Greetings food and book lovers, and welcome to another delicious instalment of Friday Feast. This week we’re getting in a pickle with a “pretty famous” author and celebrating with another giveaway!

But first, news from the segment formerly known as Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. For some bizarre reason known only the golfing gods, my good form continues. Form that has cost me another stroke off my handicap. Things are getting scary, let me tell you. This is not normal! My dad – coiner of the Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf phrase – is chuffed though, even if his mates are now questioning my parentage…

Carla Caruso - smallNow onto the funstuff!

I’m delighted to welcome another debut guest to this week’s Friday Feast, Carla Caruso. Carla’s from South Australia (as are all the awesome people) and has had a fascinating writing career. She’s been a gossip columnist, a newspaper fashion editor, a magazine journalist and freelanced for titles like Woman’s Day and Shop Til You Drop. How cool is that!

Carla also writes fun romantic books that’ll leave you laughing and feeling good.  Her latest release is Pretty Famous. Check it out!


Pretty Famous by Carla CarusoA dark secret from Hollywood’s Golden Age. A possible prince-in-hiding. Astonvale’s about to implode…

Professional organiser Celeste Pretty swore she’d never work with uber-blonde interior designer Imogen Karmel again, but then she’s presented with a project she can’t refuse.

The prestigious Astonvale College is celebrating its centenary and needs the pair to ensure the festivities go off without a hitch.

As Celeste sets to work in a flurry of activity — in between organising her own engagement party — she finds herself blowing away the cobwebs on a sixty-year-old secret.

Meanwhile, Imogen becomes enamoured with a substitute teacher, Hudson Addison, who may or may not be a royal in hiding. And there’s nothing Imogen dreams of more than becoming a princess.

Will all be revealed on party night?

Doesn’t that sound a blast? Love the idea of a royal in hiding. You can buy Pretty Famous right now and have it loaded to your computer, ereader, phone or tablet in an instant. Visit iBooks,, Google Play, Kobo, JB Hi-Fi, or your favourite retailer.

All loaded up? That’s the way.  Now please give a big Feasty welcome to Carla.

What To Do With Too Many Zucchinis

I’m what could be called an ‘Italian princess’. Basically, what ‘wog boys’ are always being accused of – having been brought up with their mothers doing all of the cooking and (most of the) cleaning for them!

Carla's mum's "care package"

One of Carla’s mum’s care packages

My mum is a perfectionist Virgo and uber-domestic goddess, so I like to blame her for my lack of skills in the kitchen. She preferred to slave over dishes, night after night, than have me (and my two sisters) muck up her domain. The other bit of blame could also – cough – be put down to my own lack of interest in cooking. Though, I did always have a healthy interest in eating!

My poor husband must have thought he struck gold when he married me with my Italian name and looks, and his previous experience sampling my mum and grandma’s dishes… until he got me near our stove and I couldn’t figure out where the on-switch was. (James, by the way, took the snaps for this post.)

Which leads me to the kind of ‘care packages’ my mum still has my dad regularly drop off to our house en-route to my older sister’s with similar fare. This picture is a typical example of such a package from Mum, comprising home-made zucchini pickle (with a hand-written recipe), cut-up figs (for my morning porridge), sun-dried tomatoes, and a potted mint plant (with care instructions – and, yes, Mum decorated it with brown paper and string before sending).

Part of the ‘gift’ was subtly telling us (from the wasteful generation) what to do with the abundance of zucchinis and tomatoes in our veggie patch we were scratching our heads over.


Chocolate zucchini cake

So I’ve included Mum’s zucchini pickle recipe from that package, below, and you can find a recipe my sister kindly sent me for chocolate zucchini cake here – (Who knew how sensual ‘creaming’ butter and sugar was? Note: Hubs was rather disgusted with me licking my fingers afterwards…)

Anyway, if I’m an Italian princess, a character in my latest novel, Pretty Famous (the third in my ‘Astonvale’ rom-com mystery series with HarperCollins), is a serious prince hunter. Imogen Karmel — a Grace Kelly-obsessed blonde — takes the cake when it comes to royalty stalking. But I bet she doesn’t get such nice deliveries from her mum…

Zucchini Pickle

The original hand written recipe for zucchini pickle

The original hand-written recipe

Cut zucchini in slices (however many you have/want), salt, and leave for 24 hours.

Next day, drain, squeezing all the liquid out.

Place in vinegar for approximately one hour.

Squeeze liquid out again.

Dress with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a jar and top with oil, or leave in the fridge.

Should last two weeks. Enjoy as a side to meat, on crusty bread with tuna, in pasta, or whatever suits!

Giveaway: Want to win an ebook copy of Pretty Famous by Carla Caruso? Tell us what YOU like to do with your zucchinis – ahem, in the kitchen, please! The comp’s open worldwide.

Did you read that, Feasties? We have a…


To be in the draw to win an ebook copy of Pretty Famous share your favourite way with zucchini. And if you’re like my other half and even shudder at the mention of the word, that’s fine. You can come up with a creative way to dispose of them instead. Too easy!

My favourite way with zucchini (which I don’t get to make often thanks to a certain person’s unfathomable dislike of this lovely veg) is zucchini and fetta slice. Beautiful!

What’s yours?

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 10th March 2015. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Carla and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @CarlaCaruso79, Instagram and Goodreads.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Sue who has won a copy of Carla’s gorgeous new rom-com, Pretty Famous. Thanks to everyone who indulged in our zucchini madness!

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