Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Recipes: Dinner and Dessert


From Nine Naughty Novelist Kate Davies


Like me, my characters love to eat. Savory main dishes, decadent chocolate, refreshing drinks... you name it, they've probably shown up in my books. And Tony DiMarco, hero of my novella Strip Tease, has a family that bonds over mealtime. So when he brings Caroline to dinner at his parents' house, it's an experience she'll never forget.
 
I like to think that Mama DiMarco made a dish like this one for that dinner. It was introduced to my family by friends when I was just a kid, and even today the thought of it makes me smile. Looking back, it's not as complicated to make as I used to think, but it's rich and mouth-watering enough to earn a spot on the "special enough for company" list.
 
SPAGHETTI ALA  CARBONARA

Pic Link 
What you need:
 
2 Tbs butter or margarine
1/2 pound chopped Italian bacon or ham
1 onion, chopped
1 glass white wine
4 eggs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 pound spaghetti

What to do:
 
Melt butter in saucepan. Add chopped ham, stirring often. When meat is half done, add onions. Pan fry until almost transparent. Add wine and simmer. 
 
Cook spaghetti in a very large pot.
 
Beat eggs, add parsley, Parmesan and a dash of pepper.
 
Drain spaghetti and add egg mixture. Toss like hell, add ham and onion. Serve hot!
 
Strip Tease 
 
It seemed easy enough.  Hit the local all-male strip club, pick a likely target, and hire him for her best friend's bachelorette party.  But the stripper who catches Caroline's eye has a different agenda.  He's an undercover cop, and Caroline ends up under arrest – for solicitation!
 
Tony DiMarco realizes too late that he's made a mistake.  Caroline's reputation and business are suffering, and he feels responsible.  He feels something else, too – the pull of red-hot desire.  He wants Caroline, but she's afraid that he's just trying to make up for his mistake.  Can this determined vice cop teach her to trust again?

He's vice.  She's nice.  This potent mix has to be handled with care...



From Guest Author Renee Wildes


CHEESY POTATOES

(The easy version - since NO ONE wants to sit there w/a pile of potatoes, a hunk of cheese & a cheese grater...)

What you need:

1 lb frozen shredded hashbrowns (thawed)
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup (REAL) sour cream
1/4 cup REAL butter (regular/salted, not "sweet")
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

What to do:

Preheat over to 375. Melt the butter in saucepan. Place hash browns in lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Top w/onion salt & shredded cheese. Mix butter, chicken soup & soup cream together, pour/spread over potato/cheese. Salt & pepper as you will. Cover & bake for 45 minutes. UNCOVER & continue to bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown...
(P.S. For family gathering might have to double or triple recipe/pans - I can't tell you how many it serves b/c portions are meaningless at potlucks!)

CRANBERRY MUFFINS W/BUTTER SAUCE

What you need:

2 cups pre-sifted flour (although if you HAVE a sifter...kids LOVE sifting flour...)
2 cups whole cranberries (Tomah, WI home of Ocean Spray...)
1 cup (white) sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
3 Tbls. REAL butter (regular/salted, not "sweet")
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin pans well. Mix flour, soda & salt in mixing bowl. In a SEPARATE mixing bowl comine everything else. Then add "wet" mixture to the "dry" & stir until moist/sticky. Pour into muffin cups, fill 2/3-3/4. Bake for 30 minutes. (Says makes 16 muffins but depends on how you fill...)

WHILE THEY'RE BAKING...

BUTTER SAUCE

Combine:
1 cup (white) sugar
1/2 cup REAL butter (either works, but for this one "sweet" (unsalted) butter tastes a smidge better...)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. REAL vanilla extract
in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat & let simmer for a few minutes. Serve warm over cut muffins.

Renee Wildes is an award-winning Wausau WI writer. She grew up reading fantasy authors Terry Brooks and Mercedes Lackey and is a huge Joseph Campbell fan, so the minute she discovered romance novels it became inevitable that she would combine it all and write fantasy romance. Renee is a history buff, from medieval times back to ancient Greece, esp. Sparta. As a Navy brat and a cop's kid, she gravitated to protector/guardian heroes and heroines. She's had horses her whole life, so became the only vet tech in a family of nurses. It all comes together in her Guardians of Light series for Samhain Publishing - fantasy, action, romance, heroics and lots of critters!

Find Renee online:

 

4 comments:

Kelly Jamieson said...

OMG I love spaghetti carbonara!! Confession: I make it with a whole pound of bacon. :/

Great recipes, Renee and welcome to the Naughty Nine. I love the butter sauce idea for the muffins - gotta try that!

PG Forte said...

Hey, Renee! Good to see you here. :) And you're definitely in the right place for these recipes. We love our butter (some of us more than others, of course--lol).

Kate, I LOVE pasta carbonara. I vividly recall the first time I ate it. It was in a restaurant that had recently been opened by a childhood friend of my father's. Previously, the location had been the scene of a mob hit. Ah, New Jersey.

Btw, I always add peas to mine.

Erin Nicholas said...

BUTTER! :)

I love new recipes. Now I just need someone to come over and make some of this stuff

Welcome Renee!

Renee Wildes said...

Hi guys!
Nice to be here! We love our down home cooking up here, and REAL ingredients are a must!