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!
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that year, the adventure romance had been shortlisted in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript.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.
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
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
Once 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.
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.
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.
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…
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.