Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George

Chef with cookbookWelcome to Cooking the Books! Today my guest is contemporary romance author, Jennifer St George. Last time we caught up with Jen we heard about her kitchen woes and how they were  all going to be solved with the aid of a Thermomix. Well, let’s find out how that little experiment has turned out, shall we? But before we do, whatever her shortcomings in the kitchen, Jen sure does know how to deliver a sizzling alpha billionaire hero. The latest book in her fabulous Billionaires series was released this month by Destiny Romance. Here’s Jennifer!

 

Why Can’t my Characters Cook For Me?JSG

 

Cooking. It’s not my forte. I’m a very basic cook and will use any excuse to order take away rather than cook a meal. I’d love to be a great cook, and to that end I purchased a Thermomix, which I talked about during my last visit to Cook the Books.

The Thermomix promises that even the most inexperienced cooks will be able to prepare dishes they never before dreamed were possible. It can chop, whip, mix, emulsify, mill, knead, cook, blend, stir, steam, weigh and heat. I was sold.

So, how’s it going? Well, my young daughter can now cook amazing meals, which is fantastic. She is a natural in the kitchen. She’s whipped up tuna pasta, made her own pesto (and now grows her own basil so she can make it fresh from the garden), has produced almost a hundred batches of Anzac biscuits and lots more. She loves it.

How am I going? Well, I’m disappointed because I still have to shop for ingredients and put them in the right order and the right amount. When they make a machine that does that, then I might look like a good cook. I have made a couple of quite successful soups and salads, but I think you need to want to cook to get the best of the Themomix.

Anyway, because I’m such a rubbish cook I consciously ensure all my heroines are brilliant cooks (yes, living out my fantasies through my fiction). They make fabulous meals. I know about amazing meals because I read all those gourmet magazines and indulge in quite a few restaurant meals…I just can’t replicate these mouth-watering morsels in the kitchen, but I can write about them.

My latest release, Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon is set in a luxury health retreat. My heroine Poppy effortlessly whips up a meal of carrot and ginger soup followed by chicken with salsa verde and roast courgette and red peppers and finishes the meal with lime and rose sorbet. All organic ingredients and all delicious. Apparently Poppy could have made all these meals in my Thermomix. Shame Poppy is just a figment of my imagination!

TemptedBy_2b[2]

Thanks, Jen. So what about you, dear reader? Are you an old-fashioned cook who eschews modern gadgets in favour of technique? Or will you grab anything going in order to make life easy?

Author Bio:

Jennifer St George is a romance author whose sexy stories feature courageous, career-minded heroines, strong heroes in glamorous international settings. Out in October, Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon is the second book in Jennifer’s Billionaire Romance series.

You can buy Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon from:

Amazon

iTunes

Kobo

Penguin

Google

 

Find Jennifer at:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog and Lovecatsdownunder

Web

 

 

Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George + print giveaway

Chef with cookbookOoh gadgets! It’s really the very best time of the year to be talking about the acquisition of new kitchen toys. Any girl with cheffy pretensions can’t go past new kitchen stuff and Christmas is the time to get it. I’m expecting a Kitchen-Aid under the Christmas tree this year <whistles innocently> but now I’m starting to wonder. Because Jennifer St George is here to tell us about a machine the name of which has been swimming around at the outer reaches of my consciousness for some time. I’m all ears. But first I’m all eyes for Jennifer’s brand new Destiny Romance print release, Sweet Seduction, containing two gorgeous romances. Here’s Jennifer:

Those Magnificent Cooks and their Thermomix Machine!

Okay, have you heard of Thermomix?  Apparently, as I learned recently, the Thermomix is the king of kitchen JSGappliances. The German made machine can multi-task better than any woman. It can chop, beat, mix, whip, grind, knead, mince, grate, juice, blend, heat, stir and steam. It certainly has more kitchen skills than I do.

Apparently this thing is so good that half the chefs in the country have one (or more) sitting in their kitchens. Australia’s top chefs, including Adriano Zumbo, Tetsuya Wakuda and Adrian Gilmore, have given it the thumbs up.

Being someone who likes facts, I checked out Choice Magazine.  It rated Thermomix ahead of all its competition. So I did some further investigation.

The thing can make an Orange cake in 30 seconds (excluding cooking time), raw cacao and macadamia cheesecake in 158 seconds (excluding chilling time) and mushroom risotto in 12 minutes.

So, as fortune would have it (is it fortunate?), one week after hearing about this amazing machine, a friend invites me to her Thermomix party. Yes, they are only sold through demonstration parties (like Tupperware). I will enjoy a three-course meal all made by the Thermomix, so that’ll be good.

But then there is the price!

I can’t include the price here as my husband may read this post and I just might want to buy one. But, apparently I will be transformed into a kitchen goddess with this device. This is a pedestal I have wanted to be placed on since I realized even my spaghetti bolognaise was worse than average (quite a blow).

Being a lousy cook, I like to make my heroines fabulous cooks.  Charlie, my heroine in Seducing the Secret Heiress, is a fantastic cook. So much so that she competes in my hero’s reality TV show. She wouldn’t need a Thermomix.

Seducing the Secret Heiress (and my other novel The Convenient Bride) has now been been published in print under the title of Sweet Seduction and is available through Big W and other good books stores just in time for Christmas!

So, my question is, has anyone else heard about these amazing machines and would you recommend them. Leave a comment to go into the draw for a print copy of Sweet Seduction (Australian delivery only).

Sweet SeductionSweet Seduction Blurb:

Together for the first time in one heartwarming volume.

The Convenient Bride



Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family’s hotel, and ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience that will secure his next business deal and save Sienna’s hotel.

 In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of luxury and opulence. Antonio soon realizes he has vastly underestimated Sienna. Unexpectedly, she gets too close, and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio’s perfectly planned life begins to unravel . . .

Seducing the Secret Heiress

Diamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her fiancée, Paul. Until the day she finds out Paul has been unfaithful. 

Charlotte flees to Europe, determined to build her own life without her family’s fortune. When she meets gorgeous TV producer, Gabe Grenville, she keeps her connections secret and soon finds herself the star of his new cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity?

Buy Links:

Sweet Seduction is available through Big W and other good book stores. Ebook available:

Amazon

iTunes

You can find Jennifer at:

w: www.jenniferstgeorge.com

f: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.s.george.31?fref=ts

t: https://twitter.com/JenStGeorge

g: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521004.Jennifer_St_George

blog: http://lovecatsdownunder.blogspot.com.au/

Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George

Chef with cookbookIt’s always a pleasure when Jennifer St George visits ‘Cooking The Books’. Jennifer enjoyed a glamorous, high-powered professional life which she has since parlayed into a rewarding life as a romance writer. No surprise, then, that small-town romances with sweet heroines opening bakeries are not her style. Instead, she takes us on exciting journeys to exotic locations like Venice and this time round, Barbados. And always in the company of a drop-dead gorgeous hero. Welcome, Jennifer!

Thanks Lou for having me back on Cooking the Books. I love food, reading about it, eating it (but not so much cooking it!). But it JSGseems that all my books feature food in some way. Probably because I love setting my books in exotic international locations, so it’s fun to research and feature the local dishes.

In my new release, The Love Deception, my hero, Damon Fullbright and heroine, Felicity Carter travel to Barbados in search of evidence that will exonerate Felicity’s father of a crime he didn’t commit. Damon and Felicity eat at a fabulous beachside restaurant. Seafood is a specialty of the region and Felicity enjoys a platter of coconut shrimp followed by Cajun salmon with pesto cream sauce, grilled zucchini and tomato salsa. She doesn’t get time to eat dessert as disaster descends.

My sister-in-law, Lisa is part Jamaican so I was able to quiz her all about Caribbean food.  Fortunately she is also a fabulous cook, so I’ve enjoyed various Caribbean dishes over the years.  Jerk Chicken is one of my favourites.

Lisa grew up in England so it was hard for her to find the chillies she needed for this dish so her family only ate Jerk Chicken on special occasions, but here in Australia she cooks it all the time (lucky me!!). She’s happy to share her recipe:

Jerk Chicken

Ingredients

  • 10-12 chicken thighs
  • 1 bunch of spring onion
  • 1 thimble-sized piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 3 Caribbean red peppers * deseeded (you can use  some seeds of extra heat)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 juice of lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

*You can use Habanero chillies instead (nothing milder)

Method

  •  To make the jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients and blend in a food processor. The marinade should be quite thick.  You can taste the mixture at this point to see if you want more chillies/heat.
  •   Slash chicken thighs and cover with marinade. Cover and leave to marinate for at least three hours but best if left overnight in the fridge.
  •   You can BBQ Jerk Chicken or cook it in the oven (BBQ best as the smell is fantastic!!). To BBQ, cook meat on an indirect heat as slowly as you can (30 mins).  To cook in the oven, heat to 180C. Put the chicken pieces in a pan and roast for 45 mins until cooked through.

Serve with rice and peas.

Lisa always recommends wearing kitchen gloves as the chillies are hot and burn like crazy if you get it in or near you eyes! (she’s learnt from painful experience!)

I’d love to hear about fabulous foodie moments you’ve experienced whilst travelling. Some of my most memorable moments include eating sushi for the first time, in Spain (!), buying baguette and cheese and eating next to the Eiffel Tower, forking Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake) into my mouth in Koblenz (Germany), eating dulce de leche on freshly baked bread in Montevideo, Uruguay and tasting Korean Kimchi (pickled cabbage) in Seoul and trying hard to pretend I enjoyed it.

The Love Deception coverAbout The Love Deception:

The Love Deception is my third novel with Destiny Romance. It combines legal intrigue, courtroom drama and a dash of exotic Barbados.

When Felicity Carter wakes up naked in a strange bed, she has no idea how she got there. And no recollection of meeting the gorgeous man calmly offering her breakfast. Felicity flees – hoping that their paths never cross again.
 
The last thing she expects is to discover that her mystery man is Damon Fullbright, partner at the law firm where Felicity has just started work – and her new boss!

Damon is appalled to find the out-of-control young woman he rescued has been hired to work on his team. Apart from anything else, he doesn’t need the distraction of a hot blonde with a barrel-full of issues. But one-by-one, Felicity blows all Damon’s preconceptions out of the water. When Felicity explosively reveals her dreadful secret, will he risk his reputation and trust her to discover the truth?

You can find The Love Deception here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CSCCKZ6

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/the-love-deception/id648685234?mt=11

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Love-Deception/book-8XmLKdzwxUG7QDYlyWtWlA/page1.html?s=6YWDObsIIkOzmnut006yvg&r=3

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jennifer_St_George_The_Love_Deception?id=csKW9iy46iwC&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImJvb2stY3NLVzlpeTQ2aXdDIl0.

Find Jennifer at:

w: www.jenniferstgeorge.com

f: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.s.george.31?fref=ts

t: https://twitter.com/JenStGeorge

g: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521004.Jennifer_St_George

Cooking The Books – Jennifer St George

Chef with cookbook

Today’s guest is the lovely Jennifer St George and her latest book for Destiny Romance, Seducing The Secret Heiress, is a fabulous sexy read with a whole lot of food fun thrown in. Take it away Jennifer!   JSG

Louise, thanks so much for hosting me today.  Your food-themed blog series couldn’t be a better match for my recent release, Seducing the Secret Heiress.  The story is set around a reality TV cooking show. The contestants have to cook meals for first-class airline passengers who, along with professional chefs and the general public, cast their votes each week from 30,000 feet. The concept was inspired by MasterChef but with a twist.

My Australian heroine, Charlie, cooks up some interesting dishes towards the end of the book including Accidental Liar’s Terrine which features ingredients including Ignorant Little Rich Girl Minced Chicken, Billionaire Mixed Herbs and Cheating Fiancé Vinegar!

Seducing the Secret Heiress CoverI was inspired to write about a reality TV Show as I took part in the Australian version of Dragon’s Den. Just the harsh spotlights alone are enough to raise your heart rate.  Add judges, camera close-ups and a Director and the experience is really very intense, but exhilarating at the same time. I thought this pressure-cooker environment would make good fodder for a sexy romance.

I like cooking, but I’m not very good at it. This might have something to do with the fact that I never measure anything. I’ve been to cooking classes with some great chefs including Ben O’Donoghue and Steven Snow but their fabulous talent just hasn’t rubbed off on me. Sad but true. My ‘whizz in the kitchen’ sister-in-law always despairs when she comes into my kitchen.  I don’t have any measuring cups, sharp knives or a cupboard full of staple ingredients. Strangely, she doesn’t seem to think a shelf full of the cookbooks with pretty pictures compensates for this.

So, it was great fun writing a character who could turn the simplest meal into an understated extravaganza. Charlie possesses a natural flair for flavours and presentation. Even though my story is predominately set in London, Charlie differentiates her cooking by using Australian ingredients including macadamia nuts and Barramundi. She never burns anything.

But the food doesn’t always stay on the plate! The story also features a sexy food fight which is one of my favourite scenes in developing the passion between Charlie and gorgeous hero, Gabe.

I may not be a very good cook, but I do have a talent for eating out. I love everything from romantic candle-lit dinners in Michelin Star restaurants to a trip to the local curry house.  As long as I’m not cooking, I know the meal will be delicious.  And for a girl who can’t cook, I do seem to have collected an over-abundance of cooking magazines.  You can barely walk through our living room without knocking over a stack of Delicious or Donna Hay magazines.  I can name what’s in season, it’s just I’m likely to burn it if it comes near my stove.

I love the way food brings people together, but in our house, this is more likely to happen over a Thai takeaway.

Here’s a taste of what Jennifer’s book has in store:

Diamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her billionaire fiancée, Paul.  That is, until she finds Paul has been unfaithful. Shocked, she flees to Europe where she is determined to build a life of her own without her family’s name, fortune or connections.  When she meets gorgeous Englishman, Gabe Grenville, a famous reality TV producer, sparks fly. Charlotte passes herself off as a lowly catering assistant but soon finds herself a star on his TV cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity? And Paul has not given up – he has his own agenda for forcing Charlotte to return to Australia and marry him.

Will their love turn into a recipe for disaster? Or will it turn out to be a perfect concoction?

You can find Jennifer here:

Website           Facebook       Twitter

Seducing The Secret Heiress is available from:

Amazon

itunes

Kobobooks

Destiny Romance