FRIDAY FEAST with Jenn J McLeod

25 Replies

Welcome, food and book lovers, to another scintillating edition of Friday Feast. This week we’re getting seasonal with a rural romance author keen to tempt your tastebuds with comfort food, plus your chance to win a 3-book-pack giveaway!

But first, the ongoing curse that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. You may recall how last week I had a return to form. Well, that didn’t last long. My round began sort of okay but steadily descended into something akin to golf hell thanks to some ordinary irons and idiot putting, which was annoying because I’d woken feeling pretty positive. Then the sky began to darken  Author Jenn J McLeodand yet another storm began to brew, and once that happened I was shot. If there’s one thing that gives me nervous turns, it’s waving a bunch of lightning rods around in bad weather. And to top off a most forgetful day, we were hammered by hailstones on the way home. Naturally, none of this will stop me heading out for another hit this week, although I’m stuffed if I know why!

Our guest today is Jenn J McLeod whose first novel, A House For All Seasons, was in the top ten debut releases for 2013. Since then she’s followed her success with Simmering Season and now Season of Shadow and Light. Book bloggers 1 Girl, 2 Many Books and Write Note Reviews describe it as her best yet.

Check it out.


Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeodSometime this season…

The secret keeper must tell.

The betrayed must trust.

The hurt must heal.

When it seems everything Paige trusts is beginning to betray her, she leaves her husband at home and sets off on a road trip with six year old Matilda, and Nana Alice in tow.

But stranded amid rising floodwaters, on a detour to the tiny town of Coolabah Tree Gully, Paige discovers the greatest betrayal of all happened there twenty years earlier.

Someone knows that truth can wash away the darkest shadows, but…

Are some secrets best kept for the sake of others?

Jenn has this to add about Season of Shadow and Light: With early reader reviews already in, I am super excited about this story of secrets and love, of family loyalty, and of trust—the kind that takes years to build but only seconds to wash away.

Season of Shadow and Light releases today which means you can order it right now from that most excellent of book stores Booktopia. Also Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, Abbeys Bookshop, Boomerang Books, QBD the Bookshop,, Kobo, iBooksGoogle Play and JB Hi-Fi.

Here’s Jenn!

Suddenly Sous-Vide

You said you want a dish, Cathryn? I’m bringing you and your readers the best dish—eva! His name is Aiden and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed bringing him to life in my latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light, which officially releases today!

I guess you could call Aiden Paige’s love interest in the story, and although far from Mr Perfect, the thing I loved most about Aiden was creating the perfect chef. (Can’t say I met many of those in my time as a café owner!) As Paige says at one point . . . (here’s is a tiny excerpt about a tiff)

Most chefs she’d known were highly- strung, with short fuses.

‘You know what?’ she fired back, fully prepared to tell this guy where to shove his platters, only to see a smile creep across Aiden’s face.

So totally unexpected—so absolutely gorgeous—her brain felt suddenly sous-vide, with every expletive instantly and silently sucked out, the bag then sealed tight. Although why she worried about offending this guy, she didn’t know. So far she’d witnessed him cursing into his mobile, throwing phones, happy to leave cows stranded, issuing orders and generally being a prattish, mulish, moronic chef. Typical, in other words, and Paige had met very few in the business who weren’t precious. Yes, he’d had cause to hit the roof about traipsing manure through a clean kitchen—any kitchen—minutes before service, but now here he was smiling.

Enjoy that? I suppose you’re expecting I contribute a ‘sous vide something or other’ recipe now. I would, only life these days (on board Barcoola—my caravan) demands less complication, largely due to limited cooking equipment. (Because life’s too short to wash up too many pots.)

But here is one of Aiden’s kiddy creations that Paige’s little daughter, Matilda, pronounces: “macromi sneeze”.  And bonus! This version is low calorie.

Aiden’s Macromi Sneeze!

Jenn J McLeod cooking in her caravan 'Barcoola'2 x cups raw macaroni noodles

1 x 65g pkt of cheese and leek soup mix

2 cups skim milk

1 level tbsp. parmesan cheese

½ cup grated cheese (reduced fat, if you like)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook past as directed on the packet.

Rinse well and eave to one side.

Using the same saucepan combine milk and dry soup mix using a whisk.

Bring to boil gently, stirring continuously.

Place noodles in sauce and fold until pasta is well coated.

Variations: add ham or bacon for a calorie hit. Or fresh tomato if you want to be good. Herbs are another nice touch.


Mmm. Comfort food, something we adore here on Friday Feast. Thanks for sharing, Jenn. I’m sure you must have some adventures cooking in the confines of the caravan. It’d certainly test me!


Now, my gorgeous Feasty fans, to celebrate the release of A Season of Shadow and Light, Jenn is running a special three-book giveaway across all the blogs she’s touring. To be in the running to win a pack containing all three of Jenn’s releases – that’s A House For All Seasons, Simmering Season, and A Season of Shadow and Light – simply leave a comment below revealing what your favourite camping food is.

I bags barbecued snags! But maybe you love bush damper while camping, or grilled steaks. How about a yabbie or two, or maybe potatoes baked in hot coals and then smothered in butter?

Simply share your favourite camping food and you’ll be included in the draw. This is a serious prize, so get typing!


Please note: Giveaway will be drawn by Jenn from all comments left during her blog tour, and announced on her website at the end of May 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

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

25 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Jenn J McLeod

  1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Hi Jenn! Hi Cathryn!

    Hubby and I caravan a lot and love it! Might see you on the road one day Jenn. We’re hoping in a year or so we’ll be travelling indefinitely. Our favourite camping food just has to be rib eye fillet thrown on the barbie surrounded by capsicum, tomato, mushrooms, zucchini and fennel – that’s what you call a smorgasbord of yum! I must admit though our last holiday in Hervey Bay out of the 4 weeks we were away I cooked twice but most other holidays I cook in the van the same way I cook at home. We take the slow cooker, the blender, small mix master – I make muffins, cakes and fancy dinner meals. To me though cooking in the van is not such a chore as cooking at home – must be the feel of holiday mode, gorgeous country air and eating outside in the big open space.

    Congrats on the release of A Season of Shadow and Light Jenn! I’ve still yet to read Simmering Season, I loooved A House for all Seasons – an amazing read!

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        That is indeed a smorgasbord of yum, Sue! I’d be around for that.
        It must be great to source local produce from wherever you are, too. That’s one thing I adore about travelling, is getting to try specialties of different places. And camping always makes you extra hungry so a good excuse to try even more!

  2. AvatarLen Klumpp

    Hi Cathryn and Jenn, my favourite when we were camping as kids was getting a stick, putting a piece of bread on it, toasting it on hot coals then smothering it with butter and Vegemite. Yumm

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Great choice! Can’t beat good old butter and Vege. Len. Love the stuff. The hardest part of that trick was finding juuuuust the right stick I reckon. I wasn’t very good at it and burnt a lot of toast. Still yum though!

  3. AvatarKim Foster

    WOW what a wonderful give away, i’m IN please……..favourite camp food i’ve no idea as i’ve never camped so this is why i need to win a prize of books to keep my city life……..thanks ladies

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!
        Don’t worry, Kim, we’ll keep doing our best to excite that city life of yours.
        Good luck in the draw. I’ll have my fingers crossed for you. It’s a FANTASTIC prize.

        1. AvatarKim Foster

          thanks Cathryn………..but to be honest i don;t think camping is my thing i love hot showers lol

      2. AvatarKim Foster

        yells pick me Jenn lolol………….good luck everyone………..such a wonderful prize

  4. AvatarDelores Bebbington

    Hi Jenn. I am so looking forward to reading ‘Season of Shadow and Light’ after of course ‘Simmering Season’.
    I loved ‘House for All Seasons’. You choose great titles for your books. Unfortunately my husband cannot be persuaded to go camping. the closest we got was a fabulous holiday in a Brita up to the Pilbara and Karijini . So I guess for my favourite camp food I would return to my childhood when my uncles would bring home the fish and crabs they caught in the estuary. They cleaned them on a wooden block under the olive tree and Grandma cooked the fish in a well-seasoned frypan . The taste of the fish was to die for, straight out of the briny! Happy travels Delores.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Oh, I am with you on this one, Delores. Fresh fish is such a favourite. Thanks to Mum and Dad having a wonderful shack in a tiny fishing village, we lived on seafood as kids. Loved it. Still do.
        Jenn, we used to always cook crayfish alive. Straight from the pot or hessian bag and into boiling water, then stand back. We never thought anything of it at the time but it’s horribly cruel. Poor things. Never really ate a lot of crab, mostly because we were overloaded with crays.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      That was my choice too, Helen. Although I don’t mind a good barbecued steak or lamb chop either. Oh, and there’s got to be onions. There are not to many scents more evocative than that of frying onions. Ask anyone who ventures to a Bunnings on a Saturday morning!

  5. Avatarchristine stinson

    Hi Jenn and Cathryn, and congratulations, Jenn, on the release of ‘A Season of shadow and Light’. Can’t wait to read it.
    Ah the sight and smell of Bunnings on a Saturday morning – nothing beats a barbequed banger sanger with sauce! Although freshly caught fish cooked over a camp fire comes close, particularly when you’re sitting around the fire with a drink in hand… Almost makes up for the lack of hot showers. Have a wonderful release week, Jenn.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh yes, Christine. It’s very dangerous going to Bunnings on a Saturday morning. That smell! It’s instantly mouth-watering and so hard to walk past. Love it!

  6. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hey ladies! Congratulations on the release, Jenn!
    My favourite camping food is lamb cutlets with a nice layer of fat still on them, grilled over embers raked from a roaring fire. They taste even better when the grilling rack is supported by four empty beer cans. Dunno why 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ahh, it must be the special beer aroma that comes from evaporating off the dribbles left inside, Louise!

      Lamb cutlets… mmmmm. Love those babies.

  7. AvatarSandy Vaile

    When I camp it’s just me and 2 sons, so I like to keep meals simple. Tuna mornay is an all time favourite, because I throw a bunch of tins and a packet sauce together, and serve it in a bowl. Easy peasy and yummy! Looking forward to reading your latest and greatest Jen.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      How funny you should mention tuna mornay, Sandy. I was just talking to my dad about that dish the other night and he was lamenting that he couldn’t make it the way Mum did. Dad, bless him, isn’t much of a cook though, so maybe your packet mix solution will be just the trick!

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your lovely camping food idea.

Comments are closed.