Tag Archives: white chocolate recipes

FRIDAY FEAST with Nicki Edwards

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Welcome to the food and book magnificence that is Friday Feast! We have a treat for you today: a debut author and Feast virgin! But more on that in a moment…

Prepare yourselves. You may find the news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf a tad startling. Yes, folks, I didn’t play too badly. In fact, so not-too-badly that I lost a stroke off my handicap. I Author Nicki Edwardshaven’t stopped blinking at it since the update came through. Tis a wonder indeed. Naturally, I will now spend the next month not being able to play even close to it. But that’s golf for you!

Enough of that. We have far more important things to discover, like books ‘n food.

This week I’m delighted to introduce Australian author Nicki Edwards to you. Nicki has a brand-spanking new rural romance release out and it looks fabulous. Intensive Care, as the name suggests, has a medical bent and being an Emergency Department nurse, you can trust Nicki to bring real authenticity to the story.

Take a look.

INTENSIVE CARE

Cover of Intensive Care by Nicki EdwardsEscaping to the country was meant to be easy…

On the surface it looks like busy Intensive Care nurse Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a great career and a sleek inner city apartment. But appearances are deceiving, and in one fell swoop everything comes crashing down around her. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected.

Local café owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another.

Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?

Ooh, thwarted love. We do love that in romance land, which makes this a must for your rural romance collection. Intensive Care can be yours right now with just a few clicks. Buy the ebook direct from the publisher Momentum or try Kobo, Amazon.com, Amazon.au, Amazon.uk, iBooks, JB Hi-Fi or Google Play.

All set? Excellent. You may now play with Nicki.

The Secret Ingredient

When Cathryn first emailed and asked me if I’d like to join her on the blog, I said “yes” without thinking. Then I checked out her blog and my heart thudded into my RM William’s boots. You see, I need to share a little secret. Don’t tell anyone (especially not Cathryn), but I despise cooking! I hesitate to say I ‘hate’ it in case that comes across too strongly, so let’s just stick with words like ‘detest’, ‘loathe’ or ‘dislike’! (And yes, I’m aware that they all mean the same thing!) And while I’m airing all my dirty laundry, I have another confession to make – I don’t even own a recipe book! All I have is a spiral bound book full of handwritten recipes I’ve gathered over the Well used recipe book showing Lenore's Muffins recipeyears.

Now that massive weight is off my shoulders I can get on with the business of talking about food, which is what this blog is about! Just because I don’t like cooking, doesn’t mean I can’t do  it. I can actually make an amazing lasagne, have a few sensational chicken meals, and I even have a great kangaroo dish that I make. But my downfall is baking.

My four kids will tell you I can’t bake to save myself. I follow recipes from my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law (all of them brilliants cooks) and they all fail. Every time. I would sample a chocolate cake, slice or dessert at their house, demand the recipe, go home and attempt it, but it would never work out. In the end, I came to the conclusion that they left out some vitally important ingredient on their handwritten list, on purpose!

One of my friends is incredible when it comes to hospitality and she makes the most amazing white chocolate chip muffins. She told me they are fool proof. Now those words should have been a warning sign. I should have backed away immediately before anyone got hurt. But no, you guessed it. I asked for the recipe which she handed over, scrawled on a scrap of paper. And I went home and attempted to make them. Sadly I have lost how many times I’ve attempted these muffins, but each time I tell myself this will be the day they work out.

A few years ago (yes I have been trying to make these muffins FOR YEARS) I announced proudly to my youngest son Toby that I’d made “Nore’s Muffins”. He was so excited until he bit into one and screwed up his face.

“They don’t taste like Lenore’s,” he said.

My shoulders sagged. I knew he was telling me the truth.

“I just don’t know what Lenore puts into hers to make them work,” I said.

“I know!” Toby stated. “Lenore makes hers with love.”

And that is my problem dear readers. I can cook. But I forget to add the most important secret ingredient. Love. So, on that note, I’d like to share Lenore’s muffins with you. I promise you, if you add love, they will work every time! I’m told they taste great with coffee, but I wouldn’t know as I’m one of those strange people who has never tasted coffee in my life. Which is all the more strange that I would feature a coffee-loving nurse in my debut novel, Intensive Care!

“Made with Love” Muffins

Muffins in the oven, ready to bake

1 cup SR Flour, heaped

1 cup sugar, heaped

3 large tablespoons butter (melted)

½ – ¾ cup of milk

1 tblsp cocoa

2 eggs

¾ pack of White Chocolate chips

Mix

Bake for 15 minutes at 180.

Make yourself a muffin, grab a coffee and have a read. Enjoy!

 

From Intensive Care:

“Hello, love,” the man greeted Kate as she got closer and she blinked in surprise. It was the Irish guy from the elevator! At the sound of his voice a sudden unexpected warmth coursed through her body, traveling down to her toes.

“Oh! Hi.” She grinned.

“What can I get yer today then, love?”

“If you’re still open, I’m in need of a proper coffee.”

“Yeah love, we’re still open. My name’s Joel.” He smiled and his blue eyes twinkled. “Joel O’Connor.” The dimples she remembered formed on each side of his mouth.

“Well, hello there, Joel O’Connor.” She smiled in return. When it was obvious he didn’t recognize her, she felt strangely disappointed. “I’m Kate.”

 “So where are you from then, Kate?” he asked, his bright blue eyes dancing.

Do I have something written across my forehead? How do they know I’m not from around here?

“Sydney,” she replied.

“Well Miss City Chick, I make the best coffee in Birrangulla.” He smiled again, revealing perfectly straight white teeth. “And when I say I make the best coffee, I mean it really is the best coffee. I’ll even bet it tastes better than any coffee you’ve ever tasted from that city of yours.”

“Oh yeah?” she teased him. “How about I let you know once I taste it?” She laughed softly before stopping herself and covering her mouth with her hand. God, it sounded like she was flirting.

“It’s a deal,” he replied.

 

 

Thanks so much, Nicki. And how easy are those muffins? Absolutely no excuse not to make a batch and settle in for a good long read of Intensive Care. The perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon and we Friday Feast readers all know we need more “me” time.

Now, my delicious little Feasty darlings, Nicki has a question for you: If you were to sit down in a café like Bean Counter in Intensive Care, what type of coffee would you order? And if you were to have something to eat with it, would you pick sweet or savory?

Ooh, this is a bit of a tricky one for me, because it depends. Post lunch I’d probably go for an espresso, something to get me through the afternoon. Maybe with something light and sweet, like a macaroon. In the morning I’d more inclined to go for a latte and perhaps something savoury.

What about you, Feasties? Is your penchant for a nice cup of Earl Grey and a shortbread? Or perhaps a hot chocolate matched with a terribly indulgent dessert is more your go, or a lusty long black. Let us know. We’d love to hear!

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

FRIDAY FEAST with Rachael Johns

Friday, Friday tra-la-la-la-la!

Actually, thanks to my darling Sydney Swans succumbing to Fremantle in the AFL Preliminary Final, I’m not feeling all that chirpy. A bit heart-sore, in fact.Author Rachael Johns It would have been so great to make the Grand Final again but my boys should be commended for the amazing effort they put in despite being decimated by injury. Never fear though, we’ll be back even better harder next year.

Speaking of people who should be commended (oh, I kill myself with these segues!), today on Friday Feast I’m thrilled to host my most excellent clever-trousers writing buddy Rachael Johns.

Rach has shot to rural romance writing superstardom thanks to her brilliant books Jilted and Man Drought, and now she has a new one out. Outback Dreams is the first in a loosely related trilogy set in Bunyip Bay and believe me, it’s a cracker.  Plus it has a bonus rural hunk on the cover. Should be more of it!

 

OUTBACK DREAMS

 

Outback Dreams by Rachael JohnsFaith and Monty are both looking for love…but they’re looking in the wrong direction.

Faith Forrester is at a crossroads. Single, thirty and living on a farm in a small Western Australian town, she’s sick of being treated like a kitchen slave by her brother and father. Ten years ago, her mother died of breast cancer, and Faith has been treading water ever since. She wants to get her hands dirty on the family farm. She wants to prove to herself that she’s done something worthwhile with her life. And she wants to find a man…??

For as long as he can remember, Daniel ‘Monty’ Montgomery has been Faith’s best friend. When he was ten, his parents sold the family property and moved to Perth, and ever since, Monty’s dreamed of having his own farm. So for the last ten years, he’s been back on the land, working odd jobs and saving every dollar to put toward his dream. Now he finally has the deposit. But there’s still something missing…??

So when Faith embarks on a mission to raise money for a charity close to her heart, and Monty’s dream property comes on the market, things seem like they are falling into place for them both. Until a drunken night out ends with them sleeping together. Suddenly, the best friends are faced with a new load of challenges…

Monty and Faith are both ready to find a life partner and settle down, but have they both been looking in all the wrong places?

 

Don’t you just LOVE a friends to lovers story? You can own your copy now with just a couple of clicks. Visit that most excellent Platinum ARRC sponsor Booktopia and buy away or try your local bookseller or chain store. You can also purchase Outback Dreams from Kobo. Amazon (for Kindle), Google Play, JB Hi-Fi and iTunes.

Done? Excellent. Now get ready for some crunchy fun with Rachael.

 

DREAMY DELIGHTS

 

It’s so great to be back on my fab friend Cathryn’s AWESOME Friday Feast. I do feel like a bit of a fraud compared to some of the authors who come on here and offer really complicated gourmet recipes. I’m a simple girl at heart and lately that’s been transferring to my cooking. In fact, if I can get away with NOT cooking, I will. Maybe that’s cos my fussy kids have taken the joy out of it, but there is ONE thing I do enjoy doing in the kitchen and that is BAKING cookies and cakes!

Like Faith, the heroine of my latest release, OUTBACK DREAMS, I am a comfort baker. If I’m in a bad mood or sad about something, there is nothing that can fix my emotions faster or better than baking a cake. In OUTBACK DREAMS Faith has a LOT to get grumpy about – mostly men, aren’t they always the problem? – and she does a LOT of baking. There are references to a number of slices, cakes and biscuits throughout the book but one thing that really gets the hero’s heart racing is her famous Custard and White Chocolate Cookies.

OUTBACK DREAMS excerpt:

‘Damn straight,’ he replied, trying to ignore his body’s reaction to yet another physical interaction, which was all about her.

Come on, she barely touched you.

‘Anyway, right now my stomach is crying neglect. Do you have any of your famous custard and white choc-chip cookies in that esky?’

‘I can’t believe you’re hungry already. We’ve barely been on the road half an hour.’ But she was already unclicking her seatbelt. ‘Pull over.’

While Faith retrieved the snacks, Monty drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and brainstormed safe topics of conversation. He’d never had to think about such things with Faith before; come to think of it, he’d never had to with any woman.

She returned moments later with a large Tupperware container and as she peeled back the lid, the familiar aroma filled the cab.

‘Here you go.’ She handed him a cookie and he took the first bite before pulling out onto the road. After he’d finished the mouthful, he said, ‘How are the catering plans coming along for the ball?’

He heard the roll of her eyes in her response. ‘The catering plans?’ She laughed. ‘It’s not all about the food you know.

 

So, today, I’d like to share with you Faith’s incredibly easy but amazingly tasty recipe. The dough and the finished product are of equal brilliance and one batch will never be enough.

FAITH’S CUSTARD AND WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

 Custard and White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

140g butter, softened

175g caster sugar

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

225g self-raising flour

85g custard powder

85g white choc-chips

Method:

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowel until light and fluffy – I use an electric mixer, cos who wants wooden spoon hand sprain?
  2. Add the lightly whisked egg and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Sift in the flour and custard powder and mix until a dough is formed.
  4. Throw in the choc chips and worked together by hand.
  5. Form the dough into small balls, place them on the baking tray and then press down lightly. Be sure to leave a gap because they grow J
  6. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Try not to scoff the whole batch in one go!

I hope some of you will have a go at this splendidly easy and delicious recipe!! In the meantime, do tell me what YOUR favourite cookie is!

 

Thanks, Rach. Those biscuits (sorry, the Aussie snob in me can’t bring myself to call them cookies) sound completely delish. Just imagine, if I stuffed them with red Smarties, they’d be celebratory Sydney Swans biccies!

Now listen-up, Feasters. Because Rachael is kind and generous and lovely, she’s offering a print copy of Outback Dreams to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is share your favourite biscuit and we’ll put you in the draw.

Maybe you’re an ANZAC biscuit fiend. Perhaps Tim-Tams are your go. Or maybe you’re a secret Iced Vo-Vo connoisseur.  Simply share your biccie (or cookie!) love and you could win.

But get in fast. Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday, 1st October 2013 AEST. Open to Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Rachael and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.