Tag Archives: gluten-free

FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Hello, my cute little Feasty bunnies! Welcome to this Easter edition of Friday Feast. This week, you’re blessed with ME! And I have something deliciously sweet and naughty to share too. Oh, and a suuuuper giveaway.

But first, the ongoing debacle that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. You know how last week I said that the only way is up? Erm, no. Apparently things can get worse. Horribly, embarrassingly worse. I came last in the ladies comp. Last. Now, we ladies also have this extra competition where the winner of the previous monthly medal has to donate an encouragement Author Cathryn Heinprize to be given to the following month’s bottom dweller. Yes, I won my own bloody prize back. Oh, the ignominy!

Sigh.

Anyway, onto more positive things.

There are only nineteen sleeps until my next rural romance The Falls releases. That’s close. Which means you should all have your itchy clicking fingers hitting those pre-order buttons now. Cos this book has a seriously babelicious blacksmith in it. And a nutty ram. And other really, really cool stuff that you won’t want to miss.

Take a looksie…

THE FALLS

Will losing the home she loves mean finding the place she belongs?

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her Cover of The Falls by Cathryn Heinentire future.

Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.

But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

The Falls is an uplifting story of healing and hope from the author of Promises, Heart of the Valley, Heartland, and Rocking Horse Hill.

Exciting, n’est-ce pas?  Which means you should order it right now. And if you do so from those excellent folk at Booktopia, you’ll score a signed copy. But be quick on that one. I’m off to sign copies of The Falls at their warehouse next week and if you don’t have yours secured, you might miss out. And we wouldn’t want that!

You can also pre-order The Falls from Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, Amazon.au, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, QBD The Bookshop, Boomerang Books, or your favourite store.

All lined up? Then come and get sweet with me!

A Spoonful of Sugar…

One of the most darling characters in The Falls is the heroine Teagan’s Aunt Vanessa. As Teagan describes her, Ness…

…dressed and acted like an Italian film siren, albeit with dark-red hair and pale, Celtic skin. She liked good food, wine and cocktails, enjoyed foreign films, spoke French and Italian, was rarely seen without makeup, and dressed in ultra feminine clothes. She was also a double divorcee whose mysterious past in Europe made Teagan’s mother’s lips purse in disapproval at any mention of the subject. Which had naturally left a teenage Teagan completely in awe of her aunt and her exotic life.”

Ness is, in other words, extremely attractive, clever, generous and enormous fun. With the exception of a few jealous wives, The Falls locals adore her and Ness adores The Falls in return. She’s also very kind, so when Teagan arrives at Falls Farm not in the best of condition, Vanessa’s immediate reaction is to help.  And one of her favourite ways to do that – besides offering up one of her excellent cocktails – is with food.

Ness tempts Teagan with all sorts of goodies, from antipasto, breads and dips, to treats from the local bakery. So frustrated by Teagan’s lack of enthusiasm for food, and unable to take up local vet and close friend Bunny James’s offer to inject Teagan with a dose of steroids to increase her appetite, Ness cooks the naughtiest things she can think of. Including the following orange and poppy seed syrup cupcakes which are loaded with enough sugar to “give an elephant diabetes”.

Sweet and sticky, these babies are good. And gluten-free. Even Teagan liked them!

Orange & Poppyseed Syrup Cakes

Orange and poppy seed syrup cakes

Makes approximately 10 small patty cakes

1 medium navel orange. Choose one as blemish free as possible with good orange skin.

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon milk

3 eggs

70g caster sugar

150g almond meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

Syrup

125ml fresh orange juice

55g caster sugar

Place orange in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat (lid on). Keeping a good roll to the water, simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Top up with more boiling water if necessary to keep the orange covered. Remove the orange from the water and process it whole in a food processor until smooth. Allow to cool a while.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Line ten holes of a 12-hole muffin tray with patty cake cases. Combine the poppy seeds and milk in a small bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer and large bowl, beat the eggs until pale and creamy. Gradually add the 70g of caster sugar and continue to beat until thick. Gently fold in the almond meal, baking powder, orange puree and poppy seed mixture until just combined. Pour into prepared patty cake cases.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden. Leave cakes in the tray ready for the syrup. They need to be still hot for best take-up of the syrup.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until the syrup reduces slightly.

Pierce each of the cakes several times with a skewer and spoon over the syrup. Leave cakes in the pan to set a little before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat and wait for the sugar high.

These types of cakes keep really well but I tend to freeze mine and take them out one at a time, or when needed.

Now, because I’m all excited about the upcoming release of The Falls and I know you are too –  oh yes, you are! –  I think we should have a…

GIVEAWAY!

To be in the draw to win a signed paperback copy of The Falls, answer me this: What is your favourite sugar high?

Is it fairy floss or chocolate? Or maybe you get yours from an overdose of pineapple or another super-sweet fruit. Perhaps you don’t like anything sugary, in which case just say you prefer a hunk of cheese or something. The main thing is to share!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEST Wednesday, 8th April 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

I’ve left this giveaway open a little longer than usual so all you lovelies who went off camping for the weekend won’t miss your chance to enter.

If you’d like to learn more about The Falls or any of my previous releases, check out my books page on this site. And don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+Goodreads, and now on Pinterest! Plus sign up to my newsletter to be the first to hear all the news, receive exclusive content, enter special giveaways and more.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Jenny Wallis who has won a signed copy of THE FALLS. Rah!
Thanks to everyone who joined in the Feasty fun and shared all your sugar highs. As always there were some amaaaazing suggestions. 

FRIDAY FEAST with Sandy Curtis

Happy Friday, everyone. Are you ready for a gorgeous spring weekend? I know I am. Our computer carked it this week, so a trying time was had. Thank goodness for Friday Feast and delicious thoughts of food!

This week my guest is the utterly delightful Sandy Curtis. Now if you met Sandy, you’d probably think this petite Queenslander would write cosy mysteries or perhaps sweet romances, but no! Underneath that demure exterior lies a mind raging with murder and mayhem, passions and thrills, daring romance and most of all criiiiiiime.  Yes, indeedy. My mum always said it’s the quiet ones you need to watch out for…

Sandy’s latest release is Fatal Flaw. Check it out.

 

FATAL FLAW

 

Operative Mark Talbert’s father is murdered, the agency he works for has him hunting terrorists, and the only connection is the father of Julie Evans, his childhood friend. Mark realizes that Julie is what has been missing from his life, but the love that hits him with the force of the bullet that almost took his life creates an insurmountable problem.

Julie’s father has placed her in the hands of a terrorist determined to unleash horror on an unprepared city. She needs someone she can depend on, but can she trust Mark? He has come back into her life after thirteen years, a changed man from the idealistic youth she loved.

People are dying. People who seem to have nothing in common, until Mark discovers his father’s involvement in a decades-old crime. A killer is taking a calculated revenge. A revenge that threatens Mark, Julie, and Julie’s son. And the terrorists are making their final move.

 

Oof! I went all shuddery just reading that blurb, but I’m a complete sucker for a good crime novel and I bet you are too. So why not get your thrills from one of Australia’s best authors? Fatal Flaw can be purchased right now from Amazon Kindle or Clan Destine Press, where you’ll also find all of Sandy’s backlist.

Now here’s Sandy!

 

GOING TROPPO

 

Hello from sunny Queensland, Feasters. Well, I hope it’s sunny when you’re reading this or Rob’s and my getaway to four days and nights of relaxation at the Ramada Resort at Port Douglas in far north Queensland will be a disaster. We’ve been told the Wet Season shouldn’t start until the end of November, so fingers crossed.

I know I shouldn’t make you jealous, but I just have to share that this marvelous four days came about through a Hightide Holiday offer and it’s only costing $399.00! I just had to snap it up.

One of the great things about it is that I WON’T HAVE TO COOK. After being married for innumerable years and raising three children, the thought of having all meals cooked for me is as much my idea of heaven as the wonderful facilities the resort offers and the chance to explore the tropical Daintree region. There’s an ice-cream factory up there that uses all the beautiful tropical fruit in their ice-creams and I’ll have to sacrifice myself and do some sampling as we wander through The Orchard Walk and see the fruit growing. According to their brochure, the fruit of the Jackfruit tree can grow up to 46kg. I’ve warned Rob that if one drops down it will be like having me fall on him (but with no side benefits lol). If it falls on me there will be one less romantic suspense author in Australia 🙂

You’d think that with all this emphasis on delicious tropical fruit I would be offering you an exotic fruit-flavoured dish, but, sorry, I’m not. Most people love chocolate, and a lot of people love drinking Bundaberg Rum, so I’m offering a delicious combination of the two in my Chocolate Rum Pie recipe.

When I was first diagnosed as Coeliac (gluten intolerant), there was little gluten free food commercially available and what there was didn’t taste like anything I was used to. So I started experimenting by trying to adapt my usual recipes to gluten free. The disasters out-numbered the successes by a great margin. I learned a lot about how essential gluten is to keeping cakes and biscuits moist and not crumbling. I also learned that even dogs, no matter how hungry, won’t be tempted to devour a gluten-free disaster. Even birds seemed to view it as an indirect assassination attempt. But my chocolate rum pie recipe (adapted for ease of making over the years) never fails and is a great favourite.

Thanks, Cathryn, for inviting me to share this with your Feasters.

 

CHOCOLATE RUM PIE

Base:

Crush 2 packets of your choice of gluten-free biscuits (or any normal crunchy biscuit for non-Coeliacs) to crumbs and add enough melted marg/butter to moisten, mix well and press into a pie dish.

Refrigerate.

Filling:

Bring 2 cups of milk to the boil.

Mix 2 tablespoons of cornflour (White Wings is gluten free) with ¼ cup milk and pour into hot milk. Cook on low heat, continually stirring so lumps don’t form, until mixture thickens (I use the microwave as this doesn’t require as much stirring). Remove from heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Gently beat 3 egg yolks together and quickly stir into the mix.

Break 125g dark cooking chocolate into small pieces and put into mix and stir well until chocolate is melted and mixed in.

Dissolve 1 sachet (3 tablespoons) of gelatine in ¼ cup warm milk, making sure no lumps form, and add to mix.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes then stir in 2 tablespoons of Bundaberg rum (or any dark rum if you can’t get Bundaberg). Set mix aside to cool.

Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. Mix should be stiff and glossy. Slowly add in the chocolate mix while stirring gently.

Pour into prepared pie dish and refrigerate. When set, serve with whipped cream and strawberries or just on its own.

 

Thanks, Sandy. What a pleasure it was to have you on Friday Feast. As for that recipe, all I can say is: WANT! Rum and chocolate? That’s sigh-inducing. And even better that it’s gluten-free. So important to consider these things, and just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it can’t also be delicious. I have a fantastic recipe for orange syrup cupcakes that is completely lip-smacking.

So, Feasters, any favourite hints or recipes for Coeliacs or those who prefer gluten-free tucker? Sandy and I (and many others) would love to hear your ideas.

Now, if you’d like to learn more about Sandy’s world, where crime and passion collide, please visit her website. You can also connect via Sandy’s blog, Facebook and Twitter.