Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Food and Fun’ Category

Guest Blog-Author Marianne Bayliss Offers Readers French Chocolate #SweetRomance #Books #RomanceAnthology #WritersLife #WritersCommunity @CamdenParkPress

Australian author Marianne Bayliss has been invited here to share the inspiration behind her short story “Sweet Provence” in the LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES romance anthology.

I greatly enjoyed Marianne’s story, set in the beautiful southeastern region of France, and hope you will too. Download a copy of the collection or buy the print version from your favorite online retailer, lift the cover, and delight in the sweetness of love and chocolate inside. ~Best, Adele

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From Marianne Bayliss:

The inspiration for my story SWEET PROVENCE came from a wonderful holiday I shared last April with my 21-year-old daughter.

Our globe-trot included one glorious week in Paris, four days in Provence and ten days in Italy. We loved it all, but we loved Provence the most.

In Provence, we made our base in Aix- (pronounced: ‘aches’) -en-Provence and booked mini-van day tours to surrounding towns, just as my heroine did.

While each town was charming, with specific traits that made them unique, we discovered similarities that linked them.

First, the light. It’s golden. Everything appeared tinged in a caramelised aura. It had us turning our face to the sun and basking in the gentle glow: something we rarely do in the harsh Australian sunshine. While now I can’t remember the exact shade, I still recall the impression of the faint butterscotch blush and I tilt my head up when I call it to mind, as though the memory and the action are linked. It was easy to see why the great painters Cézanne and Van Gogh favoured this unique light and created their most famous paintings in this area.

Second, the scenery. Every aspect is postcard worthy. I was producing photos similar to those filling my ‘365 days in France’ calendar. I, as the photographer, needed no skill; Provence did the work. Each cobbled-stone laneway, fountain and potted plant appeared to have been designed with the camera in mind (yet with that nonchalance at which the French excel). While we, the models, may not have always photographed our best, Provence provided the perfect backdrop without fail.

Third, the food. Buttery, flaky croissants accompanied by creamy coffee or rich hot chocolate for breakfast. Crunchy baguettes filled with fresh produce for lunch. Whole roasted Camembert topped with stewed cinnamon apples for dinner. Need I say more?

Fourth, the friendliness. To be fair, I speak basic conversational French and tried to use it as much as possible, but we found the locals were warm and helpful. Our experiences started with a Boulanger, sucking a cigarette outside his bakery, who fixed a problem with our accommodation then gave us crisp pastry treats in a sweet little bag to enjoy while we waited. Two waiters shared a Limoncello with us ‘on the house’ during their shift. A stall holder in Roussillon engaged us in charming conversation after having seen us wander the market in Saint-Rémy the previous day. And a married couple from Marseille, who we met on the flight from Provence to Venice, insisted we join them in their private water taxi from Venice airport to the main island, instead of travelling by crowded water bus!

Outside Aix-en-Provence is the village of Puyricard, and home of France’s famous chocolaterie of the same name. This became the inspiration for my hero’s world and the location for much of my story. (My daughter and I actually outlined the story one evening on the walk from our accommodation to the café; by the end of dinner we had full stomachs and a basic plot!)

In SWEET PROVENCE, children’s book author and illustrator, Katie Monroe, seeks inspiration when she travels to Provence. But romance finds her in the form of Luc Julienne, the owner of France’s famous chocolaterie.

When distance and work conflicts threaten their relationship will Katie choose the job she loves or the man who has melted her heart?

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES presents sixteen stories that capture both the sweetness and variety of a box of chocolates. Ranging from new loves to rekindled relationships, these stories are filled with sweet meet-cutes, nutty quirks, and the unexpected richness hidden beneath the surface of the characters and their developing relationships.

You can purchase a copy of Love is Like a Box of Chocolates from your preferred retailer here:

www.books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Armchair Travel to Provence, France #SweetRomance #Books #Anthology @CamdenParkPress

The worldwide Coronavirus pandemic has eliminated travel for many of us, and social distancing will keep us isolated until the virus is under control. I thought this would be a good time for an armchair view of Provence, France with Australian author Marianne Bayliss.

Marianne toured the French region last spring and found the inspiration for her story “Sweet Provence” in the LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES anthology. Both her short story and her article are entertaining and beautifully written. Stop by this blog and read her guest post on Tuesday, 3/17/2020.

~Best, Adele

Retro Peach Pie Recipe from author Adele Downs #dessert

It’s peach season, and peaches might be the best tasting fruit on the planet. I love them, which I why I contributed my original down home Retro Peach Pie recipe to the multi-author dessert cookbook Eat, Love, Write that also offers advice from romance authors on relationships and writing.

Lois Winston, editor of Eat, Love, Write, has featured my original recipe on her book blog. Be prepared to bake and enjoy something delicious!

Find the instructions here:
https://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/2017/08/cooking-with-cloris-guest-author-adele.html

Buy Bake, Love, Write!

Available in digital and print formats.

Mornings By The Bay: Fishing and Crabbing #fishing

Where has the summer gone? Beach season has flown by. In addition to enjoying life on the Delaware coast, I’ve been busy helping my husband remodel the beach house guest bathroom. I’ll post before and after pictures when the room is done. I’ve also been working on a new novel, and have other publishing projects in the works that I can hardly wait to tell you about after the contracts arrive.

Blue claw crabs have been plentiful at the beach this year, and we’ve had good catches since May. Steamed and cleaned right out of the bay is the best way to enjoy them at dinnertime. Fresh corn on the cob from a local farm and a cold beer makes the perfect meal.

If you’d like to try your hand at crabbing–either from a dock using string and bits of chicken, or with handheld traps filled with bait, or by investing in crab pots that stay in the water overnight, you’ll need a fishing and crabbing license, and will have to follow the rules set by your state about keepers, but a seasonal license is well worth the enjoyment your family will have.

Here’s a picture of our overnight crab traps. Each household in our Delaware bay community is allowed a maximum of two. We use a combination of chicken and bunker fish for bait and the crabs love it.

This guy was definitely a keeper! On this particular day, we caught over 50 crabs, and though nearly half of them were too small to keep and had to be returned to the water, our catch yielded enough food for two meals.

Add side dishes for a great summertime feast.

When I’m feeling especially energetic, I make crab cakes or homemade crab bisque, which can be frozen and enjoyed during the winter months when we’re dreaming about warm weather.

It’s been a great summer in Delaware. I’ll be sorry to see the season end.

Adele Downs-Best Banana Bread Recipe EVER at Karen’s Killer Fixin’s

Author Karen Docter has featured Adele Downs and her Original Banana Bread recipe at Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. The bread is sweet and easy to make and absolutely delicious. Stop by!

Leave a comment and sign up for the monthly newsletter from Adele Downs. http://www.adeledowns.com/newsletter.html

TWO lucky winners will receive a swag pack by USPS mail filled with Bromley’s Earl Grey tea featured in the book LIP SERVICE. The tea will be the perfect complement to Adele’s Original Banana Bread recipe. Enjoy!

Here’s the link to the recipe and to participate in the giveaway:

http://www.karendocter.com/karens-killer-fixins-author-special-with-adele-downs-recipe-original-banana-bread-recipe.html

Lip Service_tent3

LIP SERVICE by ADELE DOWNS

Some ghosts won’t take “yes” for an answer.

Jack Harris has loved Legs Anderson since they were kids. Now that he has her in his bed, he has no intention of letting her go. Aunt Ada has other ideas, even from the grave.

GETTING BETWEEN JACK…
Orphaned at a young age, Legs Anderson owes her Aunt Ada everything. The stoic old lady raised her, and Ada’s warnings about men—and the Harris boys in particular—have stuck, even after her death. Of course, that could be because Ada stuck around, too.

…AND HIS LEGS
Patience is not one of Jack Harris’s virtues, and he’s waited too long to start a life with the woman he’s loved since childhood instead of them just knocking boots. Now Ada is interfering from beyond the grave, haunting the old Victorian house she bequeathed to her niece and reinforcing Legs’s fears of commitment. But Jack won’t give up. No matter what trouble may follow, the house will be renovated, Ada will learn to let go, Legs will put her money where her mouth is…and then Jack’ll put his lips everywhere else.

Buy the Book on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Lip-Service-Adele-Downs-ebook/dp/B00WT1EA2W

Mornings By The Bay: Last Days of Summer

Life near the water stimulates creativity, and though I didn’t take selfies while working on a new book, editing my upcoming release Luxury Model Wife, or painting rooms in my beach house for my “How I Spent My Summer” collage (below), I got lots of writing done. Two books are finished and submitted to a publisher and a novella is almost complete. As soon as I have news of a new publishing contract, I’ll post it here.

Enjoy these photo snips of the Delaware coast and the last of the sunny summer days!

summervaca2016

Photos copyright Adele Downs 2016

National Margarita Day-Unique Tequila Recipes!

February 22 marks a truly momentous occasion–National Margarita Day!

Since the Margarita is my favorite adult beverage, I decided to share a few unique recipes. Tonight I’ll tip a few of the traditional lime version. :cheers!:

Candy Apple Margarita

candyapple_detail

Photos and recipes courtesy of Sauza® Tequila. Used with permission.

Ingredients: Serves 9

1 can Limeade

6 parts Sauza® Blue 100% Agave Silver Tequila

3 parts Cinnamon liqueur

8 parts Candy Apple Soda

To Make:

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice. Salud!

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Tequila Lime Shrimp

tequila-lime-shrimp-hero

You’ll Need:

1 lb. large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined

¼ cup Sauza® Gold Tequila

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. butter

¼ cup green onions

¾ cup cream or sour cream

To Make:

Toss shrimp with salt, green onions, lime juice, kosher salt and ¾ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.

Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shrimp, turning, until pink and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add Sauza® Blanco Tequila, then increase heat to medium high. Tilt skillet over gas burner to ignite Tequila (or ignite with a long match; use caution, as flames may shoot up high). Cook, shaking skillet gently once or twice, until flames subside. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Serve sprinkled with chili powder.

With shrimp, lime and a splash of tequila, our tequila lime shrimp recipe can be ready in minutes!

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Here’s a fun recipe for Margarita cupcakes. This yummy snack will fill your kitchen with the smell of sweetness and capture the spirit of the day.

Margarita-Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white as room temperature

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. whole milk

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

½ tsp. vanilla

Zest of 3 limes

Ingredients for the frosting:

1 stick butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila*

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Zest of 2 limes

To Make:

Pre-heat your oven to 350° degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat 2 sticks butter and the granulated sugar until creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, egg white and oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the milk, 2 tbsp. lime juice and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix in one-third of the wet mixture to the butter mixture, then one-third of the dry mixture. Repeat until it is all combined, but do not over mix. Mix in the lime zest.

Fill each cupcake liner about three-quarters full with batter. (I like to use an ice cream scoop to fill the cups). Bake 25 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when gently poked. Let cool completely before icing.

While the cupcakes cool, make the icing. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter until creamy. Beat in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tbsp. Sauza® Blue Reposado, 2 tbsp. lime juice, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and lime peel and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in the remaining 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar one-third at a time until just soft enough to spread.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Be creative: top each cupcake with a piece of lime zest or sprinkle with sanding sugar, or put a wedge or round of lime or a lime wedge candy on top. If you want you can add a drop of green food coloring to the frosting, too.

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Photos and recipes courtesy of Sauza® Tequila.

Visit www.sauzatequila.com for more entertainment ideas.

Happy National Margarita Day!

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