Greetings, food and book lovers, and welcome to another delicious edition of Friday Feast. This week, a lamb dish exploding with flavour, a suspenseful new release, plus another fab giveaway. Indeedy, Friday Feast has all the comforts, so kick back and read on!

In Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news, you know how I said last week that it looked like the curse hadn’t followed me home from Mount Gambier? I was wrong. It did, the rotten thing, and I’m a bit crankypants about the whole affair too. Offering false hope is cruel. I was smacking balls okay until halfway through my last round, then the curse struck and it aaaaall went wrong and I had to hand in a completely embarrassing score card. Hmph. Oh well, time to show a bit of optimism and hope the only way is up!

Author Helene YoungI’m absolutely delighted to welcome this week’s Friday Feast guest. Not only is Helene Young a regular here and renowned for sharing amazing recipes, she’s a gorgeous person and a highly talented author, having twice won romance the coveted Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year, and been nominated and shortlisted for several crime writing awards. Plus, given she’s been a pilot and Regional Flying Manager with Australia’s largest regional airline, and now lives on a catamaran, she’s also one pretty damn cool woman!

Helene’s latest release is Northern Heat. Check it out.


Cover of Northern Heat by Helene YoungIn remote northern Australia, Conor Stein is living under an assumed name and rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and a chance to flirt with Kristy Dark. When he finds himself dragged into a murder investigation, with more lives at risk, he fights to the death to protect those he loves.

After tragedy tore her family apart, Dr Kristy Dark fled home to the steamy north with her feisty teenage daughter, Abby. She hoped being part of the small community would help them both heal. When late one sultry night Conor staggers into the emergency department supporting a local fisherman with a gunshot wound, she has no inkling her world is about to be turned on its head.

As a cyclone tears through Cooktown, cutting them off from the world, the real killer moves to silence any witnesses. With their lives on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.

A gripping new novel of high drama and desire by Australia’s award-winning master of romantic suspense.

What a cracking read that sounds! And Northern Heat could be yours right now with just a few clicks. Buy from Booktopia or Bookworld. Or from the good people at Abbey’s Bookshop, Boomerang Books, QBD The Bookshop,,, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi or your favourite book retailer.

Sorted? Excellent. Time to kick back with Helene.

Size Doesn’t Matter – or not to Capt G 🙂

I’m so excited to be back visiting Cathryn and Friday Feast. This full time writing gig is wonderful!! The last 2 years have been so manic I’ve barely had time to cook so I’ve had fun perusing the past posts looking for recipes I can experiment with now I have time on my hands.  Mind you, Capt G presented me with this most delicious breakfast last Thursday and announced, ‘That’s the last one, darling. Now you’re retired you won’t need a cooked breakfast any more.’

Captain G's last cooked breakfast for author Helene Young

I felt quite ripped off, although Capt G has been exemplary since we moved back to Brisbane. Every morning he’s crawled out of bed, made me a cooked breakfast, packed me a lunch and sent me off to work. Every evening I’ve come home to dinner! (Exactly how he fills his days remains something of a mystery, but I suspect it involves coffee, chatting, coffee, chatting, and getting dinner ready!)

But the truly amazing thing for me is the yummy food Capt G delivers in a very compact space. The Roobinesque's kitchenRoobinesque has 2 small fridges, a camping freezer, a convection microwave, a small gas oven, a 3-burner gas stove and a Baby Q Weber BBQ. The kitchen itself is basically one bench top. Organisation is the key – and the Captain is organized!

One of my favourite dishes is Shawarma Lamb – slow cooked in the oven. He serves it with couscous, although he adds some chicken stock to the water so it’s delicious! It’s perfect for feeding 6 to 8 people and is trouble free.

The lamb is ‘melt in your mouth’ tender and pretty much cooks itself. He marinates it in the morning and leaves it sitting all day in the fridge until he’s ready to fire up the BBQ. Once it’s in and cooking the rest of the meal is simple to prepare and takes 20 minutes at the maximum. Perfect for a sailor with a busy marina social life!

Here’s the recipe:

Shawarma Lamb

(Courtesy of

1 cup chopped fresh coriander

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 garlic cloves, crushed

80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil

2kg leg of lamb – boned and flattened.

180g (2/3 cup) Greek yoghurt

1 tablespoon tahini

2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 red onion, cut into thin wedges

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Lebanese bread, to serve

Step 1: Combine coriander, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, 5 garlic cloves and 60ml (1/4 cup) oil in a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to marinate.

Step 2: Preheat oven 160ºC. Preheat the BBQ.

Step 3: Sear the lamb on the BBQ, browning all sides.

Step 4: Place lamb on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Drizzle over remaining oil. Season. Add water to pan to reach a depth of 2cm. Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours in oven at 160ºC. Remove foil. Roast for a further 1 hour or until the lamb is tender. Rest for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Meanwhile, combine yoghurt, tahini and remaining garlic in a bowl.

Step 6: Slice the lamb and divide among plates, placing on a bed of couscous. Top with the cucumber, mint, onion and pine nuts. Serve with the yoghurt mixture and bread.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the kitchen myself, but I know I’ll have some adjusting to do in order to work in the confined space. Capt G has frequently commented that I have a knack for using every pan in the kitchen – luckily we don’t have as many pans on the boat as we did in a house!!

What’s your kitchen like? Is it your pride and joy, or a work in progress? Is a good kitchen important to you or can you make do?

Join in the conversation and go into the draw to win a copy of Northern Heat! I’ll leave it to Cathryn to decide 🙂

Happy cooking!


Did you hear that, Feasties? We have a…


Tell us all about your kitchen, whether you love it, wish for something better, or don’t care because you hate cooking, and we’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of Helene’s brilliant new release, Northern Heat.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 9th June 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

Need more inspiration to enter? Take a look at Helene’s fantastic trailer for Northern Heat. If that doesn’t get you wanting to win, I don’t know what will!


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

Friday Feast recipe index link.

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