Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing authors Amy Rose Bennett, Susana Ellis, Sherry Ewing, Mariana Gabrielle, Jude Knight, Caroline Warfield & Nicole Zoltack, and their favorite holiday recipes for VANILLA SHORTBREAD, BERRY TRIFLE, MASHED SWEET POTATOES AND PEARS, APPLE SCRAPPLE, GINGERBREAD, MULLED CIDER, AND CHOCOLATE DECADENCE YULE LOG!
MISTLETOE, MARRIAGE, AND MAYHEM:
A BLUESTOCKING BELLES COLLECTION
ABOUT MISTLETOE, MARRIAGE, AND MAYHEM
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.
All She Wants for Christmas, by Amy Rose Bennett
A frosty bluestocking and a hot-blooded rake. A stolen kiss and a Yuletide wedding. Sparks fly, but will hearts melt this Christmas?
The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis
Abandoned on his wedding day, Oliver must choose between losing his bride forever or crossing over two hundred years to find her and win her back.
Under the Mistletoe, by Sherry Ewing
Margaret Templeton will settle for Captain Morledge’s hand in marriage, until she sees the man she once loved. Who will win her heart at the Christmas party of her would-be betrothed?
’Tis Her Season, by Mariana Gabrielle
Charlotte Amberly returns a Christmas gift from her intended—the ring—then hares off to London to take husband-hunting into her own hands. Will she let herself be caught?
Gingerbread Bride, by Jude Knight
Traveling with her father’s fleet has not prepared Mary Pritchard for London. When she strikes out on her own, she finds adventure, trouble, and her girlhood hero, riding once more to her rescue.
A Dangerous Nativity, by Caroline Warfield
With Christmas coming, can the Earl of Chadbourn repair his widowed sister’s damaged estate, and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain?
Joy to the World, by Nicole Zoltack
Eliza Berkeley discovers she is marrying the wrong man—on her wedding day. When the real duke turns up instead, will her chance at marital bliss be spoiled?
***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
The Bluestocking Belles’ books carry you into the past for your happy-ever-after. When you have turned the last page of our novels and novellas, keep up with us (and other historical romance authors) in the Teatime Tattler, a Regency scandal sheet, and join in with the characters you love for impromptu storytelling in the Bluestocking Bookshop on Facebook. Also, look for online games and contests and monthly book chats, and find us at BellesInBlue on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Come visit at www.BluestockingBelles.com and kick up your bluestockinged heels!
Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.
Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She is a Speech Pathologist, but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.
Susana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar.
A former teacher, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.
Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time.
Mari Christie is not romantic–at all. Therefore, her alter-ego, Mariana Gabrielle, lives vicariously through characters who believe in their own happy-ever-afters. And believe they must, as Mariana cherishes her villains, but only loves her heroes and heroines, all of whom suffer hearts bruised, broken, and scarred long before they reach the pages of her books.
She is a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience, and a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She has written two Regency romances, Royal Regard and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, and will soon release three Royal Regard prequel novellas and a mainstream historical, Blind Tribute.
Author Website & blog: www.MarianaGabrielle.com
Jude Knight has been telling stories all her life: making up serial tales to amuse her friends and children, imagining sequels to books that have moved her and left her wanting more, occasionally submitting short stories to magazines and the radio, starting more than a dozen novels set in different times and places.
She has devoted most of the last forty years to a career in commercial writing and raising a large family. She wrote and published her first historical romance in 2014, and now has the wind in her sails and a head full of strong determined heroines, heroes with the sense to appreciate them, and villains you’ll love to loathe.
About Caroline Warfield…
Caroline Warfield grew up in a perapatetic army family and had a varied career (largely centered on libraries and technology) before retiring to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania. She is ever a traveler and adventurer, enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the act of gardening). She is married to a prince among men.
Nicole Zoltack loves to write romances. When she’s not writing about gentlemen and their ladies, knights, or superheroes, she spends time with her growing family. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and visiting the PA Renaissance Faire. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on.
Website and Blog: http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com/
LINKS TO THE BLUESTOCKING BELLES ON THE WEB
Website and home of the Teatime Tattler:
Bluestocking Bookshop online storytelling: www.Facebook.com/groups/BluestockingBookshop
Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/BellesInBlue
I hope you enjoy the recipes these ladies are sharing with us today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 231 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
THE BLUESTOCKING BELLES’ RECIPES
AMY ROSE BENNET – ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS
[Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe of the same name in her cookbook ‘Forever Summer’.]
100 grams (3 ½ ounces) icing sugar/powdered sugar
200 grams (7 ounces) plain/all-purpose flour
100 grams (3 ½ ounces) cornflour/cornstarch
200 grams (7 ounces) unsalted butter – softened to room temperature
1 vanilla pod – split and seeds scraped out
caster/superfine sugar or vanilla sugar for sprinkling (See note*)
- Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F
- Prepare a Swiss roll tin/Jelly-roll pan; grease the tin lightly and line the base with baking paper.
- Place the icing sugar/powdered sugar and flours in the bowl of a food processer (use the double-bladed knife attachment) and process until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the softened butter and vanilla seeds. Process all the ingredients until the mixture begins to clump around the food processer blade, forming a ball.
- Turn out the mixture into the prepared Swiss roll tin/Jelly-roll pan. Gently press to fit, using your fingers or the back of a metal spoon. Gently rolling a straight-sided water glass over the surface will also give the shortbread’s surface a nice smooth finish.
- Mark the pressed out shortbread into regular-sized fingers or squares using the tip of a sharp knife. Then use the tines of fork to make 3 sets of decorative puncture marks in each biscuit. Marking each finger/square at an angle looks quite nice.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When cooked, the shortbread should be a pale golden color with darker golden, slightly crisper edges. Remove the shortbread from the oven and carefully recut the fingers/squares with a knife (the mixture expands slightly during cooking and the original marks tend to fade). Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before carefully removing each finger/square to a wire rack; a palette knife works well. Sprinkle the still warm shortbread with caster/superfine sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have some) and leave to cool completely. Store in a tin.
*Note: To make vanilla sugar, place 1 cup of caster/superfine sugar and the seeds from 1 vanilla pod into a food processer. Reserve the vanilla pod. Process the sugar and vanilla until well-combined. Store the sugar and vanilla pod in an airtight jar until ready to use.
SUSANA ELLIS – THE ULTIMATE ESCAPE
[Original recipe found on
- 1 (10.75 ounce) package prepared pound cake, cubed
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen blueberries
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen blackberries
- 2 tablespoons praline liqueur
- 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Place cubed cake in bottom of large glass serving bowl. Layer the blueberries, raspberries and blackberries on top of the cake. Sprinkle with praline liqueur.
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, milk, condensed milk and 1 cup of whipped topping, stir well. Pour mixture over frozen berries. Top custard with remaining whipped topping. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, enough for the berries to thaw before serving.
SHERRY EWING – UNDER THE MISTLETOE
Mashed Sweet Potatoes And Pears
5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
3/4 cup (or more) pear nectar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Pierce potatoes in several places with fork. Place on baking sheet; bake until very tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup nectar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, adding more nectar if mixture sticks to skillet and stirring often, about 4 minutes. Transfer to processor and puree.
Peel sweet potatoes; place in large bowl of electric mixer. Add 4 tablespoons butter; beat until smooth. Mix in pear puree, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared dish. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Bake potatoes uncovered until just heated through, about 20 minutes.
MARIANA GABRIELLE – ‘TIS HER SEASON
Mariana Gabrielle’s Apple Scrapple Recipe
My only connection to the city of Philadelphia is my great-great uncle, Percy Whaley, who was the Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger in the 1930s. This recipe did not come from him, but it is, nonetheless, a blatant Yankee (Philadelphia) tradition in my very Southern food heritage. This is my traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breakfast food, because it can be made ahead and cooked quickly and easily, even in the midst of other cooking that always needs to be done on those days.
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 small finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium diced apple
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups water, divided
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Additional butter for frying
In a heavy saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Combine cornmeal, salt, and remaining water; stir into boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
In a skillet, cook the sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender, breaking up the sausage into a fine dice. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon; set aside.
Reserve 2 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Add butter, apple, thyme, sage and pepper to drippings; cook on low heat for five minutes or until apple is tender. Remove from the heat; stir in sausage and onion mixture. Set aside.
Once cornmeal is finished cooking, stir in the sausage mixture. Pour into a greased 8x4x2-inch loaf pan (or line the loaf pan with a double layer of Saran Wrap). Cover and chill overnight.
Slice 1/2 inch thick with a serrated blade. Dredge in flour. Fry in a buttered skillet until browned on each side.
Serve with syrup or topped with a fried egg.
JUDE KNIGHT – GINGERBREAD BRIDE
2/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
12 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda (not traditional – but improves the texture)
220 grams butter (2 sticks or 8 oz)
3 1/2 cups of flour (more if needed)
1 large egg, beaten.
- Put molasses, sugar, and spices in a pot and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve. Boil for two minutes and then take off heat.
- Add baking soda and stir until it froths up.
- Add butter and stir until it melts.
- Add one third of the flour and mix.
- Add egg and rest of the flour, and mix until the mixture is smooth and not tacky.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a good dough. It should not stick to your hands when ready. Add more flour, a little at a time, if you need to.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- For each half, roll out the dough to your desired thickness — thinner dough will be less robust but crispier.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and chill till firm.
- Cut into shapes and remove scraps.
- Rechill your baking sheet of shapes.
- Bake until golden.
- Let shapes cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Ice with royal icing, with fondant icing cut with the same shape cutters, or with a combination.
Can be used to make gingerbread houses.
CAROLINE WARFIELD – A DANGEROUS NATIVITY
1 Gallon Apple Cider (preferably unfiltered orchard cider)
4 cinnamon sticks
1 Navel orange cut in ¼ inch rounds
1 Small apple cut in ¼ inch rounds
A dash of nutmeg and allspice
1 cup of rum (optional)
Imbed the cloves in the orange and apple slices. Place all ingredients except rum and powdered spices in a slow cooker and heat on high for one hour. Add rum and spices to taste. Reduce heat to low and heat for one more hour. Be careful not to boil. Keep the cooker on warm until you ladle it into mugs.
Vary the fruit
Add ½ cup lemon juice
Leave out rum
Substitute whiskey for rum
NICOLE ZOLTACK – JOY TO THE WORLD
Chocolate Decadence Yule Log
Original recipe found on
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan and use parchment paper if desired. Sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs on high until they are fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar, beating until very thick. Gently fold in the flour mixture.
- Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of water with the 2 tablespoons of coffee liqueur, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the baking soda. Gradually stir into the melted chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold chocolate mixture into batter.
- Pour batter into the pan. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Lightly sift an even layer of confectioners sugar over a cloth napkin. Flip the cake out of its pan onto the prepared cloth as soon as it comes from the oven. Carefully peel away parchment paper if used. Lightly dust top of cake with confectioners sugar. Trim away crisp edges. Starting with one of the short sides of the cake, immediately roll the cake up in the cloth, jellyroll style, and cool thoroughly on a rack.
- For the Filling and Frosting: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate then let cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar until smooth. Blend in the vanilla extract and coffee liqueur. Blend this mixture into the melted chocolate. Unroll the cake and spread about 1/3 of the filling evenly over the surface. Roll the cake back up.
- Arrange cake roll on serving tray. Frost generously, swiping with an icing spatula to form the long ‘bark line’ design. Swipe ends of cake in a circular motion to simulate the tree-rings of a cut log. Decorate log as desired with holly leaves and berries.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: The Bluestocking Belles are giving away a gift swag that includes a Christmas ornament, a print copy of THE BLUESTOCKING BELLES’ GUIDE TO A GOOD TIME and other author swag to one of their Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog readers! Leave a comment below for a chance to win.
Don’t miss the chance to read these novellas!
Thanks, Amy Rose, Susana, Sherry, Mariana, Jude, Caroline and Nicole for sharing your stories with us!!