FRIDAY FEAST with Anna Campbell

Happy Friday, dear Feasters. And what a jolly fine one it is too. Not least because this week we have awesome Regency historical romance author Anna Campbell as our Friday Feast guest.

Have I ever revealed how I came to be an Anna Campbell fan? Well, sometime back in 2009, I commented on a blog post where there was a copy of Tempt The Devil up for grabs and won. Now, Regency isn’t a genre I normally read but when Anna sent me my signed copy of Devil I thought I’d give it whirl. Next thing I know, the Devil’s been devoured and I’m on the hunt for the rest of Anna’s backlist. These books are wonderful – sexy, luscious and drama-filled. A good time rompy read with bonus rumpy-pumpy, and a happily ever after to round things off.

So if you’ve never tried an Anna Campbell, here’s your chance!

 

SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED

 

Will a week of seduction…

Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic-even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

…Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

 

Makes me get all squirmy just reading that blurb because I know what a treat you’re in for. If you’d like you buy your own copy of Seven Nights In A Rogue’s Bed you can order the paperback version from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (for US addresses), Bookdepository, Booktopia or Bookworld. If you’d prefer the e-book version try Kindle, Kobo, Google Play or the iTunes store.

And now here’s Anna.

 

Fat Princes with Anna Campbell

Hi Cathryn! Hi Friday Feasters!

Cathryn, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I love visiting and talking about two of the yummiest things out there – romance fiction and great food and wine.

INTERNAL EDITOR: Um, Campbell, that’s three!

CAMPBELL: No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Oops, sounds like I might already be hitting the vino! I promise this post is about to get more sensible. No recipes for Spam thermidor.

Last time I visited, I was busily writing SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and promoting MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. There’s always a slight Doctor Who time slip going on in an author’s life – the book you’re spending most of your life thinking about is usually NOT the book you’re spending the remainder of your life talking about.

Now, huzzah, SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED has hit the shelves (25th September, North America, 1st October, Australia and New Zealand). I’ve just finished the second book in the Sons of Sin series A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS which features a lovely picnic scene. Food seems to make regular appearances in my books!

I write books set in the 1820s which counts as late Regency in historical romance. The Prince Regent who ruled in place of his incurably mad father George III took the throne in 1820, becoming George IV. By this stage, Prinny, as he was less than affectionately known, was a middle-aged man with huge health problems, ‘huge’ being the word. He was obese and spoiled and I think miserably aware that he’d squandered his early promise in self-indulgence. After waiting so long for the throne, he died only ten years later, just six weeks short of his 58th birthday. Too much wine, women and song – and you can hold the song!

I’ve included an 1819 cartoon to give you some idea of his appearance. I doubt if this is wildly exaggerated. I’ve seen his coronation robes at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. Carpet Call could cover half a house with that much fabric and still have some left over for the garage. Apparently they were adding gussets right up to the coronation day because his weight was so out of control.

George, as you’ve probably gathered, was into his food the way Lassie was into kids stuck down the well.

One of the most famous banquets ever held took place in 1817 when Prinny hosted a dinner for Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia. The world-famous chef Marie-Antoine Carême (he’s the skinnier guy pictured) created 120 separate dishes for this extravaganza.

A banquet on that scale requires imagination from the host (George had plenty of that!), endless cash (thanks to his long-suffering subjects), and an army of servants. I only tick the imagination box, but I thought I’d share one of Carême’s more straightforward recipes in case you’re three out of three.

Mirlitons à la Fleur d’Orange

Put two yolks and two whole eggs into a basin, with four ounces of pounded sugar, three ounces of sweet macaroon biscuits broken, half an ounce of candied orange-flowers pounded, and a grain of salt; stir these for a minute, and then add two ounces of fresh butter made warm; whip the whites of the eggs very firm; and add them to the preparation; sheet thirty tartlet-moulds, half an inch deep and two inches wide, (slightly buttered) with puff pastry. When the mirlitons are filled with the preparation, sift sugar on them rather thickly through a silk sieve, and when this is melted strew sugar in grains on them; bake them in a slow oven and serve either hot or cold.

A mirliton is a flute-shaped pastry. Recipe thanks to wonderful historical author Miranda Neville.

I’m sure George IV would heartily approve of Cathryn’s Friday Feasts! You can read more about a fascinating if not particularly exemplary life on Wikipedia.

So what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever cooked? I think for me it was a really complicated Tia Maria torte that I’ve sadly since lost the recipe for. What about you?

Just in case you don’t feel like cooking, I’ve got a signed SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED up for grabs to a commenter. Forget the baking and curl up with a luscious romance novel!

 

Those mirlitons sounds as sexy and delicious as one of your books, Anna! Thanks for the fun history lesson too. Prinny sure knew how to party!

Speaking of parties…readers, you could have one of your own with Seven Nights In A Rogue’s Bed by revealing the hardest thing you’ve ever cooked. I’ve had to wrack my brains over this because I’ve attempted a few tricky things over the years, but I do remember making roasted langoustines with lemon risotto cakes and chardonnay beurre blanc for a girlie lunch party when we lived in France. Absolutely beautiful but completely exhausting. Although I wouldn’t mind having another go at it, this time with yabbies or crayfish. Yeah, yeah. Sucker for punishment, that’s me!

Giveway closes midnight Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 AEST.  Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to know more about Anna and her sexy Regency historical romances please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and the Romance Bandits blog.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Juanita who has won a copy of Anna’s wonderful Seven Nights In A Rogue’s Bed, and a special thank to all you lovely people who dropped by and took the time to comment. Hope to see you here again soon.

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Anna Campbell

  1. Avatarflchen1

    Seriously, forget the cooking! Bring on the books!!! 😉

    LOL! I’m not too much of a cook because I am super lazy and prefer making things that don’t involve many, many steps and much preparation. DH on the other hand, cares about the results, so he’s a great cook 🙂 The most complicated thing I’ve ever made? I think a meringue topped pie? But that was a long time ago, and I haven’t made meringue since ;p

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Hey, Fedora, great to see you here! Laughed at you taking the easy route – I do these days too. I sometimes look at what I present people when they come to a meal and despair. Once upon a time, I used to spend most of my weekends in the kitchen, catering. I’ve decided life is too short. And the strange thing is people often enjoy something simple as much as they enjoy something I’ve struggled for hours to create.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I reckon Masterchef has a lot to answer for. People think they need to spend forever making complicated jus and smears and foams, but the best thing about great food is enjoying it with people you love. Hard to do that if you’re exhausted after days of cooking, or spending the entire evening chained to the stove!

        Your hubby sounds a wonderful man, Fedora. There’s something very appealing about a man who can cook!

  2. AvatarNancy Northcott

    Hi, Anna and Cathryn! What a fun post.

    As for the hardest thing I’ve ever cooked, there is such a multi-way tie, I can’t pick. I’m not what we might call gifted, or even more than minimally competent in the kitchen. I do love to eat, though. 🙂 Those mirlitons sound great.

    I already have Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed, so there’s no need to put me in the contest. I’m eager for life to settle enough to let me read it straight through. I love Anna’s books.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Nancy, can’t wait for Renegade to hit the shelves on 6th November. Feels like I’ve been desperate to read this forever. Thanks for swinging by. I had a very good friend who was an incredible gourmet cook – I think even with recipes some of it comes down to talent. Her stuff would make you weep, it was so good.

      1. Avatarannacampbell

        Nancy, I used to try complicated stuff but I think I’ve settled for being a good, plain cook. It’s very satisfying serving up a nice meal to the people we love, isn’t it?

      2. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Ooh, Nancy, you have a book coming out? Excuse me while I go investigate!
        Oh. My. God. LOOK AT THAT CHEST!!!!! A girl could spend an awful long time stroking that cover, methinks.

        I love Anna’s books too. Such luscious reads and I bet Rogue will be no different. Thanks so much for dropping by and all the best with Renegade. Can’t go wrong with a cover like that!

  3. Avatarjennifer tanner

    Hi Cathryn & Anna!

    I find it amazing that chefs were able to produce elaborate dishes without refrigeration. Makes me wonder how often people got food poisoning. Your post reminds me of Miranda’s heroine, Jacobin, the chef who disguised herself as a boy.

    Can’t think of the hardest dish I’ve made, but the most tedious was croissants, which was time consuming because it required kneading, waiting for the dough to rise, and kneading several times in order to obtain the flaky layers.

    I’m sure Prinny suffered from gout and high cholesterol.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Jennifer, I think Prinny was an example to all of us on why we shouldn’t have ten MacDonalds at one sitting! 😉 The sad thing is he wasn’t by any means a stupid man but all that promise was never fulfilled. I don’t think he ever really grew up either which didn’t help. Ah, uneasy lies the head the wears the crown, etc. There was a wonderful series on cable here from the BBC where a couple of people, an antiques guy and a cookery expert, followed Queen Victoria’s progresses around the country and re-created dishes she ate at each stately home. A feast for the eye, as you can imagine. I was amazed at just what they could manage. Of course, they had ice houses and let’s face it, for a lot of the year in the UK, it’s colder outside than your average fridge anyway. The food was SOOOOO elaborate. I would have had indigestion every night! Mind you, as is often pointed out, the fact that there were 120 dishes available didn’t mean every guest ate 120 different things. People would pick and choose. The service was often a la francaise which meant lots of dishes on the table at once rather than a la russe which is how we serve meals now, in specific courses.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        You made your own croissants, Jennifer? I am in awe!
        Good point about the refrigeration. I wonder how they did it or if there were bouts of food poisoning that were never mentioned. Or if they simply stuck with robust dishes.

        Thanks for that link, Anna. I’m rather interested in that.

  4. Avatarhelensibbritt

    Hi Cathryn and Anna

    Firstly may I say that I have read Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed and loved it what an awesome read I couldn’t put the e reader down LOL loved Jonas what a hero and Sidione the best heroine.

    As for cooking I usually don’t try things that seem too hard although I do remember for my first wedding anniversary making a spcial dinner for hubby and I and I put way too much sour cream in it and although we both ate it neither of us enjoyed it LOL it is so long a go I can’t even remember the name of it and to this day hubby will not touch anything with sour cream in it.

    Have Fun
    Helen

    1. AvatarNancy Northcott

      Helen, my mom told me the first thing she and my dad quarreled over was whether a baked potato was actually done. I sympathize on the sour cream. It sounds like something I might do!

    2. Avatarannacampbell

      Helen, thank you so much for saying how much you enjoyed Seven Nights. I was so chuffed when I got your email saying you’d loved Jonas and Sidonie! Yay! Laughed at the too much sour cream. Sometimes culinary disasters end up being great accidents – I remember adding nutmeg rather than pepper to a beef stroganoff once and you know, it didn’t taste half bad!

    3. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Oh, poor you! I bet that wasn’t the way you’d hoped to celebrate your anniversary.

      Lovely to see you here again, Helen. Rather jealous that you’ve already read Rogue. I’m saving it for an indulgent holiday read but it’s hard not to feel like I’m missing out when I hear how much others have loved it. Might have to elevate it up the to-be-read list.

  5. Avatarsuzferrell

    Hey Anna! LOL on Prinny loving his food, wine and women.

    As for the hardest thing I’ve made? Hmmmm…..Uh, hate to say it, but I do master and tweak most everything I try. However, I’ve been really toying with the idea of trying a Beef Wellington from scratch. Will let you know if I do and if it turns out!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Suz, Bandita Christina cooks a fabulous Beef Wellington. I’m in awe of her skills. I’ve always been scared away by that recipe. It looks so spectacular too! And hey, Regency writers SHOULD cook Beef Wellington. And just for a balanced view, following it up with a nice Napoleon cake!

  6. AvatarKeziah Hill

    I think the most complicated thing I ever cooked was a Christmas Lunch for eight people. Each dish wasn’t all that complicated, although it was the first time I’d ever done a turkey with all the trimmings, but the co-ordination was a bit of a nightmare. Thankfully, good conversation and lashings of wine can save any occasion! Don’t put me in the draw Anna and Cathryn, SNIRB is impatiently glaring at me from my tbr pile. It will be a great relief from the serial killer I’m currently embroiled with.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Keziah, laughing at you thinking Rogue will be a relief from the serial killer! I hope so! LOL! Oh, I remember when I lived in England doing a complete Christmas dinner and coordinating everything to be ready on time was a complete nightmare. Mind you, drinking to celebrate the season didn’t help either. Hic!

  7. AvatarJeanne Adams AKA The Duchesse

    Hi Anna!! Oooh, I love the mirltons! How funny is that recipe? I love the history too, and often feel sorry for Prinny. Nothing to do, of substance, until he was well and truly spoiled.

    Helen, I’m jealous that you’ve already devoured Jonas and Sidione’s story! I have it, but I’m guarding it and keeping it as a prize for finishing my edits. It’s calling to me, like a siren song…..

    Must. Finish. Edits!

    Grins. BTW, I didn’t know the “a la francaise” and “a la russe” terms. See? Learn something new every day.

    Jennifer, I’ve made croissants and that butter cutting and kneading IS tedious!

    As for other cooking follies, I attempt them on a regular basis. I’m on a crock-pot-binge at the moment. I’m trying to get food made that doesn’t require a lot of my attention but will feed the ravening hordes. (AKA, my boys) The most complex thing I’ve ever made…hmmmm….some Christmas filled breads that took days to make. That’s the most complex. But I’ll give about anything a go in the kitchen, if I think I’d like to eat it. Ha! I’m never going to make anyone weep with joy over my cooking, but I can put a really good meal on the table. The other nice thing is that my hubby will cook/grill too, so it’s alllll good. :>

    Fun post!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Jeanne, thank you for swinging by. Oh, I often think of you feeding the ravening hordes. And your boys are so active, they just burn off calories the way I wish I did! LOL! Crockpots are good. I think things that give you good leftovers are good too. I often look back on my mum’s efforts in the kitchen – she was a fabulous cook although she stuck very much to the tried and true – and I’m in awe at how she worked so hard on the farm and still pur together those fantastic meals. She must have got SOOOOO sick of it!

      I find the history of food absolutely fascinating. There’s an oldish but really interesting book called Much Depends on Dinner that’s well worth hunting out. And one day I’m going to buy myself a Larousse Gastronomie. When I worked as a captioner, there was one in the reference library and I used to pore over that. I still mention dishes I used to drool over from that book. Poulet a la perse (Persian chicken which includes pomegranates – how exotic is that?) got a mention in A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS just now!

      Jeanne, a la francaise was the style right up until the Regency when the a la russe style became a la mode (lots of a las going on here!). And it’s stayed a la mode ever since. 😉

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Hi Jeanne. Another impressive cook who’s tried croissant making! I’m starting to feel a tad inadequate. I’ll probably regret it, but I want to have a go now!

        Good luck with those edits. I finished mine on Wednesday so I’m having a mini-break. Bliss!!

        Anna, I have a Larousse Gastronomique and it’s fascinating. Well worth the investment.

      2. Avatarannacampbell

        Cathryn, there’s stuff in that that I’ve never seen anywhere else. A lot of the recipes are way past my skills set but for someone putting together glam Regency meals, it’s fantastic. Note to self, if I get any book vouchers for Christmas, that’s where the money’s going! I got a book in on Tuesday so I’m having a bit of a break from serious stuff too. Spending quite a bit of time surfing the net without the usual guilt feeling!

  8. Avataranniewest

    Hi Cathryn and Anna. Fascinated by the pics, Anna, and the recipe. No, I’m not trying it now. Not sure what my most complicated dish was. I remember the first time I cooked a Christmas in July for about a dozen and it was a challenge. I think the most nerve wracking was deciding to try out some recipes from the Gourmet Traveller (lovely but always fiddly recipes) when a friend was coming to dinner. I don’t recall the main course but the dessert was a complicated berry and ice-cream cake with multiple layers. I spent the day cooking and at the last moment he rang to ask if he could bring his sister who’d come to visit unexpectedly (his sister being a gourmet chef). All turned out well though.

    Anna, congratulations on the release of ‘Seven Nights in A Rogue’s Bed’ – it’s lush and sexy and intense and definitely one of your best!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Thank you so much for those kind words about Rogue, Annie! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Christmas seems to have been a bugbear for a couple of us. My gourmet cooking friend used to regularly cook stuff out of Gourmet Traveler. I remember this dish called Weeping Leg of Lamb which basically dirtied your oven forever but it tasted like heaven on a stick. I think part of my problem is that I get lazy with this stuff – if I can shove something in the oven before people come and take it out and feed them on time, that’s pretty much enough for me!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Ahh, Christmas (traditional and July ones). It’s supposed to be such a lovely festive time but not so much for the cook. I remember my mum, who is not a fan of cooking at all, slaving away over roasts and puds and things from super-early in the morning and being completely exhausted at the end of the day. Now we just stick to seafood. MUCH easier and rather yum.

        Annie, I love Gourmet Traveller but I have to agree that some of the recipes can drive you a bit potty. Mind you, I found some brilliant ones from there. I have a recipe from the 90’s for sauternes flavoured creme caramel that I still make. Bloody delicious!

      2. Avatarannacampbell

        Cathryn, you know weeping leg of lamb. I know you won’t believe this but I found endless inspiration for silly jokes over the poor weeping lamb. You know, someone had kidnapped Bo Peep. And they got worse from there. You probably needed to drink the sauterne rather than put it in the creme caramel to get the full glory! 😉

  9. AvatarDonna MacMeans

    Oh Anna – What a fun post to read right before dinner (grin).

    I do enjoy cooking and find that most dishes are not so much difficult as they are time-consuming. One of the most time consuming desserts I ever made was this incredible Yule log from the Joy of Chocolate cookbook. It requires about ten or twelve very thin layers of a chocolate cake batter that is heavy on the egg whites (and requires much shifting of jelly-roll pans in the oven). Each layer is topped with a spread of chocolate and then the cooked layers are rolled, one onto the other. The end result when cut on a slant looks like the rings of a tree trunk. Chocolate bark is made with melted chocolate on a cold slab scraped at an angle – then layered over the trunk to resemble bark shingles. Confectioner sugar is lightly sprinkled over for snow, then the whole thing is served on a pretty platter with a side of whipped cream while the cook collapses from exhaustion upstairs in the bedroom. i’ve made this twice – but won’t do it again.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Wow, Donna, that Yule log sounds absolutely spectacular. Good on you making it not only once but twice! I hope you took pictures. The Tia Maria cake was a little on that scale – it tasted absolutely amazing. As it darn well should have after all the time it took me to put it together!

  10. AvatarSue P.

    Hardest thins I’ve ever cooked is prime rib. Really hard to get the right rareness, especially when cooking for a crowd. But very wel worth the effort! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one, Anna. Cheers!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Sue, you’re right! Beef is actually much less forgiving than lamb or chicken, I find. And as you say, it has to be just the right degree of rareness. Thanks for swinging by!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Maybe, how interesting. You know, I’ve never cooked prawn/shrimp although the mythology is that Aussies eat it three meals a day off the barbie. I can see that it would be really easy to overcook.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Veeeery easy to overcook seafood, Maybe. I think that’s one of the reasons I tend to always order it when dining out. Professional chefs – most of them, that is – seem to know exactly that point when the fish or shellfish is perfectly cooked. Whereas I always err on the side of caution and go that little bit too long. One day I might learn…

      2. Avatarannacampbell

        Cathryn, I often order steak when I’m out. There’s something about a good char-grilled steak that home-bound cooks just don’t seem to be able to replicate.

  11. Avatardonna ann

    I enjoy cooking & usually don’t have too much trouble, though big dinners can be hard as I usually have trouble getting the timing right when there’s multiple dishes that need to be served at the same time. i’ve tried cooking fresh fish several times in the past (luckily only for myself so I didn’t spoil someone else’s dinner too) but each time it didn’t work — either over done, under done, seasoning off or something where if I could eat it, it was just barely. I don’t bother trying any more, freely admit I’m defeated in that area & just enjoy it out where someone else can have the head ache of cooking it instead 😉

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Donna Ann, thanks for swinging by. I haven’t had a lot of luck with fish either. Even fairly fail-safe varieties like salmon steaks which are thick enough to forgive a bit of overcooking and are quite palatable even if they’re rare. It’s still not right. Sigh.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I use a chef Rick Stein’s technique when cooking fish. You place the tip of a knife into the flesh and then press it against your lip. The fish is perfect when you can only just tolerate the heat.

        I agree with the getting everything served at the same time, Donna Ann. That’s so hard sometimes. Which is probably why we eat so much salad. Much easier!

  12. AvatarSharon Archer

    Oh, very tasty blog, Anna and Cathryn!

    I think one of the trickiest things I’ve made were chocolate eclairs – they were yummy! Sadly, if I eat cream now, my tum makes me pay so I rarely indulge.

    These days I have two kitchen mottoes…
    a) Easy easy easy is best! and
    b) Leftovers rule!

    Fascinating information about Prinny, Anna – I always find your research interesting!.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Hey, Sharon, so glad you enjoyed the bit about Prinny. I could have gone on and on. There was a wonderful banquet (well, wonderful but kind of revolting!) that he gave at Carlton House to celebrate his accession to the Regency, I think (tacky anyway as it was also marking his father being considered incurably mad) where he had streams flowing down all the tables with authentic greenery. The extravagance of this lifestyle blows my mind. Having said that, I think the glamour of the era is something that appeals to readers (and this particular writer). Chocolate eclairs? Wish I’d known you then. As you know, I’m partial to a good eclair! Don’t think I could ever be bothered making them, though!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I was fascinated about Prinny too, Sharon. I know hardly anything about the Regency period so Anna’s post was great for educating me. And what a character he was!

  13. AvatarKandy Shepherd

    Hi Anna and waving to Cathryn
    Wonderful post, Anna, I found it so interesting about how overweight Prinny was–all those gussets in his clothes. I visited the Brighton Pavillion some years ago which was beautiful, the kitchen were some of his feasts would have been prepared was amazing.
    Me and cooking? Trying to make my own puff pastry was a distinct fail–have stuck with the frozen variety ever since. One thing I will never attempt is Spam Thermidor, thank you Anna!
    Please don’t enter me in the draw for SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED as my own copy is winging its way to me. I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Kandy, lovely to see you here. What? You don’t like the sound of spam thermidor? Sheesh! I heard they served it at Windsor Castle last night! I went to the pavillion years ago (1985) back when anything post 1600 struck me as nouveau. How times have changed. Really need to go back. My principal reaction to it was that it was terrifically over the top – I remember a Chinese room that gave you a gold headache. Suspect that’s very true to Prinny’s personality. Did you know he was responsible for the fashion in tartan that’s never really left us? He visited Scotland and took to the locals in a very big way. Hope you enjoy Rogue!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Waving back at you, Kandy! So wished we’d made it to Brighton Pavillion on one of our England visits but never seemed to make it down there. Feeling like I missed out now!

        So was Prinny fatter than Henry VIII, Anna? Henry’s armour that I saw appeared pretty large, especially the cod piece. If that’s any indication he was one well-endowed boy. Bit like one of your heroes!

      2. AvatarAnna Campbell

        Snort. I think with Henry it might have been fake it till you make it. Now, what an interesting thought about who was fatter. Prinny was definitely fatter younger – Henry was quite the young stud in his early days.

  14. AvatarChristine Stinson

    What a fun interview, Cathryn and Anna. Thanks for Caremem’s recipe – you can’t beat a good tart…
    Hardest thing I ever cooked was my first souffle (first wedding anniversary dinner). There were a number of problems: no one told me a rum souffle was actually a dessert and wouldn’t go terribly well served with a tossed French salad and garlic bread. Also didn’t know it was a bad idea to test whether the souffle was cooked by sticking a knife into it… Husband couldn’t stop laughing, I took exception to his prolonged hilarity. All in all, a fizzer of an anniversary dinner.

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Hey, Chris, lovely to see you here! Laughing at you talking about a good tart! LOL! Oh, no, to the souffle! I remember in the movies that was always the test of a cook – the heroines were perpetually serving flat souffles! Never seemed to stop them finding Mr. Right!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Ooh, hello Christine. How lovely to see you here. Like Anna, laughing at your tart comment!

        Poor you and the rum souffle. Talk about a deflating evening…

        Look forward to hearing more adventures when you have your own Friday Feast visit next month!

  15. AvatarVanessa Barneveld

    Hi, Cathryn and Anna!

    What a deeeelicious post, Anna. I would love to give the mirlitons a whirl! In all the time I worked at our captioning office, I never looked through that copy Larousse Gastronomie. Mon Dieu!

    The most difficult thing I ever cooked was a gigantic turkey. I roasted it in the Early Kooka oven we had before we did our reno. The bird was so big and the oven so small that it was quite a nerve-racking experience and took about six hours to cook (two hours more than I thought it would).

    Congrats on your Rogue’s release! x

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      HI Vanessa! Thanks so much for the congrats! Wow, doing a turkey in one of those old kooka stoves. You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din! Hey, if you get a chance, check out the Larousse. It’s seriously yummy!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Mon Dieu indeed, Vanessa! You have missed out on reading about such joys as frogs’ leg soup and lambs’ tongue au gratin!

        Mind you, my copy of Larousse dates from 1988 so some of the food styling leaves a bit to be desired. It does make fascinating reading though.

        Thanks so much for dropping by.

  16. AvatarLinda Thum

    Books over baking (& just about everything else) any & every time!

    But has anyone tried Indonesian Layer Cake before? It’s made under a grill layer by layer & uses tonnes of egg yolks (my cholesterol just shot thru the roof!) but oh so yummy!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Linda, that layer cake sounds yummy. Anything with egg yolks is good. I remember visiting Copenhagen and eating myself silly on Danish pastries full of delicious custard. Hmm, can I combine Danish pastries and books?

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Indonesian Layer Cake? Off a googling I go!

        Oh, wow. That cake looks amazing. I bet it’s delicious too. Will have to keep my eye out for this one. Would love to try it.

        Thanks, Linda!

  17. AvatarDesere

    Cooking is not my strong point, at all. Yes I can cook but your normal day to day dishes like pasta etc etc.

    Reading is much more me ! Thanks for the great post and if you ever do find that recipe again pass it on ,my sister is a brilliant chef and I want to ask her to make it lol!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Avatarannacampbell

      Desere, this cake was astonishing. It was like a tia maria mousse frosting all over it and then this wonderful liqueur layer cake inside. SOOOO rich. If I find it again, I’ll definitely share it. Especially if you ask me over to try the results. It was seriously fiddly, I remember.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I wouldn’t mind the recipe either, Anna, if you ever rediscover it. Anything with Tia Maria in it has to be good!

        Thanks for visiting Friday Feast, Desere. Sounds like you have a handy sister there!

  18. AvatarJenn J McLeod ~ Come home to the country...

    Hardest thing I’ve ever cooked? A no brainer. That would be 58 a la carte cafe meals over a lunch sitting becasue our chef called in sick at the last minute. My partner and I teamed up. One on the grill. One on the cold larder and burger buns. Love buns (see below). We got those damn meals out hot and…well, reasonably timely. We both said ‘sorry’ once before we began. There would be no ‘sorries’ after that. Just heads down, bum up and get the meals out. We were pretty damn proud of ourselves at the end (given 6 months before we were city desk-jockeys dreaming of a sea change and a small cafe. (Why not? We’d drunk loads of coffee. How hard could it be making one!!!!! Hmmm!)
    Now, Cath, you crack me up with your bonus rumpy-pumpy, and a happily ever after to round things off. LOL And lovely Anna, I look at your covers (particulalry this one) and swoon. Nice six-pack. bet he’s got good buns!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Jenn, I’m not sure whether that story is true – it seems like too good a setup for the joke about buns, LOL! Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? I’ve loved it from the first moment I saw it. That gold is luscious and actually appears in the story and he’s not too pretty. Jonas in the book isn’t either. She looks like she’s enjoying her week too! Good for you taking that challenge and running with it. Bet you felt like you’d been up Everest twice when you finished. Thanks for swinging by!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Very important to have good buns, Jenn, as I’m sure you know. Impressed with your lunch sitting achievement. And a la carte too!

        Trying not to mention the rumpy-pumpy. Brain’s in a dirty place this morning and I’m sure that whatever I say will turn out extremely rude!

  19. AvatarSuzi Love

    Hello lovely ladies,
    Listening to Anna speak about Careme reminded me that he became famous after opening his own pastry shop, The Patisserier de larue de la Paix, where he created the famous Croquembouche, which means “crunch in the mouth.”

    I did attempt one of these when we lived in Vanuatu – blame the French influence – but mine wasn’t so much ‘crunch in the mouth’ as ‘running off the plate’. I blamed it on the heat, not my bad cooking – naturally! Grin!

    Suzi Love

    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Hey, thanks for the extra info, Suz. I’ve been to weddings with croquembouches – they were quite fashionable in the 80s. Almost always ended up with chocolate on the wedding party’s clothes. There was something to be said for old-fashioned fruitcake. Good on you trying one. Our chef at the hotel where I worked used to curse if the bride and groom requested one!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Hey, Suzi, I have a croquembouche story too! At uni, our shared house decided to hold a dinner party with a speccy coquenbouche as dessert. Trouble was I made the toffee a bit hard and slathered a bit too much of it on. Nor did we have a mould, so the dessert was a solid pastry and toffee cone. Those profiteroles were stuck so hard together we had to chisel them apart, which naturally then resulted in a massive food fight. Fun, but oh the mess!

  20. AvatarJennifer M Day

    I remember the most difficult thing that I helped cook is Baked Alaska. In my high school cooking class, 28 years ago or so, that was a dessert that my kitchen had to produce. To this day I have no inclination to make it. Having a pan with cake, ice cream, and a meringue on top that you put into an oven to cook just puts me into a tailspin. For some reason it just goes against the grain to place a dessert with ice cream into a hot oven.

    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Oh, Jennifer, baked Alaska seems fraught with possibilities for disaster! I don’t blame you for not wanting to cook it again. They’re very spectacular, though!

  21. Avatarcatslady

    For me it’s not so much that things are hard to cook but putting the whole meal together and getting everything ready at the same time. Thanksgiving is always a challenge and cleaning up afterwards is even harder lol. I also host a Christmas party with a couple of vegetarians which is challenging too lol. Looking forward to your latest story!!!

    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Thanks so much, Catslady, for saying you’re looking forward to Rogue! I agree with you – sometimes it’s not that stuff is complicated on its own, it’s the coordination that brings the problems. I remember hosting a whole stack of people for a brithday lunch not long after I’d moved into a flat in Sydney. I didn’t factor in that the huge amount of food I had was going to take forever to cook. We ended up eating at about 3:30 in the afternoon. Not one of my great successes! And everything was either under or over done!

  22. AvatarSheryl N

    I am not much of a cook anyway. I have the hardest time making a pot roast. I think I am scared I am going to totally screw it up, I don’t even go there. My poor husband……

  23. AvatarJuanita Kees

    *Sigh* I’d happily give up my tub of triple choc Uncle Billy’s Cookie Dough for seven nights in your rogue’s bed, Anna 😉

    I was asked to bake a birthday cake for my brother-in-law’s 50th birthday party. Feeling very ambitious despite the February heat, I decided to bake him a novelty cake. Since his passion is big yellow mining beasts, I baked him a dump truck. Oreos for wheels, liquorice strips for window frames and decorated in the brightest yellow icing I could make.

    We bashed the life out of a packet of Violet Crumble to crush it for around the base of the cake so it resembled ‘gravel’. It looked really cool and I was proud of how it held up under the aircon vent.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t travel well. By the time we got to the party, the truck had lost it’s load and toppled over. Not to be beaten, I scooped up some of the ‘gravel’ to make it look like the truck had an accident…and presented it as a Health and Safety Incident. The boys saw the humour in it and it went down a treat with photos doing the rounds of the head office.

    Thanks for another great post, ladies! I love this blog 🙂 Those royals were naughty! (Some still are…)

    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Juanita, laughing at you giving up your cookie dough for the nights in my rogue’s bed. Perhaps we could negotiate! 😉

      I love your story about the big truck cake. And good for you for turning lemons into lemonade. I bet the health and safety thing had everybody cracking up. And honestly, I bet it still tasted wonderful.

      Yeah, I love Cathryn’s blog!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Ahh, Juanita, methinks you have been fibbing about your culinary proclivities in the past. How can a self-proclaimed uncook create a dumptruck masterpiece, hmmmm?

        Fun to have you here, as always!

  24. AvatarHelene Young

    Another fabulous post, Anna and Cathryn! No need to enter me in the comp as I’ve already devoured SNIARB and loved it!

    The trickiest thing I’ve cooked was pears poached in port served with vanilla tuiles and sauce anglaise. Simple! It probably would have been okay for a small dinner party, but I was cooking for my sister-in-laws fortieth and there were thirty guests. She presented me with the recipe and told me to multiply it all by five and it would be fine….

    Two gallons of lumpy milk and four dozen eggs later I finally worked out I had to make it in small batches… And I’ve never attempted sauce anglaise again!!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      What is it about sauce Anglaise? I made it for the Christmas pudding once, way back in my teenage years. Turned out perfect but the only person who ate it was me. Everyone else stuck with smothering their pud in plain old cream. Hmph!

      I can’t even begin to imagine how exhausted you must have been after that exercise, Helene. Hope you managed to enjoy at least some of the party before collapsing.

    2. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Oh, Helene, I feel your pain. You’d think from a purely logical viewpoint that the multiplication thing would work but it doesn’t (see my sad story about cooking my birthday dinner and everything taking ten times longer than it should have!). Actually I had a disaster like that once with tiramisu which is usually foolproof (unless you’re as big a fool as I am!). Had too much of everything and it turned into butter! Yuck! Thanks for saying you enjoyed Rogue!

  25. AvatarMary Doherty

    The hardest thing I ever made was eclairs and it turned out to not be so hard after all. I have made them a few times now and my husband loves eclairs, so he is a happy man. lol I so want this book!!!

    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Hi Mary! Thanks for swinging by – so glad you’re excited to read Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed! Oh, that’s interesting about eclairs not being as hard to make as they sound. Maybe I’ll give them a go. I must say I’m quite partial to them too!

  26. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Thanks Anna & Cathryn 🙂 I’m thrilled! Now I have to explain to hubby why he’ll have to move over to make place for my rogue 😉
    PS: I may have fibbed a little, Cathryn. I bake okay, it’s the cooking I leave to the professionals 🙂