Posts Tagged ‘Special Feature’

Recipe Review

Date Night Dinners—Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening: Cookbook for Two

by Sloane Taylor

Left to right: Mock Chicken Legs, Parsley Potatoes, Truly Yummy Brussel Sprouts


Sloane Taylor asked us to try some of the recipes in her new Date Night Dinners—Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening: Cookbook for Two, and Catherine decided to do an entire meal—over achiever that she is. For the salad she chose WARM ENDIVE AND PINE NUTS. The remainder of the meal (pictured above) was MOCK CHICKEN LEGS, PARSLEY POTATOES, and TRULY YUMMY BRUSSEL SPROUTS. We made some modifications to a couple of the recipes based on what we could find in our grocery, and the finished meal still tasted great.

We have to admit that Catherine wasn’t very adventurous in her choices as we love chicken, beef and pork, potatoes, and Brussel sprouts, but we have never had them cooked quite like this.

Endive, however, isn’t common on our dinner plates. Iceberg, romaine and mixed greens are our usual salad choices. So, Catherine did get adventurous in her choice of salad, WARM ENDIVE AND PINE NUTS. Unfortunately, she made the salad on a different day than the rest of the meal, and forgot to take a picture of it. But, rest assured, the salad was good.

We couldn’t find Belgian endive in our grocery, so Catherine used a regular endive. The greener version made the salad reminiscent of a wilted lettuce salad her mother used to serve. We weren’t sure about the mustard in the dressing, as Catherine isn’t fond of mustard, except in deviled eggs. But the Dijon mustard had a mild enough taste that it enhanced, not overpowered, the dressing. We’ll make the dressing exactly like the recipe when we do this salad again. It was a nice change from the iceberg, Romaine and mixed greens we usually use.

We love a dish very similar to the MOCK CHICKEN LEGS in the cookbook. Here where we live it’s call City Chicken. Catherine’s mother used to serve a fried pork version, dipped in cornmeal, when Catherine was younger. Sloane’s version is a bit more elegant than our childhood version as it’s browned then baked. It smelled wonderful when we brought it out of the oven. We used beef and chicken from the local meat market. They didn’t have veal. We also used a breading that had Pecorino Romano cheese in it. When we want Mock Chicken legs again, we will choose chicken and pork tenderloin, eliminating the beef completely, as we try to eat less beef nowadays.

This recipe has now become our go-to for an improved, updated version of our childhood “City Chicken.” No more “chicken-on-stick” from the meat counter. We’re making it from scratch from now on. Definitely a winner in our kitchen!




Use equal amounts of the three meats. If you are anti-veal, the beef and pork alone are still great. Increase their amounts to 1½ lbs. (750g) each.

1 lb. (450g) eye of round or other high quality beef roast, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes 1 lb. (450g) pork tenderloin, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes 1 lb. (450g) veal shoulder, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes
3 eggs
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1½ (160g) cups seasoned bread crumbs, possibly more
Olive oil
Skewers 6 – 8 inches (15 – 20cm) long

Alternate the meat cubes as you skewer them. Set aside on waxed paper.

**Stop here if you plan to cook the legs another day. If you made extras, this is the time to freeze them. Lay the skewers on a cookie sheet. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.

On the day of serving, combine eggs and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip the skewers, one at a time, into the mixture. Roll in the bread crumbs then set them back onto the waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least ½ hour to set the coating.

Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C).

Heat ½ inch (1.25cm) olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil shimmers, carefully put in a few skewers and brown well on all sides. As they are cooked set them into a baking dish, stacking the skewers is fine.

Cover the dish and bake for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until fork tender.

Do NOT add any liquid to the meat. This dish produces its own fantastic sauce.


For our potato dish we chose PARSLEY POTATOES (POMMES DE TERRE SILLEES).
These parsley potatoes are a form of scalloped potatoes. The bay leaves added an interesting flavor to the dish. The only change we’d make is using a bit more milk. Our dish turned out a bit dry, but we’ll blame the cook, not the recipe.

TRULY YUMMY BRUSSELS SPROUTS was our vegetable choice. We love roasted Brussel sprouts tossed in olive oil and garlic powder. So, we were anxious to see how these stacked up. We weren’t disappointed. The bacon and onion are stellar additions to the sprouts. The flavor inspired us. This winter, when we don’t mind heating the kitchen with the oven, we’ll toss some onions and bacon onto our roasting sheet. Be sure to cook the sprouts until they are fork-tender. Catherine rushed them and they were a bit chewy, but still delicious enough that we ate the whole skillet.

Well, that’s our take on the four delicious recipes we tried from Date Night Dinners—Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening: Cookbook for Two. You can find Sloane Taylor’s cookbook on Amazon. Available in paperback or Kindle.

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Special Feature


Collette Cameron

Author of

Triumph and Treasure

Book I in the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series

20141015 TriumphandTreasure_850HIGHA disillusioned Scottish gentlewoman.

Angelina Ellsworth once believed in love—before she discovered her husband of mere hours was a slave-trader and already married. To avoid the scandal and disgrace, she escapes to her aunt and uncle’s, the Duke and Duchess of Waterford. When Angelina learns she is with child, she vows she’ll never trust a man again.

A privileged English lord.

Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore, led an enchanted life until his father committed suicide after losing everything to Waterford in a wager. Stripped of all but his title, Flynn is thrust into the role of marquis as well as provider for his disabled sister and invalid mother. Unable to pay his father’s astronomical gambling loss, Flynn must choose between social or financial ruin.

When the duke suggests he’ll forgive the debt if Flynn marries his niece, Flynn accepts the duke’s proposal. Reluctant to wed a stranger, but willing to do anything to protect her babe and escape the clutches of the madman who still pursues her, Angelina agrees to the union. Can Flynn and Angelina find happiness and love in a marriage neither wanted, or is the chasm between them insurmountable?


Bio:20141015 Collette Cameron

Award winning, Amazon best-selling author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.


Connect with Collette

Website     Blue Rose Romance Blog   Twitter   Facebook

Regency Rose Newsletter   Goodreads

You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Google+ too.

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Special Feature

Blind Redemption


Violetta Rand

Releases today June 25 on Amazon from Soul Mate Publishing.

I (Donald) got the privilege to read an advanced copy of the book. This is an exciting and action packed story entwining the lives of Aaron and Kara that keeps the reader turning the pages as Aaron’s life is turned upside down and Kara learns that finding true love does not mean totally giving up her freedom. This book is one you should read.

20140625 Blind Redemption copy


The past is something he’d sooner forget…

Aaron McNally hates his past. Banished for betrayal, he trades his tartan for a Norwegian title and sword to win back his honor.

She has a warrior’s heart…

It’s difficult for Kara Dalgaard to act like a lady, even when her father demands it. After the handsome Jarl Aaron McNally arrives at her home recruiting for the king’s army, she’s forced to participate in a cruel deception to humiliate him. She quickly regrets what she’s done.

However, duty comes before happiness.

Aaron wants a second chance at life—and Kara is everything he’s dreamed of. But the past always has a way of catching up.

Will Kara trust or condemn him to a life of loneliness?


When Kara entered the water, her toes curled. It was freezing. There was a flash of amusement on her companion’s face as her teeth chattered uncontrollably. She swam several yards, then submerged herself, snorting and choking as she resurfaced. Water dribbled down her chin. Amelia wasn’t as adventurous and stayed close to the shoreline. Kara treaded water as she admired the dark woods across the lake. Nothing pleased her more than being outside. Free to explore, free to do as she wanted without her brothers harassing her. She thought she saw movement, but realized it was nothing more than flickering sunlight and shadows. The pleasure of the moment dominated her senses. Nothing could ruin it.

As she floated on her back half dozing, the thundering sound of approaching horses shattered her daydream. She twisted around and searched wildly for Amelia who disappeared into the woods. Kara rushed to reach the shore.

Please …

But before her feet hit land, six riders surrounded Amelia who was now standing at the edge of the forest. Kara froze. She’d stupidly left her weapons by the horses. Now they had no chance of defending themselves or escaping. Two riders dismounted, striding toward her.

“Come out of the water,” the largest demanded.

Unwilling to shame herself by allowing these strangers to see her naked, she crouched in the shallow water. “Turn around first.”

“If you don’t comply, I’ll pluck you out like a wet rat.” There was nothing friendly about this man. His companions chuckled.

Silence ensued as everyone seemed to contemplate Kara’s next move. She’d not risk Amelia’s safety by disobeying. But, what if she could swim to the other side of the lake and find help? Without clothing or money? Never. Swallowing her pride, she looked up. The dark features of the man who demanded she come out scared her.

“Now,” he reminded. “If I wanted to rape you, you’d be on your back by now.”

She was trying not to overthink things, but failing miserably.

Drit,” he yelled, then rushed her.

The moment his boots hit the lake, Kara filled her mouth with water, then shot up, spitting in his face. “Merciless beast.”

He wiped his cheek, his hot gaze sweeping over her body. She refused to tremble. Animals like him thrived on fear. Without warning, Amelia intervened. She ran to beach, offering her cloak.

“Put it on and I’ll rip it off you. Do as I bid, now, and get out of the water.” He glared at Amelia. “You, move.”

“I have a duty to my mistress.” Amelia jutted her chin.

“Stay out of my way. Challenge me again and I’ll punish you.” He shoved her to the ground and then grabbed a fistful of Kara’s hair. She struggled to free herself, only to be dragged to land, then into the forest next to her horses. The blanket and food Amelia had laid out was untouched. He pointed at the coverlet. “Sit.”

Kara obeyed. Fear filled her mind and heart. “Who are you?”

His dark eyes sparkled like a wildfire. “Erling Solheim, an avenging god, I assure you.”

“Devils aren’t gods.”

He slapped her face. “You’ll learn quickly enough that I have no patience for a sharp tongue. Do as I tell you or you’ll be bruised from head to toe before sunset. Understand?”

Kara nodded in comprehension.

“Where are your clothes?”

She pointed; her sword and shield were on the ground nearby. By Odin, she wished she had her weapon in her hands.

“Lying to me about your clothing? You need discipline already. Your gown, where is it?”

“I dressed as a boy for my protection.” She sucked her cheeks in.

He gave her a smug smile. “I believe you. You’re Erik the Bald’s daughter.”

Kara gasped. “How-”

“The trees have eyes and ears.”

“And atrocious manners …”

Connect with Violetta:20140625 VRand

Violetta’s author website

Violetta’s Blog – A Splash of Romance





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