Oof, it’s been a big week. So much to catch up on after my trip away to South Australia and western Victoria but a very lovely time was had so all worth it.
Yes, I played well enough last week to lose an entire stroke off my handicap. Whee! Lots of long puts sunk and I only hit one ball into a dam. Marvels!
Which gives me a very nice segue back to today’s Friday Feast guest because she is a true marvel. Why? Because Shona Husk gave us TOBLERONE BROWNIES! Plus she’s a pretty awesome author. Shona is a three-time Australian Romance Reader Award finalist and best-selling author of multiple contemporary, fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi romances (her Shadowlands series is fantastic). Whatever tickles your romantic fantasy, Shona has a book for you.
Her latest release is The Changeling Soldier. Check it out.
After fleeing Annwyn three centuries ago, Ella built a life in the mortal world making gowns for European royalty and playing in mortal intrigues. Now those Courts are long gone, and she dresses Hollywood starlets. Mortals come and go, but Ella always ends up alone. She longs for the home she left behind.
He’s been dreaming of the coming battle all his life…
Isaac Norton is a returned soldier. Now home, he’s restless and his recurring dream is becoming more frequent: he’s fighting on a snow-covered field stained with blue blood. When he sees Ella, he knows she isn’t human. And she knows what he is, a changeling.
Ella can give Isaac the answers he needs, but there will be a price to pay: his soul.
Ooh, now there’s a story with a lot at stake! The Changeling Soldier releases June 3rd but you can pre-order it right now for a measly 99 cents. What a bargain! Order the ebook from Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble for Nook, All Romance eBooks or you can buy a print version from Amazon or Createspace.
Go on! It’s 99 cents and you’ll have a cracking time!
Speaking of a cracking time, here’s Shona.
My Favourite Cookbooks
I love cooking, not the huge labor intensive dinner party style cooking, but the sling it together with love style of cooking. Simple and delicious. It should be no surprise that one of my favorite cookbooks is Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals (No, I have never cracked the 15 minute mark but it’s still something I aim for).
Cathryn: Neither have I with the 30 Minute, Shona, but it’s still fast-ish and the results are pretty tasty!
I also love that I can hand his 15 and 30 minute meals books to the kids and they can select the menu for the week (as an added bonus if they don’t like it I can remind them that they picked it).
My other favorite cookbook is one I was given for Christmas (I might have suggested that was what I wanted). Silvia’s Cucina is full of Italian yumminess. I started with the desserts, then moved my way to gnocci and pasta before trying bread. OMG! I haven’t bought a loaf of bread since January.
While I’ve had a bread machine for over a decade it was never great for sandwiches and the texture wasn’t quite right. Silvia’s bread is awesome. I love the overnight no knead recipe (it has 3 ingredients!) and the kids like her soft crust yoghurt bread. Silvia’s Cucina has been a great addition to my library. While many of these recipes are a little more time consuming, slow roasted goat and Nona’s polenta and pork ribs are so worth the wait—and perfect for making on the weekend.
Lastly Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner. This is another one that I can hand to the kids so they can choose the meals. Potato and corn chowder is very popular, as it the banana bread (although I must confess taking out half the walnuts and swapping them with choc chips).
I can’t leave without sharing a recipe, this is one my sister sent me and it’s for no bake chocolate slice. From ihearexercisewillkillyou.com (my notes are in italics, this recipe is also super easy to halve if you are running out of things but still want a sweet treat, it’s also super rich so cut small squares!)
The Best No-Bake Bars You’ll Ever Eat
1 cup peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/2 cup honey (um, I never actually measure I do it by eye as it’s less of a PITA)
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil (be sure to use unrefined for the coconut flavor) (health food shop)
2 cups dry oats (not instant) (I use rolled, I’m guessing that’s the same as dry as it turns out fine)
1 C shredded coconut
1/2 C chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (200g of 85% Lindt is awesome)
1 t vanilla extract
Melt peanut butter, honey and coconut oil over medium-low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until chocolate is entirely melted. Pour into a 9×13 pan and cool in the fridge. When it’s set, cut into bars and enjoy. Store in the fridge. If they last that long!
While I do use the internet to find recipes, it’s not the same as flicking through a book and feeling inspired to try something new. What are your favorite family (and time friendly) recipe books?
Oh, that’s easy…*trots off to survey collection* … er, perhaps not so easy after all. I love all my cookbooks. Some I read for fun and inspiration but never really cook out of, others I try loads of things. Probably my most used is Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes. There are some cracking recipes in there like lahmacun (a delicious lamb pizza type dish) and pollo alla diavola. And tonight I’m making the lamb tagine with prunes and almonds. I agree with Shona about Jamie Oliver too. If you’re time pressed, Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals has some pretty tasty recipes in it. Try the piri-piri chicken and the stuffed Cypriot chicken. Plenty of others to play with too.
What about you? What’s your favourite cookbook? Share the love. I’m sure we could all do with another on our shelves. Although don’t tell my other half that!
If you’d like to learn more about Shona and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter using @ShonaHusk or sign up to her newsletter for all the latest releases.