FRIDAY FEAST with Michelle Douglas

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Greetings dumplings, and welcome to another delectable edition of Friday Feast. This week we have wine, babies, and beef. Although not in the same recipe, as I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know.

First, the frustration that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Bad. Very, very bad is all I can say about my game at the moment. I even tried marking my balls with bright blue love hearts in the faint hope it might amuse Oh, Great Golfing God, but no. Recent form has proven that it only made him crankypants. However the weather has been glorious and the company enjoyable, and, really, when one is playing this atrociously the only way is up!

Michelle Douglas authorAs much as I would like to move on to the wine bit of this week’s Feast, the baby must come first. My guest is the ever-delightful Michelle Douglas, who received her first rejection letter at the age of eight for Keri the Koala Baby.

Michelle has since moved on from koalas but not necessarily babies, and is now a multi-published author writing for Harlequin’s Romance line. Her latest is Reunited By A Baby Secret, part of the Vineyards of Calanetti continuity and a guaranteed heart-tugger. Check it out.


Reunited By A Baby Secret coverShe’s back in Calanetti…

After a vacation in paradise, Marianna Amatucci returned to her family vineyard determined to make a fresh start. But her plans changed in an instant when two blue lines on a pregnancy test reveal she’d returned home with a souvenir!

When she finds the father, Ryan White, he’s nothing like the laid-back surfer she met on the beach. In a tailored suit, he oozes masculine authority, and he’s staying in the penthouse! What will walking into his high-flying corporate world mean for their baby…?

Did you hear that, my lovelies? Vineyards! A baby! A sexy hero! Just what you need to give a smile, a sigh and maybe even a little tear. And Reunited By A Baby Secret can be yours right now with a mere click. Buy from Booktopia, BookdepositoryAmazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or your favourite book retailer.

All set? Good. Now feel free to get beefy!

Fine Vines

To be visiting Cathryn today and talking about wine does seem rather appropriate. Not that I mean to be telling tales outside of school or anything, but Cathryn and I do seem to find ourselves in the bar together on a rather regular basis at RWAust and ARRA conferences. 🙂

Authors enjoying a tipple

Wine has been on my mind quite a bit recently because my latest release REUNITED BY A BABY SECRET is set in the rolling green hills of Tuscan wine country, and my heroine is a viticulturist. Mind you, Marianna is pregnant so wine tasting is out for her, but it wasn’t for me. And, naturally, a girl has to provide due diligence and perform appropriate research. So off to the Hunter Valley I went to look at vineyards and taste wines. I discovered two things:

  1. Wine country is gloriously beautiful regardless of what part of the world you’re in.
  2. One shouldn’t wine taste at 11 o’clock in the morning if they haven’t had breakfast. 😉

So, in honour of all things wine-related, I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes with you. This, amazingly enough for me, is ludicrously healthy. It’s also incredibly simple. And despite what the photo looks like (I’m terrible at taking pretty pictures of food) it’s utterly delish.

Beef in Red Wine

Beef and red wine casserole

Place the following ingredients into a nice big pot: ½ kilo of diced beef, two diced onions, two large sliced carrots, 2 sliced sticks of celery, a diced green capsicum, 200g sliced mushrooms, a clove or two of crushed garlic, a can of tomato puree (415ml), a teaspoon of Italian herbs, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and ½ cup of red wine.

Bring it all to the boil and then cook on low, covered for 90 mins.

My favourite way to eat this is with mashed potatoes and green beans. But crusty bread is perfect with it too. Pasta would work as well. Also, it’s a forgiving recipe. I’ve made it with one onion rather than two, and when I haven’t had a green capsicum on hand I’ve used a zucchini to fine effect, so feel free to mess about with the ingredients. Enjoy!

Thanks for having me to visit, Cathryn! I always love hanging out with you (whether wine is involved or not).


A pleasure to host you, Michelle! Your casserole sounds beautiful and just the thing to enjoy with a glass (or two) of Hunter shiraz. Then a nice relax with Reunited By A Baby Secret and a very pleasant evening is to be had.

Okay, food lovers, what would you serve with Michelle’s casserole, or a casserole like it?

I love the idea of crunchy green beans but we do adore our bread and would probably have a nice crusty loaf on the side to mop up all that tasty gravy. What about you? Share away!

If you’d like to learn more about Michelle and her gorgeous books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Goodreads.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

15 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Michelle Douglas

  1. AvatarHelen

    Woohoo Hi Michelle and Cathryn

    Firstly I have read this books and really enjoyed it the setting the characters 🙂

    Love that recipe Michelle and I would serve that with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potato and yes I would love some bread to soak up those lovely juices can’t waste those 🙂

    have Fun

    1. AvatarMichelle Douglas

      Helen, it’s really had to go past a lovely mash where this recipe is concerned. I haven’t had a sweet potato mash in an age. I think I’ll have to rectify that in the very near future. 🙂 As for bread — I’m a sucker for the stuff. Crusty bread and yummy gravy — what could be better?

      P.S. So glad you enjoyed my Tuscan vinyard! 😉

  2. Avatarchristine stinson

    Great to see you on ‘Friday Feast’, Michelle, and congratulations on the latest release! Love the sound of that casserole, a perfect winter warmer and all the better for being a one-pot-wonder. Which is why I’d serve it with crusty bread for preference – to save on the cleaning up! Although a nice, buttery mash is hard to forego… Thanks for another enjoyable post, Cathryn, and here’s hoping you’re right about the only way being up with the golf!

    1. AvatarMichelle Douglas

      Hi Christine, so nice to see you here! I sometimes wonder if my great love for this recipe comes down to the fact that it is a one-pot-wonder…and then I take my first mouthful and sigh in utter contentment. As for what to serve it with–the joy of this dish is that you can choose the sides depending on your energy levels. 🙂

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Michelle’s dish would indeed make perfect winter fare, Christine. Although given this glorious weather, we might have to wait a while for the right conditions to make it. Right now with all this sun all I feel like eating is lovely seafood and salad. Rock on summer!

        I hope I’m right about golf too. I have this district medal finals day thing coming up next week and the form I’m in I’m likely to disgrace myself and come last.

  3. AvatarAnnie West

    Hi Cathryn, hi Michelle! Lovely to see the pair of you together. I noticed I managed to sneak into both the conference photos you posted, Michelle – obviously I love your company.

    Love the sound of beef and red wine casserole, Michelle. I cook something similar in winter months here and as you say it’s versatile. Personally I love it with crunchy-skinned baked potatoes or garlic mash and green beans, maybe with some slivered almonds in the beans. Definitely with lovely bread, and of course a nice shiraz. Sigh. Spring is here so I’d better get my casserole making in while it’s still a little nippy and before it’s all seafood and salad weather.

    Congratulations on the new release which I have on my bedside table. Can’t wait to read it!

    1. AvatarMichelle Douglas

      Annie, I love that you’re in both photos. Obviously you don’t mind good company and the occasional glass of wine either. 😉

      Crunchy skinned baked potatoes sound utterly delicious. So do the beans with slivered almonds (though that’s a whole lot fancier than is the norm in the Douglas household). Oh, and a big yes to the shiraz! A perfect accompaniment. Mind you, as the weather is starting to warm up casserole making will soon be off the menu again till April or May next year.

      Chuffed beyond measure that my new release is sitting on your bedside table! 🙂

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Always lovely to see you in person and in photos, Annie!
        Crunchy skinned baked potatoes… mmmmmmm. Feels like forever since I’ve had a baked spud. Might have to put them on the menu this week. Although, given this glorious weather, it might be salads.

  4. AvatarFi

    Happy to have what ever you want to cook with it. That would be me opening the wine and admiring the chef working. Waving to Michelle 🙂 Shall look forward to the book. Love Tuscany
    And I can see a sudden improvement in Cathryn’s golf just around the corner. Honest xx Fi

    1. AvatarMichelle Douglas

      LOL, Fi! But, yes, definitely the right answer when someone else is cooking the dinner. I’ll cook and you can pour. 😉

      I seem to recall you having something of a love affair with Tuscany. Very jealous. It looks like a glorious part of the world. I mean to make it there one day.

      And, Cath, we all have our fingers crossed for your golf today!

  5. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Hi Cathryn! Hi Michelle!
    I’ve made something similar in my slow cooker, never thought of adding capsicum, so will add that next time. Because this recipe has a lot of vegies in it already I’d only make brown rice to go with it.
    Love the Hunter Valley, we always stop there for a few nights before returning home from one of our trips when we’re anywhere up north.

    Your book sounds awesome, Michelle, I’ll keep an eye out next time I’m book shopping. Congrats on the release!

    1. AvatarMichelle Douglas

      Hi Sue, the capsicum adds a nice flavour. I agree, though, that there are enough veggies in the casserole itself to not need to serve any more with it…but the beauty is that you can add oodles of mash and greens and crusty bread and feed twice the number of people if need be (especially if you have a lovely big apple pie for dessert. Hmm…I’m obviously channeling comfort food at the moment).

      Many thanks for the kind words about my new release. 🙂 It was rather lovely to have a legitimate (?) excuse to spend a day or two in the vineyards.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Definitely try it with capsicum, Sue. I made lamb and red wine casserole that has roasted red capsicum in it and the flavour is wonderful.
        I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time with Reunited by a Baby Secret. Can’t go wrong with a sexy man in a Tuscan vineyard!

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