Tag Archives: holiday romance

Vicki Batman: Very Easy Lemon Tarts

Know what I love more than lemon tarts? (and you know I love lemon tarts!) Recipes that are Very Easy – especially the kind that can be thrown together quickly to bring to get-togethers. Vicki Batman is here today with the quickest, easiest tarts ever! Once you snag this awesome little recipe, make sure to check out Vicki’s upcoming holiday box-set, Season of Surprises.


With the holidays coming, we’re all crunched for time. And for those special events, I’ve made these:

A Lemon - not required for this lemon tart recipe

You don’t even have to zest a lemon!

Very Easy Lemon Tart Recipe

Tiny pie shells (ex:  Clearbrook Farms, 24 count)

1 jar of Lemon curd

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Peggy Bird: Ropa Vieja Recipe

I’m thrilled to welcome Peggy Bird to the blog today. Peggy and I met as launch authors for Crimson Romance  a few short years ago. Peggy’s been quite prolific since then in comparison to my slow self. I think she also makes a better brisket than I do. (pouts). At least she is sharing her recipe.  Don’t forget to check out The Gift of Love at the bottom!

Author Peggy BirdPeggy

In every romance novel I write, I include a scene where my couple eats a meal together. The reason? I think feeding someone is one of the most intimate and caring things we can do. It engages all the senses and the food doesn’t have to be overtly aphrodisiac to be sensual. Sometimes pasta is sexier than oysters and champagne.

For example, one of my heroes cooked the Italian food his mother taught him to love in childhood. The fact that it brought back good memories for the heroine certainly helped his cause! Another of my heroes put together a romantic picnic at the Oregon coast for the woman he was trying to impress. Even heroine who get called back on duty before she can get the hero to the table eventually had her chance to win over her men with a great meal.

In my latest book, “The Gift of Love,” Isabella Rodriguez invites Taylor, the man who’s been showing her around her new city of Seattle, to dinner in her apartment. She’s Cuban-American and promises a typical Cuban meal. The main dish is ropa vieja. She explains the story behind the meal to him: a poor man makes a meal for his children, adding shredded old clothes to the meager bit of meat he has. Magically, the clothes turn into meat and his children are satisfied.

There’s no magic—or old clothes—in this recipe based on one from Cook’s Illustrated—just good beef brisket and spices.

Ropa Vieja Recipe

(serves 6)

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Jax Garren: Elves and Apple-Ginger Pancakes (gluten free, nut free, vegan)

Foodie Friday Magic! Jax Garren is here today with Apple-Ginger Pancakes. What’s the magic part? They are gluten-free, nut free, and vegan (and still yummy!). Jax writes very modern urban fantasy romance. I’m a huge fan of her Tales of the Underlight trilogy. Today she’s brought along her ambiguously paranormal (Is he? Or isn’t he?) holiday foodie romance, The Elf and the Ice Princess. There are five FREE copies up for grabs if you’re willing to talk breakfast temptations in the comments.

I will be highly motivated to make an amazing breakfastJAX:

Brett grinned slyly. “I make a good breakfast. Pancakes. Waffles. I have experimental lox at the house. You could give me your professional opinion.”

“You want me to stay the night to critique your salmon?” Carrie meant it to sound like a joke, but it came out more like an accusation.

“No! No. I’m trying to convince you to stay the night with breakfast incentives.” His face lit up. “I will be highly motivated to make an amazing breakfast.”

Sex was one thing, but…“I’m not sure I’m ready for breakfast.”

Though his shoulders may have sagged a bit, Brett’s smile stayed intact and his voice light. “Okay. That’s fine. I understand. But it’s a package deal for me.” He wagged a finger at her. “I may be easy, but I’m not cheap. Or, something like that. Basically, I’ll wait.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I offered to get naked with you, and you’re turning me down?”

“I offered cuddling and pancakes, and you turned me down.” He snatched her hand and kissed it again. “I’m A-plus-plus boyfriend material, Carrie Martin. You’re going to figure that out—I hope—and then there will be nakedness and cuddling and pancakes. All of it. It will be epic.” Until then . . .” He yanked on her hand, and she stumbled forward, landing against his chest. “Until then, I’ll just have to work on convincing you.”

~ from The Elf and the Ice Princess


I love pancakes (and nakedness and cuddling), but when I went grain free, I thought I’d never have them again. (At least not the pancakes.) Then I discovered plantains! Plantains are related to bananas, and are usually found next to them in the grocery store. When green, they have a high starch content and neutral taste, so they can replace flour in all kinds of recipes. These apple-ginger pancakes are one of my favorite ways to use them; I make these about once a week for breakfast. They’re super easy, require just a few ingredients and a food processor, and have enough room for error that they’re almost impossible to mess up. I love them! Of note, they’re not cake-y like pancakes. They’re more like funnel cake–crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Which, in my book, makes them even better!


I never measure my ingredients; I just toss stuff into the food processor until it looks right. The recipe below is approximately what I shoot for each time, but you can miss the proportions by a wide margin and still get the same results. Plantains are cool that way. After years of baking fancy cakes and breads, it’s a relief to put something together that doesn’t require any fastidiousness.



Apple-Ginger Pancakes Recipe (gluten free, nut free, vegan)

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