FRIDAY FEAST with Caitlyn Nicholas

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Happy Friday, Feasters! Did you back the winner of the Melbourne Cup? I didn’t, but that’s hardly new. Last time I picked a winner on Cup day it was the year Subzero romped home in the mud, waaay back in 1992 when I frocked up and caught the train to Flemington only to spend the day getting rained on. Cold, wet but fun and a very, very Melbourne experience.

Now, my Friday Feast guest this week hails from not from the fine city of Melbourne, but its arch rival Sydney. We won’t hold that against her though.

Caitlyn Nicholas not only writes one of the best “mummy blogs” going, she also pens wonderful contemporary romances. And I can say that with conviction because I have Caitlyn’s latest release burning up my Kindle right now.

Check it out!

 

DRIVE ME TO DISTRACTION

 

Sometimes life or death decisions are easy. Alex Radford has a choice – borrow the money to treat her mother’s rare and aggressive cancer from sleazy moneylender Hamish MacCameron. Or do nothing and watch her die.

MacCameron has an agenda. He wants Alex in his bed, and he wants her to help him exact revenge on his sworn enemy, Robert Dryden. He is only too happy to lend her what she needs, but the strings attached form a tangled web from which Alex has little hope of escape.

It’s not all bad. Since she was a girl Alex has had one dream: to become a Formula 1 driver and show the boys how to drive a race car. MacCameron’s money gives her a shot at fame, and in a move that scandalizes the F1 racing fraternity she becomes the new driver for Rob Dryden’s struggling F1 team, Prometheus.

Alex tries to keep her distance from Rob, knowing that one day she will need to betray one of the few people who ever had faith in her. But things begin to unravel when Hamish MacCameron is murdered and she and Rob are the top suspects on the list …

 

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Sleazy moneylenders, murder, fast cars, steamy attraction…. yep, it’s all there in one fab book. A book you can own right now! So click on over to Amazon for the US Kindle Store or the UK Kindle Store, the Kobo bookstore or Google Play for epub file using devices, or for Apple’s various i-things try the iBookstore.

Prefer to try before you buy? Then sample away at publisher Momentum Books.

Sorted? Excellent. Now you can play with Caitlyn. But remember to keep your dog at a distance. She’s a dangerous woman…

 

How To Poison Your Dog

 

Greetings feasters and the lovely Cathryn.

Firstly, Cathryn is guest blogging over on my blog today, don’t forget to pop over and check her interview out.

Cathryn: it’s a cool interview too… but I’m horribly biased!

Today I’m blogging about a very dangerous recipe.  Make it at your peril. The last time I did it cost me $270. I kid you not.

It was an idle Sunday afternoon. My husband was at work, and the kids were home, bored, bickery and in need of distraction.  This recipe is an easy one for kids to make, quick, low on the washing up and totally yummy. Also chocolate.

It worked a treat.  Within an hour we were munching on warm brownies and I had my feet up, leisurely sipping a cup of tea and congratulating myself on redirecting an afternoon of cranky kids into a spot of domestic bliss.  There was a bang on the front door, the neighbour kids were after some company and everyone, including me, rushed outside to play (well I watered the garden and kept an eye on things).  A strange clattering noise made me hurry inside, to find, to my horror, that we’d left the pan of brownies on the coffee table and the dog had helped himself.  To the lot.

Now chocolate is poisonous for dogs.  So after a quick call to our local after hours vet, the dog, the kids and I pile into the car and rush down to the surgery.

Poor Sebastian (he’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) had a miserable night of throwing up at the vets. But by the time we picked him up he was completely recovered, bright eyed, bushy tailed, utterly unrepentant and ready to do it all again.

$270 later and we were able to bring the damn animal home.

Sigh.  Lesson learned.

I do still love this Brownie recipe though. I’ve been making it since I was eight years old and it is utterly delicious.

 

Caitlyn’s Disastrous Brownies

4oz butter (110g)

2oz plain chocolate (dark, I use 70% Lindt) Have made it with milk though.

2 eggs, beaten

8oz white sugar (225g)

2oz plain flour (50g)

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt (I tend to leave it out)

4oz chopped nuts (I use any I have around, walnuts this batch, pecans the last)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F or 180 C

Melt butter and chocolate (I do this in the microwave)

Stir all ingredients into melted butter and chocolate

Bake in oven for 30mins, until the mixture shows signs of shrinking away from the side of the tin, and the centre feels springy. A knife inserted in the centre should come over clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10mins

Eat and Enjoy.

 

So what’s your food versus animal story? Cat coughed up a furball in the soup? Dog destroyed a dessert your mother-in-law slaved over for days? Pet parrot taught the local padre some blue language? 

Time to fess up, Feasters. Come on, it’s cathartic to reveal these things!

If you’d like to learn more about Caitlyn and her books, including her December release Geek Girl saves the world novella, Dark Moon Rising, then please visit her website. You can also connect via Caitlyn’s truly excellent blog, Twitter and Facebook.

14 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Caitlyn Nicholas

  1. AvatarAnne Gracie

    I poisoned my dog once, too, tossing her an occasional macadamia as I was having a drink with a friend. Later on I found the dog snoozing on the bed, and when I told her to get off, she didn’t move. So I said it again, and she tried, and fell off, poor little thing. It was about midnight, so I raced to do a google search and found macadamias were poisonous to dogs. I also found a 24 hour vet and got her there in record time. They treated her and she was fine in the end, but for the next 3 or 4 days she was very limp and not at all her usual bouncy, energetic self. Of course, I felt dreadful, having not known about dogs and macadamias.

    Love brownies. Thanks for the recipe — i have quite a few different ones, but I do like trying out new ones.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Wow, I didn’t know that, Anne. Your poor dog!

      Wish I had some brownies right now. Could really do with a squidgy chocolate fix.

      Thanks so much for dropping by. Always lovely to see you here.

  2. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Hi Caitlyn, love the sound of Drive Me to Distraction! Looks like a lively read.

    My nephew stayed with us for a while until he started uni. One night, a little on the tipsy side, he knocked over his glass of JD and Coke. Before we could mop it up, my miniature Daschund, Sam, lapped up enough to get a little drunk 🙁

    We kept a close eye and luckily there were no side effects but she did sport a monster hangover for a couple of days! Every time she lifted her head or the TV was a little too loud, she would grumble and frown.

    You’d think that would have taught her a lesson, wouldn’t you? Every time she spots the JD black label coming out of the liquor cabinet, she gets very excited. 🙂

    Thanks for another great post, Cathryn!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I’m guessing it wouldn’t take much turn a miniature Daschund tipsy. Poor Sam! Must be worth the hangover if she keeps sniffing around for more though.

      Lovely story, Juanita. Made me smile.

  3. AvatarHelene Young

    Drive Me to Distraction sounds like a book I will love! And the chocolate brownies sound divine!

    I don’t have any dog poisoning anecdotes to add. We have all sorts of other dramas with Zeus, but thankfully not food related.:)

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      How is Zeus, Helene? Is he ready to become a seadog? What a wonderful doggy life he’s going to have on the boat.
      Very jealous of you all. Sounds so, so romantic. Sigh.

  4. Avatarfitzroylou

    Hi Cathryn and Caitlyn,
    Drive Me To Distraction sounds like a great, high-octane read! Not much to report in the pet poisoning department. Although Mum did once accidentally leave a saucepan of stewed chops cooking on the stove all day and when I got home from school the saucepan had melted (seriously) and the house was full of smoke. Poor little budgie was coated in cooking grease and looking a little dodgy but I got him outside and cleaned him off and he was as good as new.
    Lou

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hi Louise. I can’t figure out whether to be appalled at how close you were to coming home to a burnt down house or laughing at the poor grease-covered budgie. Thank goodness he was none the worse for wear. Poor thing!

    2. AvatarCait

      Love the thought of bathing a budgie! And thank goodness the damage wasn’t worse. I once went away for a weekend and left the iron on. It didn’t burn the house down, thank goodness, but did warm up the house nicely, and was never quite the same again.

  5. AvatarRachael Johns (@RachaelJohns)

    I KNEW I shouldn’t have come here. That recipe looks DIVINE. My Old English Sheepdog ate a whole (bought from Woolies) chocolate cake when he was a pup. But he is MASSIVE and that might be why it did no damage, or the fact that supermarket cheapies probably don’t have much actual chocolate in anyway 🙂

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hard to go past a brownie recipe, isn’t it, Rach? All that gooey chocolatey goodness….

      Rodger might well be a big dog but I’m thinking that there wasn’t a whole lot of chocolate in that cake. Either that or he has a cast-iron constitution!

    2. AvatarCait

      Rach I was brought up with an Old English Sheepdog, and they can eat anything. Our one once got hold of a leg of lamb that had just come out of the oven and was resting before carving for the assembled dinner party. Mum grabbed the lamb, rinsed it, stuck it in the oven, gave the guests another round of drinks and served it half an hour later!! ;D

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