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FRIDAY FEAST with Carol Marinelli

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Hello food and book lovers, and welcome to another delicious edition of Friday Feast. This week: a super-selling author, the best accompaniment to a roast ever, topped off with an international bad boy for dessert.

But first, to Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. I only lost one ball to water last week. Hoorah! Actually, I played quite well on the front nine. The back nine was, alas, a different matter. One of these days I might blast out one full round of goodness. Then again, piggies Carol Marinellimight get airborne. Sadly, one’s nongolfing genes appear to be very, very strong…

Let’s move on to far more exciting things, like romance authors so loved they barely need introduction. Born in the UK but now living in magnificent Melbourne, Carol Marinelli is a trained nurse who sold her first book to Mills and Boon in 2000 and has now at least 70 novels to her name. Carol’s romances and women’s fiction have sold all around the world and she’s a multiple finalist in the Romance Writers of Australian Ruby Award.

Carol has a brand spanking new book out with up and coming publisher Tule. This baby is hot and bad in the best possible way. Check it out.


Born to be Bad by Carol MarinelliInnocent Milly Harper knows that it would be foolish at best to get involved with billionaire bad boy, Roman Zaretsky. He’s a guest at the hotel where she works, so she knows his reputation only too well.

One night, when all the other guests have left, Milly finds herself dancing with the Devil himself. His touch, his kiss, even his words seduce.

Being in his arms is pure passion and delight, but she’d never anticipated the shame of being paid.

Ooh, now that’s an intriguing premise, isn’t it? With an author of Carol’s calibre, you know you’ll be in good hands  so why not add Born To Be Bad to your reading list right now. One click on Amazon and it’s all yours.

Now that you’re all bookied up, please join Carol for her debut Friday Feast appearance.

Keep it Hot!!

The oven I mean!

That’s the secret to good Yorkshire puddings— a very hot oven but we’ll get to that soon.

Thank you to Cathryn for inviting me onto her wonderful blog. I am not a very imaginative cook. I need blogs like Friday Feast to give me ideas to try different things but Yorkshire puddings are one thing that I have mastered.

Why, I hear you asking, as we go into summer, am I giving you a recipe that would be more apt for winter? Well, I am going to give them a little twist for Christmas.

When it was William and Kate’s wedding I was having friends over so that we could all watch it together. People were coming straight from work and so apart from finger food I needed something a bit more filling. I am from England and of course I wanted an English theme to the food.

I also wanted to ignore my guests and focus on the wedding!

The day before I was a cooking machine. I made two beef roasts and a lot of Yorkshire puddings. I cooled them and then froze them.

The next day when the beef was cold I carved it into small pieces.

Just before people arrived I took the Yorkshire puddings out of the freezer and into muffin papers and put out the beef, some gravy and also horseradish sauce.

Whenever anyone was hungry they just piled some beef onto a couple of Yorkshires, topped them with gravy (doesn’t matter if it’s gone cold) and then gave them a ten second spin in the microwave.

Of course they could be warmed in the oven but this was more about a DIY supper and watching the fabulous wedding.

The Yorkshire’s were a huge hit. The men actually fell quiet when they tasted them, or was it that Pippa and her soon to be famous bottom had just been sighted? I like to think it was a bit of both!

This Christmas I am going to be doing the same with turkey and cranberry sauce.  Actually I’ve already done the same (see attached images). There are none left but I managed to take a couple of pictures before they vanished. I am not a brilliant photographer but believe me when I say they tasted fantastic and will be a huge hit.

photo (8)

Or you could just have them with your regular roast.

Yorkshire Pudding

½ cup of plain flour (very important that it is plain)

1 ½  cups of milk.

2 eggs

Salt and pepper.

I use a jug for speed and ease when pouring.

Put in all the ingredients and give them a very good whisk until the batter is shiny.

Leave to stand.

I tend to make the batter about half an hour or so before I use it and leave it on the bench, so that it is not very cold (we want hot remember) when it is added to the oil.

Before I take my roast out to rest, at the final baste I take some fat from it and add enough to cover the bottoms of a 12 tin muffin tray – you can use vegetable oil if you prefer.

I put the tray and oil in the oven so it is sizzling hot for when I add my batter.

photo (9)Give your batter another whisk.

Can you feel the tension mounting?

As you take out the meat to rest turn up the heat so that your oven is very hot (I put it on maximum – I actually turn my oven up to maximum before I take the meat out but I am scared that you’ll burn your roasts and blame me, so do so at your own peril)

Quickly but carefully add the batter to the very hot tray—about 1/3 to ½ way up the side.

Put them into the very hot oven and close the door.

Don’t open it.

Just watch those babies suddenly rise and lift out of the tins and turn golden.

They take about 15 -20 minutes.

Practice makes perfect with Yorkshire’s— like my heroes they can be a bit temperamental, but once you crack them you are set for life.

One word of warning— for some odd reason I never made them till after I got divorced. When I finally did my children asked why the hell I’d never made Yorkshire’s before. Now, I can’t get away with not making them when I do a roast.

I hope yours turn out to be fab!

Much love

Carol xxx

Oh, and for some extra hotness, you can check out my sexy, Russian, bad boy, Roman.

Send in the fans!


We’ll need them by the sound of your hottie, Carol. Roman, combined with all the heat from the oven, will make for one scorching household.

Thanks so much for this recipe. I never had Yorkshire pud growing up but I’ve sure been making up for it as an adult. No hunk of beef gets roasted without Yorkshire pudding to add to the deliciousness. The way it takes the hot fat and creates those puffed delights is wonderful to see, not to mention eat. And I LOVE the idea of making turkey and cranberry sauce ones for nibblies. That’s so cool!

So, clever Feasters, what’s your favourite accompaniment to a roast? I must admit, show me a big oozy dish of cauliflower in cheese sauce and I’m your friend for life. Actually, I could eat that stuff on its own I love it so much. Alas, my other half has an inexplicable aversion to cauliflower and I rarely have it.

But what about you? What’s your favourite? Perhaps it mint sauce for lamb, Brussels sprouts with bacon, or maybe special tricked-up stuffing for a chook. Share away. I’m roasting a leg of lamb this weekend so your suggestion could end up on my dinner table!

If you’d like to learn more about Carol, please visit Harlequin. com, her page at Tule Publishing or follow her on Twitter using @CarolMMarinelli.

FRIDAY FEAST with Victoria Purman

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Ciao, to another magnifico Friday Feast! This week we’re going postal. Oops, sorry. I mean COASTAL! And a little bit Italian. Read on…

But before that, because I know you’re hanging out for it, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Last weekend saw the final round of the Club Championships in which I did not (read that: NOT) embarrass myself… much. Well, I did a little on the 3rd. And quite badly on the 11th but the rest wasn’t too cringeworthy. Overall it was a mighty 3rd placing, but only because the lady running 3rd had to retire.

On to far more interesting things. Today’s guest has fairly body surfed her way onto to the best-seller lists. South Australian romance author Victoria Purman has rapidly become one of Australia’s favourite coastal romance novelists, and with good reason. Her stories are warm, romantic and filled with humour as well as drama. Victoria’s latest, Our Kind of Love, sees the conclusion to her popular Boys of Summer series that started with Nobody But Him and continued with Someone Like You.

Reviews are pouring in and they’re all wonderful. You won’t want to miss this.


Our Kind of Love by Victoria PurmanThe best thing to happen to her… or her biggest mistake?

Anna is… unexpected… unbelievable… unstoppable.  And unavailable. Will what happened in Middle Point stay there?

Dr Anna Morelli rarely makes mistakes. But this one is big, bordering on huge. Somewhere between sunset and sunrise at the simple beachside wedding of two old friends, she’s cried in the ladies bathroom, danced to too many ABBA songs and survived the best, knock-your-socks-off one night stand in recorded history. Has she gone crazy? She’s supposed to be running from the disasters in her life, not creating more.

Award winning journalist Joe Blake is back in Middle Point to lick his wounds after being dumped by his wife and sacked from his Sydney job on the same day. But after one incredible night with Anna, he finds he’ll need all his investigative skills to figure out why she won’t give in to their sizzling chemistry.

I so love a second chance story and this sounds adorable, and a little sexy. Definitely one you’ll want in your spring and summer reading collection. It can be yours right now with just a couple of clicks. Try that excellent bookstore Booktopia, or clickety-click your way to Bookworld or Angus & Robertson, your favourite local bookshop or chainstore, or direct from the publisher Harlequin. For the ebook, click on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or JB Hi-Fi.

Now say ciao, bella to Victoria.

Confession Is Good For The Foodie Soul

Dear Friday Feast Fan,

I have a confession to make.

I’m scared. Terrified. I can barely type for the nerves.

And why? When Cathryn asked me to return to Friday Feast I immediately said, ‘Hell yeah!” because she is lovely, fun, a gorgeous writer and a fellow South Australian (even if she is, inexplicably, a Sydney Swans fan).

Then the panic set in. OH, THE PRESSURE! I’ve been watching everyone else’s Friday Feasts and drooling, in the same way I do when I watch cooking shows, in the that-looks-fantastic-and-I-know-I’ll never-ever-cook-that-in-my-real-life kind of way.

You see, the husband and I have three teenage sons and you know what that means? Industrial size catering. Food, and lots of it. They don’t care if it’s not fancy. They will eat almost anything (except son number three who hates parsley and avocado).

On the occasions when I do prepare something nice, it’s usually a plate of nibbles to share with friends. That’s how we tend to catch up with people these days, shared plates, lovely wine and afternoons watching the sun go down.

So, in honour of my latest heroine, the feisty, Italian-Australian Dr Anna Morelli from ‘Our Kind of Love’ (who, unlike me, is an amazing cook) I’m going to do two Italian-inspired nibbles. Yes, I believe that’s the technical term for them.

They’re damn easy and incredibly tasty. And I know they’ve been around a while, but you may have forgotten how easy and delicious they are.

Tricolore Bites

The Italian flag is red, white and green and so are these delicious morsels.

You’ll need Baby bocconcini (those little white balls which come in brine), fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and toothpicks. Slice the tomatoes and the bocconcini in half, rip a basil leaf from the bunch and slide them all onto the toothpick.

Victoria's Italian Inspired nibbles

Prosciutto and Melon

This one is best done with ripe rockmelon, so buy one a few days before you need it and let it ripen. Grab some thinly-sliced prosciutto from the deli section of your supermarket, cut it into small strips and wrap it around the chunk of rockmelon. Thread through a toothpick to keep it together and make it easier to pick up. The sweet, juicy melon and the salty ham make this a fab combo.

And to wash it all down, I’d go with a South Australian white. This one’s a Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills. Because I am a South Aussie, after all.

Buon appetito and happy reading!


From one South Aussie to another, that  sounds delizioso, Victoria! And a super easy way to prepare food for when friends come calling. After all, who wants to be stranded in a hot kitchen when there’s company (and wine!) to be enjoyed.

I know it’s looked down upon by some foodies (silly people), but I adore melon and prosciutto. It’s lovely in the summer as a refreshing morsel but also as a tasty feature in a salad. And mozarella, basil and tomato is a classic that is simply too perfect to ever be criticised.

So, my bellissimo little Feasters, what super fast treat do you whip up when friends call? Maybe a simple plate of cheese and salami, or perhaps a quick dip that can be made in seconds. Or are you a kitchen goddess with a pantry full of yumptiousness and a repertoire of gourmet delights to draw on? Share away! We always love to hear your tricks and treats.

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