Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mmmmm Mmmm Mmmmm....Some Books Are Just "Finger Lickin' Good"!

I was given the pleasure of reviewing two of Heather Long's books.  They are part of Decadent Publishing's One Night Stand series.

The One Night Stand Series is just as it sounds......only more.

The first book I read was Heather Long's "Once Her Man, Always Her Man".   This book, while being a part of the One Night Stand Series, was such a sweet book.  I won't give away a lot because I want you to experience it the same way I did.

Let me just say that Heather reaches out and grabs your heart with this couple.  Yes, there is a steamy scene and it delivers.  Boy did it deliver.  The passion that the characters share is one of those that is sweet but palpable.  Even though you aren't seeing it for your own eyes (such as in a movie -- no I'm not talking about being a Peepin' Tonya), Heather paints a picture with her words that lets your mind wander just a bit (in a good way) and gives you the "Full Monty" at the same time.  The One Night Stand Series are short books, something you can read on your lunch break -- if you want to be thinking about the steamy stuff when you go back to work *winks*.

Now its time for the big reveal of the recipe that I thought would compliment this book the most.  It may be a bit cliché but you'll understand once you've read it.

Apple Crisp
To change it up a bit, you can also make this with 4 cups of pears and a big handful of dried cranberries! Give it a go and add the cranberries to the apple version as well!

4 generous cups Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
. cup all-purpose fl our
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
⅛ teaspoon salt
Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or straight-up heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F, with a rack in the middle. 
2. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
3. In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and cinnamon sugar.
In a small bowl, blend the brown sugar, fl our, butter and salt together, first
with a pastry blender or two knives, and then with your hands.
3. Put the apple slices into the loaf pan. Press the topping over them. 
4. Bake the apple crisp for 1 hour. 
5. Serve the apple crisp warm or cold with the ice cream or cream.

Now, onto the next book of Heather's that I reviewed, Proud To Serve Her.  It's in the same, One Night Stand Series for Decadent Publishing.  This one is completely different in the direction (yes, it still is a finger burner when you turn the page) but it is a direction that I know I wish someone would take me into.
The characters in this book seem completely opposite from each other.  One is uptight, very business oriented.  The other is, well, lets just say that he is more of the creative type.  His creations just so happy to tempt the senses in more ways than one.  This is a very seductive book. Damon takes control of this one-night stand and leaves you wanting more and more of his seduction.  I'll never look at certain meals again without thinking about this book.  No -- I'm not talking about the type of thing where he is feasting on food that has been displayed across her body.  He makes sure that she enjoys the meal he has had prepared for her step by luscious step.  The way he describes the food, explains different wines and well, heck, feeds her the food makes you want to just crawl into his lap and never leave -- well, until he wants to cook for you again! Any Day!

The characters, even though so completely different, compliment each other in ways you wouldn't think.  He enjoys sharing with her his passion for cooking and the delicacies food can bring to you -- as it states in the book (and I'm paraphrasing here), there is eating for the purpose of fueling up and then there is eating and cooking to feed the soul -- and boy does he feed her soul.

I have to admit, it was a challenge to find a recipe to go along with this book.  You'll understand why when you read it -- and read it you should!!

To grab a copy of Heather's books, hop on over to Decadent Publishing.  You won't regret it!

This is one is a complex recipe; however, I think that after you read about Damon and Helena's love of sharing food, you will see how perfect it is for them.

Photo and recipe were found at Donal Skehan Homecooked Kitchen Blog.

Earl Grey Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate & Tonka Glaze and Honeyed Figs

These are a classic choux pastry dessert that are rescued from 80s campness by the addition of an elegant Earl Grey tea crème pâtissière and a decadent bitter dark chocolate glaze infused with tonka beans. Served with honey glazed fresh figs these make for a glorious dessert.
Makes approx. 17 profileroles
For the Earl Grey tea crème pâtissière:500ml milk (single estate if possible)
3 Earl Grey tea bags or 3 heaped teaspoons of loose leaves
30g unsalted Irish butter
6 organic egg yolks (at room temperature)
100g caster sugar
40g cornflour
40ml organic cream
For the profiteroles:100g plain flour
75g unsalted Irish butter
175ml water
Pinch of salt
3 large organic eggs
For the dark chocolate & tonka glaze:
200g dark chocolate (min.70%)
100ml double cream
40g unsalted butter
tonka bean
To decorate:
8 figs (miniature figs work best, but any small figs will do)
2 tbsp Irish honey, ideally Burren wildflower honey
Dried cornflowers (Steenbergs)
For the crème pâtissière, heat the milk and butter in a medium pan until they reach boiling point, remove from the heat and add the Earl Grey tea; leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Use a tea strainer to strain the infused milk, discard the leaves or bags, put the milk back into the cleaned pan and bring back up to the boil.
Meanwhile, put the yolks, sugar and cornflour into a heatproof bowl and whisk for a minute or two until light and moussy. Slowly pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture while continuing to whisk until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
Tip the mixture back into the pan and stir constantly on a medium heat until it thickens. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so when you feel the mixture change and give resistance remove from the heat and pour into a large shallow bowl. Put a piece of cling film directly on the top of the crème, to stop it forming a skin. Leave it to cool before putting it in the fridge.
For the profiteroles, sieve the flour and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Put the butter, water and salt into a medium pan, melt together slowly and then raise the heat and bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the flour, beating furiously with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth and heavy dough.
Put the pan back on a low heat for 30 seconds to a minute beating to cook out the flour.
Put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and leave to cool slightly. Beat the eggs together in a jug and add a bit at a time to the warm dough, beating thoroughly after each addition until fully incorporated before adding the next. Make sure the dough doesn’t become too wet; you may not need all the eggs. The mixture should be of the consistency that can be piped and hold its shape.
Put the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle. Pipe 3cm diameter balls spaced 5cm apart onto the parchment lined baking tray. Use a clean finger dipped in the remaining beaten egg to smooth them and then put them into the preheated oven.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C, then turn the oven down to 180°C and rapidly open and close the oven door to let out the steam. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes at the reduced temperature until golden and risen. Remove from the oven and using a sharp knife make a hole in each profiterole to let out the steam from the centre. Put back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
For the dark chocolate glaze, heat the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, finely grind the tonka bean (these are very potent so you will only need about half a bean) and add to the melting chocolate. When it is fully melted, slowly pour in the cream and keep stirring until they incorporate, then add the butter in small lumps, stirring until it is a shiny, dark glaze that is viscous not runny.
To assemble, put the cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk to soft peaks. Add the set crème patissiere and whisk until smooth. Put in a piping bag fitted with a medium round nozzle and generously pipe the crème into each profiterole. Spread a spoonful of the chocolate tonka glaze on to the top of each and then sprinkle with some dried cornflowers.
Score the figs with a deep cross and squeeze the bottom to open it up; arrange artfully around the profiteroles. Cut some figs into quarters and dot about. Warm the honey in a small pan until it becomes runny and use a pastry brush to drizzle over the figs.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Recipe To Get Us Started Again!

Greetings My Goddesses!
I have missed you all so much.  I am getting back in the swing of things and joining Goddess Fish Promotions (I have to fill out their questionnaire again) to get you some new and upcoming reviews!

Tell me.....What have y'all been reading?  I know it is scorching in most places, which is time to either cuddle up in the AC (that's my idea of a great place to read), lounging on the beach, or catching those rays at the pool.  Of course, I'm sure quite a few of us are reading while taking children, parents, significant others, etc, etc, etc, (you get the point) to their many adventures -- camp.....my nieces are in camp this summer.  Everything from their church organized camps, cheerleading camps and one of my nieces is going off to college at Texas A&M in College Station! I'm so proud of her!

Here is a photo of my dream bookshelf! Its can be for both my favorite books and my many cookbooks as well! I'm not going to be picky....I just think this is awesome!  What do you think?

I'm not sure about who took the photo.  I did research it; however, I did find it on this FaceBook Page No, I do NOT have too many books!

Ok, I digress....So, I thought I would share a recipe with my favorite Goddesses since I haven't done that in such a very long time!

*Digging through the plethora of recipes*

Hmmmmm......What to give you for some snacks to go with all these books......I'VE GOT IT!!! Perfect for the heat and well, YUMMO!

Orange Creamsicle Truffles ~Frisky

Yield: 20 truffles


1/4 cup butter
Zest of 1/2 orange
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Red and yellow food coloring (optional)

Pour white chocolate chips into a mixing bowl, set aside. Melt butter along with orange zest in a small saucepan. Stir in cream and scald mixture. Pour hot cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve over white chocolate chips and using a rubber spatula press zest against sieve to release orange oils into mixture. Allow mixture to rest 1 minute, add orange extract and optional food coloring to white chocolate chip mixture then stir until smooth. Cover mixture and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to handle. Scoop mixture out by heaping teaspoon fulls and form into balls then roll in powdered sugar. Freeze truffles 20 minutes then enjoy. Store truffles in refrigerator as they will soften at room temperature or freeze for up to 1 month.

I have found SEVERAL delicious recipes from this page on FaceBook -- I find recipes EVERYWHERE but the people who run this page are AMAZING at finding some great recipes.  Some of them may seem a little "different" to you; however, I know for a fact that some of them are to DIE FOR!

Well, my lovelies, I will leave you with an Etsy shop that I came across via the Confession of Crafty Witches page.  If you love to pamper yourself with natural products, Mystic is the one you want to go see.  I have tried a few of her items -- everything I purchased was of excellent quality.  Now, if you have never tried an herbal tea (or if you have and are looking for something new), you definitely want to try this.  I add it to my Twinings Lady Grey tea and I'm in a blissful state of comfort.  The aromatherapy that you get when paired with the hot water and the flavor that bursts on your taste buds is soothing and something I highly recommend!
This photo comes directly from Mystic Moonshines Etsy Page.
This is the Stress relief Tea/Smoking blend

You can find Mystic Moonshines' Etsy shop (for the Stress Relief Tea) Here -- Tell her Bakin' Goddess sent you.

And this item, I HIGHLY recommend.  There is nothing more decadent that relaxing in a milk bath with lavender.  She combines the most lovely products to come up with a product that just makes you sigh with relief! (Again, this photo came from Mystic's Etsy Shop and belongs to her).
This is the Lavender Goddess Milk Bath

You can find this item Here.

Be Well, Goddesses, and remember to keep on reading!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Anybody on BlogLovin?

Hellooo Goddesses!
Getting some stuff set up and learning about the new BlogLovin thing I just found.  Looks pretty cool.  Anybody use this? What do you think about it?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Let's see if this works, shall we Goddesses? Here goes nothing!

Keep Reading Goddesses!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Well HELLOOOO Goddesses!

It has been a VERY long time since I've posted.  I am getting ready to change this! Yep....going to start more reviews and contests.  Its going to be a BLAST! I hope my absence hasn't pushed you all away! I'm so sorry for being gone.

For those of you who are still with me and are joining me once again OR you're a new follower, I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for joining me and supporting me.  I am so happy you're here!

I am so looking forward to hanging out with all of you again!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things That Go BUMP In The Night.

Hello Goddesses! Its been a while since I've posted and I apologize.  Life got in the way. You know how it goes....

I am so excited to tell you about a book I have recently been able to review. (I was given a copy of BUMP to review honestly).  BUMP by Mark Kidwell. This isn't your everyday book.....it is so much more.  If you like books that make your pulse race, give Mr. King's novels a run for his money in the creepy department, then BUMP is for you!

I haven't read a really good scary novel in a long time.  They are kind of like a good scary movie.....promise a lot but in the end don't really deliver.  This, however, is NOT the case with BUMP!  The ending left me wanting more.....more....MORE!

Mark Kidwell has a knack for spinning a tale that really makes you want to check under your bed and in the closets for those things that haunt your dreams.  Don't forget to take along your double-barrel shotgun and something that throws fire! This book will definitely get you all riled up!

Mark is a true artist when it comes to painting pictures with words.  They say a photo is worth 1000 words but you haven't read BUMP yet!  Mark's ability to draw you into the story and make you actually feel the terror is a true gift.

His characters make you love them and want them to survive (with the exception of the Dills).  The way in which these characters interact and deal with each other gives you every reason to either love them or want to reach into the book and slap some nonsense into them.  His character formations and backstories give you a true sense of who each character is.

The Dills give you the creeps from the beginning of the story.  You just KNOW there is something fundamentally wrong with them.  Sheriff Lundy, he's the guy who sets the stage for the Dills to come back and HAUNT your dreams! Edgar Dill is one sick individual spurred on by his mother's craziness, in Biblical proportions.

I truly, truly enjoyed BUMP and if you are a fan of spooky and downright true ghost stories, then this book is for you!

I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed reading this novel.  I loved it so much I am giving it FIVE STARS!  Mark draws you into the story and doesn't let you go.....not even in the end.

Remember to check under your bed and inside your closet before going to sleep.

Do yourself a favor and stop by one of the links below and get your copy!

You can get your hardcopy from Amazon HERE
If you're wanting a copy for your Kindle or Kindle App, grab it HERE
At Barnes & Noble, you can get your hardcopy HERE

Find BUMP on Goodreads HERE

Keep Reading Goddesses (and for this one, make sure you leave a nightlight on)