Tag Archives: Australian

FRIDAY FEAST with Shona Husk

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Hello, foodie-reader people! Welcome once again to the deliciousness that is Friday Feast. And what healthy little beasties we’re going to be today. There’s a pancake recipe that will sweeten up any breakfast, plus an amazing new paranormal romance to lose yourself in. How’s that for the perfect way to start your weekend off.

But first, the cringeworthy update that is Us Heins Weren’t Mean To Play Golf. The rot has well and truly set in. Shots were duffed. Balls were bulleted into dams. Swearwords were said. A head was hung in shame. On a good note, I guess the only way is up!

Author Shona HuskSpeaking of good notes (oh, I am the segue QUEEN!), our guest today is Friday Feast regular and multi-romance genre author Shona Husk (she of the Toblerone Brownies, which I made a batch of last week and nearly passed out from chocolate overdose after eating). Shona has a new book out in the brilliant Court of Annwyn series and it sounds a beauty, with spies and fairies and powerplays and, of course, that thing that makes good books even better, romance.

Take a look…

THE DARKLING LORD

The Darkling Lord by Shona HuskA darkling with a lust for power…

Henry Saint shouldn’t exist. Every year on his birthday, he kills someone and takes their soul so that he may live another year. He is a darkling, not fairy… but not human either. Yet he is bound by the laws of both worlds. With a new King on the throne of Annwyn and the mortal world trying to rebuild after plagues killed so many, Henry seizes the opportunity to carve out a place of his own. He wants Detroit.

A spy without a soul…

Darah was Felan’s spy before he became King of Annwyn. Now he has one last mission for her. He wants her to join the darkling’s Court and discover what Henry’s endgame is. No one trusts the Banished when they gather in great numbers. As Darah gets drawn into Henry’s world she realizes he can give her the one thing she could never find in Annwyn—love. But is love worth betraying her King?

Far out, that sounds exciting and you’ll in the capable hands of a skilled storyteller with The Darkling Lord, so why not buy it today?  Try amazon.comKobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, or your favourite ebook retailer. And while you’re clicking about, add The Darkling Lord to your Goodreads shelf and give everyone else the heads-up about this cracking book.

Right. Now let’s get healthy with Shona. A woman who knows her way with chocolate…

Breakfast Made Extra Delicious!

For the last quarter of 2014 I had to go gluten and dairy free. It was extremely unfun (yes, I know it’s not a word but it should be). When you read labels you quickly realize that gluten and dairy are in everything. Coconut milk power…includes dairy. Gluten…where isn’t it?

So I did a bit of research and tried to find new things to eat. Breakfast was the big one for me because I liked fruit salad with yoghurt or porridge (when it’s made with water it’s just gruel) or cereal.

Fortunately the internet is wondrous and I discovered quinoa with apple and sultanas and walnuts and honey. Yum!

Then I found these. Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie pancakes by the Minimalist Baker.

These pancakes are so delish as long as you don’t go into them expecting light and fluffy, or thin and crepe like. These are chunky and full of awesome.

Recipes are just a guideline and we have giant bananas at the moment so click the link for the original or check out my slightly altered version (because I’m lazy and I use what’s in the cupboard).

Shona’s Choc Chip & Rolled Oat Pancakes

In a bowl put 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy, smooth, whatever is handy), 1 tbsp coconut oil, dash of vanilla and cinnamon (cloves and nutmeg too if you feel like it). Give it a whisk until smooshy.

Toss in 2/3 cup of rolled oats and ¼ cup gf flour and 1tsp baking powder. Whisk. It should be quite thick. Add ~80ml water (I ran out of oat milk one day and decided water would be fine. It totally was).

Let the mix sit for 10 mins. So go and get dressed, tell the kids to get dressed, feed the cat etc…

Stir the mix add a splash more water if it’s thickened up a lot. It should be gloopy not runny. Add 3 tablespoons of choc chips (throw in what looks like the right amount because who really measures chocolate?)

Blob mixture onto the frying pan. Don’t try for big pancakes, think pikelet size. Flip and then serve with nutlex and maple syrup and fruit (oranges, berries and pears go really well).

If your kids aren’t snarfing them down these will keep in the fridge for a couple of days once cooked so you can enjoy them for breakfast tomorrow without the fuss of cooking them.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…the Minimalist Baker has lots of other yummy recipes for the gf and df. I no longer have to be as strict which makes going out a whole lot easier but at home I try and avoid them still.

And while you enjoy choc chip pancakes check out The Darkling Lord for some paranormal romance with spies and fairies.

 

Honestly, Shona, you are the queen of healthy cooking with chocolate! These sound great and I love the idea whipping up an batch and keeping them in the fridge to have later. That’s very handy, especially for when you’re running late. And because they’re only pikelet sized, these pancakes would be perfect to munch on while reading The Darkling Lord!

If you’d like to learn more about Shona and her edgy romances, including the Shadowlands and Court of Annwyn series, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @ShonaHusk, or sign up to her newsletter to keep up to date with new releases and more.

FRIDAY FEAST with Margareta Osborn

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Greetings, lovely people, and welcome to another scintillating edition of Friday Feast. This week we’re coming up roses with one of Australia’s favourite rural romance authors, plus a recipe for the cake everyone adores, chocolate!

First, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Or not. Thanks to a weekend of fun and fiction at the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra I didn’t play. I did, however, score a blow-up horse, duly christened Hot Chocolate by the QT barflies. See? There’s always a silver lining!

Photo of Margareta OsbornBut on to rosier things…

With her debut novel Bella’s Run fifth generation farmer Margareta Osborn quickly established herself as one of Australia’s star rural romance authors. She soon followed that success up with Hope’s Road and Mountain Ash. Then a couple of years ago came the ebook novella A Bush Christmas and it was an instant hit.

Margareta has now taken this story and transformed it into a full-length novel, carrying on the lives of the characters her readers had come to love so much. The result is Rose River, set in the East Gippsland mountains, an area Margareta knows well. Check it out…

ROSE RIVER

Rose River by Margareta OsbornAdapted from Margareta Osborn’s bestselling ebook novella A Bush Christmas, Rose River is a gloriously funny romantic comedy set in the beautiful Australian outback.

Take one city girl – and drop her into the back of beyond…

Housesitting in rural Burdekin’s Gap, high up in the East Gippsland mountains, is not an obvious career move for a PR executive like Jaime Hanrahan. But, hey, retrenchment is a kicker.

Plus she’s determined not to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her friends, who still have company cars and six-figure salaries, or with her mother, Blanche, who has remarried too soon after her father’s death.

However, it turns out that Burdekin’s Gap is a little more remote than Jaime had anticipated, the house is in the middle of a cattle station, and the handsome manager, Stirling McEvoy, doesn’t appreciate a new farmhand in Jimmy Choos and Sass & Bide cut-offs.

Soon Jaime is fending off stampeding cows, town ladies wielding clipboards, sheep who think they are goats, nude sportsmen and one very neurotic cat. So why does she feel like she’s falling in love… with the life, with the breathtaking landscape, and with one infuriating cowboy…

Doesn’t that sound fun? And a copy could be yours with just a few clicks. Visit Booktopia, Angus & Robertson, Bookworld, Boomerang Books, Collins Booksellers, Fishpond, iBooks, Kobo, Amazon.au, Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi, or your favourite bookstore.

All set? Lovely. Now you can have chocolate.

The Chocolate Read

My latest novel, ROSE RIVER, started out as a little ebook called A BUSH CHRISTMAS. This novella (a short book) hit #1 on iTunes, and was a finalist in the Romantic Novella of the Year A Bush Christmas by Margareta OsbornAward with Romance Writers of Australia. It was a huge success, and I was simply delighted!  Then, the emails and messages started hitting my inbox, arriving by the truckload, from readers around the country with a singular request, ‘We want the rest of Jaime and Stirling’s story!’

Seriously, what could I do … ? And to be honest, I was curious myself. What was going to happen next in the mountains around Burdekin’s Gap?

ROSE RIVER is the outcome.

When I sat down to write more of Jaime and Stirling’s story at Polly’s Plains, a cattle station in the high country of East Gippsland, our family had just lost a friend. In my sadness, I was looking for something to read. I wanted a novel that was light hearted and fun, a book where I could simply sit back and be entertained. A distraction was what I needed, an escape. I was searching for a story that was like chocolate, an endorphin to sweeten and warm my saddened heart and mind. I couldn’t find it. So, with ROSE RIVER’s deadline looming, I sat down wrote the book I was looking for instead.

ROSE RIVERPink iced chocolate cake is a laugh-out-loud, heart-warming story about the thrills and spills of life on the land. It brims with humour, abounds with deep affection for unique and colourful country communities and draws on my passion for the spectacular beauty of the bush where I have lived and worked all my life.

And while I wrote I ate chocolate – Chocolate cake to be precise. And you are very special because I’m going to share with you my precious chocolate cake recipe (a HUGE cake), which can be used as the basis for a marble cake as well. It’s a recipe I’ve tweaked and played with for years until it’s nigh on darn perfect. It’s yummy, moist and there’s lots of it.

So now you’ve got it all. ROSE RIVER, the “chocolate read” …  accompanied by the chocolate cake. My middle son is aghast, ‘Mum, you can’t share that recipe with anyone! It’s your special cake!’

Just goes to show what I think of you guys, right?

Enjoy!

ROSE RIVER CHOCOLATE CAKE

Rose River chocolate cake250gm Butter

2 Cups Caster Sugar (I never said it was healthy 🙂 )

2 ½ cups of S.R. Flour

1 teaspoon of Bi-Carb soda

4 tablespoons of Cocoa

2 cups of milk

4 Large eggs

Vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time until combined,

(If using a small mixing bowl, change to larger one now.)

Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with milk, until all ingredients are combined.

Grease a large lamington slab pan, or large sized spring-form cake tin. You can also use a smaller round/square cake-tin and a loaf tin.  The mixture goes a long way. Great for making one cake for now and freezing the other for emergency smoko rations 🙂

 

And how grateful we are, Margareta! Thank you for sharing such a beloved recipe. It’s always such a joy to feature tried ‘n true country cooking on Friday Feast. You can’t go wrong with the cooking and the flavours are complete crowd-pleasers. Great stuff.

I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing you all the very best with Rose River, which will no doubt be another runaway hit for you.

if you’d like to learn more about Margareta and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @margaretaosborn