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Friday Features’

Guest talks about her new cookbook

Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire

by

Sloane Taylor

New from Toque & Dagger Publishing an exciting cookbook filled with recipes perfect for celebrating life. Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire, Book 3 in the Meals to Make Together series, is now available in e-book and paperback.

Liven up 2020 with this new cookbook. The 113 taste tempting recipes come together to celebrate 35 traditional, and far from typical, holidays with meals perfect for two or twenty. These complete menus are guaranteed to excite your taste buds and satisfy your most discriminating diner. Start a new tradition by inviting your family into the kitchen for holiday fun.

Entertain like royalty year-round on a working woman’s budget. No exotic or expensive products to buy. These delicious recipes use ingredients already on your kitchen shelves.

Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire is a fun gift for every holiday celebration, hostesses, bridal showers, or the couple who wants to enjoy quality time together.

BUY LINKS

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor’s cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available at all book vendors.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest

Sloane Taylor

talks about newest cookbook

New from Toque & Dagger Publishing an exciting cookbook filled with recipes perfect for your grill and stove. Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is now available in e-book and paperback.

Starry summer nights are ripe for romance and dining al fresco. Enhance the mood with Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, candles, wine, and your favorite music. Fire up your grill and share a romantic dinner with your someone special. Then let the night take you away.

Create 45 delicious and complete meals for two that can be cooked on your grill or stove. No exotic or expensive ingredients needed to prepare these 103 recipes. They use everyday products already in your kitchen cabinets. Increasing the dinners is a snap for those fun nights friends or family join you.

Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is an ideal gift for a hostess, bridal shower, anniversary, or the couple who craves a fresh flavor in their lives.

What People are Saying About Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco

In our fast food world, it’s nice to have a cookbook designed for you and your significant other to open a bottle of wine and enjoy each other’s company. You can turn to any page in this simple yet elegant book of tasty recipes and not be disappointed!
Paul Kutka, Private Executive Fine Dining Chef

Packed with mouth-watering recipes, easy-to-follow instructions, and helpful suggestions, Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco is perfect for any cook who loves to serve succulent dishes on their secluded patio or candlelit living room. Perfect for busy couples wanting to spice up their relationships, this fabulous cookbook screams, “Bring on Summer!”
Sharon Ledwith, YA Paranormal Fantasy and Time Travel Author

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced chef, Sloane Taylor takes you on a gourmet journey adding flavour and panache to your meals. This collection is inventive with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. These recipes will become your favourites – I’d happily cook them every night!
Joy Wood, Award-winning Romance and Women’s Fiction Author

Sloane Taylor hits the nail on the culinary head with Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, dishes, as she points out, to be made together. I especially like the International fare, because food should also be about adventure. Start cooking with someone special and make your meals memorable. Taylor shows you the way.
Anne Montgomery, Award-winning Women’s Fiction and Young Adult Author

Delicious food prepared from elegant recipes to impress anyone! Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco is my new favorite collection of no-miss recipes. And I love the cooking tips section in the back!
Suzanne G. Rogers, Victorian Romance Author

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction was a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.

Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Souping Up the Chicken

by

HL Carpenter

We’re good eggs here in Carpenter Country, and we subscribe to the waste-not philosophy of life. In our kitchen, one cooked chicken results in multiple meals, including delicious homemade chicken soup.

For this soup recipe, we began with a chicken slow-cooked in the crockpot. Once the chicken was cooked and the initial chicken-and-vegetable-and-potato meal eaten, we separated the remaining meat from the bones. We used the darker chicken meat in the soup, and the white-meat portions in chicken salad, chicken potpie, and chicken sandwiches.

The we get out our soup pot and put together this stovetop soup. For extra flavor, when we filled the pot with water, we added a few spoonsful of the drippings collected in the crockpot as the chicken cooked.

Note that this recipe works exactly the same if you prefer to roast your chicken in the oven.

Here’s our souped-up video. The full recipe follows below.

CHICKEN SOUP CARPENTER STYLE
Chicken trimmings (bones and skin) from fully cooked chicken
Water (enough to cover the trimmings and fill the pot)
2-4 tbsp. pan drippings, depending on the size of your pot
2-4 cups fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice (we used frozen mixed)
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. garlic salt (or regular salt if you prefer)
2 tsp. minced garlic
Dash black pepper
2 cups shredded chicken meat

Add chicken trimmings to pot.

Add enough water to cover the trimmings and fill the pot.

Add pan drippings.

Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove chicken trimmings from pot with strainer or slotted spoon and skim off any foam from the broth.

Add vegetables, seasonings, and shredded chicken to pot. Add additional water if necessary.

Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Serve hot with bread or crackers.

TIPS and TRICKS
Add a packet of chicken bouillon with the drippings to punch up the flavor.

For a thinner broth, leave out the vegetables (or cook them until they are very soft) and reduce the amount of shredded chicken. Use the broth in other recipes or serve in mugs.

To make chicken noodle soup, add noodles or pasta of your choice along with the vegetables.

Be creative with the spices. For instance, a dash of curry powder adds a unique flavor.

While you’re savoring your soup, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our mystery, Murder by the Books.

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Certified public accountant Fae Childers is not an embezzler, despite the belief of the accounting firm that fires her for stealing. But proving her innocence is harder than convincing an IRS agent to allow a deduction. She’s lost her mother, her job, her fiancé, and her self-respect. She’s running out of money and the lease is about to expire on her apartment.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

When the mystery of Fae’s past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she’s falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she’s going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.

EXCERPT
The letter arrived on the last Thursday in April, two weeks to the day after I got fired from the accounting firm where I worked for the past decade. August Palmer, my landlord, hand-delivered the letter in person, saying, “The mail carrier stuck this in my box by mistake, Fae.”

I took the envelope without bothering to look at it and glanced past Gus, at the patch of brilliant cloudless blue sky framing his shoulders.

Tampa, Florida on the cusp of summer, full of birdsong and the scent of warming pavement.

“Beautiful morning,” I said, as if I cared.

“Afternoon,” Gus said, his voice a low rumbly growl, the product of too many cigarettes and whiskeys in his happily misspent youth. He stood outside the tiny apartment my mother and I rented from him for the past two years and eyed me. “Still mopin’, girl?”

He had shown up on my doorstep every day since the firing with the same question.

Adhering to our new routine, I answered the same way I always did, except this time I didn’t bother pasting on a fake smile to accompany the words.

“Nope. Not my style.”

“‘Scuse me.” His tone was as dry as the month he was named for. “Forgot you’ve been hidin’ in the apartment, tap dancing with glee.”

I met his gaze. “For hours at a time. Any complaints about the noise?”

He clicked a nicotine pellet against tobacco stained teeth and kept his silence. I regretted my sarcasm. In my forbidden childhood game of describing people in colors, I would have painted Gus early-morning-yellow, the shade of the summer sun before the friendly sheltering coolness of night gave way to the brutal heat of day.

The description would have horrified him.

“How are the treatments going?”

He grunted. “They tell me I ain’t gonna croak this week.”

“Glad to hear it. You might want to keep your distance from me, though. I’m jinxed.”

Gus shook his head. “You gotta get over them fools, girl.”

“That’s no way to talk about my former bosses.” Especially since I looked at the real fool in the mirror each morning. I had believed dedication, loyalty, and hard work were appreciated by the partners of Slezia + Fyne, CPA, PA.

Ha, ha.

“Anyway, I am over them. Way over.”

“Yeah?” He was not convinced. “You over the suit, too?”

“Sure am.” Once again, I stuck with our new routine and gave him the same answer I always did. “I have moved on.”

Once again, the lie carried the bitter taste of betrayal. The suit was Scott Piper, former co-worker, fiancé, and man of my dreams. The suit dumped me the day of the firing.

Gus snorted. “Funny how much movin’ on resembles standing around feeling sorry for yourself.”

In my opinion, wallowing in self-pity was marginally more mature than throwing a temper tantrum. Even if it hadn’t been, I didn’t have the energy for a tantrum. I barely had the energy to maintain my half of the daily conversation with Gus.

“Have you been watching that big bald guy on television again?”

He stuck out his chin. “Don’t get smart. You know I’m right. You’re mopin’.”

“Only because I can’t tap dance.”

He was right. In the eight months since my mother’s death, I had slogged through an ever-darkening morass of the malady Gus called moping, and what his favorite celebrity psychologist might consider the early stages of depression. The firing and the accompanying fallout shoved me even closer to the edge of a black abyss.

My moping was self-absorbed, given the burdens others faced, but what could I say? One woman’s detour was another’s stop sign.

“You ought to call your girl pal, that one you worked with. What’s her name? Sarah? Have you heard from her?”

No. And I didn’t want to hear from her, much less call her.

I shook my head.

“Your ma would have been annoyed with you.”

A lump in my throat closed off my voice and I could only nod. He was right about that too. My irrepressible mother believed in taking the positive approach to life. To her, saying negative words or thinking negative thoughts was the same as asking them to come true. She had little patience for pity parties.

Focus on your strengths, Fae, and always keep moving.

My ability to follow her advice vanished with her death. I was slowly turning into the type of recluse the Japanese call hikikomori. Even the simple task of cleaning out Mom’s bedroom was beyond me.

“So? You gonna open the letter?” Gus asked.

I turned over the envelope in my hand.

Heavy, officious, dirty white, and mildly threatening, the envelope shrieked of the intimidation perfected by lawyers and the Internal Revenue Service and jolted me right out of my apathy. My breath hitched in my throat.

Had Gary Slezia and Richard Fyne gone back on their word? Had they decided to forego their distaste for publicity and press charges against me?

Amazon Buy Link


Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happeni
ng in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, GoodReads,
and their Amazon Author Page.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The first couples cookbook, Date Night Dinners, by Sloane Taylor , now available in e-book and paperback.Be sure to get your copy today!

Ready to ignite that old flame? Or perhaps spark a new one? Take your partner by the hand and turn on your stove. A true romantic, award-winning author Sloane Taylor brings her creativity to the kitchen with easy-to-make meals sure to spark the intimacy and quality time you want with your special someone. Cooking together is only the start of the fun!

Create 45 complete dinners for two and flavor your evenings with a new dish. These 80 recipes use everyday foods already on most kitchen shelves. The recipes are easily increased for those fun times friends or family join your table.

Date Night Dinners, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening, is an ideal gift for engagements, bridal showers, anniversaries, or for anyone who wants to spice things up.

What People are Saying About Date Night Dinners


Bring your date nights back home! Sloane Taylor’s delicious meals are the perfect prelude to romance.
Helen Hardt,#1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

These recipes are sure to please the palate and make your romantic night a perfect memory. Enjoy!
Jan Springer, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Romance Author

With Date Night Dinners Sloane Taylor reminds us that our relationships should be savored like a fine meal.
Chris Pavesic, Award-Winning Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author

Any recipe is a perfect date night dinner because it can quietly simmer away while the diners are doing umm…other things.
Vonnie Hughes, Romantic Suspense Author

BUY LINKS
AMAZON E-BookAMAZON PaperbackSMASHWORDSKOBO

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest chief

Sloan Taylor

shares a quick & easy meal

Here is a quick and easy meal that is sure to impress your special someone, family and friends. Serve with sliced tomatoes, orzo, and a bottle of dry white wine. Be sure to drizzle plenty of sauce over the pasta.

Allen0417 Pixabay

SAUTÉED SEA SCALLOPS
1 lb. sea scallops
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tsp. chives, snipped for garnish

Have everything measured and ready to go before you start cooking. This recipe only takes a few minutes so you must be prepared.

Preheat oven to 210° F.

Rinse and pat dry the scallops.

Add olive oil and butter to a frying pan set on medium-high heat. Add the scallops when the foam subsides. Sear 2 – 4 minutes per side. Make sure they are golden edging into brown before you turn them.

Add garlic when you turn the scallops.

When they have reached the proper color, remove the scallops to a bowl and set in the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.

Spoon out the garlic from the frying pan. Skim off some of the fat that has floated to the top. Carefully add the wine, all the while scraping in any browned pieces on the sides and bottom of the pan. Cook until the mixture reduces by about ⅓.

Lay the scallops on a bed of orzo either on a platter or individual plates. Lace the sauce over the dish, top with chives and serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening releasing June 5, 2018.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Special Spotlight

Highlights

A cookbook that is FREE as a gift from us to you for the holidays. Be sure to get your copy today!

Who doesn’t love the holidays? You get to bond with family and friends, shop till you drop for that perfect gift, decorate the house to your heart’s desire, plan a meal worthy of gracing your table, and attend all those fabulous parties. Wait…hope I didn’t exhaust you already? Yes, we ALL love holidays and celebrations, no matter what time of year they fall, but it can get a little (okay, a lot) overwhelming when it comes time to prepare for those holiday meals and parties when you’re working a full-time job, and taking care of your family’s needs.

How about some relief from the stress and pressure of figuring out what to serve your hungry guests during holiday get-togethers, events, or celebrations?

Cue a holiday-inspired cookbook written by the following thirteen busy authors, of various ages and genres:

Carol Browne
HL Carpenter
Sara Daniel
Dominique Eastwick
Leigh Goff
C.D. Hersh
Vonnie Hughes
Alicia Joseph
Emma Lane
Sharon Ledwith
Anne Montgomery
Chris Pavesic
Sloane Taylor

These wonderful writers have created recipes that will make your life easy and simple when it comes time to prepare tantalizing appetizers, tasty beverages, mouth-watering cookies, and decadent desserts.

The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers is your go-to recipe book for entertaining over the holiday seasons, hosting events, or celebrating that special day. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes have been tested and approved of by the most finicky family members. Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?

So why not have your cake and eat it too? Yes, pun intended. You’ve got nothing to lose, and time to gain when you download The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers. There’s a recipe for every holiday, celebration, or event in your life. Give yourself a gift this holiday season with a cookbook from thirteen writers who share their favorite recipes and tips to help relieve the stress in your busy life.

Download your FREE E-Pub cookbook at Smashwords.

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Friday Features’

Guests talk about

Carrot Cake or Carrot Sticks?

No Contest!

by

Susan Lodge

The habit of afternoon tea and cake has come back into fashion with a vengeance.

Thanks to the explosion of bake-offs and celebrity chef programmes, baking cakes is big business. Never has the cup cake, Victoria sponge or biscuit been given so many media makeovers — despite the gym gurus and the calorie police. I love cake, but it’s a struggle balancing; bake-offs v gym workout, carrot sticks v carrot cake, bathroom scales v kitchen scales… and so on.

So, here is my favourite cake recipe. It’s full of off happy healthy carrots. And, if you want to implement further calorie control, the cake is equally delicious without the frosting. Great for afternoon tea, morning coffee, or just when you need some T.L.C.

Carrot Comfort Cake

200g or 7oz. just over ¾ cup plain flour
200g or 7oz. just over ¾ cup brown sugar
200g or 7oz. just over ¾ cup grated carrots
2-3 mashed, ripe bananas, depending on size
120 ml of sunflower oil
100g or just under ½ cup sultanas
100g or just under ½ cup chopped nuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazils, almonds – or a mixture of your preference
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
3 eggs
20 cm wide, or 8”, spring based/loose based, round cake tin

Pre-heat oven to 170°C or 340° F

Grease cake tin. If you use a tin without a loose base, cut out a round of greaseproof paper and line the base to prevent sticking.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and then stir into egg mixture.

Add the nuts, oil, sultanas and carrots and stir well. Finally add the mashed banana and make sure everything is evenly combined.

Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 1 hr – 1hr 15 mins.

Test the cake is done by inserting a skewer or thin bladed knife into the middle. It should come out clean.

When the cake has cooled, either dust the top with sifted icing sugar, Confectioner’s sugar, or top with an easy cream cheese frosting (as pictured).

Cream Cheese Frosting
100g or 4oz. cream cheese
50g or 2tbsp. soft butter
200-250g or ¾ – 1 cup icing sugar or Confectioner’s sugar

Beat together cream cheese and butter.

Add enough icing sugar until you reach a soft spreading consistency.

Carefully swirl on top of cooled cake with palette knife.

Enjoy!

Meet the author:

Susan Lodge’s first publishing success was a story purchased by a major UK magazine. After a drawer full of rejections she described the arrival of the acceptance letter as, ‘A moment of ecstasy’. This breakthrough gave her the confidence to seek and secure a publisher for her historical romance novels. Only a Hero Will Do and Rebellious Cargo.

After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.

You can find more about Susan and her books on her website and blog. Stay connected on her Amazon page, Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

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