Did you have a romantic Valentine’s Day? Flop about slurping champagne while twiddling the stem of one of the two dozen lush red roses your beloved devotedly delivered your way? Scoffed peeled grapes while Super Sven the Sexy Swedish masseuse rubbed your feet and told you how beautiful you are? Ate grilled lobster freshly plucked from the ocean just for you by a muscled, bare-chested diver who then hand fed you exquisite chocolates specially flown in from Belgium for dessert? No? Me neither. Ahh, well, we can dream…
Speaking of fantasies, today on Friday Feast we have firemen! Oh, hang on, no we don’t. They went by the wayside. A shame, but never fear! To make up for our missing hunks we have Australian author and professional writing services provider Juanita Kees. And what a good egg she is too. I know this because I’ve met her, plus she does an amazing job promo-ing Friday Feast each week on the Romance Writers of Australia blog. Honestly, I’d shower her in pink marshmallows if I could. Instead I shall return the promo favour by mercilessly plugging her brilliant, drama-laden, emotional and deeply romantic page-turner of a debut release, Fly Away Peta.
Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small Western Australian country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart; the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.
The search for Bella brings them together. Secrets and lies keep them apart. Can Peta and Jaime renew their love in the face of danger or will he let her fly away…again.
You want this book, oh yes you do!!!! And it can be yours in either paperback or ebook with a few clicks. Try Amazon US, Amazon UK, Bookdepository, Barnes and Noble or direct from the publisher, Eternal Press.
And now here’s Juanita…
Here’s one you can’t fudge!
Hello everyone and welcome to sunny Western Australia. Firstly, a huge thank you to Cathryn for being brave enough to invite me into the kitchen at Friday Feast. It’s okay, I brought my own fire-fighting equipment.
I think it’s fair to say my husband didn’t marry me for my cooking skills. I have a reputation for killing casseroles and murdering meat. So if it doesn’t come pre-prepared or out of a can, I leave the cooking in the much safer and skilled hands of hubby. He grew up working in the family takeaway and can make chicken giblets look and taste good.
Sadly my manageable repertoire consists of mac ‘n cheese, bangers and Deb’s Instant Mash, and instant noodles. I can burn water, which is why hubby very kindly invested in a water cooler that also has a heating function and keeps the water at the perfect temperature for a cup of tea.
What I do have, is a fabulous Fudge for Dummies recipe. It’s juanitaproof. The beauty of this recipe is you can undercook it for a softer fudge, overcook it for a harder, darker fudge or stop the process in between to get it just right. The secret is to keep an eye on the colour during the cooking process. Oh, and a nice deep dish – it’s quite difficult to remove from the roof and floor of your microwave. I found out the hard way…
1 x 500g packet castor sugar
125g hard butter or margarine (but butter is better!)
1 x 397g can full-cream condensed milk
5ml vanilla essence
Place all ingredients except the vanilla essence in a heat-resistant bowl (it should be large enough to prevent the mixture from boiling over)
Microwave on full power for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well until all the sugar dissolves.
Microwave on full power for 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the colour:
- light and creamy = soft, toffee-like fudge; (6 mins)
- thicker and darker = firm fudge; (7-8 mins)
- dark caramel colour = hard fudge; (8-9 mins)
- dark brown or black like treacle = burnt fudge, throw away bowl, have a glass of wine and try again later
Remove from oven (always a good idea!), add vanilla essence while it’s still bubbling and beat for a few seconds with a wooden spoon until thick and creamy.
Pour into a greased square dish and allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.
Tip: Don’t wait too long to score and cut it otherwise it will crack and you’ll have chunks instead of slices.
Lastly – enjoy! And make good friends with your dentist 🙂
- Coconut Fudge: Add 40g dessicated coconut together with vanilla essence and proceed as described.
- Chocolate Fudge: Add 10g cocoa before the first microwave cycle
- Caramel Nut Fudge: Instead of vanilla essence use 60ml chopped nuts and 5ml caramel essence after second micro cycle
- Try other flavours too – peppermint, rum, Kahlua etc. all work well
Cooking times may vary depending on the strength of your microwave. These times are based on a 900 watt oven.
A Juanitaproof recipe? Well, in that case I’ll have to give it a try. Maybe with those other flavours…perhaps Irish cream fudge. Hmm. Can nearly taste that one. Although given that on Monday I managed to explode a bowl of curry in our serviced apartment’s super powerful microwave, maybe I should rethink this.
So, Feasters, do you have a Juanitaproof type recipe? I have a few, mainly savoury recipes that I could make in my sleep, but some cakes too. Experimenting is huge fun but there are days when you just don’t want to think, or risk anything going wrong. Like me today. Two days of house unpacking and organising and general knackeredness tend to have that effect!