FRIDAY FEAST with Jenn J McLeod

30 Replies

Yes, my lovelies, it’s Friday Feast time again. And what a scrumptious guest we have lined up.

But first, the update you hanker for every week, and is still going because my darling Sydney Swans lost again and I’m sulking: Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf.

Last weekend I had one of those frustrating rounds where I didn’t play that badly but couldn’t score (hmm, could be a nightclub analogy here somewhere – I didn’t discobop that badly but…). Even a ball sacrificed to the water gods on the 9th failed. The round was at least free of crow thievery, so perhaps that worked on some level. Maybe this week my luck will change. It had better for my footy team…

Now, to our most excellent guest.Author Jenn J McLeod

Come home to the country is Jenn J McLeod’s tag for her books and take you to the country she does. Her debut novel, House for all Seasons, was an instant success, garnering terrific reviews and sales, and leaving readers eagerly awaiting her next. Well, it’s arrived. Simmering Season is now in the shelves and wowing readers.

Take a look…


Cover of Simmering Season

Back in Calingarry Crossing to sell the family pub, Maggie Lindeman has no idea a perfect storm is heading her way until her past and present collide with the unexpected.

Maggie once had a crush on Dan Ireland, now a work-weary police crash investigator, still hell-bent on punishing himself for his misspent youth. Dan has ample reason for not going home to Calingarry Crossing for the school reunion, but one very good reason why he should.

Maggie is dealing with a restless seventeen-year-old son, a father with dementia, a fame-obsessed musician husband, a dwindling bank account and a country pub that just won’t sell.

The last thing she needs is a surprise houseguest for the summer. Fiona Bailey-Blair, daughter of an old friend and spoilt with everything but the truth, whips up a maelstroml of gossip when she blows into town.

This storm season, when a school reunion brings home more than memories, Maggie Lindeman will discover  …  there’s no keeping a lid on some secrets.


Ooh, a book with secrets. Makes me all squirmy just thinking about it. You can own a copy today with just a few clicks. For the paperback, try the good people at Booktopia. There’s also Bookworld, QBD The Bookshop, Boomerang Books, Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, your local independent book shop or chain store. Ebook lovers, try Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks or your favourite ebook retailer.

Now that you’re all booked up, here’s Jenn!

What’s Jenn J McLeod got Simmering?

I can’t believe it’s almost one year, to the day, that I was here on Friday Feast talking about my two-book deal with Simon & Schuster. A lot has happened in twelve months – both highs and lows. The highest of highs was signing a contract for books 3 and 4 in my Seasons Collection. So, I have been busy.

Today you’ve asked me to feature something foody from book two. Easy! I’ve actually managed to stir three passions into the Simmering Season pot: writing, food and music )yes, I’ve written a song!)

Readers will return to Calingarry Crossing for a school reunion that brings home more than memories for the local publican. Maggie Lindeman has no idea the perfect storm is headed her way or that it will blows the lid off a lifetime of secrets when the past and present collide with the unexpected. Will is still in the café and cheeky as ever and Maggie has a barmaid-cum-cook (Ethne) a British backpacker from the seventies who refused to go back! I love Ethne’s attitude to life, her jokes and her weekend specials. And so …

My recipe today is one of Ethne’s.

This dressing really is so simple and versatile – requiring no cooking, no stove, no simmering! It will also store in a squeezy bottle in the fridge for ages – weeks or more if you treat it well (no cross contamination). Fabulous with chicken, salmon, pork, lamb, fetta, mixed with yoghurt as a yummy dip!

Coriander, honey, mustard dressing

In a whizzer/food processor (Ethne uses a magic bullet) …

One bunch of coriander

A generous glug of olive or vegetable oil

A good dollop of grainy or Dijon mustard

Cracked pepper to taste (also add garlic, lemon juice, honey and a smidge of sweet chilli sauce.)

Whiz it all up together and try it. If you like it – stop! If it’s too thick, add a bit more olive oil to get the pouring/squeezing consistency you want.

Here’s the dressing in action – with mango

Chicken and mango salad

(We had such a bumper crop of mangoes this season. Did you know the garbage truck cannot lift more than 70 kilos? I do now, because the garbo refused to empty my bin of possum-munched mangoes until I emptied some out. Needless to say, it has been mango EVERYTHING for months and I really am mangoed out!)

Moroccan chicken with mango and
a coriander, honey, mustard dressed salad


Basically, make your favourite salad in a bowl. (Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion.)

Sprinkle chicken breast with Moroccan spice seasoning (Masterfoods style) and pan cook.

Add dressing to the salad, toss, mound in the centre of the plate.

Once chicken is cooked, slice, present, and add diced mango, toasted almond flakes and drizzle more dressing – to taste.

That’s it!


Too easy, Jenn! Not to mention delicious. Spicy anything and mango is a combination made in tastebud heaven, and that dressing sounds beautiful. Definitely one I’ll be trying.

Now, my tasty little Feasters, we have a giveaway!

What is your favourite season produce? Share and you’ll go into the draw to win a signed copy of Jenn J McLeod’s Simmering Season.

That’s easy-peasy for me. The season may be over now (sob!) but I LIVE for cherries. I’m like a bear readying for hibernation with those babies and can’t stuff enough in my mouth, delicious little balls of sweet fruity goodness that they are. But what about you? Do you salivate over the thought of new season apples? Maybe you can’t wait for the Southern rock lobster season. Perhaps it’s spring lamb you dream about. Share, and you’ll go into the draw.

Giveaway closes midnight AEST, Tuesday 8th April 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

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

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Kirrily who has won a copy of Jenn’s wonderful Simmering Season. Some great Easter reading coming up! Thanks to everyone who joined in. I hope you had as much fun as we did.

Want to take more of a peek at Simmering Season? Check out Jenn’s book trailer:

30 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Jenn J McLeod

  1. AvatarAnnie West

    Jenn, that sounds like a cracker of a story! I’m all agog about the secret and already guessing. Definitely ‘simmering’.
    Thanks too for the dressing recipe. I’ll have to try that one soon before winter hits.
    Cathryn, you beat me to it with the cherries. So I’ll have to say instead that raspberry season is fabulous – basically summer fruits really. Bring it on – so sad I have quite a wait, isn’t it?

  2. AvatarRochelle Sharpe

    Great post, Cathryn. Thanks for sharing the recipes Jenn, they sound delicious and easy, just the way I like them! Funny that you should have mango in it because that’s the seasonal product I hang out for!

    Thanks for the giveaway, Simmering Season sounds like a fantastic read. I haven’t read any books by Jenn yet, but I’ll be reading House For All Seasons soon as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge, I just have another three books a head of it. (My To-Read pile is huge.)

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I think LOTS of people hang out for mango season, Rochelle. You’re not alone with that one.
      Simmering Season does sound wonderful, doesn’t it? You’ll have a wonderful time with House For All Seasons too. Great choice for the AWW Challenge.
      As for huge to-read piles, I understand. Oh, how I understand!
      Thanks for dropping by.

  3. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hey Jenn! Can there be too much mango? That salad looks divine. Particularly like the consistency of the dressing, not all runny and oily. Can just imagine cutting a piece of chicken, then spearing a piece of mango and using it to pick up some yummy sauce. OK, seasonal – I’d have to say asparagus. I know you can get it any time of year but the first spring asparagus is lovely. Something about those tight buds and the look of them all bundled and lined up has a graphic quality that appeals. Soups, frittatas, side vegetable, salads, appetisers – is there anything you can’t do with asparagus? Congratulations on the release of The Simmering Season!!!

    1. AvatarJenn J McLeod | Simmering Season

      Thx Lou, but really? Asparagus? Such a weird plant when it is growing. I admit, asparagus gets a mention in book three – the limp, tinned variety, hanging five out of a devon and potato roll up. Remember those? Thx for taking the time to visit and comment.

      1. AvatarLouise Reynolds

        Yes!! And the white variety particularly. Spargel season is huge in Germany. Fantastic to see it in the fields then go into a restaurant and have it. Unfortunately it is no longer a luxury item and the market is flooded with cheap, not particularly good product.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          Ooh, I like asparagus too, Louise. It’s lovely stuff. Such a pity the other member of the household doesn’t think so. Sigh.

          Jenn, I remember that tinned stuff all too well. Yuck. Just yuck. Went to a party once where one of the canapes was tinned asparagus wrapped in bacon. *Shudder* Those early decades have a lot to answer for…

  4. Avatarlily malone

    Well, here I am on Sunday and the Swannies had their first win yesterday Cathryn which I am sure you are all a-flutter about. Unfortunately, for them to have a win, they beat the Crows, which is hubby’s team. So he’s rather down in the dumps.
    Anyhoo – as a fellow golf lover (and author of a golf book which I just *had* to throw in here) all I can say is keep swinging and your day will come!
    I’m with Louise on the asparagus… I’m with you on the cherries. I love the flavour of mangoes, like mangoes in a chicken curry… but I actually don’t like the texture of them much fresh and I always think there is too much ‘pip’ for all that fruit. Mangoes disappoint me!


    1. AvatarJenn J McLeod | Simmering Season

      Yes, Lily, they are a pain to eat. I hate icky food (I have a hand washing obsession – on of many!) And pls feel free to throw the title of your fabulous story – Fairway to Heaven – whenever I am around. I will ‘here, here’! In fact, you done gone hit yourself a hole in one with that story. (and thx for reminding me I must review!)

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Weren’t my boys wonderful, Lily? So proud! Also more than a little relieved. I was starting to have really bad footy sulks. Your poor hubby must have them badly now, poor thing. Like golf, footy can be heartbreaking.

        Glad someone else doesn’t appreciate the texture of mango. I thought it was just me! I do like it but sometimes that slipperyness is a bit ick.

  5. AvatarEmma

    Peaches are my fave! Always buy them camping at the beach over summer and eat them just chilled from the esky! Then before we leave to go home I stock up and make a peach crumble when we get back- great after all that unpacking!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      My other half is a peach eating monster too, Emma. Especially the white ones. Peach crumble sounds delicious and a lovely treat after camping. Rather have that on the brain now but the season is over. Maybe plums… they’re tasty things too.

      Thanks for dropping by and good luck in the draw!

  6. AvatarKirrily Cant

    Oooooo, I am intrigued by this novel. Can’t wit to read it. My favourite seasonal produce is mandarin. I just love the sticky sweetness of them after the first frost.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Another of my other half’s favourites!!! And they’re in season now. Have you made mandarin delicious, Kirrily? Like a self-saucing sponge pudding? That is soooooo good.

      Lovely to see you here!

  7. AvatarEmma

    Cathryn, I have been checking my local bookstore every week looking for you new one! Then I found the release date I’m so excited! Jenn’s book is next on my list!!!

    I must say at this time of year pumpkin is my number one thing to look forward too! Pumpkin soup on a rainy winters day with a crusty bit of bread and sour cream is the epitome of winter for me!!! All rugged up on the couch with the hubby and a great book is just the ticket!!!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      It’s nearly here, Emma. Only TWO WEEKS until release day now. Wheee!

      Pumpkin is perfect winter food, isn’t it? All that sweetness and the colour matches too, like changing leaves. I love how, when you roast it, all the edges go caramelly. That’s so good.

      Hmm. Hungry now!

      All the best in the draw for Jenn’s Simmering Season.

  8. AvatarJenn J McLeod | Simmering Season

    Emma, come on over. We have so many pumpkins and love, love, love pumpkin soup. I live on it thru winter. Soup in a mug means I can stay at my desk writing. Suddenly I have my perfect world. Food and fiction. Although I hold off on the sour cream and bread to help me avoid the old age spread!

  9. AvatarPaula Beavan

    I love the sound of that salad, might dig out some chicken fillets for tonight. As for the book, my goodness, very intriguing. Another for my TBR pile. And it’s cherries all the way for me, my absolute favourite. I buy heaps in summer and dehydrate them so I can cook with them the rest of the year. I’m currently making my sister a cherry & walnut cake for her 40th Birthday party on Saturday night. Used my last 2 cups of dried cherries to make it – sigh. Oh well, she’d only 40 once, I spose! 😉

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Your TBR pile must be like mine, Paula. We need to pray it doesn’t collapse and smother us with words.

      So glad you’re a cherry girl. They are the BEST! I’ve been baking with dried ones too now the season has ended (SOB!) and they’re the loveliest things. Cherry and walnut sounds beautiful. I make a cherry, dried apple and oat cake which is really moreish and has the added advantage that I can kid myself that it only contains super-healthy ingredients. Ha!

      Have a ball at your sister’s party!

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