This week I have a special guest on Friday Feast. Fiona Lowe is an Australian author and previous Romantic Book of the Year finalist writing contemporary romances for Carina Press and Harlequin Mills and Boon. I had the pleasure if sitting next to Fiona at the Romance Writers of Australia conference awards dinner last month, when we shared a lot of laughs, chatter and cheers over champagne.

Hardworking Fiona has THREE books out this September: Boomerang Bride, Career Girl in the Country and Wedding in Warragurra, part of the 3 in 1 release Australian Bachelors: Outback Heroes. Boomerang Bride is on my digital to-be-read pile and I look forward to getting stuck into what I’ve heard is a very satisfying small town romance. Honestly, you’d buy this for the heart-skippy cover and blurb alone!

Matilda Geoffrey risked it all for love. She left Australia to be with Barry-the man who had swept her off her virtual feet. Now, wearing a wedding dress, she’s alone on Main Street in small-town Wisconsin, and things aren’t working out exactly as planned…

In town for his annual family visit, Marc Olsen had never seen a bride quite like Matilda-staring into a storefront window, holding a tottering wedding cake, and looking desperately in need of a groom. He may not have any warm feelings for his hometown, but meeting Matilda just as she discovers she’s been scammed by her online “fiancé” stirs something in him.

Matilda is not the kind of woman Marc imagined himself with, and Marc is anything but the romantic hero that Matilda has always dreamed of. But as unlikely circumstances throw them together, can they let go of their misconceptions and risk their hearts for love?

Now here’s Fiona with her Friday Feast. Enjoy!

When I was living in Wisconsin, the land of deep fried cheese curds and ‘Brats in beer’, we spent a lot of summer weekends going to ‘cook-outs’. Held outside, with a gathering of friends and plenty of fabulous Wisconsin beer, it sounds much the same as the Aussie BBQ, and it was, except for the food. My contribution to these occasions was always to make and take a Pavlova. My US friends fell in love with Pavlova and I agree, what’s not to like? I fell in love with Ambrosia salad.

The first time I met Ambrosia salad, was at Thanksgiving and I thought the hostess had brought dessert out early. Turns out she hadn’t. This dish is often served as a ‘salad’ with the main meal, even though to me, the ingredients seemed more like dessert. However, I scooped it up and ate it and came back for seconds. After that I always looked for it at the BBQ’s and now I make it in summer at our BBQ’s and have lots of fun confusing my friends. Bottom line, either as a salad or a dessert, it tastes yum.

Matilda, the Aussie heroine in my fun contemporary romance, Boomerang Bride, is stuck in small town Wisconsin in a wedding dress, holding a cake and missing a groom. She has a similar Ambrosia Salad experience, although she uses her confusion to her advantage.

I’ve had to adapt the recipe ‘some’ because not all the ingredients are available here, but it still tastes great and slightly more savory than the US version.

Ambrosia Salad

1 Can of mandarins or 400 grams of fresh

1 Can of Pineapple or 400 grams of fresh

1 small tub of sour cream

2 cups of shredded coconut

1 cup of maraschino cherries (optional…I never use them)


Combine everything except the cherries in a bowl and gently fold through the sour cream. Put in a serving bowl and sprinkle with more coconut and decorate with cherries if you choose. Serve chilled.  Enjoy!

For more recipes, check out Fiona’s latest releases of Boomerang Bride and Career Girl in the Country.

Fiona Lowe is an award-winning, multi-published author with Mills & Boon and Carina Press. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch. A previous finalist in the Romantic Book of the Year award, she’s writing her 19th novel. She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at her website, facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST!

  1. AvatarFiona Palmer

    hmm, a very different dish Fi! Bit like the watermelon salad? lol. OMG i just read you have 80 rose’s??? Man I should have chewed your ear at the conference, i’ve killed about 8 so far lol. (to my defence they were in pots…and I may have neglected to water them once or twice). Thanks for blog ladies…I need to get ereading.

  2. AvatarFiona Lowe

    Fi, roses planted in the ground are almost impossible to kill. Tough as! Roses are related to blackberries so next time, plant them out of the pots. Best time to plant is winter but that said, Inonce had to hastily move five in November due to a water tank arriving and they all survived.

  3. AvatarCathryn Hein

    Yup, definitely helps if you water things, Fiona P! And what’s this watermelon salad you’re referring to? I’m curious now.

    You must have a big garden, Fiona L, or do you have a secret talent as a brilliant space-saving landscaper?

  4. AvatarKeziah Hill

    I’m sure it’s a great salad Fiona but not sure I’m courageous enough to try it. But your 80 roses …. I’ve only got 20 and I need to fertilize them tomorrow! Dynamic Lifter here I come!

  5. AvatarCathryn Hein

    I bet there’s some nice odours at your place now, Keziah. Especially with this warm weather. I remember my grandfather making his own special rose fertiliser out of soaked cow pats and god knows what else. Must have been good gear because he always produced gorgeous blooms.

  6. AvatarJuanita Kees

    That is certainly a very interesting salad, Fiona. Love trying different flavours. Thanks for the recipe. PS: you’re welcome to pop over and revive my roses any day 😀 The only garden I can grow successfully is a natural one.

    Watermelon Salad:

    1 tbs olive oil
    1 tbs lemon juice
    300g watermelon flesh, roughly chopped
    120g feta, crumbled
    1/2 cup mint leaves , sliced if large
    1/2 cup (60g) pitted kalamata olives, sliced

  7. AvatarSerena Tatti

    Hey even I can’t kill off the rose bush in my garden! And I have almost no garden except the natives that survive anything (and one rose bush ;-P)

    Yep, pretty sure Fiona forgot to mention the marshmallows. I’ve heard about Ambrosia Salad but never tried it. It reminded me of a “salad” our Aussie next door neighbours used to make for BBQs – grated carrot and crushed pineapple in pineapple jelly. It was all the rave back in the 70s. Pretty gross really ;-P

    Congrats on two more wonderful books, Fiona – they just keep getting better and better!

  8. AvatarCathryn Hein

    Thanks for the watermelon salad recipe, Juanita. Very summery. Maybe one for this weekend if this gorgeous weather holds.

    Oh, Serena, there sure were some shockers around in the 70s. I have an old New Idea cookbook from the period and it cracks me up. Makes me wonder what we’ll be laughing at from the noughties and teens in 30+ years time. Probably “soil”, which, thanks to uber restaurant Noma, seems to be the flavour in the gastro places at the moment. Foam might be up there, too. AA Gill describes it as being like a camel snotted on your plate. Ahh, that man has such a way with words!