Morning chickies! We have our first Authors Unleashed post today! And it's from Kimberly Kincaid! Check out her foodie love post and the recipe she created and leave her some love. There's a giveaway down at the bottom too so be sure to check that out if you're interested. And my review of Outside the Lines as well. It was a really fun read. Enjoy the post! ~Anna
As an ivy-league ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fiancée.My name is Kimberly, and I’m a recipe junkie.
Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood.
As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?
The trilogy box set is now available for 3.99!
You might be thinking there are worse things a girl could be, and you’re mostly right. But one look at the jam-packed drawer in my kitchen (don’t even get me started on the massive shelf of cookbooks in my office or the full-to-brimming file folder on my laptop), and it’s easy to see I’ve got a little, uhm, addiction. It’s also easy to see why I write foodie romance (where the characters are all involved with food in some way, be they chefs or caterers or sommeliers or— one of my favorites— “really avid eaters”). I love the evocative nature of food, I love to cook, and I’m definitely a romance author. Bottom line for me? Write what you know. So I dove into foodie romance.
I feel like I should say right off the bat that I’m not a chef. I have no formal training, other than a few standalone classes I’ve taken for book research (I can make the ugliest truffles on the planet! True story). In fact, up until a few years ago, I followed other people’s recipes to the letter and never had the courage to make up my own. But an interesting thing happened as I began to write these foodie romances.
The chefs in my books needed their own recipes— signature dishes for specific scenes in the books— which meant I needed to come up with signature recipes of my own.
Thus began my recipe-gathering in earnest. I grabbed cookbooks from everywhere, from Williams-Sonoma to the library sidewalk sale. Back issues of cooking magazines that friends were going to recycle, Twitter feeds of famous and not-so-famous chefs and cooks, you name it. And once I amassed the goods, I rolled up my sleeves and started reading.
And I was totally, unequivocally hooked.
The truth is, recipes are a fantastic source of not just combining foods and flavors in certain ways, but they’re jumping off points to go in your own direction according to your preferences. For me, I consider not just my own preferences, but those of my characters (after all, if I’m putting a recipe into a book, it’s to move the story and help characterize my “people”, so that matters). For example, in my new release, OUTSIDE THE LINES, my heroine grew up extremely poor. Her signature dish (French toast) is made from the day-old cast-offs from the bakery, because it helps define her character. I rifled through probably six or eight different recipes before I found an idea that clicked with me to make it unique, and then I added my own preferences (orange marmalade!) to the mix to get it just right. After three test-kitchen batches to get the ratios right, voila. I’d made up a brand-new recipe that worked for me and my book.
Jules’s Stuffed French ToastIngredients:
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk (not skim, but 2% is okay)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese (not fat free! Trust me on this, it doesn’t set up properly), softened
- 1 Tablespoon honey (I used orange flavored, but any will do)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup orange marmalade (I just go from the jar and don’t quite measure this— it’s more to taste)
- One loaf brioche, preferably a few days old, cut into an even number of one-inch thick slices
- Cooking spray for the griddle
- Spray a griddle or non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat, but no higher.
- While it warms, whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, honey, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sugar together until combined.
- Spread about 2 Tablespoons (-ish, you can eyeball this, really, but you want a good layer) of cream cheese mixture on one side of a slice of brioche.
- Repeat process with one Tablespoon (again, approximate, but as long as the ratio is about 2:1, you’ll be great) orange marmalade on another slice of brioche. Put both slices together like a sandwich (cream cheese facing marmalade).
- Repeat with remaining bread, cream cheese mixture and marmalade.
- Just before cooking (and I do mean just!), dip each side of the “sandwich” in egg mixture to coat the outside of the bread completely, without soaking it through.
- Place immediately on the griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden-brown and firm to the touch, and the cream cheese in melted through.
- Repeat with remaining “sandwiches”.
- Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon. Serve with fresh fruit or maple syrup.
- Makes approximately five “sandwiches”.Feed to the one you love, preferably as breakfast in bed!
Kimberly is offering one kindle copy of Outside the Lines to a commentor today! Woot! Just check out her post and answer her questions...
So tell me! Are you a recipe-holic? Do you use other people’s recipes as jumping off points, or do you follow them to the letter? What draws you to a recipe to begin with?