54 Replies

Welcome to another round of total deliciousness that is Friday Feast. This week: crimes, passion(fruit) and a giveaway!

But first, the segment formerly known as Us Heins Weren’t Mean To Play Golf. I say formerly because in a miracle moment, caused by who knows what, I played an absolute blinder. And when I say blinder, I mean smacking it like an ‘A’ grader blinder. It was, dare I say, a fiiiine thing. Perhaps a little too fine because that burst of unprecedented form cost me two whole strokes off my handicap. Expect a giant crash next week as I panic trying to play to it. Sigh.

Never mind. Off we trip to much more exciting things.

Author DB TaitI’m thrilled to bits to be introducing you to a brand spanking new author this week. Well, not completely brand new, because this author has appeared on Friday Feast in the guise of her alter ego Keziah Hill.

But that doesn’t make me any less delighted to introduce you to Australian crime author DB Tait. A lady who not only writes wonderfully, but really knows her stuff thanks to a long career working in the criminal justice system. DB now lives in the beautiful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where works part time in the community sector and writes super-exciting crime novels.

DB’s upcoming release is Cold Deception. Take a look.


Cover of Cold Deception by DB TaitSecrets, lies, deception. That’s what it takes to stay alive.

At 20, Julia Taylor went to prison for murdering a man who deserved it. Ten years later, she’s ready to put the past behind her and get on with her life. But someone won’t let her.

Someone will do anything to drive Julia away, including murder.

As the body count rises, Julia is forced to accept the help of Dylan Andrews, a cop with dark secrets of his own. Unfortunately help has a cost. Dylan is digging into Julia’s past, uncovering secrets she is desperate to keep.

Julia must keep Dylan at a distance, or else risk her own safety, and the safety of everyone she loves…

What a ride that sounds! I’m really looking forward to reading this one and already have it pre-ordered. You can do the same. Simply clickety-click over to Amazon,,, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, or your favourite ebook retailer and add it to your list. Come March 12th it’ll then be all secure on your ereader, tablet, phone or computer. Too easy!

Set? Excellent. Now please give a big Feasty welcome to DB Tait!

Mood Food

Cathryn bellisima! Thank you for having me!

Food is definitely a passion of mine. I like to eat. I’m not a bad cook, but I definitely prefer to eat. Which for a writer is a bit of a disaster, especially if exercise consists of crossing the lounge room to look up a reference book or going out to check the mail.

Food is also comfort for me, which of course all sensible dietary advice tells us is bad. Bad. Very bad. Nevertheless, I am shameless when it comes to wanting food to lift my mood. I often wonder what life would be like without the pleasure of chocolate, the tangy rush of lemon or the nutty, earthy taste of garlic. I am fortunate to be able to indulge my love of mood altering food in my kitchen whenever I want.

That’s not the case with some women. If you are unfortunate to end up in prison, like my heroine Julia, food is something that other people control. Which is why most people in prison become obsessed with food. Correctional administrators know that food is vital in the ongoing stability of prison life. As you can imagine, it’s basic and can be pretty terrible. Inmates can buy extra food if they have the money, but no juices, citrus fruit or sugar, only artificial sweeteners. That’s because alcohol can be fermented from citrus and sugar.

However, by the time a prisoner gets to minimum security and can see release is getting closer, food can improve, mainly because in some jails, it’s easier for inmates to make their own food. For women in jail, a favourite dessert was making caramel from boiled condensed milk. Comfort food par excellence.

Rather than boiling condensed milk, which I’m always a bit nervous about, I make a passionfruit slice (which my friend Kandy Shepherd is particularly fond of).

Sometimes when I make this slice I remember some of the women I met when I worked in the jail system and hope they’re out, crime and drug free and cooking with sugar and citrus in their own kitchens, like Julia.

This recipe is straight from

Passionfruit Slice

Passionfruit slice

Melted butter, to grease

150g (1 cup) self-raising flour

85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut

100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

100g butter, melted

1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk

125ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 16 x 26cm (base measurement) slab pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.

Use a wooden spoon to combine the flour, coconut, sugar and butter in a bowl. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Transfer to the prepared pan. Use a metal spoon to press firmly over the base. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 150°C. Mix together the condensed milk, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp in a large bowl until smooth and well combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly over the base. Bake in oven for 15 minutes until just firm to the touch. Set aside to cool completely. I like drizzling some more passionfruit pulp on top. Cut into squares to serve.


What a blast from the past! I remember having this as a kid at Pony Club when all the mums would bring a plate for afternoon tea. There were some serious plates on offer too. I bet this recipe would be right at home. Mind you, anything with condensed milk in it…

Thanks so much for sharing, DB. And for telling us about food in the correctional services. Very educational.

Now, as you know, Friday Feast guests are very generous souls, and DB is no exception, which is why she’s offering a…


Yes, you could be the lucky winner of an ebook copy of DB’s exciting crime novel, Cold Deception. But as always, you must work for it. This time we want to know your favourite mood food.

What puts you in a happy mood, or even a bad one? Or perhaps a sexy one…

The food guaranteed to make me one happy little Vegemite is a fresh rice noodle dish that I make. It’s made with chilli bean paste and seriously cannot get enough of it. Every time I eat it, it’s like the world has turned marvellous. And hot. It’s a bit spicy, that dish. I’ve also been known to get hot and bothered over a big bowl of beautiful cherries but that’s another tale…

My other half swears that vegetarian meals ruin his day. I just have to think “meatless dinner” and he’s condemned.

What about you? What food changes your mood, for the better or worse?

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 3rd March 2015. Ebook only. Open internationally. Rah!

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

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Sue who has won a copy of DB Tait’s new crime novel, Cold Deception. Thanks to all who joined in the mouthwatering fun. 


54 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with D.B. Tait

  1. AvatarCathleen ross

    I’m a lover of food and Deb’s writing. No one I know has the inside knowledge on prisons, bad cops, gorgeous hero cops like Deb. Can’t wait to buy this book.
    Thanks for a wonderful blog. My favourite of all of them.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I’m really looking forward to Cold Deception too, Cathleen. It sounds such a great read and it’s even more exciting when you know the author can bring genuine authenticity to the tale.
      Thanks for the compliment about the blog!

  2. AvatarLaura Boon

    Hi DB/ Keziah, thanks for the passionfruite slice recipe. It looks delicious, and I am collecting easy, one-dish recipes at the moment. I eat lots of different foods for comfort like white, seedless grapes when they are in season, but at the moment I am indulging a favourite snack comfort food – a mug of warm milo and an Ouma rusk. If you are not familiar with rRusks, they are a kind of baked biscuit, nice and chunky, and the only way to eat them properly is to dunk them in your milo (or coffee) and make a mess! The art lies in getting them from cup to lip without losing the dunked bit to your drink. LOL

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ha ha ha! That sounds far too delicate an operation to me, Laura. But I’ve never been a good dunker. I love Milo too. That’s my general choice for an afternoon hot drink.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. AvatarDB Tait

    Laura, the only rusks I’m familiar with are the ones I used to eat as a baby! In fact, I have a vivid memory of being about three or so and sucking on a rusk. I remember thoroughly enjoying it which might be the basis of my life long passion for food!

  4. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi DB and Cathryn! Your book sounds fabulous DB! Congratulations on the release. Comfort food for me is something spicy and substantial. Was exhausted around 2pm yesterday and hadn’t had lunch so popped into Chinta Ria for a Nasi Rendang. Curry, coconut rice, peanuts, ikan bilis, egg,beef rendang. Instantly cheered me up! I’ll also be trying that slice – it looks delicious!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, Louise, that is so not fair! You’ve just made my mouth go all watery. That lunch sounds so, so good. I bet it perked you up no end!

      I want to try this slice too. Am really annoyed with myself for not grabbing some passionfruit at the fruit shop when I called in earlier. They had figs though. And me and figs… well, it’s not quite the same passionate relationship as me and cherries, but damn close.

  5. AvatarHelen

    Hi DB and Kate

    Oh I love the sound of that slice and this book 🙂

    For me home made apple pie with cream or ice cream this will make me smile and bring back wonderful memories of my Mum.

    I do have this book on pre-order and can’t wait to read it 🙂

    Have Fun

  6. AvatarMelanie Scott

    That slice sounds delicious! Must make. Baking is one of the things that cheers me up. Something about the smell of things baking always makes me happy. Particularly fresh bread or cinnamon rolls.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      *groan* cinnamon rolls… oooooooh!
      Baking is such a wonderful thing, Melanie. Makes the house smell glorious and then you get beautiful things to eat afterwards. All win! Except for the dishes. That’s not much fun.

  7. AvatarDB Tait

    Oh Louise! I love Chinta Ria. When I visit Melbourne I go to one in St Kilda. There’s one in Sydney called Chinta Ria, the House of Love. How could I resist that? 🙂

    Thanks for pre-ordering CD Helen! I’ll definitely buy you a drink at ARRC (can’t wait!)

    One day I’ll taste some of your baked goods Mel! They usually sound divine.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I definitely feel disgusting after those pan-style pizzas or the ones from the chains, Courtney. They always have far too much cheese. Yuck. We make our own now. Much tastier.

        Thanks for sharing!

  8. AvatarChristine Stinson

    Really enjoyed the latest post, thanks Cathryn and Deb. Can’t wait to read ‘Cold Deception’! As for mood/comfort food, while I do like all things spicy, nothing in the food line feels more like a warm hug on a bad day to me than scrambled eggs with hot buttered toast.

  9. AvatarMalvina

    Thanks Cathryn and Deb! Your new book sounds terrific, Deb, can’t wait to read it. Comfort food? Where do I start?! Funny enough, I really enjoy a pot of tea paired with a lovely, light scone. My ones turn out clunkers, but I love the ones that melt in the mouth. Add a little jam and cream and…heaven! Normally I’m a coffee drinker, but this combo is unbeatable. I had a scone made with lemonade recently – light as air, dreamy, delicious! And the tea is a must, one cannot drink coffee with a scone – which is funny, as I’m normally a coffee drinker. Cheers!

    1. AvatarDB Tait

      I love scones Malvina! There used to be lots of cafes in the Blue Mountains where I live that made them, but they seem to have gone out of style, drat it.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Scones are lovely things indeed, Malvina. They always remind me of my grandmother. Scones were the first thing she taught me to bake. Buttery and beautiful. Hmm. Want to make some now…

  10. AvatarAnna Campbell

    Wow, two of my fave people here together today – and passionfruit slice. My mood is already better! Hi Cathryn. Hi DB! That slice looks scrumptious! And as Cathryn says, takes me back to primary school lunchboxes. Nom, nom, nom. DB, just preordered your book. Can’t wait to read it! Hmm, mood food. Lots of it. I’ve got visitors this weekend and I made chicken cacciatore. That smells like heaven when it’s cooking with all that rich oregano, tomato, onions and wine. So I’ll pick that just because it’s closest!

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I bet your house smelled divine, Anna. Cacciatore is a definite crowd pleaser too. I had a rabbit version in Italy that was seriously yum too.
        Hope you had a lovely time with your visitors!

  11. Avatarmarilyn forsyth

    Comfort food? I can’t believe no one’s mentioned chocolate yet! ANYTHING with chocolate in it! Come to think of it, even if I don’t need comforting, I still eat chocolates. 🙂 Look forward to reading ‘Cold Deception’, D.B.

  12. AvatarVictoria Purman

    Can’t wait to read this one – off to pre-order! Big congrats DB on this one.
    And also can’t wait to try the Passionfruit Slice. I’m not much of a baker (as I’ve admitted to Cathryn before *hangs head in shame* but I simply love Passionfruit.

  13. AvatarKandy Shepherd

    Oh DB, the photo of your passionfruit slice is making me crave a slice. Cathryn, this slice is truly superb – I’ve tasted it (well, more than tasted it more likely devoured half the pan) when visiting DB. She is a very good cook!
    My comfort food? Chocolate–with particular cravings coming and going. At the moment the milk chocolate block packed with almonds from Aldi is a favourite–too dangerously easy to eat.
    Thanks for sharing your stories of food in prison, DB, so interesting. Deprivation of liberty is bad enough without being deprived of good food…
    Good luck with the launch of COLD DECEPTION. I’ve been privileged to be in at the beginning of this book. When I read the first draft chapters I had the shivery sensation when you know you are reading something really, really good that will resonate first with editors and then with readers. I love reading crime novels and not only is this one a fabulous read, it is also set in an area I know well, the Blue Mountains of NSW. I can’t wait to sit down and read the whole thing from start to finish.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I am so going to have to make this slice now. Not only does it have condensed milk and passionfruit in it, it has the Kandy seal of approval!

  14. AvatarDawn Dalrymple

    Going out to eat and not having to cook puts me in a good mood especially some good ole pizza!

    1. AvatarDB Tait

      Me too Dawn. I love having other people cook for me. And I’m very partial to pizza. There’s a place near me that makes a great prawn and garlic one. Delicious!

  15. Avataranne gracie

    Yum, Deb — I do love passionfruit, especially with citrus. I can’t recall when I last had passionfruit slice — decades, I’m sure. I don’t make sweet slices or desserts very often — only to take to someone else’s place.
    But foods can haunt you — I had a home-made vanilla slice topped with passionfruit icing at a writing workshop in Bendigo a few years ago — it was the ordinary variety made with dry biscuits instead of pastry — but it was deeeelicious and every now and then I have to battle with myself, craving it.

    Cathryn, I also have a noodle chill dish that I love and often crave. And it appears that my puppy craves my pen, as she’s just brought me its mangled remains. 🙁

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ha ha. Poor puppy was trying to be helpful I’m sure, Anne. She was just overenthusiastic in the execution!
      By the way, expect to be quizzed about your noodle dish this weekend. I can’t get enough recipes for noodles. Love those things.

    2. AvatarDB Tait

      Vanilla slices were are childhood treat in my family Anne, along with cream cakes the local cake shop used to make and I’ve never seen since. It sounds as though your puppy is going through the chewing phase. She looks very gorgeous.

  16. AvatarCarla Caruso

    What an awesome-sounding book – and fantastic cover! Love that you’ve worked in correctional services too, so know your stuff! As for a mood food, mine’s a weird one, but I love having an array of Indian curries from my local eatery to share with my hubby. It reminds me of when we had the freedom of being child-free and would have a late-night meal out somewhere, with wine, after hitting the town. I’m mostly a savoury girl, but the passionfruit slice is a keeper!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Weekend curries are a favourite in our house too, Carla. Chuck in some rotis, naans or rice and away you go. And they’re as good when it’s stinking hot as in the middle of winter.

      I’m picking up some passionfruit to make this slice too!

    2. AvatarDB Tait

      I love Indian food Carla! Actually I can’t think of many foods I don’t like. Maybe offal. Ick. There’s a great Indian restaurant near me called Arjunas which is a bit of a Katoomba institution. Glad you like the cover! So do I.

  17. AvatarJenny Wallis

    Hi DB and Cathryn, for starters that slice looks devine and the book sounds intriging. I haven`t read a lot of crime stories but I do like the sound of this one. Anything sweet comforts me but as I`m on a healthy regime at present I`m loving my flourless brownie muffins, great for a snack or whenever.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Brownie muffins sound beautiful, Jenny! Mind you, brownie anything sounds appealing to me.
      Good luck in the draw. If you win, I bet you’ll have a great time with DB’s Cold Deception. It’s set in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, so all the action is through that iconic Australian landscape.

  18. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Hi DB and Cathryn, another fantastic blog! I love crime books and this one sounds fantastic and what a fabulous cover, I love it! Congrats on the release DB!
    Ooooh, mood food. Contented. Blissful. In seventh heaven. Euphoric. Hot and bothered. All words to describe how I feel when I sink my teeth into a chocolate covered, dipped in shredded coconut, marshmallow. OMG all that fat fluffiness filling my mouth is just the most wonderful feeling!!!
    My mum used to buy me my own tin of condensed milk each week and I’d eat it straight out of the tin – too yummy! Although I find it a bit too sweet on its own now it’ll be perfect in this slice. It would be nicer without the black pitted seeds – biting down on them is not much fun.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh wow. That description of your marshmallow delight had my mouth watering something terrible, Sue!
      “Fat fluffiness.” Bewdiful.
      I can’t believe you got given condensed milk. We had to pinch ours from the cupboard and risk a smack. I agree with you about passionfruit seeds. I never like crunching on the seeds either. But I always figure that’s the price you pay for that gorgeous tang.

  19. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Sue, who has won a copy of DB Tait’s new crime novel, Cold Deception. Isn’t she in for a treat!

    Thanks to DB and to all who joined in the mouthwatering fun. Hope to see you all back again this week for more deliciousness.

Comments are closed.