjoyed all them while I was gainfully employed, but the cooking gigs were right up there with flying and writing.

I love to cook. My passion for food originally grew out of need. Mum was an unadventurous, albeit healthy, cook who clearly looked on meal prep as her duty. It was never going to be her first love. She was happy to surrender her place in the kitchen and let me experiment. Predictably I had some disasters – blood rare lamb, fallen pavlovas, fiery hot curries, chewy bread, and tastes that really, really should never appear on the same plate. But I had fun!

At the end of school a girlfriend and I got a summer job instead of indulging in the madness of schoolies week. Kev’s Diner at Coolangatta was not the height of culinary excellence, but we were dab hands at hamburgers, anything that could be deep-fried, and smoothies.  The local surfers called it Chew and Spew as it was the only place open after midnight so the inevitable outcome of too much alcohol and greasy food was a deposit in the gutter… Not necessarily a comment on our cooking… We were probably the straightest chics the place had ever hired in our white uniforms and no dating policy. Ah the lost opportunities… sigh…

Sorry, I digress.

After a stint at Uni, and a close encounter with a lawn mower, I moved up the summer employment ladder to Jo Jo’s restaurant at Southport where desserts, dips and quiches were my domain. That was a fairly tumultuous but highly educational stint. Most importantly it looked great on a resume.

One thing led to another and after a couple of detours (including meeting my husband to be) I pitched up in North Wales at Llandudno working as a cook in a nursing home – with a difference. It was a psychiatric nursing home for dementia patients in a rambling 1800’s manor house with three floors of locked doors and a cavernous kitchen. My job was to do lunch, and prep dinner for the night cook.

Being a lover of all things fresh I decided I could make huge savings by swapping the frozen veg for something a little more gourmet. I sailed along for a couple of weeks with empty plates returning to the kitchen and the nurses even eating my food. I was on a roll!

Then the boss deposited a sack of brussel sprouts on my bench. They’d been on special, apparently. Hmmm. I hated them as a kid, over cooked, mushy baby cabbages. But then I’d eaten them more recently – lightly boiled, tossed in butter and garlic with a scattering of crispy bacon. Yum. They’d love it. I just knew it.

I peeled and scored, sautéed garlic and butter, baked wafer thin bacon to a crispy crunch. The smell was divine. Lunch was served and I leant against the bench with a smug smile. Five minutes later even I could hear the peels of laughter from the dining room. In came one of the nurses laughing too hard to speak. It was so entertaining they unlocked the doors and dragged me in to watch.

Turns out lightly boiled brussel sprouts bounce very well off ceilings and floors… Off tables and chairs even… No one complained about the mess because everyone was laughing too hard. Except me, initially… Hard to be offended in the face of real honest-to-god belly laughter.

The mere mention of sprouts or brussel sent the staff into fits for weeks to come. And it’s amazing how many conversations can give those two words a home…

Brussel sprouts still have a place in my heart, but twenty-five years later I make darn sure there’s no bounce left in the little suckers!


Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

500 gms fresh Brussels Sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons butter

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Trim off the stems and remove any limp leaves from the brussels sprouts. Blanch the sprouts in boiling water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté a few minutes until the onion just becomes tender. Add the blanched, drained brussels sprouts. Sauté a few minutes. Add the vinegar and toss so that all the brussels sprouts are coated with the vinegar. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste and toss again.

So, over to you. Time to ‘fess up. What culinary disasters have you had??


Oh, Helene, far too many to mention in the Hein household! One of these days I’ll get over my embarrassment and blog about my flambéing adventures. Still figuring out how we survived the Great Cognac Fire of ‘05…

So it’s up to you, dear Feasters. Start typing your disaster stories because one super fortunate commenter will win an ebook copy of Helene’s RuBY and ARR Award winning romantic suspense, Shattered Sky.

Giveaway closes midnight AEST, Tuesday 20th March, 2012. Open internationally.

Right, I’m off to test out Helene’s delicious-sounding sprout recipe and remind my other half that not all vegetables taste like they did at boarding school!

If you’d like to learn more about Helene and her wonderful books please visit her website. You can also connect via, on Twitter and Facebook.


Helene’s giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Rob H, who has won an ebook copy of Shattered Sky, and thanks to everyone who took the time to pop by and say hello. I hope to see you again. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Helene’s next book, Burning Lies, which hits the shelves in July.

69 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Helene Young

  1. Avatarannacampbell

    Grrr! Comment just got eaten. Unlike the brussels sprouts! Trying again! Hi Helene! Hi Cathryn! Helene, loved the brussels sprouts story. Hilarious. Can’t wait to read BURNING LIES!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Oh, I hate it when you spend all that time writing a comment only for it to disappear into the ether.

      It’s a great tale, isn’t it, Anna? Must have been hysterical to witness.

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

    2. Avatar123writer

      Thanks, Anna. Lovely to see you here on Cathryn’s FF. I have to say I feel like I should have added a recipe for something decadent – something very robust about a brussel sprout dish…

  2. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Helene and Cathryn,
    Great post, Helene. I love your story about cooking in the Pscyh Hospital. Everyone deserves food cooked with care and love. And after seeing some of the dreadful food dished up in nursing homes (no wonder old people won’t eat) I’ve often fantasised about doing just what you did. But your sprouts would have looked pretty amazing, still bright green and lovely and glossy. Pity about the bounce 🙂
    I can’t recall any *disasters* (after the cream whipped to butter, age 8) but I have had many *disappointments* – the discovery at carving time in front of guests that a duck doesn’t have the same anatomy as a chicken springs to mind.
    Looking forward to seeing Burning Lies on the shelves!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      You hear some horror stories sometimes, Louise, don’t you? Defenceless people being treated appallingly. I’m so glad my grandmother is well looked after in her home.

      Ahh, culinary disappointments…I reckon I experience one of those at least weekly. It’s a sad side effect of trialling new recipes all the time.

    2. Avatar123writer

      Hi Louise, I did enjoy the cooking but I’m not sure North Wales was ready for Aussie gourmet…

      I have had my share of disappointments – one memorable sauce anglaise that separated as I was serving the poached pears – so I’ve also become quite good at fudging it!

  3. AvatarKylie Griffin

    Oh, good grief, the image of bouncing brussel sprouts has just set me off on a giggle-fest! 🙂 But oh, yum, your recipe is one I am so going to try as I LOVE them to death (cooked correctly, of course).

    And just because I can (and as I work as a teacher in my other life, I hear so many jokes from the kids I just had to share)…

    One day two brussels sprouts, who were best friends, were walking together down the street. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over.
    The uninjured brussels sprout called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he was able. The injured brussels sprout was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery.
    After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared.
    He told the uninjured brussels sprout, “I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through. The bad news is that he’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life”.


    A guy walks into the doctor’s office. A banana stuck in one of his ears, a brussels sprout in the other ear, and a carrot stuck in one nostril.
    The man says, “Doc, this is terrible. What’s wrong with me?”
    The doctor says, “Well, first of all, you need to eat more sensibly.”

    On that note, I’m outta here! 😀

    1. Avatar123writer

      Oh Kylie! Thank you for the laugh at the end of the day! I love jokes that are elegantly simple!

      And am also laughing – in the nicest possible way – at custard made with salt! Did it make it onto the pudding or did you taste test it??

      1. AvatarHelene Young

        Lucky for you! I got into trouble at Jo Jo’s for not putting enough salt in the white sauce for the lasagnes… Learnt very quickly to always check…

  4. AvatarKylie Griffin

    Sorry, got carried away and didn’t answer your question – disasters in the kitchen at my place include:

    *overcooked omlette, so rubbery I sold it as a frisbee

    *had friends over for dinner, served pudding dessert, pulled out a container of ice-cream from the freezer and it turned out to be left over casserole (at least it didn’t get on the pudding)

    *made custard – only I put in salt instead of castor sugar (taught me the importance of labelling my storage containers)

    That’ll do for now. 🙂

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      He he. And there I was imagining, Ms Kylie, that you were going to leave us with just bad jokes.

      The salt for sugar mix-up seems to be a common occurrence among Feasters. Am thinking we all need to invest in some labels!

      Thanks so much for joining in the Friday Feast fun.

  5. AvatarDeborah Tait

    I love you Helene and I love your books, but I just can’t go there. Brussel Sprouts. Shudder. But if I had to eat them, garlic and bacon might just work.

    Your Friday Feasts are an auto read for me Cathryn.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Oh, thanks for saying that, Deborah. It’s great to hear other people are enjoying the Feast posts as much as I am.

      A few years ago I would have felt the same about sprouts but then my sister-in-law cooked them up with garlic and bacon as Helene did, and they were delicious. She halved them though, so no bouncing fun. But they really did taste good!

    2. Avatar123writer

      Lol, Deborah, I totally understand.

      But perhaps it’s like liver and bacon. I hated it when my mum overcooked it to shoe leather consistency. Then I had it in the uk – liver thinly sliced, soaked in milk and lightly sauteed in a hot pan with garlic, sprinkled with bacon and served on mash potato with fresh spinach. I’ve been a convert ever since!!

  6. Avatarshelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    Sorry Helene, not even garlic and bacon could get me to eat Brussel Sprouts. I don’t do a lot of fancy cooking, my children are far too picky, but I make a mean Spaghetti Bolognaise with my secret sauce. As for disasters. probably my least successful dish was a disastrous attempt at making chocolate mousse from scratch for a dinner party I was hosting which refused to set and had, lets just say an unfortunate look and texture. Tasted ok though!


    *please don’t enter me as I already have a copy Shattered Sky*

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Ahh, you can’t go wrong with spaghetti Bolognaise. An oldie but oh, such a goodie.

      Grainy chocolate mousse. *shudder* That and producing custard with the texture of scrambled eggs are great fears of mine. There’s just no recovery from that disaster.

      Thanks so much for dropping by, Shelleyrae.

  7. AvatarSharon Archer

    argh! the blog just ate my comment tooo! Wahhhhh! And you know it was an absolute masterpiece that I’ll never be able to repeat! LOL

    Great Friday Feast, Cathryn and Helene! I love the Brussel sprout story! I’m quite fond of them as a vegetable – they’re nice mashed with just butter and pepper so I can imagine they’d be gorgeous with bacon and garlic as well. I like cabbage done that was too.

    anyway, I have my fingers crossed that the nasty blog-goblin doesn’t chomp my comment again!

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      I’m glad I’m not the only one then, Sharon! I’ve just managed to convince the internet that I’m not 123writer! All the previous replies are me!!!

      Thanks for dropping by, glad to hear someone else likes Brussels too 🙂

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Hmm. I’m not sure I could go with them mashed, Sharon. But then I never thought I’d like them at all until my sister in law cooked them!

        I don’t know what’s going on with the blog. It seems a few people are having issues and I have no idea why! So frustrating when your comment disappears or you can’t post at all. I had the same issue last week with a couple of blogs. Aargh!

  8. AvatarHelene Young

    Sigh… well I’ve tried my best Shelleyrae… I guess the Brussel Sprouts Farmers Lobby won’t be hiring me any time soon to sell their produce!

    I’ve had chocolate mousse that went awry! I ended up spooning it into ramekins and freezing it. Tasted fine but the texture was strange….

    And thanks for the truly lovely review of Shattered Sky 🙂

  9. AvatarHelen Lacey

    Hi Helene. Am I one of those crazy people who love brussell sprouts? I can blame my welsh mother for serving them up (in bacon) a couple of times a week as a kid. And since she was a divine pastry cook and there was the promise of pie (usually rhubarb or gooseberry) afterwards, the sprouts always got eaten.

    I once made stuffed squash – you know, stuffed with a mince and rice thingy – but I forgot to cook the mince beforehand. A disaster.

    Great post Cathryn. And I’m really looking forward to Burning Lies Helene 🙂

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Nothing like bribery to ensure kids eat their dinner! A rhubarb pie sounds wonderful, Helen 🙂

      The stuffed squash recipe sounds delicious! I’m sure we’ve all managed to do something similar…

      Thanks for dropping by and joining in Friday Feast – it’s one blog on my must read list!!

  10. AvatarSerena Tatti

    I too had a lovely loooong post but it got gobbled up 🙁 I’ll recount my biggest failure – the strawberry mousse that defiantly wouldn’t set. We decided to call id Strawberry Soup (though it was served chilled). I should have supplied a straw to consume it with.

    Great blog, Hélène. Love the Friday Feasts, Cathryn!

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Serena, the blog gods are being very unkind at the moment. I got stuck in an endless chaptch code loop on a blog and eventually gave up…

      Strawberry soup sounds perfect for brunch!! It would be a grown-up version of strawberry milkshakes!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I want to CRY over these comments being eaten. So frustrating. My apologies, Serena (and everyone else). I wish I knew what was going on.

        I have to say that strawberry soup sounds rather delicious!

        Friday Feasts are such fun. There are so many food lovers out there and the posts, recipes and comments make great reading.

  11. Avatarrachaeljohns

    Oh my goodness gosh – I am a HUGE fan of brussell sprouts and these sound To Die For!! I’m having a zillion culinary disasters lately. It seems the moment I got published, I could no longer cook. No seriously, it’s quite depressing for my family. of course I blame the oven in our new-old house!!

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Rach, I hope you enjoy them. I’d go with the oven as the guilty party. We went from gas to electric when we bought our current house and I still don’t get the same results with pavlovas… And my potatoes never quite crisp as much. If I ever do a kitchen revamp it will be gas!!!

      And how on earth you juggle everything you do and still cook is beyond me!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Well, you learn something everyday. My good buddy Rach is a sprout fan!

        I’d definitely blame the oven. It can’t POSSIBLY be you. I had the same issue in our last house. Rotten oven only had one temperature – flat out – even though we had the thermostat replaced twice. But the oven in this current house is wonderful. Lovely, even temperature. I can make meringues again!

        I’m with you, Helene. Gas is the best.

  12. AvatarKris Pearson

    Let’s go back forty years. First time ever having my new in-laws to dinner. Lemon meringue pie was the height of cool. And all was going well. The pastry shell looked good, the lemon filling tasted yummy, the meringue on top was tall and fluffy, and the little peaky bits were turning golden right on cue. The new daughter-in-law had done well.
    And then she dropped it upside-down on the over door.
    There was no other option but to eat it – in very good-tasting chunks and shards and puddles of escaping sauce. To this day it still occasionally gets a mention. More “Shattered Pie” than “Shattered Sky” though…

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Oh Kris, that’s a fabulous last line!! The night must have been a nightmare for you though… Very glad you can all laugh about it now. And do you still make lemon meringue pie? It is a dessert that is so strongly connected to my grandmother I always think of her when I see it or eat it. She was a queen of meringues! Perhaps that’s why I love cooking desserts that have meringues in them.

      And thanks for dropping by the blog today!

  13. Avatarsandraharrisauthor

    So know what you mean about Helene, Cathryn. I struggle just to write a book and I don’t even have to work! She’s definitely awe-inspiring.

    OK, down to brussel sprouts. I always buy the little ones as they don’t seem as acidic as the large ones. Cut them in half, lengthways, and salt the cut side. Leave for a few minutes. A quick steam, a drizzle of honey and they’re ready to go. I can even get my other half to eat them! 🙂

    By the way, Kylie, loved your kids’ brussel sprout joke!

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Lol, Sandy, that’s very lovely of you, but I can’t claim awe-inspiring status – that belongs to those who write and juggle children and day jobs! GW and Zeus are largely self-sustaining 🙂 (and self amusing!)

      I’ll have to try your recipe – honey straight from the hive will make it perfect. Which reminds me the poor little bees must be due for a check up since it’s been raining for two weeks… sigh…

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Oof, Helene, you’re being modest. You are indeed awe-inspiring. But I agree on those who write and manage children and/or jobs. I seriously don’t know how those clever people do it. Makes me feel so damn slack!

        Sandra, that recipe sounds delish!

  14. Avataranniewest

    Argh! Just lost my post. Won’t try again except to say how much I enjoyed this, Helene. What a story. I’ve plenty of kitchen disasters but won’t try recounting them again in case I lose the post again.

    Looking forward to your next book. ‘Shattered Sky’ was a great read!

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Oh no, Annie, I’m not sure why the world wide web is seizing comments at the moment… I’m sorry it ate your post – maybe the brussel sprouts are to blame?

      And I’m sure your story would have been hilarious!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        *bangs head against desk* So sorry, Annie. I have no idea what’s wrong. Perhaps it’s a web wide thing. I hope so. Nothing worse than a blog that continually feasts on readers’ comments.

  15. Avatarsuzannebrandyn

    lol Helene. Your life has been as diverse as mine. It was interesting to find out about your part time employment. Oh, and Adventure Sports Instructor, sounds interesting. As for being a waitress, I had a stint at waitressing as well. I really enjoyed it. 🙂 Seaview Malayan at Redhead, Newcastle. 🙂 Great boss at the time, Lee. He was such a nice person.

    I already have Shattered Sky on my shelt, so no need for the draw.
    Waiting patiently for your next release, or should I say impatiently. 🙂

    Suzanne 🙂

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I think there are quite a few readers impatiently waiting for Helene’s Burning Lies, me included!

      Thanks so much for dropping by Friday Feast, Suz.

    2. AvatarKerri/Kaz

      Suzanne, I have to jump in and shout with glee at the mention of Seaview Malay, Redhead! That’s what I had for dinner last night. The food is still to die for and I think it’s still the same owner who is an absolute sweetheart. He’s owned it for yonks – so am imagining it’s same man – especially as you said how nice he is.

      When our VGs writers group has an all day workshop session we often order it in as well, as it’s sooo good AND he delivers.

      In my fridge still sits leftover Lettuce Blossom, and what I want to know is ‘what’ does he do to those lettuce leaves to keep them so crisp! They are ‘so’ gorgeous and they stay that way for days.

      Puzzled in Puddly Lake Macquarie.

      1. AvatarHelene Young

        How wonderful to have such continuity in a restaurant, Kerri. We’ve recently tracked down a chef who moved from Trinity Beach to the Tablelands. Am now scheming how I convince GW that we need a little mini-break up on the range so we can eat some of his delicious food again!

        Lettuce leaves that stay crisp? He must be a miracle worker 🙂

    3. AvatarHelene Young

      Diversity is the spice of life, Suzanne 🙂 I did some waitressing when we moved to Cairns and I loved chatting to the tourists – I should have been paid commission by some of the tours for all the spruiking I did.

      Looking forward to your next release also!!

  16. AvatarHelen Bianchin

    Hi Helene,
    Your reference to Jo-Jo’s restaurant at Southport reminds me of the meals we shared there on occasion. My failed cooking disaster involved an ancient wood-fired stove on a tobacco farm, a meat and veg stew for workers – except the paper bag of loose salt collapsed in my hand and far too much salt went into the stew, most of which I managed to scoop out (obviously not enough, even with the addition of several potatoes, given the copious amounts of water the workers downed with the meal). Helen Bianchin

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Helen, I loved Jo Jo’s setting and still miss sitting looking out over the Broadwater on a lazy afternoon.

      Sounds like you were having an adventure with your cooking disaster! Wood-fired stoves belong firmly in my childhood. We had one in the beach shack at Currumbin beach. However was up first had to get the embers going again – typically that was me… I was a slow learner unlike my brother and sister!

  17. AvatarCathryn Hein

    Oops! I think everyone has had a salt disaster somewhere along the line, Helen. I had one with some unbelievably salty fish stock, which I was using to flavour a champagne sauce. My dinner party guests were due any minute and instead of having everything prepared so I could swan about being a good hostess, I was sweating in the kitchen remaking the sauce from scratch. It was a good lesson, though. It taught me to stop trying so hard and keep things simple.

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Simple is always best! I’m a bugger for overcomplicating dessert. Once I’ve had a couple of champagnes that’s not a good place to be but I haven’t learnt my lesson yet…

  18. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Hi Helene and Cathryn 🙂

    I love these Friday Feast posts. I would never have thought of combining brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar. This recipe sounds like one to try.

    I’ve only ever cooked them with bacon, swimming in black pepper encrusted white sauce to disguise the cabbage taste. My sons refuse to eat them. My eldest once told me they look like giant boogers 🙁 Only boys would think of that! My Nan used to cook them until they were grey masses that looked like little brains on the plate.

    My cooking disasters are too many to mention as I seem to have inherited Mum’s talent for overcooked, leathery casseroles and souffle that either looks like an omelette or runs all over the plate!

    I now leave most of the cooking up to hubby. He worked in a chinese take-away most of his teen life 🙂

    PS: Loved your jokes, Kylie.

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Balsamic and strawberries is beautiful too, Juanita, with vanilla icecream 🙂

      My mum also used to boil the heck out of sprouts until there was a mushy pile on the plate… took me quite a while to get over that!

      Sounds like you have versatile hubbie!!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Giant boogers!!! Oh, that’s just…er…lovely!

        Fortunately, Mum never served us sprouts so I had no real preconceived ideas about them. I knew people loved or hated them, but I like cabbage so I figured they can’t be that bad. Turns out I rather like them. Not sure that’d be the case if I’d experienced those little green brains you mentioned, Juanita.

        Now, if only I could convince my other half of their merits…

  19. AvatarKerri/Kaz

    Hi Cathryn & Helene,

    Loved your stories Helene! I’ve made the brussel sprouts and bacon and garlic. Actually added it to the Christmas lunch menu year before last and while most of the 30 attendees cringed at the thought of b/sts for Chrissie lunch, there were none left in the bowl and very few left on plates. I consider that a victory.

    Your sprouts recipe is similar to one I do with fresh baby carrots which I roast in balsamic and honey.

    I love cooking and entertaining, but like everyone I’ve had my share of disasters. I’m saving my best though because I’ll be here in a few weeks and if I spill now I’ll have nothing to talk about!! 🙂

    Till then, looking forward to another fabbo Helene Young story! You’re a brilliant story teller. Congratulations.

  20. AvatarSuzi Love

    Love the brussel sprouts story and can’t wait to read your new book. My cooking disasters lately all seem to be with garlic bread. I used to make my own bread in New Guinea – no bakery handy – and had lots of fun.
    But every time I do even the simplest things now eg garlic bread, rolls, I burn them. To complete charcoal.
    Family and friends have taken to shifting me away from the oven and hovering there themselves. How embarrassing!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Ooh, thanks for the heads-up, Suzi. I now know to keep a close eye on that oven when I come to visit. Rather like garlic bread, but not in charcoal form!

      Could this new problem have perhaps stemmed from too much talking?

  21. AvatarHelene Young

    Kerri, I love carrots roasted in honey, but I haven’t tried adding balsamic – I will tonight! Look forward to that post of yours in a few weeks 😉

    And thanks for your kind words. I hope everyone enjoys Burning Lies – feeling the pressure a touch!

  22. AvatarHelene Young

    Lol, Suzi, I wish I could make bread! I’ve only had a couple of attempts but they were dismal failures. With the plan to move aboard a catamaran starting to come together it’s one of the skills I need to learn!

    I’m sure your bread burning is just a phase you’re going through 🙂

  23. AvatarROB HAMOND

    Loved your story, and the sprouts ideas were great.
    What about making a salmon casserole,, put it in the casserole dish then find there wasn’t enough, so I saw some potato chips in packets in the cupboard so poured them on top and mushed them into the casserole.
    What you do when time is limited.

    1. AvatarHelene Young

      Oh yum, Rob. My mum used to make a salmon souffle that had whole almonds through it and then topped with plain potato chips. It was my sister’s favourite dish so we had it a least once a year for her birthday.

      Well done on being so inventive!!

    2. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Congratulations, Rob! The random number generator has pick you out of the crowd and you’re the lucky, lucky winner of an ebook copy of Shattered Sky. Helene has your email address and will be in touch soon.

  24. AvatarHelene Young

    Cathryn, thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your Friday Feast! It’s be fabulous chatting with you and your visitors. I feel so much better about my own disasters now!!

    Looking forward to reading Heart of the Valley – only a month to wait now 🙂

  25. AvatarCathryn Hein

    A very big thanks to you, Helene, for entertaining us so thoroughly with your bouncy sprouty post! An absolute pleasure to have you on Friday Feast.

    And a group hug to everyone who dropped by and contributed fun cooking stories. We really need to start labelling those salt and sugar jars!

    Don’t forget to watch out for Burning Lies….and Heart of the Valley *grin*.

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