FRIDAY FEAST with Alissa Callen

23 Replies

As you know, I’m always thrilled to introduce new authors on Friday Feast. It never ceases to amaze me how much talent we have in Australia, especially in the romance writing community, and I want everyone to know and Author Alissa Callen relaxing with a bookcelebrate it too.

This week I’m delighted to present Alissa Callen who has had a fabulous start to 2013 by releasing not one, but two novels, both of which have received wonderful reviews. January saw the release of What Love Sounds Like, followed closely in February with her captivating rural romance, Beneath Outback Skies. Talk about hitting the ground running.

Alissa is a farm girl who, after living overseas, now calls the central west of N.S.W. home and where life is kept very busy with four children, three dogs, two horses and a renegade cow.

Alissa also runs a great Facebook page called Books For Country Girls and Guys. If you’re a fan of rural romance, this page is not to be missed.

I have no doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more from Alissa in the future. In the meantime, take a look at Beneath Outback Skies. Love that cover!




Book cover of Beneath Outback Skies by Alissa CallenPaige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile. Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions…It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs…


How cool does that sound! And the ebook can be yours in just a few clickety-clicks. Try Kobo, JB Hi-Fi, Google Play, Amazon (for Kindle), and iTunes. You can also find a list of retailers at publisher Random House.

Now grab yourself a napkin (you’ll need it to wipe up your drools) and enjoy Alissa!


Friday Afternoon Tea Feast with Alissa Callen


It’s no secret I’ve a sweet tooth. It’s also no secret I read the desert menu first to know how much room to leave. So it’s no surprise my Friday feast recipes require chocolate.

I blame living in America for my obsession with chocolate chip cookies (and with Reese’s peanut butter cups – but that’s another story) and over the years have accrued a collection of recipes. This particular cookie recipe uses condensed milk which results in a decadent and creamy dough that is a treat within itself.

Chocolate chip cookie dough mixture

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

250 gm melted butter

2/3 cup sugar

1 tin condensed milk (I use condensed skim-milk)

3 1/2 cups of SR flour

250 gm chocolate chips (white, milk, dark, caramel or a combination)

Mix all ingredients in bowl by hand. Roll into small balls and press onto a greased or paper lined tray. Cook in an 180C oven until slightly golden. Left over mixture will thicken so cover bowl with tea towel or plate to prevent dough from drying out.

Afternoon tea with baked chocolate chip cookies

Another family afternoon tea favourite that again involves chocolate is banana and chocolate chip muffins. Packed with banana, cinnamon, egg and milk and with a reduced sugar content they are more nice than naughty.

Banana and Chocolate Chip muffins

1 ½ cups SR flour

¼ tsp bicarb of soda

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar

1 ripe mashed banana

100gm chocolate chips (white, milk, dark, caramel or a combination)

¼ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup milk

1 egg

Sift SR flour, bicarb of soda and cinnamon into bowl. Add brown sugar. Or just throw all 4 dry ingredients into food processor. Add rest of ingredients and stir until just combined. If using food processer add everything but chocolate chips. Add them in at end and stir by hand.

Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin tin. Bake in a hot oven 210C until golden.

A display of banana and choc chip muffins

Happy baking 🙂


Ha! I told you that you’d need that napkin to mop up your drools. Don’t those muffins and biscuits look amazing? Just the thing to satisfy an afternoon hunger.

Thanks so much, Alissa. Wonderful post.

Now, lovely Feasters, what is your all-time favourite afternoon tea treat? Are you a humble scone lover? Perhaps a brownie is your go (check out the Friday Feast index for some seriously decadent recipes), or maybe you prefer a delicate cucumber sandwich or smoked salmon blini. Let us know. Curious minds are, well, curious!

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


23 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Alissa Callen

  1. AvatarPaula Beavan

    I’m going to a morning tea today, and wish I had enough time to make either of these to take with me. But, I don’t, so I’ll be making Curried Corn Fritters and Curry dipping yogurt instead. Next month I shall be more prepared and give both recipe’s a try. Only mine will be adjusted to be gluten free 🙂

      1. AvatarPaula Beavan

        Easy peasy to make Alissa, cup of flour, couple of eggs, little milk, bit of crushed garlic,curry powder, bit of soda water to make it nice and fluffy (especially with GF flour) mix up, cut corn niblets off cob (or can if you don’t have fresh) a couple of shallots sliced up thinly. mix and cook like pikelets. Mix curry powder into natural greek yogurt.

  2. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Cathryn and Alissa. I have to confess to not being much of a sweet thing maker, and less to having afternoon tea but seeing your pretty presentation I’m coming over all heritage china and dainty cakes! However dainty cakes aside, I’m quite partial to a really good mille-feuille and a cup of very weak, black Darjeeling. Congratulations on your releases, Alissa. What a great year you’ve had 🙂

    1. AvatarAlissa Callen

      Hi Louise, a cup of Darjeeling tea would go down very well this cold winters night! And right back at you for having a great year – can’t wait until Outback Bride is out in August!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Considering all those wonderful restaurants, bakeries, patisseries and coffee shops in your neck of the woods, Louise, I don’t blame you for not being much of a sweet maker. So much less messy to buy and let someone else clean up!

  3. Avatarchristinestinson

    Hi, Cathryn and Alissa. Like Lou, I don’t really have a sweet tooth so I don’t make many desserts. But I do have a beautiful Tuscan bone china tea set bequeathed to me by my grandmother which I really should use more often. Those banana muffins do look good… Congratulations on both your books, Alissa.

    1. AvatarAlissa Callen

      Hi Christine, thanks so much for stopping by:) Your Tuscan bone china set sounds very beautiful and very special. I just love old china and should really use mine more too.

  4. AvatarAllison Butler

    Hi Alissa & Cathryn:)
    Oh, YUM, Alissa. Both your recipes look absolutely delicious. And the presentation is stunning! Makes me wish I did actually bake now and then, but then I’d have to eat it:)
    Congratulations on the release of both your wonderful books.
    #1 Fan:)

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Hi Allison! Aren’t Alissa’s tea photos beautiful? Such a gorgeous setting.
        Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

  5. AvatarSuzi Love

    The recipes sound wonderful.
    My favorite afternoon tea is the traditional Devonshire tea. Fresh scones served with cream and jam. Yum!

    Had it at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, served on gorgeous china in a little parlor overlooking Bath City.
    My idea of heaven.

    1. AvatarAlissa Callen

      Hi Suzi, so lovely to see you here! Must confess cream teas are my favourite afternoon teas:) Once walked the south downs in record time just so could end up sitting in the sun in an English village scoffing scones. As for Bath … that is another favourite of mine.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Hey Suzi! I’m with you on the Devonshire tea. We were so excited to have one in Devon when we were hooning around England. Kept raising our pinkies and giggling. Such fun, although I bet our roadside tea house was nothing compared to your parlour in Bath. I can just imagine you there, living it up, too!

  6. AvatarHeather Garside

    Hi Cathryn and Alissa,
    Wish I could join you for afternoon tea, Alissa. Looks yum and such a beautiful setting. You can obviously cook as well as you write!

  7. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Hi Alissa and Cathryn

    Love the look of those muffins and who can pass up a choc chip cookie…definitely not me! I do love a cup of tea out of a bone china cup. Somehow the tea always taste different.

    My favourite afternoon tea delight would be my gran’s apple & rhubarb pie with custard…yum!

    1. AvatarAlissa Callen

      Hi Juanita, love the sound of your gran’s apple and rhubarb pie with custard! Something hot and sweet would be perfect for this winter weather.

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