Cooking and writing are creative pursuits. I often have food in my books because I believe sharing food is romantic and appetites for love and food are often connected. And I simply like to write about food. I've been cooking for 30 years. Here are a couple of my "secrets" I'd like to share with you and a couple of "food" snippets from some of my books.
1. Use an egg slicer to slice mushrooms.
3. You don’t really need to brown the meat when you make chili. If you buy very lean meat you can throw it in raw with the tomatoes and stuff and it’ll cook through. Refrigerate it and you can easily skim the fat off the top.
4. Melt butter in a microwave. Much less chance of burning it.
5. Make a roué for gravy. Never have lumps again.
6. Pie pastry is lighter and flakier if you use orange juice instead of water.
7. Cook a turkey upside down for at least 60% of the cooking time for a juicier breast.
LOVERS & LIARS
Christmas dinner at Clare Quill's house in Maine. She's Gunther's mother.
A tempting, spiral-cut ham shared a place of honor with a roasted turkey on the long table. Casseroles of spoonbread, green beans almondine, and mac and cheese were lined up, along with a green salad. Platters of chocolate pixies, almond crescents, lemon bars, and molasses cookies graced a sideboard. A punch bowl filled to the brim with warm, spiced wine stood on a cart with other alcoholic beverages and mixers.
The doorbell began to ring and new people seemed to arrive every ten minutes all night long. The crowd varied from young to old as Clare’s friends and neighbors stopped by to sip some Christmas cheer and graze at her buffet.
RED CARPET ROMANCE
Romantic dinner ordered in at Quinn Roberts house.
He nodded. The buzzer rang. The food had arrived. She poured the wine while Quinn answered the door. Hunger gnawed at her stomach. Camping out at her sister’s apartment, sleeping on the couch, and helping with her kids, meals had been slapdash at best. A steady diet of chicken nuggets, scrambled eggs, and fast-food hamburgers made her queasy. She survived on as little food as possible to keep her stomach from objecting. She craved real food, grown-up food, a civilized meal.
Quinn raised a large bag as he came through the archway into the kitchen. Susanna’s mouth watered. He unwrapped the food—Coquilles Saint Jacques, wild rice, and haricot verts. Napoleons for dessert. She tucked into her food, chewing slowly, closing her eyes to savor every bite.
“You look like you haven’t eaten in years.” He popped a scallop into his mouth.
“I haven’t eaten grown-up food in a long time. Bunking in with Annie and her kids. We ate kid food all the time. If I never see another chicken nugget…”
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