Cooking The Books – S E Gilchrist

Chef with cookbookToday we welcome S E Gilchrist, an author of hot romances set in fantasy worlds and outer space. And what a year she’s had! Contracts right, left and centre with Escape Publishers and Momentum as well as dipping a toe in the waters of Indie publishing.  Now, I’ve always wondered what people eat in space. S E’s here to tell us, and she’s got a terrific recipe to get us ready for the journey.

My first response to Lou’s invitation as a guest blogger on ‘Cooking the Books’, was…”OMG, what will I talk about, I hate cooking!” But the lure of finding new tasty recipes sucked me in, especially if they are quick and 2011 compressed

The truth is I’m impatient these days with anything which draws me away from my writing. I feel this comes from having limited ‘spare time’ plus, what feels like a lifetime, of cooking for a family of four. So nowadays, it’s a case of every man (or woman) for themselves in my kitchen. An inspired decision on my part, considering my three twenty-something ‘children’ are on various health kicks and work outs worthy of any Olympic contestant.

I’d like to share with you today, one of my favourite recipes (which requires only a few minutes of standing over the stove thus resulting in no books catching on fire!).

Roast Pumpkin & Fetta Frittata (about 30 minutes if pumpkin previously cooked)


500g jap pumpkin (either steamed or roasted previously – fabulous way to use up leftovers)
1/2 cup chopped spinach leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon mixed herbs
6 eggs, lightly beaten
200g feta, crumbled

1/2 cup grated light tasty cheese

Fresh garden  salad, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to hot, 200°C. Lightly grease and line a large oven tray and a 20cm cake pan with baking paper. (I often use a loaf pan or a baking dish)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan on high. Saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove from heat. Stir herbs through. Cool slightly.
  3. In a bowl, whisk eggs. Stir in feta, onion mixture, pumpkin and spinach leaves. Pour into pan. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and golden. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve with salad.

    frittata_pumpkin and feta

    courtesy of Womans Day

And if I’m lucky it will look something like this…

Legend Beyond The Stars_Final web pagesUnfortunately with the majority of her time spent on an alien space ship, Alana, the heroine of Legend Beyond the Stars is often reduced to eating protein cubes.  By the time, she and her friends finally land on a ‘civilised’ planet the need to taste real food is as strong as any addiction. Here’s an excerpt …

“I’m gettin’ a bad feelin’ ‘bout this place.” Jessamine’s voice interrupted her dismal thoughts.

Interested, Alana turned to face her and gestured towards the screen. “How so? Is it the planet, do you think?”

“Well, hard to say, but I don’t believe so. I feel somethin’ bad is gonna happen. Maybe cause Wray and Casis have been actin’ kinda weird. You know,” Jessamine waved a vague hand in the air, “tense. And not that kinda tense.” She chuckled and Alana grinned. “Almost sad as if there is some kinda heavy decision weighin’ on their minds.”

“They could be deciding whether one of them should bow out and leave the field for the other.”

“Absolutely not. I did wonder at first but seems our trio is workin’ good and it sure keeps me busy.” Jessamine winked.

“Then it’s something else.” Alana compressed her lips and crossed her arms over her chest.

Jessamine exclaimed, “You feel it too!”

“Yeah, I sure do.”

“Honey, I’m sure if you ask the Commander he’d tell you what was goin’ on. Don’t you have any idea what we’re doin’ here?”

“Commander Tarak and I do not have the kind of relationship where we exchange confidences.” Alana turned away.

“Ouch. Well, hon, my boys are holdin’ out too. And lookin’ forward, that will definitely need to change,” Jessamine said, her chin jutted out with determination.

“All I can say is, I wish you luck.”

Jessamine linked arms with her and grinned. “If I’m sure of one thing, it’s this, you sure have Commander Tarak wrapped around your little finger.”

Alana snorted with disbelief.

“Well, you’ll see I’m right. Though I so hope we’ll be eating real food for a change. I’m really tired of space rations. A huge juicy steak would go down just nice.”

“I’m on the same page with you there, Jess.”

“Honey, if a cow walked past me now, I would devour it whole; hide, hooves and all.”

Since the heroines of my short stories, The Portal (out now) and Awakening the Warriors (coming 1st May) are also on space ships, I’ve made them suffer too. Maybe I should go into the space ration business.

Thankyou, Lou, for hosting me today. I’ve enjoyed being on your blog and reading how other writers combine food with passion and love. compressed for web pages

twitter : @segilchrist1

facebook : SEGilchrist

Buy links:

Legend Beyond the Stars : Amazon:     iTunes:

The Portal : Amazon:    iTunes:

Awakening the Warriors : Amazon:

Cooking The Books – Emmie Dark

Chef with cookbookWe’re turning up the heat again with multi-published Harlequin and Destiny Romance author, Emmie Dark. As a foodie Emmie leaves no stone unturned in her quest for the newest gastronomic tastes and culinary hotspots of Melbourne. Happily she likes my company as we chomp and sip our way around inner Melbourne talking writing, romance and food.

Emmie’s latest release from Destiny Romance is Spellbound a steamy erotic romance novella. I think the cover says it all!


by Emmie Dark

I’d always thought that I could handle spicy food. Wasabi on my sashimi? Yes, please. A little fresh chilli sprinkled on top of my tom yum soup? Sure! Pizza with hot salami? Bring it on! And I’d always been a little disparaging of those people who couldn’t handle the heat—I was secretly proud to be made of tougher stuff.

That is, until I travelled to Malaysia a few years ago for work. I was running workshops for a group of locals there, and the first thing I learned is that morning tea is not a biscuit and a cup of tea. Nor is lunch a sandwich eaten while you work. In Malaysia—especially in Penang, so famous for its cuisine—food is something to stop for, to savour and appreciate.Spellbound cover

Morning tea on my first day was hot food—a selection of noodles, soup, and some absolutely delicious deep-fried little morsels served with sweet chilli sauce.

One of the delegates asked me, “Do you like spicy food?”

“Sure do!” I confidently replied.

He dished me a small plate of noodles. Bringing a forkful of them to my mouth, I still can’t tell you what made me hesitate. But I paused.

“Just how spicy are they?” I asked, suddenly suspicious. Maybe it was something in the steam rising from them that gave it away—something already tickling my nose.

The woman next to me swallowed her mouthful. “Pretty mild,” she said with a shrug.

“Okay.” I munched on the whole forkful. The flavour was salty, with the freshness of coriander, and a good dose of chilli. Actually, I realised as I chewed, a lot of chilli. LOTS of chilli. A HUGE amount of chilli! With a heat that just seemed to grow and expand to fill my mouth, my throat, my whole head . . .

I coughed. Kind of choked. Managed to swallow. But swallowing the noodles did nothing to calm the raging fire in my mouth. The oil from the dish had coated every tooth, every part of my tongue, and I could hardly breathe.

Tears stung my eyes and I could feel myself break out in a sweat.  “That’s mild?” I managed to say.

They laughed. And brought me water, bless them. And once I’d recovered my voice, we had a lively debate about what “spicy” actually meant. To them, the noodles were mild. For the rest of the week, I was their pet project. “Try this!” they’d encourage. “Tell us if you think it’s spicy!” I was a bit of a joke, actually, with my seeming inability to handle what they considered the mildest of spicy dishes.

Emmie DarkEver since, I’m not quite as boastful about my ability to handle hot food. I still love it, though. And I’m much more patient with those people who don’t like spice at all, even I do think they might be missing out.

Emmie’s first book with Destiny Romance, Spellbound, is out now. A steamy tale about love and magic gone wrong, it’s definitely one for lovers of hot spice!


Find out more about Emmie at

Spellbound is available from:




Cooking The Books – Madeline Ash

Chef with cookbookWhat a treat today! My guest is fellow Destiny Romance author Madeline Ash. A treat because Madeline and I were in a critique group together for about eighteen months and I had the opportunity to read her beautiful stories as they unfolded month after month. Hearing that Madeline had been contracted to Destiny Romance was like coming full circle.

Thank you for having me here today, Louise. I love the idea of exploring the food in books we read and write, and drawing parallels between the passion and nourishment of food and that of love. My mind jumps to rich aromas and subtle undertones, the tactile experience of preparing ingredients, and the seduction of one’s senses when sitting down to a delicious meal. I think of indulgence, decadence, and more than a little satisfaction. And okay, okay, I’m starting to think of Barry White.

But what happens to ol’ Baz when a girl has to follow a strict diet?MadelineAsh_Profile

Vera Cole is the heroine in Uncovered by Love. She has a secret (which I’ll do my best not to spoil), and consequently she must monitor everything she eats. And I don’t mean, ‘Whoops, I accidentally ate that whole tub of ice-cream – better have a carrot.’  She has to watch her cholesterol and saturated fat intake, as well as her fluid and sodium intake. Let’s add limitations to the amount of sugar and concentrated sweets she consumes, and a restriction on caffeine and alcohol. So that means a very thin slice of chocolate cake on her birthday, no flirting over coffee or a latte, and definitely no glass of wine to warm the blood.

Kills the romance a bit, doesn’t it?

Well, almost. But Vera deals with her diet in such a subtle way that the hero doesn’t really think on it. His focus well and truly is elsewhere (as it should be). This was an intentional move on my part – since food is such a powerful metaphor for sex, I had to be careful that the sexual tension wasn’t reduced to the potency level of a celery stick. So food took the backseat in this book!

That having been said, there’ s a scene in Chapter Two when Vera’s diet interrupts Leeson’s chase. I’ll share it with you:

UncoveredByLove_cropped small‘See that bar?’ Vera followed the direction of his finger and nodded. ‘If you like cocktails, that’s the place to go.’

‘I don’t drink,’ she said, thwarting Leeson’s never-fail seduction plan. She looked up at him again. ‘Where can I get the best chai?’

‘Uh.’ He didn’t have a clue. ‘Let me think.’

‘You know,’ Vera said, her smile almost a smirk, ‘I’ve heard that men find it hard to admit when they don’t know something.’

‘I didn’t know that.’

She threw him a look. ‘Nice try.’

He grinned. ‘All right, so you’ll have to find the chai yourself.’ Then he took her elbow and guided her into a patisserie that smelled like an aphrodisiac. She mightn’t drink cocktails, but surely he could rely on her sweet tooth. ‘I’ll introduce you to the best chocolate croissant in the city.’

Vera stood beside him in the queue, arms crossed as if he’d let her down. The first woman he’d met to regard a dessert wonderland with disappointment. ‘You ate chocolate cake,’ he said in his defence.

‘I know,’ she said. ‘But I’m watching my diet.’

He looked her over, dismayed. ‘What on earth for?’

‘Not to lose weight,’ she said, cheeks flushing. ‘I just … have to stay healthy.’

He frowned, not understanding. ‘Halves?’

She gave him a peculiar smile. ‘Halves could work.’

It had the potential to stop Barry White, but between you and me, the lack of luscious foods and exotic tastes did nothing to dampen the hot spice of romance between Vera and Leeson. And that’s it from me! If you’d like to find out why Vera had to be so careful, you can find Uncovered by Love at the following online stores:

Amazon and Amazon UK

Apple (iTunes store)

Destiny Romance

Google Play


You can find Madeline on the net:

Cooking The Books – Kamy Chetty

Chef with cookbook

We’re turning up the heat today and I’m not talking temperature! My guest is Kamy Chetty, whose debut release Falling Into Paradise, is a red-hot read. Kamy is very kindly offering a copy of her book to one lucky commenter. But first, here’s Kamy.

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and be grateful for everything good in your life. Unfortunately not everyone has that opportunity and in Paradise Falls there are many little traditions that Sophie finds hard to come to terms with because she never had the best of childhoods.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love baking and the thing I love most about it, is having my kids help. If only Sophie had the kind of relationship with her mother that Damon has with his, it makes me wonder what kind of story this would have been.

But today I have the recipe for Damon’s favourite Thanksgiving Pie and I hope you like it too 🙂

This recipe is from Nigella Lawson


  • 1 packet(s) shortcrust pastry
  • 1 cup(s) cane sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 3 cup(s) Golden syrup (scant cups)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) dark rum
  • ¼ cup(s) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 large egg(s)
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 cup(s) Pecan nuts (broken)
  • Whipped cream (sweetened or vanilla ice cream for serving)- Damon likes whipped cream.


  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a large circle about 1/8 inch thick. Fit it, without stretching, into a buttered 9-inch pie pan. Trim off the excess dough, leaving a ¾-inch border.
  2. Fold under the edge of the dough, pressing along the rim or the pan and forming a high, fluted border.
  3. Chill the pie shell until needed. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, Golden Syrup or corn syrup, rum, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly and scraping back any foam that clings to the sides of the pan.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside to cool to lukewarm, at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F degrees, with a rack in the lower third.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until creamy. Beat the eggs into the cooled syrup; stir in the vanilla, salt, and pecans. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 50 minutes. Cool the pie completely on a wire rack.
  7. Serve the pie at room temperature with plenty of slightly sweetened whipped cream

So do you have any favourite recipes or family cooking moments you’d like to share. A lucky commenter will receive an e-book of my debut release Falling into Paradise. Thank you so much for having me here and letting me share this with you!


A woman too afraid to commit. A man too hurt to love again. A passion that refuses to be denied.

Sophie Redmond knew betrayal, she knew mistrust. She knew everything that was wrong with the world, until Damon Watson charmed his way into her life.

The rules she used to shield her heart were broken one by one, as Damon showed her compassion and kindness.
When no one else believes in her, he shows her hope. But is hope ever enough?

Damon knew trouble when he saw it. He was the sheriff. He could spot it a mile away and Sophie was trouble with a capital T. What was it about this City Slicker doctor that made him want to forget everything but those whiskey brown eyes and that honey blonde hair spilled against his naked chest.

Can Damon put the past behind him and choose to love again?


Buy Links:
Red Sage        Amazon      Amazon UK      B&N

Kamy Chetty around the web:

Website    Facebook   Twitter    Author Page