Monday, August 27, 2012

Entrée –Jim’s Pasta Bolognese

Story behind the recipe – Marco Tornetti, the hero of the romantic comedy P-town
Queen, is a chef. Small wonder that my romantic male lead would be handy in the kitchen.
Give me a man who cooks and I’m his. My husband, Jim, makes a great Bolognese sauce.
This is his recipe.

What you’ll need
- 2 28oz. cans of peeled plum tomatoes.
- 2T basil, 2T parsley, 2 t salt, 1t black pepper, 1t Italian seasoning
- 1lb. ground beef, 1lb ground pork
- 3oz pancetta, 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Hot cooked pasta
- Grated fresh Romano cheese

Steps to the process
- Blend canned tomatoes in blender for five seconds. Put into large pot and turn heat on
- Stir in basil, parsley, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning
- Cover bottom of large skillet in olive oil. Add onions & pancetta. Saute onions till golden
- Add garlic and brown quickly (thirty seconds or so)
- Add skillet mix to tomatoes.
- In same skillet, brown ground beef. Drain and add to tomatoes
- Brown ground pork. Drain and add to tomatoes.
- Heat sauce to a boil. Turn down to lowest possible heat and simmer for two hours.
- Serve over hot cooked pasta with a generous amount of fresh grated Romano.

Comments – The recipe makes enough to serves six to eight people or one hungry
Carbone family at a Sunday gathering. Leftovers freeze well if there are any. Enjoy.

Blurb from THE P-TOWN QUEEN – I’ll never make gnocchi again. Don’t get me wrong, I
like a nice gnocchi and I do it up pretty good, if I do say so myself. With just the right
balance of cream and garlic, it’s food for the angels as my Nona would have said. But
some foods, they have memories attached, and gnocchi, that’s a memory I’d just as soon

Entrée – Chicken Curry

Story behind the recipe - Nicole Flambeaux Penot was born in a different time. Her
parents were French when France was still an empire. Since her father was in the military,
she spent her childhood stationed with him in Vietnam. Set to the backdrop of lush
jungles, Nicole learned the oldest daughters in her family meant nothing. Her mother
wept when she was born and when Nicole grew old enough she was expected to be
Nanny and cook for the growing Flambeaux family. Her childhood was mired in sorrow,
but she found solace in cooking. In Vietnam, she learned to cook dishes so fabulous
people would seek her out just to taste them. Later, when her father was stationed in
Morocco and Algeria, she learned to blend French traditions with North African style to
create dishes entirely her own.
When I married Nicole’s son, I hated cooking. Nicole and I didn’t like each other very
much either, but despite our malevolence we bonded through cooking. Somehow, I
discovered a passion for food and she discovered a daughter who would pass her recipes
on to her grandchildren. When she passed away, the hatred between us had waned and
what was left were her amazing recipes. Recipes built from the foods of four nations and
flavored with love and sorrow. You can read more about Nicole at my blog, Ghost Stories
and Haunted Places.

What you’ll need
- 1 stick butter - 1 Onion
- 2 Mangos -1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 5 Tablespoons Curry - 3 cups water
- 2 Apples
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 lbs chicken
- 5 tsp sugar
Steps to the process
- Brown chicken in butter in large saucepan
- Add water, curry and fruit, cover and simmer for 2 hours
- Caramelize the onions in butter and sugar
- Add heavy Whipping cream and onions and simmer for 30 minutes
- Serve over rice or couscous

Blurb from DEATH’S DREAM KINGDOM: Remembering your death is like remembering
your birth. What you remember of it is really pieces of what others have told you.

Entrée – Summer Garden Pasta

Story behind the recipe – I love pasta and I love fresh vegetables. I experimented to
create my own light, summery, tasty dish that can be enjoyed the year round, either
vegetarian-style or with chicken or shrimp.

What you’ll need
1 – 1 lb. box of Angel Hair pasta, 1-6 oz. can medium pitted black olives, 1 large yellow
bell pepper, Extra virgin olive oil, 1 bunch of Asparagus (snap stems to use tops), 3 or 4
thin sliced chicken breasts (optional),1 bunch of Broccoli (cut to florets), Oregano, 1
medium zucchini, Basil, 1 medium yellow squash, Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, 2
or 3 Roma tomatoes, 1 Clove garlic or ¼ tsp. crushed garlic, 1 cup sliced carrots, 1 Large

Steps to the process
- Place angel hair pasta in boiling water.
- If serving with chicken, cut chicken breasts in half and then into strips/pieces.
- Drizzle olive oil into non-stick skillet and season lightly with oregano and basil;
- Add crushed garlic clove and chicken.
- When chicken is cooked through, add juice from the can of black olives and set olives
- Add vegetables (cut in larger pieces) except for tomato and olives. Drizzle with another
tablespoon of olive oil and squeeze the juice of one large lemon (seeds removed). Season
with another sprinkle of oregano and basil. Cover and simmer for three to four minutes,
until tender but still crisp.
- Add sliced Roma tomatoes and black olives. Cover and simmer for another one to two
- Drain pasta and plate with veggies and chicken. Top off with sauce and grated cheese.

Comments – Makes 4 to 6 servings. You can add additional lemon juice, black olive juice,
and/or olive oil for extra sauce, as needed.

Blurb from NEXT TIME I’M GONNA DANCE - When Emmie Steele is diagnosed for the
second time with breast cancer, she thinks about regrets. Emmie struggles with the finality
of ending her marriage, but is surprised to realize her one regret is that she never learned
to dance. This becomes a metaphor for Emmie as she goes through surgery, treatment,
and recovery, accompanied by her four best girlfriends. As she heals from both the
divorce and surgery, Emmie embraces a third chance and learns to dance with her feet
and with her heart.

Entrée – Lamb & Veg

Story behind the recipe – As a poor university kid working full time to pay for studying,
there was only a small amount of things I could afford to buy with my pittance of earnings
– and, seeming as I was working as a butcher in the middle of a marketplace, the only
things I could get for cheap or free were veggies and off-cuts of meat. On my day off, I'd
cook up a big batch of this stuff and freeze it. Voila, meals for the next three weeks.

What you’ll need – Based on my best-tasting batch, you'll need:
- About 4lb of lamb forequarter chops
- 1 onion, 1 parsnip, 1/2 bulb garlic to taste, 1 tablespoon of your favorite blend of dried
- 3 sticks of celery, 1 bell pepper, any color and 4 button mushrooms
- 2 carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 medium sweet potato and 1/2 cabbage
- 8 large, ripe tomatoes, 1 head broccoli and 1/2 head cauliflower
- 1 cup peas, 2 cups snow peas, and 2 cups beans

Steps to the process
- Cut meat into workable pieces (1" by 1" is normal, the meat reduces down on cooking).
- Pull out any bones, trim the bigger chunks of fat. Brown meat in the bottom of a large
- While meat browns, peel/dice/shred ingredients, mix with meat as you go.
- Add in water until covering ¾ of the vegetables. Add herbs and stir through.
- Cook on high until water boils, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to lowest setting and leave to simmer for 6-10 hours, depending on how
tender you
want your meat and how much water remains in the pot. Stir when you remember.
- To reheat, use the stove rather than the microwave – it heats it more thoroughly.

Comments – The recipe can be adapted to your tastes. Swap water for stock that
compliments your choice of meat for a stronger flavor. Adapt your vegetables to your
choice of available or cheaper vegetables. Use the bones from lamb or some beef soup
bones to make stock for stew, for less waste. Use different meats depending on your
tastes. Beef chuck steak or pork shoulder can make excellent substitutes for the lamb. You
can serve hot or cold.

Blurb from THE DEVIL'S WIFE – “Sit down and open your mind. Everyone knows ‘Devil’
means ‘Darkness’ and ‘God’ means ‘Light’. “But history is always written by the winning
side.” Lucifer Morningstar is a law-abiding, upstanding gentleman of New York City.
Lucifer Morningstar is the Devil. The owner of powerful magic, Lucifer could have the
world at his feet, if not for his apathy and loneliness. Deprived of the ability to understand the emotions of others and his power depleted, Lucifer is no longer able to help even his
houseplants. But there’s a problem with God’s plan to eliminate the Devil forever: Lucifer
is fighting Her more than he ever did. He’s found a reason to survive, someone to stand
by him through the rough and smooth of his life. He’s found a new wife.

Entrée – Spaghetti Lasagna

Story behind the recipe – In THE RIGHT TO REMAIN MINE, the hero gets a taste of the
heroine’s ‘orgasmic Italian’ after her cousin offers to reheat him a plateful of some of her
leftover lasagna, saying, “you don’t just eat it, you moan your way through it.” So here is
an Americanized Italian dish my sister Sandra created that always makes me moan for

What you’ll need
- 1 egg
- 2 cups parmesan cheese (or similar cheese)
- Salt and paper for flavor
- Cooked spaghetti for 3 or 4 people
- 3/4 of a 16 ounce tub of cottage cheese
- 1 pound of browned ground beef
- 12 ounces of spaghetti sauce

Steps to the process
- In a 2-quart or 9x9 inch baking dish, compress bottom layer mix (1 egg mixed with
cooked spaghetti noodles, salt, pepper and cheese).
- On top of noodle layer, spread on the cottage cheese.
- Layer the cooked ground beef mixed with spaghetti sauce over the cottage cheese.
- You can sprinkle more cheese on top.
- Cook for thirty minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Comments – Change the amounts of all the ingredients according to your preferences.

Blurb from THE RIGHT TO REMAIN MINE - You have the right to remain cherished.
Anything you read or scream out in rapture can and will be used against you in the bedroom of
Willow DeVane. You have the right to enjoy a big, sexy cop. If you can’t find your own, one by the
name of Raith Malloy will be provided for you to enjoy and explore thoroughly within these pages.
Tempers flare from the first moment divorce lawyer Willow DeVane crosses paths with sheriff
deputy Raith Malloy. Both too stubborn and controlling for their own good, Willow and Raith butt
heads until anger turns to passion, and they begin an affair despite their brewing hostilities. But
more than one force works against them when they learn Willow’s being targeted by a dangerous

Entrée - Shrimp Scampi

The story behind the recipe - For years we lived in Michigan where Halloween costumes
were always made or purchased with the thought they might have to fit over snow suits
and some of your prized possessions were your electric blanket and your snow blower.
When we retired, we went south, deep south, 20 miles from the gulf. It didn't take long to
adapt to the warm, sunny weather and the wonderful seafood. My husband loves shrimp,
especially scampi. But I couldn't find a recipe so I made my own. Kinda like my first
adventure into writing romance. I didn't like the books I read so I decided to write my
own. I've been writing romances ever since.

What you'll need
1/2 cup butter
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
12 ounces of deveined and shelled raw shrimp

Steps in the process
- Melt butter in a 10" skillet.
- Add garlic cloves and simmer until lightly browned.
- Add celery seed, parsley, lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add shrimp and gently stir, cooking over medium heat until shrimp curl, turn pink and
are no longer translucent, about three to five minutes depending on the size.
- Serve (up to four).

Comments - I've never used margarine for this recipe. I don't think they use anything but
butter to cook with here in the south. I serve our shrimp in a small, oval pottery dish with
a baked potato on the side but the shrimp can be served over cooked pasta or steamed

Blurb from ROSES FOR MY LADY - Intense, scholarly, big sister Meredith Ward is happy
to see her little sister off to a country party until she discovers a Valentine card outlining
plans for an elopement between her sister and the brother of an aristocrat. She leaves her
cottage to halt their plans only to run into trouble herself. Baron Gavin Sinclair learns late
one evening about his brother's plans to wed a most undesirable young woman. His
attempt to stop that union puts Meredith in his arms. Thinking she is the bride-to-be, he
holds her hostage never realizing it will be his heart he loses.

Entrée – Southern Boil

Story behind the recipe – In the south when it’s hot, we’d often cook outside. Far back as
I recall my favorite summer food was a southern boil. Whether its variety of flavors, its
simplicity, or the fact it meant company was coming; I loved that meal. So much so, in the
novel BLIND CONSENT, which is a reflection of my life in the impoverished south as a kid,
I recovered the emotions of family gatherings enjoying this meal. Oh, the Aunt May in the
story, she was real and made this morsel better than all the rest. Or maybe it’s because
she and I would spend hours on the pier trapping crawfish for the pot. Lord could that
woman spin a wondrous yarn. Loved listening to all her old stories of life when she was
my age. I now do the same with my little Granddaughter. What a grand circle. 

What you’ll need – This meal is so easy and straight forward. You need a pot that holds
3-5 gallons of liquid (depending on the number served). The preparation below is for six.
We use crawfish when available but unpeeled full headed shrimp will do in a pinch (g).
- Two lbs of kielbasa (or smoked sausage) and six ears fresh corn.
- Fifteen medium red potatoes and two lbs shrimp/crawfish.
- Spices include: 1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning, ¼ tsp salt, and 1 can regular beer.
Steps to the process
- Cut meat into four inch pieces, cut corn ears in half, clean potatoes (but leave peels on).
- Put potatoes and sausage in pot. Fill with water till just covers ingredients.
- Add beer and spices then bring to boil and cook 20 minutes at medium heat.
- Add corn, cook 7 more minutes. Add shrimp/crawfish, cook three more minutes and
check color.
- If red/pink they’re ready, if not, add a minute or two but don’t overcook once they turn
- Carefully drain contents of pot. Cover a picnic table with brown paper and pour onto
Comments - If you can’t stand informal, put contents on large platter. Otherwise go
country; no utensils, no plates, just arms, hands and elbows digging in around the table
having a ball. Oh yeah. Probably a good idea to put a couple rolls of paper towels on the
table. Amazing how friendly and informal people become eating with bare hands, fingers
dripping with juicy flavor.

Blurb from BLIND CONSENT - Tanglewood Falls offers breath-taking views, yet the
serendipity is misleading. The impoverished people and their forgotten community have
been unwittingly exploited. Their act of trust and blind consent altered their existence and
the secret’s remained buried, until Ryan returns to explore his heritage. For twenty years,
he’s been haunted by confusing images, recurring dreams rooted in his past. He’s driven
to understand their meaning, to obtain answers to his lost memories. Ryan’s search for
truth collides with the folklore of the simple people and the belief that their beautiful
Annie is blessed. Together, they unravel the mystery, but at a price. They become targets
of those responsible for what happened to the town. As the truth is exposed, Ryan
grapples with his own reality; that his past, his nightmares, and Annie’s secret, everything
is entangled in the desperate act of one lonely man. (Winner of Rose Award for best
suspense, Love, Romance & More)