FRIDAY FEAST with Barbara Hannay

38 Replies

Welcome, Feasters, to another fabulous Friday Feast, this time country flavoured. And with a special, you-can-have-it-before-anyone-else-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner giveaway!

But more on that in a moment. I have to grit my teeth and get through last week’s Sydney Author Barbara HannaySwans’ results and Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. With regards to the former, we played poo and lost. Ditto me with the latter. The curse has struck. Again. Stuffit.

But in truly excellent news, we have a marvellous guest on this week’s Feast – best-selling author Barbara Hannay. Yes, she of Zoe’s Muster and Home Before Sundown fame, as well as more than forty other novels published in twenty-six languages world-wide.

Barbara’s forthcoming release is Moonlight Plains, scheduled to hit a store near you on August 27th but available now for pre-order.

Check it out…


Moonlight Plains by Barbara HannayIn 1942, as the Japanese sweep towards northern Australia and allied troops swarm into Townsville, Kitty Martin is sent inland to the safety of Moonlight Plains. But when two American airmen crash on the isolated property, she is forced to grow up fast, coming face to face with tragedy, with love . . . and with heartbreak.

Years on, and Sally Piper, a young journalist, is sent to Moonlight Plains to cover the story of a cattleman turned builder who is restoring his grandmother’s forgotten homestead. Sparks fly between them, but Sally is struggling to let go of the past, and Luke has his eyes fixed firmly on the future.

What they uncover together is a shocking secret that has been kept safe for more than seventy years. Now the entire family’s happiness is at stake – or does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future?

From the internationally acclaimed and award-winning romance writer Barbara Hannay comes this breathtaking novel about finding love against all the odds. It will have you captivated from beginning to end.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? History, tragedy and romance combined. Rah! And you can pre-order it right now in either paperback or ebook. For the paperback try Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Roberston, Boomerang Books, QBD The Bookshop or your favourite store. For the ebook, clickety-click over to Amazon, iBooks, Google Play or your favourite reseller.

Ready to tantalise your tastebuds now you’ve satisfied your reading mind? Excellent. Off you go then!

Easy Entertaining

Thanks so much for welcoming me to your Friday Feast. It’s good timing for me, because although Moonlight Plains won’t be released for a couple more weeks (slight shift in the schedule), my husband and I have just hosted house guests two weekends in a row, so I’ve recently searched through my recipes for dishes that are quick and easy but totally delicious. My husband takes care of the main meat dish, thank goodness, so soup and dessert are my responsibilities.

I’ve served this dessert a few times now and it’s gone down very well. It’s tasty and wintry,  but not too heavy at the end of a meal. (Actually, if you want the whole truth, it’s also healthy, low kilojoule and high fibre, but don’t tell anyone 🙂 ) I reckon the touch of ginger makes all the difference…

Pear Ginger Crumble

pear and ginger crumbleTopping:

1/4 cup plain flour

2/3 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter


I.5 kg firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into smallish chunks

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (if you prefer, you could use crystallised ginger)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.Pear and ginger crumble

For the topping: Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and work together with a fork or with your fingertips until the ingredients are moistened.

For the filling: Combine the pears slices, lemon juice, and ginger in a large bowl. Add the sugar and flour and toss to blend.

Grease a baking dish. Transfer the pear mixture to the dish. Sprinkle the topping over the pears. Bake crumble until the pears are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a scoop of ice cream.


Oh, how we love a good crumble here on Friday Feast! This winter has seen some delicious recipes posted but I have to say, as a passionate pear-o-phile(?) this one is my favourite. Wonderful, Barbara. Thanks so much for sharing your easy dessert.

And thank you even more for your…


Yes, my Feasty lovelies, as promised, we have a special giveaway. Moonlight Plains doesn’t hit stores until August 27th but YOU could win an advance author copy. What an opportunity!

Naturally, you have to work for it. Can’t have you lazing around, you know. How would you burn off all those calories? This time we’re looking for the meal that makes your family happiest. Is it a good old roast, or perhaps Nanna’s special pavlova recipe. Maybe your family (or friends) go into paroxysms over your unique recipe for macaroni cheese? Whatever it is, share in the comments and we’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of Moonlight Plains!

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 5th August 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Barbara and her many books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @BarbaraHannay.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Andrea who has won a copy of Moonlight Plains and will be soon enjoying a fantastic read. Thanks to everyone for sharing their meals. As always, they were beauties!


38 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Barbara Hannay

  1. AvatarChristine Stinson

    That pear and ginger crumble sounds as good as Moonlight Plains. Thanks, Cathryn and Barbara, for another great Friday Feast. Around here, the favourite meal for all the family involves seafood. Fresh fish, Balmain bugs, prawns,. scallops wrapped in bacon, all cooked on the barbeque. Or if it’s raining/too cold to stand outside, Seafood Paella, recipe courtesy of Freycinet Lodge, Tasmania – delicious.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Can’t go wrong with that, Christine! Am trying to con the other half into a Tassie trip. In our spare time. Sigh. Worth it though. Fantastic food and wine.
      Barbara, you’d be the seafood queen being up there in the tropics. Perfect climate for indulging in a bug or ten. We buy ours from Seafood on Boundary in Townsville when we’re there. Beautiful!

      1. AvatarBarbara Hannay

        And Ingham Road Seafood in T’ville is great, too, Cathryn. Here in the mountains in Malanda we’re lucky to have a seafood shop owned by a young couple with their own trawler who go out to the reef off Cairns. Fresh and fabulous seafood all the time!

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          We sometimes go to the Ingham Road one too, Barb. Great range. Packed at Christmas, as they all are.
          Your local seafood shop sounds wonderful. Can’t beat that freshness. Well, not unless you went and caught it yourself!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Yep, although maybe it’s the rabid household Queenslander’s influence but I think Moreton Bay ones are better. But there is another species from down my way, called Portland Bay bugs. They’re smaller but super sweet. You don’t see them often though, sadly.

  2. AvatarAmanda Barrett

    Wow, that Pear and ginger crumble sounds melt in your moth delicious, thank you for sharing, I have a weakness for fruit crumbles, what a great combination. Congratulations on the release of Moonlight Plains, I loved Zoe’s Muster and Home before Sundown, one of my great reads of last year. Our favourite family meal is actually a dessert and it is so special it only comes out a Christmas, Easter and special occasions, Nanna’s trifle. I have tried to recreate it, but have not managed to get close enough to exactly the right yummy factor as hers!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Definitely one to try, isn’t it Amanda? Love the sound of pears in a crumble and the ginger adds a special touch.

      Good luck in the draw for Moonlight Plains. Sounds like you’re a great fan!

  3. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Moonlight Plains sounds fabulous, Barbara. Can’t wait for the release. Our crowd pleaser is a beef and red wine casserole made by my DH. He uses best oyster blade so the meat gets meltingly soft. Then he passes the braising vegetables through a chinois back into the red wine sauce so you end up with a smooth texture. Very yummy. In fact we’re serving it to guests on Sunday 🙂

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Louise, I was lucky to have an advance copy of Moonlight Plains delivered straight to my door this morning. It’s a conference prize but I couldn’t resist a little peek and it looks AMAZING!

        Wow. DH is a dedicated man pushing all those veg through a chinois. Can I borrow him?

  4. AvatarBarbara Hannay

    Thanks Amanda. I’m so glad you enjoyed Zoe and Sundown. I know what you mean about those lovely old fashioned trifles. Maybe it has something to do with the way your Nanna makes the custard? My mum’s custard was always nicer than the packet variety.

  5. AvatarBec Brown

    my family & friends love my spaghetti & meatballs (or variations – lasagne, bolognaise) and if its put together with pavlova with special chocolate rum cream its even better.

  6. AvatarPatricia Franks

    Oh dear. I don’t actually do the cooking at my place. My husband does. He retired before me and took over the cooking and it has stayed that way over the years. I suspect he does it so he can have food the way he likes it. I shouldn’t complain I guess. I am allowed to make gravy for the roasts. He makes pretty great meatballs that everyone loves.

    1. AvatarBarbara Hannay

      Oh, I hear you, Patricia. It’s pretty much the same at my place. My husband loves to cook too, and for much the same reasons, I suspect. That’s why I’m allowed to do soup and dessert when we have guests. Interesting about the meatballs. They’re one of my DH’s favourites, as well.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        How lucky you two are with your cooking hubbies!
        Mine cooks every now and then. He made rogan josh last night… so hot I’m amazed my tongue still exists. Gawd…

        All the best in the giveaway draw, Patricia. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Oh if only my husband would cook, he can cook but whenever on the rare occasion I tell him it’s his turn out comes boiled potatoes and grilled meat, well, I can do that! I would love something a tad more creative lol.

    How yummy does that pear and ginger crumble sound! I absolutely enjoy pears and I don’t mind a bit of ginger in my meals either. Our weekly happy meal is a leg of lamb made in the slow cooker, I alternate between baked vegies and steamed vegies, one week baked one week steamed. Love variety.

    On my rural author shelf I have Zoe’s Muster – so looking forward to reading it! But how good does Moonlight Plains sound! I love a bit of history in a novel. Congrats on the release Barbara!

    1. AvatarBarbara Hannay

      Ah, yes — how great are those slow cookers? A godsend for busy people . I hope you enjoy Zoe’s Muster, Sue and thanks for the congrats on Moonlight Plains. It’s a book that means a great deal to me.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I really must drag out my slow cooker. I never seem to use it and roast lamb in it sounds beautiful, Sue. I bet it’s so tender.

        Moonlight Plains looks a wonderful book. I have an advance copy here which is destined for a prize at the upcoming Romance Writers of Australia conference next week and it’s so hard not to start reading!

  8. AvatarJanece Mather

    Can’t wait to read the néw book Barb. Haven’t used fresh pears in a crumble so will try thus next time…love a crumble. Our go-to favourite is an Italian chicken tray bake.
    Chicken thigh fillets dredged in flour mixed with paprika and browner in the baking dish you are using for the bake. Decks us with white wine. Add diced vegs tossed in olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary eg. Potato, red onion, carrot, parsnip etc. Whole bulbs of garlic halved and anchovies. Season. Bake until almost cooked and add chunks of old bread, preferably sourdough tolled in olive oil and olives and bake until bread is golden. Add chicken stock during cooking time if it is
    getting dry. Enjoy we do.

    1. AvatarBarbara Hannay

      Thank you, Janece! That recipe sounds amazing. I’m copying it now and will make it this week. We happen to be in the anchovy loving club — those little guys can really lift a dish. And I got it about the deglaze. 🙂 I reckon ciabatta bread (they make a great one in Mareeba) would work well, too.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Wow! That dish sounds beautiful, Janece, and dead easy too!

        I’m in with you anchovy lovin’ ladies. They do amazing things to food in that indefinable way. Funny how it works but a dish that normally has anchovies in it never tastes the same with out them.

  9. AvatarJanece Mather

    Can’t believe the autocorrect has made so many errors. Should read ‘deglaze’ the pan.

  10. AvatarAnne Gracie

    Love the sound of the pear and ginger crumble, Barb — I think pears and ginger are a magic combo. I also love the sound of Janece’s chicken dish — I love garlic and anchovies — one of my fave snacky-type things is Elizabeth David’s anchoiade, which is basically a paste made of garlic and anchovies, grilled on toast.

    Having been one of the lucky ones who’ve already read Moonlight Plains, I can say I loved it, Barb. I love the way you’ve woven the secrets of the past into a contemporary novel — and I love that this book of the heart has finally been written and published..

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Rah! Another anchovy fangirl. So many people don’t understand how wonderful they are.

      I’m very jealous of you having read Moonlight Plains already, Anne. It’s killing me to have a copy here and not be able to do much more than sneak peek. It really does look a wonderful read.

  11. AvatarJenny Wright

    Will have to try these…all my hubby’s favourite foods. His latest new thing is olives stuffed with anchovies…not for me though!!!

    Can’t wait to read Moonlight Plains….sounds wonderful.

  12. AvatarAndrea Cook

    Well were do I start. Lol lots of food use to make my family happy. As a child I use to live coming down to visit my grandmother on my mums side. She new my mum loved pork so we would always have either a roast pork or pork spare ribs when we came down to visit. She would also stew up apples to go with the pork which there was always stewed apples/apple sauce left over so I had some on toast for breakfast the next morning.
    But as for things some of my family like and that I always like were my mums cooking. Loved the way she would make macaroni cheese with bacon and onion she would always use marg is butter to cook the onion and the bacon that way it tastes better when she adds the cooked macaroni and the Cheese to it and blends in so well.
    Potato omelettes so simple but so yummy. I wasn’t the only one who would go back for seconds.
    Mums lasagne you can’t beet if I have it elsewhere it’s just not the same as mums. As she uses the speghetti bowlinese recipe for her mince in her lasagne.
    Mums bread and butter pudding with saltarnas was always delicious. But I have to say one that I haven’t had on ages and mum use to always cook when we were shearing was jelly whip particularly the pineapple one. Best dessert ever. It looks like a moose. Still have to chase that recipe. Haven’t had it in years.
    I have read the last two books from this author were totally fantastic. I could bairly put them down another great authour that I like. Zoe’s muster was great read. The last one sundown was great read. Another two to add to my wish list. I love her stories they have an interesting twist to them. When I read Zoe’s muster I was amazed with you wonderfull it was but had an interesting twist you never saw coming. And the fact the the sundown had some links in it to from Zoe’s muster just added to the book. Good luck everyone.

    1. AvatarBarbara Hannay

      Wow, thanks for such an interesting post, Andrea. Stewed apples on toast? Now that is something I’ve never heard of before. Intriguing. But as we grow and harvest our own pork, I totally understand your mum’s favourite. And her macaroni sounds very much like a dish I make for my granddaughters, They expect it every time they visit and call it Nan’s S’getti. I’ve only ever had potato omelette in Spain, but it was delicious — and served at breakfast with sherry!
      So pleased to hear how much you enjoyed Zoe and Sundown. Hope you also enjoy Moonlight Plains. Thanks for posting.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        That’s a fantastic list of family favourites, Andrea! Everyone knows that everything tastes better with cheese and bacon and wow, your mum must be a MEAN lasagne maker!

        Jelly whip sounds beautiful. I wonder how it’s made. Maybe jelly mix that is not quite set whipped with cream, perhaps? I wonder if it’s in one of my CWA cookbooks – I have a bazillion. It sounds gorgeous, but I was a big jelly lover when I was a kid so no surprises there.

        Thanks so much for sharing. That was wonderful!

        1. AvatarAndrea Cook

          I can only remember jelly whip it had crushed pineapple evaporated milk and jelly crystals mum has told me the recipe a couple of times but I have never wrote it down or made it myself yet. But like I said it’s almost like a moose so delicious.

  13. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    And our wonderful giveaway has now closed. Huge congratulations to Andrea who has won a copy of Barbara’s soon to be released, and soon to be another best-seller, Moonlight Plains.

    Thanks to everyone for joining in the fun. Barbara and I read all your happiest meals with joy. What a great selection!

    1. AvatarBarbara Hannay

      Yes, thank you so much to all who contributed. It was fun to hear from you and a huge thank you to Cathryn for hosting us so beautifully. Nothing better than talking about food and books — well, except for eating and reading. 🙂

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