So this month we’re talking recipes here at the Roses of Prose. I thought it was a great idea – after all, I thought of it!Great, that is, until I remembered my limited talents in the kitchen. I love books where the characters enjoy gourmet foods, expensive wines, and exotic this and that. Unfortunately, we writers do write what we know. In Judgement By Fire, heroine Lauren Stephens makes a mean tuna’n’cheese macaroni casserole. And in my upcoming release, Saving Maggie, (Crimson Romance, December 31) the heroine, Maggie Kendall, has the local pizza place on speed dial.
You get my drift?
But my Saving Grace (that’s the title of a 2013 release, by the way – more about that later!) is that I know how to get help. As always, when in need, I find my fellow writers are darn talented and willing to share their knowledge.Here’s one of my favourite foodie sites: Chickens in the Road, by bestselling author Suzanne McMinn. If you haven’t visited, the site is delightful and you really, really should go.
Susan is the one who introduced me to the world of bread. That is, breads that even I could make. Her recipe, which I adapted for my own use, has saved my bacon on many occasions, from having to rustle up a pizza lunch for the bunch, to creating gorgeous bread to glam up a simple soup meal.
Here’s my version:
Ingredients: 1 cup warm/not quite hot water; 1 packet quick rise dry yeast; 1 teaspoon sugar; ½ teaspoon salt; 1 egg, beaten; 2 cups unbleached white flour; 1 cup wholewheat flour.
What you do: ) Put water in a large bowl, add salt & sugar, stir slightly to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast on top, wrap in a clean tea towel and place in a warm, draft-free spot to ferment – about 15-20 min.2) Add beaten egg to yeast mixture, then stir in flour. Mix together until you have a dough – you may not use all the flour for this.
3) Turn out onto a floured board, knead for several minutes (push, pull, fold) until the dough is elastic, smooth and no longer sticky.
4) Put a tablespoon of olive oil in the bowl, place dough in and turn until covered lightly in the oil.
5) Cover and put back in a warm place until double in size.
6) Put back on floured board, punch down, shape into loaf or rolls, and place on a baking sheet.7) Back in warm place to rise to double again.
8) Put in oven (don’t preheat!) turn temp to 400 and bake for about 25 min for a loaf, 15 – 20 min for rolls. Don’t overbrown.
9) When baked, brush melted butter over loaf or rolls, place on a cooling sheet and try to resist nibbling – at least until the bread is cool!PIZZA:
Follow steps 1 - 5. When dough has doubled in size, place on floured board and roll out in a shape to fit your pizza or cookie sheet.Place in unheated oven, turn heat to 400, and bake for eight minutes.
Cover pizza crust with pizza sauce or my favorite, spaghetti sauce, then sprinkle with your favorite pizza toppings – onions, garlic, sweet peppers, mushrooms, Italian sausage, pepperoni or whatever.Cover with a nice layer of grated cheese – I use mozzarella and medium cheddar. Back to the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes.
Did I mention my December 31 release from Crimson Romance – Saving Maggie? Well, at the end of the book are Maggie’s/my recipes for chicken stir fry and oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies – I can promise you, both are yummy!
Visit Suzanne McMinn’s site, Chickens in the Road, for lots of delicious recipes you can adapt to your own taste, as well as tales of the farm, the animals, and Suzanne’s many adventures, activities, and books.
Glenys O'Connell is busy with two new releases on the way. You can visit her at www.glenysoconnell.com