FRIDAY FEAST with Elizabeth Ellen Carter

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Hello munchkins, and welcome to another tasty edition of Friday Feast. This week we travel back in time with an historical romance author, French it up, and give away TWO books. How’s that for warming your winter soul!

But first, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. As the sun continues to shine, so does my golf game continue to brighten. I know. AMAZING! I’ve been playing so well that I managed to drop a stroke off my handicap. I even won the ladies competition last week and qualified for an end of year district playoff event. Whoop! It won’t last, of course. The curse will undoubtedly return, but until it does I’m going to savour this good form while it lasts.

Enough crowing. To our guest we must go!

EECarterSX200_Please give a big welcome to historical romance author Elizabeth Ellen Carter on her debut Friday Feast. Elizabeth’s debut novel, the French Revolution era set Moonstone Obsession, was published in 2013 by Etopia Press. Earlier that year, the adventure romance had been shortlisted in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Her second novel, Warrior’s Surrender, was voted Favourite Historical Fiction in the 2015 Readers & Writers Down Under Readers Choice Awards.

Elizabeth has a new book out, a sequel to Moonstone Obsession and another action-packed historical adventure. Take a look.

MOONSTONE CONSPIRACY

Moonstone Conspiracy by Elizabeth Ellen CarterRevolution in France, rebels in England, and one woman caught in the crossfire…

For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust.

When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.

Doesn’t that sound fantastic? Having a soft spot for all things French, this is right up my alley and I bet it’s up yours too. Which means you should buy a copy of Moonstone Conspiracy right now! Try Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, All Romance Ebooks or direct from the publisher Etopia Press.

Now get your spoon out for Elizabeth’s delicious recipe!

Taking It Slow

At this time of year, time turns home and hearth, simple comforts that warm the heart and warm the soul.

I was guilty (perhaps still am guilty) of trying to do things in a rush – waiting for the next big project, the next excitement, the next thrill.

I am learning to slow down. Appreciate each moment for its own sake, valuing the here and now, knowing that this day, this hour, this second, once gone is gone forever.

One of the things I was guilty of taking a shortcut on was this ubiquitous dish. I didn’t treat it with respect. It was just something that came out of a pack – often as a flavouring for other dishes – Apricot Chicken, for instance.

French Onion Soup is simplicity itself, but taking the time makes you appreciate the little things.

One of the things you’ll need for this recipe is time, but that’s a good thing. In this fast-paced world we need to unplug from technology and spend time thinking, reflecting or even gathering the family or friends around the kitchen for a chat.

This French Onion Soup recipe is just the thing to bring people together.

French Onion Soup

Elizabeth Ellen Carter's French Onion Soup

60g butter

2 tbs olive oil

1kg thinly sliced brown onions (you’ll need about 8-12 depending on size)

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tbs plain flour

4 cups beef stock

Weighing onions for the soupOnce you’ve sliced the onions, add your olive oil and butter. Wait for the butter to melt and start bubbling away.

Then add the onions (I use a mix of brown, white and red – whatever’s handy) and turn the heat down to medium-low.

Caramelising onions

It may look like a lot of onions but over the next 40-50 minutes they will break down, releasing beautiful aromatics that will have people wondering when dinner will be ready.

Chat, enjoy a glass of red wine (I prefer a dry Shiraz), but be sure stir the onions regularly

This step cannot be rushed. The onions need to wilt, brown and begin to caramelise.

Caramelised onions

Add the brown sugar to aid the caramelising process. The savoury of the onion and sweet of the sugar is just delicious.

After 10 minutes of stirring, add the flour to help add a little thickness to the soup. Stir for two minutes and add the beef stock.

Beef stock added to onions

Allow the flavours to combine on a low simmer for the next 15 minutes.

Serve with cheesy bread – but any bread will do. We had ours with olive sourdough. Delicious!

I’d like to give away a copy of Moonstone Conspiracy and Moonstone Obsession.

Just tell me what recipe brings your family together?

*

Oh, I ADORE French onion soup, Elizabeth. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. You are spot on about taking the time to caramelise the onions. That is definitely a stage that can’t be rushed. Hmm. I have a real hankering for this soup now. Might have to put it on this week’s menu!

By the way for anyone who’s interested and looking for a treat, if you happen to be in Melbourne check out Bistro Guillaume at Crown Casino. The French onion soup there is divine. Actually, everything at the restaurant is beautiful. I may have to sneak in a visit when I’m down for the Romance Writers of Australia conference this month.

Now, lovelies, did you see that Elizabeth has a…

GIVEAWAY!

To be in the draw to win an ebook copy of both Moonstone Conspiracy and Moonstone Obsession, simply reveal what recipe brings your family together.

Perhaps you have a favourite soup or maybe it’s the good old roast that makes you think family. I’m not sure we really have a recipe that gets our family together but you can’t beat a good old barbecue for family fun, burnt snags and all. And it saves on the washing up!

So what recipe or food gets your family together? Reveal all and you’ll be in the draw. Easy!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 11th August 2015. Open internationally. Rah!

Don’t have an e-reader? That’s okay. You can easily read ebooks on your phone, tablet or computer via any one of the many apps available.

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

Friday Feast recipe index link.

 

26 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Elizabeth Ellen Carter

  1. AvatarLaura Boon

    Hi Cathryn and Elizabeth, what an inspiring Friday morning offering. I am so pleased to hear of your golfing success – long may it last – and I love French onion soup.. I hve been inpired to take a long walk tomorrow and then make French onion soup with mustard cheese bread. I am sure I picked up that recipe here too.
    Sadly what brings my family together at the moment is Skype and holidays. We are all so far apart. But don’t put me in the draw because I am already reading Moonsstone Obsession and loving it 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      A long walk followed by French onion soup and cheese bread sounds just the ticket, Laura. You could then follow that up with a lovely plonk on the couch with Moonstone Obsession. A perfect day!
      I can sympathise with you being far from family. We have the same problem.

  2. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Hi Cathryn and Elizabeth, Moonstone Conspiracy sounds fantastic! Oh boy, the only historicals I’ve been reading at the moment are Anna Campbell and Anne Gracie’s books, I really must venture past the two A’s and try some other authors!

    Lately with the weather being so icy I’ve been making stews and my family love it. Once a week we get together and enjoy a hearty beef, vegetable & butter bean casserole made in the slow cooker. Next week I’ll give lamb, barley & pea stew a go.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      It sounds a cracker, doesn’t it, Sue? I adore Michelle Diener’s action based historicals and these sound just like those. In other words, great fun!
      Beef, veg and butter bean stew sounds beeoooooootiful. Love pulses. They’re so comforting. We made a French lamb and bean stew last Friday night. Absolutely gorgeous.

  3. AvatarElizabeth Ellen Carter

    I’ll have to look up the recipe for the mustard cheese bread Laura, that sounds delicious! And Sue, I love the slow cooker. We get our fruit and vegies home delivered each week and it’s wonderful to try whatever is seasonal and put all the vegies we didn’t get to into the slow cooker for a vegetable soup or a hearty stew. Delicious!

  4. AvatarEnisa Haines

    Hi Cathryn and Elizabeth. I really enjoyed this week’s post. Congratulations on your writing success, Elizabeth. Hope yoour journey leads you to even greater things writing-wise. Your latest release intrigued me from the first sentence. Now I have to add your name to my list of historical authored to read.
    Alas, I can’t reveal a fancy soup my family gathers together for. It’s the very common pumpkin soup that brings us together. A hot bowl enjoyed with a few slices of warm French stick loaf and it’s a great get together.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Pumpkin soup might be common, Enisa, but there’s a good reason for that: everyone loves it! All that velvety, sweet goodness. Sigh. As you say, great for bringing people together.

    2. AvatarElizabeth Ellen Carter

      Ah, pumpkin soup – one of my favourites. 🙂 In the end it is the company that makes a meal special, not the other way around. A family tradition warms the heart even more and creates wonderful memories.

  5. AvatarSally Schmidt

    Great post. And onion soup always makes me feel warm and cozy. A recipe that brings our family together is a chicken pasta soup. I had a simple recipe and added a few things and changed a few things and now everyone loves it.

  6. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Glad to hear the golf is coming along…er…swingingly, Cathryn 😀 I’d always wondered why they call it a ‘handicap’ until I gave it a go one day. My uncle said I might make a better caddy than a golfer.
    Please don’t put me in the competition because I have Ms Carter’s books in my library. I popped in to say hi and thanks for a fabulous, adventurous read and for the soup recipe. See you both in Melbourne soon!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      LOL on the golf, Juanita. It’s a frustrating game, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for dropping by. Look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks in Melbourne. It’s going to be a BLAST!

    2. AvatarElizabeth Ellen Carter

      My one and only attempt at golf was at a corporate golf day. The only reason I participated is I had a gifted PR consultant who was a champion golfer. She won the prize for best round on the day and my playing partners probably wished I had not shown up!

      I’ll stick to mini-golf I think. 🙂

      I’m looking forward to meeting you in Melbourne too Juanita!

  7. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Catherine and Elizabeth. Soup is one of my all-time favourite things to prepare and FOS is near the top of the list – although it is my nearest and dearest who has it on his ‘signature dish’ list (yes, we each have signature dishes!). For getting family together, I usually fall back on Elizabeth David’s roasted tarragon chicken. Everyone loves it, it’s a bit special without being tricky, and a couple of beautiful golden birds plonked on the table always elicits oohs and ahs. Congratulations on the release of Moonstone Obsession, Elizabeth. It sounds like a rollicking read.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        OOh, I’ll have to search my Elizabeth Davids for the recipe now, Louise. Her books are so wonderful. Gorgeous writing.
        Signature dishes, huh? Makes me wonder if things don’t get a bit competitive in the Reynolds kitchen!

  8. AvatarColleen goth

    French lamb with languid beans . Heat 2 tabs police oil in a Dutch oven pot on top of the stove . Slowly brown a shouider of lamb , bone in , till brown . Season well with salt & pepper and add some fresh rosemary and thyme to the pot with 5 cloves garlic whole . Put the lid on and cook on a very low heat 1 1/2 hours , turning once . The meat cooks in the evaporating juices so don’t keep checking . Serve with beans : Heat a tin of white beans and season with juice of one lemon and 1/2 cup chopped parsley just before plating up .serve carved lamb on the beans with baguette and a rose

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oooh, VERY nice, Colleen. Easy too! And I do love the addition of a baguette and rosé. So important for authenticity!

      Do you have Rick Stein’s French Odyssey cookbook? He has a recipe for lamb with beans and rosé in it that is beoooootiful. Highly recommend it.

      Love the auto-correct olive oil to police oil. That one’s a cack.

  9. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    Thanks to everyone who entered Elizabeth’s fab giveaway! Some gorgeous ideas for bringing family together with food. The giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Enisa and Sue who have won copies of Moonstone Obsession and Moonstone Conspiracy. Some fabulous reading ahead for those two!

    Thanks again and I hope to see you next week when I take over the Feasty reins.

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