FRIDAY FEAST with Lisa Heidke

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Greetings food and booklovers, and welcome to another exciting edition of Friday Feast. We have a cracking line-up today, including one of Australia’s leading popular women’s fiction authors, a beautiful pasta dish and a book giveaway!

But first, the self-flagellation that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. In good news, my putting demon partner and I won (by a whisker) the ladies ambrose competition last week, while I also somehow managed to win longest drive. Rah! In bad or, rather, typical news, it was all downhill from there with me failing to play to my new handicap in the mixed comp. Again. Mind you, that didn’t stop the computer stealing another 0.2 of a stroke off me. No compassion those computers. None. Phht.

But on we go to much more uplifting news!

Lisa Heidke has been at the forefront of Australian popular women’s fiction for a number of Author Lisa Heidkeyears now, catapulting onto the scene with Lucy Springer Gets Even and continuing that success up with What Kate Did Next. Claudia’s Big Break and Stella Makes Good followed to great reviews as well, which should come as no surprise. Lisa studied journalism, has worked in the book and magazine publishing industries, and teaches popular women’s fiction workshops at the Australian Writer’s Centre. In other words, she knows how to tell a good yarn and her stories sparkle with good humour, warm characters and clever observation.

Lisa’s new book is It Started With A Kiss and it looks GORGEOUS. Check it out.


It Started With A Kiss by Lisa HeidkeIt Started with a Kiss is about shattered hearts, secrets and the lies that tie Friday and Liam and their teenage daughters, Evie and Adelaide together.

Naturopath, Friday Jones, feels betrayed when Liam, her husband of almost twenty years, announces that their marriage is over. On the brink of a mid-life crisis and crippled with a fear of missing out, Liam moves in with his bachelor brother, Brad, and pursues his secret ambition of becoming a stand-up comic.

Months later, Friday, still heartbroken, meets an unavailable man, but unable to control her desire, embarks on an intense secret affair.

When her best friend, Rosie, discovers that Friday is flirting with a danger that can only lead to further heartbreak, she signs Friday up with and Friday dives into the murky, unknown, online dating world.

Friday soon starts receiving anonymous letters and gifts and quickly realises that one of her flings has taken obsession to the next level…

Doesn’t that sound like fun? And being a Lisa Heidke book you can be sure there’ll be plenty of twists, drama and laughs as the story unfolds. It Started With A Kiss is available right now from Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, QBD The Bookshop, Boomerang, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks, JB Hi-Fi, chain stores or your favourite book retailer.

Now please give a very hearty welcome too Lisa, and prepare to drool!

Memories Of Santorini …And My Spaghetti Vongole

Hi Cathryn,

Thanks for having me over! I must say, when you invited me the Friday Feast I was a tad daunted. You see, rather like Nicki Edwards, one of your previous Friday Feast guests, I’m not much of a cook. Like Nicki, I dislike cooking, mainly because I’d rather be writing or reading – and also because my kids are fussy. Give them a roast chook and salad or sushi every night and they’d be happy!

Unlike Nicki, I do have recipe books. Hundreds of them. People give them to me for Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day…and largely, they remain unopened. I was once given a subscription to Gourmet Traveller. Pretty pictures!

santoriniHowever, one of those Gourmet Travellers (I think it was a February edition) inspired me to travel to Santorini. Three whole weeks of bliss!  Whilst I was there, I had one of the most amazing dishes ever – Spaghetti Vongole.

Simple but so delicious and tasty.

The kids begrudgingly eat it though it can get messy, but I don’t care. Every time I smell it cooking, the flavours remind me of Greece and I am transported back to that cute little restaurant in Santorini, on the waters’ edge with the red and white checked tablecloths and the pretty white geraniums haphazardly arranged in pottery vases…heaven. The restaurant’s signature Spaghetti Vongole was to die for!

Claudia's Big Break by Lisa HeidkeSantorini was also the inspiration for my second novel, Claudia’s Big Break but that’s another story.

In my latest book, It Started with a Kiss, the protagonist, Friday Jones isn’t a great cook. I’d say she’s poor to middling. In fact, all my characters seem to be very average in the kitchen. Funny that!

Still, I’d have to say when it comes to the Vongole, it’s hard to go wrong. Even Friday could do it. So here’s the recipe!

Spaghetti Vongole



1 kilo Vongole (pipis)

4 whole red chillie4 garlic cloves

1 cup parsley

500 gm spaghetti

Wine or water…depending on your preference


  1. Boil enough water for the spaghetti
  2. Finely chop garlic and thinly chop chillies
  3. Roughly chop parsley
  4. Cook pasta according to instructions
  5. While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic, chilli, parsley and pipis in deep frypan for two minutes
  6. Add a couple of tablespoons of water (or white wine) to the frypan and cover.
  7. Steam pipis for approximately five minutes until all have opened.
  8. Drain pasta and add to frypan…toss through…
  9. Sprinkle parsley on top
  10. Enjoy with a glass or two of chilled white wine.


Wow! You sure know the way to a girl’s heart, Lisa. Spaghetti vongole is one of my favourite dishes. The shellfish is so sweet and sea-tasting, with the other flavours enhancing the vongole rather than taking over. And it’s so much fun to slurp up the pasta and suck on the shells. Beautiful. I bet your Santorini one tasted even better. Oh, to be there. Sigh.

Enough wistfulness. Let’s make this even more delicious by having a…


Yes, my Feasty darlings, Lisa has very generously offered the chance for one lucky commenter to win a copy of It Started With A Kiss. Naturally you’ll have to work for it. So, to be in the draw, answer this:

Which dishes remind you of a favourite holiday or time in your life?

Me? I have a thousand! Eating sea bass on the Cinque Terra. The jungle curry I helped make at a cooking school in Thailand. Endlessly scoffing crayfish legs and tails at our beach shack during childhood summer holidays. Visiting Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant in Cornwall. Urk. I must stop. All this reminiscing is making me want to go on holiday.

What about you? What dishes remind you of holidays or special times? Reveal all and we’ll pop you into the draw to win It Started With A Kiss.

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 24th February 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa and her heart-warming books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @lisaheidke.


This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Meredith who has won a copy of Lisa’s gorgeous new release, It Started With A Kiss.
Thanks so much to everyone for visiting and sharing your lovely holiday food memories. 


17 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Lisa Heidke

  1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Oh wow, pipis they bring back some happy memories. Haven’t had them in years and years it’s time I had them again and this recipe is a good start, and a lovely easy one at that.

    Eating beef cheeks at Steph and Dan’s (from MKR) cafe Eat at Hervey Bay. The holiday was just recent but it was an amazing and memorable trip.

    It Started with a Kiss sounds like a good read. Congrats on the release Lisa!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Beef cheeks are beautiful. Sue! When slow-cooked they go all luscious and gooey. Amazingly good for what it usually known as an offcut.
      Mind you, I think pretty much anything would taste good at Harvey Bay!

  2. AvatarDelores Bebbington

    My favourite food memory goes back to my childhood when we visited my grandmother in Mandurah and my uncles returned from fishing, The fish were cleaned in the back garden and pan-fried for tea, followed by gooseberry pie and cream.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      That sounds a lovely memory, Delores. Fresh caught fish is so beautiful and you’re always hungry by the sea. As for gooseberry pie, YUM! Gooseberries aren’t something you see much off anymore, are they? But when I was growing up they were quite common. Gooseberry jam was delish but I haven’t seen that for ages. A shame.
      Lovely to see you here. All the best in the draw.

  3. AvatarChristine Stinson

    Spaghetti Vongole – delicious! Seafood is the big favourite in this family, particularly seafood paella, recipe courtesy of the chef at Frycinet Lodge, Tasmania, where we spent a fabulous night celebrating a wedding anniversary. Then there was the Zuppa di Pesce for lunch at Vermiglia, Cinque Terra. Great memories, thanks for bringing them back, Cathryn and Lisa, and congratulations on ‘It started with a kiss’ – I’ve already read and enjoyed it.

    1. AvatarLisa Heidke

      Thanks Christine. I’m glad you liked it.
      Seafood paella is one of my favourite dishes but I don’t think I’d attempt to make it. I’m sure it would end up gluggy. X

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        What a gorgeous location to spend a wedding anniversary, Christine. I bet that was very special, especially with seafood paella on the menu. Yum!
        You’ve just reminded me of a time, many years ago, when I was on the road a lot and used to stop at Nambucca Heads sometimes. The place I stayed had quite a nice restaurant attached and I fell in love with their Paella Valenciana. It took me months but I eventually nagged the recipe out of the chef. Typically, when I made it at home, it was nowhere near as good as his version. Can’t help thinking he left out a vital ingredient…

  4. AvatarAnnie West

    Hi Lisa! Hi Cathryn, and congratulations on the golfing success!

    Love Santorini and the recipe. Thanks for sharing. And the book sounds so good, Lisa. I’ll be looking out for it now.

    Oh, food that reminds me of special holidays – so much! Extra garlicy tzatziki reminds me of a tiny place in the Peloponnesus of Greece, sea bass (snap, Cathryn!) of my recent trip to Venice, brilliant chocolate of time spent in Europe and skewered meat cooked over charcoal of time in Egypt. I haven’t dared mention France, Cathryn, because I wouldn’t stop.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ha ha ha! I know what you mean, Annie. I have so many food memories from France, Italy and Spain I never know when to stop with them.
      So jealous of your recent trip. Can’t wait to hear all about it at ARRC next week !

  5. Avatarlisa heidke

    Hi Annie,
    I am outrageously jealous about your recent holiday. Outrageously! Extra garlicy tzatziki in the Peloponnesus of Greece, is clearly the tip of the iceberg!

  6. AvatarMeredith Azzopardi

    Hi Lisa and Cathryn! I must say there’s no one food that reminds me of a holiday. I will eat anything, anywhere. Which is really quite a dubious description of myself! But I do have fond memories of being on holiday in QLD and stopping at the Ettamogah Pub. There day was so hot, my friend and I bought an ice cold beer and sat outside to drink it. Bliss! I don’t really drink beer or alcohol at all but that beer was sheer heaven! Will definitely keep an eye out for your books Lisa and Cathryn, bring on The Falls!:)

  7. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Meredith who has won a copy of Lisa’s gorgeous new release, It Started With A Kiss.
    Thanks so much to everyone for visiting and sharing your lovely holiday food memories.

Comments are closed.